British Army Special Forces Patch Special Air Service Title 1945
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British Army Special Forces Patch Special Air Service Title 1945

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  • Item #: 1P 01UK 7ABN 13REG 9WQ 000SAS 01
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British Army Special Forces Patch SAS Special Air Service Title Patch 1945 embroidered on wool sized black gauze back 27mm by 134mm one and one sixteenth inches by five and one quarter inches.  

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History

Scots Guards Lieutenant David Stirling serving with No 8 (Guards) Commando under Middle East Commando Layforce received approval to establish small teams of parachute trained soldiers to operate behind enemy lines gain intelligence destroy enemy aircraft and attack supply and reinforcement routes in the western desert. At that time the Army was operating a deception organisation known as K Detachment Special Air Service Brigade which was creating a phantom Airborne Brigade to affect enemy planning and operations and Stirling’s unit was to be used as the offensive arm and was named L Detachment SAS Brigade activated on 1 July 1941.

Following extensive training at Kabrit L Detachment undertook its first parachute operation on enemy airfields at Gazala and Tmimi on 16-17 November 1941. The parachute jump was not a success and the raid failed with one third of the unit killed or captured but it showed the Germans that the British had troops in the Middle East with parachute capability. L Detachment was allowed to expand recruiting from the disbanding Layforce Commando. The next missions were a success when L Detachment raided Axis airfields and convoys in Libya supported by the Long Range Desert Group LRDG and destroyed a large number of aircraft without loss. Raids continued with the LRDG and with its own armed light vehicles and the unit was again expanded in September 1942 and designated 1st SAS Regiment comprised three Squadrons a Free French Detachment and the Greek Sacred Squadron.  David Stirling was captured in January 1943 during SAS operations in southern Tunisia and as the North African campaign drew to a close 1st SAS Regiment was formed into the Special Raiding Squadron and the Special Boat Squadron.  

In May 1943 David Stirlings brother Lieutenant Colonel William Stirling formed the 2nd SAS Regiment in Algeria serving in Sicily and Italy as did the Special Raiding Squadron and Special Boat Squadron operated with great success in the Aegean and the Balkans.  

In March 1944 the 1st and 2nd SAS Regiments returned to the UK and joined the newly formed SAS Brigade of the Army Air Corps with the French 3rd and 4th SAS the Belgian 5th SAS and F Squadron for signals and communications. The brigade was ordered to swap their beige SAS
berets for the maroon parachute beret and given shoulder titles in the airborne colors. The French and Belgian regiments also wore the Airborne Pegasus arm badge. The brigade began conducting operations after the start of the invasion to stop German reinforcements reaching the front line by being parachuted behind the lines and assisting the French Resistance. In autumn 1944 2nd SAS were parachuted into Italy to work with the Italian resistance at formed an Allied SAS Battalion with Italian guerrillas and escaped Russian prisoners.  

In May 1945 1st and 2nd SAS were sent to Norway to disarm the 300,000 German garrison and 5th SAS were in Denmark and Germany on counter intelligence operations. In September 1945 the Belgian 5th SAS were handed over to the reformed Belgian Army and the 3rd and 4th French SAS were handed over to the French Army on 1 October 1945. The British 1st and 2nd SAS regiments and the Brigade were disbanded on 8 October 1945.

21st SAS Regiment (V) was formed on 1 January 1947 on the renaming of the Artists Rifles as part of the Territorial Army to retain the capability for deep penetration commando operations. In 1950 the Regiment formed a squadron to fight in Korea but was diverted to Malaya and became B Squadron Malayan Scouts (SAS) joining A Squadron local volunteers and C Squadron volunteers from Rhodesia. Due to its successes the Malayan Scouts (SAS) were renamed 22 SAS Regiment and formally added to the regular army list in 1952 but disbanded B Squadron. The Rhodesian volunteer Squadron was replaced by New Zealand volunteers in 1953 and by 1956 the 22 SAS Regiment had been enlarged to five squadrons with the addition of D Squadron and the Parachute Regiment Squadron.

23 Special Air Service Regiment (Territorial Army) was formed in February 1958 from the Joint Reserve Reconnaissance Unit of 1(BR) Corps West
Germany for acquiring accurate battlefield surveillance nuclear targeting and behind the lines rescue.

In 1958 the 22 SAS dispatched two squadrons to Oman and in January 1959 A Squadron defeated a large Guerrilla force. 22 SAS were relocated to Malvern UK moving to Hereford in 1960. In 1963 the Regiment was sent to Borneo for the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and were added the Guards Independent Parachute Company and later the Gurkha Independent Parachute Company to their strength for cross border
operations to disrupt the Indonesian Armys build up for invasion. In 1964 B Squadron was re-formed and in 1969 D Squadron deployed to Northern Ireland for just over a month.

22 SAS returned to Oman in 1970 for counter insurgency in Dhofar under the British Army Training Team (BATT) and with local volunteers defeated the guerrillas at the Battle of Mirbat in 1972. The SAS returned to Northern Ireland in 1972 when small numbers of men were involved in intelligence gathering and the first squadron was committed in 1976 increasing to two squadrons in 1977 with operations against the IRA continuing in NI and Europre to the 1990s.  

In 1975 the SAS Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) wing was established manned by each squadron on a rotational basis.  The CRW was involved with many incidents including the Balcombe Street Siege assisting the West German GSG 9 at Mogadishu the Iranian Embassy Siege (B Squadron) D wing Peterhead Prison and the aftermath of the London bombings in 2005.

During April 1982 D and G Squadrons deployed to Ascension Island in response to the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands and with the SBS and Royal Marines retook South Georgia on 25 April 1982. G Squadron landed eight reconnaissance patrols on East Falkland 30 April to 2 May 1982 and on 14 and 15 May D Squadron carried out a raid on the airstrip on Pebble Island West Falkland destroying 11 aircraft. D Squadron mounted a major diversionary raid at Goose Green and Darwin prior to the main landings at San Carlos. B Squadrons planned raids on Rio Grande Tierra del Fuego and on Port Stanley were cancelled at the last minute and they parachuted into the South Atlantic to reinforce D Squadron. On the night of 14 June 1982 D and G Squadrons carried out a diversionary raid against Argentinian positions North of Stanley while 2 Para assaulted
Wireless Ridge.

The largest SAS mobilization since WWII was undertaken in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990 with A B and D Squadrons 22 SAS deployed to the Gulf. The SAS operating from Al Jawf had since 20 January 1991 been working behind Iraqi lines hunting for Scud missile launchers and ambushing for Iraqi convoys.

The SAS combined SBS and assets from 1 Para deployed to Sierra Leone in September 2000 and successfully carried out the hostage rescue Operation Barras. A Squadron 22 SAS operated in Iraq in 2006 as part of Task Force Black and Task Force Knight and were involved in the
rescue of peace activists.

The SAS took part in the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in 2001 and have been involved with operations since. The Regiment was also active in Libya in 2011.

 

This patch dates from 1944.

 

 

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