From mountainous terrains to submarines, from snowmobiles to parachutes, the Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Forces (or the user friendly acronym of NLMARSOF) specialize in a wide array of combat skills. Their slogan of Qua Patet Orbis ( ‘As Far As The World Extends’) takes on literal meaning as they can actually be deployed anywhere in the world within 48 hours.
Founded all the way back on 10 December 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Korps were the 5th European marine unit to be formed.
Britain’s Special Boat Service
Don’t try to find out what these guys are up to as the British Army will divulge zero information about their whereabouts. Suffice to say that Britain’s Special Boat Service deal with all things maritime. Referred to as the SAS’s sea faring cousin, their motto is ‘By strength and by guile’ and their pedigree certainly merits this rallying cry.
On 12 May 2007, SBS troops stormed a Taliban compound in Helmand Province in Afghanistan and killed their senior military leader, Mullah Dadullah.
The Ghost Army of World War 2
Not operative anymore, or for that matter ever before either, The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (nicknamed the Ghost Army) are widely known as one of cleverest special forces in military history. Created to sow confusion amongst the enemy, the unit never actually existed. It’s camp made up of fake uniforms and equipment, the sound effects of military movements blasting out of loudspeakers caused the German army to attack the wrong spot and hand victory over to the allied forces.
A kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, they performed over 20 missions, their acts of trickery occuring extremely close to the frontline.
Formed in 1953, when the need for a multitasking unit arose, the Special Operations Command or as they are more widely known, the MJK ae Norway’s naval special force unit. Boasting expertise in a wide array of skills including hostage rescuing, covert operations, direct action, counter terrorism and arctic and swampland warfare, there’s not much these guys don’t get up to. Extremely intense training means only a select few make it through. When whittled down to 8, the remaining candidates must carry heavy weights while escaping from the enemy’s clutches. Should they get caught, they are then submitted to 36 hours of interrogation. Ouch!
Regarded to be among the top special operations forces in the world, the Marinejegerkommandoen are one of a select few to be given the Navy Presidential Unit Citation, the highest unit award given by the United States to allied units.
1st Scout Rangers
More commonly known as the 1st Scout Rangers are the next gung ho gang on our list, the Philippine Army Special Operations Unit. Their extensive list of duties includes urban and anti geurilla warfare, jungle ambushes, sabotage, raids and close quarters combat. Operating out of their headquarters in Tanay Rizal, they gained international respect following their seizure of the Moro Islamic Liberation rebel camp in 2000.
Established in 1950, the unit is modeled in two legendary combat forces, American Alamo Scouts and the US Army Rangers.