One of the reasons I enjoy studying and writing about WWII is that during that time the concept of "special operations" was really taking root. There are a lot of interesting stories in the histories of these types of military units. Quite a few units were conceived on paper, or actually formed and began training, to fulfill specific missions or operate in a particular theater or environment. Units like the 1st Special Service Force, Darby's Rangers, Merrill's Marauders, etc, easily come to mind. Even the airborne was initially conceived as a small unit, special operations force, according to General William Yarborough. (The general made that statement in an oral history interview that I used as a reference while researching the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.)
|99th Infantry Battalion Patch|
|The 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) in Norway.|
I found the story of these Scandinavian immigrant soldiers to be really captivating. So much so that I wrote an article for Military Vet Shop on the unit: "A Summary History of the 99th Infantry Battalion." I hope you'll give it a read and share it with others, as this unique unit deserves recognition and remembrance.