World War II

The British Services

Special Air Service

A - K

Charlesworth, Lorie. "2 SAS Regiment, War Crimes Investigations, and British Intelligence: Intelligence Officials and the Natzweiler Trial." Journal of Intelligence History 6, no. 2 (Winter 2006-2007): 13-60. [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/journal.html]

From abstract: This article concerns the trial in 1946 "of nine officials from Natzweiler Struthof concentration camp for the murder of four women, all believed to be SOE agents.... [W]itnesses were largely intelligence officials," an SOE officer and an intelligence officer for "2 SAS War Crimes Investigation Team" which was "largely responsible for the investigations resulting in this trial." The author "examines how the SAS, without 'official' authorisation, successfully undertook war crimes investigations (until 1948) even though the SAS Regiments were disbanded in 1945." The article "also discusses the involvement of Special Forces and intelligence officials as witnesses in the Natzweiler Trial and considers some implications for the rule of law."

Connor, Ken. Ghost Force: The Secret History of the SAS. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998. London: Orion, 1999. [pb] London: Cassell, 2002.

From publisher: "[T]his is a history of the regiment, written by an ex-SAS man and ranging from the first post-war operations in Malaya in the 1950s to the controversial blueprint for the future."

Cowles, Virginia. The Phantom Major: The Story of David Stirling and the SAS Regiment. London: Collins, 1958. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 2011. [pb] The Phantom Major: The Story of David Stirling and His Desert Command. New York: Haper, 1958.

From publisher: "In the dark and uncertain days of 1941 and 1942, when Rommel's Afrika Korps was sweeping towards Egypt and the Suez Canal, a small group of daring raiders made history for the Allies.... The men were the ... SAS, the brainchild of David Stirling.... Virginia Cowles's ... narrative, based on the eyewitness testimony of the men who took part, gives a fascinating insight into the early years of the SAS."

Farran, Roy Alexander [Maj.].

Maj. Roy Farran, who died on 1 June 2006, "was one of the most highly decorated soldiers of the Second World War; he was awarded the DSO, three MCs, the Croix de Guerre and the American Legion of Merit." He "wrote a classic account of the desert war and the early years of the Special Air Service." Telegraph (London), 5 Jun. 2006.

1. Operation Tombola. Special Forces Library. London: Arms & Armour, 1986.

Farran led an SAS raid with Italian resistance fighters and escaped Russian soldiers on German rear areas in March 1945.

2. Winged Dagger: Adventures on Special Service. London: Collins, 1948.

Ford, Roger. Fire From the Forest: The SAS Brigade in France, 1944. London: Cassell, 2003. 2004. [pb]

From publisher: "This is a comprehensive account of the behind-the-lines operations that preceded and supported the D-Day landings and the breakout from Normandy.... [T]his is the story of how small teams of SAS men fought their secret war behind enemy lines."

Gordon, John W. The Other Desert War: British Special Forces in North Africa, 1940-1943. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1987.

For Cohen, I&NS 3.4, the author "makes a valuable contribution not only to the history of special forces in the Second World War, but to the study of special forces more generally." The focus is on the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), but the work also gives details on the activities of the Special Air Service (SAS). The reviewer finds the book to be "clearly written and well researched, although it confines itself primarily to British sources."

Hastings, Stephen. The Drums of Memory: The Autobiography of Sir Stephen Hastings MC. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword, 2001.

From publisher: . "After more than a year with his [Scots Guards] Battalion in the Western Desert [Hastings] opted for less orthodox soldiering with the first SAS."

Hoe, Alan, with a Foreword by Lt. Gen Sir Peter de la Billiere. David Stirling: An Authorised Biography of the Creator of the SAS. London: Little, Brown, 1991.

Hunter, Robin. True Stories of the SAS. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. Rev. ed. Virgin Books, 1996. [pb]

From publisher: "From parachute raids and jeep attacks of World War II to covert activity in the Gulf War," this book "is a history of the deeds done by this highly trained fighting force."

James, Malcolm. Born of the Desert: With the SAS in North Africa. London: Greenhill Books. 2001.

From publisher: "The Special Air Service ... utilized the endless expanse of the desert to carry out surprise attacks and hit and run raids behind the Afrika Korps' lines."

Kemp, Anthony. The SAS at War: The Special Air Service Regiment, 1941-1945. London: Murray, 1991. London: Signet, 1993.

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