SAS LRDG & SACRED MILITARY UNIT [IEROS LOCHOS]
LONG RANGE DESERT GROUPS – GREEK SPECIAL FORCES UNIT
British SAS LRDG (Long Range Desert Groups), were established in Egypt, in 1940 and consisted of British, Australians and New Zealanders.
Ieros Lochos was a Greek Special Forces Unit, formed in the Middle East, during World War II, in 1942. It was composed entirely by Greek Officers of the 3 armed forces (Army, Navy, Airforce) and students from the Greek Military Academy, under the command of Colonel Tsigantes.
Ieros Lochos fought alongside the British SAS LRDG, in the Libyan desert and the Aegean sea, as well as with the free French Army Forces of General Leclerc in Tunisia. Next, they participated in commando missions and operations, for the liberation of the Aegean islands, under the command of General Freyberg (Commander of the New Zealand Division) and Brigadier General Torybull (Commander of the British Commando Brigade).
In general, Ieros Lochos conducted mainly commando missions and operations, with important and considerable results, both in North Africa and the Aegean sea. They were conducting saboteur missions, deep in the desert, behind the German enemy lines, using WILLYS MB Jeeps. The WILLYS MB Jeeps, were carrying heavy artillery and ammunition, as well as supplies, in order to be able to remain in the desert, for extended periods of time. In 1943 they crossed over to Europe, where they continued the operations, until the end the war (1945).
Ieros Lochos was disbanded in August 1945 and was the pioneer of the contemporary Greek Special Forces.
Libya, July 1942
The set up represents a patrol of Ieros Lochos – SAS (Greek Special Forces Unit – Desert Groups), which fought in Libya in North Africa, in July 1942.
The Greek Patrol, driving a vehicle Willys MB Jeep, stops in a British Pillbox, under the order to receive a top-secret written command from the Headquarters of the Allied General Forces in North Africa, delivered by a British motorcyclist messenger. The top-secret command, ordered the deep penetration of the German backline and the complete destruction of the fuel and ammunition depots of the German Army, that was under the command of General Rommel.
The patrol plans the field mission, which includes initially the identification of the coordinates of the enemy warehouses, then the actions for their destruction with sabotage operation, during the night and at the end a safe escape plan. Meanwhile, they have the opportunity to rest for a few hours and eat, under increased alert, as there is always a risk of detection by hostile forces.
The vehicle driven by the Greek Patrol is an American Willys MB Jeep 1942, modified for SAS missions.
In terms of ammunition carries:
• Lee Enfield No4 0.303” rifle • Browning 0.30” machine gun
• 3 Bren 0.303” submachine gun
In terms of artilery carries:
• solar compass • pierced steel plunking
• various ammunition boxes • German spoils (helmet & flag)
• stretcher • individual gear
• 2 spare wheels • 15 fuel-water tanks
The driver carries:
• Webley revolver
The Greek co-driver, seated at the table, carries:
• Webley revolver
• US Thomson 0.45” American manufacture submachine gun
and is equipped with:
• heliograph for communication via Morse signals
• tracking devices
The British gunner in the pillbox is equipped with:
• No4 Lee Enfield 0.303” rifle
• American Browning 0.30” water-cooled machine gun
• mine detector
• bearing accessories
• ammunition boxes
The motorcyclist who rides a 1939 BSA motorcycle carries:
• Webley revolver