Thread: Stirling
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
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Arrow Stirling

Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling, DSO, OBE (15 November 1915 – 4 November 1990) was a Scottish laird, mountaineer, World War II British Army officer, and the founder of the Special Air Service..Stirling was commissioned into the Scots Guards from Ampleforth College Contingent Officer Training Corps on 24 July 1937.. In June 1940 he volunteered for the new No. 8 Commando under Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Laycock which became part of Force Z (later named "Layforce"). After Layforce (and No.8 Commando) were disbanded on 1st August 1941, Stirling remained convinced that due to the mechanised nature of war a small team of highly trained soldiers with the advantage of surprise could exact greater damage to the enemy's ability to fight than an entire platoon..

After a brief period of training, an initial attempt at attacking a German airfield by parachute landing in support of Operation Crusader was disastrous. 42 of his 61 officers and men were killed, wounded or captured far from the target after being blown off course or landing in the wrong area, during one of the biggest storms for thirty years. Escaping only with the help of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) who were designated to pick up the unit after the attack, Stirling agreed that approaching by land under the cover of night would be safer and more effective than parachuting. As quickly as possible he organised raids on ports using this simple method, often bluffing through check posts at night using the language skills of some of his soldiers..

In North Africa, in the 15 months before Stirling's capture, the SAS had destroyed over 250 aircraft on the ground, dozens of supply dumps, wrecked railways and telecommunications, and had put hundreds of enemy vehicles out of action. Montgomery of Alamein described Stirling as 'mad, quite mad' but admitted that men like Stirling were needed in time of war...Stirling was the founder of the Capricorn Africa Society - a society for promoting an Africa free from racial discrimination. Founded in 1949, while Africa was still under colonial rule, it had its high point at the 1956 Salima Conference.. However, because of his emphasis on a qualified and highly elitist voting franchise, Africans opposed it.. Conversely white settlers believed it to be too liberal..During the mid to late 1970s David Stirling created a secret organisation designed to undermine trade unionism from within..According to John Aspinal, Stirling had the reputation of having personally strangled 41 men...

Stirling was born at his family's ancestral home, Keir House in the parish of Lecropt, Perthshire.. He was the son of Brigadier General Archibald Stirling, of Keir, and Margaret Fraser, daughter of Simon Fraser, the Lord Lovat, (a descendant of Charles II, King of Scots).. His cousin was Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, and his grandparents were Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, 9th Baronet and Lady Anna Maria Leslie-Melville.. He was educated at Ampleforth College and Trinity College, Cambridge.. A tall and athletic figure (he was 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall), he was training to climb Mount Everest when World War II broke out.. Raised in the Roman Catholic faith of his mother, he attended the Benedictine Ampleforth College..During the social troubles of mid-1970s Great Britain, David Stirling became increasingly worried that an "undemocratic event" would occur and decided to take action. He created an organisation called Great Britain 75 and recruited members from the Aristo-cratic clubs in Mayfair; mainly Ex-military men .. The plan was simple.. Should civil unrest result in the breakdown of normal Government operations, they would take over its running.. He describes this in detail in an interview from 1974, part of which is present in Adam Curtis's documentary "The Mayfair Set", episode 1 - Who Pays Wins...Stirling was the founder of private military company KAS International..He was knighted in 1990, and died later that year aged 74..In 2002 the SAS memorial, a statue of Stirling standing on a rock, was opened on the Hill of Row near his family's estate at Park of Keir...
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