Fighting with the Long Range Desert Group

Merlyn Craw MM's War 1940–1945

Brendan O'Carroll

Formed in 1940 the Long Range Desert Group was the first Allied Special Forces unit established to operate behind German and Italian lines in North Africa.
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
150 Mono pics integrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781399084277
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9.6 X 6.7 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$49.95

Overview
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Formed in 1940 the Long Range Desert Group was the first Allied Special Forces unit established to operate behind German and Italian lines in North Africa. Its officers and men were volunteers recruited from British and Commonwealth units. Merlyn Craw was serving with the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force when he joined the LRDG in 1941. He took part in numerous missions in the desert. The navigational driving and fighting skills of the LRDG were legendary and they were frequently responsible for transporting Stirling’s SAS detachments on raids.

Merlyn’s luck ran out when he was captured on the Barce raid in September 1942, but he escaped twice, the second time making it back to Allied lines. Sent home on leave, he returned to Italy with the New Zealand Army. After a ‘disagreement’ he went AWOL and rejoined the LRDG with no questions asked, serving until the end of the war.

Drawing on interviews with Merlyn and other former LRDG veterans, the author has created a vivid picture of this exceptional and highly decorated fighting man. Readers cannot fail to be impressed by the courage and ruthless determination of Merlyn Craw MM and his comrades.

About The Author
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International star of multiple BAFTA-award-winning TV series Mrs Brown's Boys and Mrs Brown's Boys: d'Movie, Brendan O’Carroll's story begins very modestly.

The youngest of eleven children, Brendan O’Carroll was born in Dublin’s inner-city in 1955. His mother, Maureen, was a Labour TD (MP) and a huge influence on his life. He left school at 12 and worked as a waiter, trying many other occupations in his spare time - disco manager, milkman, pirate radio disc-jockey, painter-decorator etc.

For a time he ran his own bar and cabaret lounge before being persuaded to try the comedy circuit. The gigs were small at first and even included his own version of ‘Blind Date’, but word soon got around about this original and outrageous funnyman: soon there was standing-room only.

The real turning point in Brendan’s career was his first appearance on The Late Late Show, Ireland’s longest-running chat show: the studio audience and viewers loved him. His first video Live at the Tivoli went straight to No 1, knocking U2 out of the top slot and pushing Garth Brooks to No 3. In 1994 he was voted Ireland’s No 1 Variety Entertainer at the National Entertainment Awards.

He went on to make best-selling videos, and a bestselling record, as well as touring in Ireland, the UK and the USA.

The radio show Mrs Browne’s Boys, written by and starring Brendan, had a phenomenal daily audience on 2FM and led to the creation of Agnes Browne as the central character in Brendan’s first novel, The Mammy, published in 1994. The book topped the bestseller charts in Ireland for months and the film rights were snapped up.

The Mammy was followed by The Chisellers and The Granny: all three were huge bestsellers. Holywood came calling when Anjelica Huston read and loved Brendan's books: she made her directorial debut with Agnes Browne.

Brendan toured several other stage shows with Agnes Browne as the central character, before a BBC producer saw the show and felt there was television potential. Initially broadcast in a quiet late evening slot, Mrs Brown's Boys quickly became a huge word-of-mouth hit, and quickly moved to primetime, including several Christmas Day specials. A huge success in Australia and other countries where it has been shown, the enduring appeal of Agnes and her family is secure.

Brendan continues to write and perform as Agnes Browne, most recently in Mrs Brown's Boys: d'Movie (2014)

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