POWs and civilians are not.
For example in Wisław Wielka on 3rd September Ebbinghaus murdered four civilians, including a Jewish family: Karola Mrzyk (29), Józef Silbersteina (53), Kurt Silbersteina (20), Ruta Silberstein (20)
In Katowice people murdered by Ebbinghaus were first sought by lists-they included local political activists and former Polish fighters from 1918 Uprising against Germany. The unit assisted in gathering them and mass executions.
I agree with James in that many special operations forces /units in WWII were sort of ad hoc vetted specialist infantry.
One area of future study for me is the Alamo Scouts.
They seem to have had considerable success with "generation 1.0" DA, SR, UW, FID, and even hostage rescue with Cabanatuan.
The Philippines theatre of operations in WWII seems to only have a few books/resources about an AO that saw quite a bit of SF/SO type ops.
With the many successes of the Alamo Scouts combined with their crazy low casualty rate its very surprisi.g more hasnt been written about those guys. They certainly seem worthy of it and worthy of being considered an important part of the US Army SF heritage and bloodline.
During the invasion of France there were insisting rumors of german soldiers disguised in French gendarmes that misled some military columns in traps/ambushes or removed/changed road signs"One of many actions from the opening days of the campaign was the seizure of the Meuse bridge in the Dutch town of Gennep. An 8 man team, led by Leutnant Wilhelm Walther, was given the task of capturing the bridge intact. At 2am on May 10, Walther's team, now disguised as Dutch military police escorting German prisoners, made their assault. Two guard posts were destroyed, but three Brandenburgers were wounded and the team was pinned down. Dressed in a Dutch uniform, Walther advanced across the bridge. The confused defenders hesitated, allowing the rest of the team to take them out, seizing the bridge and disabling the detonators. Many more operations like this took place over the course of the campaign. However on another bridge, Brandenburgers were arrested by Dutch troops and shot as spies." - Wiki Example of a small man unit of Brandenburgers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburgers
check the picture there: it shows a "gendarme" arrested by 2 germa soldiers
but some details do not fit in (the boots for example that look a lot like german issued boots)
Im sure this thread is seconds away from locking which is horrible because it started so good......but......when speaking of spec ops groups not fighting to the rules of war or committing war crimes isnt that like being shocked when the girl wearing a mini-skirt on the corner and no panties asks for cash for a date? I mean you have to know if you place an outnumbered group of hardcases behind the lines in a no-win situation what is going to happen if they get cornered enough. Besides you have to realize that the average German Landser who fought during WWII did so on the Eastern Front (where 2/3 or 3/4 of German casualties resulted depending on whose research you read) where the gloves were very much off....and you can see the mindset.
Nonetheless, Germany did have a very robust set of special missions units and others were at least special missions capable. Ever heard of Eben Emael? The attacks on the Suez? Afghan missions? mining of the Rhine bridges? Skorzeny's snatch and grab in Hungary? The attempts to get Tito? False flag missions in East Prussia in August 1931?
Anyway, my two cents
(In before the lock!)
August 1939 not August 1931 typo my bad, its too early
These I am not familiar with. Very interesting. I am going to do some reading up.The attacks on the Suez? Afghan missions?
I know the Germans carried out missions in Iraq, where the Iraqi Government was supportive, until the English invaded Iraq.
**Found an old thread about German missions into Afghanistan**
Last edited by Polarisbrian; 03-15-2012 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Found old Thread
Admiral McRaven has a book called 'Spec Ops' which analyzes some of these WWII SOF-like operations.