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The book behind the new BBC series 'SAS: Rogue Warriors' From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it - from behind their own lines. Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. And so begins the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, SAS: Rogue Heroes tells the remarkable story behind an extraordinary fighting force, and the immense cost of making it a reality. SAS: Rogue Warriors is on BBC2 and BBC iPlayer.
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally supermen exist on this earth.'
A path-breaking history of how the United States superseded Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East, with urgent lessons for the present day We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East--that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region. In Lords of the Desert, historian James Barr draws on newly declassified archives to argue instead that the US was the driving force behind the British exit. Though the two nations were allies, they found themselves at odds over just about every question, from who owned Saudi Arabia's oil to who should control the Suez Canal. Encouraging and exploiting widespread opposition to the British, the US intrigued its way to power--ultimately becoming as resented as the British had been. As Barr shows, it is impossible to understand the region today without first grappling with this little-known prehistory.
One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and louche, courageous and unpredictable, the traitor was a patriot inside, and the villain a hero. The problem for Chapman, his many lovers and his spymasters was knowing who he was. Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create the exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.
More than half a century after his death, Lt Col. Robert Blair Mayne is still regarded as one of the greatest soldiers in the history of military special operations. He was the most decorated British soldier of the Second World War, receiving four DSOs, the Croix de Guerre and the L├ęgion d'honneur, and he pioneered tactics used today by the SAS and other special operations units worldwide. Rogue Warrior of the SAS tells the remarkable life story of 'Colonel Paddy', whose exceptional physical strength and uniquely swift reflexes made him a fearsome opponent. But his unorthodox rules of war and his resentment of authority would deny him the ultimate accolade of the Victoria Cross. Drawing on personal letters and family papers, declassified SAS files and records, together with the Official SAS Diary compiled in wartime and eyewitness accounts from many who served with him, the picture emerges of a soldier who, although a flawed hero, was unquestionably one of the most distinctive combatants of the campaigns in the Western Desert and Europe.

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