Commando: A History of the Elite British Military Force and Its Operations in World War Two

An eye-opening introduction to one of the most audacious special operations forces of World War Two, written by a man who led them into battle.

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About the Book

In the aftermath of the disastrous Battle of France and evacuation from Dunkirk, Winston Churchill told his military chiefs of staff that “Enterprises must be prepared, with specially trained troops of the hunter class, who can develop a reign of terror down on these coasts, first of all on the ‘butcher-and-bolt’ policy… leaving a trail of German corpses behind them.”

By the end of the month the Commandos had been formed from volunteers and were already implementing their hit-and-run tactics that would make them famous.

Only the best recruits were sent; they had to be young, absolutely fit, able to drive motor vehicles, and unable to be seasick. One of the conditions of service, clearly laid down, was that any many might voluntarily return to his unit after an operation. Few ever asked to do so.

Peter Young, who volunteered shortly after returning from Dunkirk, rose to become commander of the 1st Commando Brigade by the end of the war. In Commando he charts the development of this unique fighting force from its emergence through the course of its major operations, including: Lofoten, Spitzbergen and Vaagso in Norway, the invasion of Italy, the St. Nazaire and Dieppe raids on the French coast, along with numerous other operations.

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