The Long Range Desert Group in World War II

The Long Range Desert Group in World War II cover


Established in June 1940, as the brainchild of scientist and soldier Major Ralph Bagnold, a contemporary of Lawrence of Arabia, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) allowed the British Army to gain a crucial advantage in the North African Front of World War II.

Traversing great swathes of the desert that had never before been explored by Europeans, the LRDG was able to launch hit-and-run raids against remote enemy targets, such as the fort and airfield at Murzak. From December 1941 until the end of the Desert War in May 1943, the LRDG carried out numerous missions in tandem with the Special Air Service, using their unparalleled knowledge of the desert to navigate the SAS to enemy airfields on which attacks would be launched. As well as in Africa, the LRDG also fought in the Aegean, undertaking numerous dangerous missions in Yugoslavia, Albania, Italy, and Greece, displaying their extraordinary versatility by operating in boats, on foot, and by parachute.

Using never-before-published photographs and archival material, interviews with surviving veterans who have never before gone on record regarding their wartime exploits, and special access to the SAS archives, Gavin Mortimer tells the story of the origins and dramatic operations of Britain's first ever special forces unit.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: From Scientist to Soldier
Chapter 2: Only the Tough Need Apply
Chapter 3: into Action
Chapter 4: Expansion and Excitement
Chapter 5: Fight at the Front
Chapter 6: The Afrika Korps Arrive
Chapter 7: Misuse and Malaria
Chapter 8: Heavy Losses and New leader
Chapter 9: The Saviours of the SAS
Chapter 10: On the Back Foot
Chapter 11: Courage in the Face of Calamity
Chapter 12: The Eyes of the Alamein Offensive
Chapter 13: Adventures in the Aegean
Chapter 14: The Battle for Leros
Chapter 15: A Different Type of Warfare
Chapter 16: Valour and Versatility
Chapter 17: Until the Bitter End

Product details

Published Apr 18 2017
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 256
ISBN 9781472819338
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 40 black and white and 50 colour images
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Gavin Mortimer

Gavin Mortimer is a writer, historian and televisi…


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