regiment of the British Army
(Redirected from Special Air Service)

The S.A.S. or Special Air Service, is a Special Operations Organisation of the British Army. It was founded in 1941 to attack behind the German line of defence in North Africa, in World War II. They are one of the best schooled units in the world, that makes them very valuable. There are about 500 active SAS soldiers.[4]

Special Air Service
Special Air Service insignia.
Active1 July 1941– 8 October 1945
1 January 1947– present
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchBritish Army
TypeSpecial Forces
RoleSpecial operations
Counter Terrorism
SizeCorps of three units (overall 500 active soldiers)
21 S.A.S
22 S.A.S
23 S.A.S [1]
Part ofUnited Kingdom Special Forces
Garrison/HQRegimental headquarters: Hereford
21 S.A.S: London
22 S.A.S: Credenhill
23 S.A.S: Birmingham
Nickname(s)The Regiment[2]
Motto(s)Who Dares Wins
ColorsPompadour blue
MarchQuick: Marche des Parachutistes Belges
Slow: Lili Marlene
EngagementsSecond World War
Malayan Emergency
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Dhofar Rebellion
Aden Emergency
Northern Irish Troubles
Falklands War
Gulf War
NATO intervention in Bosnia
Operation Barras
War In Afghanistan
Iraq War
Operation Ellamy
Colonel-CommandantGeneral Charles Guthrie[3]
Colonel David Stirling
Lieutenant-Colonel Paddy Mayne
Brigadier Mike Calvert
Major-General Anthony Deane-Drummond
General Peter de la Billière
General Michael Rose
Lieutenant-General Cedric Delves

The SAS is a secret organisation. Its members often do not tell anyone except close family that they are in it. The British Ministry of Defence (MOD) rarely speaks of the SAS and mission details are never released until much later.

The badge of the organisation was originally designed as a flaming sword of Damocles but ended up as a winged dagger. It shows the motto: Who Dares Wins.

Current SAS roles include:

  • Gathering intelligence behind enemy lines.
  • Destroying targets far behind enemy lines.
  • Protecting The Royal Family, and important government members.
  • Training special forces of other nations.
  • Performing counter-terrorism operations.

The SAS is thought of all over the world as one of the best, if not the best Special Operations organisations. This is mainly because of the intense training they are put through. The hardest part of this is intense interrogation (questioning while under torture) which the trainees must go through.

The SAS is respected worldwide and used to train many other Special Forces Units. Several special operations units are modeled after the SAS. For example, the U.S. Army's Delta Force was founded due in large part to Charles Beckwith, a U.S. Army special operations officer, serving as an exchange officer with the SAS. He felt that the U.S. Army was vulnerable in not having a unit comparable to the SAS.

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Sources change

  1. On 31 July 1947, the 21st Battalion, SAS Regiment, (Artists Rifles) (Territorial Army) was formed. This was followed on 16 July 1952, when the 22 SAS Regiment was formed and the 23 Special Air Service Regiment (Territorial Army) was formed in February 1958.
  2. Ryan, p.216
  3. Moreton, Cole (11 November 2007). "Lord Guthrie: 'Tony's General' turns defence into an attack". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 28 August 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  4. Ryan, Chris 2009. Fight to Win. Century. ISBN 978-1-84605-666-6