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List of "Elite" units

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1939 - 1942' started by KiwiTT, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    USMCPrice;

    Hello BP,

    well this thread is about who is elite - so I think it is okay to continue as long we don't get to heated up :D

    The LRRP is a part of the KSK - in that case the German Army is organized differently from the US Forces. However the KSK lacks the "strategical and technical backup" in comparrison to the US SOF's. But they are in the same trade as the SEAL's.

    On that part I have to respectfully disagree. Schw. was totaly against the preliminary deployment of SOF's. It was French and British LRRP's that went in before the action got under way. It was only opon opening the battle that Schw. moved in SOF's. Later he corrected his estimates towards them.

    Exactly, 5th SFG were the first to send in LRRP teams. The German LRRP and the "OD Alpha" have a very solid cooperation since more then 40 years now. And we still train our units at the same school and camp.

    I think were we differentiate is within the setup of the SEAL's. They have their own so called LRRP's, which is one of the headaches of SOCOM and SOCJFCOM in regards to DEVGRU (T6) since their LRRP is not in the same league as other LRRP's. But I think now it is getting too technical ;)

    I just wanted to point out that units such as SEAL, SAS or KSK are the broader outline of elite units - the real elite IMHO are the Lurp's.:)

    Regards
    Kruska

    Hello Mod :D, I hadn't relized that this "elite" was about WWII - sorry
     
  2. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    [SIZE=-1]Back on era specific: :eek:
    It looks like for the Americans there were four main "Elite" forces; The Rangers, Gliders, Airborne and these guys:

    Special Service Force --- A few snippets from the link below.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Of all of the elite units, the 1st Special Service Force had the most bizarre beginning. The Force was the brainchild of Englishman Geoffrey Pyke, an inventor, propagandist, statistician, financier, economist, and foreign correspondent. Pyke rarely bathed, shaved, or cut his hair, did not like to wear socks, and dressed in a badly stained, crumpled suit. Pyke's personality matched his appearance. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]But for all his shortcomings, Pyke was a brilliant man, and many of his....[/SIZE].......
    [SIZE=-1]"[/SIZE]Lieutenant Colonel Robert Frederick was given the task of creating the specialized unit for the Plough Project,"
    [SIZE=-1]The skills needed to carry out the Plough Project demanded rigorous training in a wide variety of disciplines. Men learned every available weapon, becoming masters of demolition, qualified skiers, and paratroopers, and learned how to drive and repair the Weasel, the tracked "snow vehicle" developed for the project. Hand-to-hand fighting was taught as well as personal initiative. Thus one of the toughest fighting units of the war was born, and the modern U.S. Special Forces, considered by many the elite of the elite, trace their lineage to this group.

    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]http://www.worldwar2history.info/Army/elite/Special-Forces.html
    [/SIZE]
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye, 'tis.
     
  4. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I am actually not all that interested at the designated "elite" units such as the Airborne, Rangers, Commandos and Bradenburgers because they were created for special operations and composed of picked men. I would like to add to the question: among conventional infantry and armor divisions, what units were reckoned to be "elite" or "crack" outfits? According to whose esteem? For example, I found this curious aside on the US 30th Division's vet association:

    "Towards the end of the war General Eisenhower asked the European Theater historian to rate all the division in the European Theater of Operations. The 30th participated prominently and effectively in all five major battle campaigns in Northern Europe. After a thorough study by the historian staff the 30th Infantry Division was rated the No.1 Division in the ETO by these historians. It was judged overall to have outperformed the acclaimed airborne and regular army divisions. This is the legacy we wish to carry forward."

    Has anyone else heard of this investigation? Does anyone have a copy of this report? Also of great interest to me: according to the Wehrmacht, what conventional Allied Divisions in ETO was thought to be particularly dangerous?
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Old Hickory told me about this assertion sometime back, but I have not ever found an independent source.

    Like all soldiers, he is very proud of his outfit and what they accomplished.

    The stand by 2/120th IR, 30th ID at Hill 314 near Mortain was a major feat in the war, especially when you consider it was for all intents and purposes a somewhat green unit fighting against superior numbers of veterans.
     
  6. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Triple C,

    I certainly can't speak for the estimation of the Wehrmacht leadership as such - but from vetrans accounts the answer would be;

    Any Western Allied unit was feared due to the amount of backup that was behind them. As such it didn't really matter to them Wehrmacht guys - what name that specific US or Brit/Canad unit had.

    Foremost the Allied tank units were the more fearsome expression in contra to infantry unit - due to their backup and order of battle. Once the term "Ami Panzer" US tanks, was called everone started to look for a hole somewhere.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  7. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Aye, I was just done reading an account of the Ruhr Pocket constructed from mostly German sources. I can see why the German Landsers had a contemptuous opinion of the American and British infantrymen's quality. Namely the Allies usually refused to come into grips with Wehrmacht troops in close combat but would return fire with heavy weapons that German troops did not possess and could not retaliate. The German civilians and soldiers alike were impressed with the number of tanks and the destructiveness of the artillery.

    The only quotation of Eisenhower's opinion of American infantry divisions I can source mentioned the 1st and 9th Divisions as they were the most seasoned. But I am still looking for the evaluation mentioned in the 30th Division's history.
     
  8. Fury 1991

    Fury 1991 New Member

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    I notice alot of vets in this thread. Thank you for your service gentlemen.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    While your thanks are appreciated, the "veteran" title you see in many titles refers to Forum veterans; those who have posted to a certain level. True WW2 vets are identified by having their name in blue. There are a significant number of military veterans from other times, but their service is not identified in their titles.
     
  10. 1ST Chutes

    1ST Chutes Member

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    How about the Navy NCDU's , UDT's and the US Navy Scouts and Raider's?

    And I believe that the USMC Parachute Bn's have been left out, despite the fact they never were used in an Airborne role and were realitively short lived I believe they should be considered an elite.
     
  11. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Free French Kieffer Commando
    In 1944, the 177 men of the "1er BFM Commando" were integrated into the British No. 4 Commando under Lieutenant-Colonel Dawson, part of the 1st Special Service Brigade under Brigadier Lord Lovat.

    On 6 June 1944, at 0731, the Bérets verts ("Green berets") landed in Ouistreham, Benouville, Amfreville and Bavant, designated as Sword Beach. Kieffer, recently promoted to capitaine de corvette, led his men personally. The unit suffered 21 killed and 93 wounded; Kieffer himself was almost immediately wounded twice, hit by shrapnel in the leg, but refused evacuation for two days. Kieffer rejoined his unit on 14 June

    Philippe Kieffer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. nobody73

    nobody73 Member

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    WEB Griffin's series Semper Fi is fiction although it goes into detail over the Marine Raider issue and the conflict it caused in the Marines. That issue has continued even into today with the implementation of MARSOC the newest slant on Elite Forces.
     
  13. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Griffin's books are fiction but well grounded in fact. The guy must do a tremendous amount of reasearch. As for MARSOC most of the controversy resulted over the fact that the Marine Corps didn't really want to play the whole special operations forces game nor give up operational control of it's units. Their Force Recon units should be considered special operations forces by nature of selection, training, employment and capabilities but because they weren't under SOCOM they weren't considered so. The Marine Corps made the very valid argument that their MEU(SOC)'s were trained up to standard and could perform many special operations type missions. They could do anything the Ranger Units (considered special operations forces) could do except for airborne ops and many things the Rangers lacked the capabilities to do but once again because they didn't fall under SOCOM they weren't considered special operations forces but the Marine Corps added the SOC (Special Operations Capable) to MEU's so trained. In the end the Marine Corps lost the political fight and stood up the MARSOC units, unfortunately to fill their personnel requirements they initially had to deplete the active duty and reserve Force Recon units. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Forces still needed the capabilities provided by the Force Recon units so they were stood back up using qualified Battalion Recon personnel and through increasing the numbers of personnel selected and placed in the training pipeline.
     
  14. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    One of my buddies in the Navy had been on the ground, Corpsman, in "Indian Country" in 73-74 and operated in an area with Gurkas. He had the utmost respect for their fighting abilities!
    View attachment 13524


    Fallschirmjaeger:

    [video=youtube;qo_E6qOIcnM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo_E6qOIcnM&feature=related[/video]



    This would only be the start of my list.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Doesn't the USMC consider themselves to be the elite? :)

    (And they've made a damn fine case for themselves.)
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Yes maam, and most people don't realize there were more U.S. Airborne regiments in WWII than there were Marine Corps Infantry regiments.
     
    formerjughead likes this.
  17. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    What about the Japanese, Didnt they have any elite forces ?.
    I cant belive that no one has mentioned Darby's Rangers (or maybe they have and I should have worn my reading glasses).
    Regards Yan.
     
  18. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    You better get new glasses! Many people have mentioned the US Rangers. "Darby's" Rangers was the unofficial nickname of the the 1st Ranger Battalion.
     
  19. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

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  20. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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