History Stories

In this week’s featured collection, Special Forces, we are taking a look at the highly trained fighters that make up the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), who are some of the most elite soldiers across all branches of the U.S. military.

During World War II, a group of elite U.S. Army Rangers trained at an intensive commando school in Scotland, run by British fighters who wore distinctive green berets. Upon graduation from the program, the soldiers were rewarded with the same berets. Though the U.S. Army did not authorize them to wear them at the time, those who earned the beret wore it secretly while they were in the field, earning this branch of the U.S. Army Special Forces their legendary nickname, The Green Berets.

As an unconventional war, Vietnam called for many unconventional tactics. Among these was the formation of a unique group of soldiers called the Mobile Strike Force Command or “Mike Force.” Commanded and trained by Green Berets, the Mike Force was primarily staffed by indigenous forces, including the Montagnard tribesman—a group traditionally oppressed by the North Vietnamese. As a fighting unit, they were a roving S.W.A.T. team, constantly on-call to rescue platoons or camps that were under attack or under the threat of attack.

In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded the independent nation of Kuwait. Facing little resistance, his forces swiftly captured control of 24 percent of the world’s oil supply. The United States, with the help of Saudi Arabia and other allied forces, responded with Operation Desert Shield and then Desert Storm—an all-out attack to free Kuwait. The coalition entered with an enormous technological edge—but their greatest advantage came from Special Operations units of Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers.

From extreme marksmen to stealthy spies, go behind the scenes of their most extraordinary covert missions with this week’s featured collection Special Forces. Here is a look at some of the episodes:

  • Fighting an enemy across searing deserts and frigid mountain peaks requires strong weaponry and sound tactics. Go inside a hillside shootout and the rescue of Special Forces snipers during the Hunt for Bin Laden.
  • The deadliest weapon on the battlefield is the lone sniper. Journey inside the science and psychology behind the greatest shots in military history through the scope of the world’s most extreme marksmen in Sniper: Inside the Crosshairs.
  • In Silent Heroes: LRRPs learn about the men who made up the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols during the Vietnam War. They sacrificed manpower for stealth and took risks far beyond conventional units, spying on the enemy in his own backyard.

Tune in to the new drama series SIX premiering on HISTORY on Wednesday January 18 at 10/9c.

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Related Collections

For related collections, check out Vietnam in HD and WWII: The World in Crisis.

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