• The story of America's first special-operations unit Gives detailed accounts of their daring missions in World War II
A Perfect Hell tells the story of the 1st Special Service Force (FSSF), America's first special-operations unit.
Under the command of Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick, FSSF soldiers received intensive training in stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, the use of explosives for demolition, amphibious warfare, rock climbing and mountain fighting. A combined force of American and Canadian soldiers, they were trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana.
In 1943, the FSSF were sent on their first mission. Their task was to destroy the fortress of Monte la Difensa, a key defensive position high in the mountains of central Italy. The FSSF achieved what many considered to be impossible. They were able to capture the fortress, but the casualties were terrible- only a fifth of the unit survived. The soldiers went on to fight in Anzio, where they became known to the Germans as the Black Devils due to their use of black boot polish as camouflage. This book tells the story of these extraordinary missions, and gives fascinating accounts of legendary members of this famous unit.
John Nadler is a war correspondent and feature writer who has covered conflicts in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia. He is the author of Searching for Sofia: A Tale of Obsession, Murder and War.