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1.         The author of SAS Secret War Codename Operation Storm, Major
General Anthony (Tony) Showan Jeapes was born in 1935 in New Malden, Surrey,
England. He was the first serving Commanding Officer of British Special Air
Service (SAS) Regiment to write about his own Regiment. Being graduated from Sandhurst,
Major General Jeapes had an illustrious military career from 1955 to 1990 in
which he was influential in many battles, such as Jabel Akdhar campaign, Malayan
emergency and Dhofar war. The book describes the role of SAS in Dhofar war,
which is arguably the most successful counterinsurgency campaign ever fought,
was written in 1977 under the title SAS Operation Oman and was published
in 1980 after undergoing heavy bowdlerizing. Later the book with minor
amendments was again published by HarperCollins in 1996 under the current


2.         The SAS was established in Oman soon
after the bloodless coup that instated “Qaboos bin Said al Said” as the new Sultan
in 1970 to the country which has been suffering from war against Communist rebels
led by Dhofar Liberation Front (DLF) and Popular Front for Liberation of the
Occupied Arabian Gulf (PFLOAG) for over a half a decade. As the commanding
officer of the SAS, General Jeapes’ was in forefront and his perception brought
out in the book on counterinsurgency campaign as first-hand experience, is a
mesmerizing documentation to read due to its core value as military literature.
With a comprehensive outline of incidents occurred, General Jeapes fascinates us
with his experiences in Dhofar as he was personally responsible for the
movement of SAS.

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3.         In the book, the indoctrination campaign
carried out by the counterinsurgents to touch the most sensitive sentiments of
the rebellions by provision of food, medicine, veterinary support, pardon and
most importantly cash rewards to fulfil the hidden agenda of winning hearts of
rebellions to renounce their allegiance and fight against their own, is being
profoundly narrated by the author. By including informative description of
events merged with geographical and cultural description of Oman, General
Jeapes’ has managed to provide a vivid picture of incidents to readers of the
contemporary situation in Dhofar.


4.         The book can be considered as a real
account, action and adventure journal in genre which is written using an
exceedingly informal writing style for easy assimilation of readers. The
chronological order the author has documented all events, allows readers to
grasp the essentials of each event as it is being written progressively offering
a detailed view, inevitably creating the holistic representation of the whole
campaign. The near perfect title and content distribution manages to maintain
the enthusiasm of readers throughout and concurrently, cementing the story.


5.         It can be inferred by reading critics
of the book, that there has never been any doubts regarding the authenticity of
the content, since most of them are eyewitness accounts of the author or
personnel involved in, which has been written in first person tenses. The
content is being further complimented by the simplicity, clarity and brevity of
the language used elevating the amicability for even ordinary readers to grasp
the essence without difficulty.


6.         In contrast to some books in the
similar theme, such as SAS Secret
War in South East Asia by Peter
Dickens and SAS Operation Storm Nine Men Against Four Hundred by Roger
Cole & Richard Belfield, the author has concentrated on covert operations
performed by SAS to convert insurgents, rather than on engagements to suppress them,
which might be less exhilarating for conservative combat enthusiasts. Further,
since the book is an assortment of personal accounts of people from one party
of involved fractions, it is highly doubtful that it is written objectively
providing supporting factors to justify the course of both involved parties. After
all, “History is written by the victors” on their own accord.


7.         The physical presentation of the book
is both impressive and evoking the thirst for information of enthusiasts while
the maps and pictures included in the book complement the content, rendering
detailed image of coeval Oman to readers. The index provided at the end
describes abbreviations and acronyms used in the book and a clear information
map to the content for ease of the readers. Considering the value of the
knowledge the book provides the cost of the book at £14.99 can be considered a
worthy expense.


8.         However, the author has ignored the
inclusion of footnotes in the book which would have further eased the reader to
clarify unfamiliar words, especially military jargon, names of places and referred
sources mentioned in the book.


9.         SAS Secret war by Major General Tony
Jeapes is considered a very informative and elaborative military literature
which is still being studied at British Army Staff College as a textbook on
fighting insurgencies. As it carries first-hand information on one of the most
successful counterinsurgency campaigns ever fought that undermined the historic
inevitability of Communist revolution, which contemporary similar campaigns
could not achieve, the book can be recommended for military students, military
historians as well as ordinary readers to quench their thirst for information.    

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