The book I read to research this post was The One Who Got Away by Chris Ryan which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. This book which shares its name with a classic world war 2 film is about an ill fated mission by the SAS during the First Gulf War in which Chris Ryan was the only one of his unit to evade death or capture. He won a Military Medal for the longest escape and evasion in SAS history and walked from a point near the Saudi border to Syria. He lost 36 pounds of bodyweight and his upper arms were as thin as his wrists. When he did to get to Syria someone tried to steal the gold coins british soldiers carried to bribe people if capture looked likely. In addition the police took him out in the desert and put a gun to his head and performed a mock execution. Once he got handed over to the embassy he got looked after though. He got separated from some of his unit when they walking in line and were supposed to stop while they tried to radio there base, the soldiers were so exhausted it didn’t register with some of them when the message was passed from one to the other that they were stopping. He also had to drink the dirty water out of the Euphrates. Also something many people don’t realise is when you are dressed in SAS gear and are white in an arab desert you stick out like a sore thumb.
Archive for the ‘the regiment’ Category
Tags: british history, chris ryan, elite forces, history, special forces, the first gulf war, the regiment, the sas
The book I read to research this post was SAS in Action by Chris Chant which is an excellent book believe me there’s loads of things in this book I could do a blog on & also I bought it from a car boot sale.
The iranian embassy seige was the first time the SAS had to deal with a hostage situation. Basically terrorists with help from the iraq government held everyone in the iranian embassy hostage in london in 1980. Iraq & Iran weren’t at war at that time but it was building up to it. The terrorists wanted 92 prisoners released & given safe passage back to iraq along with themselves. Apparently Mi5 put microphones into the embassy so that they would know where the hijackers & hostages were. The operation would have been a lot more difficult if they’d not known where the terrorists were as there were over 50 rooms to clear. There were several false alarms but the final straw was when they heard gunshots & a dead body was thrown out onto the street. One of the terrorists apparently had a hand grenade in his hand when they shot him & luckily he didn’t get the chance to set it off. A key weapon for the SAS was stun grenades which emit a blinding flash & huge noise which does literally stun someone for about 45 seconds giving them time to pick them off.
The book I read to research this post was The SAS 1947 To The Present by Anthony Kemp which is an excellent book which I got from the library. This book is the second in a 2 part series on the SAS and most of the book consists of various true stories about the SAS in action.
There was an incident in northern ireland where a 16 year old lad found a stash of weapons in a churchyard under a headstone. He told his dad who then told the police. Then 2 four man teams were flown in by helicopter and they took it in turns to watch the stash & see if anyone came to collect them. Anyway I assume this lad didn’t know the SAS were there but anyway he returned to have a look at the weapons and according to the SAS he picked up a rifle and pointed it at them so they shot him dead. The forensics couldn’t conclusively prove whether they had shot him from the front as was claimed or shot him with his back turned. It became the only incident where SAS men – the 2 that fired the shots – were tried for murder in a northern ireland court although they were acquitted. The judge did say one of the SAS accused was an unreliable witness. Needless to say the government & the SAS were quite embarrassed by the incident.
The book I read to research this post was Fight to Win Deadly Skills of the Elite Forces by Chris Ryan which is an excellent book and which I got from the library.
Twice a year the SAS lets people compete for selection at Hereford. Only about ten actually qualify. They must complete a battle fitness test and a combat fitness test in mid wales including a 23 km march in full combat gear in under 4 hours. They must walk 4 miles in under 1/2 an hour. Land navigation is very important and they will be given a destination and told to find the best route there. There not allowed to follow roads or footpaths. They are taught weapon maintenance. They are then sent to belize, brunei and malaysia for training in different types of jungle. In brunei they take part in an exercise where they must deal with enemy troops played by members of the gurkhas. At the end of that they are sent back to hereford for resistance to interrogation. They are subjected to stress positions, taunts from interrogators, very loud white noise and questioning where they must stick to a cover story and are not allowed to antagonize the interrogators in any way. At the end of that if they pass they join a unit.