Gardners Examines the evolution of the special forces idea and investigates the story behind the Special Air Service regiment.
Blackwell North Amer The Special Air Service Regiment is the most renowned special forces unit in the world. Now internationally famous as a counter-terrorist force, its origins lie in the deserts of North Africa, where it was formed during the Second World War to raid airfields and ports deep behind enemy lines. Founded by three remarkable personalities - David Stirling, Jock Lewes, and Paddy Mayne; a dreamer, a thinker, and a fighter - it was to grow from this small seed into a concept that would change the face of modern warfare. Today, the SAS has its equivalent in almost every nation on earth. David Stirling said 'the Regiment is the man, and the man is the Regiment'. Unlike any previous work on the SAS, Michael Asher's The Regiment focuses on the men who developed the unit from its early days as a small raiding force, through its brilliant but costly success during the invasion of Italy, to its guerrilla operations after D-Day. It traces the revival of the SAS in the post-war world under eccentric genius 'Mad Mike' Calvert, to its staggering achievements as a counter-insurgency force. Reconstructing SAS actions, Michael Asher also probes some of the myths surrounding the SAS, and examines the real factors and ideas that have made the Special Air Service the twenty-first century's most formidable military force.