The SAS Deniables

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
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The SAS Deniables

Australian Special Forces Operations Denied by the Authorities, from Vietnam to the War on Terror

Tony May

Prelude
An interesting book of five parts which centres on the operations of a group of four SAS(A) soldiers between the late 1960s in south-east Asia to a couple of decades later in Australia.

South East Asia
This part covers selected covert operations in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and includes fascinating details of some of the combined land, sea and air operations undertaken in support of the Vietnam War. Included are some contemporary photographs and maps as well as descriptions of a wide range of weapons, equipment, logistics and the unconventional tactics employed.

Malaysia
Here, the SAS group is tasked with operations against Abu Sayyaf - a militant Muslim ISIS group - in Mayalsia as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the global war against terrorism. In particular, a group of French hostages is rescued from a tourist resort which is described in depth.

Philippines
The SAS(A), with help from the UK, Brunei and others, were called upon to deal with well-armed pirates holding hostages off the Philippines. Once again, a good description of the operations is included.

The Middle East
This is one of the major parts of the book. It includes some decent photographs and maps of the conflicts in Kuwait and Iraq in the early 1990s, along with the excellent story of the part played by the SAS(A).

The narrative here will be of interest to anyone interested in covert Special Forces operations in enemy territory, as well as those with a passion for personal equipment, communications, weapon types and tactics.

East Timor
Three operations are covered in this part: two with Black Hawk helicopters against seaborne Fretilin terrorists off East Timor and a similar third one against separists via Cocos and Christmas Islands. Some very interesting military details are here.​

Somalia
In this part, the little-known help given to the US forces by the SAS(A) Troopers in Somalia is covered. Once again, there are plenty of details of the endeavour with particular emphasis on covert parachute insertion of men, and the use of motorcycles in the combat zone.

Australia
The final part of this interesting book is about the anti-terrorist role of ex SAS(A) operatives for homeland security and includes tasks in concert with a number of similar organisations, particularly Israel's Mossad. (There is even the inclusion of an Australian civilian named Sheila to whom the main man has a strong attraction! Probably the author wanted to show us that the SAS don't always operate in swamps, jungles and bleak deserts)!

Conclusion
A decent book about some very shady operations by the Australian SAS in a variety of different locations and scenarios. There's plenty of information about the personnel, their weapons and equipment plus their communications, logistics and planning.​

Arrse rating: 3.5 stars.


Frontline Books.
ISBN 1399096303​
 
Having being intrigued by the review I subsequently bought the book. All I can say is that I would have been better keeping the money in my pocket. Its execrable with so many faults and failures in the text that it makes books like "The Sixteen" by John Urwin seem like a literary masterpiece.
 
Having being intrigued by the review I subsequently bought the book. All I can say is that I would have been better keeping the money in my pocket. Its execrable with so many faults and failures in the text that it makes books like "The Sixteen" by John Urwin seem like a literary masterpiece.
You weren't impressed then? How many hours of your life did you waste that you will never get back?
 
You weren't impressed then? How many hours of your life did you waste that you will never get back?
About 20 minutes before I threw the book to the floor. The BS starts early.

Did you know the UK operated Black Hawks, that Russian and Chinese ships were smuggling arms to the Vietnamese by sailing up the Mekong, through Phnom Penh to a lake further upstream and that SAS troopers will salute their officers in the middle of firefight.

Further enlightening glimpses into the secret world of "Them" could have been discovered if disgust hadn't overcome me.
 
Further enlightening glimpses into the secret world of "Them" could have been discovered if disgust hadn't overcome me.
Try 'The Hilton Assignment' an oldie but a good'n
 
Was that the one about the alleged plot to assasinate Gadaffi in 1973?

It did creep into the conversation as King Idris was being usurped. El Adem was a useful skydiving location to me in particular, so I was disappointed it failed.

One of the players passed a few months ago. RIP. Bit of a farce on reflection.
 
It did creep into the conversation as King Idris was being usurped. El Adem was a useful skydiving location to me in particular, so I was disappointed it failed.

One of the players passed a few months ago. RIP. Bit of a farce on reflection.
Wasn't it something to do with the CIA putting the kibosh on it as they thought that Gadaffi would be a useful anti communist? Another foreign policy decision that they got wrong.
 
Wasn't it something to do with the CIA putting the kibosh on it as they thought that Gadaffi would be a useful anti communist? Another foreign policy decision that they got wrong.

Possibly so. Some of the gents weren't briefed that there was armored support behind the 'walls'. Such is intelligence, deliberate or otherwise not known.

Hey, it was the '70's and peace and love reigned. Life would turn the corner as we now know ( if only then hey?) Such are adventures in Foreign policy. UK really meant well.
 
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