The Black Devil Brigade: The True Story of the First Special Service Force in the World War II (An Oral History)

The Black Devil Brigade: The True Story of the First Special Service Force in the World War II (An Oral History)

by Joseph A. Springer

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780935553505
Publisher: Pacifica Military History
Publication date: 08/28/2001
Pages: 297
Product dimensions: 6.44(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.22(d)

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The Black Devil Brigade: The True Story of the First Special Service Force in the World War II (An Oral History) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
TAKE ABOUT FIFTY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN WORLD WAR TWO COMBAT VETERANS THAT WILLINGLY VOLUNTEER FOR A WINTER SUICIDE MISSION BEHIND GERMAN LINES. THEY ALL HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF EXPLOSIVES, THEY ARE SKIERS, PARATROOPERS, AND ARE EXPERT SHOOTERS. THEY BECOME THE BEST TRAINED AND HIGHLY MOTIVATED AND FIERCEST SOLDIERS THAT THERE GENERATION AND NATIONS PRODUCED. SEND THEM TO CENTRAL ITALY, ANZIOBEACH, AND SOUTHERN FRANCE WHERE THEY SLAUGHTER FIFTEEN TO TWENTY THOUSAND GERMANS. MORE THAN SIXTY YEARS PASS BY AND THEN THESE SAME FIFTY COMMANDOS INVITE YOU INTO THERE HOMES AND TELL YOU ABOUT THE FUNNY, SAD, AND ASTOUNDING THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO THEM IN COMBAT. THAT IS WHAT THIS BOOK IS ALL ABOUT.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BLACK DEVIL BRIGADE IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF SMALL UNIT ACTION IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR. JOSEPH SPRINGER GIVES US THE GRIPPING TALE OF THE EXPLOITS OF THE FIRST SPECIAL SERVICE FORCE IN A HIGHLY UNUSUAL ORAL HISTORY FORMAT. RECRUITED FROM US AND CANADIAN VOLUNTEERS FOR A SUICIDE MISSION BEHIND THE ENEMY LINES IN NORWAY, THE BOOK COVERS THE UNITS 1942 CONCEPTION TO THEIR 1944 DISBANDMENT IN SOUTHERN FRANCE. THE FORCE WERE THE ELITE OF THE ALLIED FORCED DESPITE THEIR CONTINUED ANONYMITY. TASKED FOR IMPOSSIBLE SPECIAL FORCE MISSIONS, SUCH AS THE NIGHT ASSAULT ON A HUGE MOUNTAIN TOP IN ITALY (ALA THE MOVIE 'THE DEVILS BRIGADE'), THEY STRUCK SHEER TERROR INTO THE VERY HEART OF THEIR ENEMIES, KILLING WELL OVER 12,000 GERMANS, AND ACHIEVING INCREDIBLE RESULTS IN ITALY AND SOUTHERN FRANCE WITH AN EQUALLY INCREDIBLE AND UNSURPASSED 600% LOSS RATE. HUMOR, FEAR, HUNGER, COLD, HEAT, AND THE GRATUITOUS HORRORS OF COMBAT ARE RECORDED ON EVERY PAGE. THE FORCEMEN VEIW COMBAT (AND DEATH) IN A VERY UNCOMPLICATED, ABRUPT, AND VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD MANNER. THEIR UNUSUAL ATTITUE IS QUITE PREVELANT FROM COVER TO COVER. THE FORCEMEN SEEM OVERTLY MODEST AT TIMES, ALMOST AS IF THEIR EXTRAORDINARY CAPABILITES WERE THE DAY TO DAY NORM FOR OTHER COMBAT UNITS. THE BLACK DEVIL BRIGADE CAPTURES THE BROTHERHOOD AND HUMAN SPIRIT IN THE ACT OF BRUTAL COMBAT. AND SADLY, YOU WILL LEARN THE PERSONAL AND MOVING DETAILS OF THEIR HORRNEDOUS LOSSES. ULTIMATELY, SPRINGER'S BLACK DEVIL BRIGADE COMES ACROSS TO THE READER AS A REMARKABLE RECORD OF SMALL UNIT ACTION IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is possibly the finest oral history ever written. Springer has captured the true nature of brutal World War II combat a seen through the eyes of those who served in the mulitnational US and Canadian commando unit, the First Special Service Force, a little known commando unit which may have been the finest trained combat unit of WWII. The book's layout encompassed the lifespan of the unit but Springer focuses mostly on the day to day trials and tribulations of the mental and physical aspects of the men. It is obvious a unit history is not what Springer wanted but a personal narrative of men in combat. By writing in this uniqe style Springer was the catalyst for the vets who had a truly remarkable and extraordinary story to tell. And do these men have a story to tell. Consisting of Canadian and US army volunteers the men were hand selected for their various specialties, most of which consisted of volunteers with backgrounds in demolitions, skiing, hunting, gamewardens, backwoodsmen, mountaineering, and firearm specialist. I have never read, heard, or witnessed anything like the men of this unusual unit. The US and Canadians alike hold NOTHING back in their personal narratives. Springer connects the reviting and INTENSE material in a flowing narrative so what you read is the story of events as witnessed by the men themselves. This is as close as you can get without the men sitting in your own living room telling you of their experinces. I found myself laughing on one page and shedding tears on the next. And the recall of the veterans is simply amazing. Anyone interested in small unit actions, or personal narratives of commando combat in World War II will LOVE this book. I cannot say enough about what this book represents to the US and Canadian fighting man of World War II.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When regular units couldn't breach German and Italian defenses in Italy during WWII, they called in the First Special Service Force. From this first gripping battle scene, told by the men who fought it themselves, the book is hard to put down in moving from one tight engagement to another. More importantly, it departs a true and accurate depiction of their sacrifice for our freedom. This book is a reminder that even though we enjoy the benefits of our great nation, this freedom was not free and we owe everything to our veterans. If you are tired of Hollywood adventures that feature more gasoline explosions than facts, pick up this Oral History for a real life rush.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An outstanding read. I normally don't write reviews but thought this book not only deserves a solid review; but demands it! One of the best books I've ever had the pleasure to read...from the words of true war heros. This book makes you laugh, makes you sad, and most importantly, it makes you feel like a pyou were there....with the men in battle. Never before have I read a book that made me feel like this...a very moving and personal tribute from the men who were actually there...true warriors...god bless them all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very special story about a very Special Forces. A real tribute to the soldeirs of First Special Services Force. Allowing the survivors to tell their story makes this an eye opening history lesson. For all who have served I am sure this will be a great read; however, this should be required reading for those of us who have not served, especially young people. A wonderful history lesson, told by the survivors. To all of those who served in 'The Black Devil Brigade' and to all of those who have served our country: THANK YOU!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This oral history records the deeds, actions and events covering the history of the Anerican Canadian unit, the First Special Service Force. Mr Springer has completed what may in fact be the definitive record of the unit, written in the words by the men who were there. No nonsense here. Spinger's book leads you through their recruiting, training, and then leads you to the truth of brutal 20th century combat and its aftermath. For anyone interested in oral histories, or interested in the history of the Canadian combat infantryman of World War II, you must read this book. You will not be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most books about war and combat tell the historical point of view but now you can hear the whole truth in the words of the men who were actually there. Their story includes not only their recollection but also their fear and bravery, their laughter and tears. If you have known anyone who has faced war and survived, they are usually not willing to discuss their experiences. These men take you to their battlefield and when the final chapter has been read, you are not willing for it to end. This isn't a 'mans' book but a book about men to be embraced by anyone with a connection to a veteren or a desire to understand how they lived, died and survived. A great gift idea for anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many war books and this has to be one of the best. Real life combat by the soldiers of the Force who were there and it is in their words. Just the facts mam, no bull. A gripping account of death and destruction that read fast and easy. I didn't want to see it end! The author tied their seperate stories together so they all make sense. The First Special Service Force was, no doubt, the very best soldiers of the War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has captured the spirit of the US/Canadian Fighting man in WW2. An Elite combat unit that was unquestionably the 'best of the best'. The Black Devil Brigade is unique in that it is an 'Oral History'. This book is told by the men that were there in their own words. This is for people who want to know the true story of combat. The training, the anticipation, the fear, the blood, and even the comedy of combat soldiers. You come to know these men while following them through their pain and suffering. You can virtually laugh and cry on the same page. I would highly recommend this book to all true military and history readers and anyone else who wants to know the real terror of combat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Balck Devil Brigade is one of the best oral histories I've read. When combined with THE SUPERCOMMANDOS by Robert Todd Ross and the officail unit history by Robert Burhans, we now have the definative history of the First Special Service Force of WWII. By concentrating on narratives by a few key individuals of the unit, Springer tells a gripping story, while at the same time highlighting the exploits of this unique fighting unit. This book once and for all establishes the truth behind the Black Devils, and gives the veterans of the Force a true legacy for generations to come. this book is a must have for all those interested in first hand accounts of men in battle.