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Long Range Desert Group (Hardback)

Reconnaissance and Raiding Behind Enemy Lines

WWII Frontline Books

By W. B. Kennedy Shaw
Frontline Books
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781848328587
Published: 16th December 2015

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During the two-and-a-half years' fighting in the Western Desert of North Africa, which began with the Italian declaration of war in June 1940 and ended in 1943, the Long Range Desert Group became the acknowledged master of the vast desert.

This small, highly mobile force was engaged in daring exploits and reconnaissance far behind the enemy's lines. Emerging suddenly from the depths of the desert, the LRDG would raid important airfields or attack Axis lines of communication along the Mediterranean coast, and then vanish back into the desert, to reappear hundreds of miles away. With its brilliant description of the harsh beauty of the desert, and its exiting chronicle of the LRDG activities, this book is as fascinating today as it was when was first published in 1945, after being vetted by the War Office.

'Moving, exciting and authentic'
The Observer

'The British genius for exploration, hard living and insolently bold guerrilla warfare has never been better demonstrated than by the Long Range Desert Group … [Kennedy Shaw's book is] a remarkable record, told simply, unpretentiously and with engaging humour … One cannot remember a better war book.'
The Manchester Guardian

The Long Range Desert Group achieved remarkable success during the North African campaign, sometimes as a small scale raiding force but chiefly in a reconnaissance role, operating hundreds of miles behind the lines to report on enemy strengths and movements. There can be few who are better placed to tell this story than Bill Kennedy Shaw, who had spent over 10 years prior to the war becoming an expert on the Libyan Desert before serving as the Group's Intelligence Officer, participating in the first sorties then working at Group Headquarters, where he was uniquely placed to observe the bigger picture. He wrote this most authoritative account in 1945 while the facts were still fresh in his mind, and it describes in wonderful detail the rapid foundation of the unit and its numerous exploits, revealing the enormous skill with which they operated in and navigated their way across the desert, and the methods they used to avoid detection and escape when spotted. Included amongst the appendices are a roll of honour, order of battle, a list of the many awards issued to personnel of the LRDG, and a precise breakdown of the rations required per man.

Read the full review here

Pegasus Archive

The book gains a great deal of atmosphere from being written during the war, and is one of the most impressive wartime accounts I've read.

Read the complete review here.

History of War, John Rickard

The new book is very well presented and is a must for those interested in Special Forces or the war in the desert.

Military History Group - Robert Bartlett
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