In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, some 11 German nationals had to be rescued by French and Belgian Paratroops as there was no suitably trained German unit to do the job. As a result, in 1996 the Kommando Spezialkraefte, or KSK, was formed. They are basically an elite Special Forces unit like the British SAS, and their role is also similar, involving operations behind enemy lines, reconnaissance and attacks on key enemy installations. Though a military unit they can assist the civilian power when required, and maintain a Hostage Rescue Team. Over 100 members are known to have operated in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda. The figures in this set depict these men, with the emphasis being on their role in Bosnia, which was mostly to protect German officials on UN business.
The poses here are what you might expect for a modern forces unit. The usual firing and advancing figures include one man moving forward with a shield, reminiscent of warriors of many centuries ago. Another man is wielding a ram, used to break down doors. There is also a prone sniper and another man peering through some very modern-looking binoculars. Finally, there is what amounts to a mini-diorama of a suspect lying in the road being searched/restrained by a KSK man while another stands guard. This is very nice, and the addition of the stop sign is an almost humorous touch. However we are not sure that such 'scenes' should be part of these sets, and would have preferred the figures to be separate so that the customer can choose to build such a scene or not.
The uniform - well the uniform is much the same for such units the World over. Standard German Army uniform is completely obscured by black Nomax coveralls. Each man also wears a balaclava and a Kevlar helmet. Under this there is an ear piece attached to their radio, and a throat mike to ensure communication without loosing the grip on the weapon.
Like most Special Forces, the KSK have considerable freedom to purchase whatever equipment they feel best meets their needs. Several different types of firearm are on show here along with pistols, knives and other kit as deemed necessary. One man wears a full face mask, which suggests he is in a particularly hazardous environment.
One thing that struck us when we looked at these figures is that they are all very tall. The necessary requirements before a man can be considered for entry into the training program for this unit are naturally very tough, but there seems to be no minimum height. Of course the average Westerner of the 21st Century is noticeably taller than their ancestors of past centuries, and this should be reflected in the size of figures in modern sets. Still, an average height of 1.94 m is quite high even by today's standards.
As usual Revell have produced some very fine figures. For fans of today's fighting personnel this set is of an unusual subject and highly appropriate for the time, when the supposed 'War on Terrorism' was in progress.