By Gregory Fremont-Barnes

For five days in may well 1980, millions watched worldwide because the shadowy figures of the SAS played a bold and dramatic raid at the Iranian Embassy in London, catapulting a little-known professional unit into the complete glare of the world's media. Hailed via Margaret Thatcher as "a marvelous operation, conducted with braveness and confidence," the raid was once a major good fortune for the SAS, who controlled to rescue nineteen hostages with near-perfect army execution, even supposing hostages have been killed through terrorists. regardless of the acclaim and media cognizance, info of the siege are nonetheless principally unknown and people on the center of the tale, the identities of the SAS soldiers themselves, stay a heavily guarded secret.This booklet takes a concise and in-depth examine the dramatic occasions of the Iranian Embassy Siege, revealing the political historical past at the back of it and punctiliously interpreting the debatable choice via the major Minister and residential Secretary to signal over regulate of the streets of London to the army. particular bird's eye view art illustrates the instant the partitions have been breached and exhibit how the stern making plans of the operation used to be severe to its luck. With enter from these all in favour of the project, and dialogue at the potent education regimes of the SAS, the writer strips away many of the secret in the back of the simplest counter-terrorism unit on the earth and their most famed raid.

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The same problem affected R Squadron, the reserve, and the sergeant in charge was overwhelmed with recruits. (Crawford, The SAS at Close Quarters, p. ' The numbers rapidly declined when, in the first phase of training, the CO, Keith Fames, put them on a running track and watched as all but a handful collapsed in exhaustion. In short, success brought instant publicity, which was never courted. For the SAS the rescue of the embassy hostages justified the years of training and vindicated those who had long defended the need for the regiment's continued existence.

Both Rose and Dellow believed that the shots were not a bluff - that someone had been killed. De la Billiere immediately made his way back to Whitehall to report to COBR. The Home Secretary was not in fact there, but rather at his official residence, Dorneywood, near Slough, about to sit down to a lunch that, with the siege in deadlock, had not been cancelled. The shots had now changed everything, and Whitelaw, accompanied by his Private Secretary, John Chilcot, agreed that he was immediately required back in London, which he reached, with the aid of police outriders to clear his 20-mile path from Slough to Whitehall, in an astonishing 19 30 The Seizure of the Embassy minutes.

Success depended on every SAS man knowing his task rigged up, awaiting the order precisely: the soldiers had to be able to pick out the terrorists, recognize every hostage to begin their descent down (from memorizing photographs), and keep within pre-set boundaries so that there was the back of the building no risk of shooting each other, onto the second-floor balcony. 36 The start of the raid would be signalled by the explosion of a pair of stun charges. These were to be placed on a glass dome which was situated in the middle of the building on top of the second floor.

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