Jumat, 24 Agustus 2012

Detachment 88

Special Detachment 88 (Detasemen Khusus 88), Delta 88, or Densus 88, is the Indonesian counter-terrorism squad, and part of the Indonesian National Police. Formed on 30 June 2003, after the 2002 Bali bombings, it is funded, equipped, and trained by the United States and Australia.
The unit has worked with considerable success against the jihadi terrorist cells linked to Central Java-based Islamist movement Jemaah Islamiyah.

Detachment 88 was formed after the 2002 Bali bombings and became operational in 2003. The name of the organization is a result of a senior Indonesian police official mishearing "ATA" in a briefing on the US Department of State's Anti-Terrorist Assistance program as "88". He thought it would be a good name as the number 8 is a lucky number in Asia and other officials lacked the courage to correct him. However, according to Brig. Gen. Pranowo, the Indonesian Police Headquarter Anti-Terror Director, the number '88' is taken from the number of Australian fatalities in the 2002 Bali bombing, the largest number from a single country. Detachment 88 has disrupted the activities of Central Java-based Islamist movement Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and many of its top operatives have been arrested or killed. Abu Dujana, suspected leader of JI's military wing and its possible emir, was apprehended on June 9, 2007. Azahari Husin was shot and killed in 2005. The Indonesian terrorist organization suffered a further blow when arguably its last surviving and at-large prominent figure, Noordin Mohammad Top was killed in a shootout against Detachment 88 on September 17, 2009 at Solo, Central Java.
Detachment 88 is assisted by foreign agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, in forensic sciences including DNA analysis, and communications monitoring. In pre-emptive strikes in Java, the unit thwarted attack plans to material assembly.
Detachment 88 operators were involved in an operation in Poso, where 10 people, including a policeman, were killed in a gunfight during a high-risk arrest operation on January 22, 2007.
In 2007, Detachment 88 arrested and interrogated West Papuan human rights lawyer, Iwangin Sabar Olif, and charged him with incitement and insulting the head of state, because he sent an SMS text message critical of the Indonesian military and president. Detachment 88's operations include using US intelligence officers in its Jakarta headquarters to tap the phone calls and read the SMS text messages of Indonesian civilians.

This special unit is being funded by the US government through its State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The unit is currently being trained in Megamendung, 50 km south of Jakarta, by CIA, FBI, and US Secret Service. Most of these instructors were ex-US special forces personnel. Training is also carried out with the aid of Australian Special Forces and various intelligence agencies.
Detachment 88 is designed to become an anti-terrorist unit that is capable to counter various terrorist threats, from bomb threats to hostage situations. This 400-personnel strong special force went to full operation in 2005. They consist of investigators, explosive experts, and an attack unit that includes snipers.
Allegations of torture

The unit has been accused of involvement of torture. In August 2010, Amnesty International said in an urgent appeal that Indonesia had arrested Moluccan activists, and they had anxiety that the activists would be tortured by Detachment 88. In September 2010, Malukan political prisoner Yusuf Sipakoly alleged gross human rights abuses by Detachment 88.

Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war";  listen (help·info)) is an anglicised word[1][2][3][Notes 1] describing all-motorised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery, combat engineers and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the lines are broken, proceeding without regard to its flank. Through constant motion, the blitzkrieg attempts to keep its enemy off-balance, making it difficult to respond effectively at any given point before the front has already moved on.
During the interwar period, aircraft and tank technologies matured and were combined with systematic application of the German tactics of infiltration and bypassing of enemy strong points.[7] When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Western journalists adopted the term blitzkrieg to describe this form of armoured warfare.[8] Blitzkrieg operations were very effective during the campaigns of 1939–1941. These operations were dependent on surprise penetrations (e.g. the penetration of the Ardennes forest region), general enemy unpreparedness and an inability to react swiftly enough to the attacker's offensive operations. During the Battle of France, the French, who made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers, were constantly frustrated when German forces arrived there first and pressed on.[9]
Academics since the 1970s have questioned the existence of blitzkrieg as a coherent military doctrine or strategy. Many academic historians hold the idea that the German armed forces adopted "blitzkrieg" as an offensive doctrine to be a myth. Others continue to use the word to describe the style of breakthrough warfare practised by the Axis powers of this period, even if it were not a formal doctrine. The concepts of Blitzkrieg form the basis of present-day armoured warfare.


[edit]Poland, 1939

A map of Poland showing the German invasion from east Germany, East Prussia and German-occupied Czechoslovakia in September 1939
In Poland, fast moving armies encircled Polish forces (blue circles), but the blitzkrieg idea never really took hold – artillery and infantry forces acted in time-honoured fashion to crush these pockets.
Despite the term blitzkrieg being coined by journalists during the Invasion of Poland of 1939, historians Mathew Cooper and J. P Harris generally hold that German operations during it were more consistent with more traditional methods. The Wehrmacht's strategy was more in line with Vernichtungsgedanken, or a focus on envelopment to create pockets in broad-front annihilation. Panzer forces were dispersed among the three German concentrations[62] without strong emphasis on independent use, being used to create or destroy close pockets of Polish forces and seize operational-depth terrain in support of the largely un-motorized infantry which followed.
While early German tanks, Stuka dive-bombers and concentrated forces were used in the Polish campaign, the majority of the battle was conventional infantry and artillery based warfare and most Luftwaffe action was independent of the ground campaign. Matthew Cooper wrote that
[t]hroughout the Polish Campaign, the employment of the mechanised units revealed the idea that they were intended solely to ease the advance and to support the activities of the infantry....Thus, any strategic exploitation of the armoured idea was still-born. The paralysis of command and the breakdown of morale were not made the ultimate aim of the ... German ground and air forces, and were only incidental by-products of the traditional maneuvers of rapid encirclement and of the supporting activities of the flying artillery of the Luftwaffe, both of which had as their purpose the physical destruction of the enemy troops. Such was the Vernichtungsgedanke of the Polish campaign.[63]
John Ellis explained that “...there is considerable justice in Matthew Cooper's assertion that the panzer divisions were not given the kind of strategic mission that was to characterize authentic armoured blitzkrieg, and were almost always closely subordinated to the various mass infantry armies.”[64]
Steven Zaloga states: “Whilst Western accounts of the September campaign have stressed the shock value of the panzers and Stuka attacks, they have tended to underestimate the punishing effect of German artillery on Polish units. Mobile and available in significant quantity, artillery shattered as many units as any other branch of the Wehrmacht.”[65]

[edit]Western Europe, 1940

German advances during the Battle of Belgium
The German invasion of France, with subsidiary attacks on Belgium and the Netherlands, consisted of two phases, Operation Yellow (Fall Gelb) and Operation Red (Fall Rot). Yellow opened with a feint conducted against the Netherlands and Belgium by two armoured corps and paratroopers. The Germans had massed the bulk of their armoured force in Panzer Group von Kleist, which attacked through the comparatively unguarded sector of the Ardennes and achieved a breakthrough at the Battle of Sedanwith air support.[66]
The group raced to the coast of the English Channel at Abbeville, thus isolating the British Expeditionary ForceBelgian Army, and some divisions of the French Army in northern France. The armoured and motorized units under Guderian and Rommel initially advanced far beyond the following divisions, and indeed far in excess of that with which German high command was initially comfortable. When the German motorized forces were met with a counterattack at Arras, British tanks with heavy armour (Matilda I & IIs) created a brief panic in the German High Command. The armoured and motorized forces were halted, by Hitler, outside the port city of Dunkirk, which was being used to evacuate the Allied forces. Hermann Göring had promised the Luftwaffe would complete the destruction of the encircled armies, but aerial operations did not prevent the evacuation of the majority of Allied troops (which the British named Operation Dynamo); some 330,000 French and British were saved.[67]
Overall, Yellow succeeded beyond what most people had expected, despite the fact that the Allies had 4,000 armoured vehicles and the Germans 2,200, and the Allied tanks were often superior in armour and caliber of cannon.[68] The French and the British used tanks in their pre-blitzkrieg 'traditional' role of assisting infantry and dispersed across the whole army so there was not concentration of tanks, while the blitzkrieg method of concentrating tanks, even less in number and less capable in ability, led to victorious success.
German advances during the Battle of France
This left the French armies much reduced in strength (although not demoralized), and without much of their own armour and heavy equipment. Operation Red then began with a triple-pronged panzer attack. The XV Panzer Corps attacked towards Brest, XIV Panzer Corps attacked east of Paris, towards Lyon, and Guderian's XIX Panzer Corps completed the encirclement of theMaginot Line. The defending forces were hard pressed to organize any sort of counter-attack. The French forces were continually ordered to form new lines along rivers, often arriving to find the German forces had already passed them. When Colonel de Gaulle did organize a counter-attack with superior French tanks, he did not have the air support to gain the upper hand and had to retreat.
Ultimately, the French army and nation collapsed after barely two months of mobile operations, in contrast to the four years of trench warfare of the First World War. The French president of the Ministerial Council, Reynaud, attributed the collapse in a speech on 21 May 1940:
The truth is that our classic conception of the conduct of war has come up against a new conception. At the basis of this...there is not only the massive use of heavy armoured divisions or cooperation between them and airplanes, but the creation of disorder in the enemy's rear by means of parachute raids.
In actual fact, the German army had not used paratroop attacks in France. The one major paratrooper attack was used earlier in Holland to capture a bridge and a number of small-scale glider-landings were conducted in Belgium to capture terrain dominating bottle-necks on planned routes of advance prior to the arrival of the main ground forces (the most renowned being the landing on the Belgian border-fort of Eben-Emael). The real cause for the fall of France was the blitzkrieg method of warfare.

[edit]Soviet Union: the Eastern Front: 1941–44

Map depicting Allied breakthroughs of the German line. The German armour is held back and committed to seal the breakthrough
After 1941–42, armoured formations were increasingly used as a mobile reserve against Allied breakthroughs. The black arrows depict armoured counter-attacks.
Use of armoured forces was crucial for both sides on the Eastern Front. Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, involved a number of breakthroughs and encirclements by motorized forces. Its stated goal was “to destroy the Russian forces deployed in the West and to prevent their escape into the wide-open spaces of Russia.”[69] A key factor was the surprise attack which included the near annihilation of the total Soviet airforce by simultaneous attacks on airfields. On the ground, four giant panzer armies encircled surprised and disorganized Soviet forces, followed by marching infantry which completed the encirclement and defeated the trapped forces. The first year of theEastern Front offensive can generally be considered to have had the last successful major mobile operation for the German army.
After Germany's failure to destroy the Soviets before the winter of 1941, the strategic failure above the German tactical superiority became apparent. Although the German invasion successfully conquered large areas of Soviet territory, the overall strategic effects were more limited. The Red Army was able to regroup far to the rear of the main battle line, and eventually defeat the German forces for the first time in the Battle of Moscow.[70]
In the summer of 1942, when Germany launched another offensive in the southern USSR against Stalingrad and the Caucasus, the Soviets again lost tremendous amounts of territory, only to counter-attack once more during winter. German gains were ultimately limited by Hitler diverting forces from the attack on Stalingrad itself and seeking to pursue a drive to the Caucasus oilfields simultaneously as opposed to subsequently as the original plan had envisaged. Even so, the Wehrmacht was becoming overstretched. By winning operationally, strategically it could not keep up the momentum as the superiority of the Soviet Union's industrial base and economy began to take effect.[70]
In the summer of 1943 the Wehrmacht launched another combined forces offensive operation – Zitadelle (Citadel) – against the Soviet salient atKursk. Soviet defensive tactics were by now hugely improved, particularly in terms of artillery and effective use of air support. All the same theBattle of Kursk was marked by the Soviet switch to offence and the use of the revived doctrine of deep operations. For the first time the blitzkrieg was defeated in summer and the opposing forces were able to mount their own, successful, counter operation.[71]
By the summer of 1944 the reversal of fortune was complete and Operation Bagration saw Soviet forces inflict crushing defeats on Germany through the aggressive use of armour, infantry and air power in combined strategic assault, known as deep operations.

[edit]Western Front, 1944–45

As the war progressed, Allied armies began using combined arms formations and deep penetration strategies that Germany had used in the opening years of the war. Many Allied operations in the Western Desert and on the Eastern Front relied on massive concentrations of firepower to establish breakthroughs by fast-moving armoured units. These artillery-based tactics were also decisive in Western Front operations after Operation Overlord and both the British Commonwealth and American armies developed flexible and powerful systems for utilizing artillery support. What the Soviets lacked in flexibility, they made up for in number of multiple rocket launchers, cannon and mortar tubes. The Germans never achieved the kind of fire concentrations their enemies were capable of by 1944.[72]
After the Allied landings at Normandy, Germany made attempts to overwhelm the landing force with armoured attacks, but these failed for lack of co-ordination and Allied air superiority. The most notable attempt to use deep penetration operations in Normandy was at Mortain, which exacerbated the German position in the already-forming Falaise Pocket and assisted in the ultimate destruction of German forces in Normandy. The Mortain counter-attack was effectively destroyed by U.S. 12th Army Group with little effect on its own offensive operations.[73]
Germany's last offensive on its Western front, Operation Wacht am Rhein, was an offensive launched towards the vital port of Antwerp in December 1944. Launched in poor weather against a thinly held Allied sector, it achieved surprise and initial success as Allied air power was stymied by cloud cover. However, stubborn pockets of defence in key locations throughout the Ardennes, the lack of serviceable roads, and poor German logistics planning caused delays. Allied forces deployed to the flanks of the German penetration, and as soon as the skies cleared, Allied aircraft were again able to attack motorized columns. The stubborn defense by US units and German weakness led to a defeat for the Germans.[74]

Special Forces (United States Army)
The United States Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with five primary missions: unconventional warfare (the original and most important mission of Special Forces), foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include hostage rescue, combat search and rescue (CSAR), security assistance, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, counter-proliferation, psychological operations, manhunts, and counter-drug operations; other components of the United States Special Operations Command or other U.S. government activities may also specialize in these secondary areas.[3] Many of their operational techniques are classified, but some nonfiction works[4] and doctrinal manuals are available.[5][6][7]
Currently, Special Forces units are deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom. As a special operations unit, Special Forces are not necessarily under the command authority of the ground commanders in those countries. Instead, while in theater, SF soldiers may report directly to United States Central Command, USSOCOM, or other command authorities.
The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits soldiers from the Army's Special Forces.[8] Joint Army Special Forces and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War.[9] This cooperation still exists today and is seen in the War in Afghanistan.[10][11]

The main mission of the Special Forces was to train and lead unconventional warfare (UW) forces, or a guerrilla force in an occupied nation that no one is allowed to know. The Special Forces are the only U.S. Special Operations Force (SOF) trained to employ UW. The 10th Special Forces Group was the first deployed SF unit, intended to operate UW forces behind enemy lines in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. As the United States became involved in Southeast Asia, it was realized that specialists trained to lead guerrillas could also help defend against hostile guerrillas, so SF acquired the additional mission of Foreign Internal Defense (FID), working with Host Nation (HN) forces in a spectrum of counter-guerrilla activities from indirect support to combat command.[citation needed][clarification needed]
Special Forces personnel qualify both in advanced military skills and the regional languages and cultures of defined parts of the world. While they have a Direct Action (DA) capability, other units, such as Rangers, are more focused on overt direct action raids conducted in uniform but potentially behind enemy lines. SF personnel have the training to carry out covert DA, and other missions, including clandestine SR. Other missions include peace operations, counter-proliferation, counter-drug advisory roles, and other strategic missions. As strategic resources, they report either to USSOCOM or to a regional Unified Combatant Command.[citation needed][clarification needed]
SF team members work closely together and rely on one another under isolated circumstances for long periods of time, both during extended deployments and in garrison. Because of this, they develop clannish relationships and long-standing personal ties. SF non-commissioned officers (NCO) often spend their entire careers in Special Forces, rotating among assignments to detachments, higher staff billets, liaison positions, and instructor duties at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS). Special Forces officers, on the other hand, historically spend a limited amount of time early in their careers assigned to SF detachments. They are then required to move to staff positions or to higher command echelons. With the creation of USSOCOM, SF commanders have risen to the highest ranks of U.S. Army command, including command of USSOCOM, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Green Beret

Army Special Forces soldiers wearing their distinctive green berets
The origins of the Green Beret which Special Forces personnel wear can be traced to Scotland during the Second World War. U.S. Army Rangers and Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operatives who underwent training from the British Commandos were awarded the Green Beret upon completion of the grueling and revolutionary commando course. However, this green beret was not authorized by the U.S. Army among the Rangers and OSS operatives who earned them. Edson Raff, one of the first Special Forces officers, is credited with the re-birth of the green beret.[25] In 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized them for use exclusively by the U.S. Special Forces. Preparing for an 12 October visit to the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the President sent word to the Center's commander, Brigadier General William P. Yarborough, for all Special Forces soldiers to wear green berets as part of the event. The President felt that since they had a special mission, Special Forces should have something to set them apart from the rest. In 1962, he called the green beret "a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom."
"It was President Kennedy who was responsible for the rebuilding of the Special Forces and giving us back our Green Beret," said Forrest Lindley, a writer for the newspaper Stars and Stripes who served with Special Forces in Vietnam. "People were sneaking around wearing it when conventional forces weren't in the area and it was sort of a cat and mouse game," he recalled. "When Kennedy authorized the Green Beret as a mark of distinction, everybody had to scramble around to find berets that were really green. We were bringing them down from Canada. Some were handmade, with the dye coming out in the rain."
Special Forces have a special bond with Kennedy, going back to his funeral. At the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of JFK's death, Gen. Michael D. Healy, the last commander of Special Forces in Vietnam, spoke at Arlington Cemetery. Later, a wreath in the form of the Green Beret would be placed on the grave, continuing a tradition that began the day of his funeral when a sergeant in charge of a detail of Special Forces men guarding the grave placed his beret on the coffin.[26]
The wearers of the Green Beret caught the public's imagination and were the subject of a best selling, if semi-fictional, book The Green Berets by Robin Moore,[27] a hit record, "Ballad of the Green Berets" performed and jointly (with Moore) written by Barry Sadler, who was himself a Green Beret, The Green Berets produced, directed and starring, John Wayne where Wayne plays a role called Colonel Kirby, and a comic strip and American comic book, Tales of the Green Beret, written by Robin Moore with artwork by Joe Kubert. See United States Army Special Forces in popular culture.

Rabu, 22 Agustus 2012


Fallschirmjäger (often incorrectly rendered Fallschirmjager in English) are German paratroopers. They played an important role during World War II, when, together with the Gebirgsjäger they were perceived as the elite infantry units of the German Wehrmacht. After World War II, they were reconstituted as parts of postwar armed forces of both West and East Germany, mainly as special ops troops.
German Fallschirmjäger in World War II were the first paratroopers to be committed in large-scale airborne operations. They came to be known as the "green devils" by the Allied forces they fought against, as well as for their uniquely distinct Esprit de corps.[1]

The word Fallschirmjäger is from the German Fallschirm, "parachute", and Jäger, the German term used for light infantry.
[edit]Nazi Germany (1935-1945)

Main article: Fallschirmjäger (World War II)
In the 1930s Hermann Göring, after having observed Soviet airborne infantry maneuvers, became committed to the creation of Germany's airborne infantry.[2][3] He ordered the formation of a specialist police unit in 1933, devoted to protecting Nazi party officials. The unit carried out conventional police duties for the next two years,[4] but in 1935, Göring transformed it into Germany's first dedicated airborne regiment.[4] The unit was incorporated into the newly-formed Luftwaffe later that year and training commenced. Göring also ordered that a group of volunteers be drawn for parachute training. These volunteers would form a cadre for a future Fallschirmtruppe ("parachute troops").[4] In January 1936, 600 men and officers formed a Jäger and an engineer company.[5] Germany's parachute arm was officially inaugurated in 1936[6] with a call for recruits for a parachute training school. The school was open to Luftwaffe personnel, who were required to successfully complete six jumps in order to receive the Luftwaffe Parachutist's Badge.[6]
[edit]World War II

Fallschirmjäger board transport aircraft for the invasion of Leros.
During World War II, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) raised a variety of airborne light infantry (Fallschirmjäger) units. The Luftwaffe built up a division-sized unit of three Fallschirmjäger regiments plus supporting arms and air assets, known as the 7th Flieger Division.
Fallschirmjäger participated in many of the famous battles of World War II and in many theatres. As elite troops they were frequently deployed at the vanguard of attacks and as the bulwark of a defence. They would see action in the Norway and Denmark campaign and in Belgium, Holland and France in 1940. Major actions in the Balkans Campaign, Crete, Italy, and on both the Eastern Front and later the Western Front would follow.
The skillful airborne seizure of Fort Eben-Emael permitted the early capture of Belgium and, alongside successful operations in Holland, was crucial for the speed of the German victories in 1940. The major airdrops in Norway and Denmark in May 1940 was also vital to the success of the campaign there, although, like the amphibious forces, had suffered heavy casualties.
The Battle of Crete in 1941 saw large-scale airdrops in which the entire 7th Air Division was deployed with the German 5th Mountain Division as the follow-up. Crete was captured, after fierce fighting against Greek and Commonwealth troops, along with many enemy troops and weapons, but the high casualties suffered by the Fallschirmjäger as they parachuted in convinced Hitler that such mass airdrops were no longer feasible.
In the Battle of Monte Cassino, 1st Fallschirmjäger division [7] held the ground near the Monastery of Monte Cassino. After the monastery had been bombed by the Allies, the Germans moved into protected positions among the bricks and cellars. The Fallschirmjäger held out for months against repeated assaults and heavy bombardment. Here they gained the nickname "Green Devils" from the Allied forces for their distinctive jackets and their tenacious defence. Inflicting huge losses on the Allied forces, they ultimately retreated from their positions only to avoid being outflanked.
Fallschirmjäger also played a key role defending positions in France against much larger forces in 1944, even holding on to some of the German-occupied regions until the surrender of Germany.
After mid-1944, Fallschirmjäger were no longer trained as paratroops due to the strategic situation, and fought as infantrymen. Near the end of the war, the series of new Fallschirmjäger divisions extended to more than 12, with a reduction in quality in the later units, which, however still inflicted moderate losses on the advancing Allied troops. The last parachute division to be raised by Germany during World War II was destroyed during the Battle of Berlin in April 1945.
Throughout World War II, the Fallschirmjäger commander was Kurt Student.
Thousands of German paratroops were killed in action. Fallschirmjäger were awarded a total of 134 Knight's Crosses between 1940 and 1945.
[edit]Uniforms and Equipment

A concealed paratrooper looking down the sights of his FG 42 automatic rifle.
Fallschirmjäger were awarded the Fallschirmschützenabzeichen, a paratrooper insignia featuring a diving gold eagle gripping a swastika.
A special version of the German armed forces' steel helmet was issued to Fallschirmjäger units.
The style of parachute harness used by the Fallschirmjäger in World War II is generally considered inferior to those used by the British and American paratroopers. Paratroopers had to throw themselves forward out of the aeroplane, and in the resulting face-down position when the chute opened, control was nearly impossible. The necessity of landing on knees and elbows reduced the amount of equipment the trooper could carry and increased the chance of injury. As a result, they jumped armed only with a holstered pistol and a small "gravity knife". Rifles and other weapons were dropped in separate containers and, until these were recovered, the soldiers were poorly armed.
Fallschirmjäger units were usually very well equipped; they had access to the best weapons of the German military. They were among the first combat units to use assault rifles and recoilless weapons in combat. Fallschirmjäger also readily employed the best of several foreign-made small arms. The FG 42 automatic rifle, which combined the firepower of a machine gun with the lightweight handling characteristics of a standard infantry rifle, was developed specially for the paratroopers.
[edit]Bundeswehr Fallschirmjäger (after 1945)

Badge of the Fallschirmjäger (Bundeswehr)
See also: de:Fallschirmjägertruppe (Bundeswehr)

Fallschirmjäger of 26th Air Assault Battalion at the 2007 Bastille Day Military Parade.
In the modern German Bundeswehr, Fallschirmjäger continue to form the core of Special Operations. The Division has two brigade equivalents and several independent companies and battalions. All told, about 10,000 troops served in that division in 2010, most of them support or logistics personnel. The Division has the following structure:
Special Operations Division
Headquarters Company (stationed in Stadtallendorf)
Airborne Signal Battalion (Stadtallendorf)
Airborne Air Defence Missile Battery 100 (Seedorf)
Long Range Reconnaissance Training Company 200 (Pfullendorf)
Army Band 300 (Koblenz)
Airborne Brigade 26 (Saarlouis)
Headquarters Company (Saarlouis)
Airborne Reconnaissance Company 260 (Zweibrücken)
Airborne Engineer Company 260 (Saarlouis)
Fallschirmjäger Battalion 261 (Lebach)
Airborne Support Battalion 262 (Merzig)
Fallschirmjäger Battalion 263 (Zweibrücken)
Airborne Brigade 31 (Oldenburg)
Headquarters Company (Oldenburg)
Airborne Reconnaissance Company 310 (Seedorf)
Airborne Engineer Company 270 (Seedorf)
Fallschirmjäger Battalion 313 (Seedorf)
Fallschirmjäger Battalion 373 (Seedorf)
Airborne Support Battalion 272 (Oldenburg, Seedorf)
Special Forces Command (KSK) (Calw)
The vast majority of division members is deployable by parachute, and all of it is at least air mobile. Almost all vehicles and heavy equipment are transportable by helicopter, including special lightly armored Wiesel fighting vehicles adopted for this purpose. In addition to the Special Operations Division, Germany is also setting up an air mobile or air assault regiment.
[edit]National People's Army (East Germany)

Badge of the Luftsturmregiment 40, the only East German airborne regiment.
40. Fallschirmjägerbataillon Willi Sänger was the only airborne infantry formation of the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA). The battalion and its airborne-commando school were based in Prora on Rügen (1961–82) and near Potsdam (1982–90). Officially, the battalion was an airborne unit organized as an NVA light infantry battalion, but in reality it was considered a commando unit. On mission, the companies of the battalion were to be split up into teams of five or six men. As a force with special capabilities, it remained under the direct command of the army high command (Kommando Landstreitkräfte, KdoLaSK).
The reconnaissance company of the Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment (German: Wachregiment "Feliks E. Dzierzynski"), an elite motorized rifle regiment of the Ministry for State Security of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was a parachute-trained unit.

Special Air Service

Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950.[5] They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world.[8][10] The SAS together with the Special Boat Service (SBS), Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment and the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing form the UKSF under the command of the Director Special Forces.
The SAS traces its origins to 1941 and the Second World War, and was reformed as part of the Territorial Army in 1947, and named the 21st Battalion, SAS Regiment, (Artists Rifles). The Regular Army 22 SAS later gained fame and recognition worldwide after successfully assaulting the Iranian Embassy in London and rescuing hostages during the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, lifting the regiment from obscurity outside the military establishment.[11]
The Special Air Service presently comprises 22 Special Air Service Regiment of the Regular Army, 21 Special Air Service Regiment and 23 Special Air Service Regiment from the Territorial Army. It is tasked primarily with counter-terrorism in peacetime and special operations in wartime.

Further information: History of the SAS, List of SAS operations, and List of former SAS personnel
The Special Air Service was a unit of the British Army during the Second World War, formed in July 1941 by David Stirling and originally called "L" Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade— the "L" designation and Air Service name being a tie-in to a British disinformation campaign, trying to deceive the Axis into thinking there was a paratrooper regiment with numerous units operating in the area (the real SAS would 'prove' to the Axis that the fake one existed).[1][12] It was conceived as a commando force to operate behind enemy lines in the North African Campaign[13] and initially consisted of five officers and 60 other ranks.[14] Its first mission, in November 1941, was a parachute drop in support of the Operation Crusader offensive.[12] Due to German resistance and adverse weather conditions, the mission was a disaster: 22 men, a third of the unit, were killed or captured.[15] Its second mission was a success: transported by the Long Range Desert Group, it attacked three airfields in Libya, destroying 60 aircraft without loss.[15] In September 1942 it was renamed 1st SAS, consisting at that time of four British squadrons, one Free French, one Greek, and the Folboat Section.[16]

SAS patrol in North Africa
In January 1943, Stirling was captured in Tunisia and Paddy Mayne replaced him as commander.[17] In April 1943, the 1st SAS was reorganised into the Special Raiding Squadron under Mayne's command and the Special Boat Squadron was placed under the command of George Jellicoe.[18] The Special Raiding Squadron fought in Sicily and Italy along with the 2nd SAS, which had been formed in North Africa in 1943 in part by the renaming of the Small Scale Raiding Force.[19][20] The Special Boat Squadron fought in the Aegean Islands and Dodecanese until the end of the war.[21] In 1944 the SAS Brigade was formed from the British 1st and 2nd SAS, the French 3rd and 4th SAS and the Belgian 5th SAS.[22] It was tasked with parachute operations behind the German lines in France[2] and carried out operations supporting the Allied advance through Belgium, the Netherlands (Operation Pegasus), and eventually into Germany (Operation Archway).[22][23]
[edit]Post war
At the end of the war the British Government saw no further need for the force and disbanded it on 8 October 1945.[2] The following year it was decided there was a need for a long-term deep-penetration commando unit, and a new SAS regiment was to be raised as part of the Territorial Army.[24] Ultimately, the Artists Rifles, raised in 1860 and headquartered at Dukes Road, Euston, took on the SAS mantle as 21st SAS Regiment (V) on 1 January 1947.[3][24]

21 SAS soldier after a night parachute drop exercise in Denmark, 1955
In 1950, a 21 SAS squadron was raised to fight in the Korean War. After three months of training in England, it was informed that the squadron would no longer be required in Korea and so it instead volunteered to fight in the Malayan Emergency.[25] Upon arrival in Malaya, it came under the command of Mike Calvert who was forming a new unit called the Malayan Scouts (SAS).[25] Calvert had already formed one squadron from 100 volunteers in the Far East, which became A Squadron—the 21 SAS squadron then became B Squadron; and after a recruitment visit to Rhodesia by Calvert, C Squadron was formed from 1,000 Rhodesian volunteers.[26] The Rhodesians returned home after three years service and were replaced by a New Zealand squadron.[27] By this time, the need for a regular army SAS regiment had been recognised; 22 SAS Regiment was formally added to the army list in 1952 and has been based at Hereford since 1960.[8] In 1959 the third regiment, 23 SAS Regiment, was formed by renaming the Reserve Reconnaissance Unit, which had succeeded MI9 and whose members were experts in escape and evasion.[28]
[edit]22 SAS Regiment
Since serving in Malaya, men from the regular army 22 SAS Regiment have taken part in covert reconnaissance and surveillance by patrols and some larger scale raiding missions in Borneo.[29] An operation against communist guerillas included the Battle of Mirbat in the Oman.[30] They have also taken part in operations in the Aden Emergency,[31] Northern Ireland,[32] and Gambia.[29] Their Special projects team assisted the West German counter-terrorism group GSG 9 at Mogadishu.[29] The SAS counter terrorist wing famously took part in a hostage rescue operation during the Iranian Embassy Siege in London.[33] During the Falklands War D and G squadrons were deployed and participated in the raid on Pebble Island.[34] Operation Flavius was a controversial operation in Gibraltar against the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).[29] 22 SAS also directed NATO aircraft onto Serb positions and hunted war criminals in Bosnia.[35][36]
The Gulf War, in which A, B and D squadrons deployed, was the largest SAS mobilisation since the Second World War, also notable for the failure of the Bravo Two Zero mission.[37] In Sierra Leone it took part in Operation Barras, a hostage rescue operation, to extract members of the Royal Irish Regiment.[29] In the Iraq War, it formed part of Task Force Black and Task Force Knight, with A Squadron 22 SAS being singled out for exceptional service by General Stanley McChrystal, the American commander of NATO forces: during a six month tour it carried out 175 combat missions.[38] In 2006 members of the SAS were involved in the rescue of peace activists Norman Kember, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden. The three men had been held hostage in Iraq for 118 days during the Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis.[39] Operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan[40] involved soldiers from 21 and 23 SAS Regiments.[4]
Various British newspapers have speculated on the SAS involvement in Operation Ellamy and the 2011 Libyan civil war, the Daily Telegraph reports that "defence sources have confirmed that the SAS has been in Libya for several weeks, and played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli."[41] While The Guardian reports "They have been acting as forward air controllers – directing pilots to targets – and communicating with Nato operational commanders. They have also been advising rebels on tactics."[42]

Bravo Two Zero patrol members
In recent years SAS officers have risen to the highest ranks in the British Army. General Peter de la Billière was the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in the 1990 Gulf War.[43] General Michael Rose became commander of the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia in 1994.[44] In 1997 General Charles Guthrie became Chief of the Defence Staff the head of the British Armed Forces.[45] Lieutenant-General Cedric Delves was appointed Commander of the Field Army and Deputy Commander in Chief NATO Regional Headquarters Allied Forces North in 2002–2003.[46]
[edit]Influence on other special forces
Following the post-war reconstitution of the Special Air Service, other countries in the Commonwealth recognised their need for Special Forces-type units. The New Zealand Special Air Service squadron was formed in 1954 to serve with the British SAS in Malaya.[27] Australia formed the 1st SAS Company in July 1957, which became a full regiment of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in August 1964.[47] On its return from Malaya, the C (Rhodesian) Squadron formed the basis for creation of the Rhodesian Special Air Service in 1961.[28] It retained the name "C Squadron (Rhodesian) Special Air Service" within the Rhodesian Security Forces until 1978, when it became 1 (Rhodesian) Special Air Service Regiment.[48]
Non-commonwealth countries have also formed units based on the SAS. Impressed by the Australian SASR's methods in Vietnam, American General William Westmoreland ordered the formation of a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) unit in each infantry brigade or division to conduct similar operations.[49] Another American unit, Delta Force, was formed by Charles Alvin Beckwith, who served with 22 SAS as an exchange officer, and recognised the need for a similar type of unit in the United States Army.[50] It is claimed the Israeli Sayeret Matkal was also modelled on the SAS and even shares the same "who dares wins" motto.[51] The French 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (1er RPIMa) can trace its origins to the Second World War 3rd and 4th SAS, also adopting its "who dares wins" motto.[52]

Little publicly verifiable information exists on the SAS, as the United Kingdom Government does not usually comment on special forces matters.[53][54] The Special Air Service comprises three units: one Regular and two reserve Territorial Army (TA) units. The regular army unit is 22 SAS Regiment and territorial army units are 21 SAS Regiment (Artists) and 23 SAS Regiment.[6]
22 SAS Regiment has four operational squadrons: A, B, D and G. Each squadron consists of approximately 60 men commanded by a major, divided into four troops and a small headquarters section.[38][55] Troops usually consist of 16 men,[40] and each patrol within a troop consists of four men, with each man possessing a particular skill: signals, demolition, medic or linguist in addition to basic skills learned during the course of his training.[55] The four troops specialise in four different areas:
Boat troop — are specialists in maritime skills using scuba diving, kayaks and Rigid-hulled inflatable boats and often train with the Special Boat Service.[56]
Air troop — are experts in free fall parachuting, High Altitude-Low Opening (HALO) and High Altitude-High Opening (HAHO) techniques.[56]
Mobility troop — are specialists in using vehicles and are experts in desert warfare;[57] they are also trained in an advanced level of motor mechanics to field-repair any vehicular breakdown.[58]
Mountain troop — are specialists in Arctic combat and survival, using specialist equipment such as skis, snowshoes and mountain climbing techniques.[56]
In 1980 R Squadron was formed which has since been renamed L Detachment; its members are all ex-regular SAS regiment soldiers who have a commitment to reserve service.[55][nb 2]
22 Special Air Service Regiment 21 Special Air Service Regiment (Artists) 23 Special Air Service Regiment
'A' Squadron (Hereford)[4] 'A' Squadron (Regent's Park)[4] 'B' Squadron (Leeds)[60]
'B' Squadron[61] 'C' Squadron (Bramley)[62] 'D' Squadron (Scotland)[63]
'D' Squadron[64] 'E' Squadron (Wales)[65] 'G' Squadron (Manchester)[66]
'G' Squadron[64][nb 3]
[edit]Special projects team
The special projects team is the official name for the Special Air Service anti–hijacking counter–terrorism team.[55] It is trained in Close Quarter Battle (CQB) and sniper techniques and specialises in hostage rescue in buildings or on public transport.[68] The team was formed in 1975 after Prime Minister Edward Heath asked the Ministry of Defence to prepare for any possible terrorist attack similar to the massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics and ordered that the SAS Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) wing be raised.[69]
Once the wing had been established, each squadron rotated on a continual basis through counter–terrorist training including hostage rescue, siege breaking, and live firing exercises—it has been reported that during CRW training each soldier expends as many as 100,000 pistol rounds. Squadrons refresh their training every 16 months, on average. The CRW wing's first deployment was during the Balcombe Street Siege. The Metropolitan Police had trapped a PIRA unit; it surrendered when it heard on the BBC that the SAS were being sent in.[69]
The first documented action abroad by the CRW wing was assisting the West German counter-terrorism group GSG 9 at Mogadishu.[29] In 1980 the SAS were involved in a hostage rescue during the Iranian Embassy Siege.
[edit]United Kingdom Special Forces
The Special Air Service is under the operational command of the Director Special Forces (DSF), a major-general grade post. Previously ranked as a brigadier, the DSF was promoted from brigadier to major-general in recognition of the significant expansion of the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF).[70] The UKSF originally consisted of the regular and the reserve units of the SAS and the Special Boat Service, then joined by two new units: the Special Forces Support Group and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment.[70] They are supported by the 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment and the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, part of which (8 Flight Army Air Corps) is based in Hereford with the SAS.[71][72][73]
[edit]Recruitment, selection and training

Main article: United Kingdom Special Forces Selection

Pen y Fan 2,907 feet (886 m) above sea-level. The location for the Fan dance.
All members of the United Kingdom armed forces can be considered for special forces selection,[nb 4] but historically the majority of candidates have an airborne forces background.[75] All instructors are full members of the Special Air Service Regiment. Selections are held twice yearly, in summer and winter,[74] in Sennybridge in the Brecon Beacons. Selection lasts for five weeks and normally starts with about 200 potential candidates.[74] On arrival candidates first complete a Personal Fitness Test (PFT) and a Combat Fitness Test (CFT).[nb 5] They then march cross country against the clock, increasing the distances covered each day, culminating in what is known as the Fan dance: a 40 miles (64 km) march with full equipment scaling and descending Pen y Fan in 20 hours.[74] By the end of the hill phase candidates must be able to run 4 miles in 30 minutes and swim two miles in 90 minutes.[74]
Following the hill phase is the jungle phase, taking place in Belize, Brunei, or Malaysia.[77] Candidates are taught navigation, patrol formation and movement, and jungle survival skills.[78] Candidates returning to Hereford finish training in battle plans and foreign weapons and take part in combat survival exercises,[79] the final one being the week-long escape and evasion. Candidates are formed into patrols and, carrying nothing more than a tin can filled with survival equipment, are dressed in old Second World War uniforms and told to head for a point by first light. The final selection test is arguably the most gruelling: resistance to interrogation (RTI), lasting for 36 hours.[80]
Typically, 15–20% of candidates make it through the hill phase selection process. From the approximately 200 candidates, most will drop out within the first few days, and by the end about 30 will remain. Those who complete all phases of selection are rewarded with a transfer to an operational squadron.[81]
[edit]SAS Reserve selection
The Territorial Army Special Air Service (reserve) Regiments undergo a different selection process, as a part-time programme over a longer period, designed to select volunteers with the right qualities. It is emphasised to stand any chance of success volunteers must be physically fit at the start of the course. The qualities required are:
Physically and mentally robust
Self Confident
Self Disciplined
Able to work alone
Able to assimilate information and new skills.[82]
This is followed by Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) Training on Special Forces tactics, techniques and procedures. This is progressive with the emphasis on individuals assimilating new skills while under physical and mental pressure.[82]
On successful completion of this training, ranks are badged as SAS(R) and deemed operationally deployable.[82] They enter a probationary period during which they complete final training including a Basic Parachute Course and a Communications Course to be fit for mobilisation.[82]
[edit]Uniform distinctions

Normal barracks headdress is the sand-coloured beret,[8] its cap badge is a downward pointing Excalibur, wreathed in flames (often wrongly referred to as a winged dagger) worked into the cloth of a Crusader shield with the motto Who Dares Wins.[83][nb 6] SAS pattern parachute wings, designed by Lieutenant Jock Lewes and based on the stylised sacred Ibis wings of Isis of Egyptian iconography depicted in the décor of Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo, are worn on the right shoulder.[85] Its ceremonial No 1 dress uniform is distinguished by a light blue stripe on the trousers; the commanding officer and officer of the day wear a black leather pouch belt mounted with a silver whistle chain and the Mars and Minerva badge of the Artists Rifles.[8] Its stable belt is a shade of blue similar to the blue stripe on the No 1 dress uniform.[8]
[edit]Battle honours

In the British Army, battle honours are awarded to regiments that have seen active service in a significant engagement or campaign, generally with a victorious outcome.[86] The Special Air Service Regiment has been awarded the following battle honours:[87][88]
North-West Europe 1944-45
Tobruk 1941
Benghazi Raid
North Africa 1940–43
Landing in Sicily
Sicily 1943
Valli di Comacchio
Italy 1943–45
Greece 1944–45
Middle East 1943–44
Falkland Islands 1982
Western Iraq
Gulf 1991
[edit]Order of precedence

Preceded by
Line Infantry and Rifles British Army Order of Precedence[89] Succeeded by
Army Air Corps

The names of those members of the SAS who have died on duty are inscribed on the regimental clock tower at Stirling lines,[90] those whose names are inscribed are said to have failed to "beat the clock" by surviving members.[91] Inscribed on the base of the clock is a verse from The Golden Road to Samarkand by James Elroy Flecker:[92]
We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea ...
The other main memorial is the SAS and Airborne Forces memorial in the cloisters at Westminster Abbey. The SAS Brigade Memorial at Sennecey-le-Grand in France commemorates the wartime dead of the Belgian, British and French SAS and recently a memorial plaque was added to the David Stirling Memorial in Scotland. There are other smaller memorials "scattered throughout Europe and in the Far East".[93]

 Australia: Special Air Service Regiment[94]
 New Zealand: Special Air Service[94]