FSSF : THE LEGENDARY DEVIL'S BRIGADE




TOUR N. 9

The Devils Brigade (also know has Black Devil)  was a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States. The Black Devils were formed in 1942 and the 1,800 strong force was primarily made up of volunteers who were previously lumberjacks, forest rangers, hunters and game wardens. 

The First Special Service Force was officially activated on July 20, 1942 under the command of Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick.  At their base in Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States, they received rigorous and intensive training in stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, the use of explosives for demolition, parachuting, amphibious warfare, rock-climbing, mountain warfare, and as ski troops. 

These specialized skills were necessary, for the Force members were to become shock troops, frequently raiding strategic positions and often parachuting behind enemy lines. They even had a specially designed fighting knife made for them called the V-42.

A journal of a German officer which was found by allies, read: 'The Black Devils are all around us every time we come into the line. We never hear them come.'

The First Special Service Force arrived in Italy in November 1943, as the 5th U.S. Army was preparing to capture the mountains that guarded Cassino to the south such as Monte La Defensa, Monte Sambucaro and Monte Majo. They suffered 77% casualties breaking the winter line. 

From February they were sent to Anzio to relieve the decimated US Rangers. it  was during Operation Shingle in Anzio, Italy, in 1944 that they earned the nickname the 'Black Devil's. "The Black Devils" was adopted after the discovery of the personal diary of a German officer referring to "die schwarzen Teufeln (the Black Devils)." With blackened faces, small units would often overwhelm German defenders without firing a shot, and then disappear into the night.

They were the first official unit to enter in Rome on 4th June 1944, 6 am. 


Join this special 3-day tour, in the footsteps of the of the legendary First Service Special Force.

Highlights:



  • Easy train ride from Roma Termini, pick up at the train station or at your Hotel in Cassino by your local guide and ride in a comfortable Mercedes van equipped with a large monitor to enjoy footage of the battles, pictures then and now and presentations while en route to the various sites.

  • Panoramic ride up to the hills of the Winter Line south of Cassino: Monte La Defensa, Monte Sammucro.
  • Experience the best view of the modern-day city of Cassino and the surrounding area, from the top of Monte Cassino
  • Visit the beaches of the landings and the area of Mussolini Canale in Nettuno
  • Advance from the Alban Hills from Cisterna, to Artena and Rome.
  • Enter in Rome doing the same advance to the Eternal City
  • Pay respect to the Fallen visiting the war cemeteries in Cassino, Nettuno and Rome
  • Complimentary food and wine tastings during the tour
  • All entrance tickets to sites and monuments.
  • This tour is available on week ends and can be personalized  according to your time frame and requests.
  • For detailed itinerary and cost information please email: danila.bracaglia@gmail.com