SAS War Diary 1941-1945
The Story of the Diary
The story of The Diary is remarkable.
In early 1946, a former SAS soldier tasked himself with one final mission. The SAS had been disbanded and there were no plans to resurrect it. The soldier’s self-appointed mission was simple: to find and preserve whatever documentation he could before the SAS was forgotten and its story lost for ever.
The soldier tracked down the Top Secret order authorising the first ever SAS operation; he sought out photographs of the original members of 1 SAS, including men lost on that first operation; he somehow acquired the after-action reports from the few who survived.
Then with more photographs, operational orders and reports (all Top Secret), and a handful of newspaper articles from Britain and even America, he traced the story of the SAS through North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France, on to the drive through Europe for Berlin, until the final march past when the SAS was stood down.
By mission end, the soldier had produced something unique – the first ever history of the SAS, collated by an SAS man. Not only that, in the event of the SAS being consigned to a footnote in history, and with many of the documents he had copied either destroyed or lost forever, he had saved the story of the SAS during World War 2.
But the soldier did something else. He collated his work in a single massive war diary, measuring 17” x 12” x4” and weighing over 25 lbs, and bound it in leather “liberated” from Nazi Germany. Without knowing it, the soldier had created an icon. He locked it away for half a century and then, shortly before his death, he visited the SAS Regimental Association, and gave them … The SAS War Diary.
The Association locked The Diary away in its archives … and its existence continued a secret …. Until now.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Special Air Service, and in collaboration with the SAS Regimental Association, Extraordinary Editions have received unique clearance to produce a once-in-a-lifetime limited edition series of The Diary. The lion’s share of the profit is going to the SAS Regimental Association’s welfare fund.
The Original Diary (left) with the 2011 Anniversary Edition on the right
Based on the original Diary held by the Regimental Association, The SAS War Diary is augmented with material from their archive, very little of which has ever been seen before.
The SAS War Diary is extremely impressive, measuring some 17 x 12 x 4 inches and weighing over 28lbs. Each copy is bound by hand in full leather over wood composite boards in the style of the original, with three brass posts and finished with a new blocking design featuring the Regimental badge and wings.
The individual copies are then numbered and the limitation page is embossed with the seal of the Regimental Association, as are the signature pages on the signed copies.
The Diary is produced using traditional materials in the traditional manner and is designed to last for generations.