Since the advent of special forces units in World War II, governments and armies have trained small, elite teams of soldiers to perform operations deemed too risky or demanding for regular troops. Training to enter the special forces is harsh in the extreme, and the few who enter the ranks of the elite can expect a life of intense operational danger. Special forces missions include counter-insurgency, hostage rescue, sabotage, spying, covert surveillance and force ambush. Most of these operations are performed deep behind hostile lines or within enemy strongholds. With a battlefield effect out of all proportion to their numbers, special forces today are usually the first into combat and the last out. The Encyclopedia of the World’s Special Forces is the most comprehensive guide available to the world’s elite forces. Units are arranged by the type of mission that they specialize in; Sea, Land, Air and Counter-Revolutionary Warfare. Each entry includes detailed and authoritative information about the unit, its history, tactics, weapons and equipment used, and many have thrilling accounts of operations both past and recent. A special section on the training and selection of methods of a select few units, including the US Delta Force and British SAS, details just what it takes to become a member of the elite. Highly illustrated throughout with photographs and artworks bringing the text to life, The Encyclopedia of the World’s Special Forces will appeal to anyone who has ever wanted to find out more about the world of the special forces soldier.