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What was the best unit during WWII?

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posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 07:17 AM
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I personally think it was the Special Air Service and Special Boat Squadron.

Much history has been written about the early SAS squadron, but little is known about 2 SAS (French), 3 SAS (Belguim), the Greek Sacred Squadron (4 SAS) or the Special Boat Squadron - an off-shoot from 1 SAS.

The most famous member of the fledgling SBS was a Dane - Anders Lassen VC. He, together with a tiny number of men, raided German occupied ports and harbours throughout the Agean Seas and the Greek Isalnds. He was a living legend who met an untimely end.

1 SAS commanded by David Stirling and his 2 i/c Blair 'Paddy' Maine, caused havouc throughout the Western Desert causing damage and casualties far beyond their capabilities and heralding a new era and a new beginning of special forces.




posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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Did you know that to be eligable to join the SBS , a candidate has to serve in the Royal Marines - have passed the Commando course , AND pass the SAS selection? only then will they be eligable to attempt SBS selection.

And the SBS was never an off shoot of the SAS - the SAS are ARMY , whilst the SBS are Navy.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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Dude if your talking only about special forces units, my thread already covers that. My thread is pretty much a general info thread about special forces.



posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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Harlequin old chap. I suggest you read my thread very, very carefully. It is about the Second World War - not today's modern SAS/SBS selection and therefore has no bearing on the thread.

Yet to correct you seems somewhat churlish, as I suspect that you may have not read a single history book concerning the Special Air Service.

If my comments offend you in any way, old chap, I apologise.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:26 PM
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And why not the 101st Paratroop Division?

Their greatest achievement was defending Bastogne in the Ardenes.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:26 PM
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What do you mean by "best"?
Most efficient?
Most daring raid?
Greatest victory?
If anything I say 6th para, if not for them operation overlord would have failed.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 09:03 PM
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The Fighting 69th

For no other reason then the fact that that was my dad's unit.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 07:49 AM
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The German Brandenberg commandos in WW2 were the best in Europe. Some of their missions in the Soviet Union defy belief. One of their best known members was Otto Skorzeny, who also responsible for freeing Musslonni from his mountain top prison.

As for the Pacific, Australia's Z Special Force would have to be the best. Far better than the SAS or SBS
. After all they did travel thousands of miles behind enemy lines to attack the shipping in Singapore Harbour with limpit mines resulting in the loss of 50 000 tonnes of shipping. To make their mission even more inceredible they conoed the last couple of hundred km's to Singapore
.



[edit on 7-8-2005 by rogue1]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1
The German Brandenberg commandos in WW2 were the best in Europe. Some of their missions in the Soviet Union defy belief. One of their best known members was Otto Skorzeny, who also responsible for freeing Musslonni from his mountain top prison.

As for the Pacific, Australia's Z Special Force would have to be the best. Far better than the SAS or SBS
. After all they did travel thousands of miles behind enemy lines to attack the shipping in Singapore Harbour with limpit mines resulting in the loss of 50 000 tonnes of shipping. To make their mission even more inceredible they conoed the last couple of hundred km's to Singapore
.



[edit on 7-8-2005 by rogue1]

We all have our opinions.......



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:07 AM
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if its raids i think the best was the nazaire commado raids

quote
"However this daring night raid was planned for the night of March 28th 1942. “Into the jaws of death rode the 600” - in fact 611 men took part; 345 Navy personnel, 166 soldiers from 2 Commando, 91 forming demolition teams from the combined Commandos plus a medical party, 3 liaison officers and 2 Press representatives.
Success was overwhelming, for the Dock was out of use for 10 years, such was the destruction. Enemy Capital ships were never again able to reach out from Norway to destroy our Atlantic shipping. But sadly the cost was high for only one of the MLs (out of 16) returned to Falmouth. 105 sailors were killed, many were wounded and most of the remainder taken prisoner. 64 Commandos died, most of the others were taken prisoner. Amazingly 6 soldiers eventually reached Gibraltar and then rejoined their Units to fight again. What stories they could tell!

Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten said of the raid:
“I know of no other case in Navy or Military Annals of such effective damage being inflicted so swiftly with such economy of force, for in less than half an hour from the moment the “Campbeltown” rammed, all the Commando’s chief demolition objectives were successfully achieved”.

He continued: “No fewer that five VCs were won at St Nazaire, surely by far the highest proportion of VCs ever awarded for a single operation; and this is the measure of the heroism of all who took part in that magnificent enterprise”.

I don’t believe it will ever be known how many German and French personnel were lost. The delay between the “Campbeltown” ramming the dock and then exploding was considerable and in the interim period the ship and surroundings attracted many visitors!

In a small way I was involved with the St Nazaire Raid. 42 very high awards were made to the sailors and quite a number were “mentioned in despatches”, many posthumously. It was so rewarding to have dealt with the administration work involved with some of these awards. It was also painful to have dealt with the sadder business.

I’ve learned much about St Nazaire since 1942. Many of my Shipmates were heroes. I remained safely on this side of the ocean - I was no hero!"

www.bbc.co.uk...

as for units i think it has to be the desert rats...conditions were harsh..but also i am biased..my step-father was 1



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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devilwasp, Sorry the facts don't suit you, lol. Obviously you know it to be true. Hell it seems the SAS are better at writing books than fighting. There certainly has been a proliferation of them - almost like propanda; to boost the Brit self esteem


[edit on 7-8-2005 by rogue1]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1
^^^^ Sorry the facts don't suit you, lol. Obviously you know it to be true. Hell it seems the SAS are better at writing books than fighting. There certainly has been a proliferation of them - almost like propanda; to boost the Brit self esteem

Cheap shot!!!!



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 03:09 AM
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Well, I would say that the Marine Raiders were some of the toughest bastards in the Pacific theater.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 04:51 AM
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Depending on the determination of the best:

If greatest victory is used is say Finnish JR27 (jaeger regiment) for their operations in Suomusalmi and Raate during the 1939 "winter war" between finland and soviet union. During the battle 3 light regiments without armor or heavy weaponry destroyed 2 Soviet divisions
Casualities (KIA,MIA, wounded and POW):
Russian up to 30 000 - Finnish 350KIA 600wounded.
More info...

On the otherhand this unit was by no means special, several other (Finnish) units could have done the job as well.


If it comes to specops id say ErP4 (separate battallion 4)
a Finnish long range recon/sabotage unit that operated behind soviet lines in variety of different operations (unit sizes ranging from 3 men recce to a strike comppany) They continuosly harassed russian suplies at murmansk railway (could have disabled the vital supply line south, but high command restrained them to only harrasment), blew up supplu camps and HQs.
One interesting fact of these men is that many of them joined US army after the war and ended up training the newly formed Green Berets (L Törni aka. Maj. Larry Thorne and Col. Martina to name a few)


Biased post but you can't be objective on this matter



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 05:17 AM
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The Third Army was "hell on wheels" too bad Bradley and "DD" held back Patton from doing his job.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by northwolf
Depending on the determination of the best:

If greatest victory is used is say Finnish JR27 (jaeger regiment) for their operations in Suomusalmi and Raate during the 1939 "winter war" between finland and soviet union. During the battle 3 light regiments without armor or heavy weaponry destroyed 2 Soviet divisions
Casualities (KIA,MIA, wounded and POW):
Russian up to 30 000 - Finnish 350KIA 600wounded.
More info...

Biased post but you can't be objective on this matter


Northwolf all reasonably well-read historians know this and I think you're probably right. Fantastic feat of arms.

Obviously on here you'll struggle to get people to know what you're on about!

Unless Steven Spielberg ('Over-rated', AKA Ungrateful Sheet) makes a film about it with Tom Hanks & the Yanks winning the Winter War for you situation is unlikely to change.






posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by rogue1
The German Brandenberg commandos in WW2 were the best in Europe. Some of their missions in the Soviet Union defy belief. One of their best known members was Otto Skorzeny, who also responsible for freeing Musslonni from his mountain top prison.

As for the Pacific, Australia's Z Special Force would have to be the best. Far better than the SAS or SBS
. After all they did travel thousands of miles behind enemy lines to attack the shipping in Singapore Harbour with limpit mines resulting in the loss of 50 000 tonnes of shipping. To make their mission even more inceredible they conoed the last couple of hundred km's to Singapore
.

[edit on 7-8-2005 by rogue1]


As the rounded historian you obviously are you'll no-doubt know that the attack was based on tactics developed in UK.

Using SAS / SBS kit it was a good raid but St Nazaire was more impressive -they were on their target ship when the charges blew - brave men subequently murdered.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by CTID56092
Unless Steven Spielberg ('Over-rated', AKA Ungrateful Sheet) makes a film about it with Tom Hanks & the Yanks winning the Winter War for you situation is unlikely to change.


There is an actual Finnish movie which is like Private Ryan in terms of fighting scenes made about the Winter War. It's on amazon, I'm not sure about the name.
There is also a great book I've read about it eas ell called Frozen Hell. A very good account of the war.

A few intresting facts I can remember off hand :


  • The Russians used to group around large bonfires at night to keep warm, that's when the Finns would strike.
  • The Soviets were completely outclassed.
  • Many Soviet soldiers were conscripted weeks before they went into battle as well and and extremely rudimentary training.
  • The Finns were also equipped with arguably the best submachinegun at the time, the Soumi 9mm. It had a longer barrel than usual enabling accuracy out to 200m with 9mm!.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 08:13 PM
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Probably the SS Panzer Grenadiers.

They weren't special forces because they didn't need to be, after a decade's indoctrination in the Hitler Youth and then Waffen SS combat training, they were the most committed soldiers in the war.

Not even Russians with Cheka machine guns behind them were as motivated.

Next would be the British Paras, particularly 1st Airborne Division.

Of the special forces?

I can only talk about western allies.

But the Commandos, Army and Marine, were better than the SAS.

Look into Vaagso and St Nazaire.

The SAS didn't get it together until after the war, too many of their ops were poorly-planned screw-ups.

For specialist, single-mission units, LRDG.

For bog-standard units who did way above and beyond what they should have?

39 Battalion.

An Australian militia unit that held off the Japanese in PNG, despite having almost no training and the wrong colour uniforms and no support from GHQ in Canberra. General (later Field Marshall) Thomas Blamey was an ignorant fool who then accused these men, who saved Australia, of being cowards and relieved their officers of command.

"Rabbits who run, get shot", well done sir, how to motivate victorious part-time soldiers in one easy lesson.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 10:26 PM
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Simple answer - too many to mention!

Bet we can all add to this list:

SS Panzers/Panzergrenadiers
SS Infantry
German Airborne
Finnish JR27
German Panzer
UK Airborne
US Airborne
UK Commandos
US Rangers
1st Polish Armoured
Canadian Infantry
Polish, New Zealand and Australian Infantry
US Marines
LRDG / Popski's Private Army

(not in any order)

Many regular units of all major armies were elite Ox&Bucks Light Infantry (Pegasus Bridge) for example.

'Best' depends on available weapons, comms, vehicles etc at the time, opposition, the unit's configuration vs. the task - too many factors, a list's a better idea ??




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