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A commando unit is a small military raiding unit that usually specializes in guerilla warfare[?], hit and run tactics[?] and/or clandestine or covert actions[?] against the enemy. They are usually also proficient in hand-to-hand combat.

Tactics common to commando units have existed from time immemorial but the term was first used by Boers in South Africa. It originally meant armed bands that were organized to pursue native cattle-raiders because the law effectively commandeered them. By the time of Second Boer War the term referred to lightly-armed militia units in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony armies. They used their mobility to go on fighting after the main army was defeated and their sharpshooters[?] harassed British soldiers. Vryheid Commando[?] faced 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers[?] in the Battle of Spion Kop[?] in 1900.

The British army and Royal Marines revived the term during the World War Two in 1940. They referred to mobile raiding parties and shock troops[?] that sabotaged enemy installations and launched surprise assaults especially at night. Soldiers were carefully selected and trained to act on their own initiative without heavy equipment and as little supply support as possible. Many volunteers of Special Operations Executive were trained as amateur commandos. The British Special Air Service units carry on the commando tradition

During World War II, the USA turned the US Rangers[?] into a similar unit. The Germans followed suit with units like the Brandenburger Regiment.

Most modern Special Forces and guerilla warfare units all over the world are trained as commandos. They also use special equipment like silenced small arms, special explosives and various sensors.

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