The SBS in World War II

The SBS in World War II cover

The SBS in World War II

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The Special Boat Squadron was Britain's most exclusive Special Forces unit during World War II. Highly trained, totally secretive, and utterly ruthless, the SBS was established as an entity in its own right in early 1943, having previously operated under the auspices of the SAS during the war in North Africa. Unlike its sister unit, which numbered more than one thousand men, the SBS never comprised more than one hundred. Led by men such as the famed Victoria Cross recipient Anders Lassen, the SBS went from island to island in the Mediterranean, landing in the dead of night in small fishing boats and launching savage hit-and-run raids on the Germans.

By the end of the war they had served in Italy, the Balkans, and mainland Greece, and following the cessation of hostilities, their deeds were airbrushed out of history by an establishment that had never warmed to their piratical exploits. Through unrivaled access to the SBS archives and interviews with the surviving members of the unit, Gavin Mortimer has pieced together the dramatic exploits of this elite fighting force, illustrated with images of their daring actions, finally granting the unit the recognition they so richly deserve.

Table of Contents

Dedication /Acknowledgements /Introduction /Chapter 1. Birth of the Boat Service /Chapter 2. From Service to Squadron /Chapter 3. Sick in Sardinia /Chapter 4. A Close Call in Crete /Chapter 5. Armistice and Uncertainty /Chapter 6. The Germans Fight Back /Chapter 7. Defeat in the Dodecanese /Chapter 8. New Recruits for a New Year /Chapter 9. Piracy on the High Seas /Chapter 10. Turkish Deceit for the SBS /Chapter 11. Caught, Questioned, Vanished /Chapter 12. Vengeance /Chapter 13. Germany on the Run /Chapter 14. Into the Balkans /Chapter 15. The Nazis' Greek Tragedy /Chapter 16. Adriatic Offensive /Chapter 17. Andy Lassen's Big War /Chapter 18. The End of the Odyssey /Glossary /Notes /Bibliography /Index

Product details

Published May 24 2016
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 320
ISBN 9781472811134
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 120 b/w
Dimensions 8 x 5 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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