Billiere, General Sir Peter de la.


1st ed., 1994. Xii + 449 pp., photo-plates + maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. This is the fascinating autobiography of the author of Storm Command, the best-selling personal record of the Gulf War. Having joined the army as a private soldier and served in Korea and Egypt, the author entered the Special Air Service and with that most secretive and glamorous of regiments he served in Malaya, Oman, Borneo and Aden, rising to command 22nd SAS and become Director, SAS Group. He won his first MC at the age of 24 and for his role in the secret Dhofar campaign in the early 1970's, he was awarded the DSO. In 1980 the author directed the SAS in the siege of the Iranian Embassy, and he now gives a fascinating, inside view of how that brilliantly executed operation was planned. In 1982 he was in charge of Special Forces operations during the Falklands War, and himself commanded the garrison in the Falklands as Military Commissioner from 1984 to 1985. In the Gulf War of 1990-91 he commanded the British contingent, 45,000 strong, and was personally responsible for having the British armoured force increased to divisional strength, thus enabling it to play a valuable role in the land battle. No modern general has seen more action, as this superb autobiography of inspiring leadership goes to show.

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