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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines.

Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.

The history of the SAS is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men willing to take monumental risks. It is a story of the meaning of courage.

©2016 Ben Macintyre (P)2016 Penguin Books Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

McIntyre narration and great narrator.

I am fascinated by The men who made a difference and won the War.
And these Roque heroes are real characters.
I have read all of Ben McIntyre's books.
This one is unique!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-25-17

Brilliantly executed book.

This is the most comprehensive and detailed account of the SAS that I have ever read, or indeed listened to.
From the initial idea that formed in Sir David Sterlings mind through to the temporary disbandment of Special Forces at the end of WWII. Ben Macintyre explores and makes a bloody good job of defining the main characters and his research to put this much detail into the the events chronicled is astonishing.
This book, for me, is a testament to the bravery, and daring of the first men who understood their Regimental motto. But beyond that, it also tells of the foolhardy and sometimes downright idiotic exploits of those same men.
To a man they were all heroes, but the man who stood quite literally head and shoulders above all, Lt Col Robert Blair "Paddy"Mayne.
This is bloody good listen and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy listening to the extraordinary exploits of of extraordinary people in our history.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • matt
  • 11-20-17

What a read

This is the story of, in my opinion, true heros, what these young lads went through was incomprehensible and very brave! Some say David Beckham is a hero for scoring a goal........

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan Ford
  • 01-25-17

Exceptional insight. Rather monotone.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The book is a true to life account of the story of the regiment. A brutal history. The attention to detail shown is perfect. Not too much war jargon etc.

Any additional comments?

The only negative I have is the monotone way in which it was read. Little to no life was brought to the fore. I appreciate this is, in essence, snippets from the archives and diaries etc But I found it droning from time to time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Stracey
  • 10-13-18

purely fascinating story

brilliant...daring Do...compassionate and really well put together history of the was. well worth a read.

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  • Jon Wort
  • 10-12-18

A must read book!

What a well written, well researched and well read book about the most iconic Regiment in the Second World War.

The first book I have listened to on Audible and it was one of those books that I could not wait to listen to the next episode/chapter.

The book was well structured and although there was some repetition between chapters I felt this added to the stories recounted.

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  • Mark
  • 10-11-18

Concise and Entertaining.

As with all of Ben Macintyre's books, this history of the wartime S.A.S. is exceptionally well researched and is written in an accessible and entertaining style. He draws the characters of these exceptional men in an insightful and sympathetic way but never falls into the trap of hagiography which tends to plague accounts of the Regiment. Ben narrates his own work extremely well and, all in all, this is a superb audiobook and thoroughly recommended.

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  • Paul R Gregory
  • 09-28-18

An Extraordinary Adventure

This history is a fitting tribute to those truly amazing, selfless, courageous and brave soldiers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David E Jones Dip.mus
  • 09-05-18

Over all odds

A remarkable historical event that helped to expidite the course of World War Two, of that there can be no doubt.
The action of the encounters between the SAS and the Gestapo forces bring out the true brutality of these vicious actions and the insane valour by those taking part.
They rose from the adversity of not bring properly equipped officially but here have a remarkable turn of initiative to do so in the shàdows.
A compelling read of bravery against àll odds
bordering on insanity.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 08-15-18

SAS

Very well read and highly informative, had never realised that they had done so much

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  • John
  • 08-11-18

Well written and well read.

This is a great book about the birth of the SAS, many have tried but failed, however this book is one of the few to put into words the true understanding of the men's story.

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  • Rhys
  • 08-13-18

To those that came before us!

Incredible account of the origins of the commonwealth’s best and most daring soldiers! Lest we forget!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-17

Extremely well written and fantastic narration.

A thoroughly enjoyable book despite the difficult subject matter at times. A good dose of humour throughout and an amazing tale of courage, heroism and mateship.