Special Air ServiceThe Special Air Service (SAS) is the principal special forces organisation of the British Army. Formed in 1941 to conduct raids behind German lines in North Africa, with the Long Range Desert Group, it today serves as a model for similar units fielded by many other countries.
The SAS is a small and secretive organisation, but attracts a disproportionate amount of media coverage. It forms part of the United Kingdom Special Forces, alongside the Special Boat Service (SBS) and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR).
The SAS is widely regarded as one of the finest and best trained special forces units in the world.
Special Air Service troops pictured in the North African desert during World War 2. The favourite jeep-mounted weapon of the SAS was the Vickers K machine gun, often mounted in pairs. The Vickers K was designed as an air-to-air weapon fitted to British aircraft. Firing a mixture of .303 armour-piercing, tracer and incendiary rounds, the Vickers K was ideal for shooting up parked enemy planes, something the SAS did to great effect during the War.