Rogue Heroes tells the true story of Britain's Special Air Service, which changed the nature of World War Two. North Africa seemed to be where the war would bog down with the Allies trying to drive Rommel out. Before David Stirling conceived the idea of parachuting a small band of well-trained men behind Nazi lines, the war was fought as it always had been, with large groups of opposing troops facing off.
David Stirling was a Lieutenant in the Scots Guards when he had the misfortune to be paralyzed from the waist down after a parachuting accident. His back injury meant confinement to bed and hospital and as he lay there, bored, the concept of a special force was born. A small group of elite men could cause great damage to the German airstrips and disrupt their air war. The SAS was the first of Special Forces that are now part of most countries' military.
From this first rough plan, the Regiment was created, and the disruption to the German effort in the air and at seaports drove the Germans out of North Africa. A special force on the ground was added to the parachute actions. Jeeps were airlifted into the desert and the small SAS force would drive out of the desert, blow up planes, ammunition and fuel dumps before disappearing into the sand.
Men who served in the SAS were a different breed, reprobates, patriots, aristocrats and criminals. Each brought devil-may-care daring and determination to the Regiment. They committed and saw horrific violence and it was their single-mindedness that made their raids, guerrilla attacks and feats of espionage so effective.
Rogue Heroes is a book for the general reader; it is not a treatise on military history. The story is fascinating and if a writer had written a fiction with only a few of the exploits of the SAS, it would be unbelievable. It is hard to imagine the courage and nerve it took to face danger and death. A highly recommended account.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.