Though history remembers him as one of the bad guys, there is little doubt that a German named Otto Skorzeny played an influential role in demonstrating the power small specialized units could play on the battlefield.

Once called ‘The Most Dangerous Man In Europe’, his participation in planning and executing risky, even outlandish, operations earned admiration from friend and foe alike. In fact, some of his missions acted as precursors to common procedures in use by Special Forces today.

Budapest, Otto Skorzeny, Adrian v. Fölkersam

Standing 6’3″, with a thin moustache and a fencing scar running the length of his left cheek down to his chin, Skorzeny’s first successes came as the Third Reich rode the wave of its early victories in 1941.