Desert Raids With the SAS written by Gerald Hough and published by Pen & Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 176

Tony Hough’s war started with ski training in the Alps in early 1940 preparing for winter warfare in Finland. Nothing came of that. Later that year, back with 9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, he sailed for North Africa. In March 1941, his under-gunned Battalion suffered a catastrophic baptism of fire in Libya from 15,000 troops and 500 tanks of Rommel’s Afrika Korps.

For the next 18 months Hough and his Battalion experienced brutal conflict against a formidable enemy. Selected for David Stirling’s elite 1st Special Air Service (SAS), he was captured in December 1942 while raiding behind enemy lines.

Sent to an Italian POW camp he suffered the deprivations of captivity. Taking advantage of the September 1943 Italian Armistice, he and fellow POWs escaped. After an arduous three month ordeal, he reached Allied lines thanks to the help of brave locals. He went on to fight in North West Europe before becoming a Town Major in occupied Germany.

Beautifully and modestly written, Tony’s many and varied experiences make for a classic war memoir. It is heartening that even after 75 years, accounts such as this are still appearing.

This book is like a book of ‘Daring Do’ or even those old Commando comic books you would read as a kid. Full of stories. This book follows Anthony Hough, through various exercises or adventures across North Africa, including taking on Rommel against superior numbers, being part of the covert unit, the SAS and even being detained in an Italian prisoner of war camp. This was a very decent book, and clearly this man is a down-to-earth, ‘let’s not make a fuss’ type of person. All in all, this was an enjoyable book, and I’m quite enjoying the number of SAS/WW2 books coming out. A good book to read, well written and certainly one to read if your interest is in world war two.