Devil’s Brigade was originated in July of 1942. Under the official title 1st Special Service Force, American and Canadian soldiers were combined together to form a special task force trained for the battle behind enemy lines. The origin of many special units can be traced back to this special force. Due to numerous nocturnal operations where all faces were blackened for camouflage, the German Wehrmacht invented their nick name Black Devils, which bore witness of the great respect they had of their enemy although the unit was relatively small. In 1943 and 44, the 1st SSF successfully completed many operations in Italy and France and was able to influence a multitude of important situations.
An important piece of equipment of the Devil’s Brigade was the specially designed V-42 combat knife which was also part of the intensive close combat training. The handle of compressed leather discs ends in a pointed impact cap. A thick leather padding underneath the slightly curved pommel had to prevent injuries. The two-edged coated carbon steel blade of the dagger is made of SK5 and features a corrugated thumb rest around the area of the Ricasso. To this day the crest of the Special Forces of the US Army adorns this legendary dagger.