British and American Special Forces in World War II
Lawrence, Emily Marie Haggarty
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A study of the British No. 4 Commando and Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the United States 101st Airborne Division exposes a further understanding of Special Forces in World War II. Both the United States and Great Britain devised these Special Forces in 1940 in order to create an offensive to slow the invading Axis powers. The objectives, training, and doctrine remained distinct for the paratroopers and the commandos, who all volunteered to join the overtly dangerous forces. A look at the raids for which each unit is best recalled, Dieppe for the No. 4 Commando and D-Day for Easy Company, illustrates the demands put on the men and the successes in their endeavors. Lord Lovat led the No. 4 Commando in Dieppe and Dick Winters led Easy Company on D-Day, but these men also led their special forces in many other battles studied in this work. The upbringing of both leaders and their actions post war warrant attention in an attempt to understand how these men came to lead as courageously and brilliantly as they arguably did throughout the war. This study is primarily focused on Easy Company, the No. 4 Commando, their actions during WWII, and the impact these men had on Allied victories.