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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 listeners say about SAS: Rogue Heroes

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

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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........

12 people found this helpful

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Brilliant account

Have watched documentaries on the SAS so knew a lot of the history but this is a brilliant account and the audiobook was read superbly. Quality.

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating story of determination, bravery & unorthodox thinking

This book explains in fascinating detail the genius and determination behind the creation of the SAS (and out of it other connected domestic and foreign special services). I knew some of the names. But most were new. The book traces the creation of the regiment incl the initial reluctance of “conventional” wisdom behind symmetric warfare prior to and during WWII. It takes the listener from the battlefields of N Africa where it all began to the end of WWII in Europe and concludes with vignettes of the post-war lives of many of the characters we encountered along the way who survived the war. Sadly many brave men did not survive. This book is a fitting tribute to them all. Though it could never be a complete expression of gratitude for their sacrifice. Many of the fighting scenes are described in detail but impossible to truly comprehend. But the narrator gives you a flavour of how these soldiers made an important difference to the outcome of WWII. The brutality (mostly) of the losing sides is not overlooked either and is a salutary reminder that war is gruelling and dangerous for the frontline soldier.
An interesting listen about an era most of us cannot fathom and are doubtless grateful we did not have to live through. A well researched window onto the beginnings of one of the most famous British regiments and indeed renowned (rightly) throughout the world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 22-10-19

A Compelling Book

Superb insight into the formation and work of the SAS during WWII and to learn of their incredibly bravery. An addictive listen!

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent, enjoyable but disjointed

I very much enjoyed this book. It describes the formation of the SAS and it's missions throughout WW2. Nonetheless, I felt at times the book hopped from tale to tale leaving me a little bewildered, trying to remember characters.

Definitely worth the listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic history of the birth of the SAS

A beautifully written book on the inception of the SAS that delivers historical facts with human experiences of the soldiers. Ben MacIntyre's writing style is elegant and easy to follow. A great book for any fan of military history. Lastly this book is testament to the service that so many gave and never returned for their country. Lest we forget.

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A fantastic account .

An account of heroes who lived and died for the freedoms we take for granted. Why Paddy Mayne never received a VC is a mystery that only the snobby upper class of the era could try to justify.

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Macintyre delivers an amazing history of the WW2 SAS

An truly inspiring tale of wartime ingenuity, courage and grit. The origins and history traced in detail with breathtaking exploits delivered in bucketloads

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  • Per-Kristian Nyborg
  • 26-07-19

A must!

Any Slight interest in ww2? Then this book is a must read! As simple as that

Just wow!

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  • Renee
  • 08-11-16

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!