God's Corps then. A bunch of tough bastards. Forgive me for making them a regiment if lowly foot.
The 95th. They were never a Regiment of foot - they were 'the rifles'.Originally Posted by James
Seeing as I'm in this thread now, God's Corps
God's Corps then. A bunch of tough bastards. Forgive me for making them a regiment if lowly foot.
93rd Highlanders at Balaklava.............The Thin Red Line!
The Groupes de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés, the GCMA.
These were hand picked French special forces operators who parachuted behind vietcong lines in Indochina to train, equip and lead Montagnards Tribes against the communists in the early 50s.
They were living with the tribes for up to two years at a time...they jumped in teams of three or four, the chief, a 2iC, a radio operator and sometimes a medic, with weapons, silver bullions and bags of salt, the only known currencies of those tribes. No fire support, no medevac, no helicopter, no QRF, no R&R....
They disrupted VC operations so much that they had to divert whole divisions to fight them. Even though France officialy left Indochina in 1954, the GCMAs kept on fighting until 1957 when a last call asking for ammo was received...
When US SF arrived, they thought it was such a good idea they restarted it...and recruited what they called the "Yards", corruption of the french word montagnards, or mountain people. The differences were that the US were in A Teams of 12, had unlimited fire support, regular R&R, one-year tours and Uncle Sam's logistics.
But the outcome was exactly the same.
Visit this link for more infos on the GCMA:
It's very hard to say, because many countries have very tough troops.
1) German and Finnish jaegers (correct me if I misspelled it).
2) Troops at Stalingrad, especially Russian storm groups.
3) Israeli Sayeret Matkal.
4) British SAS and Royal Marines
5) American SF in Vietnam
And of course, Russian VDV, Marines, and Spetsnaz!!
16 OBr SpN
XVIII century: Regiments Alcantara and Lusitania of cavalry. And specially TForce of governor Gálvez in American Revolution War, never so few men conquered so big territory in North America with the exception of Cortés centuries before him.
XIX: All infantry regiments and cavalry squadrons who got the first big victory over napoleonic troops in europe, in battle of Bailen, 1808. commanded by General Castaños, special mention to the andalusian cavalry squadrons. And all the irregular units who were built up for fighting the frenchs by unexperienced people and got enough experience for becoming the best soldiers of that war, my favourites are Julian Sánchez El Charro, from Salamanca, and Juan Martin El Empecinado from Burgos, although both them were professional soldiers when they were youngs, but they built big and organized forces of dispereses groups.
And the Pablo Morillo´s army sent to SouthAmerica in the early XIX century, and the cavalry squadrons of Boves, who fought in Venezuela in the same time
XX century: Tropas Regulares Indígenas and Tercio de la Legion in the Rif Wars, and the same units in Spanish Civil war in the Franco´s side, both infantry units and really good and tough in all senses, and in the Republic side, the 5º Regiment, and the 11 Division built around the 5º Regiment. And the Commandos Units of Republic trained in the Escuela de Guerrilleros de la Republica, I think it must be the first irregular war school created in XX century in europe, and the most of them fought in the II WW sharing their skills and their blood in the fight against nazism being part as coaches and fighters of the first Long Range British Patrols , the Tchad Column of Leclerq, the main Resistence groups in France and being parachuted behind the german lines in the east front in the forests of Ukraine in groups like the Medvediev column.
Well "hard" in this context can mean a lot of different things like:
Physical strenght, load carrying ability and marching ability on foot.
Ability to achieve much out of little.
Abilty to dominate the opposition on the scene of action / field of battle tactically and/or technicaly.
Ability to suffer hardships.
Ability to stand upp to pressure.
Proficiency in field craft.
And last but not least consistency in performance with regards to all of the above factors.
As there are so many to choose from I cannot rank units but as for "though units" or soldiers within the specified timeframe one can f.ex. mention:
The Grognards of Napoleon, Allied WW-2 Paratrooper/airborne/commando/ranger units
German WW-2 paratroopers
Finish soldiers during the Winter war and Continuation war,
Russian soldiers have allways through history seemed to be better able to take hardships in the field than many of their opponents
The Japanese likewise seems to have been able to achieve quite a lot given their limited resources (even though they lost badly in the end), Some Waffen SS units (like the Leibstandarte, Das Reich, Totenkopf, Wiking, Hohenstaufen, Nordland) built themselves a quite formidable reputation the battlefields of WW-2. Although at the same time most of them also tarnished that reputation with a notoriety for attrocities and indifferent treatment of prisoners (especially on the Eastern front).
Though I think having the Panther, tiger, nebelwerfer, Mortars, MGs 34/42, the 88 mm gun and the Panzerfaust helped a lot on the combat power of German forces (at least against the Wester Allies after 1942) during WW-2.
The armies of Mao seems to have some of the same qualities as the Japanese, and managed to give the UN forces quite a match during the Korean war.
The NVA managed to wait out the americans in NAM, despite the greater firepower of the americans.
The ROK forces fighting along other allied forces in NAM have been recognized as some of the most effective in theatre at the time.
The Australians appeared to have been quite resourceful in both World wars. Gaining a particularly good reputation for themselves on the Western front during the latter stages of WW-1 and in the Desert mounted corps in Palestine at the same time. In WW-2 perhaps not so dominant vs. the German opposition during the previous WW, yet being one of the core units of the British forces in the Western dessert against Rommel. Likewise doing quite well against the Japanes on New Guinea.
The Canadians had a similar reputation to the Australians on the Western front during WW-1. Though this reputation does not seem to have been equalled during WW-2 (at least with regards to the Western front after D-day, not having an easy time of it against the German formations (some Waffen SS) ranged against them). On the Italian front the Canadian reputation appears to have been somewhat better though). During the Korean war the reputation of the Canadian elements there was up to WW-1 level. Especially with regards to the "Van Doos".
The french forces fighting inland of Cassiono during WW-2 were instrumental in breaking the deadlock there. The French Paras during the wars in Indo-China and Algeria appears also to have been though formations.
......and so on and so on.....
No they were on the northern shoulder of the Bulge near Malmedy, helping in containing the Battlegroup led by Jochen Peiper of the Waffen SS Leibstandarte division.Originally Posted by Operation Ivy
All the units mentioned above are most defiantly deserving. I would just like to add few Israeli units that stand out a bit from the rest of the qualified units in the IDF that have fought in some of the toughest battles and against the type of odds that they had to face, which as a result makes them deserving to be on this thread.
Well I will say that besides Sayeret Matakl and Shayetet13 that have done some incredible things deep inside of enemy territory and have been in constant battle for the past fifty years (a lot of which is unknown and classified) I would also like to mention a few other Israeli units that belong here.
The first besides those two would be the paratroopers and their conduct in the 1967 war. Now while yes the IAF neutralized the skies, there were still some very heavy fighting on the ground and the paratroopers were involved in some of the heaviest fighting, especially the capture of the old city which was indeed a very bloody battle.
Second is Golani that fought some of the toughest infantry battles that Israel has ever faced when it fought in the recapture of the Golan Heights in the 1973 war. They literally scaled the mountain while the Syrians were entrenched from up above and shooting down below.
Now the next one is a bit of a departure for all the infantry units that are discussed here but this Israeli tank unit defiantly deserves to be here as well.
The 7th Armored Division along with the Barak Brigade in the 1973 war, where they faced 1200 Syrian tanks and fought for days to keep them from advancing further into Israel and barely but successfully held off till reserves finally came. In fact it was probably the biggest armour on armour fight since ww2
On a bit of a side note (but it does have some relevance to this thread), I found this listing on the French Foreign Legion site……………I found it quite interesting to say the least (especially since they are not an Israeli or Israeli biased site at all).
One other thing I found interesting and by no means do I mean any disrespect to the Germans here and this is not meant as a flame in any way for yes the Germans are indeed one of the best and most professional troops in the world today, but I have to question their ranking of the Germans in that particular field…..I mean besides their major amateurish screw up in their failing to rescue the Israeli Munich hostages at the air port in Germany, what have they done to prove they belong that high (I mean they even put them in front of the U.S.)
A little story about "Tsvika force" . I think this one acctually been talled in here somewhere ,so i will make it short.
1973-Yom kipur war. Syrian forces braking Israeli lines on Golan hights , destroying on it's way small randomly Barak brigade tank units . Sunday-syrian tanks getting to "Nafah"-Israeli division command post . Situation is very bad.
5 tanks in vicinity of Nafah camp ordered to attack that syrian force . They try to do it . Barak Brigade Co , Brigade Xo , and Brigade Op. officer
killed on contact . Remaining tank of officer Tvsika Gershboym flanking syrian forces at the camp , driving between they lines , firing like crazy to all the direction . At last Syrian infantry retreating from camp , after suffering huge losses from this one tank .
That same commander before alone hit more then 30 Syrian tanks by himself alone , while jumping between different tanks , loading ammo , driving them ,and firing - Engagement at Tap line .
I have always believed that Israel had 2 Bde's on the Golan Heights when the war started. The 7th and the Barak. What forces did the IDF actually have opposing the Syrians? In terms of bde´s that is.
I would love to answer to that , but unfortunatly i don't know what is Bde/
However , those 2 armored brigades are part Northern defence yes . Barak brigade was inihillated on first 2 days of the war . Completely .
The remaining couple of tanks were assigned to 7th brigade .
God's Corps are indeed a tough bunch of bastards - they're the Royal MarinesOriginally Posted by James
The 95th Rifles were not a Regiment of Foot - rifles were a new concept at the time so although given a foot regiment number (95) they were in fact part of a Brigade that was not considered 'of foot' in the same way as the Guards Regiments weren't.
Sorry British military pedantry
22nd SAS Regiment
French Foreign Legion
and many others...
101st Airborne Division units @ Bastogne
101st bury their dead on Christmas Day *WARNING* GRAPHIC
After hearing that the Germans wanted the 101st to surrender, the Acting Commander - BG General McAuliffe said "Nuts".