German special forces: units, names, features, functions

German special forces: units, names, features, functions
German special forces: units, names, features, functions

Practically every state in the world has various power structures, among which there are also units that solve particularly difficult tasks. It goes without saying that in developed countries, special squads are most widely used, both in the military sphere and in the police. This article will consider the special forces of Germany, or rather the existing units, their names, functional duties and features. Special attention will also be paid to the special regiments of the period of the Second World War.

German special forces exercises

Army Commandos

German special forces KSK is an elite army unit created to carry out military operations in a crisis, confrontation in the Cold War, as part of the defense operations of their own country and allies in the NATO bloc. This special brigade was formed by the command of the Bundeswehr on April 1, 1997, after the need arose for the conduct of hostilities in West Africa.


German special forces KSK have as their main tasksthe following:

  • Performance of military and technical reconnaissance deep behind enemy lines, in conditions of penetration into well-guarded enemy targets and carrying out planned sabotage operations there.
  • Implementation of operations to eliminate the leaders and senior officers of the enemy, as well as headquarters, communications systems and infrastructure.
  • Correction and direct control of air strikes and missile troops, which are directed directly deep into the territory of the enemy (to do this, they mark the target with a laser). Parallel interaction with other military units and units.
  • Release from captivity or rescue from the environment of their own fighters and soldiers of the allies.
  • Clear and tough counteraction to sabotage and terrorist detachments of the enemy in their own rear.
  • Performing special tasks that cannot be performed by other branches and types of troops due to their insufficient training or their own specifics.
  • German police special forces


German special forces KSK has a numerical strength of approximately 1100 people. As part of this unit, 10 combat companies of 100 fighters were introduced in each of them. There is also a support unit. Directly each company includes 5 platoons and control sections:

  • First platoon - ground troops.
  • Second platoon - paratroopers
  • Third platoon - warriors operating on boats.
  • Fourth platoon - climbers withskills to perform combat missions in the conditions of the Polar Pole.
  • Fifth platoon - snipers.

Selection and preparation process

Until 2005, KSK accepted only non-commissioned officers and officers with a paratrooper training course behind them. Today, the path to this elite special forces is already open to ordinary soldiers, and even to people who have never served anywhere before. It is mandatory for all candidates to complete the Bundeswehr Basic Paratrooper Training Course.

Requirements for Candidates

For everyone who wants to join the KSK, it is important to meet the following criteria:

  • Availability of higher education.
  • Having German citizenship.
  • Having a driver's license.
  • Swimming rank.
  • No vision problems or allergies.
  • Excellent knowledge of English or French.
  • Maintaining high concentration while experiencing colossal physical exertion.
  • Appropriate height: 165 cm for men, 163 cm for women.
  • Age: under 24.

As in many other similar units of the world, KSK fighters are trained in two directions:

  • First stage (lasts three weeks) - psychological tests and very intense physical activity, which ends with a 90 km cross-country cross country. It is at this selection that about 90% of all candidates are eliminated.
  • Second stage - takes about 2-3 years and is held almost all over the world: from Norway, where the fighters pass the mountaintraining, to Israel, where soldiers have to learn how to survive in the desert. At the same time, special forces instructors from the USA and Britain were entrusted with active participation in this process.

Like any other special forces of the countries of the world, the photo of which is given in the article, the German KSK is not the best place for family people. According to some reports, only a third of the personnel of this detachment has a second half. In addition, these fighters certainly cannot boast of recognition from the society, since they are strictly forbidden to report that they generally serve in this unit. Moreover, warriors wear a burgundy beret only within the walls of their own barracks.

German special forces in winter

Ministry Elite

Special forces of the German police deserve special attention. It goes without saying that this unit, due to its specifics, has its own goals and special training methods adapted for the effective performance of combat missions in the future.

German police special forces GSG 9 was created in the fall of 1973, that is, a year after the terrorist attack on Olympic athletes in Munich. The unit was created to prevent further such actions on the part of criminals. It should be noted that initially many German politicians were very afraid to create such a detachment, as they believed that the GSG 9 was able to revive unwanted memories of the Nazi party - the SS. And therefore it was decided to create a special unit based on the police, not the army. This was largely due to the fact that federal legislation prohibiteduse the army against civilians.

Structure features

The German police special forces, whose photo is shown below, is a full-fledged part of the entire country's police and therefore has exactly the same powers, including the right to arrest. All police activities, including GSG 9, are based on the legislative framework of the German Interior Ministry.

German police commando

The special squad itself is stationed near the city of Bonn and has three main subgroups and several auxiliary ones:

  • 1st subgroup - conducts regular operations. It implies hostage-taking, kidnapping, extortion. Also, the detachment can carry out the protection of objects of national importance.
  • 2nd sub-group - conducting maritime operations. For example, countering the hijacking of ships, protecting oil rigs.
  • 3rd subgroup - parachute detachment.
  • 4th subgroup - technical and technological support. This unit helps its colleagues to deploy in the area of ​​operations. It is also responsible for issuing and purchasing equipment and testing it. The detachment's employees are also experts in explosives: they are entrusted with demining, mining and disposal of ammunition.


The German police special forces (named GSG 9) are recruiting federal border police officers with at least two years of service behind them.

The entire squad of candidates must pass a three-day test for physical and psychological fitness for work insubdivision. It also checks the skills of shooting from firearms, general endurance, and the state of he alth of a fighter is studied. As practice shows, at this stage two candidates out of three are eliminated. The rest of the people are waiting for a 22-week training program, during which close attention is paid to the process of rallying teams, sniper training, improving physical and intellectual endurance. All personnel are trained to carry out security measures, study tactics and weapons, improve their driving skills, learn to provide medical care, etc. It is important to point out: at this stage, work is carried out with each cadet individually, thus forming a lone fighter.

German special forces amphibious assault

At the end of training, exams are held in hand-to-hand combat, general physical training, forensics and law. A special place is occupied here by fire training. The team's base in Sankt Augsteen has a dedicated facility equipped with a variety of shooting simulators.

All those who successfully passed all stages of selection are then sent to assault groups and operational detachments, where they undergo an additional three-month course. Here, work is already underway in practice, in which experienced instructors help them.

It is noteworthy that all GSG 9 fighters must learn foreign languages, because they very often have to negotiate with terrorists from around the world.


German police special forces during its existenceconducted many successful operations to rescue hostages and arrest criminals. In total, there are over 1500 tasks behind the fighters of the detachment.

In 1977, GSG 9 was named the best anti-terrorist group on the planet. At the regularly held world championship among police special forces, the Germans in 2005 took first place. The detachment also regularly conducts joint training with their colleagues from other countries: the USA, Spain, China.

Elite of the era of Europe's bloodiest conflict of the 20th century

Germany's WWII Special Forces is a special topic worth looking into.

In February 1943, the German leadership proclaimed the so-called "total war" doctrine. In this regard, Ernst K altenbrunner was appointed to the post of head of the Empire's Main Security Directorate (RSHA), who, in turn, approved Otto Skorzeny as the chief commando. It was this officer with Italian roots who created the "C" department, which was engaged in special operations. The first elite military took special courses "Oranienburg" on the basis of Friedenthal castle in the strictest secrecy. They arrived at the place of study only in civilian clothes.

German special forces weapons

It was these well-trained officers who managed to kidnap Benito Mussolini, who was arrested by the anti-fascist movement. Skorzeny's detachment managed to easily get into the mountain range where the Italian dictator was detained, and took him to the territory of Germany. This operation made such an indelible impression on Hitler that he ordered immediatelycreate a few more special forces units.

The main reconnaissance and sabotage unit of the Nazis

When studying the special forces of the Wehrmacht of the Second World War, one cannot ignore the Brandenburg battalion. Initially, it consisted of 4 companies, formed according to ethnic principle, as well as a motorcycle and parachute platoons.

The fighters of the detachment specialized in sabotage and subversive activities and very often acted deep behind enemy lines. It was these warriors who regularly used the practice of dressing up in the form of the enemy in order to complete their tasks. At the same time, warriors often acted in small groups or even singly. Although, if necessary, entire companies joined the German armies. Particular attention in the process of training the soldiers of this special forces was given to mining and a hidden approach to the object of sabotage.

Squad Operations

During its history, "Brandenburg" committed many acts of sabotage, but the provocation on the territory of the USSR deserves special attention. In the summer of 1941, the soldiers of this German special forces managed to prevent the blowing up of the bridge across the Western Dvina, which the retreating Soviet units wanted to carry out. To do this, the Germans disguised themselves as wounded Red Army soldiers and got close to the bridge. Then they eliminated the security of the facility and literally in a matter of minutes took control of the entire bridge. Due to this, the further advance of the German troops towards Riga continued without slowing down. It goes without saying that in its history of the Second World War, Brandenburg managed to inflict serious damage on its opponents.

After completionfighting this elite special forces of Germany dispersed around the world. Many fighters of the detachment became members of the elite units of Britain, the Foreign Legion in France, and special US troops. And in the 1950s, some fighters of the former Brandenburg received an invitation from the Egyptian leadership to become military advisers in the fight against Israel.

German special forces soldiers


Some German soldiers in our time are part of the special forces of NATO countries. Their level of training is the highest possible and sometimes their training takes place at the limit of human capabilities. The work of these warriors is accompanied by colossal overloads, and therefore the selection for these units is the most severe. But all this in total provides the desired result, and all the tasks that are assigned to the soldiers of the elite units are completed in full.

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