Against insurmountable odds, SAS men crossed deserts, evaded revenge and escaped through enemy lands.
Lieutenant Bill Fraser and the six SAS men he led were listed as Missing in Action (MIA) after their failure to return from a raid. Nine weeks later they emerged from a death-defying sojourn across the Sahara Desert, after evading and confounding the enemy.
The eccentric and gifted commander Lord George Jellicoe and the group of five SAS men he led carried out a raid on the German aerodrome at Heraklion, destroying an incredible seventy warplanes. Only one man – Jellicoe, managed to get away.
Some two-hundred SAS raiders were dispatched across the Sahara to raid the enemy port fortress of Benghazi, in what they feared would be a ‘suicide mission’. It very nearly turned out that way, and the survivors faced a 1000-mile journey back across the desert to safety.
SAS founder David Stirling attempted what was one of the most ambitious missions of the war – to drive across war-torn North Africa and link up with advancing American forces.
The legendary Captain John Tonkin, who had soldiered with the SAS since its earliest times, led an escape where only six of the 40-strong SAS party he led managed to escape, after German forces surrounded their forest base.
SAS man Herbert Castelow was one of the few to escape – perched on the local village mayor’s bike when, in the aftermath of D-Day, a dozen parachutists dropped into France, charged to sabotage a German airbase. But the drop-zone was staked out by the enemy and a savage firefight ensued.
Imprint: Quercus UK
Publication date: 25/05/2023