Investigation & Politics 52’

Special forces: Doing War differently

They are a handful of men. 4000 in total. All from the Army, the Air Force or the Navy. Far from the Rambo or the hyper-armed Robocops, they are rather rustic soldiers with a strong mental attitude. They are agile, stealthy, daring. Some parachute from planes flying at 8,000 meters, others leave submarines from torpedo bays and swim for miles before reaching their target, others stay in a hole for days and nights, without moving just to observe a target.


Their mission is to free hostages, fight terrorism, capture enemies or protect personalities, taking adversaries by surprise. A method that has nothing to do with the classic tactics of the conventional army. Their history, born from the preparation of the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, deserves to be told.


Since the first British SAS and the men of the Kieffer commando, the role of the Special Forces in France has never stopped growing. This film traces the evolution of the role of the Special Forces over the years, to better understand its contemporary functioning. Telling the story of the Special Forces means telling the story of "another kind of war".

Direction: Mélanie Dalsace & Didier Sapaut

Production: ZED and ECPAD for Histoire TV and Public Sénat

Photo: Bernard Sidler

Languages: French, English

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