The Long Range Desert Group

Images of War: The Long Range Desert Group in Action 1940 – 1943 written by Brendan O’Carroll and published by Pen and Sword Books – £15.99 – Softcover – Pages 215

The Long Range Desert Group or the LRDG, were considered to be the original SAS in World War Two, relying on navigational and tactical skills during their missions. The LRDG acted as an independent group originally based in northern Africa, they would harass and disrupt German bases and vehicles throughout the key areas of northern Africa. What’s more most of the work taken on by the LRDG group was with lesser liked vehicles such as troop carriers and jeeps, which is also shown in the pictures throughout the book. This book is split into chapters and looks at the early days of the LRDG, operations in Fezzan, the air section of the group, the Barce raid and the operations in the Aegean of 43.

This was an excellent book indeed, the rogue LRDG and I feel I can call them that as some of the characters involved in the group did seem to be a bit roguish or seen as the less desirables. But this shouldn’t take away from the men indeed because as your reading the book, what comes through is the fact that these were men that were willing to do what it took and they often succeeded. I should say that whilst reading this book I discovered a programme on the BBC about the LRDG too, which I watched too which was fine but I can honestly say I got more from the book. If anything the programme was able to give more layers to the characters in the book. If you want bravery and conviction these were certainly the guys you wanted on your side, and you can certainly see why they were seen as the beginning of the SAS. A thoroughly good book packed with great pictures, the pictures are most of ‘time off’ but it’s a great collection. The written information is also really good and very informative, I’ve learnt a lot from this book. Highly recommended.

Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.

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