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Question. BBC Rogue SAS Heroes series

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Question. BBC Rogue SAS Heroes series

Old 9th Nov 2022, 16:24
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Originally Posted by Vivabeaver View Post
Anybody notice Paddy Mayne stating that he was going to Burma to fight the Japs ,bit previous as the Japanese had not entered the war in autumn 1941!
That was actually said during the series.
A couple of times it was pointed out to Mayne that we weren’t yet at war with the Japanese.
His reply was ‘We will be’
You must have missed it!
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Old 9th Nov 2022, 16:40
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Scratch the surface of Stirlings character and a different story might appear.
Gavin Mortimer has written a book called 'The Phoney Major' (as opposed to the phantom major),Gavin has been researching the SAS/LRDG/Stirling/Mayne for 25 years.
The subject TV series was obviously written using the gospel according to David Stirling which actually might be ffffffairly inaccurate (to say the least).
If you have 85 minutes to spare - might be worth watching this youtube video where Gavin is asked to talk about the real story of the SAS/LRDG/Stirling/Mayne.
I have not watched much of it yet but looks interesting for anybody interested in the real Paddy Mayne etc.

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Old 10th Nov 2022, 04:58
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Originally Posted by Vivabeaver View Post
Anybody notice Paddy Mayne stating that he was going to Burma to fight the Japs ,bit previous as the Japanese had not entered the war in autumn 1941!
You obviously missed the piece of dialogue where the actor playing Stirling told an acquaintance that Paddy was going to Burma and ,when his acquaintance replied “but we’re not at war with the Japanese?” replied “we will be when Paddy gets there!”
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 05:00
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Originally Posted by longer ron View Post
Scratch the surface of Stirlings character and a different story might appear.
Gavin Mortimer has written a book called 'The Phoney Major' (as opposed to the phantom major),Gavin has been researching the SAS/LRDG/Stirling/Mayne for 25 years.
The subject TV series was obviously written using the gospel according to David Stirling which actually might be ffffffairly inaccurate (to say the least).
If you have 85 minutes to spare - might be worth watching this youtube video where Gavin is asked to talk about the real story of the SAS/LRDG/Stirling/Mayne.
I have not watched much of it yet but looks interesting for anybody interested in the real Paddy Mayne etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmMwbLQVbdQ
The TV series was based on the Ben Macintyre book SAS Rogue Warriors.
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 08:05
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The TV series was based on the Ben Macintyre book SAS Rogue Warriors.
Absolutely Pr00ne - but the screenplay followed D Stirlings version of 'history' .
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 13:33
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Mike Sadler, 102, who lives at Arlington Manor Care Home, is the last surviving founding member of the SAS.

Mike first entered the SAS in 1941, becoming the unit's top navigator & setting up the SAS intelligence unit. He was part of the 1st successful raid on Wadi Tamet airfield.



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Old 10th Nov 2022, 15:55
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Incredibly, with what he went through, still alive. 102! Sadly now blind?

Link from Ben MacIntyre documentary. Mike Sadler talks about Paddy Mayne and the grenade scene adapted later by the drama series.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tm4r3

Last edited by Kent Based; 10th Nov 2022 at 17:58.
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 17:44
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Blair Mayne is still a legend in his home town of Newtownards where he is buried in Movilla Abbey, four miles from my home. He joined the Royal Ulster Rifles at the outbreak of war and was posted for initial training at St Patrick's Barracks, Ballymena, where he met brothers Ambrose and Eoin McGonigal, who had grown up in Belfast. All progressed to Commando units. Eoin was killed behind enemy lines in Libya, Ambrose became as deadly a warrior as Mayne. Post-war both men joined the legal profession, but while McGonigal made a successful transition to civilian life, Mayne could not, and the Newtownards folk came to dread his massive figure with its free-flying fists.

Numerous drunken attacks were hushed up, but the sequel came in 1955 when Mayne, returning from a party, crashed his Riley car into a farm vehicle in the town. Many heard the crash but nobody approached the figure slumped in the driver's seat lest it should arise and smite them as usually happened. The steering column had probably ruptured his aorta so he would have died in seconds. Today his statue stands in Conway Square and Blair Mayne Road runs past his former family home.

McGonigal became a QC and later Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. A remote and distant figure, the most powerful presence I have ever encountered before or since, he was willing to help youngsters and helped this novice court reporter with legal details of an important but complicated case. Thereafter he became almost approachable until the day I dared to mention Blair Mayne, possibly because we had reported the anniversary of his death. His scowl was so fierce that I can't remember his few words but I gathered that some men could make the transition to civil life, others could not.

As a judge he was much feared by barristers who appeared before him and who knew him as The Black Prince. The late Dick Ferguson QC said he felt on edge, "you half expected that he might pull a Uzi from under his robes".

His grandson Patric McGonigal has just completed a fascinating and superbly researched biography of Ambrose and his relationships with Mayne and other warriors: Special Forces, Brothers in Arms, published by Pen & Sword. One wonders whether we shall ever see the likes of these men again.
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Old 16th Nov 2022, 18:17
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A remarkable photo of 21 survivors of first SAS parachute drop, from 55 who dropped into worst storm in Cyrenaica in memory OTD, Nov. 1941 #WW2
Led by David Stirling, Paddy is pictured in centre (without headgear) Lessons were hard learned.



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Old 16th Nov 2022, 21:17
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
A remarkable photo of 21 survivors of first SAS parachute drop, from 55 who dropped into worst storm in Cyrenaica in memory OTD, Nov. 1941 #WW2
Led by David Stirling, Paddy is pictured in centre (without headgear) Lessons were hard learned.
I hadn't realised Stirling was so tall, he looks huge in that phot.
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Old 16th Nov 2022, 21:30
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21 survivors of first SAS parachute drop, from 55 who dropped into worst storm in Cyrenaica in memory
foolhardy
It seemed to me a totally foolhardy mission to satisfy Stirling's ambition. An unnecessary waste of life.
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Old 16th Nov 2022, 22:37
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
I hadn't realised Stirling was so tall, he looks huge in that phot.
6 ' 4.5 '' apparently. which was very tall in those days.
ISTR His brother Bill Stirling was 6' 6'' and was also instrumental in setting up the SAS (I believe he did most of the original Officer recruitment - inc Paddy Mayne,without visiting a prison ) but rarely ever got a mention in David Stirling's 'History of the SAS'
In the early days SAS was reputed to mean 'Stirling and Stirling'
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Old 18th Nov 2022, 10:46
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It seemed to me a totally foolhardy mission to satisfy Stirling's ambition. An unnecessary waste of life.
Irrespective of the accuracy of the portrayal of these events, in the series or the many books, it was wartime and we were struggling. In wartime one mans "foolhardy" is another mans "heroic". Many would see the Dambusters as a foolhardy raid, that killed a similar percentage of its warriors and achieved very little. That's as maybe...it was a raid of daring ingenuity, skill and courage. As were many of the actions of the SAS in North Africa, regardless of the accuracy of the accounts and the motivations of the men involved.

The most capable soldier in the field was Rommel and they helped **** him up. Well done them.
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Old 18th Nov 2022, 22:08
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
Irrespective of the accuracy of the portrayal of these events, in the series or the many books, it was wartime and we were struggling. In wartime one mans "foolhardy" is another mans "heroic". Many would see the Dambusters as a foolhardy raid, that killed a similar percentage of its warriors and achieved very little. That's as maybe...it was a raid of daring ingenuity, skill and courage. As were many of the actions of the SAS in North Africa, regardless of the accuracy of the accounts and the motivations of the men involved.

The most capable soldier in the field was Rommel and they helped **** him up. Well done them.
Yes, but that night's mission ultimately failed, to be completed some nights later. There didn't seem to be any tactical or strategic imperative for them to go on that stormy night.
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Old 18th Nov 2022, 22:26
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Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
Yes, but that night's mission ultimately failed, to be completed some nights later. There didn't seem to be any tactical or strategic imperative for them to go on that stormy night.
The TV version is somewhat over dramatised - the weather before they took off was fine - it was only as they neared the target area that the weather deteriorated badly,many people suffered landing injuries inc Stirling and Mayne - Mayne was invalided out after the war due to a hidden back injury - possibly caused by this para drop ??
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Old 19th Nov 2022, 16:44
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It may not be historically accurate but it’s produced for the public at large and is certainly based on fact. Personally I have enjoyed the series and if nothing else it has prompted me to learn more about Stirling, Mayne, Lewis, Carter et al
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 08:33
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Originally Posted by beamer View Post
It may not be historically accurate but it’s produced for the public at large and is certainly based on fact. Personally I have enjoyed the series and if nothing else it has prompted me to learn more about Stirling, Mayne, Lewis, Carter et al

I feel much the same, it's entertainment, after all, not a treatise on historical facts. It's described by the BBC as being "inspired by true events", after all. My cousin was in the SBS and from what little he told me that unit was exceptionally well trained and highly professional, and I rather think that the SAS is the same. There is a popular view that they are a bunch of lunatics with their self-preservation gene removed, a view the TV series tends to support, but I doubt they would have achieved 1/10th of what they did if that was the case.

Some of them were undoubtedly brilliant, and took a great deal of care to ensure every op was as well researched as possible and that they had the very best kit available. I knew an armourer years ago that gave an insight into the care taken to ensure that every bit of kit they had was the best available, even if that meant ignoring all the normal procurement processes, or even obtaining kit from states that were not exactly seen as being allies of the UK. The impression I gained was that they were tough, but very far from being reckless. This aspect doesn't come across in the TV series, but then the TV series is intended to be entertainment, nothing more.
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 11:28
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I guess dramatics trumps technical advisors at times. Why would the soldiers let themselves get dragged all over the desert floor or try to restrain their billowing parachutes when all they had to do was use the harness quick-release box? Disrespect of ORs to officers was unbelievable too (see the episode in which Stirling on crutches tried to enter the HQ building without a pass). Me, I prefer the gritty black & white '50s British WWII films, even if the special effects weren't up to today's CGI). I'll be in a minority there.
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 12:22
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The Dam Busters has lasted well so I'm with you Steve.
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Old 20th Nov 2022, 13:49
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
I guess dramatics trumps technical advisors at times. Why would the soldiers let themselves get dragged all over the desert floor or try to restrain their billowing parachutes when all they had to do was use the harness quick-release box? Disrespect of ORs to officers was unbelievable too (see the episode in which Stirling on crutches tried to enter the HQ building without a pass).
Just hitting the ground sideyways in a (say) 30mph breeze might be enough to cause injuries on rough ground I guess,and most of the guys probably not very experienced jumpers.
As to the guard at HQ - add that to his rifle slung over right shoulder and saluting with left hand LOL (i think that was in that scene ?)
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