Devil’s Brigade

1939 – 1945



The “Devil’s Brigade,” a name coined by German forces, was also known as the “Black Devils” because they operated mostly at night and behind enemy lines with blackened faces. It was an elite, secretive commando force established in 1942. It was a combination of the First Canadian Special Service Battalion (800 members) and the U.S. Army volunteers (1,000 members) who underwent rigorous unconventional training to prepare them for fighting behind enemy lines in winter conditions. They were trained in guerrilla tactics, mountain climbing and fighting, winter combat, hand-to-hand combat, and night fighting. They also received training in the use of Canadian, American and German weapons. Though numerically small, the Force never lost a battle, never failed to take an objective, and never gave up an objective once taken. It was disbanded in December 1944 in favour of forming larger units. Sources: a) Dadson, Liz. “Kincardine’s Charles Mann awarded U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.”, February 8, 2015. b) McKay, Barb. “Devil’s Brigade to get Congressional Medal.” Kincardine Independent. July 10, 2013.