In the past decade special operations have achieved an enhanced role in the missions of all of the armed services. The Army has enlarged its Ranger force to a regiment of three battalions, expanded its Special Forces to five groups, further developed its capabilities in psychological operations and civil affairs, established a new 1st Special Operations Command to supervise these units and activities, and developed new doctrines and training techniques. American leaders, in turn, have made increasing use of these special operations forces in support of national interests, most recently in Panama. In recognition of the growing significance of special operations and in honor of the Army's recent establishment of a Special Forces branch, Brig. Gen.William A. Stofft, then Chief of Military History, directed the preparation of a study on the Army's performance of such activities in World War II. This work is the result of that directive.

Numerous individuals helped make this study possible through their suggestions on sources and comments on the manuscript. Those who have worked with OSS records at the National Archives in the past are well aware of John Taylor's in-depth knowledge of those papers. Richard Boylan, Edward Reese, and Wil Mahoney of the Archives also performed yeoman service in locating key documents. At the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Richard Sommers and David Keough provided many helpful leads to their treasury of records, and Randy Hackenburg guided me through the Institute's collection of photographs. Dr. Samuel Lewis of the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, suggested some valuable materials based on his research on the Jedburghs. At the Center of Military History Hannah Zeidlik, Geraldine Harcarik, and Mark Wilner produced some essential documents on the Filipino guerrillas, and Mary Sawyer patiently responded to seemingly endless interlibrary loan requests. Albert Cowdrey, Jeffrey Clarke, Graham Cosmas, and Mary Gillett painstakingly examined successive versions of the manuscript and made many helpful recommendations. The comments of Col. Rod Paschall, Col. Michael Krause, John Partin, and Morris MacGregor, pointing out unexplored areas and suggesting other sources, also contributed much to the end product. Diane Arms did her best to smooth over my prose and make the footnotes comprehensible. Arthur S. Hardyman made numerous helpful suggestions regarding illustrations. Howell Brewer assembled the necessary photographs, and Sherry Dowdy provided the maps. The author alone is responsible for all interpretations, conclusions, and errors that may appear in the work.

Washington, D.C. 1 August 1990.