The SAS war diary

Thanks to the SAS Regimental Association for this;

In early 1946, a former SAS soldier tasked himself with one final mission.  The SAS had been disbanded and there were no plans to resurrect it.  The soldier’s self-appointed mission was simple: to find and preserve whatever documentation he could before the SAS was forgotten and its story lost for ever.

The soldier tracked down the Top Secret order authorising the first ever SAS operation; he sought out photographs of the original members of 1 SAS, including men lost on that first operation; he somehow acquired the after-action reports from the few who survived.

Then with more photographs, operational orders and reports (all Top Secret), and a handful of newspaper articles from Britain and even America, he traced the story of the SAS through North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France, on to the drive through Europe for Berlin, until the final march past when the SAS was stood down.

By mission end, the soldier had produced something unique – the first ever history of the SAS, collated by an SAS man.  Not only that, in the event of the SAS being consigned to a footnote in history, and with many of the documents he had copied either destroyed or lost forever, he had saved the story of the SAS during World War 2.

But the soldier did something else.  He collated his work in a single massive war diary, measuring 17” x 12” x 4” and weighing over 25 lbs, and bound it in leather “liberated” from Nazi Germany. Without knowing it, the soldier had created an icon. Shortly before his death, he visited the SAS Regimental Association, and gave them … The SAS War Diary.

The Association locked The Diary away in its archives … and its existence remained a secret …. Until now.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Special Air Service, and in collaboration with the SAS Regimental Association, Extraordinary Editions have received unique clearance to produce a once-in-a-lifetime limited edition series of The Diary. The lion’s share of the profit is going to the SAS Regimental Association’s welfare fund.

The Contents of the Diary




Each copy of the SAS War Diary 1941-1945 replicates the original Diary, but with one important difference.  When the soldier collated his Diary in 1946, he used the first 281 pages to record the history of 1 SAS, and for some reason, perhaps aware there was another mission that might follow his; he retained the remaining pages but left them blank.

In the Anniversary Editions, these pages are filled with specially cleared material from The Association’s own highly confidential archives to include the history of 2 SAS and an abridged history of the wartime SBS.  This completes the mission the soldier began at war’s end, and gives for the first time ever the full picture of the SAS in World War 2.

The SAS WAR DIARY is a unique collection of material.  The Diary is the only place where much of it exists. The stories that it tells are remarkable.  It is the only place where they come together to tell the full history of the birth of the SAS and the full scope of its World War 2 operations.

At the time, most of these documents were Top Secret – they include:

The actual order authorising the first ever SAS operation.

Operational reports including:

– L Detachment SAS through the Western Desert

– David Stirling’s capture

– SRS operations in Sicily and Italy

– 1 SAS in France for D Day, NW Europe and Germany

– 2 SAS operations in Sicily, Italy, France for D Day

– Northern Italy post-D Day.

Over 25 maps and 300 photographs, many of them taken on operations and behind-the-lines.

David Stirling’s personal confidential memorandum on how he created the SAS.

Secret correspondence discussing the future of Special Forces in the Middle East.

Top Secret correspondence between Stirling and Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the future and importance of the SAS.

The order assigning SAS regimental status.

To order a copy google the SAS Regimental Association or the publisher ‘Extraordinary Editions’

This is a piece of history and the price reflects that.

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