SAS Combat Vehicles 1942 – 91

New Vanguard 295 SAS Combat Vehicles 1942


Gavin Mortimer

Illustrated by:

Henry Morshead

Irene Cano Rodriguez


This paperback book is number 295 in the New Vanguard series of books that are available from Osprey Publications.

The SAS, the world’s most famous special operations unit, made its name in the desert of North Africa, shooting up Axis airfields from specially modified Willys jeeps. Following the start of the El Alamein offensive in October 1942, the SAS used jeeps effectively in reconnoitering and ambushing the retreating Afrika Korps. After the conclusion of the North African campaign, the Willys underwent several small but significant changes, including the introduction of the .303 Browning machine gun.

Between June and October 1944, the SAS brigade operated deep inside Occupied France, harassing Germans reinforcements heading to Normandy, calling up air strikes on installations, and carrying out reconnaissance missions – all made possible with jeeps dropped by the RAF. Jeeps were also used in the push into Germany in the spring of 1945. Transported across the Rhine in ‘Buffalo’ amphibious landing craft, they formed part of the vanguard of the Allied advance, and their agility, speed and firepower proved crucial in crushing fanatical pockets of Nazi resistance.

22SAS in 1952, the regiment adopted the Series 1 Land Rover – introduced in 1948 – as the successor to the Willys jeep. A decade later the Regiment updated to the Series IIA 90 Land Rover, which saw service in the Oman and Aden, where its distinctive color led to the ‘Pink Panther’ nickname. In the 1970s, the SAS begin using Range Rovers for covert operations while the Land Rover 110 HCPU became the SAS’s new Desert Patrol Vehicle (DPV) in the 1991 Gulf War. This book describes the successful deployment of these combat vehicles in SAS operations from the Second World War to the present day and gives a rare insight into one of the most prestigious and secret forces of modern times.


This is another book that would be of interest to the Historian, modeler and wargamer. The Historian will enjoy the history of SAS Combat Vehicles from their use of the Willys Jeeps through to the Range Rovers introduced in 1952. The modeler will gain knowledge from this book for their painting of the SAS vehicles to what optional equipment was placed on the vehicles. The modeler will also garner some ideas for dioramas from the drawings and photographs in the book. Finally the wargamer will also get ideas for painting SAS vehicles and will get ideas on scenarios they can create for their wargame.


This book is available from Osprey Publications.



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