Masters of Mayhem

Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz

James Stejskal

Silver Medal winner in Military History Matters 'Book of the Year' Award

Explores the early use of modern unconventional warfare by T. E. Lawrence behind the lines in North Africa and Arabia during World War I.
Date Published :
August 2018
Publisher :
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005744
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Silver Medal winner in Military History Matters 'Book of the Year' Award
“Written with great accuracy, detail, enthusiasm, and insight…” Military History Matters judges' comment

Striking where the enemy is weakest and melting away into the darkness before he can react. Never confronting a stronger force directly, but willing to use audacity and surprise to confound and demoralize an opponent. Operations driven by good intelligence, area knowledge, mobility, speed, firepower, and detailed planning 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 looks at the creation of the HEDGEHOG force, 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 has influenced special operations and unconventional warfare, including Field Marshal Wavell, the Long Range Desert Group, and David Stirling's SAS

About The Author

James Stejskal, after 35 years of service with US Army Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency, is a uniquely qualified historian and novelist. He is the author of the definitive history: Special Forces Berlin Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956–1990 and Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz. Direct Legacy is his third novel.


“He throws considerable fresh light on the campaign, using both careful research into documents and military archeology, exploring the scenes of many of the actions.”

- The NYMAS Review

“Using Lawrence’s exploits sowing chaos as an example, the author defines unconventional warfare as using audacity and surprise to strike where and when an enemy is weakest, then melt away before foes can react effectively, leaving them confounded and demoralized.”

- Toy Soldier & Model Figure

"I’m pleased to say this new work by James Stejskal offers an interesting and valid take on the campaign for whom Lawrence became such a talisman… There are a great many attractive characters in this story… Mr. Stejskal brings them out into the light and places them firmly in context… the reader benefits from the warmth and understanding he brings to their story… you will not be disappointed with the telling."

- War History Online

Masters of Mayhem is a book that every Rolls-Royce owner and enthusiast should own--not only an important historical work, but a rollicking good read!


"...the book frequently reveals the pragmatic nature of irregular militaries fighting for pay vice nation-representing soldier"

- Armor

"...Mr. Stejskal has penned a great book. His work is extraordinarily detailed and comprehensive in its approach."


"If you truly desire to look at how 'thinking outside the box' worked in a very practical way and led to some of the tactical concepts we hold as gospel today, then reading this gripping book is a must!"

- PMCI Magazine

"...delivers a well-written, exciting report on the campaign from the perspective of the various units involved."

- Studies in Intelligence

"...a detailed and thoughtful book that I can certainly recommend."

- Roads to the Great War

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