Wednesday, May 22, 2013


'Devil's Brigade' would be awarded Congressional medal.

The Devil's Brigade (officially the 1st Special Service Force), was an elite, joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit organized and trained in 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States. The Brigade fought in the Aleutian Islands, Italy, and southern France before being disbanded in December 1944. Modern American and Canadian special operations forces trace their heritage to this unit.

WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill Tuesday that would award the congressional gold medal to the First Special Service Force, an elite strike force that started in Montana during World War II.

“The bravery and valor of the Army special forces — more commonly known as the Green Berets — are well known to most Americans. But many don’t realize that this unit was born out of the First Special Service Force and the courageous soldiers who fought for it during World War II,” Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told his colleagues on the House floor in introducing the bill for consideration.

Cotton, a Republican, said the congressional gold medal would both recognize the men who served for their “heroic service” and also “ensure that this unit attains the historic recognition that it deserves.”

Only a couple hundred veterans remain of the 3,300 who made up the joint American-Canadian commando unit, created in 1942 to take on the most dangerous military missions. The unit, memorialized in the 1968 movie “The Devil’s Brigade,” trained at Fort Harrison near Helena.

The bill, which passed the House on a unanimous 415-0 vote, would provide for two gold medals to be awarded on behalf of the men who served. One would go to the Smithsonian Institution to be displayed; the other would go to the First Special Services Force Association, based in Helena.

Read the rest of it HERE

1st Special Service Force soldiers recieving a briefing prior to patrol at Anzio

1stSSF "Kill Card" - an effective psychological tactic; the cards were left on dead enemy soldiers - Das Dicke Ende Kommt Noch "The Worst Is Yet To Come"

The 1st Special Service Force a.k.a. 'Devil's Brigade' is a part of the heritage of today's modern 1st Special Forces Regiment. Their heroic deeds are the stuff of legend.



  1. Fabulous!

    (As it should so happen, I was watching the clip "The Canadians arrive" from the film this morning: )

    Wishing you all the best,


  2. It would be interesting to read the article in the Montana paper but they want to charge to read their paper. Your piece was excellent... thanks for keeping us informed!

  3. I would've thought their death card would've said,

    1. You may have a point...

      However it is likely that the Officers wrote the calling cards...

      ..after all in a country who's military was primarily Scottish there was otherwise a danger of having a calling card saying:

      "Take that Ya Bas, ye German C**t"...

  4. My father served in the Force. I am very proud. The last two surviving members died in 2012.

  5. The translation is pretty close but I like the more literal translation. "The thick end is yet to come"