How are S A S soldiers selected

Special Air Service

The Special Air Service (SAS) is a special unit of the British Army, which was formed in 1941 during the Second World War by the Scottish lieutenant Colonel David Stirling. The SAS operates worldwide and is stationed in the village of Credenhill near Hereford. It is considered to be one of the most experienced and oldest still existing special forces in the world.


The tasks of the SAS include gathering information about the enemy (military reconnaissance), sabotage operations behind enemy lines, marking targets for fire, and freeing captured soldiers or civilians. In addition to war missions, the SAS also used as an anti-terrorist unit domestically, primarily for the rescue of hostages, but also for the targeted elimination of enemies of the state (e.g. members of the IRA or other persons or groups classified as terrorists by the British government). He trains special units from friendly countries and acts covertly if necessary, so that the British government cannot be identified. Remarkably, the military man takes over SAS also tasks of a special police unit, including the protection of high British dignitaries. Here he can best be compared with the Israeli Sayeret Matkal, with whom the SAS repeatedly holds joint exercises.

The motto of the SAS reads: “Who dares wins” (German: “Who dares wins”)


Today the SAS from three regiments:

The two regiments 21 and 23 serve as reserve units (TA SAS - Territorial Army). In the event of war, they take over so-called Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (Remote scout reconnaissance missions) behind enemy lines and are intended to compensate for the losses of the 22nd regiment. Each of them consists of three squadrons.

The active one SAS consists only of regiment 22, divided into 4 squadrons with a total of about 500 soldiers. These again consist of four troops each. Theoretically, each squad has 16 men, each with four four-man teams. In practice the SAS But not this operational strength, because he has problems with the next generation due to the strict selection and the hard service, similar to other special units.

The four squadrons are designated A, B, D and G (the C Squadron was disbanded in 1980). Each of the four associated troops specializes in a skill of locomotion or penetration into enemy territory. So there is one in every squadron Mountain Troop (Mountain and winter fight), one Mobility Troop (Land Rover and Motorcycles), one Air Troop (Freefaller) and one Boat troop (maritime deployment component).

To the 22 SAS There is also a staff group, a planning and intelligence department, a department for investigating operations and a training platoon.

Every six to nine months, each of these four squadrons is called CRW wing (Counter Revolutionary Warfare - guerrilla warfare), a subdivision that also fulfills covert military advisory functions, it is the turn of the team. The wing is in constant readiness and, if necessary, should be ready for use in two stages within 30 minutes or two hours. It is divided into two groups, each consisting of an assault group and a sniper group:

  • Red (Airborne and Mountaineering Group)
  • Blue (combat swimmers and artillery)

In addition to the three regiments that work closely together, there are also smaller units for special tasks:

  • the 63rd SAS Signal Squadron in South East England, as well as Eastern Wessex
  • and the L detachment (formerly R-Squadron), formed from former SAS members. The latter is subject to TA SAS and serves as a reserve of the 22nd regiment to quickly replace losses.

The original units, that 1st Special Air Service Regiment and the 2nd Special Air Service Regiment, were dissolved in 1945.

Recruitment and training

Since 1952 the soldiers of the SAS selected in a special procedure introduced by then-Commander Major John Woodhouse. Until then, interested parties earned acceptance in their respective units through special engagement in combat.

The selection process, the "Selection", is considered to be the most demanding in the British Army. Only two to ten percent of the candidates pass it. It is held twice a year in the mountains of Wales.

Applicants must be male and have either been a member of the British Forces for at least three years or a member of the other two Regiments 21 and 23 for 18 months (both civilians can enter directly). In addition, the accepts SAS Members of the Commonwealth Armies as candidates. If a candidate fails any of the exams, they will be immediately returned to their original unit. A second attempt is possible, but no further attempts.

Introduction (2 days)

For a weekend, the candidates get an insight into life in a British special unit and are informed about the requirements of the recruitment tests. They also have to prove their skills in using a map and compass, complete a swimming test, and also a fitness and first aid test.

Fitness and orientation (4 weeks)

View from the 886 meter high Pen y fan in the Brecon Beacons, the preferred terrain for field training

This part takes place in the Brecon Beacons and the Elan Valley in Wales. First, the so-called Battle Fitness Test (BFT) has to be passed: 2.5 kilometers as a group have to be run in under 13 minutes, then again alone in under 11.5 minutes. In general, the first week consists mainly of cross-country runs over the mountains with light luggage, as well as map reading and orientation tasks by day or night. As the selection progresses, the weight of the backpack increases and the soldiers must also take the rifle with them. The third week is determined by orientation exercises in the field with increasing difficulty. In the last week there is a cross-country run against the clock every day. The soldiers are not informed of the time to be achieved; they have to do their best at every run. Exceeding the time limit leads to elimination as well as injuries. The conclusion is a march over a distance of 65 kilometers over a total of 7000 meters in altitude with a 20 kilogram backpack and rifle. Anyone who takes more than 20 hours has failed. The record is 14 hours. Again and again there are deaths in these endurance tests.

Advanced training (4 weeks)

This is where the detailed and realistic training possible on handguns and explosives as well as exercises in small group tactics take place. Anyone who has not yet had a parachute training will now receive it.

Jungle training (6 weeks)

The training is done in small groups of four men, each group is supervised by an instructor. The training includes orientation and survival in the jungle, handling boats and setting up camp sites. The candidates must prove all skills in a final exercise.

Combat training (4 weeks)

This section primarily trains the survival of combat situations (Combat Survival), surviving capture and hiding from enemies. This means that the soldiers only eat what they find in the forest and field and also experience interrogation and torture (to a certain extent). The training ends an exercise in E&E-Tactics (Escape and Evasion). In addition, the soldiers are given unwieldy overcoats to restrict their mobility and are hunted by other units, usually paratroopers or gurkhas, for five days. You have to go undetected to survive. Each of them is then interrogated for 24 hours, humiliated, verbally abused, tortured with noise or sleep deprivation. Anyone who reveals more than just their name, rank, date of birth or identification number will fail. The only allowed answer is: "I'm sorry, I cannot answer this question."

Any mistake in any of these sections will result in the soldier being immediately returned to his or her unit of origin. If he passes it, he loses any previous rank and becomes a simple member (Trooper) of SAS.

The ranks within the regiment must be newly acquired by NCOs and men.

If a soldier leaves the troops, he gets his old rank back. A different procedure applies to officers: As soon as they are at least captain, they retain their rank, but are allowed to stay for a maximum of three years SAS serve. If they then pass the test again, they can stay for three more years.

Special training

Then the actual training begins, during which every soldier becomes an expert in one or more areas (Specialist) trains for certain areas, these are:

  • Paramedic training with a focus on trauma medicine,
  • Telecommunications training,
  • HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening), parachute training with particularly high jumps and opening the parachute at a very low height,
  • HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening), opening the umbrella at great heights,
  • Sniper,
  • Languages,
  • Driver,
  • Guerrilla fight (Counter Revolutionary Warfare - CRW),
  • Demolitionist.

Depending on their rank and skills, soldiers earn £ 25,000 to £ 80,000 a year. The service is so tough that many of the men drop out by their mid-30s. In addition to injuries during deployment, there are also long-term effects from poor nutrition, contaminated water, infections or imprisonment. For returnees, their conditioning and experiences can also become a burden. Few manage to get used to a normal life. Many suffer from mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome or cannot control their aggressions. There are repeated reports of former suicides SAS-Members.

Due to the high psychological pressure, as well as the duration and frequency of the assignment, a regular family life becomes a challenge for all relatives. Divorces are not uncommon in this context.

Youth problems

Because of these dangers and the high demands on selection, the SAS Difficulty maintaining its target strength for a long time. The British newspaper "Daily Telegraph" reported in 2005 that these problems had intensified massively since the war in Iraq. More and more soldiers would quit the service for lucrative positions with private security service providers. This caused the regiment to call all 300 soldiers from the front SAS to point out in a letter that it would be in the best sense of everyone if they stayed.

The incentive from business is high. According to the report, a non-commissioned officer of the SAS earn up to £ 14,000 a month as a consultant to a private security company in Iraq or Afghanistan.



The information about the SAS are actually all based on books by former members or on reports by journalists. Their accuracy and timeliness are therefore limited. It can be considered certain that the SAS similar to other special forces, it has access to practically any weapon and can modify and adapt it according to its own needs.

The standard armament for military use is the American M16 assault rifle, to which the M203 grenade launcher can be added. Both the standard MG of the British armed forces GPMG (= General Purpose Machine Gun, called "Gimpy") in caliber 7.62 x 51 mm NATO and the FN Minimi in caliber 5.56 x 45 mm NATO are used as support weapons.

Since its deployment in Afghanistan, the SAS has had the Diemaco C8 SFW (Special forces weapon) and the grenade launcher H&K AG-C UGL, which are now part of the standard equipment.

MP5SD3 with integrated silencer

The Heckler & Koch MP5 and MP7 submachine guns are used for anti-terrorist operations, similar to other special forces. The HK 53 is also used, a submachine gun from Heckler & Koch in caliber 5.56 x 45 mm NATO.

For years, part of the armament was the semi-automatic Browning Hi-Power pistol in caliber 9-millimeter Parabellum. However, the unit now uses the SIG Sauer P228 [1]that fires the same ammunition as the Browning Hi-Power and HK MP5.

The sniper rifles of the Accuracy International L96 A1 caliber. 308 Winchester can be equipped with a silencer if required. In addition, there are so-called from the same manufacturer Anti-material rifles available in caliber. 50 BMG.

Depending on the target, various infantry weapons such as heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, rocket launchers or mines can also be used.

A fire-retardant overall, which is camouflaged differently according to the operating conditions, serves as a combat suit. A net-like scarf is worn as a scarf, but is also used to camouflage the face or equipment. Depending on the order, a bullet-resistant vest can also be included, as well as a balaclava, a helmet with a face visor, night vision devices or NBC protective masks.

According to reports in the Sunday Times, the British government has six Hercules AC-130 aircraft as air support Specter acquired. These so-called “gunships” are flying artillery platforms, armored and equipped with various rapid-fire cannons and machine guns. Its existence means an extension of the operational principles of the SAS: Small teams that move undetected behind the lines hardly need such massive fire support. For the closed deployment of entire squadrons, however, this can very well be important.

According to "Jane’s", American-made mini drones are currently being tested in Credenhill, so-called Backpack Unmanned Surveillance Targeting and Enhanced Reconnaissance (Buster). These look like model airplanes, can be carried in a backpack and collect information from the air. They are controlled like a model airplane and can stay in the air for up to four hours.


The Mobility Troops mainly use the military version of the Land Rover Defender, the Wolf (not to be confused with the Bundeswehr's G-class off-road vehicle of the same name), both with a short (TUL) and long wheelbase (TUM). Also the so-called Pink Panther, a Land Rover-based patrol vehicle and the HMT Supacat Multi-Environment Surveillance and Reconnaissance Vehiclewhich has been in service with the Royal Marines for years.

Several modified Lockheed C-130 Hercules are available for long-distance transport, which are equipped with additional reconnaissance and communication systems, as well as flares for self-protection. The C-17 Globemaster has also been used occasionally for this purpose since 2002. The SAS primary operations helicopter is the Westland Lynx Mk.7, as well as the more modern one Battlefield Lynx. In addition, according to media reports, eight Boeing Vertol CH-47 helicopters were deployed in the 1990sChinook procured that are suitable for the transport of an entire squadron including light vehicles. Furthermore, the SAS via 4 Agusta A109 helicopters.


The SAS has been supported by the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) since 2005, which carries out surveillance and reconnaissance tasks in order to SAS- Prepare and accompany missions.

In addition to Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand also have their own as former colonies SAS. These units are closely related to the British SAS, both in training and in worldwide operations. The British SAS also takes over the complete training of the Sultan's Special Force in Oman.

Many special forces worldwide have the SAS taken as a model. For example, the entire training staff of the American anti-terrorist unit Delta Force was established in 1977 by a team of experts from SAS Trained in the USA for almost a year. This know-how thus formed the nucleus for the formation of all other US anti-terrorist units, such as the Seal Team 6 founded in 1980 and the Hostage Rescue Team of the FBI established in 1983. The German KSK, the Canadian JTF2, the Swiss AAD 10, the Polish GROM and the Israeli Sayeret Matkal also adopted the tactical structure and operational doctrine of the SAS. Later on, the Sayeret Matkal developed into a valuable aid for the SAS. Many units train regularly with units of the SAS and use its training facilities in Belize or Brunei, for example.


The existence of the Special Air Service was already well known in Great Britain in the 1960s, but it was denied by official bodies for a long time. Even after a television team accidentally documented an anti-terrorist operation on board the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1972, the Ministry of Defense took no position. It wasn't until the 1980s that the SAS officially confirmed after he successfully ended the hostage situation in the Iranian embassy in London in front of the assembled world press.

After joining, each member is prohibited from belonging to the other than close family members SAS to reveal. The Ministry of Defense ensures anonymity throughout the entire period of service. In publications about any medals that may have been awarded, the name of the soldier is not followed by the original unit SAS. If he is killed in combat, no public announcement will be made unless it can be avoided. If it is inevitable, the soldier is listed as a member of his original unit.

This secrecy is still the cause of much speculation and provided material for many conspiracy theorists for their books. Most of the knowledge about the SAS come from former members of the unit, some of whom have allegedly been tried in military courts for divulging information. The Department of Defense also tries repeatedly by court to ban the books of veterans or censors their memoirs and reports. So any report should be skeptical. Only at the end of November 2001 did a former win SAS-Soldier a three-year trial against the Ministry; He was then allowed to publish his book about a disastrous mission during the Gulf War, but he had to cede any profit to the state. Ex-members who publish reports usually do so under a pseudonym, such as Andy McNab. But the level of truth in these books is also unclear. In addition, there are always authors who claim that im SAS to have served without evidence of it.

In 2004, the then Defense Minister Geoff Hoon reaffirmed the confidentiality policy towards the public, which is still in force today. The criticism from senior members of the government and the press that this policy could not be sustained due to the increasing involvement of special forces in warfare, commented an unnamed military source that inaccurate and erroneous reporting can amount to "useful disinformation".[2]



SAS members after a patrol (North Africa, 1943)

"The Regiment" was founded, like the SAS also called in July 1941 during the Second World War by the then Lieutenant David Stirling. The original goal was acts of sabotage far behind the front of the German Africa Corps in order to disrupt Rommel's supply lines. The only 66-man troop operated under the name “L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade ”. The name Brigade, which suggested a much larger unit, was only used as a camouflage and to deceive the Germans, as well as the addition Air.

Stirling's men were trained in Kabrit, Egypt near the Suez Canal. They initially worked closely with the so-called Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), an army reconnaissance unit.

During the desert war in Africa, Stirling's soldiers carried out many successful attacks, destroyed fuel depots and airfields. They were so feared that Adolf Hitler issued the so-called command order, which said that every captured member of such a group should be shot. They perfected a tactic called Hit and Run (Attack and Disappear) by attacking only with all-terrain vehicles carrying a machine gun and then disappearing back into the desert.

The very first mission, however, was a disaster. In November 1941, 62 parachutes jumped from behind enemy lines to destroy an air base. However, only 22 made it to the meeting point, the rest were captured or killed. Stirling then campaigned in the army leadership to be allowed to repeat the enterprise. This time the LRDG transported the soldiers to the scene of action by vehicle. The airfield was destroyed without any losses of its own. The group was named in October 1942 1st SAS and with it the status of an independent regiment. Stirling's brother Bill began building a second regiment called the 2nd SAS.

In January 1943 David Stirling was caught while on duty by Italians and spent the remainder of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp. Command was taken over by his brother Bill and Blair 'Paddy' Mayne.

The regiment was not only active in Africa, but also during the invasion of Italy. Italian partisans and escaped Soviet prisoners of war were also used. They served in the "Allied SAS Battalion" and disrupted, among other things, the communication lines of the German Commander-in-Chief of the front, Albert Kesselring. A total of three of these foreign battalions were set up between 1943 and 1945:

  • 3rd SAS composed of French soldiers,
  • 4th SAS composed of French soldiers,
  • 5th SAS composed of Belgian soldiers.

On April 1, 1944, all previous units were combined under the name "Special Air Service Regiment" and integrated into the Army Air Corps incorporated. The SAS supported, together with the American OSS and the French Maquis, the Allied landing in Normandy in 1944 with attacks on supply facilities behind the front. After the end of the war, the SAS used to search for and arrest former SS and Gestapo members. At that time the unit already consisted of five regiments, two of which had mainly French and one Belgian members.


The two French battalions and the Belgian one were disbanded after the war, the soldiers returned to their home countries and were integrated into the armies there. The French-born units formed this:

  • 2nd Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes and the
  • 3rd Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes.

These two regiments later merged with the 1st Regiment Parachutiste d'Infanterie de Marine (1st RPIMa), the French counterpart to the SAS, which still sees itself today in the tradition of the SAS and regularly holds joint exercises with it.

In the Belgian army, the returnees grew into this

The rest of the troop did not continue to exist in their previous form either. The SAS was officially separated from the army and dissolved. On July 1, 1947, however, it was at least partially called Special Air Service Regiments in the Army Air Corps repositioned. It consisted of a regiment of the reserve (Territorial Army - T.A.): the 21st Battalion, Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifle). In August 1949 this unit was changed from the Army Air Corps outsourced and run as an independent corps.

Brigadier Mike Calvert first built the in 1950 SAS as a command unit. The reason was a crisis in Malaysia, where rebels were trying to fight for independence. As an anti-guerrilla unit, the so-called Z Squadron formed who fought under the name "Malayan Scouts" in Malaysia. The squadron consisted of ex-SAS-Men, recruits from other units, as well as inmates of army prisons. In addition, the still existing Regiment 21 sent to the jungles of Malaysia. By the end of 1955 the entire force consisted of five squadrons again and remained in Malaysia up to and including 1958.

In 1952 the existing groups were reorganized into two units:

  • 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifle), (T.A.)
  • 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, in which the "Malayan Scouts" absorbed.

In 1959 the Territorial Army a second SAS-Unit:

  • 23rd Special Air Service Regiment (T.A.).

The last reorganization took place on April 1, 1967. At the headquarters in Hereford, a new squadron was set up: Das R Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment (V), which was composed of selected members of regiments 21 and 23 and the 22nd SAS was attached as a quick reinforcement. The unit was later given a new name, the historical name:

The deployment in Malaysia was followed by others. So fought SAS-Teams against the Sultan putsch rebels in today's Oman (1958–59) or guerrillas in Borneo, today's Brunei (1963–1966). They were also used in Aden from 1964–1967 before the British left the country. From 1970–1977 there were again unofficial and top secret missions in Oman. In general, it changed SAS more and more from a regular army unit to a secret special force. This also changed the tasks, which meanwhile included personal protection and the fight against terrorists. Civilian clothing or uniforms from other army units were now also worn as camouflage.

Northern Ireland

From 1969 the British government continued the SAS also in Northern Ireland, which quickly led to criticism. Officially, the British Army began its deployment in the province to help the local police who Royal Ulster Constabulary, to support. However, the missions in which "the regiment" was involved were combat missions against the IRA from the outset. Unarmed civilians were killed several times. At first the soldiers appeared openly in their uniforms and sand-colored berets, later they operated more and more often undercover.

The worked SAS in the fight against the IRA very closely with the 1970 established 14 Intelligence Company, a special intelligence reconnaissance and surveillance unit of the British Army.

The SAS became one of the most important tools in the search for information against terrorist groups in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. In order to fulfill this task, the commandos acted more and more offensively, whereby in pursuits - although it was forbidden to them - SAS men crossed the national border with the Republic of Ireland. For example, in March 1976, IRA commander Seán MacKenna was kidnapped from his home in the Republic of Ireland and handed over to a patrol of the British Army.

Irish nationalists believe the SAS actually executed IRA members according to plan in the 1980s. In 1984 he is said to have wounded and finally shot two men in Dunloy, County Antrim. In Loughall in 1987, eight IRA men who tried to blow up a police station were ambushed by the SAS lured and killed. In 1988, in the British exclave of Gibraltar, three unarmed members who were planning a bomb attack were killed by one SAS-Team shot dead in the open street in Operation Flavius.

It is subject to SAS in the use of weapons the same legal provisions as the British Army, but with SAS- missions officially assumed a war mission situation (i.e. proceeding according to martial law).

Because of his aggressive and uncompromising fighting style, the SAS feared and got a downright mythical reputation. An example of this was the Balcombe Street siege on December 6, 1975. While trying to escape the police, two IRA men holed up in an apartment on Balcombe Street in London and took two residents hostage. The negotiations lasted six days. The men surrendered as the media reported that SAS should be used to free the hostages.


In the 80s, “the regiment” became more and more visible to the public. The new openness of the government in dealing with the SAS began in April 1980. On that day, six Iraqi terrorists occupied the Iranian embassy in London. The police negotiated in vain for six days with the occupiers, who killed a hostage in support of their demands. On May 5, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ordered the attack. At 7:26 p.m., more than 30 stormed SAS-Men visited the building and some of them were filmed live by the BBC. During the 17-minute mission, the terrorists shot a hostage. All but one of them were killed. According to witness statements, this hostage-taker only survived because he immediately got rid of his weapon and threw himself to the ground, so that he was mistaken for a hostage by the emergency services.

After the mission, the SAS according to the motto safety-first to a public controversy in the British press. Due to the uncompromising approach during the action, it was suspected that something like a general order to fire had been given. One of the soldiers involved, Robin Horsfall, said in an interview 20 years later: “We were trained to kill. When the SAS comes into action, you have to come to terms with the fact that there will be deaths. We wanted to kill the terrorists. We hoped they wouldn't surrender. That's what we lived for, that's what we trained for. ”The original order had been to kill as few people as possible on both sides.

Despite the controversy, the storm was considered a success. In addition to the media presence, the debate led to the fact that the existence of the unit was no longer denied by the authorities for the first time.

The next known mission came during the Falklands War in 1982. Several teams from SAS fought in preparation for and during the landing in the Falkland Islands, often in cooperation with units of the Special Boat Service. There are also said to have been missions on the Argentine mainland, but there is no evidence of this.

The unit was not only needed for wars and counter-terrorism, however. In 1987 Prime Minister Thatcher ordered one SASTeam to storm the maximum security prison in Peterhead, Scotland to quell a revolt by inmates. The soldiers only used batons, stun grenades and CS gas. The operation was successful and a prisoner guard was released.

After the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia was overthrown by the use of Vietnamese armed forces, the British government continued to do so from 1983 SAS in a covert operation to train resistance fighters in the use of mines and other explosive devices. This resistance movement also included the remaining Khmer Rouge, who wanted to take power again.[3] The mines laid by the guerrillas are still a serious problem for the population decades later. Around 15% of Cambodians are affected by landmine accidents.[4]

During the Second Gulf War in 1991, the SAS similar tasks as once in World War II: sabotage operations far behind enemy lines. The primary aim was to destroy Iraqi Scud missile launchers. The troops also suffered one of their biggest failures: Two members of the "Bravo Two Zero" command later described this mission in books. Your eight-man team was supposed to neutralize firing positions deep in the Iraqi desert, but it was spotted and tracked as it penetrated Iraqi airspace. The soldiers withdrew fighting for several days, killing an estimated 250 Iraqis. Only one of the eight managed to get through to the Syrian border, 190 kilometers away. Three others were killed in action, the remaining four captured and tortured during interrogation.


In addition to the classic tasks of sabotage, secret service work and hostage rescue, the SAS Since September 2001 another has become more and more important: the global fight against terrorist groups. Based on experience in Northern Ireland, the applies SAS as one of the most important weapons in this undeclared war. Large-scale operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are just as much a part of this as small actions by individual teams.

In contrast to similar units of allied countries, such as the Delta Force or the KSK (Special forces command), he works SAS (similar to the Israeli Sajeret Matkal), he also worked closely with the police over and over again. So were according to British media reports SAS- Relatives involved in the surveillance of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005 by the Londoner Metropolitan Police was wrongly prosecuted as a terrorist suspect and was ultimately shot in the subway. Some members are also said to have been involved in both the manhunt for the masterminds of the bombings on the London transport network in July 2005, as well as in the storming of several homes of backers in West London. As usual, there was no official confirmation of these reports.

At 19.In September 2005, an incident occurred in Basra, Iraq, which attracted international attention. Two SAS- Relatives whose unit operated against arms smugglers from Iran,[5] were disguised as Arabs in a civilian vehicle when they came into an Iraqi police checkpoint and were apparently arrested after an exchange of fire. After the men were overwhelmed, various weapons and equipment were found in their vehicle. Before their identities or intentions could be clarified, the two prisoners were forcibly released from their Iraqi prison by British troops on the grounds that the local police had turned the men over to terrorist militias and their lives were in danger.[6] According to the British Ministry of Defense, however, the men were released after negotiations.[7][8]

Left after a deployment in Iraq in 2006 SAS-Member the unit and the army for "moral reasons". The 28-year-old Ben Griffin resigned according to the "Sunday Telegraph" at his own request. He observed dozens of “illegal” interrogation methods in Iraq and saw how Iraqis were treated as “subhumans” by US troops. According to the report, Griffin is the first soldier ever to do the SAS leaves for moral reasons.

Supported on February 26, 2011 SAS-Soldiers evacuated 150 British citizens during the uprising in Libya with two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft south of Benghazi.[9] On March 6, 2011, it was reported that up to eight SAS soldiers were being held by insurgents in Libya while accompanying a British diplomat.[10] Members of the SAS are involved in the search for Muammar al-Gaddafi within Libya, according to the Times and the Daily Telegraph.[11].

Missions (selection)


According to the British SAS Qualification Statement SAS members are not allowed to accept any award for their work.

"I agree to carry out arduous duties with no recognition, no rewards, no promotions, and no medals"

“I will carry out arduous duties without any recognitions, rewards, promotions, or medals.[13]

British SAS Qualification Statement

See also


  • Ken Connor: Ghost Force. The Secret History of the SAS. London 1998, ISBN 0-297-84080-0.
  • Barry Davies: The Complete Encyclopedia of the SAS.ISBN 978-0-7535-0534-2.
  • General Sir Peter De La Billiere: Looking For Trouble - SAS To Gulf Command - The Autobiography. HarperCollins, London 1994, ISBN 0-00-637983-4.
  • Tony Geraghty: This is the SAS. Arco Publishing, New York 1983.
  • James D. Ladd: SAS Operations. 1999, ISBN 0-7090-6043-2.
  • Peter Macdonald: SAS in action - the history of the British special forces. 1994, ISBN 3-613-01602-8.
  • Andy McNab: The men of Bravo Two Zero. 1996, ISBN 3-423-20515-6.
  • Andy McNab: Seven Troop. Corgi, 2009, ISBN 978-0-552-15866-4.
  • Andy McNab: Immediate action. Dell, 1996, ISBN 0-440-22245-1.
  • Kaj-Gunnar Sievert: Command company. Special units deployed around the world. Mittler, ISBN 3-8132-0822-2.
  • Kaj-Gunnar Sievert: Command Company: Covert Access - Special Forces in action. 1st edition. IT. Mittler & Sohn, Hamburg / Berlin / Bonn 2010, ISBN 978-3-8132-0916-7.
  • Sören Sünkler: Elite and special units of Europe. Motorbuch Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-613-02853-1.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ P228 at (accessed July 29, 2008)
  2. ↑ Richard Norton-Taylor: Hoon blocks move to openness on SAS. In: Guardian Online. March 27, 2009. Accessed May 13, 2009.
  3. ↑ John Pilger: How Thatcher gave Pol Pot a hand. In: New Statesman April 17, 2000
  4. ↑ Craig Guthrie: Trial and error in Cambodia. In: Asia Times Online. February 19, 2009
  5. SAS in secret was against Iranian agents. In:The Sunday Times. September 25, 2005.
  6. Iraq probe into soldier incident. on: BBC news. September 20, 2005.
  7. Petrol bombs fly as 'tanks' free SAS men. In: Sydney Morning Herald. September 20, 2005.
  8. Troops free SAS men from jail. on: September 20, 2005.
  9. British SAS and Boat Service - Daring Rescue in the Desert. February 26, 2011.
  10. Libya: Rebels capture British elite soldiers. on: Mirror online. March 6, 2011.
  11. ^, accessed on August 25, 2001
  12. ↑ At Special Air Service (SAS) - Operation Barras - Sierra Leone. on: Accessed August 14, 2008
  13. ↑ The British Special Air Service.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 26, 2005.