Colonel David Stirling SAS .The Phantom Major

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by The Aviator, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. The Aviator

    The Aviator New Member


    David Stirling was educated at Ampleforth College, and Cambridge University. Stirling joined up when WW11 started. Sterling served in Scots Guards, No. 8 Commando, Layforce. The unit was later disbanded. Sterling took up Parachuting, which was rare at this time.

    In 1941, Stirling was bed ridden in Cario, Egypt, afer being injured in a parachute accident. During this time, he came up with the idea of a small unit to strike the enemy fast. He proposed the idea to senior officers.

    Stirling called his new unit "L Detachment Special Air Service". The SAS was born working along side of the LRDG (Long Range Desert Group).

    During WW 11, Stirling was captured in 1943. Stirling escaped four times, but was caught each time.
    Hitler had ordered that all members of the SAS and other special forces should be executed but to his credit Field Marshall Rommel was the only German commander to ignore the order.

    Stirling was subsequently sent to the famous Colditz Castle
    from which he was released after the war.

    It has been said by many, that Stirling was the "most under-decorated soldier of the war". David Sterling was knighted in 1990. He died a few months later at his home in Scotland. He was awarded the OBE and DSO for actions during WWII. He was nicknamed the "Phantom Major" by his peers.


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  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I used to be a big fan of Stirling who, like Wingate, was a complete maverick. Both had ideas about behind the lines disruptions that had as much or more psychological affect as actual destructive affect.

    However, I then found out about his postwar activities and have since had a rethink. The guy was a proto-fascist, who was willing to organise and lead a coup d'état in Britain in the 1970s. If you want to know more google GB75:

    The Airey Neave Files - Independent Online Edition > Profiles
  3. The Aviator

    The Aviator New Member

    Wow! I did not know this. This makes him the greatest hero to me than ever.
    I believe Labor and the trade unions destroyed the Britain that so many gave their lives for.

    I hope that kowtowing to this leftwing philosophy isn't the prerequisite for being a successful member here.
  4. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    No kowtowing required - as long as every member respects other members' views and beliefs, be they philosophical, political or religious, then we should all get along great.

    But not extremism or offensiveness will allowed from any member.
  5. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    There is an unwarranted assumption that the war was about keeping the British Establishment going and that war heroes are always going to be right-wing reactionaries such as David Stirling or Ian Smith. If this is true, then all we were fighting the Nazis for was a clash between two different Empires.

    What is worth fighting for in Britain is its very tolerance, even though that sometimes comes at a risk to our own safety, as when Karl Marx felt free to write in the British Library, or when today we build a multi-cultural society.

    It was the British fighting men and women who booted out Churchill in 1945. And it wasn't only right-wing politicians who had served with distinction in the war. Examples of others include: Edward Heath, Denis Healey, Jim Callaghan, Clement Attlee (in WW1), Tony Benn (trained as a pilot but just too young to see action), Wing Cdr Ian Gleed (homosexual fighter ace) and my particular heroes, Leonard Cheshire VC (a pro-European Union Catholic), and (from WW1) the socialist "Mick" Mannock VC.
  6. morse1001

    morse1001 Guest

    I would agree with you there!
  7. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I agree Adrian. Many many good men and women emerged from the war, who went on to make amazing contributions to society. More often than not it was their very experiences of the war that shaped their beliefs. And their belief that post-WW2 society had to be shaped better than post-WW1 society.

    However, I think the Stirling case highlights the fact that no-matter how commendable a persons service during the war, it cannot be used as a excuse if they then end up being involved in questionable activities later in their life. And that goes for any and every famous person. Two men who I used to think were remarkable political dissidents in the 19th century have been tainted by certain revelations. Marx behaved terribly towards women, and his wife in particular. And Bakunin, who used to be one my political heroes, turned out to be an anti-semite of the worst sort.
  8. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Isn't that what the communists said during the period between the signing of the Soviet-German pact, and Barbarossa?
  9. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    You mean the communists in the UK? Extremists never seem to understand that there is a middle ground, in this case between Empire and Communism, and that this middle ground is itself worth fighting for.
  10. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Fryer: Reviews - British CP and WW2

  11. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

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