Damian Lewis
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
A bit of a poorly titled book more of which I’ll come onto later.

The book is set in North Africa in 1941/42 pre the battle of El Alamein when the desert war wasn’t going to great for the Allies. In the book’s title you immediately think “it’s going to be about the SAS”, however this isn’t the case; the book focuses on the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) the Special Intelligence Group (SIG) and the Middle Eastern army commandos. It touches on the SAS but not enough to justify the title.

The book starts with short histories of how these units came about in the desert and introducing the main characters of the units then delves quite deeply into how the SIG was formed. The SIG was a unit of German speaking Jews who had been trained to infiltrate German lines dressed as the enemy for intelligence and raiding purposes. The book then goes on to explain the actions these all units had undertaken early in the North African theatre.

The main meat of the book is about the ill-fated raid on Tobruk of which the book gives a very detailed first person account from many of the key players. At the same time as the raid on Tobruk there were other raids being carried out by the LRDG on the Barce airfield and town of which the book provides a riveting account.

The book finishes with some extraordinary escape and evasion stories of some of the survivors from these raids.

All in I enjoyed the book and felt it was very easy to read even for someone who knew nothing about WW2. As stated it could have done with a better title and I felt the E&E stories could have had a bit more depth.

Amazon product

Not one for the hard-core LRDG and North Africa enthusiasts but all the same very enjoyable.

Grade 4/5

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