First Special Service Force 1942–44

First Special Service Force 1942–44

Elite 145
  • Author: Bret Werner
  • Illustrator: Michael Welply
  • Short code: ELI 145
  • Publication Date: 10 Nov 2006
  • Number of Pages: 64
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About this Product

This is a concise history of the unique integrated commando-style brigade of US and Canadian volunteers formed in 1942. Hand picked, and trained in airborne, amphibious, mountain and winter warfare, demolitions and close-quarter tactics, they left a combat legacy still recognized amongst today's Special Forces. This book explores the remarkable results the FSSF achieved in Italy - in the harsh mountain fighting on the Winter Line, in the trenches of Anzio, and in the breakthrough to Rome. Accompanied by unique combat photography and illustrations of their distinctive uniforms, this is an insight into a famous, but little explored unit.

Biographical Note

Bret Werner was raised in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. He has a degree in History and will soon be finishing his Masters degree in Social Studies Education. The author teaches secondary Social Studies and History in Bristol, Pennsylvania. He is deeply involved with living history organizations with an emphasis on the soldier of the 20th Century. The author is also an associate member of the First Special Service Force Association, where he attends the veteran reunions every year. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA. Michael Welply was born in London in 1948 and moved to Winnipeg, Canada in 1950. In 1981 he moved with his family to central France, where he still lives. Having studied art first in Winnipeg and then in Paris, Michael began his illustrating career in 1977 and has worked for many publishers in Europe and the United States. He has illustrated over 50 books, ranging from historical work to fantasy and fairy tales.


Introduction - the plan for Operation 'Plough', and formation of the FSSF Organization & structure Training: airborne - skiing - mountain - demolitions - amphibious Operations: Kiska (Aleutians) - Mte Camino (Italy) - Mte la Difensa - Mte Majo - Anzio - Rome - Southern France - Franco-Italian border - disbandment Uniforms Uniforms of successor units Equipment Weapons Special insignia

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