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David Stirling: Founder Of The Sas: The Authorised Biography of the Founder of the SAS

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Seekings, who had fought in the SAS since its inception, said that when the war ended Mayne and Stirling "weren't speaking to each other. In January 1943 Lieutenant Colonel David Stirling, founder of the SAS, was flown to Rome for interrogation. The histories we were all exposed to in the years after WW2 were almost all written by members of this class who thought there was nothing wrong with their god-given right to command, irrespective of actual ability.

In mid-1970s, Stirling became increasingly worried that an "undemocratic event" would occur and decided to organise a private army to overthrow the government. His brother, though he never went on an SAS raid, was probably more important in the history of the unit than David ever was.

Stirling's new special operations unit was, at the outset, short of equipment (particularly tents and related gear) when the unit set up at Kibrit Air Base. There are parts of his closely guarded personal life that Mortimer briefly touches on towards the end of the book that help explain Stirling’s unease with himself and why he was such an awkward youth and unfulfilled adult. Stirling explained his plan to Ritchie, immediately after which Ritchie persuaded Auchinleck to allow Stirling to form a new special operations unit.

In 2002, World of Books Group was founded on an ethos to do good, protect the planet and support charities by enabling more goods to be reused. Herein lies the secret to Stirling’s success: an ability to bend more talented people than himself to his will. Drafted into the Scots Guards at the outbreak of the war, he soon wound up at Bill’s Commando training school, where Bill quickly learned ‘what the Guards had known for several months: David Stirling was indolent and temperamental, a disruptive influence’.By sharing the technology that has grown World of Books Group into the business it is today, we're helping charities increase revenue and reduce waste through re-commerce. As a freelance journalist he has contributed articles to a diverse range of magazines and newspapers, including the Observer, the Guardian, History Monthly and Esquire. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. He can speak the language of soldiers, and has met all the surviving 'Originals' of 'L' Detachment (SAS).

But it was Mayne who suffered most from Stirling's reworking of history; he was portrayed as a bigot and misogynist, who disliked Catholics as much as he did women. His paternal grandparents were Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, 9th Baronet and Lady Anna Maria Leslie-Melville. Born into privilege – his paternal grandfather was a baronet and his mother was a daughter of the 13th Lord Lovat – Stirling followed the usual life of his caste, packed off to board at Ampleforth at a young age. According to Stirling, he was Mayne's saviour, recruiting him into the SAS in 1941 as he languished in a military prison on a charge of knocking his CO unconscious. He got involved in various shady schemes in Africa and other places, often involving former, and sometimes serving, SAS operators, including one to depose the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

He joined the Scots Guards and then the Commandos, but was a conspicuous failure at both as he displayed his idleness and irresponsibility (his nickname was the “Giant Sloth”).

He invented anecdotes to bolster his daredevil alter ego, such as breaking into Middle East HQ to thrust his plans for the SAS into the hands of a startled senior officer. His formation of the Special Air Service in the summer of 1941 led to a new form of warfare and Stirling is remembered as the father of special. However, because of his opposition to universal suffrage, preferring a qualified and very elitist voting franchise, educated Africans were divided on it and it attracted insufficient support. The book paints a portrait of a man who was great at coming up with schemes and ideas and charming others into believing, and investing, in them. The men were the Special Air Service, the SAS, the brainchild of David Stirling, a deceptively mild-mannered man with a brilliant idea.You can sympathise with why David Stirling so assiduously took most of the credit for the creation of the SAS for himself. The Desert War in Libya was in the balance but Bill saw how a small guerrilla force could launch hit and run raids against the Germans deep inside their territory. We're always happy to answer any questions or queries you might have, please get in touch using one of the methods below. Under his leadership, the SAS carried out hit-and-run raids behind the Axis lines of the North African campaign.

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