Germans actually studied the partisan resistance in the East and West

SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

Prussian staff officers in the mold of von Moltke-vian military outlook looked at irregular warfare with contempt but not the generation of German officer corps who faced a different kind of threat to Germany at the end of WWI. Hans-Adolf Prützmann was the generation of German officers that were involved with the Freikorps and the Streifkorps in the East (especially against Polish irredentism in Silesia).

In fact, during the early years of WWII, the Abwehr actually were involved in unconventional/irregular warfare with the Brandenburgers commandos in the Western and Eastern Front. Later in the war, the SS/SD were getting started to be involved in commando operations where officers like Otto Skorzeny, Karl Radl, Walter Girg, Adrian von Foelkersam , Dietrich Witzel, Walter Kraizizek were experts in kleinkrieg (small unit warfare – with Foelkersam as well as other ex-Brandenburgers commandos transferring to SS Jagerbataillon units after the disbandment of the former).

Whereas the Kriegsmarine begin quite late in naval commando actions in the form of KKV units (Kleinkampfverbande) under Admiral Helmuth Heye which actually received training and guidance from the fame Italian naval commandos of the Decima Flottiglia X Mas under Prince Borghese

It is a lesser known fact that the Germans actually studied the partisan resistance in the East and West against them (Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski studied the Polish Armia Krajowa uprising in Warsaw 1944 and Prützmann studied on the Belarusian communist and Ukrainian nationalist partisan movement) because the Germans realized that the partisan movement (especially in the Eastern Front and Balkans) were severely disrupting them.

Obergruppenführer Hans-Adolf Prützmann (right) meets with Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, during Himmler’s visit of the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking in Ukraine, September 1942.

One of his last promotions came in September 1944 when Prützmann was appointed by Heinrich Himmler as Generalinspekteur für Spezialabwehr (General Inspector of Special Defense) and assigned the task of setting up the Werwolf force’s headquarters in Berlin and organizing and instructing the force. Prutzmann had studied the guerrilla tactics used by Russian partisans while stationed in the occupied territories of Ukraine and the idea was to teach these tactics to the members of Operation Werwolf. As originally conceived, the Werwolf units were intended to be legitimate uniformed military formations trained to engage in clandestine operations behind enemy lines in the same manner as Allied Special Forces such as Commandos.

In early 1945, under orders from Himmler, he directed the assassination of the Allied-appointed mayor of Aachen, Franz Oppenhoff.

In fact, the United States military forces learned much from the experience of the German veterans of the SS Jagdverband in irregular/unconventional warfare (they were the no 3 in Allied search list for Axis personnel after war criminals and technical specialists/scientists) where officers like Karl Radl and WalterGirg (the latter passed away in 2010) who joined the CIA/ Gehlen Organization.

Walter Girg known as Walter GIRK (Gehlen Organization alias).



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