I’d like to introduce Marcin to the team.  He is an avid Polish writer of everything SOF.  English is not his first language so please enjoy his work and “voice” as he shares a very interesting story with us regarding the British SAS in WWII.



“Thus was born the SAS” – in memory of Sgt Jimmy Storie

There are many stories about brave and extraordinary missions undertaken by members of SOF community. We can easily agree that modern SOF era started during the World War II with the creation of the British Special Air Service. As almost everybody knows about Iranian Embassy Siege in London 1980 only few know the story of SAS’s Day One.

Let us start with origin of the SAS name. By the end of July 1941, time of Unit formation, Brigadier Dudley Clark, responsible for a Branch in the Middle East which dealt with enemy deception, tried to persuade the enemy there was fully equipped parachute brigade (he even used to drop dummy parachutists to stimulate training exercises near POW camps). He called this phantom brigade First SAS Brigade. David Stirling – creator of real parachute unit, agreed to name his unit “L” Detachment Special Air Service Brigade. Number “22” and word “Regiment” came later after resurrection of the SAS.

But, as it often happened to SOF units, Middle East Headquarters never liked the idea of a new unit. Fail the first op and there will be no other. First operation – “Operation Squatter” was unique for those days – parachute behind the lines, take out enemy aircrafts on two aerodromes at Tmini and Gazala , make way back across the desert, rendezvous with the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and come home.

Stirling made it clear to his men: fail and better we stay on the desert…