Commandos - Churchill's 'Hand Of Steel' (Spearhead 11)
By Simon Dunstan
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing 2003 96 Pages
PDF 40 MB
The first British special forces were the Independent Companies sent to Norway to prevent the Germans setting up U-boat bases. Following the loss of Norway and Churchill's 'butcher and bolt' order of summer 1940, the first (army) Commandos were developed.
Other raids on the coastlines of occupied Europe would take place - including the disaster of Dieppe and the raid on St. Nazaire. The early amphibious raids by the Commandos between 1940 and 1942 pointed up to the obvious need for better intelligence and control on the beaches. So, specialized 'beach parties' were formed and tried during Operation 'Ironclad' to capture the port of Diego Suarez at the northern tip of Madagascar 5/7 May l942. This proved so successful that the RN Commandos (sometimes known as 'Beachhead Commandos') were formed.
They took part in all the main amphibious operations from then on - including Dieppe, Torch, Husky, taking the islands of Monte Cristo, and Pantelleria in June l943, Salerno and Anzio, the capture of the Island of Elba, landings on the Arakan coast, Overlord, the capture of Walcheren and crossing the Rhine at Arnhem, Elsewhere, Commandos performed with great glory in the Desert War and in the Middle East, where Nos. 50, 51 and 52 Commandos fought in the battle of Crete, and in actions in Eritrea and Abyssinia.
In the, by now, well established Spearhead format, this latest book is packed with images and data on one of Britain's premier elite units in the Second World War.