Most significant Special Operations

Ravage

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I've "borrowed" this thread idea from MP.net (:p).
Since most of the guys who gave their opinions there were not in the military I would like to ask the Shadow Spear community about your thoughts on this.

I'm no SOF expert but in my opinion Acid Gambit is definetly one of those "perfect ops.".

The Entebe raid and of course "Little Flower" (GROM snatched up a Serbian war criminal without fireing a single shot).
 

AWP

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Acid Gambit? Where the rescue helo with the precious cargo was shot down? You're serious?
 

Pete031

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I would have to say the early stages of OEF. Some pretty unreal operations occured then.

WW2 Had some amazing "Special" Operations too.
 

AWP

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Was the mission a success? Yes, Muse got out. It didn't go nearly according to plan (few do), but the key thing is the rescue helo was shot down. We're talking "most successful" or "perfect", not "legendary" or "ground-breaking", but most successful. I don't think AG meets that criteria. I wouldn't say that TF Ranger does either to be honest, not when the criteria is our interpretation/idea of what is "most successful".

Entebbe had 4 hostages killed and 10 wounded. Considering the odds though that is pretty good. "Most successful" though? I don't know.

There were some pretty awesome ones in Korea and Vietnam, one could argue Carlos Hathcock's lone sniper mission fits the criteria.

Off the top of my head, I'd vote for LT Norris' rescue of Bat-21, but I'd have to do some thinking. Maybe the Raid at Cabanatuan where the Rangers rescued 512 POWs?
 

0699

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I read the title as "most significant", not "most successful"...

IMO, Operation Eagle Claw is the most significant special operation in recent history. It forced (AFAIK) the US military and political leadership to realize they weren't as proficient at special operations as they needed to be. This led to the forming of SOCOM, JSOC, and other SMUs.

Yes, it was a failure, but that failure led to some major changes in the US military.
 

0699

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If we're talking most successful, I'd nominate Otto Skorzeny in Operations Oak or Grief.

Even if Grief didn't "succeed" in the classic sense, it's effect on US operations was pretty dramatic.
 

AWP

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Significant? For modern SOF it is Eagle Claw for reasons you stated.

If I got off track I apologize. I may have misread the "commander's intent" on this one.
 

car

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I read the title as "most significant", not "most successful"...

IMO, Operation Eagle Claw is the most significant special operation in recent history. It forced (AFAIK) the US military and political leadership to realize they weren't as proficient at special operations as they needed to be. This led to the forming of SOCOM, JSOC, and other SMUs.

Yes, it was a failure, but that failure led to some major changes in the US military.

x2. SOF is where it is today largely because of lessons learned in Eagle Claw. Much like conventional ops are where they are due to lessons learned in Urgent Fury. :2c:
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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Significant- Son Tay Prison Raid.

I'd concur with this. Without the lessons from Son Tay, Eagle Claw would have looked a lot different (if attempted at all).

Non-US:
GSG-9 hostage rescue in Mogadishu in 1977
Opn NIMROD (SAS at Princess Gate).
 

lancero

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The German Attack on Eben Emael 10 May 1940. With a glider infil and the fiirst time use of shape charges, it has got to be considered significant.
 
B

Boondocksaint375

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I won't derail the thread, but here is an excerpt from a paper I wrote recently on SO.

"Special operations" are typically performed independently, or in conjunction with, conventional military operations that aim to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does not exist or might affect the overall strategic outcome. Special operations are usually conducted in a low-profile manner and aim to achieve the advantage of speed, surprise, and violence of action against an unsuspecting target. Special operations are typically carried out with limited numbers of highly trained Special Operations Forces that operate in all environments, utilize self-reliance, are able to easily adapt and overcome obstacles, and use non-conventional combat skills and equipment to complete objectives. Special ops also are usually implemented through specific or "tailored" intelligence.
 

Marauder06

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I just wrote a 10 page term paper... in like 8 hours... not my best work but I still got an A (a very LOW A but an A nonetheless).
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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Is there a doctrine geek in the house?

I won't derail the thread, but here is an excerpt from a paper I wrote recently on SO.

I know we've opened the aperature of this thread beyond the scope of US ops, but for those that are curious, this is the official DOD definition of "special operations":

special operations
(DOD) Operations conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to achieve military, diplomatic, informational, and/or economic objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad conventional force requirement. These operations often require covert, clandestine, or low visibility capabilities. Special operations are applicable across the range of military operations. They can be conducted independently or in conjunction with operations of conventional forces or other government agencies and may include operations through, with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces. Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets. Also called SO.
 
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