In the final episode of SAS: Rogue Warriors, airing on Monday 20 Feb at 9.00pm on BBC-2, Ben Macintyre’s unprecedented exploration of the SAS archives reaches the final years of World War II, and Ben discovers that the leadership of the SAS has passed to an unlikely and temperamental leader – Paddy Mayne.
As Ben uncovers in the SAS secret files, the original founder of the SAS, David Stirling, was captured and locked away in Hitler’s most secure prison: Colditz. Leadership of the SAS was then passed to Paddy Mayne, a man who had built his reputation on the battlefield as a warrior of the first rank – but, unlike Stirling, Mayne had no interest in charming high command.
In 1943 the SAS left the desert for Europe, to enter a darker and far more complex theatre of war – and now led by a man who was often drunk, disorderly and prone to acts of savagery.
Although the original members of the SAS have long since passed away, in 1987 a handful of them told their story on film – all of them giving their first-hand account of the unit’s most notorious and unpredictable fighter, Paddy Mayne.
Through these interviews, memoirs and logs, Ben will discover how the SAS faced the terror of execution and the trauma of civilian casualties. And in an extraordinary and harrowing tale, they will be the first to witness the nightmare of Belsen concentration camp.
SAS: Rogue Warriors Episode 3 (of 3) airs on Monday 20 February 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two