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German Special Forces


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#1 Dpalme01

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 01:54 PM

What kind special forces did the Germans have and how effective were they?
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#2 angie999

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 08:23 AM

You have to differentiate between special forces and elite units. For instance, the Germans had a large number of parachute troops, who perhaps could be regarded as special up to the invasion of Crete, because nobody else was doing much in the way of airborne operations then, but they largely abandoned airborne operations after that and used the parachite troops as conventional elite light infantry.

Similarly, although units like the allied arborne forces, commandos and rangers trained for and carried out operations which had special forces characteristics, as the war progressed the scale of their operations increased and they also were really elite light infantry with a range of specialist skills.

True German special forces were on quite a small scale and more or less started with the force Skorzeny put together for the rescue of Mussolini. This small force then carried out a number of other missions, in Hungary, the Ardennes and against the Remagen bridge if I recall correctly, but they never developed on the scale of the British, where really it all started in the desert with units like the LRDG and the SAS.
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#3 BeppoSapone

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 09:18 AM

Originally posted by angie999@Jun 26 2004, 03:23 AM

True German special forces were on quite a small scale and more or less started with the force Skorzeny put together for the rescue of Mussolini.

Wasn't there also something called the Brandenburg Division?
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#4 angie999

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:17 AM

Originally posted by BeppoSapone@Jun 26 2004, 09:18 AM

Wasn't there also something called the Brandenburg Division?

Yes and there is a book in print about it which I have not read.

In some descriptions it is described as a special forces unit under the control of the Abwehr which carried out SAS style operations, but this is a bit misleading. It appears to have started on a small scale as such a unit, but expanded and changed its role as the war progressed, so that by late 1944 it was a Panzer Grenadier division and part of the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, in other words, a convential elite unit.

In some accounts, special forces and cloak and dagger style operations were not encouraged by the orthodox generals of the Heer and it is possible to see how such a special force would have fallen out of favour with the decline of the Abwehr. In this context, it is important to note that Skorzeny's unit was SS, the "rising star" as it were within the Wehrmacht.
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#5 morse1001

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 10:44 AM

you also have the 115th prussian marine stormtroopers who were trained to operate behind russian lines.

Also, there was the werewolves at the end of the war.

:ph34r: :ph34r:
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#6 robh2k4

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 07:35 PM

What part in the army where the gestapo in the german army?
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#7 armourersergeant

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 09:39 PM

The Gestapo were not a part of the army. They were more a political police force whose infleuence grew as Himmlers grew.


Arm.
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#8 morse1001

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 06:52 AM

The gestapo were the secret police force. They were started by Goring in 1933 ish.

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#9 BeppoSapone

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 08:47 AM

Originally posted by robh2k4@Jul 4 2004, 02:35 PM
What part in the army where the gestapo in the german army?

Others have answered your question about the Gestapo.

The word "Gestapo" is made up from the start of the German words for "Secret State Police" - Geheime Staats Polizei.
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#10 robh2k4

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 09:27 PM

ok, thanks for your help guys :)

Rob
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#11 CROONAERT

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 01:23 AM

Originally posted by morse1001@Jul 5 2004, 01:52 AM
The gestapo were the secret police force. They were started by Goring in 1933 ish.

As opposed to the Kripos, who were similar to our CID and did the everyday policing (detectives, etc.). (Kriminal Polizei)
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#12 robh2k4

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 11:17 AM

so they where basically people who did the dirty work for them?

Rob
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#13 angie999

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 06:04 PM

Originally posted by robh2k4@Jul 7 2004, 11:17 AM
so they where basically people who did the dirty work for them?

Rob

Actually, not so simple. As with much else in Nazi Germany, you find empire building, overlapping and competing authority and a deal of confusion over who was responsible for what.

Plus, in addition to being Reichfuhrer SS, Himmler was also Head of German Police, so it all came under his control. Top ranking SS officers were appointed to regional commands, including occupied territories, as Higher SS and Police Leaders. From 1943 onwards, there was a degree of merging of the Kripo and Gestapo into the SS.

All the police organisations in Nazi Germany got involved in the "dirty work" to a degree.

For instance, Orpo (Ordnungspolizei = Order Police) units were heavily involved in the Holocaust in Poland and in the Einsatzgruppen which carried out mass shootings after the invasion of the Soviet Union. Later, some of these units were involved in anti-partisan operations and were even incorporated into Wehrmacht forces.

All very interesting, of course, but getting off the special forces topic a bit.
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#14 morse1001

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 07:31 PM

As opposed to the Kripos, who were similar to our CID and did the everyday policing (detectives, etc.). (Kriminal Polizei)


kripos is a term more normally associated with the "Block leaders" in the camps.

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#15 CROONAERT

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 11:13 PM

Originally posted by morse1001@Jul 7 2004, 02:31 PM

As opposed to the Kripos, who were similar to our CID and did the everyday policing (detectives, etc.). (Kriminal Polizei)


kripos is a term more normally associated with the "Block leaders" in the camps.

I always thought that these were known as the Blockaltester. Maybe "Kripo" was a nick-name for them?

The "German CID" are still ,to this day, known as Kripos.


B.
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#16 morse1001

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 12:33 AM

I always thought that these were known as the Blockaltester. Maybe "Kripo" was a nick-name for them?


the name used in the camps came about because so many of the blockleaders came from the "crimminals" in the camps.
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#17 angie999

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 06:20 PM

Originally posted by morse1001@Jul 7 2004, 07:31 PM
kripos is a term more normally associated with the "Block leaders" in the camps.

You are confusing this with Kapos.
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Angie

"History is lived forward but it is written in retrospect. We know the end before we consider the beginning and we can never wholly recapture what it was like to know the beginning only." C V Wedgewood

#18 morse1001

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 07:46 PM

You are confusing this with Kapos.


I am indeed! I stand corrected! :( :(

:ph34r: :ph34r:
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#19 Dpalme01

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 02:27 PM

A very late thanks to every one
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#20 stuka101

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 05:57 PM

Did the Waffen SS units ever cary out Brandedburg missions?

Thanks

Currahee
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#21 No.9

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 11:35 PM

Perhaps it depends on your point of view? The Brandenburgers were formed by the Abwehr, Admiral Canaris, and fell ‘out of grace’ together with Canaris and the Abwehr after the July Plot to assassinate Hitler. Anything Abwehr was considered a threat or was liable to be. The bulk of the Brandenburgers were turned into a motorised infantry (Panzer-Grenadiers) and depleted on the Eastern Front, but one or two thousand joined Otto Skorzeny, who, was and remained a Waffen-SS Sturmbannfuhrer.

Otto and his men were a favourite of Hitler and while performing special operations for him, were not used as the basis to found a significantly large organisation like the Commandos. The Brandenburgers conducted overt and covert assignments involving one man up to hundreds - the same as Skorzeny did or could have done if so tasked. One role was that of Stormtroops and probably in this role you can find parallels with the Waffen-SS. However, to conform to the true nature of ‘raiders’, the unit needs to move fast, strike quickly, then be relieved or withdraw. Perhaps the Waffen-SS can be seen more in terms of ‘spearhead’?

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#22 Brownag

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 03:15 PM

Originally posted by BeppoSapone+Jul 5 2004, 08:47 AM-->

(BeppoSapone @ Jul 5 2004, 08:47 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-robh2k4@Jul 4 2004, 02:35 PM
What part in the army where the gestapo in the german army?

Others have answered your question about the Gestapo.

The word "Gestapo" is made up from the start of the German words for "Secret State Police" - Geheime Staats Polizei.

Quoted post

[/b]

Was there not something called the Geheime Feld Polizei which was a military version of the Gestapo?

I also recall reading somewhere that the Germans used ex-USAAF B-17s that had force landed over occupied territories to drop agents over the Eastern Front in the later part of the war since they had few long range bombers they could spare.
The agents dropped would not be classed as special forces, they would more accurately be described as spies but I'm sure the crew of the B-17s could be classed as special forces.
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#23 angie999

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 05:39 PM

Originally posted by Brownag@Oct 16 2004, 03:15 PM

Was there not something called the Geheime Feld Polizei which was a military version of the Gestapo?


There may have been. Geheime simply means secret and German military police units were involved in occupation duties and operations against resisters and partisans. It would make sense for some of them to do clandestine work. I don't think this qualifies them as special forces though.
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#24 Brownag

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Posted 17 October 2004 - 09:05 AM

Originally posted by angie999+Oct 16 2004, 05:39 PM-->

(angie999 @ Oct 16 2004, 05:39 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Brownag@Oct 16 2004, 03:15 PM

Was there not something called the Geheime Feld Polizei which was a military version of the Gestapo?

I don't think this qualifies them as special forces though.

Quoted post

[/b]

I wasn't thinking of the GEFEPO as special forces, I was only adding some information to earlier posts on the thread which had gone off on a bit of a tangent.

Back to special forces though there was an SS unit, 500 (Parachute)Bn used to raid Tito's HQ. It was something of a penal bn I think.

There was a special unit attached to the Afrika Korps as well wasn't there? although technically I think they may have been part of the Brandenburg Regiment.
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#25 morse1001

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 09:35 PM

There was a special unit attached to the Afrika Korps as well wasn't there? although technically I think they may have been part of the Brandenburg Regiment.

Quoted post


That was the 999th penal btn

But there is also the 115th prussian marine btn led by Georg von Konrat and used for "special operations" in Russia.
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#26 morse1001

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 09:39 PM

I also recall reading somewhere that the Germans used ex-USAAF B-17s that had force landed over occupied territories to drop agents over the Eastern Front in the later part of the war since they had few long range bombers they could spare.
The agents dropped would not be classed as special forces, they would more accurately be described as spies but I'm sure the crew of the B-17s could be classed as special forces.

Quoted post


That was the Real KG200 which not just B17s but other captured enemy aircraft

in the same way the allies used captured aircraft for specail ops.

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#27 GUMALANGI

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 05:33 PM

How about X Kampfgruppe led by Oberst Skorzeny,.. during the battle of the Bulge,.. with captured m10 Motor carriage, penetrated deep into allied lines,.. and created much of confusions,..
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#28 DAVE1

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 05:09 PM

Hi,what was the history of the Werewolves toward the end of the war?
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#29 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 01:54 PM

Originally posted by morse1001@Oct 18 2004, 05:39 PM
I also recall reading somewhere that the Germans used ex-USAAF B-17s that had force landed over occupied territories to drop agents over the Eastern Front in the later part of the war since they had few long range bombers they could spare.
The agents dropped would not be classed as special forces, they would more accurately be described as spies but I'm sure the crew of the B-17s could be classed as special forces.

Quoted post

That was the Real KG200 which not just B17s but other captured enemy aircraft

in the same way the allies used captured aircraft for specail ops.

Quoted post

Not quite. KG 200 is the subject of a lot of fast fiction, but in reality, its purpose was to test and analyze planes the Luftwaffe captured. They flew the usual collection of captured planes...P-47s, and so on.
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#30 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 01:56 PM

Originally posted by DAVE@Apr 22 2005, 01:09 PM
Hi,what was the history of the Werewolves toward the end of the war?

Quoted post

There are two excellent books on the subject, one called "Hitler's Werewolves," by Charles Whiting, the other just called "Werewolf." Both are on my Bibliography on my website. Start there. They killed the American-appointed Mayor of Aachen and caused some low-level chaos -- stringing wires across roads to decaptitate jeep drivers and so on -- but fizzled out by 1948.
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"My intensity is intense." -- Roger Clemens

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." -- Winston Churchill.

"I am not a hero. The heroes are all dead. I am a survivor." -- Sgt. William Guarnere, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Check out my little contributions to World War II history at my web pages:

World War II Plus 55

or

http://davidhlippman...illguarnere.com




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