The D-Day invasion was one of the most dramatic events in the modern history of warfare. The images of thousands of allied soldiers storming those beaches, many of them dying before reaching shore is a stirring memory of the sacrifices that our military had to make to change the momentum of World War II which eventually resulted in the downfall of Hitler’s Germany and the Axis quest for world domination.
There is no question that when we think about beach landings as part of a military strategy, the battles that occurred on D-Day come to mind first. But because World War II was in every way a global conflict, the need to train special units that were skilled in taking a battle to the enemy with a beach offensive was necessary for all Allied powers. D-Day did point out that such operations were always tremendously risky and often resulted in a high level of casualties.
When discussions come up about military operations overseas, if you hear that they are sending in the “special forces”, you know what that means. While special forces operate with some degree of secrecy, their reputation as being the force that can go into an unwinnable situation and win it is legendary.
The defeat of the German army in World War II was accomplished through a massive undertaking by a multinational force and brilliant military strategies executed effectively. But despite that defeat, it is important to step back and give credit where credit is due. The German military attack plans delivered to Hitler victory after victory to such an extent that it seemed German was poised for world domination.
From the inception of World War II, the need for highly trained commando units to conduct targeted strikes in coordination with larger military strategies was crucial. To respond to this need, the British government organized the 1st Special Service Brigade and began organizing and training them for commando style tactics beginning in 1940. However on December 6, 1944, the units were renamed the 1st Commando Brigade to break any association with the German SS in using the term “Special Services”.