Talk:David Stirling

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Mayfair set not a reliable source[edit]

It is an sensationalist documentary with an agenda full of "secret" stuff. Wikipedia article should not be based on it. Back it up with another source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 23 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"more than an entire platoon"[edit]

The sentence in the text reads: "After Layforce (and No.8 Commando) were disbanded on 1 August 1941, Stirling remained convinced that due to the mechanised nature of war a small team of highly trained soldiers with the advantage of surprise could exact greater damage to the enemy's ability to fight than an entire platoon." Just a platoon?

Military Coup[edit]

"His name has sometimes been mentioned in connection with the alleged attempts to undermine the Labour government in the mid-1970s, and possibly even topple it by a military coup."

Does anyone have any sources to back this up? It seems a rather serious accusation to me. Cjrother 23:52, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've removed this paragraph now as no one objected or backed up the statements. Cjrother 17:33, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This seems to have reappeared again (and again was added by an anonymous user). Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Cjrother 22:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've removed it, as it's the kind of thing that definately needs a reference cited for it. That said, Stirling definately was involved with mercenary activities in Africa and the Middle East, and the training (as a private consultant) of the military forces of several middle eastern countries, including Oman. The article certainly should mention that stuff. I have heard rumours of a coup against Wilson, but nothing so concrete I'd put it into Wikipedia myself. If someone can source this rumour (even if it's only a rumour) then (depending on the quality of the source, and what it says) that's something we could mention in the article. But without a reference, we certainly can't allow it into the article. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:52, 24 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suggest you watch Adam Curtis's The Mayfair Set, it is mentioned that he established an alternative Government for the UK in the event that it fell into anarchy. This doesn't actually suggest outright that he was hoping for a coup. But it's certainly a worrying aspect to the story given his previous work in Nigeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia (to name just three). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ascolti (talkcontribs) 12:56, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've added a section on this subject. It wasn't a coup, more a Government in waiting. But I couldn't think of a good name! Please help Ascolti (talk) 13:30, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article has been changed to say he was captured by the Germans. I had thought it was the Italians but I can't find my copy of his biography at the moment. Does anyone know who it was? Cjrother 22:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I checked the biography "The Phantom Major" and it was indeed the Germans who first captured Stirling. He was then later betrayed by an Arab to the Italians. Ascolti (talk) 13:38, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Doune in the district of Stirling[edit]

"Doune in the district of Stirling" isn't really true. Firsly, in 1915 it was Stirlingshire; that's not nit-picking, as Stirling (district) is a vast modern thing that has very little in common with old Stirlingshire. But worse, I don't believe Doune (or Park of Kier, really) was in Stirlingshire then (they wobbled the boundary around a bit, which doesn't help). I've yet to find a really good map of Stirlingshire, but this would have Doune (which is NW of Bridge of Allan) well inside Perthshire. Saying "Doune near Stirling" would be accurate and avoids the issue of the location of the Stirlingshire-Perthshire border. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:58, 24 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah, I found a decent map: Kier (about half way down, near the east margin, sw of Dunblane) is well inside Perthshire. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:12, 24 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


He was made OBE and that doesn't allow him the prefix Sir.

Only the two highest ranks entail admission into knighthood.
Those being Knight Grand Cross (GBE) or Knight Commander (KBE)
see Precedence and privileges

Maybe he was knighted in some other order and it's not shown in the article?

The article says "He was knighted in 1990, and died later that year", and has said so for at least a year.
I did read "He was knighted" but forgot about "Knight Bachelor" and thought someone mistakenly used Sir for OBE.. my bad =/

jeep raid[edit]

Brett Cupitt: Didn't David Stirling pioneer mounting large machine guns (Vickers?) on jeeps which would speed between the aircraft on enemy airfields destroying them all on the ground? I understood this is what he was best known for. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • yes and no. as far as I know this was only accomplished once, at the Sidi Haneish airfield LG-12? (which no one seems able to find on a map). but mounting antiaircraft MGs on trucks was standard practice long before the LT. came along. Brian in denver (talk) 21:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • According to "The Phantom Major" the use of anti-aircraft guns was a choice forced upon them. The original choice would have been the US 50 cal. MG, but none could be sourced. So the use of the older Vikers K gun was used. But the use of them was not pioneered by Stirling or even the SAS. It was the The Long Range Desert Group that first fitted the Vickers K to it's vehicles. My paternal Grandfather was a scout for the LRDG. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ascolti (talkcontribs) 13:01, 24 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Vickers K was used because as an aircraft gun it had a high rate-of-fire, about twice that of any of the usual ground guns.
BTW, Don't know if Colditz was in Allied hands by then but there is a Pathe News clip of British troops entering Hamburg in 1945, with a very short sequence of some bereted chaps with K guns and what looks like Stirling himself present here; [1] starting at 4:56. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 26 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did Wingate ever meet David Stirling in Cairo in 1941 ?[edit]

The article on the Gideon Force states "The Gideon Force was officially disbanded June 1, 1941. Wingate returned to Egypt".

Col David Stirling founder of the SAS was in Cairo at that time. I wonder if he and Orde Wingate ever meet in Cairo and if Wingate passed on his ideas about special forces and guerrilla warfare to Stirling who later formed the SAS ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 9 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order of opening line[edit]

many people have a go at mountains. FEW found the SAS. this is the only thing for which his name ever registers on my radar....why is this his third achievement in the opening statement? it seems to me that merely training to climb everest before WW2 pales into insignificance compared to what he did later. I would've changed the order but thought there may be an underlying reason behind this already discussed. please advise if there is such an issue otherwise i will switch it around in order of importance.Rayman60 (talk) 03:04, 3 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Vintage Port from “Col. Stirling”[edit]

Not worthy of comment in the main article, but perhaps of interest to a passing researcher, might an entry in the wine cellar list of Brooks’s club. A 1948 list includes 57 bottles of Warre 1922, marked at 30/- (=£1½, per bottle), from “Col. Stirling” (perhaps this Colonel Sir Archibald David Stirling). Indeed, the same page of the cellar book mentions Dow 1927 purchased from the wine importers Twiss Browning, the son of one of its partners having served in the SOE. (My picture #5553.) JDAWiseman (talk) 14:11, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Connected to my post about David Stirling's alleged gambling losses, it's very possible the wine cellar entry may refer to Colonel William Stirling (David's Brother), a well-known member of the London 'club set'. Just surmising.Bluebadge1 (talk) 15:25, 16 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gambling losses[edit]

"That year, following gambling losses he was obliged to note John Aspinall - I owe you £173,500 in the accountant's ledger. One night in 1967, he lost a further £150,000." This story, which has featured in several books and documentaries, actually refers to David's brother William, The infamous 'note' in the ledger, is visibly signed by William Stirling who was a member of Aspinall's club.Bluebadge1 (talk) 15:14, 16 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

= Failed Raids[edit]

The description of his jeep based raids makes it sound like they were all successful. For balance, perhaps the article should mention his failed raids on Benghazi and Benina. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 11 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Memorial Plaques Stolen & Memorial location mixup[edit] TLDR plaques where stolen from his memorial, Someone should probably make an update on it. I live in scotland and can tell you that stirlingshire and perthshire are very different on different maps, there is no clear cut boundary, it is in both stirlingshire and perthshire. --2A00:23C5:E41E:1200:D9DE:B153:CEF8:34B5 (talk) 20:16, 24 September 2019 (UTC)SomeoneReply[reply]

Translation to spanish[edit]

The article related to David Stirling will be created on the Wikipedia in Spanish, so with the permission of the people who contributed to the creation of this article, it will be taken to translate it. InSyzygyLion15 (talk) 0:07, 24 October 2019 (UTC)


‘relieved a NZ camp of its equipment’. The WWII services euphemism for this was ‘liberation’.

A.J. Liebling and the SAS[edit]

Liebling, as a war correspondent, was present when three surviving members of the SAS limped in to Gafsa in 1943, having been ambushed in a wadi by German troops tipped off by Arabs. They kept asking if ‘Big Dave’ had been captured. They described their operations in detail, partly to establish their bona fides. See Mollie and Other War Pieces’’