#BookReview: The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS by Vincent Brugeas & Thomas Legrain

Historical Graphic Novel

The Regiment #1

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1941. Almost all of Europe is under the Nazis' heel. Great Britain continues to hold out, but the situation worsens with every passing day. And in North Africa, gateway to the Middle East and its immense oil reserves, Rommel now threatens Egypt, keystone of the British defenses. In those desperate times, three men (David Stirling, Blair Mayne and "Jock" Lewes), three unconventional officers, band together to create a small, elite unit that will become a military legend: the SAS.

Unlike most graphic novels, I picked up The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS by Vincent Brugeas and Thomas Legrain for its subject matter. As far as war-based fiction is concerned, North Africa has not received the same attention as central Europe and I was eager to wander off the beaten path and explore less trodden territory.

The tone of the narrative is complex both politically and interpersonally. Brugeas’ characterizations of Robert ‘Paddy’ Blair Mayne, John ‘Jock’ Steel Lewes, and David Archibald Stirling each boast a depth I’m unaccustomed to seeing in this genre and I found the effort put forth by the author on this front quite refreshing.

The story is primarily focused on the founding of the SAS (Special Air Service), a commando force that was conceived to operate behind enemy lines in the North African Campaign, but footnotes in the narrative illustrate the experiences of those who fight on the front lines in a unique and compelling way.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: January 13, 2019

“It might seem excessive, celebrating out small success in such a way… but after all, we didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, so… carpe diem.”