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On the night of 5/6 June 1944, D-Day, a Lockheed Hudson dropped a small group of parachutists into the mountainous Morvan area of central France. Their mission was to operate as an advance reconnaissance party 400 miles behind the German lines and to make contact with the French Resistance.
One of the team, later to become its commander, was Ian Wellsted, known by his nom-de-guerrre of Gremlin. During the next three months No.1 Troop of the 1st Special Air Service Regiment relayed vital information about enemy troop locations and movements, sabotaged bridges and supply lines, skirmished with German columns and harried the occupying forces as they retreated eastwards in the face of the Allied invasion.
Camped deep in the woods of the Montsaughe region, the small force worked alongside the local groups of Maquis, forging strong links of mutual respect and friendship.
Ian Wellsted’s exciting first-hand account of his operations behind enemy lines is a tale of gallantry and daring, of comradeship and cooperation, full of humour and perceptive insight – revealing one of the most significant chapters in the history of the SAS.
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