Of Courage and Determination: The First Special Service Force, "The Devil's Brigade," 1942-44

Col. Bernd Horn; Michel Wyczynski. Dundurn (UTP, Canadian dist.; IPS, U.S. dist.), $35 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-4597-0964-5
As England suffered bombardment early in the Second World War, a new type of soldier emerged to fight back—the multifaceted, shadow warrior. Horn (No Easy Task: Fighting in Afghanistan) and Wyczynski (Tip of the Spear) pay homage to the intrepid forerunner of the Canadian and American special forces, the First Special Service Force, in this broad study of its short existence. The authors follow the FSSF from the planning stages of the commando concept, to their grueling training, through the abrupt change of their major objective, to their gritty, gory campaigns and subsequent disbandment before the end of the war. The joint American-Canadian force represented a unique partnership between the allies, on both a political level and a personal one. The authors describe the amusement of the Canadian and American trainees as they met for the first time in a strange mixture of kilts, ‘pink' trousers, bagpipes and cavalry hats on a base in Montana. This is a scholarly read and presumes readers' familiarity with warfare. Period photographs and extensive quotes from military leaders and Forcemen acquaint readers with the human faces behind the black boot polish that contributed to the FSSF's well-deserved nickname: ‘Black Devils.' (July)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
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