Richard Delingpole

34. SAS

Great Britain 1980

First formed in the Second World War for operations behind enemy lines, the Special Air Service have achieved legendary status as the world's most respected soldiers.

They arguably first appeared in the modern public's consciousness in 1980 when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher deployed them to stunning effect to break the Iranian Embassy siege in central London.

Abseiling from the roof of the embassy and entering through balcony windows, these mysterious men were now unavoidably in the public eye. The soldier pictured is dressed as he would have been for this operation (Operation Nimrod, 5th May 1980).

Richard Delingpole