An Allied unit comprised of Canadian and American troops, the First Special Service Force or "Devil’s Brigade" struck fear into the very heart of the Axis.
In the dark, early days of the Second World War, the Allies found themselves with their backs against the wall. With their armies, tactics, doctrine, and equipment in tatters, the Allies turned to special operations forces to carry the fight to the Axis enemy until their conventional forces could be built up once again. Specially selected and trained, these forces struck fear into the hearts of the enemy. One such unit, the First Special Service Force (FSSF) or Devil’s Brigade, was created for a hazardous mission in Norway. This unique formation was composed of both Americans and Canadians who served side by side without distinction of nationality.
A killer elite, the FSSF consistently demonstrated courage and determination and earned itself an unrivaled combat record at Monte la Difensa and Anzio in Italy and in the invasion of southern France.
Colonel Bernd Horn is an experienced Canadian Forces infantry officer and military educator. He has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 35 books, including No Easy Task: Fighting in Afghanistan and No Lack of Courage: Operation Medusa, Afghanistan. Dr. Horn lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Michel Wyczynski has worked at Library and Archives Canada for more than three decades, primarily in political and military archives. With Colonel Horn, he co-authored Tip of the Spear and Paras Versus the Reich. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
A well-researched book that chronicles this unit’s short yet unique existence.
This is an intrinsically suspenseful story of personal and collective valour in a high-stakes setting where the greater cause – the defeat of tyranny – validates all risk.