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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The SAS combat handbook - by Jon E. Lewis
The Lyons press 2001, first published in the UK in 1997

Reviewed by Wolfe



I was actually pretty curious about this book. The description said: 'fighting tactiques of the world's most rugged soldiers', that sounded pretty promising. I was pretty excited when I finally got it (had to come all the way from the USA).

It's kind of a weird book. The first 50 pages describe the world's elite units, the SAS, the Spetsnaz and the American Army special Forces. How they were founded and by who, what they did in the world, when and were and stuff like that. All real interesting, but not really something I expected to find in a combat handbook.

When I was rifling through the pages, I missed something. There is no chapter about firearms! The most important part of modern day combat, no word about it. No shooting instructions, no weapon maintenance or any general instruction whatsoever. I found that pretty suprising. It's like they cut out the interesting pages about guns that we civilians shouldn't read, and put in place some boring history of the elite units.

Then what did it contain? Well, the book is mainly about survival. It has a very big chapter about survival in the arctic and one about survival in the desert, how to build a shelter in the arctic, what creatures to avoid in the desert, what to eat, duties of each team member. Almost 100 pages of information, that should have been in the SAS survival handbook instead.

What follows is a real nice chapter about Evasion, Capture and Escape. It tells how to evade tracking dogs and their masters, what basic equipment you need when you´re on the run, how to signal to people and to aircrafts and how to behave when you are in a prison camp, how to resist interrogation and other nasty things in a POW camp.

Next is a chapter about first aid in combat or a survival situation. How to treat burns and other wounds and how to improvise first aid. This is an interesting chapter that can be usefull, with some information that you don´t find in the SAS survial handbook.

Then there are a few pages about how to survive during a Hijack, and an eyewithness story of the Siege at Princess Gate. There is no information on how special forces behave when there is a hijack.

Then there is an interesting chapter again, about personal skills and techniques. No information about firearms, but some information about how to blow up bridges, what boobytraps you might encounter, something about special forces´ gear and camouflage, a bit about navigation and some words about tracking, both animals and humans.

The last chapter is again about survival, a short version of the SAS survival handbook, slightly more combat minded survival, but not much. Again something you won´t miss, if you have the SAS survival handbook.

General opinion
It´s a good book to read for fun, but it doesn´t really contain spicy information. I´m absolutely sure that no army in the world would issue this to it´s special forces, it contains far to much useless information about history of Special Forces, and ways too little information about combat itself. It´s fun to read, but I wouldn´t go so far to say it´s a must have, it has a lot of things in common with the SAS survival handbook.


Ratings:

Survival information: ****
Combat information: **
Interesting: ***
Useful for a survivalist: ***
Must have: *
General: ***


Wolfe
 

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This book is more like a primer than a Special Forces manual. I would like to say that I did find a related book one may want to consider - The SAS Guide to Tracking by Bob Carss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard about that but never looked inside it. Is it a nice book? What is it about? (I mean what chapters are in it?)
 

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I just bought "The SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook" by Terry White. I won an auction off ebay for $1- It normally retails for like 15.95 at Barnes and Noble. It had some good reviews but I do not have it yet. I'm still waiting but I will post a review.

I saw that one you bought Wolfe- I flipped through and when the author kept referring to the AK-46 carried by the Viet Cong I was bothered.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sure it is the same? I can't find anything about Viet Cong or about the AK46 :eek::
 

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Same cover from what I recall- I don't remember for certain the author but I am pretty sure that is the cover.
I don' t remember the chapter or anything like that. Part of the reason this stands out in my mind is I was with a friend of mine and I showed it to him so we had a good laugh.
It's kind of an inside joke as we both had the same professor at a university for a military history course at different times.
When he took it, the professor claimed that the AK47 was the most influential battle rifle of World War Two. Yeah he really said that.
So my friend and I had a chuckle about the AK46
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Same cover from what I recall- I don't remember for certain the author but I am pretty sure that is the cover.
I don' t remember the chapter or anything like that. Part of the reason this stands out in my mind is I was with a friend of mine and I showed it to him so we had a good laugh.
It's kind of an inside joke as we both had the same professor at a university for a military history course at different times.
When he took it, the professor claimed that the AK47 was the most influential battle rifle of World War Two. Yeah he really said that.
So my friend and I had a chuckle about the AK46
Hehehe whoops. :D:
 

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Yeah the professor went on (my friend was in class this time) about how the AK47 was superior to the M1 rifle and the Mauser during WWII. According to him it gave the Soviets a tremendous advantage!!! hahahahhaha
We laughed for hours.

Gotta love those PhDs.
 

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Well I got my SAS Fighting Techniques book today- it is pretty good overall. Interesting stuff about mission planning, a little about tactics, some info about spec ops in general. I paid a dollar for it off of ebay so it was worth it.
It does have some good pen and ink illustrations that are tailored to the text. Will I ever need to know how to get in and out of a Submarine? Not really but the tactical stuff is good reading.
 

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i had this book in my hand last night. it dose look good. it was 20. i wanna pick it up. i had gotten the sas survival handbook. so far its a good read.
 

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nickeynova,
I don't know if you use ebay, but after shipping I got mine for $5. Really. Some seller had these listed for $1 plus like $3.95 shipping.
If you want the seller send me a PM
 

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i had gotten the sas survival handbook. so far its a good read.
I got this too for $5. What's so great about this is it's smallness - fits easily into my coat pocket, soo when I'm out to eat waiting to be seated or in line waiting anywhere, I crack this book and read about anything from building traps to mushrooms (just don't eat em) to plants to shelter building to fire reflectors to knot tying. I just break open to any page and start reading. Good use of idle time.
 

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The SAS combat handbook - by Jon E. Lewis
The Lyons press 2001, first published in the UK in 1997

Reviewed by Wolfe



I was actually pretty curious about this book. The description said: 'fighting tactiques of the world's most rugged soldiers', that sounded pretty promising. I was pretty excited when I finally got it (had to come all the way from the USA).

It's kind of a weird book. The first 50 pages describe the world's elite units, the SAS, the Spetsnaz and the American Army special Forces. How they were founded and by who, what they did in the world, when and were and stuff like that. All real interesting, but not really something I expected to find in a combat handbook.

When I was rifling through the pages, I missed something. There is no chapter about firearms! The most important part of modern day combat, no word about it. No shooting instructions, no weapon maintenance or any general instruction whatsoever. I found that pretty suprising. It's like they cut out the interesting pages about guns that we civilians shouldn't read, and put in place some boring history of the elite units.

Then what did it contain? Well, the book is mainly about survival. It has a very big chapter about survival in the arctic and one about survival in the desert, how to build a shelter in the arctic, what creatures to avoid in the desert, what to eat, duties of each team member. Almost 100 pages of information, that should have been in the SAS survival handbook instead.

What follows is a real nice chapter about Evasion, Capture and Escape. It tells how to evade tracking dogs and their masters, what basic equipment you need when you´re on the run, how to signal to people and to aircrafts and how to behave when you are in a prison camp, how to resist interrogation and other nasty things in a POW camp.

Next is a chapter about first aid in combat or a survival situation. How to treat burns and other wounds and how to improvise first aid. This is an interesting chapter that can be usefull, with some information that you don´t find in the SAS survial handbook.

Then there are a few pages about how to survive during a Hijack, and an eyewithness story of the Siege at Princess Gate. There is no information on how special forces behave when there is a hijack.

Then there is an interesting chapter again, about personal skills and techniques. No information about firearms, but some information about how to blow up bridges, what boobytraps you might encounter, something about special forces´ gear and camouflage, a bit about navigation and some words about tracking, both animals and humans.

The last chapter is again about survival, a short version of the SAS survival handbook, slightly more combat minded survival, but not much. Again something you won´t miss, if you have the SAS survival handbook.

General opinion
It´s a good book to read for fun, but it doesn´t really contain spicy information. I´m absolutely sure that no army in the world would issue this to it´s special forces, it contains far to much useless information about history of Special Forces, and ways too little information about combat itself. It´s fun to read, but I wouldn´t go so far to say it´s a must have, it has a lot of things in common with the SAS survival handbook.


Ratings:

Survival information: ****
Combat information: **
Interesting: ***
Useful for a survivalist: ***
Must have: *
General: ***


Wolfe
Glad you brought it up, Wolf. I've got the SAS mental toughness book in the same series, and derived some valuable info from it, and also got a cold, hard reality check. It convinced me to train harder and not wimp out of workouts. It sounds like the combat book has a lot of reheated info from the other books in the series. Thanks for the review of it.
 

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I got this too for $5. What's so great about this is it's smallness - fits easily into my coat pocket, soo when I'm out to eat waiting to be seated or in line waiting anywhere, I crack this book and read about anything from building traps to mushrooms (just don't eat em) to plants to shelter building to fire reflectors to knot tying. I just break open to any page and start reading. Good use of idle time.

I have the same book and my experience of it is pretty much the same as yours...because it's portable, you can just take it anywhere, and I frequently do. It contains a lot of the same information (and in some cases slightly more in-depth) as some of John 'Lofty' Wiseman's other books, only it's smaller and cheaper. A definite must-buy for the well equipped BOB!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jup I have the SAS survival handbook too. There are two kinds, the handbook and the pocket version for in your BOB or survival kit or whatever. I have the handbook, the big one. It's a good read and a real must have for survivalists. Lot's of good information.
 

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I almost picked up the SAS urban survival guide, until I got to the chapter on weapons and the author dismissed firearms as a viable self defense/survival tool. I put the book back and moved on.
 

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I see two versions of SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook on biblio.com. The old one 2001 7.5 x 9 in. and the new updated 2007 version which is now 9 x 9in. Anyone compare the two?

Hey BigWillie...maybe he didn't want you to become dependent on you firearm ;) Many are too dependent on their firearm making up for all other efforts. Just like GPS' instead of Map & Compass, or sun and stars navigation etc. Canned food hordes without knowledge of natural sources etc...just a thought.
 
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