Who are the SAS?

They are the most feared special unit in the world. "Who dares wins" is their motto. Care to join them?


Who isn't intrigued by Special Forces and undercover operations? The SAS has a reputation as being the toughest of the tough but it is still shielded by secrecy. Starting out as a deep penetration raiding force in Libya and Egypt during World War II, they are now the most feared special unit in the world. "Who dares wins" is their motto. Care to join them?

David Stirling

David Stirling set up the small highly trained units in 1941. He first set up the "L Detachment Special Air Service" squad in order to penetrate behind enemy lines to create chaos in Rommel's ranks in Egypt. The Special Air Service Regiment's main aim was clandestine missions and quick strikes. Stirling was captured in 19434 and escaped on four occasions, but was caught each time. He was sent to Colditz prison and released after the war. He was knighted in 1990 and died a few months later.

The Iranian Embassy Siege

In 1981, the SAS hit the headlines when terrorists holding hostages in the Princes Gate Iranian Embassy in London. The hostage takers were swiftly and successfully eliminated by the ruthless action of the SAS. By becoming heroes in the press, the nature of the SAS was also exposed. Their role in the fight against terrorism became public.

Iranian Embassy siege: Who were the terrorists?

The six strong terrorist faction which took the embassy hostage called itself the Democratic Revolutionary Front for Arabistan. Out of the six members of the group five were shot dead including two in contentious conditions. The sixth, Fowzi Nijad, was given five life sentences. He attempted to claim early release in October 2003 but his request was turned down by the Home Secretary.

Scud-busters: Bravo Two Zero

Eight SAS men went behind enemy lines in Iraq in January 1991. The aim: to take out Saddam Hussein's scud missiles and sever communications between Baghdad and North West Iraq. The mission named Bravo Two Zero was lead by Sergeant Andy McNab. Only one man returned.

Andy McNab

Andy McNab has found fame as an author after leaving the SAS. Having joined the SAS in 1984, McNab earned the Distinguished Combat Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) making him the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he left the SAS in February 1993.