This Frontline Book offering courtesy of Pen and Sword looks at the missions of the Australian SAS and titled 'The SAS ‘Deniables’ '.


The following introduction is as supplied by Pen and Sword:

During the 10,000-day Vietnam war Australia had agreed with the United States to have a team of Australian Army Special Air Services (SAS) soldiers conduct covert missions into Cambodia. The SAS soldiers would be bivouacked in Thailand.

With their names changed for security and personal safety reasons, this is a dramatized story of events that actually happened involving a small band of Australian Special Air Service trained specialists involved in covert intelligence activities who were co-opted into the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) repertoire of Plausibly Deniable assets deployed worldwide into the shadows of political indulgence in locations where Australian forces should not be seen or heard.

These Australian SAS Covert operations undertaken are incidents that have never before been exposed and include cross-sovereign-border infiltrations into Cambodia and the daily operations of the elimination of Viet Cong munition dumps. Also revealed are an unauthorized fatal attack by United States Army helicopters on SAS warriors; the rescue of French tourists kidnapped by Muslim terrorists in Mindanao, Philippines, and Operation Eye of the Storm into Northern Kuwait/Eastern Iraq evolving into Desert Storm.

As revealed these covert operations included offshore intervention of East Timorese Fretilin Terrorists sabotaging Australian offshore Exploration and Oil Drilling activities in the Timor Sea; Back Door into Hell during the Somalia conflict, plus covert black ops elimination of Muslim Jihadist activities on homeland soil assisted by Israeli intelligence.

This astounding exposé opens the closed door behind which governments operate to deal quietly with situations they prefer not to mention.


This offering from Frontline Books courtesy of Pen and Sword is a hard backed offering looking at the SAS of the Australian Military. The book is authored by Tony May who has covered the information over 312 pages of a good matt paper. When people think of the SAS they usually instantly think of those serving with the British Army, but as head of the Commonwealth there are SAS units serving with honour for other countries; there used to be a unit in Rhodesia as it was at that time and a space used to be left for them when the troops paraded. This book looking at the Australian unit is long overdue in giving the Australian SAS some well deserved praise.

The contents of this book is presented over 42 chapters which are:

Preface – Blue on Blue

Chapter 01 – Darwin Briefing – Pre-Mobilization

Chapter 02 – Covert Intelligence Operations – Thailand Base

Chapter 03 – Transits to and from Darwin and Sattaship

Chapter 04 – Thailand Base Exposed

Chapter 05 – Chas River Cambodia Mission

Chapter 06 – Pincer Movements on Air, Land and Sea

Chapter 07 – Spider’s Logistic Concerns

Chapter 08 – The Sabotage Raid

Chapter 09 – Link up with US Assets

Chapter 10 – East Cambodia Operations

Chapter 11 – US Soldier Stood on a Mine

Chapter 12 – Doc’s Tale

Chapter 13 – Mindanao Muslim Madness

Chapter 14 – Australian SAS Called Up

Chapter 15 – Black Operation Extraction Planned 

Chapter 16 – When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power, Only then Will there be a Chance of Peace

Chapter 17 – DIO Specialist Team Selection – Desert Shield 

Chapter 18 – Operation – Day Two

Chapter 19 – On Enemy Soil

Chapter 20 - Contact

Chapter 21 – Locating a Scud

Chapter 22 – Operation – Day Ten

Chapter 23 – The Invasion

Chapter 24 – Operation – Day Fifteen

Chapter 25 – Operation – Day Sixteen

Chapter 26 – Timor Sea Fretilin Terrorists

Chapter 27 – Intelligence Gape

Chapter 28 – Darwin Street Demonstrations

Chapter 29 – Mobilization of SAS Soldiers and Aircraft

Chapter 30 – Back Door into Hell - Somalia

Chapter 31 – DIO Contact to Mobilize Mission Resources – 15th September

Chapter 32 – US Forces Debacle in Mogadishu – August to October

Chapter 33 – Civilian Operation – Australian Soil

Chapter 34 – The Plot Thickens

Chapter 35 – Tourist Hotel Arrival and Departure

Chapter 36 – Pete Hijacked by ASIO

Chapter 37 – Breaking and Entering

Chapter 38 – Mobilization of the Action Team

Chapter 39 – The Take Down

Chapter 40 – Mossad and Moles

Chapter 41 - Brute

Chapter 42 – Ransom and Rescue

This release covers an aspect of military operations often hidden from civilians and also the military units of the same country do not really know what is going on. This title takes a look at the operations and through a third party tells you a long story in bite sized chunks; an aspect of the title I really like. The text bounces along at a good pace and attempts to give you an insight into the minds of some of the troopers as there story is told. I have used story deliberately as I have no way to verify the accuracy of the information provided, the author is not a military man and Special Forces are very secretive as they gain powerful enemies easily. With that said it is an enjoyable read that is more akin to a story.

Down sides for me is the number of errors in the written text as regards spelling or completely wrong word that I found tripped me up as I read. Last I checked the countries the author hails from speak English and so I am a little confused as to how these errors crept in. Despite these issues the book is worth the read and due to the presentation style it is an easy read rather than a tome.


Looking over this title I am pleased to see the Australian Military generally and the Australian SAS specifically getting some well earned attention. The presentation style of the title is more like a story than a documentary which helps overcome the spelling mistakes. The length of each chapter also makes for an enjoyable read in what is becoming an increasingly hectic world in that you can sit down for 20 minutes and easily read a chapter.



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