BOOK OF THE MONTH - JULY 2005
Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East
by Major General Tony Jeapes.
Published by Greenhill Books, London and Stackpole
Books, Pennsylvania, 2005. ISBN 1-85367-567-9.
Paperback, 253 pp, 22 b & w photos and maps, 16 x 23
cm. UK price £11.99 plus post and pack, but best to
see your local friendly bookseller.
The earlier version of this hook was
published 25 years ago and, commendably, Greenhill
seen fit to keep alive the history of this quite
large and strategically important campaign that saw
the defeat of Yemini insurgents trying to impose a
Marxist regime on the neighbouring state of Oman.
The British involvement, from 1966 to
1976, was the largest commitment of British forces
to a campaign
Korean War. The
concentrates mainly on the activities
of the 22nd
from 1970, although an insightful background
briefing is provided.
The eventual triumph of the British
and Omani Sultan's forces was a psychological boost
to military strategists of the Free World who,
understandably, were depressed by the North
Vietnamese victory in 1975.
The highly decorated and highly
regarded author, who oversaw the nuts and bolts of
this successful unconventional warfare, regards the
affair as "the best conducted counter-insurgency
campaign ever fought." A reading of this book will
persuade the reader likewise.
The role of the SAS in patrolling,
information gathering, civilian aid and subtle
persuasion to lead the rebels to join the Government
side is herein well documented. Although not
committed to obliterating the enemy by overwhelming
military offensives, in the battle of Mirbat, where
heroism against vastly superior numbers prevailed,
the SAS proved indubitably that they were primarily
Besides history, the book provides an
insight into how the SAS operated as a team of
experienced, self-motivated elite personnel, and
thus why they were so successful. A commendable
narrative that needs retelling for a new generation
and highly recommended for the military practitioner
or lounge-chair general.