Four years ago, Ben Macintyre was invited by the British Special Air Service to write a book about the emergence of the elite commando force during World War II.
The SAS is “by far and away the most famous fighting unit in Europe, but they’re also the most mysterious,” the author told the audience Tuesday at The Society of the Four Arts.
No historian before him had been permitted to review the force’s archives.
From the documents, diaries, letters, post cards, poems and photographs he found, Macintyre, a columnist and associate editor for The Times in Britain, crafted an account of the unit that was the prototype of all elite special forces today. Rogue Heroes – The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War is the latest of his books about World War II.