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Kommando: German Special Forces Of World War 2: German Special Forces of World War Two (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) Paperback – 22 Oct 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (22 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030435127X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304351275
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Stunning achievements won by German special forces in secret operations against all odds

About the Author

James Lucas fought with the British infantry in the Second World War. He has long since established a reputation as a popular historian with a particular interest in good soldiering.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The conflict between Germany and Poland which began on 1 September 1939, spread to involve so many nations that it became, eventually, a world-wide war. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Collier VINE VOICE on 7 Jan 2008
There are plenty of books available on the various 'conventional' German forces from WWII - the Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht and SS - but I was of the impression that the Nazis did not generally go in for unconventional, special forces in the same way as the Allies did and indeed there are comparitively few books dedicated to the subject. But Kommando provides a very interesting insight into a wide range of special forces developed and deployed by Germany towards the end of the second world war, with indifferent results. For clarity Lucas divides Germany's special forces into its several 'arms': the land forces, the air forces, the naval forces and then the 'political'. This clear demarkation structures the book nicely and is a necessary contrivance since, as we will see, the real organisation of Germany's special forces, like all of Hitler's organisational structures towards the end of the war, was maladministered chaos.

The scope of the book is fairly broad and as a result tackles each special force in only thumbnail form, albeit full of detail, with each chapter being anything from 5 to 15 pages in length. It gives a useful overview for further reading - and Lucas himself covers some of this book's elite forces in greater detail himself in some of his other books. Individual operations are not desribed in much detail (with the exception perhaps of Eben Emael), rather Lucas concentrates on dates, places, main characters and relative success of each force. Often, with such units as the KG200 (Luftwaffe) or Werewolf (German partisans) any records of specific operations have either been destroyed are are still too sensitive or unpalatable even today to be recounted in detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By scafftag on 18 Aug 2013
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Not much you can say about this, except that much of the research was done in interviews with the men who survived. Well written in an easily readable style
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luis Miguel Vale on 23 Nov 2007
Fell short of expectations, maybe because of so few ocurrences from this kind of forces, by the german side. Very few of the actions described fell in the comando type. Nonetheless interesting in the chapter dedicated to the kriegsmarine.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Creighton on 19 Oct 2007
As an ex soldier with a Scottish Infantry Regt., I received specialist training in jungle warfare. I can relate to the rigours and hardships of the German Forces during WW11.
Despite the fact that they were our enemies at that time,they were very brave men and women, who right or wrong, fought for their country.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Too little, Too late. 1 May 2000
By Simon Andrews - Published on
This book is one of the most deep and intriguing looks at the tantalising 'James Bond' exploits of the German army during WWII. From undercover infantry detatchments, to human torpedoes and midget submarines, to piloted missiles and kamikaze jet fighters, and finally to the German version of the French resistance, Lucas delivers concise, detailed but thrilling accounts of the Germans amazing efforts to stem the tide of the Allied forces. Every branch of the armed forces are looked at, in some form, and the tales of men and machines responsible recounted, often with comic, and tragic results. The ideas presented by the Germans were just as, if not more inventive than the Allied efforts, but against the mighty Allied war machine, could only hope to prolong the war, never win it, despite the maniacal belief and faith put into the programmes by the ailing Fuhrer. This is a great book, even if you're not a fan of military history, and it's interesting just to see the ideas that laid the basis for action movies for years to come. A must read.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
And Finally, Werewolves, Too. 30 Jun 2005
By Kay's Husband - Published on
This is another of the dozen plus books on my WWII shelf written by the incomparable, James Lucas. When I see his name in a bookstore or catalog, I quickly look to see if I have the book. He and Charles Whiting have become two of my favorite authors where WWII is concerned, each author having themselves served in WWII.

I've had this hardcover volume for several years, purchasing it from The Military Book Club when it was their selection back in 1985. May possibly have been the very first book I found by James Lucas.

In this study James Lucas concentrates his efforts on the elite German troops who played an important part in the early part of the war, especially prior to the invasion of both Poland and Czechoslovakia. These German Special Force's men not only infiltrated these countries but set up pre-invasion bases. Nothing would have gone as smoothly as it did without their service and efforts. As the war continued they were to see use in many other tasks, some late in the war falling into what can only be termed suicide missions.

Two of the more interesting sections of this book for me have to do with Sturmbannfuhrer or SS-Major Otto Skorzeny who led many missions of the special forces of Germany, some that seem beyond belief, even today. He was active, for example, in the rescue of Il Duce, the Ardennes campaign, and most interestingly, the highly secret KG200 activities.

The second item of interest here concerns the Werewolf organizations in the very last months of the war, these were designed as youthful guerrilla/terroist movements to disrupt the allied entry into the heartland of Germany.

Hopefully all of these items mentioned will be of equal interest to you acting as a prompt to take a look at this fine book on German Special Forces of World War Two. The book also contains many charts, tables, and diagrams, fully illustrated with over 50 photographs.

Kommando - German Special Forces WWII 11 Aug 2013
By oldeafcoot - Published on
James Lucas has written a comprehensive survey of German WWII Special Forces operation of the German Army, Navy, Air Force and the SS. The British lay claim to being the founder of modern special operations, Lucas makes clear that Germany has a stronger claim. Even the arch-conservative German Army saw a need for special purpose troops to pave the way during their offensive operations. During the early stages of the war German paratroops and Brandenburgers accomplished wonders in seizing and neutralizing key installations. In fact, to this day, even in the huge U.S. Special Operations community, there is no equivalent to the Brandenburg unit.
There is no question the the ability to think outside the box and to conduct unconventional operations gave Germany a vital edge in the early days of the war. Later, of course, the specialist troops were wasted in hopeless tasks trying to salvage a lost war.
I highly recommend this book. It is a good read, accurate and clearly shows the efficiency and ruthlessness of German WWII operators.
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