tv Rogue Heroes CSPAN September 3, 2017 8:05am-8:50am EDT
and hillary had been 60 years since there had been a white male secretary of state. we were saying you know i don't know there's going to be a little affirmative action here and see what happens. it was great and it's a nice little club, the secretaries of state. george shultz who is 97 years old. [applause] and is one of my great mentors. i will tell you a little story. he had a birthday party purge henry kissinger who turned 94 and the two of them did 20 minutes walk round the world, no notes. i don't know perthshire hoping there was something in the water at the state department. >> as i remember george shultz said something, to be 94 again.
>> from his point of view church house was still a. >> when you look back in your career which was extraordinary but would you say you are most proud of having done? >> with the caveat that history takes a long time to judge i think i'm most grateful that we stood up for their right for people to -- i know there were a lot of criticism and a lot of it is probably justified about freedom agenda and declaring one of america's most important services was to work hard so that no one would live in tyranny. i think america is at its best and its highest calling when it leads both from power and principle. we stand for the proposition that the right to be enjoyed are
indeed universal and if they are universal that there are no people for whom they shouldn't he will secured. i'm very grateful that we were able to do that. i'm grateful that some of my travels was when it was ice about people in a couple of things stick out as an individual. i went to china and a little boy walked up to me and said you are that lady from the united states, argue plex nice said yeah i am and then people asked me what was it like to be a woman representative the united states in the middle east and one story sticks to my mind there. i had a very difficult meeting with shiite clerics who couldn't touch me because i was a woman outside of the family. at the end of the meeting, a very difficult meeting he said will you do me a favor?
it was translated and he said will you do me a favor to ask okay really, but sure. my 13-year-old granddaughter watches you on television and she loves you and she and her mother are coming. would you meet them? this little 13-year-old girl comes in and up t-shirt and she walks up to me and said i want to be a foreign minister to. i thought there was something in that moment. that conservative grandfather beamed when he thought about this little girl. this progress to democracy through justice and equality, it's a long long road. people have traveled that road for a long time. america has traveled that for a very long time and we are still working at it. the thing i am most grateful for
is that even with their own troubles here in the united states we stood for the proposition that every man woman and child to live in freedom. >> do want to have a recommend to everybody here this book which i enjoyed, "democracy." [applause] will i want to thank you for your service to our country for all the years. >> it was an honor. thank you. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> host: this has booktv on c-span2, live coverage of the live coverage of the 2017es national book festival. condoleezza rice being interviewed by one of the major sponsors of the festival, david rubenstein. over the history and biography room, ben macintyre is just started his talk. we will bring that to you now live in progress. it's about -- >> special forces during world war ii, "rogue heroes" is the name of the book. and then effectively run away into the desert. it sounds like a simple idea and, indeed, it was but in many ways it was completely revolutionary because many of the middle ranking officers at that point had a static idea of how war is formed. this came from the first world war, the idea that was too large armies when meat and a large space fight it out to of them wins. what started was recommending was completed different and vere revolutionary. amazingly it got permission to start recruiting and he set
about doing this in a very particular way. he was looking for people who were unconventional. it was looking for people who didn't really stick by the rulea and he got them. one of his earliest recruits was a man called patty who is in northern irishman with an explosive temper and a series drink problem. and a capacity for raw and frequently unconstrained violence. he probably destroyed more planes than anybody else during the second world war, anyth fighter pilot on either side but he blew them up all entirely on the ground. another cubicle was a man called chuck lewis was an oxford educated intellectual reallya with sort of matinee looks but is also very a clever man. r man. he invented a particular kind of bomb which was a lewis bomb which a disabled rustic handheld timebomb. i particularly love this painting because it shows you
his training and his racecourse in britain which is one of the big race courses in britain. you can actually see the horses coming up behind them. he looks as if he's about to start were mowing down their riders with the 350. i'm another man who was a foulmouthed one i'd boxer from cambridge who had a gift for killing really. he was able to do so without remorse. he described himself as a rough and tough so-and-so. most people thought he was a complete maniac but he was the sort of person you wanted on your side in a war like this. his closest friend was a man named johnnie cooper. cooper was actually 17. he was too young to join the sas. he lied about his age to get in and hear of it typical photographs. there are lots of photographs in
this sas photograph and lots of photographs in the book. one of the things sas was good at was taking photographs of themselves. they knew that they were going to become extremely famous after the worst of it might as well he was an extraordinary man. he thought -- fought through every single one of the campaigns that take place at the sas during the second world war. he had the broad grin across his face on every single photograph. you see them here again a most unlikely candidate to lead what would become a famously fit fighting force. he was tall, stooped and he had a bad back. he had conjunctivitis. he was very unfit. he drank too much, he smoked all the time and yet he had one particular account which was he had a real gift for identifying the character that he wanted. in a way was like a dirty dozen
operation picking up people that he thought would fit the bill. he said i didn't want psychopaths. he got a few psychopaths but he wanted people who were unconventional who were able to think laterally but who could also be when necessary completely ruthless. he began treating them in egypt. they were trained in unarmed combat in long-term desert survival techniques and in particular in parachuting. sterling believed there is a way to train for parachuting. if you jump out of the back of a speeding truck at 40 miles an hour. this is actually not a good way to train for parachuting because you are going horizontally and not radically. but it's a very good way to break your legs which quite a number of trainees in fact did. this was very tough -- tough training and the two died while training for the first operation
which was called operation squatter. take place in november 1941. it involves 55 per shooters in the idea was very simple. they would parachute in the desert and then sneak up behind the aligned airfields classed as many as they could and then escape. it was an unmitigated catastrophe. these parachuter jumped into what was the worst storm in the area in 30 years. most of them landed miles off target. many became completely disoriented and got lost in the desert at night. some were actually scraped to death on the desert floor because they couldn't unclip their parachutes and a couple were so badly wounded by the fall that they literally had to be abandoned and died alone in the desert. of the 55 per shooters that went
in on operation squatter, 23 came back. they straggled back to rendezvous in the desert with a long-range desert group. these were the desert reconnaissance intelligence unit whose target was try for five and a file to be in desert and spy on the troops were moving along the coastal road. they were brilliant navigators. they had incredible techniques for getting across the desert and they were the ones who took the survivors of the sas back out again. instead of this leading to the immediate disbanding of this operation and sterling interestingly never reported on were quite what a disaster it can predict who read his report on operation squatter. teaches that it didn't go terribly well and we are getting on with the next one.
lap no but as a result of that will he hit on a simple idea which is it that color dp these born in jeep troops could get into the desert they could bring their man in the first place and that would obviously obviate the need to jump out of planes in parachutes in the middle of the night. a quite glaringly obvious solution to a quite simple problem had not occurred to anyone before. it's one of the great mysteries of the sas story. but it was a real turning point for the sas because it made them highly mobile and they began with the sas and lrdt to carry out lightning race. they threw out hundreds of them and escape back into the desert. if it's one thing i learned in writing this book it requires a particular cast of minds and sometimes that cast of mind has
to be particular in ertel. they mentioned at the beginning one handwritten document i found in the archives that is actually very chilling. an assault was made on an airport hamate and it goes roughly like this. they go to the airfield and they'd notice sneaking off and when they were spotted in the corner the airfield a light coming from and at the door and they realized the party was taking place and time -- inside. science and the germans were having a ball inside. this is previously the main description of what happens next i open the door and stood there with my 45 theaters at my side with a tommy gun and another automatic. the germans just stared at us. we were a peculiar and frightening sight. and with unkempt hair. what seemed like an age we stood
there and looked at each other in complete silence and then i said good evening. at that again german arose to move slowly backwards and i shot him. it turned hired at another some 6 feet away. the room by now it's in pandemonium and then they parodied the door. they will then hand grenades and barricades. at least 30 people were killed that night in even what will sterling was shot by what he called the callous execution in cold blood. patty mains was really in some ways a trained killer. alongside people there were others no less brave at the very different kind of model and one of my favorite in the story frazier mccluskey who called himself the parachute padre. he was the first chaplain of the sas me to partake in all of the toughest assignments they were on. he never carried a gun and he
had an astonishing moral force that had a great impact on the regiment. life expectancy in the early sas was extremely short because having partaking in these they would then have to escape and any surviving planes from the airfields would then go hunting for the sas in this appalling game of cat and mouse would take place in the desert. will lewis who was attacked with his convoy on christmas eve in 1941, he was hit by a shell which blew his leg off and he bled to death. he is buried somewhere in the western desert. no one has ever found his remains. the men of the detachment they called themselves elves attachment sas. al stood for learner. al detachment were very mindful of their own drama. the left, dressed into
considerable extent at the perth swashbuckling desert warriors and they took the cue from the first world war from lawrence of arabia and his very romantic take on war. everyone wore beards like this. with the cover i've always thought shows six who are just about to go into battle and i always thought it looked exactly like a rock band preparing to go on stage. they knew exactly the impact they were happening because theirs was not just a military effect, they were on strict orders never to post about their exploits but they really never needed to because others posted for them to. the exploits of the sas quickly became the stuff of myth and legend. they inflicted huge damage on axis airpower. they tied up with thousands of enemy soldiers defending
airfields who otherwise would have been deployed on the frontline. in his diary he wrote that the sas inflicted server -- sevier have a pretty sad the men cause more damage to it than any other unit. there were people who understood the importance of military drama better than winston churchill and you see him here with his son randolph who have figured who is almost completely lost to history but who plays a very important part in the sas story. randolph was the most unlike the soldier. he's extremely overweight and sterling job it was hard to push them through the hole in the aircraft trying to get them to actually parasitic -- parachute. randolph was a journalist and who like many journalists he had a pretty vivid imagination. sterling.if feca get randall involved and the sas will
project that randolph would tell his father and that would ensure the future of the sas because it was really in trouble. he invited randall to take part in one of the least successful operations not just of the north african campaign but the entire war and it was called operation operation -- the plan is very simple. thurling decided he would convert to a german vehicle and you see it here they called it the blitz buggy and the idea they would try than to the occupied benghazi which was seething with italian and german troops. they would then go down to the dock. they would inflate some inflatable kayaks and paddle out on shipping that was a morgue in the dark implement up and sink all the ships there in bloc benghazi and prevent any other shipping in supplies from coming in. it is a very simple idea. here you see them about to set off in the blitz buggy.
a key figure who had to be brought along for this was a man called victoria mclean. fitzroy could speak italian and a guard post around benghazi were manned by italians. he could speak italian but it was only sort of italian because he had learned italian who starting with will asap hard. italian he spoke with was a 15th century italian. as they approached the first italian checkpoint fitzroy will will spoke in what must have sounded like dante will open yonder so i and my companions enter and the italians were so astonished that he just drove then. they drove ahead in the dark and most of the kayaks were punctured so none could be use of a called off the operation. there were four of them in this operation.
as they were marching out they realized instead of for they had become six because two italian soldiers obviously thinking some weird military parade was taking place in the middle of the night had joined the back of the line so i think this was the only time in the war will. access soldiers marched together in perfect harmony. as they left fitzroy was completely high on the turtle and at this point calling out the italian guard and addressing them and bizarre italian saying what you've done here is incredibly dangerous. there could be british saboteurs all over the place, you are fired. the operational support failure and had no impact whatever but as planned will randolph did indeed write it off in a series of wonderfully vivid letters that he sent to his father in that ensured the future of the sas. churchill was very taken by this
warfare. he loves swashbuckling and as soon after this he was in a dinner party in cairo when he met sterling ends thurling will the very next day and again from the archives churchill said tell me what they sas is about the sterling replied with a blueprint for what special forces could he. was really a power grab. said put me david sterling in charge of it the way you seen this document really is kind of the print for a walk all with special forces ' became. ensured that the sas future was safe. i very quickly want to tell you, the sas by this point have developed techniques of desert survival that meant they could hang out in the desert for long.
in these desert in camp months. let me tell you a quick story about what represents a preview. silatolu was with his unit trying to -- in 1942 when he was separated from his unit and realized he was completely alone in the desert. he could either surrendered to the germans or he could try to walk back 130 miles across the desert to try and rejoin the union in the desert. chose the latter course but he had no water. he had ever sat to go with though. on the second day he began to drink his own which became deadly more concentrated as a trip to the desert and on the third day his feet twister and crafts. on the fourth day his tongues while the. on the fifth day he began to hallucinate and on the sixth day he saw in the distance eight convoy of jeeps and he took off
his shirt and set fire to it in an effort to try to attract their attention. they drove away across the horizon and disappeared. he trudged on. he covered 130 miles and finally will got to the desert in canton. sterling believed a week after this sila to have completely recovered which i think was not true actually. i think he never fully recovered from it. the second battle of alamein will be see general montgomery here. he was the commander of the eighth army, was a turning point for the army. montgomery was very skeptical about sterling's operation. he said the boy sterling is mad, quite, quite mad but in war there is always a place for mad people. they began to lose a lot of men. the reason i found in the
archives will, the sas would was implicated by a man named theodore scourge who was an italian who had been recruited by an italian. the reason they sas loss of many bandwidth because a lot of their positions were betrayed by theodore scourge who was captured and tried them is the only british soldier to be tried and executed for treason in the course of the war. with the end of the war in the desert the focus redeployed to europe. the sas was deeply involved in retaking italy in the fight for afcap -- occupied france but they were now under the command command -- no longer the command of david sterling. david sterling was in the operation of the desert were trying and failing to escape from prisoners of war camps. the unit now came under the
command of patty mayne. hitler by this point passed something called the commander order. the commander order was a direct response to what the sas had doing and it effectively called for all captured sas personnel to be executed immediately and without trial. dozens, scores of sas murder 20 20 -- soldiers were to be murdered and in the final phase of the war the sas was vastly expanded. played a vital role in d-day parachuted behind the lines and really trying to prevent the south moving north to reinforce what the bridgehead. sas troops were among the first to enter bergen-belsen concentration camp a scene of unbelievable horror. there was an extraordinary
moment and as you may remember i mentioned red seeking the one i'd boxer. he decided to take it into his own hands and decided to beat up an sas officer. he was stopped by his commanding officer. he said they must all be put on trial and there's an interesting moment is the sas executed every one of those ss soldiers but instead they decided they should be put on trial. it's a little spark of humanity in what was otherwise an unbelievably brutal war. the unit now came under the command of paddy mayne. the war ended a different kind of face because heace because hy this point past something called the command order. the command order was a direct response to what the sas had beoicaptured sas personnel to be executed immediately and without trial. dozens, scores of sas soldiers were simply murdered by the sas. in the final phase of the will of the sas vastly expanded. it played a vital role in the day parachuting behind the lines and really trying to prevent that panzer divisions in the south moving north to reinforce the normandy bridgehead. sas troops were among the first to enter the concentration camp. athena unbelievable horror greeted them. there was an extraordinary moment. the sas idea that sterlie up with that in 1941 the
principles of what special forces operate today and they are as important today as they have ever been argued the more important today than they have ever been. i mentioned the other day the u.s. defense secretary said all special forces operate in syria we want them never to know who's coming through the window next and that's a very similar description to the way that sterling approached this war. to finish many things came to me while writing this book but above all we have 19 of the second world war that is written often in black and white. there are heroes and villains in good people and bad people. there was a right-sided pian and a wrong side to be on. i'd become increasingly convinced and writing in this area that it was really peaked in shades of gray. good people do bad things by mistake or not by mistake.
patty mayne was not a bad man but he was a killer and there are heroes on the other side too. i wrestled with euros because i wasn't sure, some of these men were incredibly heroic. war itself is not heroic. nobody really comes out of this will story glorified but yet it raises the question and i hope all good history raises which is what would you do? there's one final story will tell you about about a man who parachuted into occupied france at the end of the war. he landed with the other companions. the other three were brutally executed. the other three were killed immediately but he survived and he told this incredible story of the war of personal survivor and how he been captured and escaped it was an amazing story. the problem with the story is i don't think it was true if the
truth is and this became clear in the trials afterward the people that captured him it's clear that he agreed will work with the germans. it's not clear how much he did but he may have given the locations of parachute landing drops. when i read this account i was horrified and i thought i should really condemn this man but i couldn't bring myself to do that because i am not at all sure that i wouldn't have done the same thing in that circumstance if given the choice between being shot on sight and being a buried in a shallow grave i might also have saved my skin by feeding information. i don't know if i would have done the same thing but i knew do know i would not -- volunteered to parachute into occupied france in the first place. the question and this is what would you do?
thank you very much. [applause] was thank you. [applause] we certainly have some time for questions. what time did we wind up? to please ask any question about this or any subject that i can help it. >> thank you very much and i love all of your work. i have two questions one about "rogue heroes." he said you brought that so alive. will did they actually think that they were going to be as accepted by the archaic reminded british mid-military as they were with? he did a great job with that and operation misty did you have access to the same kinds of archival materials as a more secret undertaking? >> the answer to the first question is no they did not
expect to be accepted in sterling was in constant battle with the higher brass. he referred to the mid-levels of british military bureaucracy as layer upon layer of -- sometimes in writing so they knew exactly what he was talking about. so no they didn't expect to survive and it was really amazing that they did and they did so by sterling essentially got away with it. he wasn't the only private man r running a semi private army. upon operation mincemeat which preceded the sicilian invasion which was a bizarre and rather wonderful story of using a dead body to try to ferry effectively the high command. i was incredibly lucky with that when because mi-5 happened to release the archives with an mi-5 operation. mi-5 is the equivalent of the
fbi, the internal security organization but they were running the operation. mi-6 never released its files.ld they do me proud. thank you. yes, sir. >> you said sterling spent the rest of the war trying to escape. what happened after the war? >> is after war story come a lot of the soldiers he's never a sae one in lots of ways. many of these men were people who thrived in war but really suffered in peace.ing sterling never really found a point to his life after the war. it had been so exciting. he had been so young. he achieved so much that really the sas was disbanded after the war and then reform again a yer later but by that point sterling was long out of the army. many of them lived very sad after lives. they never quite adjusted to peace time condition. and paddy mayne was another one. he died incredibly young. he took to the drink and drove
his car into a lamppost. i was never sure if he did that intentionally or not. we'll it's often true of people who see vivid action of this sort were never quite the same again. >> you mentioned the cardboard boxes full of archival material that you worked with andy up probably ordered tons and tons of material afterward. how much background did you feel yourself having to do and when did you finally say okay enough. >> i love the question. the answer is they never get enough to where there's quite enough. the deadline was crunching up behind me and every list i had to stop. i had huge help from the sas. they were wonderfully cooperative. i thought there might be elements of stories that they would want to take out that the only thing they wanted to take out was a graphic description of the death of one soldier and they wanted to take that out
because it was going to upset the family and i can completely understand that. people could not have been written without the active presentation of the sas. they made it happen. whether they will allow me to do a sequel i strongly doubt because after 1945 with its murky territory. i'm afraid we only have time for one more question. >> mr. mcintyre how important we have especially should ship between the united states and great britain is for world security to date? >> that's a question of giving more than than two minutes on. sadly vital. it's still the strongest and most important of the relationships particularly in an era which signals intelligence which is so important during the second world war. sadly vital and the relationship between gchq which is our equivalent of britain is absolutely vital.
i would argue it's probably never been more special will. that is true of intelligence generally. we imagine don't way that somehow war has moved on but actually human intelligence are up to lead the core of all of our freedoms will and have been for very long time. ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaud [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] and booktv's live coverage of the 2017 national book festival continues. that was ben macintyre talking about his book rogue years. coming up in about ten minutes john farrell talking about his most recent book "richard nixon
the life." we have about ten minutes between these two authors andd want to hear what you reading. 2027488200 for those of you in the eastern and central timezones (202)748-8201 and if you live in the mountain and pacific timezones. some of the comments we have got on facebook on what people are reading robert hunter writes in and says he is reading out rouseff's shakespeare demand and martin is reading young radicals by jeremy carter and booktv has covered that both, young radicals. will let's hear what from kathleen in plymouth, michigan. kathleen good evening to you. what he reading? >> caller: i'm reading robert robert -- my favorite poets and i don't know how familiar your audience is with him but one of
the most poignant poems is the march of the dead. robert was from england and is a great writer. he writes, actually it's the army that is tidings coming back during the celebration but they are the ones that are parading through the streets. it's absolutely wonderful. anybody who has read him should read him because he's marvelous. >> host: what is the secret to writing poetry? >> caller: oh dear. i think it's the words and understanding what you are reading. >> host: all right thank you for calling and kathleen of plymouth michigan. villas in baltimore. hi bill. >> caller: hi how are you doing? i love booktv. i'm always disappointed that i've never seen paul turow on your television show. he has always been one of my favorite authors but i've recently stumbled across a
british author who has written four books in the last one that i read this was -- the history of the. he is an author with up there with paul theroux will. i would like to see him on your show. plus the bill, thank you for the suggestion and thank you for calling it a couple more facebook comments that we have gotten. mark houlihan post he is reading sol of landscape's rules for radicals and dave lamb is reading behave by robert sapolsky and booktv has covered d hey as well pre-coming up next is running in washington d.c.. the deep irani. >> caller: hi how are you. love booktv and love you.
the only reason i'm not there is because of a medical procedure. the first year that i have missed and i so, so much appreciate mccaul is comments on the statues and regarding slavery. i'm reading a couple of things that i generally read two or three things at one time. stand from the beginning which you already know about. >> host: won the national book award last year. >> his sister the racist ideas of america. it wasn't quite what i thought it was from the title initially but indeed it is well worth reading and it's a way forward. more importantly i want to talk about the free or die kate ladd very's. she was a researcher for "national geographic" but it's about the amazing story of rob smoltz who escaped from slavery in buford and charleston, south
carolina will and they turned it over to the union army. he is really an american. he's not just a hero of the south. that's the thing that i would really like to see go forward because there should be a magnificent statue of robert smalls inside of carolina and elsewhere to because he is an american hero. >> host: dgc cate lineberry and booktv? we covered that book as well. >> caller: of course i did. i never miss booktv if i can help it but it's a wonderful wonderful read and other people have written a bit here and there about robert smalls but she did a very personal perspective and did a lot of research and oral history and actually talked at length and
met with some of his descendents and pointed to an enormous history and portfolio of her ancestors. >> host: thanks for calling in and thank you for watching tv. we will have to sit you down here next year. in a twitter the choice of books for this person is rules for revolutionaries the illustrated life story of the dalai lama and giant of the senate by al franken, senator al franken which is also being read by a jim rowan to post that on our facebook page. the next call comes from steve at in stanford virginia. hi steve. >> caller: good evening sir and i'm just about finished with my most recent nonfiction book by mark bauden who authored
black down. i will tell you will i have learned a few things from this book p12 battle was going on i was in caisson and unfortunately gerald westmoreland focused according to this book on our situation and not way city will do my gratitude i might point out what. what i found it was interesting was i had known at least eight officers who were recognized in the book of which five were awarded the navy cross which was the second highest award for valor in combat and i would highly recommend this book to anybody that would be interested in reading it. post a thank you calling in steven with your family from james in bryant texas. james you are on booktv. >> caller: yes, thank you. i'm reading she crossed the
seven rivers of poco with that is interesting to me because i do have indian heritage and the concerns the main character and her assimilation into white society and how everything affected her or her travels from tippecanoe on the wabash and the tippecanoe river to southern ohio. a very interesting book, recommend it highly. >> host: what do you do down in bryant texas and we have hit by harvey at all? >> caller: we were with 24 inches of rain can we survive that without any flooding to the south of us. they are in pretty bad shape. prayers are needed. a couple more facebook economist we want to share. jamie, war of necessity, war of
choice by richard haass was of course head of the council on foreign relations. former bush administration comes state department official. and lucille is reading two books that we cover today here at the national book festival.ad "hillbilly elegy" and justllbill finished up david mccullough, the american spirit. both authors are usada and by the way we will repair this entire day beginning at midnight which is 9 p.m. at on the west coast. it's all repairing plus sinces it's a three to hold a we can bookpeople be on three days. we will repair entire festival 8:30 a.m. on monday labor day. that's what's coming up. we've got one more author speaking tonight so we'll go back up into the history and biography room here at the convention center and this is going to be john aloysius farrell talking about richard nixon, the life.