Rangers, Scouts, and Raiders

Origin, Organization, and Operations of Selected Special Operations Forces

Michael F Dilley

How special-purpose, special mission units have been used in operations over the last two centuries.
Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636242835
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Throughout history there has always been a need, in military forces, for special units. In the past, these units have usually been ad hoc formations that were disbanded after their mission was complete. It has only been since the early 1950s that such units have remained active, but even in recent times special purpose, special mission units have been organized and used for a period of time or for a specific mission and then either deactivated or replaced by other units.

This unique approach to the history of American special forces examines their development through a number of operations, ranging from the French and Indian War in the 18th century through to the Vietnam War. From the Son Tay raid to the Force at la Difensa and Rogers’ Rangers, the operations are diverse in both organization and purpose, but all contributed to the overall mission of their theater or larger organization, thus proving the continuing need for special units throughout history and even today.

About The Author

Michael F. Dilley, a former Army paratrooper, served for 20 years in the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence branch. Following his retirement, he served as an operations security consultant to Department of Defense and Department of the Army special programs, later in the White House Military Office and on the Department of Defense staff. He was a private detective in Wisconsin and New Mexico and finished his active career as an instructor for a government contractor in the Washington, D.C. area. He continues to conduct part-time research and teaching projects, to write, to speak part-time, and to assist other writers.


Foreword by Daniel J. Cragg, Sergeant Major, U.S. Army (Ret)

Chapter 1. The Return of Rogers’ Rangers
Chapter 2. The Andrews Raid
Chapter 3. American Airborne Units in World War II
Chapter 4. The Force at la Difensa
Chapter 5. Sabotaging Hitler’s Heavy Water
Chapter 6. The Alamo Scouts—LRRPs of World War II
Chapter 7. Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force
Chapter 8. Gypsy Task Force at Aparri
Chapter 9. Recondo Training – Its Origins and Aftermath
Chapter 10. The Son Tay Raid

Appendices A – J: Origins, Organizations
Bibliography of Sources Consulted

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