The War That Never Was

The War That Never Was

The True Story of the Men Who Fought Britain's Most Secret Battle

Book - 2012
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"For the very first time, The War That Never Was tellsthe fascinating story of a secret war fought by British mercenaries in the Yemen in the early 1960s. In a covert operation organised over whisky and sodas in the clubs of Chelsea and Mayfair, a group of former SAS officers - led by the irrepressible Colonel Jim Johnson - arranged for a squadron of British mercenaries to travel to the remote mountain regions of the Yemen, to arm, train and lead Yemeni tribesmen in their fight against a 60,000-strong contingent of Egyptian soldiers. It was one of the most uneven running battles ever waged; the Egyptians fielded a huge, professionally-trained army. The British fought back at the head of a ragtag force of tribal warriors and, ultimately, won. Egypt's President Nasser described the battle in the Yemen as 'my Vietnam'. It's a fascinating, forgotten, and rip-roaringly entertaining pocket of British military history, much in the spirit of Ben MvIntyre's bestselling Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat ."
Publisher: London : Arrow, 2012.
ISBN: 9780099553298
Characteristics: xviii, 382 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), map, ports. (some col.) ; 20 cm.


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Jan 04, 2017

An interesting history of part of a little known war, largely overshadowed by other things going on at the time (6 day War, withdrawal from Aden, SAS involvement in Oman etc).

I had been given a history of the SAS in WW2 for Christmas, and it was interesting to see some familiar names popping up.

The author pulls no punches about the shortcomings of some of those involved (British and Arab), and reveals some odd linkages eg Israeli Air Force dropping arms to Royalist Yemeni bands, "advised" by British and French "civilians", funded at least in part by Iran.

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