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Gen. Sir Peter de la Billière Books & Biography


GENERAL SIR PETER DE LA BILLIÈRE was born in 1934, educated at Harrow School and joined the KSLI in 1952. After commissioning into the Durham Light Infantry he served with 1 DLI in Japan, Korea and then for two years in the Suez Canal Zone and in Jordan. In 1956 he joined the Special Air Service and fought the communist terrorists in Malaya. In 1959 he led a troop during the assault in Jebel Akhdar, where he won his first Military Cross.

From 1964 to 1966 General de la Billière commanded A Squadron 22 SAS on operations in Radfan and Borneo, gaining a bar to his MC. He later returned to 22 SAS as Second-in-Command and subsequently Commanding Officer. During the period 1969–74 he commanded operations in Musandam and Dhofar. He was appointed a Member of the Distinguished Service Order.

In 1977 General de la Billière assumed command of the British Army Training Team in Sudan. Between 1979 and 1983 he commanded the Special Air Service Group and was in overall military command of the outstandingly successful assault to release the hostages held in the Iranian Embassy in London. He was appointed CBE in 1983 and KCB in 1988. On 6 October 1990 General de la Billière assumed command of the British Forces in the Middle East. After his return to the UK, he was appointed KBE, promoted General and became special adviser to the Minister of Defence on Middle East matters. He retired from active service in June 1992.

In 1992 Storm Command, his personal account of the Gulf War, was published and became an instant bestseller. In 1994 his autobiography, Looking for Trouble, also entered the bestseller list on publication.

General de la Billière is now a main-board director of Robert Fleming Holdings, and is married to Bridget and has three children.