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Special Forces of World War 2

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by merdiolu, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

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    In this thread I would like to discuss special forces , private armies , raiding groups big or small. I also would like to discuss their operations and their contributions to war effort. What I do not wish to do is to compare them their performances ", this one is better than that one" type of thing. Please free to to add any info you would like to contribute Despite my WW2 obsession I might miss any special unit or their operations. If I can learn anything new about them that would be great.


    ITALIAN (copy pasted some of from wikiedia)

    Decime MAS (10th Assault Vehicle Flotilla) : Elite naval commandos of Italian navy. Usually trained to use manned torpedos or small craft or frogmen. They used speedboats manned with explosive charges to sink heavy cruiser HMS York lus two tankers and a cargo ship in Suda Bay Crete in April 1941 , used manned torpedos during Raid on Alexandria (December 1941 ) where they sunk a tanker and heavily damaged battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant. (they were repaired later though). Frogmen in this unit were also very successful. September 10, 1941 Italian submarine Sciré departed La Spezia carrying three manned torpedoes. At Cadiz, Spain, it secretly loaded eight crewmen for them. At Gibraltar, the manned torpedoes sank three ships: the tankers Denbydale and Fiona Shell and the cargo ship Durham. All six crewmen swam to Spain and returned safely to Italy, where they were decorated, as were the crew of the Sciré.

    Oltera Campaign : By using a derelict auxilary ship Olterra docked in Algercias as a base Decima MAS frogmen sank six more allied merchant vessels totaling 43.000 tons between May 1943 and August 1943 anchored in and around Gibraltar.


    They had their failures too though. July 26, 1941: Two Maiale and ten MAS boats unsuccessfully attacked the port of Valletta, Malta. The force was detected early on by a British radar installation, but the British coastal batteries held their fire until the Italians approached to close range. 15 Decima MAS crewmen were killed (including Commander Moccagatta) and 18 captured. All 6 MTMs, both SLCs and two MAS (MAS 451 and MAS 452 [7]) boats were lost, one of them being found adrift in open seas by the British and towed to port by a seaplane.

    December 17, 1942: Six Italians on three torpedoes left the Olterra to attack the three British warships Nelson, Formidable, and Furious in Gibraltar. A British patrol boat killed one torpedo's crew (Lt. Visintini and Petty Officer Magro) with a depth charge. Their bodies were recovered, and their swimfins were taken and used by two of Gibraltar's British guard divers. Another British patrol boat spotted another torpedo, and chased and shot at it and captured its two crewmen. The remaining torpedo returned to the Olterra without its rear rider.

    After Itay surrendered in September 1943 Decima MAS split into two. Half of it remined loyal Mussolini and newly created Salo Rebuplic. They were mainly used in anti partisan operations.

    The main themes in the Xª MAS's ideology became "honour" in defending Italy from the "betrayal" of the armistice with the Allies, strong anti-semitism in the wake of stronger Nazi influence, and a call to defend the territorial integrity of Italy against the Allies. This was quite ironic, as the Third Reich was already annexing northeastern Italian territories and integrating them directly into the Reich as the Prealpine Operations Zone and Operational Zone Adriatic Coast.
     
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  2. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    "In Finland, long-range patrols (kaukopartio) were especially notable in the World War II. For example, Erillinen Pataljoona 4 (4th Detached Battalion), a command of four different long-range patrol detachments; Detachment Paatsalo, Detachment Kuismanen, Detachment Vehniäinen and Detachment Marttina operated throughout the Finnish Campaign 1941-44. These units penetrated Soviet lines and conducted recon and destroy missions. During the trench warfare period of the Continuation War, long-range patrols were often conducted by special Finnish sissi troops."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissi_%28Finnish_light_infantry%29

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?198701-Finnish-Long-Range-Patrol-Manual

    http://www.oocities.org/finnmilpge/fmp_erp4.html
     
  3. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    if you include even paratroopers, i would say special forces made little strategic contribution to the overall war effort for all sides. take the case of st. nazaire. if the only objective was to prevent the tirpitz from operating in the atlantic, what's keeping the UK battle fleet taking on the tirpitz all the same?
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Or the German paratroops in Crete...
     
  5. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

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    St. Nazaire Raid aimed to destroy Atlantic drydock in St. Nazaire so Tirpitz wouldn't have an extra port to dock to return besides Norway. Tying Tirpitz in Norwagian coast and keeping there was Royal Navy's advantage since Home Fleet in Scapa Flow could intervene any sortie from Norway to Norwegian/Barents/White Sea region. Admiralty feared that if there is another suitable drydock like St Nazaire left in Western Europe Tirpitz could afford to make a raid in Atlantic convoy routes and it would be quite strain and time consuming to find it. Remember Scharnhorst and Gneisenau or Bismark's campaigns in 1941. Royal Navy was under severe pressure to find these vessels when they were on Atlantic. It was time consuming and had to mobilize almost all of their capital ships.
     

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