In the wake of joint and combined operations in Panama and the
East, U.S. Special Operations Forces @OF) received accolades from their com-manders, the media, and the public. Given the missions SOF performed in
Just Cause and Desert Storm, this praise was earned.In the past, however, special operations have not always been viewed sopositively. Prior to the early l%Xls-when President John F. Kennedy expandedU.S. Special Forces and made counterinsurgency the cornerstone of his FlexibleResponse doctrine-the lot of special operations soldiers was far from satisfactory.Few in number, they were criticized as elitist and were considered suitable onlyfor behind-the-lines oporations in a major East-West conflict.Little has been written about the missions and activities of special forcesin the lS!jOs and even less abaut their predecessors in World War II. The Jed-burghs were one such group, dropped in three-man teams in France during 1944to sssist the Allied advance from behind German lines. Dr. S. J. Lewis’ studyon the activities of a number of Jedburgh teams operating in northern Franceduring the last year of the
addresses this often-overlooked aspect of thewar in Europe. This study should udvnnce the understanding of Special Opera-tions b’orces on the part of military professionals and civilians alike and stimu-late further inquiries into a topic still shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding.October 1991 ROGER J. SPILLERIXrectorCombat Studies InstituteCSI publications cover a variety of military history topics. The views expressedherein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the I.)epartment ofthe Army or the Department of Defense.