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With the successes that followed, allied media also began calling Skorzeny "The most dangerous man in Europe". The unusual making of a commando leader The son of an Austrian civil engineer, until World War 2 began Skorzeny lived and worked as an engineer in Vienna, Austria.
In Skorzeny joined the Austrian branch of the Nazi Party, and remained a loyal Nazi for the rest of his life. In Skorzeny and his wife spent their honeymoon in Italy. On March 12,when Nazi Germany annexed Austria, Skorzeny demonstrated leadership and cold judgement by saving the Austrian president Wilhelm Miklas from being murdered by other Austrian Nazis.
During the invasion of France in MaySkorzeny mostly "chased the war", as an acting technical officer in the heavy artillery unit of the 1st Waffen SS Division, in the trail of the rapidly advancing German forces.
In Russia, Skorzeny saw some real combat action. He was awarded the Iron Cross medal, and in late he was injured by shrapnel from Russian artillery rockets. He refused to be evacuated, and continued to fight with Das Reich in Russia, until the combination of his superficially treated head injury and disease enforced his evacuation to a hospital in Vienna.
Once out of hospital, on a medical recovery period, Skorzeny was assigned to a non-combat role in a Waffen SS depot in Berlin. It was a boring role and he wanted to return to the front, but in the meantime, he had many months in Berlin with plenty of spare time to read and to meet with fellow Waffen SS officers.
His proposed solution was to establish units specialized in unconventional warfare that will include fighting behind enemy lines, fighting in enemy uniform, sabotage attacks, etc. All that talking eventually paid off, when in April Skorzeny was summoned to the Waffen SS headquarters and was told that the Waffen SS was looking for "a technically trained officer to carry out special duties".
Skorzeny accepted immediately, and was promoted to Captain, as the commander of a recently established Waffen SS unit named SS Special Unit Friedenthal, after the location of its barracks at Friedenthal, near Berlin.
SS Special Unit Friedenthal Untilthe German army did not think that it needed units for unconventional special warfare deep behind enemy lines.
Germany had a mighty army, the best in the world then, and it was not restrained by political, diplomatic, or moral constraints.
In those years, Adolf Hitler did not have to limit himself to sending commandos to neighbouring countries. He simply sent his army to invade and occupy them.
For military action behind enemy lines during those invasions, two types of units were used, mostly to capture key targets by using the element of surprise, and then to temporarily hold them until relieved by the advancing main German invasion force. These units were the Paratroopers, and the Brandenburg Regiment of the German military intelligence, which utilized soldiers fluent in foreign languages and dressed in enemy uniforms to achieve the element of surprise.
But as Skorzeny argued, this was no longer enough for Germany. The war was increasingly turning against it, and it could no longer quickly occupy enemy territories. This finally brought the need for a military unit capable of extended activity deep behind enemy lines.
Since such activity was considered a military extension of the espionage and sabotage activities done by spies, the new unit was going to work for the Ausland-SD Foreign Security Departmentthe espionage branch of the RSHA, the security organization within the Nazi SS that included the GESTAPO secret policethe SD internal securitythe Ausland-SD foreign espionagecriminal investigations, and the Einsatzgruppen death squads in charge of the mass murder of entire population groups in the occupied countries.
In earlythe SS was looking for the right man, among its officers, to lead its new special unit.
They wanted a person with a combination of leadership, good judgement in sensitive situations, combat experience, technical skills, and fanatic Nazi loyalty. Kaltenbrunner knew Skorzeny from their pre-war years in Vienna, and he must have remembered how Skorzeny, the Nazi engineer, demonstrated unusually good political judgement, and leadership, in saving the Austrian president from his trigger-happy SS fellows on that night in By Skorzeny was a decorated Waffen-SS officer with a combat experience, a man who demonstrated courage and dedication, was fanatically loyal, and also advocated that Germany needs to establish unconventional warfare units.
Kaltenbrunner knew that although the 35 years old Skorzeny was just a Lieutenant then, he found the man he was looking for. Skorzeny began training his men for their intended special missions, repeatedly telling them that in their special type of warfare behind enemy lines, not shooting, as much as possible, should be their most important guideline."The most dangerous man in Europe" Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's commando leader in World War 2, became known to the world in September , when German radio broadcasts hailed the previously unknown Skorzeny as "The most dangerous man in Europe" for his key role in the daring airborne raid to rescue the ousted Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
By Elie Wiesel. Questions and Answers. Chapter 1. 1) Question: Describe Moshe the Beadle. Answer: Moshe the Beadle is a caretaker of a synagogue in Sighet. Welcome to the American Perspectives Volume I eText Website for Houston Community College.
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Stuck on a math problem or struggling to start your English essay? Ask us any question on any subject and get the help. John Locke (—) John Locke was among the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the 17 th century.
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