Legendary Military Units: British Army Special Air Service (SAS) – “Who Dares Wins”

Special Air Service

The Special Air Services came from small bands of soldiers used in Europe and North Africa during World War II. The SAS has evolved into a well-known group adept at close combat, hostage rescue, and surveillance.

SAS Beginning

In July 1941, the SAS was formed from men in the No. 7 Commando. The L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade as they were also called, usually consisted of 5,000 men.

They got a new title two months after being created and were called No 1 Small Scale Raiding Force. From 1940-43, the teams worked in North Africa, running missions behind enemy lines.

During that time, they also had the opportunity to work with the Long Range Desert Group. In 1942, the unit became the 1st Special Air Service, and in April of 1943, they were performing raids in Sicily and Italy as the Special Raiding Squadron with the 2nd Special Air Service.

In 1944, both units folded into the Special Air Service Brigade. There were many operations that the group was a part of in World War II. The missions were generally behind enemy lines.

The SAS was there for D-Day, and they were around when Germany surrendered in May 1945. However, they were disbanded after the war effort was over.

SAS Is Back

However, the SAS was not gone for very long. In 1947, the SAS was formed as the Territorial Army unit-21st Battalion Special Air Service Regiment. They participated in the Malayan Emergency. In 1952, they moved to a regular Army regiment, 22nd SAS Regiment.

SAS was a part of surveillance missions and ambushes in Northern Ireland from 1969 until 2007. In 1980, one of the SAS units rescued 19 hostages that terrorists were holding.

The SAS was there for the Gulf War, hunting down and disarming mobile missile units. In 2003, they went back. From 2001 until 2014, they fought against the Taleban.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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