Ben Macintyre’s suspenseful new book, “Rogue Heroes,” about the founding of Britain’s S.A.S. during World War II, reads like a mashup of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Great Escape,” with a sprinkling of “Ocean’s 11” thrown in for good measure. Like earlier Macintyre books set during that war (“Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies” and “Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory”), this volume features an ensemble of eccentrics, mavericks and malcontents. And, in this case, one visionary, David Stirling, who invented an elite commando unit that would become the prototype for a new kind of modern warfare, and the model for special forces around the world, including the Navy SEALs and the Army’s Delta Force.

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