In America November 11th is Veterans Day, for the living. But in the Commonwealth Nations, November 11th is Remembrance Day, for the Fallen . . . S.L.
Band of Brothers: Remembering Fallen Soldiers of the SAS
In the season of Remembrance, the SAS have their own traditions. An astounding record of the SAS Regiment’s operations is published . . .
by Neil Tweedie, The Telegraph 6 Nov 2013
A simple wooden sign propped up at the base of a tree, easily missed, points the way, down a rutted track plunging deep into the forest above the village of Moussey, in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France. “Stele SAS” it reads – “SAS Memorial.”
The monument sits by a track, isolated from the world by dense, dark ranks of fir. The events of another time linger in this place, the perfect setting for a war crime.
Here, in October 1944, members of the Special Air Service, captured by the Germans during a deep-penetration raid into Occupied France named Operation Loyton, were stripped naked, lined up along a ditch and shot. Since being parachuted into enemy territory, they had fought in uniform against military targets and so should have been accorded the protection of the Geneva Convention when taken as prisoners of war. But Adolf Hitler had decided otherwise. Under his Kommandobefehl – Commando Order – captured special forces troops were to be executed following the extraction of useful intelligence. For the men of the SAS fanning out across France after D-Day to prepare the way for the Allied advance, surrender was – had they only known it – not an option.
A piper’s lament plays as two dozen or so men, some in their eighties, pay their respects. They wear the sand-coloured beret of the regiment, legacy of its birthplace, the Western Desert.
Read the rest of this incredible journey HERE