One of the lasting legacies of World War 2 was the proliferation of what today are known as Special Forces. At the time many soldiers, often of high rank regarded these units as nothing short of ill-disciplined cowboys or worse! However desperate times called for desperate measures and there were those in high places who were prepared to take risks. As specially recruited units such as the LRDG, SAS and SBS earned their spurs and scored significant victories, at high cost both to the enemy and themselves, so faith in the concept grew. Philip Warner's book takes a highly informed look at the broad spectrum of secret forces, of all sides, describing their origins and training, the key personalities and their actions and achievements.
Since a September day early in our millennium we have had our consciousness raised about the secret struggle going on all the time to contain wanton destruction on a huge scale. Which makes timely this reissue about a secret struggle of older date but with even more critical consequences. The author enlisted in the armed services himself in 1939 and endured the indelible anguish of being a Japanese prisoner-of-war. A Cambridge graduate, he wrote in all 54 books of military history before his death four years ago. The excitement of an operation behind enemy lines comes right off the page. The writing style manages to pack in a vast amount of content without loss of readability. The origins are described of units regularly referred to in today's media news: the SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Squadron) and the Paras (Parachute Regiment). The glossary, bibliography and index included are all going to be extremely helpful to a lot of people outside the military world. (Kirkus UK)