• Rare account of the operations of the Secret Service • Firsthand views of previously overlooked operations
As the events of the Second World War fade into the distance it is important that the activities of a small band of brothers are not overlooked. In the dark days following Dunkirk in 1940, these men volunteered for what was euphemistically termed 'Special Service'. Often given very little idea of what they were letting themselves in for, they all wanted to strike back at the enemy. Later, these units evolved into the famed airborne forces and commandos who went on to take a major part in operations such as D-Day, Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine.
However, before this, during the early years of the war, they undertook a number of smaller scale raids. Whilst some of the early raids such as St Nazaire and Dieppe have received quite a lot of coverage, others such as Lofoten, Glomfjord, Tragino and Bruneval have received far less, yet a knowledge of them is vital to give the development of Britain's special forces perspective.
The formation of these two fledging arms is recounted in detail, including material relating to the training undertaken before going on Special Service. In addition to the operations mentioned above raids on the Channel Islands, the coast of northern France, Vaagso, North Africa and Vermork are also covered. With numerous eyewitness accounts from veterans, and a selection of 125 photographs, maps, official reports, kit, weapon and explosives lists, this book is the definitive history of these key operations.
Niall Cherry was born in London in 1959 and is a renowned military historian with books including Red Berets and Red Crosses, I Shall Not Find His Equal, a biography of Brigadier Noel Lee and articles for Battlefields Review and After the Battle magazines.