The 1st Special Service Force execute a WWII raid, the only thing in their way: hardened German troops and a slew of mines, mortars and machine guns. Through the vicious fighting they earn their moniker- The Devil's Brigade.
Modern day US special forces trace their beginning back to the 1st Special Service Force, an elite American-Canadian commando unit in World War II. The unit was under command of US Army Officer Robert T. Frederick, whose goal is to build a unit of soldiers able to function independently, who can attack with strength and shock.
After their costly victory at Monte La Difensa, Frederick is ordered to take his unit ashore at Anzio, then hold and raid along the right flank of the beachhead, setting up their defensive line along the berm of the Mussolini Canal. More for irrigation than navigation, this waterway doesn’t hamper Frederick’s plan to infiltrate the enemy lines to gain intelligence for the Allied Command. Frederick plans a “Butcher and Bolt” raid, leading to the capture of valuable prisoners and intelligence. While completing a successful raid may be within their grasp, it turns out getting in might be easier than getting out as Frederick and his men are forced to regroup and fight their way back. The only thing in their way: hardened German troops, their Italian axis brothers and a slew of mines, mortars and machine guns. To Frederick this doesn’t seem like a problem The unit leaves a trail of enemy victims, each tagged with a special kill card stating “The worst is yet to come”. The psychological warfare operations along with their vicious fighting, terrorize the Nazis earning the unit its moniker- The Devil’s Brigade.
Modern day US Army Special Forces trace their beginning back to the 1st Special Service Force (FSSF), an elite American-Canadian commando unit formed in World War II. The unit was under the command of US Army Officer Robert T. Frederick, whose goal is to build a unit of soldiers able to function independently, who can attack with strength and shock.
After their costly victory in Italy at Monte La Difensa, Frederick is ordered to take his unit ashore south of Rome, at Anzio, and hold and raid along the right flank of the beachhead, setting up a defensive line along the berm of the Mussolini Canal. More for irrigation than navigation, this waterway doesn’t hamper Frederick’s plan’s to infiltrate the enemy lines to gain intelligence for the US command.
Frederick starts off operations with a clandestine mission on a German encampment where he spots a nervous young Nazi soldier sitting in foxhole reading a memorandum stating:
“You will be fighting an elite Canadian American force. They are treacherous, unmerciful and clever. You cannot afford to relax.”
Just as the nervous soldier begins to calm, we see eyes open, on a camouflaged face, in the dark space next to the soldier. The Nazi’s throat is stabbed and then cut forward, severing both jugulars and carotid arteries instantly killing the Nazi. The commando applies a first Special Service Force kill card, which says, “The Worst Is Yet To Come,” to the Nazi soldier’s forehead and then silently fades into the background.
The FSSF’s defensive position is immediately counter attacked the next evening by Nazi SS forces. Intelligence reports give enough warning for the unit to be prepared. The Commando’s launch their daring plan and outflank the Germans catching them in a murderous machine gun crossfire cutting the enemy to shreds.
Word travels back to the high command and Frederick is brought to meet with the senior Generals to plan a raid on a Nazi bunker and capture critical intelligence on German artillery emplacements that present a danger to the allied forces breaking out of the beachhead. Frederick eagerly takes on the task.
The FSSF executes the raid with precision and captures two Nazi SS officers who inform Frederick of the FSSF’s nickname, the “Devils Brigade”. While gathering the intelligence in the bunker the men discover three captives and free them. The commandos set charges to destroy the bunker to cover their escape but soon find themselves on the run in an effort to get back to the allied lines.
Between the Devils Brigade unit and freedom is a German minefield of Bouncing Betty anti-personnel mines that impedes their escape. Sergeant Savage takes a wrong step, hears a click and is trapped on a mine. Frederick remains to cover him while the others escape to deliver the prisoners and the freed girls to the command HQ. The members of the unit rapidly return with reinforcements to rescue their trapped comrades from the minefield.
Savage and Frederick are discovered by a two man German patrol who are cut down by Frederick, but the fighting attracts more German soldiers. As the German unit approaches, Frederick and Savage prepare to fight to the death when they are suddenly supported and rescued by the other members of the unit who have returned to save them. During the battle, Savage, in a selfless heroic act saves Frederick, but allows the mine to detonate and Savage sustains serious injury. The other members of the unit act quickly and rescue Savage and Frederick. One commando radios for an artillery barrage that allows the rescuers to escape.
Taking turns carrying their injured brother, the team desperately runs back to the command HQ and field hospital in an attempt to save Savage. Through it all they make it. Frederick, tough as nails, later brings word to make preparations for the attack to free Rome.