The Devil’s Brigade



The First Special Service Force of World War II was also known as the “Devil’s Brigade.”  Aggressive and stealthy combatants, they earned their nickname through the captured diary of a German officer at Anzio who wrote, “The black devils are all around us every time we come into line and we never hear them.” Handpicked U.S. and Canadian soldiers trained in skiing, mountaineering, airborne, and hand-to-hand combat skills, they never numbered more than 2,300 total, including support troops, and saw action in the Aleutians, Italy, and the south of France.

Co-written by a FSSF member and the unit’s Army Air Corps ground liaison, the book explores the Force’s unique character including the men’s exemplary toughness and their ability to fight in any terrain against murderous opposition. It also profiles some of the unforgettable characters that comprised this near-mythical unit. This history of the FSSF was first published in hardcover in 1966 and was the basis for the motion picture of the same name starring William Holden and Cliff Robertson.