The Story of David Stirling and the SAS Regiment

Signed by Lt Col David Stirling DSO OBE

  • Price: £ 450

Publisher’s bookplate on the half-title page signed by

Lt Colonel David Stirling DSO OBE

Collins First Edition, 1st impression 1958.  320 pages with maps and a frontispiece portrait of David Stirling.

A Very Fine condition hardback book in dark green boards with a Very Fine condition, unclipped dustjacket in a protective cover.  The book and dustjacket are in exceptionally good condition and are hard to fault.

In the dark and uncertain days of 1941 and 1942, when Rommel’s Afrika Korps was sweeping towards Egypt and the Suez Canal, a small group of daring raiders made history for the Allies. They operated deep behind the German lines, driving hundreds of miles through the deserts of North Africa. They hid by day and struck by night, destroying aircraft, blowing up ammunition dumps, derailing trains and killing many times their own number. The men were the Special Air Service, the SAS, the brainchild of David Stirling, a deceptively mild-mannered Lieutenant with a brilliant idea.

Under his command, small teams of resourceful, highly trained men penetrated beyond the front lines of the opposing armies and wreaked havoc where the Germans least expected it. In North Africa, in the fifteen months before Stirling was captured and sent to Colditz, the SAS had destroyed over 250 aircraft on the ground, dozens of supply dumps, wrecked railways and telecommunications, and had put hundreds of enemy vehicles out of action. Field Marshal Montgomery described Stirling as “mad, quite mad” but believed that men like Stirling were needed in time of war.

Virginia Cowles’s ‘The Phantom Major’ is a classic account of these raids, an amazing tale of courage, impudence and daring, packed with action and high adventure. Her narrative, based on the eyewitness testimony of the men who took part, gives a fascinating insight into the early years of the SAS.

Lt Colonel David Stirling DSO OBE has been called “the most under-decorated soldier of the war”. Nicknamed the “Phantom Major” by Rommel, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his work in World War II. He was knighted in 1990 and died in the same year.  He has recently been popularised in the book and TV series ‘Rogue Heroes‘.

A rare, signed, classic first edition for any WWII library.