Of Courage and Determination

Overview

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.

Reviews

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.

Ontario Historical Society Bulletin

A well-researched book that chronicles this unit’s short yet unique existence.

About the Authors

Bernd Horn

Posted by Kendra on April 19, 2016
Bernd Horn photo

Bernd Horn

Colonel Bernd Horn is a retired Canadian Regular Force infantry officer and military educator. Dr. Horn has authored, co-authored, or edited more than forty books, including A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War: The SOE and the Canadian Connection and No Lack of Courage: Operation Medusa, Afghanistan. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Michel Wyczynski

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Michel Wyczynski

Michel Wyczynski has worked at the National Archives of Canada for the past 24 years, primarily in political and military archives. He is the honorary archivist for the Canadian Airborne Forces Museum, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association, and the Airborne Regiment Association of Canada.