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"Prolific World War II Special Units" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2023 7:43 p.m. PST

"There were many unique and interesting units that arose from all corners of the globe during World War II. From the Gurkhas of Nepal to the formation of the first British Special Forces unit to the Spetsnaz, we take a look at eight of the most interesting…"

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Cerdic23 Jun 2023 8:06 a.m. PST

Well the Gurkhas were around long before WW2. I didn't click on the link, is the rest of it drivel too…?

Starfury Rider23 Jun 2023 8:46 a.m. PST

Free French
British Commandos
Red Orchestra
And the SS…

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2023 12:06 p.m. PST

Not a mention of the SAS or SBS, Chindits, LRDG

Paratroops and Glider borne had many an even more elite sub-section.

Not a mention of any naval or air units eg Pathfinders, Minisubs of any nation, kamikaze etc

As for the Free French. That title is very much reserved in France, according to date of joining. Even in the Elite 2e DB the naval component, serving the M10 TDs, faced much hostility at first. They, alone in the Division, came from former Vichy units in French North Africa. The rest were untainted by serving Petain.

Personal logo BobTYW Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2023 12:37 p.m. PST

Don't forget the "Devils Brigade"

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2023 1:47 p.m. PST



Andy ONeill23 Jun 2023 2:50 p.m. PST

Chindits were arguably not special forces.
They're a bit of a strange case.
Regular infantry given special training.
They performed well, their morale and motivation was remarkable. Dad's company was reduced to 12 men in like a week of glider landing but still fought on.

Dad was a Chindit and volunteered. Not sure commandoes or sas would have considered him suitable.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jun 2023 6:54 a.m. PST

'Special Forces' are seen as romantic and exciting, but they rarely ever had any real impact on the outcome of a war.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2023 12:42 p.m. PST

and they deplete the regular forces of valuable NCO material, I have heard it argued.

Personally I am not so sure about ineffectiveness. The SAS in North Africa did so much damage, but also tied down enemy forces to guard against them. The threat of special forces might have had more impact than did reality?

Blutarski26 Jun 2023 6:39 p.m. PST



Wolfhag26 Jul 2023 12:45 p.m. PST

Marine Raiders and Paramarines.
Army Rangers
Navy UDT

The Raiders and Paramarines were broken up and officers and NCOs were put into the new 4th, 5th, and 6th Marine Divisions. The Marines never liked the idea of "elite" unit designation as all Marines are elite <grin>


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2023 12:57 p.m. PST

I have never been too sure about Elite units in wartime. It depletes the line infantry of the most experienced NCOs, when mass counts.

Peacetime is different. If anyone is to hang from a rope outside the Iranian Embassy, while I am a hostage within, I want those guys in black, who are an elite.

Funny thing though. Princess' Gate, the "terrorists" back then were the Kurds whom we now back against those nasty Iranians and Syrians (but not the Turks of course, cos they are NATO.) Strange world

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