First Special Service Force – Italy 1943

First Special Service Force

1st Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 4th Company 

Radicosa, Italy  1943


Today I put together a recreation of the famed “Black Devils” or “Devils Brigade”. This unit, officially known as The First Special Service Force. The Forcemen were a completely new type of commando force raised by the United States. Originally envisioned to drop in small teams behind enemy lines in Norway and Romania to conduct sabotage and hit and run raids in the snow. Comprising the Force were Canadian and American volunteers, usually woodsman recruited for the daring, tough and secretive nature of the special forces.


The basic uniform of the Forceman here is consisting of the

M1942 Wool Flannel Shirt & Trousers

M1943 “5-Button” sweater

M1943 field jacket

Mountain Trousers

M1942 reversible Ski Parka, Fur Trimmed

Parachutist Boots

A-4 Cap “Mechanics”

123-3The combat attire near Radicosa, Italy mainly consisted of the Yukon packboard with equipment strapped on. Since in mountainous terrain, the only way to resupply was to carry everything up by person up the slopes. The packboard load is consisting of the personal fighting load – Mounted cartridge belt, .45 Caliber ammunition pocket, M1910 entrenching tool in Mountain cover, M1924 First Aid pouch, M1910 Canteen, cup and spoon and M1936 suspenders. Also attached to the packboard, the M1936 Musette bag with personal items (K-rations, socks, Toiletry items, Demolition block, fuse and igniter and Dismounted Raincoat). The Mountain sleeping bag with cover, Wool blanket and Shelter half. 2 extra Bandoliers of M1 ammunition are also attached.




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