The War That Never Was
Date of publication: May 2012
For the very first time, The War That Never Was tells the fascinating story of a secret war fought by British mercenaries in the Yemen in the early 1960s. In a covert operation organised over whisky and sodas in the clubs of Chelsea and Mayfair, a group of former SAS officers - led by the irrepressible Colonel Jim Johnson - arranged for a squadron of British mercenaries to travel to the remote mountain regions of the Yemen, to arm, train and lead Yemeni tribesmen in their fight against a 60,000-strong contingent of Egyptian soldiers. It was one of the most uneven running battles ever waged; the Egyptians fielded a huge, professionally-trained army.
The British fought back at the head of a ragtag force of tribal warriors and, ultimately, won. Egypt's President Nasser described the battle in the Yemen as 'my Vietnam'. It's a fascinating, forgotten, and rip-roaringly entertaining pocket of British military history, much in the spirit of Ben MvIntyre's bestselling Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat.