Tales from the Special Forces Club

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9780007498758: Tales from the Special Forces Club

A unique and poignant record of a club created for heroes. There are just a handful of men and women alive today who served and fought with the Special Forces during the Second World War. They are a dwindling bunch of veterans in their twilight years whose tales of heroism and daring-do will soon be lost in time forever - yet they still regularly get together in a gentleman's club, right in the heart of London - The Special Forces Club. In ten separate and astonishing accounts of ingenuity and heroism, former Sunday Telegraph defence correspondent Sean Rayment visits this unique group of people, and through their vivid memories, transports the reader back in time to the dark days of the Second World War when Britain was again fighting on multiple fronts across the globe. These incredibly heroic tales are taken from men such as Captain John Campbell, MC and Bar and the last surviving officer of 'Popski's Private Army', whose triumph over being wrongly labelled a coward led him to serve with distinction and bravery behind Rommel's lines in North Africa. Balancing the heroism in the field of battle is the story of Noreen Riols, who worked under the legendary Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, helping train operatives in the art of counter-espionage and counter-surveillance, who was used to 'honey trap' would-be agents. Then there is Mike Sadler, who served with David Stirling in the LRDG and took part in an SAS attack on a German airfield near el-Alamein in 1942 in which 34 aircraft were destroyed; and Harry Verlander, who served with the legendary Jedburghs, a highly secret element of the Special Operations Executive, and recalls his service during D-Day and subsequent operations in Burma. The book covers all theatres of operations and provides a unique glimpse into why the members of the Special Forces Club are truly exceptional. Time is running out to capture the myriad of epic stories WWII threw up over its five-year period. In their twilight years, the Special Forces Club has decided to reveal its identity at last.

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About the Author:

Sean Rayment is the defense correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. He is the author of Bomb Hunters, following the tours of duty of bomb disposal teams in Afghanistan. His time spent as a captain in 3 Para, plus his various connections throughout the armed services means he can open the doors to these unique veterans from WWII that have been closed to other writers over the years. He will be the first to properly tell their story.

Review:

"Rayment uncovers astonishing depths of courage and resourcefulness." Sarah Sands, Evening Standard 'Sean Rayment has gathered wartime experiences that have an extra resonance. For his veterans served in the Special Forces... [a] brilliant and often deeply moving book.' Sinclair McKay, Sunday Telegraph 'An outstanding book offering a vital insight into the wartime adventures of that small community of Britain's war heroes who rarely speak publicly.' Chris Hughes, Daily Mirror 'A cracking read, couldn't put it down.' Neil Chandler, Daily Star Sunday

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