Many of the most famous fighting forces in history have been elite units, trained and equipped for particular tasks, whether as imperial guards, shock troops, fighter pilots, or behind-enemy-lines special forces. This highly illustrated survey covers fifty-two such units, from the Persian Immortals of 2,500 years ago to the Delta Force and Green Berets today.
These forces are distinguished by:
– willingness to fight to the death (the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae; the Knights of Malta)
– a spearhead role (Alexander the Great’s Companion Cavalry; the Mongol Keshik; the Aztec Military Orders)
– specialist skills and endurance (Edward IIla’s longbow men; Navy Seals)
– reliability and loyalty to a leader or cause (the Zulu Impis; Mosby’s Rangers in the Civil War)
Each profile lists important dates and includes a key battle and quotations from contemporary sources. The wide range of illustrations includes battle scenes and special uniforms and insignia.