In this tense and dramatic episode of Travels Through Time, the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author Damien Lewis takes us back to the scenes of two such missions. They were undertaken by SABU-70, a twelve-man, elite unit of the SAS. As Lewis explains, these operations were uncertain and fraught with danger. In Britain there was already good evidence that the Nazis were not abiding by the established conventions of war, and that they were ready to execute covert operatives if they were caught.
This intelligence did not impact the British strategy. Ever since Dunkirk and the evacuations of 1940, Winston Churchill had pioneered the use of special forces. Central to this was the newly-founded Special Air Service (SAS). This unit was established in 1941 and by 1943 it was under the command of the imposing, former rugby international, Robert Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne.