The original Special Forces?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, May 5, 2014.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    British SAS unit in North Africa....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Such a classic photo.
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The Cichociemni were trained to be the leaders of the Polish underground domestic Army called AK. Some of them were specialized in sabotage and guerrilla tactics, others were experts in communication and the rest supplemented intelligence. They were often referred to as the Polish SOE.

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  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What's that top badge above the left pocket, on the nearest SAS officer?

    Thanks lads, great info!
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #7 Wurger, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
    Do you mean this one ?

    badge.jpg

    Special_Air_Service_.jpg

    Special_Air_Service.jpg
     
  8. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #8 michaelmaltby, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

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  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The bottom one seems to be a row of medal/order ribbons but the top one seems to be the Special Air Service Badges ( Special Air Service Parachute Trained Wings ).

    wings.JPG SAS-WINGS.jpg

    BTW.. the guy in the driver’s seat nearest the camera is SAS - Lieutenant Edward MacDonald . North Africa, 18.01.1943.

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    SAS Commander, David Stirling with Ptl Cmdr., Lt. McDonald

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  10. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Here in the US Special Forces go back to Roger's Rangers, 1760 or so. In a time of bright color military uniforms, Roger's green uniforms were quite a change, almost camouflage.
    Sorry, no pictures
     

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  11. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes Jan, they are the SAS 'Para' wings, the design, by Paddy Mayne, being taken from an Egyptian icon in Oxford University. The 'wings' point upwards, unlike 'standard' British Para wings, which point downwards. In SAS and other Airborne units of the British Forces, Para wings are worn on the shoulder of the right sleeve. When worn on the left breast, as in the photo, it shows that the wearer has done a clandestine operational jump behind the lines, as opposed to an assault behind lines, such as Normandy or Arnhem, and is normally comfined to members of Special Forces, SOE and so on.
     
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  13. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't the distinction of original "Special Forces" go to the Batavian units of the Roman Legions?

    They specialized in tactical water crossings, covert assaults and several other aspects of what's considered "SpecOps" by today's standards.
     
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  15. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    A possible connection Dave but IMHO tenuous. The Romans filled their legions with native conscripts and few actual Romans. Though some tribes, like the Batavi, known for their bravery and war skills were accorded special privileges. They fought in their own cohorts under their own commanders and the tribe paid no tribute or taxes. They supplied only men and arms to the empire. They were also known for their horsemanship and swiming and it was reported that they could swim the Rhine in formation in armour.
    The emperors from Agustus to Galba used them as his personal bodyguard and they supplied a contingent of his horse guards, the Equites singulares Augusti.
     
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  16. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The Spartan Krypteia

    Krypteia on the battlefield

    In his Cleomenes, Plutarch describes Krypteia as being a unit of the Spartan army; during the battle of Sellasia, the Spartan king Cleomenes "called Damoteles, the commander of the Krypteia, and ordered him to observe and find out how matters stood in the rear and on the flanks of his army". Various scholars have speculated on the presence and function of the Krypteia on the battlefield, describing it as a reconnaissance, special operations, or even military police force.
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Batavian Cohorts could be considered a Special Forces unit in the sense that they were attached to Legions that anticipated their expertise.
    Since the rise of the professional State military of Rome and the dawn on modern militaries, they would definately in the running for the earliest.
    It's true that Roman Legions used conscripts and foreign (non-citizen) personnel in their ranks, but there were also legio that were specialized, like the Teuton and so forth.

    However, the Batavians were drawn on for specific purposes, like water crossing problems, tactical strikes and other situations. And were assigned to forward areas where they could be deployed quickly. The Batavian units wore standardized equipment, deployed and fought with drilled precision.

    The Romans thought highly enough of them that their tribe was not taxed like other Germanic tribes were and they were given Roman citizenship.
     
  18. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Well going back to 1492 we (USA) have our "original" Special Forces
     

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  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :lol: Ok, that was funny.
     
  20. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but only partially tounge in cheek. The SF crest and patch refer back to "Indian Lore". Cammo, living off the land, finding your way, etc.
    Note the Arrowhead patch shape and the Crossed Arrows
     

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