This is part of the G.I., the Illustrated History of the American Soldier, His Uniform and His Equipment, Series. As with other books in this series, it features a large number of rare an unusual photographs and sketches. In this volume, the photographs are monochrome and full colour. The birth of modern special forces operations, recommended
NAME: America’s Commandos, U.S. Special Operations Forces of World War II and Korea
AUTHOR: Leroy Thompson
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, Second World War, World War II, WWII, Korea, OSS, special agents, intelligence, counter intelligence, commandos, Rangers,Merill’s Marauders, Special Service Force, Marine Raider, Para-marines, Naval CDU, ski troops, mountain troops, covert operations
DESCRIPTION: This is part of the G.I., the Illustrated History of the American Soldier, His Uniform and His Equipment, Series. As with other books in this series, it features a large number of rare an unusual photographs and sketches. In this volume, the photographs are monochrome and full colour. The birth of modern special forces operations, recommended
When the US entered World War Two, it was still structured in much the same way that it had ended WWI. However, the experiences of the British since 1939 were to prove valuable and encouraged the US military and intelligence organizations to adopt tactics, structures and equipment that had already been proven in British service. When the Korean War broke out, the US was to form the leading component of the first United Nations military force and used essentially similar special forces to those developed during WWII.
The British had undertaken an orgy of special forces development, initially from a level of desperation. With most of the heavy equipment lost in France, the British Army was not well placed to resist a German invasion. During 1940, the first priority was to build an Underground Army that could be used against an invading Germany army that might rapidly become an army of occupation. With the failure of the German Air Force to establish air superiority during the Battle of Britain, the Germans were not in a position to risk an invasion across the Channel, but equally, the British were in no position to launch a counter invasion. Churchill was keen to strike back and encouraged the formation of special forces, or commandos, that could carry out increasingly damaging hit and run raids and begin the process of aiding the growth of Underground Forces inside Occupied Europe. There was a need to gather information, disrupt the German occupying forces, damage German assets and morale, and build experience for the eventual counter invasion.
The British built a bewildering array of private armies. The LRDG operating in the North African desert, deep behind German lines, the SAS launching sabotage raids, a whole family of small irregular units, the commando forces raiding across the Channel and dropping by parachute into Occupied Europe, and a number of special groups that may have been small, but had their own aircraft and naval vessels, including human torpedoes and mini-submarines, with underwater swimmers. The large number of special forces units may have seen some waste in duplication, and even internal conflict, but the results were generally encouraging and joined by special intelligence units, such as SOE, that operated agents in Occupied Europe, worked with local Resistance fighters, and supplied arms and training for freedom fighters.
The Americans followed the good and the bad of the British system. They adopted equipment developed by Britain, including fighting knives, radio equipment and transport. However, they also used their own equipment, including rifles and other firearms in common use by their regular formations, and special weapons that were developed for covert operations.
This rich history is faithfully presented with a fine selection of rare photographs.
An affordable volume to build a comprehensive visual record of American soldiers and their equipment.