Greatest Special Ops Missions of all time

Octoberman

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I am a producer based in the UK working for October Films and we are currently developing a tv documentary series that looks at the greatest and most significant special operations missions of all time.

I recently read the thread on this subject with interest and i wanted to post a further discussion to guage what interest there may be in our project and what this community would rate as the ten most significant missions of all time.

Would anyone like to kick off with their thoughts on a top ten?

Best

Octoberman
 

Octoberman

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Well that was a lengthy thread.

Thanks for these guys, i have read the thread and it entirety and there are some high quality examples of real game changers in terms of military affairs.

What i would really like to do is identify as many modern examples as i can, the last ten years or so.

Does anyone know of any that they think are significant in terms of operational successes?

Operation Barrass is one i know of...
 

AWP

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I am a producer based in the UK working for October Films and we are currently developing a tv documentary series that looks at the greatest and most significant special operations missions of all time.

What i would really like to do is identify as many modern examples as i can, the last ten years or so.

Does anyone know of any that they think are significant in terms of operational successes?

Your most recent post doesn't jive with the original intent of your thread.

At any rate, pretty much anything in the last 10 years will still have a great deal of secrecy surrounding it. TTPs are still fresh, the men that did the deed are still doing it, anything you've heard about by now is more less what the PAO wants you to see.

If you're still looking, then go to the USASOC website, news.soc.mil and start chewing through the archives. I'm sure the other SOF entities have their own websites out there for you to do the same.

Hell, Marcus Luttrell's story is pretty common knowledge by now, right? Do you have any idea how many SOF folks were involved in that, some on this board, and you still don't hearmuch about their role? I'm not trying to be difficult, but there are reasons for the lack of information.

Take care.
 

pardus

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My advice is to look back a little further in history, look at Ops in WWII and up too the Gulf War for example.

There is still a story to be told on many of these operations, look at Bravo Two Zero and the way that story has developed over the years.
The Iranian embassy seige.
The operations in the Oman and Borneo in the 60's, Malaya in the 50's.
WWII in North Africa, with Popski's Private Army, the SAS, the LRDG.made a huge influence on the way wars and in particular special ops have been conducted since they occurred.

This is all stuff that all UK based and within easy reach of you being over there.
Find an operation and use the Imperial War Museum to research as well as the actual units and the MoD.
 

Octoberman

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Guys this is all great stuff, and sorry for being unclear on my initial posting. I am aware that recent operations are more sensitive for obvious reasons, in fact there does seem to be a period of about ten years that elapses before stories get "cleared". Met one of the SAS guys from "Barrass" the other day and he concurred that this is is rightly so.

Nimrod was mentioned in the original list thread and someone rightly commented that the regiment's cover would have been blown someday anyway, which i agree with.

There will forever be a balance, between the public wanting to know more and special operations units wanting to be secret. I know most special ops soldiers dont give a shit about tv documentaries, but everybody wants to know these stories and there are ways of doing them so they dont compromise units, and they compliment the achievements of guys who are often overlooked.

I think my series need to be a mix of incredible unknown stories (which dont have to be new), Stories that are rich in terms of how they affected change in the military and s,ops, and new stories that add gloss and a contemporary feel.

Gulf wars would certainly provide these and perhaps english speaking special ops units from elsewhere might be a place to look?
 

AWP

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There will forever be a balance, between the public wanting to know more and special operations units wanting to be secret. I know most special ops soldiers dont give a shit about tv documentaries, but everybody wants to know these stories and there are ways of doing them so they dont compromise units, and they compliment the achievements of guys who are often overlooked.

I think my series need to be a mix of incredible unknown stories (which dont have to be new), Stories that are rich in terms of how they affected change in the military and s,ops, and new stories that add gloss and a contemporary feel.

Gulf wars would certainly provide these and perhaps english speaking special ops units from elsewhere might be a place to look?

Without being rude, attempting to discuss the first paragraph I've quoted would be difficult unless that discussion was lengthy.

One option for you would be to tie-in "old" and "new": show an older mission/ event and then how it influenced a newer mission/ event. A lot of SOF guys read history, some even devour it; there's a reason for their consumption as very few things are "new."

ANY SOF element could provide a good story. The Dutch had a train rescue in the 70's, I'm sure South America has topics you could cover, I'm sure South Korea has a wealth of stories if you can find them, but generally speaking the more recent the event the less likely you'll be able to find information about it or anyone to talk about it. No matter how noble your intent, it just won't happen. I have a clearance, I've been around guys that have done some really neat things....and the topic never comes up unless they initiate it, which they rarely do.

Good luck.
 

Octoberman

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One option for you would be to tie-in "old" and "new": show an older mission/ event and then how it influenced a newer mission/ event. A lot of SOF guys read history, some even devour it; there's a reason for their consumption as very few things are "new."

--

This is a good point, and a structure that i think is worth pursuing. I am avtually producing two projects at the moment. One is about game cghanging moment in military history (not sof specific) and the other is a "greatest special ops missions" project, which is the one i came here about.

In my view there is some crossover and you could even do a special ops episode in the "game changer" series? Here would be the perfect opportunity to tell an older story and analyse how and why things were done differently thereafter...

With the greatest ever special ops project, i think i have to accept the stories will never be less than 5 or 10 years old.
 

pardus

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Nimrod was mentioned in the original list thread and someone rightly commented that the regiment's cover would have been blown someday anyway, which i agree with.

Yeah some asshole will eventually blow their cover so we might as well get in first right?

Bollocks!

There will forever be a balance, between the public wanting to know more and special operations units wanting to be secret. I know most special ops soldiers dont give a shit about tv documentaries, but everybody wants to know these stories and there are ways of doing them so they dont compromise units, and they compliment the achievements of guys who are often overlooked.

Fuck the public and fuck the media that poke their fucking nose where it isn't wanted or needed!

Joe Public: "I want to know". Tough shit motherfucker, the fucking public has NO right to know what goes on.
The more the public knows the more danger we the Soldiers are put in danger.

Those grovelling little pricks sitting at home can spank off while playing their xboxs and leave the Soldiering to Soldiers, when WE decide it's time and it's appropriate to do so we will tell the story.

I personally believe the media should be banned from any combat zone, the military has reporters than can cover and forward stories to the general media.

I love nothing more than watching a good war doco but my curious nature doesn't give me a right to further put in danger the people in harm's way right now.

Do us a favour mate and stick to stuff a little further back in history.

Generally speaking it takes time for tactics to change based on an event/battle/operation.

FYI, We are still using tactics developed during WWI
 

HOLLiS

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Probably the most successful/maybe greatest is the one you will never read about. Knowing how something works is needed in the planning to prevent them from happening. That means letting operational information out, especially on current ops, will only jeopardize future missions.
 

Octoberman

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I was merely pointing out that your colleagues point about a matter of time, was relevant. I dont think there's a special forces unit in the world today that hasn't had some sort of media coverage.

We are an internationally renowned production company with a raft of international awards for current affairs documentaries tackling themes as broad as Russian politics to embeds with military units in Afghanistan and iraq. these projects have won global acclaim and in most cases have drawn attention to the work soldiers do in these regions as well as their lives afterwards, in films like "Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry".

If you take a look at our website you'll see what we are about and personally i think we deserve as much respect as you deserve for the valuable job you undertake. You'll also get a sense of how military camera men, with the greatest respect, are not likely to be able to tell a story in the same way as a professional documentary filmmaker. (and i emphasise we are not journalists)

You undermine your own point by saying "I love a good war doc" as you allude to a human instinct to want to know about what's going on in this area, especially when it affects our liberty and government.

Like i say, without wanting to offend you, i dont think i deserved the tirade, and i certainly dont want to follow someone like delta on operations today, i am simply trying to get a sense of what recent stories (within the last ten years) might [safely] illustrate tactical SOF successes...
 

Octoberman

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Thanks hollis, but i think my focus is going to be in the last 10 years, not current operations. I completely respect that is a no no.
 

pardus

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Glad to hear you aren't a journo, I dislike them.

You are bearing some brunt for them and that isn't fair I know.

You say I undermine my own point? lol, did you read the second part of that sentence?
but my curious nature doesn't give me a right to further put in danger the people in harm's way right now.

When you make your film, you need to be VERY mindful of the harm it can do, the best way I can think of to do this is speak with someone reputable within the Military in the field you are covering i.e. talk to the RSM of the SAS if you make something about the SAS etc... if they say that's a no go, then leave it out.

I have a close friend in your industry and I respect it.

Affect our liberty and govt?

Listen guy, the fucking media poking their nose into places they arent wanted, i.e. a war zone is hampering our efforts in this war which kills Soldiers and makes it less likely for us to win, what do you think will happen if we roll over and let radical islam take over? Goodbye liberty and secular govt.
You know what most of us want? To be left alone to do our job.

Your train of thought maybe noble but you dont have our mindset and you don't seem to understand.

I keep hearing from you 'I respect the right to secrecy but we need to know' thats a no go in my book.

For the record, you dont deserve as much respect as a Soldier in harms way but you do deserve respect. :2c:

I was merely pointing out that your colleagues point about a matter of time, was relevant. I dont think there's a special forces unit in the world today that hasn't had some sort of media coverage.

We are an internationally renowned production company with a raft of international awards for current affairs documentaries tackling themes as broad as Russian politics to embeds with military units in Afghanistan and iraq. these projects have won global acclaim and in most cases have drawn attention to the work soldiers do in these regions as well as their lives afterwards, in films like "Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry".

If you take a look at our website you'll see what we are about and personally i think we deserve as much respect as you deserve for the valuable job you undertake. You'll also get a sense of how military camera men, with the greatest respect, are not likely to be able to tell a story in the same way as a professional documentary filmmaker. (and i emphasise we are not journalists)

You undermine your own point by saying "I love a good war doc" as you allude to a human instinct to want to know about what's going on in this area, especially when it affects our liberty and government.

Like i say, without wanting to offend you, i dont think i deserved the tirade, and i certainly dont want to follow someone like delta on operations today, i am simply trying to get a sense of what recent stories (within the last ten years) might [safely] illustrate tactical SOF successes...
 

Octoberman

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A lot of our stuff is viewable through youtube and if you are particularly interested i'd be happy to arrange an ftp site or sending a yousendit link to a particular film...?

I take your point about soldiers on the frontline. Thats courage above and beyond and its certainly a different kind of respect that you guys should be afforded.

I also appreciate your advice on where to focus and who to talk to...

If you are interested we are currently producing a 2 hour special for the History Channel that looks into the various ways in which the US government tried to kill or capture Bin Laden. Going back as far as 94/95 its the comprehensive version of the CIA and the governments rationale behind these attempts.

We have been working with Ex CIA, government military and special ops personel and have paid due attention to what information we include and how that's presented. I hope it will be a good example of how you can answer a question that most of the world are asking without compromising operations personnel..
 
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