Masters of Mayhem - Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
“Written with great accuracy, detail, enthusiasm, and insight . . . a new perspective on the well-trodden story of the Arab Revolt” (Military History Matters on its Book of the Year, Silver Award–winner).
Striking where the enemy is weakest and melting away into the darkness before he can react. Never confronting a stronger force directly, but using audacity and surprise to confound and demoralize an opponent. Operations driven by good intelligence, area knowledge, mobility, speed, firepower, and detailed planning, and executed by a few specialists with indigenous warriors—this is unconventional warfare.
T. E. Lawrence was one of the earliest practitioners of modern unconventional warfare. His tactics and strategies were used by men like Mao and Giap in their wars of liberation. Both kept Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom close at hand. This book examines the creation of the “Hedgehog” force, looks at the formation of armored car sections and other units, and focuses on the Hejaz Operations Staff, the Allied officers and men who took Lawrence’s idea and prosecuted it against the Ottoman Turkish army, assisting Field Marshal Allenby to achieve victory in 1918.
Stejskal concludes with an examination of how Hedgehog influenced special operations and unconventional warfare, including Field Marshal Wavell, the Long Range Desert Group, and David Stirling’s SAS.
“Makes a convincing case that the roots of modern special operations, particularly effective guerrilla warfare, are to be found in British participation in the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule during WWI.” —Publishers Weekly