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The Phantom Major
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The Phantom Major

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The story of David Stirling and His Desert Command
Previously titled by Ballantine Books as Who Dares, Wins
paperback, 254 pages
Published 1966 by Ballantine Books (first published 1958)
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Jane Stewart
4 ½ stars. Great subject, but the book could have used something more. I’d like a different author to do it.

The greatest thing about this book is the character David Stirling and the unbelievable things he and his guys did. David conceived the idea of the SAS and got permission to train a group of men to go behind enemy lines, onto enemy property, and blow up planes, trucks, and supplies. This book is about the SAS in northern Africa in 1941-1942. I believe it was written from interviews and cor
3.75 stars, rounded up for the narration. Robert Whitfield, aka Simon Vance, is simply an amazing reader, bringing characters to life no matter the nationality. In just a few pages, he neatly portrays Scottish, French, German, and British accents. Augmenting this book, I also watched YouTube videos on David Stirling SAS.

The topic itself is outside my field of expertise, and I occasionally felt my interest waning, but it's also historically intriguing, humorous, heartwarming, and suspenseful.

An incredible story, riveting to read.
Very enjoyable.
My Father had this book and I read and re-read it. In the 1970s we only had two television stations to view and AM radio so he was a member of the Readers Book Club and received a new book on a monthly basis. His copy was named "Who Dares Wins" and this book told of how David Stirling formed a new type of "behind the enemy lines" military unit in the western desert campaign against the German General Rommel. As I remember this book it was a good read and why I have purchased a new copy of this b ...more
Ashley Webb
This was a right riveting read.I thoroughly enjoyed it. Really amazing exploits carried out by the men who started the SAS and those of the Long Range Desert Group. I do like the way the books of the fifties and sixties were laid out. The maps are really clear and simple, and placed in the right place within the text for easy reference, unlike the maps in Tip and Run, which is a modern book. The writing was at times a bit "Jolly Hockey Sticks" but otherwise an excellent book.
Fun, old-style book about the founding of Britain's SAS. I like it since most of it takes place in Egypt, and it was recommended to me by a prof since it's all about the "indirect approach." A little differently, granted, than we learned about in IPCR, but indirect (and effective) nonetheless.
Rupert Matthews
A cracking read about the origins of the SAS in the desert war of World War II. Meticulously researched with the help of veterans and full of detail about the thrilling exploits of the early SAS.
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