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The Black Devils (Monte La Difensa -1944)


On 1 February 1944, with the new Allied beachhead in peril, General Mark Clark deployed the First Special Service Force (FSSF) to the Anzio salient. The approximate 1,200 Forcemen were given eleven kilometres of frontage along the Mussolini Canal to defend, which represented a quarter of the total Allied beachhead. But first, they had to clear and then dominate the "no-man's land" that lay between them and the German positions. For the next 99 days, the FSSF would aggressively control no-man's land and constantly harass the German positions earning them the title "Black Devils." The Cdn SAS Coy was disbanded once the Mobile Striking Force was stood up in 1949.



The First Special Service Force (FSSF) was an elite Canadian/American commando unit created 9 July 1942 under command of the United States Fifth Army.


While its members remained part of the Canadian Army, subject to its code of discipline and paid by the Canadian government, they were to be supplied with uniforms, equipment, food, shelter and travel expenses by the U.S. Army. It was agreed that a Canadian would serve as second in command of the force and that half of the officers and one third of the enlisted men would be Canadian.


They deployed to Kiska in the Aleutians and fought in Italy and France where its members demonstrated the value of their unique skills and training. They were disbanded on 5 December 1944 in a field near Villeneuve-Loubet France.


Artwork was created: 2019 © Silvia Pecota

The Black Devils (Monte La Difensa -1944)

  • Print size 12"x18" is an open printed on watercolour paper using archival inks.

    These prints and the accompanied certificate of authenticity are signed by the artist. Included is a 5"x7" postcard (may not be of the same image). Prints are shipped flat.

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