Tuesday, November 6, 2012


This sis coolbert:

My thoughts and understanding of this was wrong. My apologies to the British Long Range Desert Group [LRDG] and Special Air Services [SAS] both.

From the era of the Second World War [WW2] both commands [SAS & LRDG] comporting themselves with distinction, performing yeoman duty during the North African campaign but not as I had believed the LRDG the nucleus upon which the SAS was formed.

Both commands distinct having different missions and operating behind enemy lines sometimes operating together but the roles of each quite unique!

LRDG troops engaging in combat only occasionally rather functioning primarily in the scouting/reconnaissance/intelligence gathering mission - -  guides in the desert when need be!

"The Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during the Second World War."

"The LRDG was formed specifically to carry out deep penetration, covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions from behind Italian lines, although they sometimes engaged in combat operations . . . sometimes assigned to guide other units, including the Special Air Service and secret agents across the desert."

SAS the mission of which was primarily combat, SAS a ranger/commando/special operations type unit! Raiders!

"The Special Air Service was a unit of the British Army during the Second World War, formed in July 1941 by David Stirling and originally called 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade . . . It was conceived as a commando force to operate behind enemy lines in the North African Campaign"

LRDG units while in the field having a distinctive organization, each patrol self-contained and possessing an amazing autonomous capability, that TO&E for desert operations necessitating a well thought out organic capacity:

"the patrol units were split into half-patrols of one officer and 15–18 men in five or six vehicles. Each patrol incorporated a medical orderly, a navigator [celestial qualified], a radio operator and a vehicle mechanic, each of whom manned a truck equipped for their role."

In modern military parlance LRDG a strategic reconnaissance [SR] special operations type unit, a primary task the establishment of "hide spots" behind-enemy-lines from which  surreptitious observation can be made.

Personnel manning the LRDG specially chosen and selected for their self-sufficiency, highly motivated persons with initiative, self-starters, NEW ZEALAND FARMERS FELT TO BE MOST SUITABLE!!

"The unit, initially known as the No.1 Long Range Patrol Unit (LRP) . . . [needed] men who were energetic, innovative, self-reliant, physically and mentally tough, and able to live and fight in seclusion in the Libyan desert . . . [it being felt that] New Zealand farmers would possess these attributes"

[please keep in mind that the ONLY combat soldier to TWICE be awarded the Victoria Cross was a New Zealand farmer. New Zealanders possessing those national characteristics that make for a good soldier!!]

Also, LRDG another English military unit that in case of an invasion of Japan, would have been deployed to the Pacific theatre for action:

"After the end of the war in Europe, the leaders of the LRDG made a request to the [British] War Office for the unit to be transferred to the Far East to conduct operations against the Japanese Empire."

I would be remiss if it not mentioned that the Italian army also having a desert mobile unit analogous to the LRDG and tasked with the mission of  scouting/reconnaissance/intelligence gathering, limited combat capability. This was the Auto-Saharan Companies:

"The Auto-Saharan Companies (Compagnie Auto-Avio-Sahariane) were Italian military units specialised in long range patrols of the Sahara Desert. The units operated from the late 1930s to the Italian surrender in 1943."

BUT, LRDG and SAS both unique and separate, the former not begetting the latter!.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

A well written report ,
good on you sir