Welcome to Special Army Forces, your ultimate source for Elite Fighting Units all over the World. For information, videos, images and books on the special forces of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany and more.
Special Forces Fighting Units are usually utilised to take care of covert and special missions so soldiers have are trained, pushed and worked to their limit. Only the elite soldiers make it into their respective Elite Special Force.
Special Forces operations typically consist of:
- Reconnaissance, monitoring, intelligence gathering and surveillance in hostile environments
- Training and developing military and security in other states
- Offensive Combat
- Providing support to counter-insurgency through population engagement and support
- Counter-terrorism operations
- Sabotage and Demolition
- Hostage Rescue
Find out about weapons used by the worlds best fighting units. Browse through the history of featured Armies and find out about covert missions and tactics.
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Special Forces Origins
Throughout history, Special Forces Units across the world have been significantly involved in many historical conflicts. The main aims of these Special Forces teams has always been to cause disruption by utilising sabotage and devastatingly fast and efficient attacks. Special Forces also perform intelligence gathering operations, infiltration and undercover operations.
Although the British SAS is usually credited with having the very first Special Forces team, there is evidence to suggest that Special fighting units have operated in conflict throughout history. In the 1th century BC a document entitled ‘The Six Secret Teachings’ by a Chinese strategist, Jiang Ziya (Lu Shang) details the recruitment of exceptional soldiers to serve special elite teams, which were tasked with scaling great heights and distances.
Around the 249 BC, a Carthaginian general and statesman of Cyrene origin, Hamilcar Barca recruited and trained outstanding troops to carry out several operations a day.
In the early Byzantine period (324 – 610 AD) the Romans utilised some of the first recorded covert tactics by using fast camouflaged ships for commando and reconnaissance missions. These ships would be crewed by specially trained soldiers who carried out dangerous and often covert operations.
There are records of Muslim fighting forces who had Special Operations Teams in their navy. One of these ships was camouflaged and helped gather intelligence and launch raids. Another of these ships were crewed by soldiers who dressed as Crusaders so they could board enemy ships, enabling them to capture and destroy them.
The roots of more modern specialised units actually pre-dates the inception of the British SAS, but still has it’s roots in the British Army. During the 2nd Boer War from 1899 to 1902, a need for specialist teams became apparent. Units were set up specifically for scouting missions, these units wore ghillie suits and were well trained in military tactics, shooting and survival techniques. This particular unit was formed in 1900 by Lord
This unit, known as the Lovat Scouts was formed in 1900 by Simon Fraser, the 14th Lord Lovat. After the Second Boer War, The Lovat Scouts went on to become what is regarded as the first ever elite sniper unit. Another of these specially trained fighting units was the Bushveldt Carbineers, which was formed in 1901. These early, elite units utilised techniques and tactics, of which, some are still used today.
Special Army Forces began expanding due to the success of these early teams and by World War I, Autralian and Canadian units joined British forces to fight in France. They quickly became renowned for their fierce and unconventional tactics which were utilised to devastating effect during trench raids and ‘kill or capture’ operations.