Secret and Special: The Untold Story of Z Special Unit in the Second World War
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 408 pages
Author: W. Davies
Other: b&w photos, maps, index
The untold story of Z Special Unit and Operations, the precursor to the elite SAS, and the extraordinary feats they undertook in the Pacific during the Second World War.
In March 1942, Australia had never been so vulnerable. In the previous three months, the Japanese had devastated Pearl Harbor and breached the once-impregnable defences of Singapore. Now Darwin had come under attack.
In Europe, the Allies had experienced success with a secret fighting force known and SOE (Secret Operation Executive). Prime Minister John Curtin believed that a similar underground organisation might help turn the tide in the Pacific. So was born the Special Reconnaissance Department - as it came to be known - and its frequently lethal Z Special Unit.
After training secretly in locations around Australia, the operatives were set loose on an array of perilous assignments far behind Japanaese lines. Between 1943 and 1945, they tackled - and often terrorised - the Japanese with daring raids throughout South-East Asia.
Their heroism and ingenuity was typified by Operation Jaywick in which half-a-dozen Allied operatives in fragile double kayaks conducted a deadly, explosive attach on Singapore Harbour. But things could also go horribly wrong. In the ill-fated Operation Rimu, a combination of negligence and sheer misfortune led, tragically to the death of all 23 men involved.
For decades, the highly secretive nature of the Z Special Unit has seen its brave men denied their due respect and recognition, their feats buried in the darkness of long-classified documents. In 'Secret and Special' Will Davies finally brings their story out into the light.
1. Return to War
2. 'Now Set Euope Ablaze'
3. A Fourth Fighting Force
4. 'We're Going to Singapore'
5. The Early Days: Operations in Timor
6. The Great Tragedy of Lagarto
7. The Insect and Fish Operations: Papua New Guinea
8. Increasing the Pressure and Pushing West
9. The Ill-Fated Operation Copper
10. The Bite of the Sand-fly: The Agas Operations
11. The Bite of the Ant: The Semut Operations
12. The Secret War in the Spice Islands
13. In Support of Oboe II: Balikpapan
14. The Rescue of the Sultan
15. The Audacious Disaster of Rimau
16. The Last Raids
17. War's End