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  • SAS: Rogue Heroes

  • The Authorised Wartime History
  • By: Ben Macintyre
  • Narrated by: Ben Macintyre
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,834 ratings)

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SAS: Rogue Heroes cover art

SAS: Rogue Heroes

By: Ben Macintyre
Narrated by: Ben Macintyre
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The book behind the hit BBC series SAS: Rogue Heroes, starring Connor Swindells, Jack O'Connell, Alfie Allen and Dominic West.

From the secret SAS archives and bestselling author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS, read by the author.

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it - from behind their own lines.

Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. And so begins the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.

With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, SAS: Rogue Heroes tells the remarkable story behind an extraordinary fighting force, and the immense cost of making it a reality.

©2016 Ben Macintyre (P)2016 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Thorough and highly entertaining. It would be nigh on impossible to praise it too highly." (Daily Express)

"Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II." (Antony Beevor)

"Told with deceptive brilliance...one the finest books of its kind." (Evening Standard)

What listeners say about SAS: Rogue Heroes

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

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38 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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........

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

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5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Mixed reactions

I am a fan of Ben Macintyre but feel that the nature of the SAS lets him down. The book often reads like a youthful version of “Boys’ Own”, with its pervasive tone of hyperbole and gung-ho. In places, its central characters should have been disciplined for reckless killing of their comrades, and sheer stupidity when disobeying orders or ignoring sound advice. There is more than one episode where they should even have faced trial for war crimes. Well-researched as usual from this talented writer, but, perhaps inevitably, with the often senseless violence involved, unable to find the right words or tone to qualify for one of his best pieces.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I Dared and won

loved every second, only down side is I'm sure there would be maps in the printed copy for better understanding and reference

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

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Best read for ages!

This has to have been one of the best listens I've ever had on Audible. I've been using the app for almost two years now and this book is 100% mega! The infinity of the lads back then, they were definitely some boys! You can listen in awe and be grateful for the sacrifice they made!

If you're dubious about this one - don't be. everyone should listen or read it.

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1 person found this helpful