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Captain Robert Blair "Paddy" Mayne, an amazing and legendary figure, is a name that might not be instantly recognisable to many, but his remarkable life story is one that deserves to be told. 

Mayne was a man of extraordinary courage, unshakable determination, and unrivaled skill, making him one of the most distinguished and controversial figures in military history.

He was also a bit of a bastard. Or so some would say. Mayne was remarkably brave, but he was also not far short of being a loose cannon. I first learned about him watching " Rogue Heroes. "

Please watch this.The inspiration for the article. Monty

Born on January 11, 1915, in Newtownards, a town in Northern Ireland, Paddy Mayne's early years were far from a typical military upbringing. 

He was the epitome of the man’s man. In his younger years, he was a rugby player, marksman and championship boxer, but World War II cut his athletic career short. But during the war, he would build a career – and a legend – that reads like something from an action movie that would make Indiana Jones envious.

He grew up in relative obscurity, showing a strong gift for sports and adventure. Mayne excelled in rugby, boxing, and cricket, and it was his passion for rugby that first took him to the prestigious Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Given that I love my Rugby, he got my attention. 

12697 blair paddy mayne with 1938 british touring side 

Along with rugby, Blair played cricket and golf and his stocky build, height and long reach allowed him to become Irish Universities Heavyweight Champion boxer in 1936. The following year, at the age of 22, he was selected to play rugby for Ireland against Wales at Lansdowne Road in the final round of that year's Home Nations Championship.


His introduction to the world of adventure began during his time at Queen's University, where he joined the University Air Squadron. This exposure to aviation and the thrill of flying would later become an important part of his life. After graduating from Queen's, he went on to study law but soon found his true calling in the midst of global turmoil. 

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Paddy Mayne was quick to enlist in the Royal Ulster Rifles. 


His first taste of combat came in Syria against the Vichy French with the Ulster Rifle, where he was immediately recognised for his skill in combat. But the action movie-style life of Paddy Mayne didn’t begin there. It began in Egypt while he was sitting in a prison cell for striking his commanding officer.

One day, Lt. Col. David Stirling walked into his cell and gave him a choice. He could sit in jail and wait for his court martial or he could join a new group of extraordinary gentlemen who were going to take the war to the German Afrika Korps while the German Army was at its most powerful. 

Stirling offered Mayne the chance to parachute into the Sahara Desert with other, like-minded commandos, and drive jeeps around blowing up enemy airfields and generally wreaking havoc on their supply lines, airfields, and support groups. Stirling would be captured, but that stopped nothing. Mayne took command and things only got worse for the enemy.  

Paddy Mayne and the men who would become known as the Special Air Service did just that. They drove specially-modified Jeeps around the desert at night on their way to blowing up supply and ammo dumps, airstrips, camps, and anything else that was even vaguely German. For almost a year, they went on these daring hit-and-run raids that crippled the Afrika Korps, destroying hundreds of enemy aircraft, knocking out communications, and depriving the Germans of food, fuel, and water. 

SAS Unit 1943 North Africa 2

Mayne quickly proved himself as a formidable soldier and leader within the SAS, known for his audacious attacks and his ability to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. His fiery temperament and unwavering resolve set him apart as a warrior with an unyielding commitment to the Allied cause.

Paddy Mayne and the SAS are best known for their daring and unconventional raids behind enemy lines in North Africa and Europe. Mayne's ability to lead covert nighttime raids was legendary. The SAS conducted hit-and-run missions, disrupted supply lines, and wreaked havoc on the Axis forces.

The Special Air Service during the Second World War Portrait of Lt Col Robert Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, SAS, in the desert near Kabrit, 1942. (This is photograph MH 24415 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.)

He stood at approximately 6 feet 3 inches (190 cm) tall, making him a physically bloody big bloke. His height, combined with his extraordinary physical and mental toughness, contributed to his commanding presence on the battlefield and in the Special Air Service (SAS).

His drinking habits were a subject of controversy and concern throughout his life. Mayne was known for his fiery and often unpredictable temperament.

On the battlefield, he had extraordinary nerve – he would do almost anything and people would follow him.

He was also a great swearer. The odd profanity or three was pretty much his persona. Mayne's choice of language was reflective of the times and the harsh realities of warfare. While he was known for his profanity, I think even I would swear when under stress in the situations he found himself in. 

You cannot take it away from him: Paddy was a great fighter.

One of their most famous operations was the attack on the German airfield at Almaza, Egypt, where they destroyed numerous enemy aircraft, crippling the German air force in North Africa. These raids, often carried out with limited resources and under extreme conditions, demonstrated the remarkable bravery and effectiveness of the SAS under Mayne's leadership.

After the war, Mayne's life took several twists and turns. He returned to his law career but struggled with civilian life. His restlessness and inner demons led him to confrontations with the law and a short stay in prison. Tragically, in 1955, Paddy Mayne's life was cut short in a car accident in Scotland.

I guess you must be wondering why I wrote about this Irishman who fought back 80 years ago.   Well, here is why.  

He drank, smoked, swore and was generally a bit of a bastard. 

Who do you want on your side today? Paddy Mayne or some leftie luvvie transgender bullshit artist offended by pronouns? 

Give me Paddy any day. 


 " We died and suffered so you may live. Who dares wins. " 


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