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Thomas Sweeney
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Long Range Desert Group (completed )

June 26, 2017 · in Diorama · 6 · 1.7K

The Long Range Desert Group was a reconnaissance and raiding unit of the British Army during the Second World War.
Originally called the Long Range Patrol (
LRP), the unit was founded in Egypt in June 1940 by Major Ralph A. Bagnold, acting under the direction of General Archibald Wavell. Bagnold was assisted by Captain Patrick Clayton and Captain William Shaw. At first the majority of the men were from New Zealand, but they were soon joined by Southern Rhodesian and British volunteers, whereupon new sub-units were formed and the name was changed to the better-known Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). The LRDG never numbered more than 350 men, all of whom were volunteers.

LRDG was formed specifically to carry out deep penetration, covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions from behind Italian lines, although they sometimes engaged in combat operations. Because the LRDG were experts in desert navigation they were sometimes assigned to guide other units, including the Special Air Service and secret agents across the desert. During the Desert Campaign between December 1940 and April 1943, the vehicles of the LRDG operated constantly behind the Axis lines, missing a total of only 15 days during the entire period.[4] Possibly their most notable offensive action was during Operation Caravan, an attack on the town of Barce and its associated airfield, on the night of 13 September 1942. However, their most vital role was the 'Road Watch', during which they clandestinely monitored traffic on the main road from Tripoli to Benghazi, transmitting the intelligence to British Army Headquarters.

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14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

6 responses

  1. Proof that "SAS" doesn't just refer to a Swedish airline! 🙂

  2. Tom, great models and nice grouping. Are the figures all from the kits themselves, or is there a set of them, in addition? I know the Chevrolet truck is Tamiya, jeeps also? I didn't realize there were only 350 of them, though I should have guessed. Not something that folks other than desert enthusiasts and those bold individuals looking for action would volunteer for.

  3. The some of the figures came with the truck and jeep. others I had in my stash and I converted them. Yes they are Tamiya models


  4. Nice grouping and finish Thomas,the Tamiya kits do build up well,and more of their kits these days come with figures,I enjoyed all the pics.Thanks.

  5. Hi Tom
    Great dio.
    I've just finished reading The seven pillars of whisdom and I found that the "philosophy" of the LRDG was very close to Lawrences conception of desert guerilla war.I even thought that Gal.Allenby had something to do with the creation of the Sas or of the LRDG but he was perhaps already too old in 1940 as you didn't mention his name.My grandad served in the 8th army and saw these guys , he was quite impressed.
    Your dio catches that atmosphere perfectly.

  6. Well, it just isn't Rat Patrol without a jeep sailing off the top of a sand dune with some poor bugger hanging on for dear life to the machine gun mounted in the back! Surely the TV shows of my youth had it more accurately?! (anyway - nice little dio!)

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