BEHIND ENEMY LINES

By 1944 the SAS found itself thrust deep behind German-occupied lines in Europe. Craig Allen investigates their Jeep-based missions and unique methods of airborne-infiltration

These 1st SAS Jeeps were pictured at a liberation ceremony; note the armoured louvres for the radiators
CRAIG ALLEN pictures As Credited

Born in the Desert campaign in North Africa, the Special Air Service (SAS) was reconstituted back in the UK early in 1944 for the build-up to D-Day. The 1st and 2nd SAS regiments were joined by two French Parachute Battalions designated 3rd and 4th SAS, plus a Belgian Squadron to form a new SAS Brigade. Once back in Britain, the core of desert veterans was reinforced by new recruits. Many of these soldiers came from the Auxiliary units, formed earlier in the war when a German invasion seemed imminent. Expertly trained in guerilla warfare, these troops had only recently been released to join other units in the British Army.

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