Author(s): Gavin Mortimer
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 Murzuk. 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.
Written by the foremost expert on British wartime special forces this is a major new history of the Long Range Desert Group. Illustrated throughout with images that have not seen the light of day in over 70 years and peppered with interviews and diary entries, this book is the perfect companion title to the best-selling SAS in World War II and SBS in World War II.
Gavin Mortimer is the author of Stirling's Men (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004), a ground-breaking history of the early operations of the SAS, The SAS in World War II: An Illustrated History (Osprey, 2011), The Daring Dozen (Osprey, 2012) and The SBS in World War II: An Illustrated History (Osprey, 2013). He has also recently published The Men Who Made the SAS (Constable, 2015). An award-winning writer whose books have been published on both sides of the Atlantic, Gavin has previously written for The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and Esquire magazine. He continues to contribute to a wide range of newspapers and magazines from BBC History to the American Military History Quarterly. In addition he has lectured on the SAS in World War II at the National Army Museum.