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The United States

Which Special Forces did the United States use during World War 2?

In the earlier days there been some irregular forces in The United States known as Rangers. The first reported units were active around 1675 in the Indian Wars and known as the Church’s Rangers. They were more locally raised militias than special forces, made up by forest men, hunters, and frontiersmen. During the French and Indian War from 1755 to 1763, many companies of Rangers were active. Again, these companies were made up by forest men, hunters, frontiersmen, and Indians. They were active in scouting, deep penetrations in enemy territory and the raiding role for the British Army. The most famous Ranger company before World War 2 are probably Rogers Rangers, originally raised the Ranger Company of the New Hampshire Provincial Regiment. The unit separated off in 1756 as His Majesty’s Independent Company of American Rangers. Raising a total of nine companies and although disbanded at the end of the war in 1763 their memories still live on. In later wars, like the Independence and the Civil War similar units were raised in similar roles.

However, at the beginning of World War 2 the United States had no real Special Forces unit active. Inspired by Great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt believed that any offensive actions in dark times would boost the morale of English-speaking peoples. The President praised the value of commando-like raiding in his radio fireside chats to restore the confidence in America. This believe led to the many units and initiatives that we know off in World War 2.
Allied Intelligence Bureau
Operational Groups, Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Small Units
Amphibious Scouts
Alamo Scouts
Operational Groups
U.S. 6th Army Special Reconnaissance Unit
U.S. Navy Beach Jumper Units
1st Marine Parachute Battalion
29th Ranger Battalion
124th Cavalry Regiment (Special)
475th Infantry Regiment (LRP, Special)
2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion
5217th Reconnaissance Battalion, Special
Marine Raider Battalions
5307th Composite Unit (Provisional)
5332nd Brigade (Provisional)
Darby’s Rangers
Merrill’s Marauders
Project 9
U.S. Army Rangers
1st Special Service Force
1st Air Commando Group (China-Burma-India)
2nd Air Commando Group (China-Burma-India)
3rd Air Commando Group (South-West Pacific)
13th Airborne Division
17th Airborne Division
17th Bombardment Group
82nd Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division
492nd Bombardment Group
801st Bombardment Group
1st Allied Airborne Army
XVIII U.S. Airborne Corps