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strategic impact of special warfare

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by mac_bolan00, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Twitch

    Twitch Member

    Mar 28, 2008
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    Though I was never officially told if or when I could mention any activities outside of our official areas of operation, we did operate in countries other than the obvious.

    I know for a fact that the one instance where our mundane intel gathering from counting all the crap we encountered along the trails was incorporated into a major op.

    Let's put it this way. You know somebody had to give command the locations of caches of food and weapons and such before the bombers went into Cambodia, right?:)
  2. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

    Feb 22, 2008
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    got your point on that one. intelligence is a requisite for precision bombing of unmarked targets. for that, you have no choice but to rely on humint which, i understand, has a less-than-50%-chance of yielding useful information.

    but falcon jun's battle of britain example just illustrated my question. what could make a commander decide between pin-point bombing and surgical incursion-attack by a small ground force to destroy something like an airbase or a radar installation?
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Aug 5, 2003
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    Phoenix Arizona
    For intelligence gathering these units are extremely useful. The Bruneval raid to get a German W├╝rtzburg radar was highly useful. The LRDG made a valuable contribution to Britain's North African campaign. There are lots of examples of this sort available.
    Where they failed generally was in contributing to a massive or even significant level of shift in operational or strategic position within a theater or campaign. The sole success I can point to right off would be Eben Emael in Belgium. The SAS was annoying, little more.
    The US Navy's WW 2 frogmen were more engineering specialists and reconnissance troops than combat units. Their primary mission was removing beach obstacles and plotting the position of such things along with enemy beach defenses. They might also be tasked with collecting soil samples and survey work on the beach to determine its suitability for landings.
    Today's SEAL and EOD units in the US Navy have much the same missions. The SAS, Delta Force, etc., have inherited the specialist reconnissance and micro combat mission where the target is very specific and otherwise not capable of neutralization. These guys don't win wars on their own. Rather they make valuable contributions on a very narrow and specific level with their greatest contribution being intelligence.
  4. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Mar 17, 2007
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    The Makin island raid is often credited with causing the Japanese to strengthen their island garrisons in the Central Pacific. Without further research I'd not want to state that categorically, but the argument goes that the ensuing decsion to reinforce diverted critial transport ship sorties off from the attritional battles in the South Pacific, around the
    Solomons and New Guniea. Plus the commitment of the men and material to a front that was mostly bypassed and isolated. What the special forces raids in Burma accomplished in stratigic terms rates a look as well. In operational terms they seem to have accomplished more than the conventional Allied attacks of the same period. Its a subject worth in depth research.

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