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The Black Guards (German: Schwarze Garde) or Paratroopers (German: Fallschirmjäger) are enemies in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. They serve as Heinrich Himmler's personal SS bodyguards and are mostly armed with the deadly FG-42 paratrooper rifles. Highly dangerous, the Black Guards are first seen parachuting from a plane to engage Blazkowicz at the airbase and are then seen for the remainder of the game protecting the SS Paranormal Division in Castle Wolfenstein, the X-Labs in Norway and in the Secret Weapon Facility.


Little is known about the structure or organization of the Black Guard, beyond that they are fielded as elite light infantry, specifically parachute infantry. Accordingly, all Black Guard personnel wear the unique combat boots and helmet issued to German paratroopers. It is safe to assume that they have the same system of rank as the rest of the Waffen-SS.


  • In their first appearance in Air Base Assault, the Black Guard team that parachutes in is briefly vulnerable while they descend. 1-2 well-placed shots, namely with a Mauser, will destroy a parachute and cause the Black Guard trooper to fall to his death. Once they land, however, the paratroopers will immediately be ready to fight.
  • The Black Guard are extremely deadly at short to medium range, but remain a serious threat as long as they are aware of the player. The best prospect against them is to overwhelm them with special weapons like the Tesla, Venom, or Flamethrower, or use hit and run attacks against them. Staying in the open against their lethal automatic rifles can lead to a quick death.
  • There is no "easy" means of defeating the Black Guard. They are tough, well-armed, and highly skilled elite troops, and unlike the lesser infantry they fight beside, they are very hard to take by surprise. They are aggressive and tenacious fighters, so the only way to beat them is to be aggressive and tenacious in return.
  • Most of them have between 70 and 150 hit points, depending on the stage of the game you find them in. They are extremely tanky in later levels. Despite being much tougher than the standard Soldier, they are still no match for Flamethrowers and Snooper rifles.


  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein- The Black Guard first appear in Air Base Assault, and then all but one or two missions for the rest of the game.
  • New Order - The Black Guard returns in New order, but instead of paratroopers, they are now basic foot soldiers donning heavy armor.


  • In Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the Black Guards are peculiar as regardless of the weapon, the first headshot will only blow off their helmet and do double damage (even if in earlier missions, the scoped Mauser's doubled damage is sufficient to eliminate them). However, once they've lost their helmet, even a low damage attack (such as from a MP 40) will kill them straight away. Sometimes though, even if they do not appear to have a helmet, the damage effect is the same as if they had it: the first head shot only does double damage, the second is an instant kill (200 hit points).
  • The Fallschirmjaegergewehr 1942 (FG-42) or Paratrooper Rifle 1942, is carried by nearly all Black Guard personnel in RtCW. It was, as the name indicates, specially designed for use by German airborne troops.
    • The FG-42's production was tightly limited due to production restraints in the German war effort, and so only a lucky few Luftwaffe paratroopers ever got one. Heinrich Himmler may have personally interceded to ensure his men got the rare automatic rifle in sufficient quantity.
  • Although concept art and a wallpaper image for the game show the Black Guard as wielding the Sten, no Black Guard actually carry a Sten in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Nearly all of them use the FG-42 instead, with a few carrying Mauser rifles, MP-40s, or the Panzerfaust.
  • In the New Order, the Black Guards are no longer parachute infantry, or at least those seen on-screen.
    • Additionally, there is no character profile in COLLECTIBLES even though the Black Guard is classic.
  • SS-Fallschirmjägerbataillon 500, or the 500th SS-Parachute Infantry Battalion, was a real-life unit of airborne troops in the Waffen-SS, formed at the direction of Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler in late 1943. Those men did not wear the highly distinctive uniforms the Black Guard are seen with, however, but instead wore more or less the same uniform as Luftwaffe paratroopers.
  • Despite the name, the Black Guard wear white/gray winter uniforms to fit the terrain in Norway, and some of them wear a mottled green/brown uniform on the level The Trainyards.
  • The Black Guard troopers' standard helmet is the real-life 1940s German parachute infantry helmet, designed specifically for airborne troops. It was used by paratroopers of the Luftwaffe and the Waffen-SS.