Charlie Radford's Operations in Enemy-Occupied France and Italy
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A pre-war Sapper, Charlie Radford served in North Africa until he returned to the UK for parachute training. He volunteered and joined 2SAS in Scotland. His first behind-the-lines operation was in France (Op RUPERT) cutting railway lines and he then took park in Operation LOYTON, now in armed jeeps. His next assignment (Operation ZOMBIE) involved parachuting into the Italian Dolomites to disrupt the vital German link North of Verona between Italy and Austria.This operation ended in failure due tofool hardy leadership, inadequate manning and poor preparation. His OC was captured, tortured and executed but Charlie escaped to live with the Partisans before being repatriated to the UK. After the war he returned to France to help with the exhumation and reburial of SAS men executed in the Vosges mountains. Postwar he served in Kenya and Somaliland and his experiences there form an interesting epilogue. But SAS Trooper is first and foremost a thrilling account of Special Force soldiering told from the perspective of a young man who more than did his duty under the most testing conditions. Those who imagine that this was a glamorous role in war need only read of the shortcomings of preparation and leadership that led to the disastrous failure of Operation ZOMBIE and the hardships and dangers of fighting with the ruthless Partisans in the Dolomites.
- Pen and Sword, August 2011
Pen and Sword
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