Index of Contents
Chapter 1 – Definitions
Chapter 2 – Origins in the Desert
Chapter 3 – The Special Boat Squadron
Chapter 4 – A Footing in Italy
Chapter 5 – Reorganisation and the North West Europe Campaign
Chapter 6 – The End of the War in Sight
Chapter 7 – 21 SAS (Artists): The Rebirth
Chapter 8 – 22 SAS
Chapter 9 – The Oman
Chapter 10 – Aden and Borneo
Chapter 11 – The SAS Today
Philip Warner – A Short Biography
Philip Warner – A Concise Bibliography
The story which follows is not of course a complete account of all the deeds of this remarkable regiment. If such a record could be compiled it would require several volumes and, even then, there would be gaps because some of those who took part in the early raids are dead or untraceable, and many of the later activities are unavailable for security reasons. Even where written records are full and available it has been necessary to make a selection for the sake of balance, but as far as possible each phase contains enough information to enable the reader to obtain a fair grasp of what was going on.
The author was not and is not a member of the SAS and, therefore, where praise or blame is recorded it is done quite impartially. It is indeed typical of the SAS that they should choose to have their history written by someone who is not a member of the regiment, and while giving every possible assistance over obtaining facts should never make the slightest attempt to influence the presentation or approach. And of course they are absolutely right. Regiments which fuss over every detail being recorded, and every incident being given its right weight, usually finish up with a history which is unreadable by even the most devout member, and quite incomprehensible to a person without military experience in the times and theatres concerned. The SAS view is in complete contrast. They believe that, if you appoint someone with a reasonably detached view to write up your regimental history, the facts will speak for themselves.