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As Britain was losing the war against Germany in the spring of 1941, one Oxford-educated officer was making his own plans for retaliation.
Lieutenant Jock Lewes armed his men with bombs that he had made himself and taught them to parachute behind enemy lines in the dead of night.
Minefield - Nazi - Explosives - Soldiers - Heat
The 27-year-old guided them through a desert minefield laced with Nazi explosives. And as his soldiers trained in the soaring heat of the Middle East, the champagne-drinking officer made them shoot bullets towards each others' heads to prepare them for the sounds of war.
Such was his innovation that after his death later in 1941, David Stirling – the man known as the founder of the Special Air Service – said that Lewes should in fact receive the credit.
Lewes - Father - Arthur - 'Jock - Lewes
He wrote to Lewes's father Arthur: 'Jock Lewes could far more genuinely claim to be the founder of the SAS than I.'
That letter, dated November 20, 1942, will go on display for the first time next year at an exhibition dedicated to the fighting force at the National Army Museum in London.
Jock - John - Lewes - Reveals - Today
Jock's nephew John Lewes reveals today his uncle's little-told story of the birth of the unit whose exploits became the stuff of legend.
Mr Lewes, who has written A Spy After All, said: 'Prince William said to me, 'Jock Lewes is like the desert's version of [polar explorer] Shackleton'. And in a sense that sums him up well.'
'spring - Embryo - SAS - Months - Inception
He said the 'spring of 1941 is where the embryo of the SAS began', six months before its official inception on September 2.
Jock Lewes, a dashing Welsh Guards officer, had deployed with No 8 Commando to Suez and eventually on to Cairo.
April - Weeks - Germany - Greece - Backdrop
In April, weeks after they arrived, Germany invaded Greece. And it was against this backdrop that Lewes decided to begin his own initiative.
Before the war he had spent...
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One of the countries we liberated was Russia, too bad it seems to have cost us our liberty.