James Lucas’ Kommando takes a look, as the subtitle suggests, German Special Forces of World War Two. In one of the paradoxes of that conflict, the Germans went into that conflict with several special units, but
The ineptitude of the planning, as described by Lucas boggles the mind. For example, the planners had failed to notice that Gleiwitz radio station, to be raided by SD men disguised as Poles, was a low-powered rebroadcaster. It had no studio and only a limited range in a rural community. After much planning – but clearly not much reconnaissance – the raid took place. A microphone was eventually found, a local resident was murdered for the occasion and a bunch of thugs paraded in SD uniform – why is not certain, as the SD had made sure the area was remote and the only Germans they would encounter were other SD men. As an aside, the “Poles” also raided the nearby Hochlinden border post and a forest ranger`s house at Pitschen. These goons were the successors to agents provacateurs deployed as early as 1938 to destabilise
More novel and useful were the so-called “Brandenburgers” established by the Abwehr, German military intelligence. The first commando company was established in the (Northern hemisphere) summer of 1939. Abwehr chief, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris “saw that
This was certainly the case in the Polish campaign where
Its place was taken by a variety of ad hoc units formed around the person of the charismatic SS Sturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny. This force, at one stage included two SS parachute battalions, one of which was used for a decapitation raid on the headquarters of Yugoslav Partisan leader Tito. Skorzeny also seized
The vital role of the Luftwaffe`s parachute corps is also described in some detail, as is that of the Kriegsmarine`s combat divers and midget submariners. Also deserving of mention is KG200, the special missions squadron and the Luftwaffe`s own kamikaze detachments. Lastly, Lucas pays some attention to the Volksturm, the farcical Freikorps Adolf Hitler and the Werewolf sabotage organisation.
German Special Forces of World War Two