Friday, November 8, 2019

The Secret History of Special Operations Forces



As long time readers of this blog are well aware, Recluse has quite the obsession with what are known as special operations forces (SOFs) in these United States and simply special forces in most of the rest of the world. These elite units first began to captivate the public mind during the Second World War. This conflict witnessed the birth of the Special Air Services (SAS), the first modern special operations forces unit (including the likes of the US Army Special Forces (more commonly known as the "Green Berets" and the even more elite Delta Force), as well as the emergence of "frogmen," who served as the model for the Special Boat Services (SBS), Navy SEALS, and other such outfits.

The history of special operations forces is a murky one. Certainly, there are precedents from the ancient world such as the Praetorian or Varangian Guards. As far as modern units are concerned, their origins are often placed in various European colonial wars that unfolded during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of the earliest "commandos" (which are often considered the direct predecessors to modern special operations forces) were Boer forces that employed proto-guerrilla techniques as far back as the early eighteenth century.

The British fought several brutal conflicts with the Boers, climaxing with the genocidal Second Boer War (1899-1902). While the British ultimately prevailed, they had to commit a tremendous amount of forces to counter the significantly out numbered Boer forces. No doubt these experiences strongly influenced Britain's later special operations forces. Another crucial influence was no doubt the Irish Republican Army. Other noteworthy inspirations included Orde Wingate, who helped set up what became the Haganah (later the Israel Defense Force) and Lawrence of Arabia himself.

T.E. Lawrence, more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia
Virtually everyone agrees that the modern special operations forces we all know and love (or not) emerged in earnest during the Second World War. But many of the most celebrated units, which have inspired virtually all modern SOFs, feature some very curious and aristocratic figures lurking in the background. Two such instances shall be examined over the course of this blog.


Roman Frogmen

First up is the legendary Decima Flottiglia MAS, some times known simply as X'MAS (har har). In English written accounts it is often referred to as the Tenth Light Flotilla, though this translation is a bit off. Regardless, the X'MAS was the most feared unit within the Italian Army by a large margin. Given how notoriously poor the Italian military performed under Mussolini, it is somewhat surprising that it crafted such an elite force. 

The X'MAS essentially pioneered Naval special operations. Contemporaries such as the SBS and SEALs all trace the origins back to this particular unit and its easy to see why. In three years, the X-MAS produced quite an impressive track record:
"... On many of the 10th's operations, special assault teams entered harbors riding underwater torpedo-shaped submersibles known as Chariots, and attached explosives to the hulls of Allied ships at anchor. The crack assault teams brought devastation in Crete's Suda Bay and Alexandra harbor, sinking or severely damaging several British capital ships, including the battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant.
"The group's most audacious coup was its campaign of sneak attacks against Allied shipping in Gibraltar. A derelict freighter, the Olterra, was seemingly abandoned off the Spanish coast. But the Olterra was a Trojan horse. Her hold served as a clandestine workshop where the frogman could repair and rearm the Chariots. Access in and out of the ship was afforded by a sliding door six feet below the waterline. All told, the Italians sank 42,000 tons of Allied ships anchored at Gibraltar; the British never discovered the secret of the freighter."
(Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs, Patrick K. O'Donnell, pg. 131)
the insignia of the X'MAS
Things became even more interesting in 1943, after Italy was pushed out of North Africa and the Allied invasion of Sicily began. Mussolini was briefly deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism, who then sought to negotiate with the Allies. Mussolini was arrested, but soon rescued by the Germans, who set him up as the puppet head of the Italian Social Republic. What it amounted to is that by the end of 1943, Germany effectively controlled all of Northern Italy while the Allies held the south.

The loyalties of Italians were divided between these two entities, and the same appears to have been the case of the X'MAS. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the WWII-era predecessor of the CIA) had attempted to develop their own frogmen units on the basis of the Marine Raiders, but without much success. Realizing that they would be hard pressed to top the X'MAS, the OSS opted for the only sensible choice: enlist the unit.

insignia of the OSS
While many X'MAS men opted to side with the Nazis, enough veterans were retained to form the Grupo Mezzini d'Asalto. It was put under the control of the Duke of Aosta. The OSS wasted no time in putting them to use. Joint OSS-X'MAS missions began as soon as June of 1944. Soon, the X'MAS forces had become the OSS's go-to Naval commandos in the European Theater. In addition to sabotage operations, the X'MAS men were also enlisted to gather intelligence and train Italian partisans in the arts of "unconventional warfare" deep behind enemy lines.

The results were so impressive that the OSS wanted to dispatch the X'MAS/Grupo Mezzini d'Asalto to the Pacific Theater once things began to wind down in Europe. The OSS was largely barred from that Theater by General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz, both of whom despised the agency. As such, the order for a transfer never came through.

Unwilling to let such available assets simply disperse, some X'MAS veterans were enlisted to provide consulting to the Navy's postwar underwater operations program. No doubt this included the Underwater Demolition Teams which, along with the OSS's Maritime Units, are considered the direct predecessors to the modern Navy SEALS. And it just so happens that the X'MAS collaborated with and/or trained both.

insignia of the Underwater Demolition Teams
Elsewhere, the X'MAS men who opted to side with the Nazis had a similar experience. Upon conclusion of the operations to occupy Northern Italy by German forces, the bulk of the X'MAS offered their services to the Nazis. As such, this faction retained the Decima MAS identification. However, its ties to the Italian Social Republic (RSI) were nominal at best. Indeed, the unit reported directly to SS Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff, the supreme commander of SS forces in Italy. Nor did it swear an oath of loyalty to the RSI.

During the Nazi years, the scale of the X'MAS grew even as its naval operations largely ceased. As the great Jeffrey Bale notes in The Darkest Sides of Politics, I, it came to include several elite infantry battalions, s small naval sabotage unit, and police company with its own intelligence and interrogation center. Indeed, the X'MAS appears to have acquired quite an extensive intelligence network by war's end that went well beyond Italy. In addition to the police intelligence unit, it also had an espionage headquarters in Switzerland and a vast network throughout the RSI and even into the Allied-controlled south.

Frequently the X'MAS was deployed into the hottest zones. Often it was used to conduct counterinsurgency operations against partisans in the RSI. Some units were deployed to the Anzio front, where they reportedly fared well against US Army Rangers. Later, many of its forces were dispatched Yugoslavia, where it conducted further counterinsurgency against the partisans there. And finally, there were the X'MAS' "stay-behind" operations set up in Allied-controlled Italy. By all accounts, these stay-behind units were highly effective. It fell to the legendary counterintelligence master James Jesus Angleton to counter the X'MAS.

For our purposes here, the most interesting aspect of the X'MAS was its commanding officer, Prince Junio Valerio Borghese, sometimes referred to as the "Black Prince." In this day and age, Borghese is primarily known for his association with fascism, both during World War II and beyond. As I noted before here, he became one of the most prominent supporters of the far right philosopher and occultist, Julius Evola. Borghese also appears to have played a crucial role in establishing stay-behind networks in Italy after World War II as part of what is often referred to as Operation Gladio. Given the X'MAS' role in organizing stay-behinds during WWII, it is hardly surprising the CIA would look to the Black Prince at the onset of the Cold War. Later, these forces were linked to a neo-fascist coup Borghese attempted to launch in 1970. There is much dispute as to how serious this coup actually was and what its ultimate purpose was, however. The best account can be found in Bale's The Darkest Sides of Politics, I.

the Black Prince
For our purposes here, it is the Black Prince's origins that are of greatest interest. Borghese was a member of the famed Italian dynasty --the one that spawned at least one pope and numerous other high church officials; that married into the Bonaparte family around the time of the Napoleonic Wars; and which has remained a staple of the so-called "Black nobility" for centuries now. The phrase Black nobility became popular after the Kingdom of Italy defeated papal forces and took Italy in 1870. The Black nobility were the aristocrats who sided with the Pope.

Bizarrely, the army of the Kingdom of Italy was led by another storied family, the House of Savoy. The Dukes of Aosta are a branch of that family. As such, the Borghese and Aosta klans likely crossed swords during 1870. Later, their descendants would struggle for control of the Decima Flottiglia MAS during the Second World War. Indeed, it is likely that X'MAS veterans squared off against one another in the south of Italy after 1943 while the scions of longtime aristocratic rivals commanded both forces.

Prince Aimone, 4th Duke of Aosta, who vied with Borghese for control of the X'MAS
This is one of those instances that makes Recluse suspect that their was something deeper to the creation of modern special operations forces. To further illustrate this point, we now turn the next and even more bizarre example.

Clan Fraser

Of late, this researcher has been struck by just how many storied families in the British establishment were in fact Scottish. Some of these families --the StewartsScotsSinclairsFlemingsKerrs, and Bruces --trace their lineages back to the chieftains of the legendary Scottish clan system. Others like the Keswicks are of a more recent vintage, but no less influential. But perhaps none are more mysterious than Clan Fraser, especially those of Lovat.

It is generally agreed that Clan Fraser had its origins in France, specifically the area of Anjou. That particular province has quite a storied history in its own right. From the late ninth to the early thirteenth century, the territory was ruled by the House of Ingelger. That dynasty produced a King of Jerusalem, Fulk V. This particular monarch was also the grandfather of England's Henry II and great-grandfather of the legendary King Richard the Lionheart. Fulk V was apparently attached to the Knights Templar at one point while his great-grandson sold them the island of Cyprus. I bring this up as the Templars will crop up again in this saga.

Fulk V
But, back to Clan Fraser. The first mention of a Fraser in Scotland occurs in 1160, when a Simon Fraser is listed as owning land in East Lothian. At some point in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, the family moved to Tweeddale. From there, they spread out across the counties of StirlingAngusInverness, and Aberdeen. For those Secret Sun fans who frequent this blog (and I know you are many), Cocteau Twins front woman Elizabeth Fraser hails from Grangemouth, which is located in Stirling. As such, Liz Fraser is almost surely a distant descendant of the original Clan Fraser. For those of you unfamiliar with the accounts of Liz Fraser published on the Secret Sun, a good starting point can be found here.

Liz Fraser
The Frasers first rose to prominence in Scotland during the Wars of Independence. It was against this backdrop that Sir Simon "the Patriot" Fraser established himself as one of the most noteworthy generals of that particular era. A contemporary of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, Sir Simon's most noteworthy victory occurred at the Battle of Roslin in 1303. Over a century later, Clan Sinclair would establish the legendary Rosslyn Chapel in the same township. This site has long be associated with legends surrounding the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.

Simon the Patriot's luck ran out in 1306 when he was captured by the British and executed. The Frasers continued fighting, however. Sir Simon's cousin, Sir Alexander Fraser, was present at the famed Battle of Bannockburn, which decisively turned the war in the favor of the Scots. The Battle of Bannockburn has been at the center of much speculative history due to the allegations the Knights Templar assisted the Scots in achieving this crucial victory.


The Battle of Bannockburn unfolded on June 23rd and 24th of 1314, the latter being St. John's Day, a date with much significance in Freemasonry. The Templar knights had been suppressed on a mass scale several years earlier by Papal decree, leading most mainstream historians to dismiss such allegations outright. But things were a little different in Scotland.
"In 1306, the King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce, had been excommunicated by the pope... This meant that he was under no obligation to obey any orders coming from the Holy See. Thus, when the Templars were finally ordered arrested and imprisoned the following year, and their property confiscated and turned over to the Hospitallers, there was no legal requirement for Robert to do the same. In fact, only to Templars were ever arrested in Scotland during the trials and there is no record of their having endured any hardship or punishment. Indeed, the Templars in question were two Englishmen.
"The order was officially disbanded by order of the Pope and 1312... and Jacques de Molay burned at the stake in March 1314. The Battle of Bannockburn took place only three months later. The English had cooperated in the arrest and imprisonment of the Templars and the confiscation of property; the Scots had not. Thus, it is not so far-fetched to believe that some Templars had fled to Scotland to avoid their fate on the Continent and in England, and sided with Robert the Bruce against the English at the famous battle.
"The Templars had, in fact, a long history in Scotland. David I of Scotland had granted some lands to the Templars in the twelfth century, at a town about four miles from present-date Roslin. The earliest known Templar charter is that of the town of St. Andrews, and is dated to 1160. The Templars were not the only military order in Scotland, in fact. The Knights Hospitallers also had property in Scotland. As did the Teutonic Knights. As in France, these holdings provided a source of revenue and recruits for the knightly orders. 
"In 1312 all Templar property in Scotland was granted to the Hospitallers, as was happening throughout Europe. However, there is no record that the Hospitallers actually took advantage of this in Scotland at the time. Indeed, although the two orders were merged legally, they seem to have maintained their separate identities for at least a century to come. We know that, in 1488, James IV of Scotland issued a statement in which he upheld the rights of both the Templars and the Hospitallers, referring to them as separate entities. This documentation implies a close relationship between the Scottish monarchy and the Templars. We do not know if this relationship was based upon common goals and agendas, or was more a reflection of the political (and perhaps economic) reality of the times. Nonetheless, there was a demonstrable Templar presence in Scotland that outlasted the papal edicts."
(The Secret Temple, Peter Levenda, pgs. 59-60)

Against this backdrop lurked Clan Fraser, which would soon rise to the pinnacle of Scottish society. In the aftermath of Bannockburn, Sir Alexander married Robert the Bruce's sister and became the Chamberlain of Scotland, at the time the third most powerful post in the Scottish court. The Frasers of Philorth, one of the most senior of the various modern Fraser clans, trace their lineage from Sir Alexander. It was Alexander's younger brother, one of many Simon Frasers, who would found what is arguably still the most powerful of the Fraser clans. This would be Clan Fraser of Lovat.


The Jacobite Era

Simon "the Fox" Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat was a pivotal figure in the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745. He was especially infamous for his doubling dealing. After Clan Mackenzie made a play to take over Lovat lands via marriage in the aftermath o the death of the 10th Lord Lovat, Simon the Fox departed for France in 1702. There, he made inroads with the exiled Stuart dynasty and leading Jacobite figures. By 1703, he was already involved with intrigues with the British in an effort to gain the Lovat title. At the time the French court had been supporting the Jacobite cause, and responded by having Simon exiled and then imprisoned. This state of affairs lasted until 1707.

In 1714, Queen Anne  died. This brought to power the First King George and the Hanover dynasty. A Jacobite uprising soon broke out in Scotland. Seeing his chance, Simon the Fox opted to side with the British and was rewarded with the Lovat title and lands after the revolt was put down.

When a second Jacobite uprising broke out in 1745, Lord Lovat opted to side with his countrymen. This proved to be a disastrous decision. The Scots were soundly defeated at the Battle of Culloden. Not long afterwards, Lord Lovat was arrested. After being imprisoned in the Tower of London for a little less than two years, he was executed via beheading on April 9, 1747. Allegedly, he was the last man to be beheaded in Britain. His body was reportedly taken back to a family mausoleum near Inverness, but recent evidence indicates that the body in his casket was one of a young woman. Like Simon the Fox, she was also missing her head. What became of Simon's body, or either's head, remains a mystery.

Simon the Fox, 11th Lord Lovat
As I'm sure many of you are aware, the Jacobites had a close association with a particular branch of Freemasonry as well as it alleged mythological ties to the Knights Templar. For the uninitiated, here's a brief rundown:
"During this time, Masonic lodges had functioned as underground meeting places for Jacobite supporters. While the lodges had struggled to maintain neutrality during the English Civil War the seventeenth century... the bonds brotherhood became more difficult to maintain. Into this romantic atmosphere of espionage, intrigue, and 'pretenders to the throne' stepped one of the major personalities of modern Freemasonry: Chevalier Michael Ramsay.
"Ramsay (1681-1743) was a Scot who had attended the Edinburgh University and the University of Leiden, and received a doctorate in civil law from Oxford University in 1730. For a while he moved in the same pious circles as Johannes Kelpius but, later converting to Catholicism and throwing in his lot with the Jacobites, he wound up in France and then in Rome (in 1724) as the tutor of the young Bonnie Prince Charlie. He was also Mason, and Grand Chancellor of the Paris Grand Lodge. His most lasting contribution to Freemasonry was a speech he made in 1737 in Paris, before a meeting of a Masonic lodge there. What he had to say caused reverberations down through the centuries, and Freemasonry is still struggling to come to terms with the ideas he presented there for the first time.
"In his speech he connected the practice of Freemasonry not with the stonemasons' guilds of medieval Europe but with the nobles who conducted the Crusades in the Holy land. Ramsay claims – without actually mentioning the Knights Templar by name – that the chivalric orders that had operated in Palestine were the direct ancestors of the Freemasons; that their oath was not 'execrable' as have been claimed (and thus immediately connecting these orders with the accusations against the Templars); that they had only the highest ideals; that they recognized each other by passwords and signs in order to differentiate each other from the Saracens; and that later they had merged with the Order of St. John of Jerusalem... According to Ramsey, this is why the lodges were called Lodges of St. John.
"Ramsay was very specific in his speech about which Scottish nobles have been involved in protecting and supporting these Masonic forbears, and used 1286 as the date when the Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland was in operation as the only surviving lodge of the Crusader period.
"In other words, Ramsay claimed that Scotland – and only Scotland – had indisputable Masonic credentials, and he went further to claim that France would become the center of the restored Masonic order.
"The effect of his words was electric. He had single-handedly caused a sensation throughout France that elevated the reputation of Freemasonry and made it is noble as, if not nobler than, existing chivalric orders. Suddenly Freemasonry was no longer about stoneworkers in a quarry but about educated man, nobles, princes, and Crusaders. In his later works, he deliberately links Freemasonry with the Templars: a connection that has yet to be broken, no matter how hard many have tried...
"Thus was the Scottish Rite born."
(The Secret Temple, Peter Levenda, pgs. 101-102)
Chevalier Michael Ramsay
Contrary to what Levenda claims, the only Scottish noble family mentioned in Ramsay's 1737 speech are the Stewarts. Given how widespread and prestigious certain branches of Clan Fraser were, it would hardly be surprising if the Frasers were among those linked to the Templars. This connection could potentially go back to Bannockburn, where the Templars and Clan Fraser were reportedly both present at. Just how close Simon the Fox truly was to the Jacobite cause is highly debatable, but he reportedly took solace in dying a Scottish patriot at the time of his execution.

Another curiosity from this era is worth exploring for a moment: Boleskine House. This particular Scottish manor gained infamy in the twentieth century after being owned by Aleister Crowley and, later, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The residency had originally been constructed as a hunting lodge during the 1760s by Colonel Archibald Campbell Fraser, a son of the 11th Lord of Lovat, Simon the Fox. After Simon's execution, the Lovat clan had lost their lordship, but Fraser's half brother Simon Fraser was still considered to be the Master of Lovat and chief of the Lovat clan. Reportedly, Archibald had originally built Boleskine, which was surrounded by Lovat lands, to annoy his brother due to his support of the English during the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

Archibald Campbell Fraser
When the Master of Lovat died childless in 1786, Archibald succeeded him as Master of Lovat and chieftain of Clan Fraser of Lovat. As such, Archibald ended up with all of the lands surrounding Boleskine in addition to the hunting lodge itself. Archibald would have sons, but ended up out living all of them. Hence, when Archibald died, there was some dispute over whom would succeed him. The honor eventually went to Thomas Alexander Fraser. By this time the titles had already been restored, making Thomas the twelfth Lord Lovat. He also appears to have inherited all of Archibald's lands, including Boleskine.

The twelfth Lord Lovat died in 1875, while Crowley did not purchase Boleskine until 1899. It is known that he procured the lands from the Fraser family, though this researcher has been unable to determine whom exactly. It is most likely that the Boleskine was still in possession of the Lovat branch by the time of Crowley's purchase, however. In his autobiography The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast notes that Lord Lovat was one of his closet neighbors to Boleskine, implying the Lovats still owned much of the surrounding land. It is also likely Crowley knew the Lord Lovat of the time, who would have been fourteenth one.

Boleskine House
It should be noted that Boleskine and the surrounding area already had a reputation for ample high weirdness even before Crowley purchased the property. Legend has it that the lodge was built upon the ruins of a church that had burned down during mass, killing the entire congregation in the process. There were also rumors of tunnels leading from the lodge's cellars to a nearby burial ground. And of course, the property is located right next to the legendary Loch Ness. This is yet another instance of the high weirdness that appears to follow the Frasers around like a shadow.


The Lord of War


For those you wondering what all of this has to do with special operations, your patience will hopefully now be rewarded. As one may have gathered from the preceding account, Clan Fraser of Lovat had a strong warrior ethos that translated into the modern era. The 14th Lord Lovat, neighbor to Aleister Crowley, had founded the Lovat Scouts, which were initially deployed during the above-mentioned Boer War. This researcher has been unable to determine how impressed Lord Lovat was with the Boer's commando tactics, but in the aftermath of that conflict the Lovat Scouts would shift their emphasis to "irregular warfare." 

Like his father and other ancestors, Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, was a fighting man. He joined the Lovat Scouts in 1930, at a time after that transition to irregular warfare had been made. Later, he served in another elite unit, the Scots Guard. As such, he found himself in a curious position when the Second World War broke out.

Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat
As was noted above, WWII is generally considered to be the conflict that spawned modern special operations forces. And the trailblazers of these units, in turn, was the British Empire. Unable to confront Nazi Germany directly at the onset of the war, the British would lean heavily on commandos and other special operations forces in the early years of the conflict. While such units have never really been tested against a modern military before, the British had one particular Scottish family that was ready to take on the task of creating a new type of commando.

In 1940, Lovat was one of the men charged with setting up a special forces training center to drill the next generation of commandos. He eventually settled upon Inverailort House, which was of course located in Scotland. Lovat and David Stirling, the future founder of the SAS, were the men who settled upon this location. Lovat and Stirling would go on to become major instructors at this school, which was overseen by Bill Stirling, David's older brother.

Inverailort House
Despite the last names, all of these men belonged to Clan Fraser of Lovat. The mother of both David and Bill was Margaret Fraser, the daughter of the 13th Lord Lovat. As such, 15th Lord Lovat and the Stirlings were all cousins. As such, Inverailort House appears to have been very much a family affair.

It also produced many of the leading special operators on the British side of WWII. Two of the most notable were Neil "Billy" McLean, who became one of the leading paramilitary officers in the Special Operations Executive (SOE); and Fitzroy Maclean, another key early figure in both the SOE and SAS, whom married Lovat's sister.


Neil "Billy" McLean (top) and Fitzroy Maclean (bottom)
So, while it may not be totally accurate to say that Clan Fraser of Lovat created the Special Air Services, the world's first modern special operations forces, they were clearly an enormous influence, at a minimum. Nor were these the only special operations forces linked to the Lovats. While the Stirlings were setting up the SAS, Lord Lovat himself would personally command No. 4 Commando and, later, the 1st Special Services Brigade

And then there's the legendary Special Operations Executive. When Churchill commanded that Europe be set ablaze, it was the SOE that was tasked with carrying out this directive. The SOE oversaw virtually all covert operations during WWII for the British rather than MI6, which was largely just an intelligence gathering organization during that conflict. Among the most notably operations of the SOE was Jedburgh (naturally named after a town in Scotland), which carried out sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines leading up to the Normandy invasion. More information on the importance of the SOE can be found here and here.

the insignia of the SOE
The training SOE operators received was almost entirely based upon what Lovat and company had cooked up with Inverailort. Indeed, the school there appears to have originally been set up to train the SOE. Lovat himself would eventually take over the SOE as the war was winding down, when he accepted the post of Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which housed the Ministry of Economic Warfare. It was this curious entity that oversaw the SOE. During this time, he fought to preserve remnants of the SOE, which was under siege by both MI6 and the Foreign Office.

So, to recap: the 15th Lord Lovat pioneered what would now be known as irregular and unconventional warfare, helping train the SOE in these dark arts. And the SOE were generally considered to be the unquestioned masters of such things during WWII. He also trained up and commanded many of the leading commando units during WWII. Elsewhere, his relations and in-laws helped set up the SAS, the first modern special operations forces. Sir David Stirling would later go on to set up Watchguard International, which is generally considered to be the first modern private military company (PMC). Much more information on the murky origins of PMCs will be presented in my forth coming book, including a bit about Colonel Stirling.

Colonel David Stirling
In other words, there doesn't appear to be much linked to modern, non-Naval special operations forces that the Lovats do not crop up in. While the Borghese family no doubt played a role in the creation of Navy SEALS and the like, the influence the Lovat clan had on modern special operations forces is simply unparalleled. It is also mysterious, given the family's potential links to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.

This researcher is not fond of centuries old conspiracies. Indeed, far from it as this is the type of thing I love debunking. But the presence of long time aristocratic families like the Borghese and Clan Fraser of Lovat at the birth of modern special operations forces is curious, to put it mildly. Throw in the bizarre history of the Lovats, and one is left with quite an enigma. As such, it may not be so surprising to find such an obsession with chivalric orders among modern elite forces.  

And with that, I shall sign off for now readers. If you've made it this far, hopefully you've found my speculation rewarding, or entertaining at the least. Until next time, stay tuned.


1 comment:

  1. Intriguing, as always; especially the parts about the Fraser connections to Boleskine House. (Still trying to confirm if there were ever any sightings of the Loch Monster before Crowley resided there...)
    Some notes on parallel developments with German special forces that may be of interest to you and your readers.
    Insofar as I know, German commandos had their origin in the trenches of WWI. During the period when the forces had become deadlocked, certain inventive field commanders would hand pick different soldiers from various units who had showed a talent for relevant skills. I.e. close-in fighting, arson, explosives, and terror-tactics. In order to try and break the deadlock of movement, the German commanders would send these units "over the wire" into enemy dominated trenches to wreak havoc.
    Of course, during WWII it was the Waffen-SS that made the most use of new training and combat methods of this kind. They had special anti-partisan units that they deployed on the Russian front and elsewhere.
    I had a friend who had served in the U.S. Army Special Forces (he was cross-trained as a medic as I recall), who related to me the following information.
    Though, of course, many of the U.S. commandos had been trained by British forces during the war, after the war, the U.S. military took a great interest in the elite German units; especially those of the Waffen-SS. He told me that at one point the U.S. Army S.F. had a shrine to fallen SS soldiers that they kept an "eternal flame" burning at.
    For the record I did confirm that the person who disclosed this to me was really from U.S. S.F. I was able to see evidence of his service record, including photos of him in uniform in Vietnam, and the medals he had won there.

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