Blood on the Sand: Green Beret vs. Spetsnaz

by   May 12, 2009 at 5:52PM  |  Views: 5,654

Tonight at 10pm, Deadliest Warrior pulls the Cold War out of the deep freezer, and when Spetsnaz confronts Green Beret, mutually assured destruction is a guarantee.

This week we're looking at our most modern matchup to date, a confrontation between Spetsnaz and Green Beret. These are two warriors who fall squarely in the category of elite modern soldiers.

The formal name for each force includes the words "Special Forces." Green Beret is the colloquial name we apply to the United States Army Special Forces, while the full title of the Spetsnaz can be transliterated as "Voyska Spetsialnogo Naznacheniya," a name that also contains the phrase "special forces" or "special purpose." But what sets them apart from one another, and frankly, what makes them both "special?"

Astute readers will point out that there are different Spetsnaz forces within different branches of the Russian Federation's military, intelligence, and internal affairs services, a tradition held over from the Soviet Union, who oddly enough, borrowed the practice of internal police and gendarmes from the Russian Empire before them. However, the Spetsnaz who dealt primarily with fighting on foreign soil, were Spetsnaz GRU.

It is also important to make note here that we are looking at Cold War-era fighters, our Spetsnaz being Soviet Spetsnaz, drawn from the late '80s, while our Green Berets are drawn from the same time period.

The Green Berets, have a shorter tradition, having been formally established in 1952. Their origins can be traced back to units under command of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) in World War II, like many of the U.S. Military's other clandestine or otherwise "special" forces. Still, their legacy isn't quite as long as that of their counterparts.

Photo: Tom Weber/The Image Bank/Getty Images