This image is the cover for the book Imperial War Museums' Book of War Behind Enemy Lines

Imperial War Museums' Book of War Behind Enemy Lines

An account of the various units of the British special forces used during the Second World War, perfect for military enthusiasts and WWII history buffs.

War Behind Enemy Lines tells the unvarnished story of British Special Forces in the Second World War. While the SAS and SBS remain household names today, there were a plethora of lesser known units, large and small, that played their part before departing the scene. Of special note was the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) formed in North Africa who imparted their skills to David Stirling’s SAS in the early days. The Special Boat Sections and Squadron and other Royal Marine units inflicted great damage. Popski’s Private Army used heavily armed jeeps effectively in Italy while the Jedburghs parachuted in to assist the French Resistance.

In Burma, the Chindits, under the controversial Orde Wingate, conducted deep penetration patrols against the Japanese, suffering heavy casualties from enemy action and disease.

Drawing on personal accounts as well as official records, Julian Thompson paints a vivid picture of the operations and contribution of these and other units. He also analyses, using his own experience, the reasons for the resulting successes and failures.There is unlikely to be a more comprehensive and authoritative account of the “Golden Age of British Special Forces.”

Julian Thompson

Born in Calcutta, Julian Thompson was educated at Sherborne School. He joined the Royal Marines aged 18 and served on seven continents over 34 years.

He commanded 40 Commando Royal Marines and then, during the Falklands War, 3 Commando Brigade which made the initial Landings and saw much of the action in the battles that followed.

Since retiring as a Major General he has pursued literary and academic interests. He is a Visiting Professor at the Department of War Studies, Kings College, London. Among his many published works are Ready For Anything; The Parachute Regiment at War 1940 – 1982, The Lifeblood of War: Logistics and Armed Conflict and The Royal Marines. He has published six books with the Imperial War Museum: Victory in Europe, The War at Sea: the Royal Navy in the Second World War, Behind Enemy Lines, Modern Warfare (ed), The War in Burma and The War at Sea 1914-1918.

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