The Black Devils

What say today we take a break from the shock and awe of the election?

Today we Americans celebrate our nation’s veterans and I will dedicate my day’s posting to those brave men and women……and take a break from the Trump stuff for a day……

First, in World War 2 there were many special units that are celebrated….the UK’s SAS and commandos….the US had the Marines and the workhouse such as the Big Red One….1st infantry division…..but there is one “special” unit that gets very little acknowledgement….the 1st Special Services Force, the Black Devils……

The volunteers for the 1800-man force consisted primarily of enlisted men recruited by advertising at Army posts, stating that preference was to be given to men previously employed as lumberjacks, forest rangers, hunters, game wardens, and
the like. The 1st Special Service Force was officially activated on July 20, 1942 under the command of Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick. Much feared for their  fighting prowess, the monicker “The Black Devils” was adopted after the discovery of the personal diary of a German officer referring to “die schwarzen Teufeln (the Black Devils).”[citation needed] With blackened faces, small units would often overwhelm German defenders without firing a shot, and then disappear into the night.

Force members received rigorous and intensive training in stealth tactics; hand-to-hand combat; the use of explosives for demolition; parachuting; amphibious warfare; rock-climbing; mountain warfare, and as ski troops. From the outset, the 1st Special Service Force was armed with a variety of non-standard or limited-issue weapons, such as the M1941 Johnson machine gun.[1] The Johnson
LMG in particular helped greatly increase the firepower of the unit and was highly regarded by those who used it in combat. Frederick himself participated in the design of a fighting knife made exclusively for the Force called the V-42 combat knife, a derivative of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife.

Source: History – First Special Service Force

These men braved some of the worse conditions of nay of our troops and they came out on top….pulling off some seemingly impossible tasks…..

This is an informative video on the unit….it is lengthy but well worth the time to learn oif these brave men…please take some time…..

One closing thought……….


11 thoughts on “The Black Devils

    1. Thanx for the visit….I know of them because my late uncle was one of those guys in Italy…..I appreciate the comment and please do not be a stranger….chuq

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