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Operation Greif was the planned assassination of Allied leaders, notably General Eisenhower, but there is no evidence of such plotting in the plan.

The idea for the ground operation was probably Hitler's and the leader, Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny, was selected personally by Hitler. Skorzeny had achieved a considerable reputation as a daring commando leader, had rescued Mussolini from the Italians, and had seized the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Miklos von Nagybanya Horthy, when the Hungarian regime began to waver in its loyalties. For Operation Greif, Skorzeny formed the special Panzer Brigade 150 (or Brandenburger) numbering about two thousand men, of whom one hundred and fifty could speak English. [9] Captured Allied equipment (particularly tanks and jeeps), uniforms, identification papers, and the like were hastily collected at the front and sent to Skorzeny's headquarters. The disguised jeep parties did go into action with varying degrees of success on 16 December, but the Brandenburger Brigade would be engaged as a unit only in a single and abortive skirmish near Malmedy five days later.

The airborne phase of Operation Greif, whose code name was Hohes Venn, seems to have been completely an afterthought, for the orders setting up the operation were not issued until 8 December. [10] Hitler, like most of the