I was watching a couple of the Youtube clips put up in the US forum about the Special Forces 'Devils' Brigade and my thoughts turned to the benefits of forming these large elite formations compared with the inevitable degrading of the parent units from which these super-soldiers are drawn. Infantry especially, with the harsh conditions, the likelihood of high casualties and the sheer terror of trying to keep the momentum going in an attack depend an enormous amount on internal unit moral, which in turn is going to be dictated by a hard core of what, 50 soldiers of all ranks in a Bn? I can imagine regiments being raised, trained and prepared for, say, DDay and then being gutted by a recruiter who promptly lures the best blokes away with the promise of parachute training or whatever leaving the parent unit bereft of exactly the sort of people who, when the pressure comes on, will carry those around them forward and win the day. Obviously the hope is that these elite formations will provide returns in mass feats of daring-do, but when you look at the quality of soldiers attracted to the Commandos, for example, then any one of them would have been worth his weight in gold in an ordinary line infantry battalion. Certainly my impression is, and I may be bang out of order here, that in the offensive to capture Caen a lot of days were not being won, and I wonder if the men who were later to drop on Arnhem had still been scattered about the place in their original units then things may gone a bit better. I wonder if any kind of cost/benefit analysis was ever done afterwards to see if the right balance was struck?