The Raiding Forces Series is a WWII historical fiction military adventure by Phil Ward. The series covers the birth of Special Operations and follows the men and women of Raiding Forces, a small-scale pin-prick Commando as it evolves into a first class fighting unit.
By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium, sliced through France, and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal, a veteran of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment, volunteers to help slow their advance. What unfolds is a blend of military guerrilla tactics, suspense, humor, and brotherly camaraderie—plus a little romance between the American GI and the widowed Lady Jane Seaborn.
Along the way readers meet such colorful characters as the movie star Captain David Niven in MO-9 and Captain “Geronimo Joe” McKoy with his Traveling Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium. The author—a decorated Ranger—covers the details of war extensively, from the five points of contact of a parachute landing fall to descriptions of a British raider’s A-5 flinging Jerries like rag dolls before the first shell casing even hits the floor.
As the novel ends, Major Randal’s men, fresh from Operation Tomcat—the first British parachute raid in France—learn they’ll deploy via sea transport within forty-eight hours on their next mission. The second book, Dead Eagles, tells that tale.
Lieutenant John Randal — a veteran of the US 26th Calvary Regiment, Philippien Scouts now a volunteer serving in the Rangers Territorial Regiment. An expert in guerilla tactics, he is sent to the Kings Royal Rifle Corp in Calais, France assigned to the Green Jacket Brigade, the ‘Spartans’ of the British Expeditionary Force. Escaping France, he is authorized to raise a small-scale commando unit to carry out hit and run raids on the French coast.
Lieutenant Terry ‘Zorro’ Stone — a decorative cavalry officer of the 2nd Life Guards, graduate of Eton,member of the exclusive club Pop, Whites, the Beauford Hunt, youngest son of a Duke and fabled family black sheep with a penchant for fast women. He recruits the polo teams from the Life and Horse Guards for Combined Operations to form Raiding Forces for Lieutenant Randal.
Lady Jane Seaborne — generally described as ‘drop dead gorgeous,’ she is drop dead gorgeous. The fabulously wealthy widow of a Royal Navy destroyer skipper whose ship was sunk off Norway, she is a member of Special Operations Executive commissioned as a Royal Marine lieutenant.
Captain ‘Geronimo’ Joe McKoy — claims to have been a scout for the US Calvary,a veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill and a former Arizona Ranger. Currently he is in England entertaining the troops with his ‘Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium.’