Original post WW2 made German Bundeswehr beret cap badge / Special Forces Command / KSK (Barettabzeichen Kommando Spezialkräfte der Bundeswehr), IN PERFECT CONDITION WITH 4 PRONGS ON THE REVERSE, MAKER MARKED: "A" (Assmann), RARE BERET BADGE, SIZE: cca 53 x 46 mm
HISTORY OF THE KSK:
The Kommando Spezialkräfte (Special Forces Command, KSK) is an elite special forces military command composed of special operations soldiers selected from the ranks of Germany's Bundeswehr and organized under the Rapid Forces Division. The KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the United States and its affiliates. KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East. From 1973 until the KSK's formation in 1996, the West German (and later German) government assigned all counter-terrorist and special operations activities to the GSG 9, a highly trained police force created shortly after the hostage-taking that transpired during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Prior to 1973, the army's Fernspäher (Long-Distance Reconnaissance), the navy's Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmers/"Frogmen"), and (until 1989) the Special Weapons Escort Companies—Sonderwaffenbegleitkompanien were the only military units comparable to anything that other nations may have seen as dedicated special forces units. One politically concrete reason for the establishment of the KSK was the fact that in 1994, during the genocide in Rwanda, German citizens had to be evacuated by Belgian para-commandos. The decision that this task was carried out by special operations forces of the former colonial power Belgium had been made in advance by mutual agreement between the NATO partners. The Federal Government of Germany also refused to intervene on its own, as in its view neither the GSG 9 nor the Bundeswehr "Bravo Companies" were trained to operate in a guerrilla situations and there was also a lack of the necessary transport capability. Several Belgian soldiers died during this operation. Due to the political pressure, the need to have its own forces ready for special operations within NATO became obvious. Following the KSK's activation on April 1, 1997, all but one of the Fernspähkompanie have been either disbanded or merged into the newly constituted unit. Like those of all German military units, KSK deployments require authorization from the German Bundestag (Federal Assembly). The unit has engaged in numerous anti-terror campaigns both in Europe and abroad; known engagements include operations inside Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and most recently in Afghanistan. During the War in Afghanistan, although nominally under OEF command, the KSK worked under ISAF command since 2005, carrying out numerous operations in the vicinity of the German deployment in Kabul, including a successful raid on an al-Qaeda safehouse for suicide bombers in October 2006. KSK operators have commented in the German media about the restrictions placed on them by their national caveats and stated a preference for working directly for the Americans as part of OEF-A as they had done as part of Task Force K-Bar. As is to be expected with such units, specific operational details such as success and casualty rates are considered to be top secret and withheld even from the highest-ranking members of the Bundestag. This practice has elicited some serious concerns, resulting in agreement to increase both transparency and accountability, by disclosing mission details to selected members of the Bundestag, in relation to the future deployments of KSK forces. On May 4, 2013 the KSK reported its first casualty. First Sergeant Daniel Wirth was fatally shot in Baghlan Province - Afghanistan during operation "Maiwand". US Army forces were part of the attempted rescue mission. Daniel Wirth was honored by his sister Kathrin Wirth-Torrente in a book titled "Brothers in Bravery". It not only tells her brother's story, but also reflects on 40 additional military members who lost their lives while fighting The Global War on Terror in the Greater Middle East. The book was published by the Travis Manion Foundation in September 2017.