Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Review - In Action With The SAS

From the title of a book that I completed some two weeks ago, In Action With The SAS by David Horner with Neil Thomas, it would appear that I have a fixation with war. Maybe just a little bit. But I'm no Rambo. No, I'm Hambo.

The Australian SAS, Special Air Service, which has the motto "Who dares wins", is a bit of an enigma. Not too much is known about their operations and identities of serving soldiers is guarded in secrecy. They have a reputation for getting the job done very efficiently and without fanfare. Of course I wanted to know more about them.

The first chapter is entitled "The Tractor Job". It makes fascinating reading about an operation during the Vietnam War. Not everything went to plan and the soldiers had to be very resourceful but the outcome was quite satisfactory.

Much of the book was descriptive of particular operations. The reader almost feels like he has been dropped into the jungle in Vietnam with the thrilling description of the operation itself. Can you imagine being so close to the enemy but being camouflaged well enough so that they could pee on you and not notice you were there? It makes for excellent reading.

Close to a third of the book is devoted to the history behind the setting up of the SAS and the struggle to obtain recognition for the brilliance and worth to the armed forces overall. It didn't help that most of operations were covert and not reported upon. How can you expect to be lauded for your exploits if they are not well known? This section of the book was hard going, I must say. My preference was to read about the operations.

Did you know that the first Australian SAS soldier to die during active service was killed by a rogue elephant? One of my favourite chapters included the first hand account of Private Dennis Mitchell on patrol. It is a vivid story of the danger faced during battle.

The men involved in the SAS are incredibly brave, loyal and well trained. And their stories were a joy to read.

In Action With The SAS by David Horner with Neil Thomas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow I must read it.