The Long Range Desert Group was the ‘Finest of All Units’ to Serve in North Africa

Photo Credit: Unknown Author / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain (Brightness Increased)

Influence on special operations

Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) memorial at Papakura Military Camp, New Zealand
Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) memorial at Papakura Military Camp, New Zealand. (Photo Credit: Graham Bould / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

The members of the Long Range Desert Group made a request to the War Office for a transfer to the far east, where they could fight against the Japanese. This was declined, and the group was officially disbanded in August 1945.

The lessons learned and the way they operated continue to provide value to the way modern special operatives fight. The men who fought with the LRDG took what they learned back to their own countries, influencing the creation of the Australian Special Air Service and the New Zealand Air Service. In Britain, the desert combat and survival skills were passed onto future generations of special operatives.

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The LRDG is often credited with being the first Western special operations team, the one from which the rest learned. The skill demonstrated by its members during the war was certainly impressive, with the founder of the SAS saying, “In my view, the LRDG was the finest of all units serving in the desert.”

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.