War Behind Enemy Lines tells the unvarnished story of British Special Forces in the Second World War. While the SAS and SBS remain household names today, there were a plethora of lesser known units, large and small, that played their part before departing the scene. Of special note was the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) formed in North Africa who imparted their skills to David Stirling’s SAS in the early days. The Special Boat Sections and Squadron and other Royal Marine units inflicted great damage. Popski’s Private Army used heavily armed jeeps effectively in Italy while the Jedburghs parachuted in to assist the French Resistance.
In Burma, the Chindits, under the controversial Orde Wingate, conducted deep penetration patrols against the Japanese, suffering heavy casualties from enemy action and disease.
Drawing on personal accounts as well as official records, the author paints a vivid picture of the operations and contribution of these and other units. He also analyses, using his own experience, the reasons for the resulting successes and failures.
There is unlikely to be a more comprehensive and authoritative account of the ‘Golden Age of British Special Forces’.