Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre
The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War

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...reads like a mashup of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Great Escape,” with a sprinkling of “Ocean’s 11” thrown in for good measure.
-NY Times

Synopsis

The incredible untold story of WWII’s greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue
 
Britain’s Special Air Service—or SAS—was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II’s African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel’s desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS’s remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow.
 
Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Ben Macintyre

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Ben Macintyre is a writer-at-large for The Times of London and the bestselling author of Operation Mincemeat, Agent Zigzag, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland, among other books.
 
Published October 4, 2016 by Crown. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Rogue Heroes
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Oct 03 2016

...reads like a mashup of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Great Escape,” with a sprinkling of “Ocean’s 11” thrown in for good measure.

Read Full Review of Rogue Heroes: The History of ... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Max Boot on Nov 06 2016

The hardest blow that the S.A.S. suffered came not from the Nazis but from its own high command, which dissolved the unit shortly after the end of World War II...But that is a story for another day. Macintyre’s highly enjoyable and entertaining narrative ends in 1945.

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