HMS Cumberland:lands SAS, SBS at Benghazi
The British SAS and SBS may have been landed in Libya by HMS Cumberland when it docked in Benghazi on February 24 and then fanned south into the country's huge desert.
The manoeuvre echoes second world war strategies by British commanders when units of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) mounted covert daring strikes in North Africa against enemy positions and supply dumps.
A number of the compounds where oil workers were staying were reported to have been under siege by local militia forces, SAS scoured the country for a suitable landing point – a central meeting point – from where the oil workers would be taken for rescue is
Somehow British special forces managed to placate local militia, most likely by negotiation, and then succesfully rounded up the oil workers from their bases and transported them to the runway.
Hours before the daring operation took place the Ministry of Defence confirmed it had "pre-positioned assets" for a rescue operation. Reports claimed that there may be up to 500 Britons still in compounds scattered across the Libyan desert, prompting speculation that another rescue mission may be required.
A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that the evacuation operation was not finished, pointing to the inevitability of more Hercules rescue flights. He said: "Nothing is compete yet, we've definitely still got people there."