Special Ops: A Photo History

special ops
Hulton / Getty Images

British Invasion
A lot of the inspiration for America's special ops came from the British, who, during World War II, formed the idea of dropping stealth commandos deep behind enemy lines to wreak havoc on enemy supply lines and other installations. Known as the Special Air Service (SAS), the units saw action in Europe and Africa during the war. In this photo, an SAS group poses after returning from a three-month patrol in North Africa.

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