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From the origins of the SAS behind Rommel's lines in the Sahara through the Malayan emergency, the Arabian skirmishes in Oman and Yemen, the debacle in Gibraltar and the regiment's unique role in the Gulf War, Tony Geraghty examines their successes and failures, the different ways successive British governments have exploited their expertise, their training methods and the skills the men acquire. He has spoken to the soldiers and officers who took part in the SAS' many operations, gaining insight into their activities, philosophy and morale. The author includes material on the Falklands campaign, the shoot to kill debate and previously unknown facts of the SAS' activity during the Gulf War. He has spoken to those who operated far behind the Iraqi lines and obtained previously unpublished photographs of their presence there. As with the original edition, this is a portrayal of a regiment always on call for the riskier military activities and who occupy a special place in the British Army. Tony Geraghty was the Sunday Times Defence Correspondent during the 1970s.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349114873
ISBN-10: 0349114870
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 38mm)
Pages: 608
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 5-Dec-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Covering the period from 1950 until 1992, this new edition of Geraghty's book provides a balanced viewpoint on a secretive and misunderstood community of men. Often imitated, rarely matched and never surpassed, the SAS has the toughest selection process in the world, with a dropout rate of up to 90 percent. They are the best at what they do and superbly trained. The few that successfully enter the regiment find a unique blend of men who can operate on their own and also as a team. The Troopers are not mindless strongarms; The Economist is required reading and an understanding of world issues essential for potential missions. In this exploration of the SAS's history and character Geraghty discusses their role in numerous conflicts, from the coming of age of the regiment in counter-insurgency work in Borneo, Malaya and the Middle East through the siege of the Iranian Embassy to the Gulf War. He also examines controversial issues - such as the extreme training programme, which has led to fatalities on Exmoor, and the 1987 shootings on Gibraltar of three IRA terrorists on their way to explode a car bomb. He doesn't hold the regiment up as perfect, but he makes a strong case for not tampering with their methods, which have succeeded so spectacularly across the world. This is a revealing account of the elite of the elite. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Tony Geraghty

Tony Geraghty is former Defence Correspondent of the Sunday Times. He is the author of several other military books including BRIXMIS, THE IRISH WAR and THE BULLET-CATCHERS

Books By Author Tony Geraghty

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