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History of the UK Special Forces

The Special Air Service during World War II
The Special Air Service during World War II
The Special Boat Service during World War II
The Special Boat Service during World War II

UK Special Forces

The origins of the UK Special forces can be traced back to WWII. They were created out of the specialist needs of the conflict. Both of the main 2 regiments, the SAS & the SBS, evolved in the post war years in order to adapt to the nature & requirements of a changing world, & the new security challenges that those changes presented. Both units now come under the operational command of HQ Directorate of Special Forces (DSF).

The Special Air Service or SAS (motto ‘who dares wins’) are recruited from a broad spectrum of regiments within the British Army. They specialise in the direct action unconventional warfare, counter terrorism, special recognizance & target acquisition.

The Special Boat Service or SBS (motto ‘by strength & guile) are far smaller in number & recruited from the Royal Marines. Adjustments to the SBS capability set in recent years have led to a previously unheard of level of compatibility & integration with other SF units, they differ in that they traditionally have a stronger focus on amphibious operations. Their training involves parachute & helicopter boat training.

The role of modern Special Forces includes apart from directly engaging the enemy, such tasks as special recognisance operations, counter terrorism, counter proliferation, information operations, unconventional warfare & civil affairs.