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Hitler's Elite Shock Troops
Wehrmacht Desant and Shock Units
336 pages; 17 chapters and 7 appendixes
Although the German Army and Waffen SS ground forces fielded numerous elite
shock units during World War II, this book focuses on a selection of particularly
unique combat formations. These shock troop combat formations were so well
organized and armed that during their period of service they were able to accomplish
great achievements. This book examines what an elite shock unit is, as it
analyzes the performance of Wehrmacht: Kurmark Panzer Grenadier Division,
Brandenburg Division, and a variety of elite Wehrmacht commando shock
units ranging in size from Skorzeny’s Jagdkommando battalions to corps.
“When the German Army made the mistake of forming most of its espionage specialists into a conventional panzer
grenadier division, 1,800 Brandenburgers quit the Abwehr and joined Waffen SS shock troops. They were formed
into six Skorzeny Jagdkommando Battalions.
The new Brandenburger battalions joined the up to twenty Waffen SS Jagdkommando (Hunting commando)
battalions that were already deployed against communist guerrillas. Skorzeny Jagdkommandos were used as fighting
reconnaissance and shock troops whose mission was to pursue enemy partisans without rest. Using guerrilla warfare
methods the German light infantry commandos attempted to approach the enemy undetected and then annihilate them
by surprise action. They hunted enemy guerrilla bands in areas of band movement, where the enemy commandeered
foodstuffs and zones through which bands moved on the way to attack German Army installations and personnel.
Skorzeny Jagdkommandos were not to be used in areas of strong partisan control where large bands maneuvered and
huge fortified camps existed.”
Excerpt from Hitler's Elite Shock Troops
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