Publication Date: 02/09/2021 ISBN: 9780008394523 Category:

SBS – Silent Warriors

Saul David

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 02/09/2021 ISBN: 9780008394523 Category:





‘A terrific book … It really is one of the most enjoyable histories I’ve read in many a year’ JAMES HOLLAND

‘Riveting … A brilliant account’ DAILY MAIL


Britain’s SBS – or Special Boat Service – was the world’s first maritime special operations unit. Founded in the dark days of 1940, it started as a small and inexperienced outfit that leaned heavily on volunteers’ raw courage and boyish enthusiasm. It went on to change the course of the Second World War – and has served as a model for special forces ever since.

The fledgling unit’s first mission was a daring beach reconnaissance of Rhodes in the spring of 1941. Over the next four years, the SBS and its affiliates would carry out many more spectacular operations in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Channel and the Far East. These missions – including Operation Frankton, the daredevil attempt by the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ to paddle up the Garonne river and sink Axis ships in Bordeaux harbour – were some of the most audacious and legendary of the war.

Paddling flimsy canoes, and armed only with knives, pistols and a few sub-machine guns, this handful of brave and determined men operated deep behind enemy lines in the full knowledge that if caught they might be executed. Many were.

Yet their many improbable achievements – destroying enemy ships and infrastructure, landing secret agents, tying up enemy forces, spreading fear and uncertainty, and, most importantly, preparing the ground for D-Day – helped to make an Allied victory possible.

Written with the full cooperation of the modern SBS – the first time this ultra-secretive unit has given its seal of approval to any book – and exclusive access to its archives, SBS: Silent Warriors allows Britain’s original special forces to emerge from the shadows and take their proper and deserved place in our island story.

Publisher Review

PRAISE FOR SAUL DAVID'S 2020 BOOK, CRUCIBLE OF HELL Shortlisted for the 2021 British Army Military Book of the Year A BBC History Magazine Best Book of the Year 2020 An History Book of the Month A The Times Best Book of 2020 A Telegraph Best Book of 2020 'Excellent. Saul David's gripping narrative is admirably clear' Antony Beevor 'Gripping, even gruesome, yet deeply moving, Crucible of Hell sweeps us masterfully from a coral charnel house in the Pacific to the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.' David Reynolds 'The best book I've read on the Battle of Okinawa. Finally a military historian has written a book which gives humanity to the Japanese, without taking anything away from what the Americans endured and achieved on that island ... David fits perfectly into the fine tradition of war books by Max Hastings and Antony Beevor. It's war at its most beautiful and most horrible' Gerard deGroot 'A superb soldier's-eye history of Okinawa, the Second World War's ghastliest battle ... David cleverly weaves in the story of [Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb] with an account of the fighting on the island ... The meticulousness of his research really starts to display itself ... A highly readable and informative book that often reads like a screenplay, but depicts suffering that was all too real ... Saul David ... is peerless now among our military historians' Daily Telegraph 'David restores a human dimension to this battle - both sides are brave, stoic, frightened, barbaric and occasionally cowardly. This is narrative history at its most visceral as battles unfold almost in real time ... A gripping reconstruction of the action.' Times 'Graphic and compelling ... Written with style and verve ... David brings the ghastly mayhem of war to life in a vivid way.' Literary Review

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