Arabian Assignment

SMILEY, David. Arabian Assignment.

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SMILEY, David. Arabian Assignment. London. Leo Cooper, [1975].

8vo. Original boards with illustrated dust-wrappers (not price-clipped); pp. viii, 248, plates after photographs, near-fine.
First edition. After a long career as Special Operations Office and diplomat, 'he returned [in 1958] to the world of irregular warfare when he was appointed commander of the sultan of Muscat and Oman's armed forces. His success in suppressing the sultan's Saudi-backed enemies was perhaps the pinnacle of his post-war career. With the support of two SAS squadrons and the Royal Air Force, his efforts culminated in the capture of the rebels' mountain base in the Jebel Akhdar in early 1959. When his Oman appointment came to an end in 1961, Smiley was offered command of the SAS but decided instead to leave the army, retiring with the rank of colonel. From 1963 until 1967 he worked for the Saudi government as an adviser to royalist forces struggling in Yemen against a faction backed by Egypt's President Nasser. In 1968 he retired with his wife and family to Alicante province, Spain, where he farmed for the next twenty years, before returning to Britain to settle in Somerset and later in west London (ODNB).