From issue Number 79 of "AFTER THE BATTLE" magazine we have this interesting item. KO & SO.
Brandenburgers we have heard of.
Brandenburgers during the Second World War [WW2], those German behind-the-lines special operations military units whose mission was coup de main or sabotage.
Wearing the uniform of the adversary and also able to speak the language of the enemy in a fluent manner, Brandenburgers troops predominantly manned with what were called Volksdeutsche.
KO and SO we have not heard of.
Apparently before there was Brandenburger there was KO and SO?
KO - - KO-Groups (Kampforganisation) and SO - - SO-Groups (Sabotage-organization).
The former devoted to the coup de main mission.
The latter devoted to the sabotage mission.
"The KO-Groups were to prevent vital objectives being destroyed by the enemy while the So-Groups were to demolish or immobilize targets and objectives which were of prime importance to the enemy's defense."
KO & SO also consisting predominantly of Volksdeutsche. KO & SO performing their duty dressed as civilians the mission of which to be accomplished prior to commencement of overt hostilities.
KO & SO both in that fashion greatly resembling the modern Soviet/Russian spetsnaz during that period of "pink terror".
KO & SO units dressed as civilians BUT carrying their weapons openly and uniformly wearing a Nazi armband. From an authoritative source that wearing of the Nazi armband qualifying a KO & SO "troop" as a lawful combatant under the various conventions and laws of land warfare as they existed at the time.
That uniform wearing of the Nazi arm band does indeed qualify these men as lawful combatants! That officer in the center was a commander and controller but would not have accompanied his charges into battle!
KO & SO under the command of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. That Abwehr for whatever reason a hot bed of discontent against fascism and fascist methods.
Those officers in command of KO & SO units in some cases men of authority who were anti-Nazi, opposed to the regime of Adolf Hitler.
How so very ironic. Those troops initiating that combat of WW2 in the European theatre commanded by anti-Nazi officers!!
Let it be understood too that these officers, anti-Nazi, commanders and controllers of KO & SO, were not necessarily liberal democrats. Were for the most part in favor of a return to the autocratic and aristocratic rule as was the case in Germany prior to the First World War, the German Empire. Officers or the reactionary type and referred to as such by Hitler. Reactionary aristocrats such as the Austrian-Hungarian naval officer Von Trapp.
German special operations units finally for the most part merged into Skorzeny commando, firmly and without question under Nazi control.