Thought I’d mention this short biography of David Stirling which came out recently as an ebook and which is available from Endeavour Press and amazon – he was quite a guy and I think his story is a fascinating one.
David Stirling was the founder of the Special Air Service.
And he was the man who created a new type of warfare – special forces operations. When the Second World War broke out he abandoned his plans to climb Mount Everest to enlist with the Scots Guards Supplementary Reserve of Officers.
One year later he joined ‘Layforce’, the nickname for 8 Commando.Stirling became convinced that a highly trained unit could operate behind enemy lines with a devastating impact.
After a severe injury obtained from a parachuting accident, he had plenty of rest time to plan exactly what this unit could do. Desperate to get his voice heard, Stirling abandoned his crutches and broke into the headquarters to confront the men in charge.
Incredibly, Stirling got away with it, and managed to get both General Ritchie and General Auchinlek on side.He gathered around him 66 men from ‘Layforce’ and they become the first members of the new Special Air Service.
But the first mission of the new unit was a disaster…
So how did Stirling manage to pull things back, and convince those in charge not to abandon his plan? And what daring exploits shaped the man who dared to change the way the British Army worked?
Anton Gill’s short biography examines Stirling’s before, during and after the war, creating a compelling portrait of the man who founded the SAS.