It hasn’t always been the Royal Marine Commandos that used the commando tag. The bosses chose the name in the 1940’s and it’s been used since. Military leaders wanted a permanent unit for conducting commando tactics and chose the Royal Marines.
Earlier in 1940 British officers wanted some soldiers to conduct raids. Small, quick attacks on the enemy that would cause havoc and raids that could occur and be over with before the enemy even realised.
The French coast was an ideal setting for these. They would disrupt the Germans and therefore make them deploy more troops to the area. This would stretch them on other fronts, weakening their dominance.
In Commandos, Parker explains how volunteers from all three services came together to form the unit. The men prepared to move at a moments notice to conduct missions because surprise is a vital tactic. If you have surprise you have the upper hand unless you’re fighting a determined and organised unit that is fully prepared for your arrival.
The lads can escape while the enemy are confused and can be striking somewhere else. The opponents left behind are scratching their heads.
The Full History of Commandos
Parker talks about how the failed attack at Dieppe in Northern France went wrong and how many commandos we lost due to being used in the wrong role. The men had no infantry training behind them and couldn’t perform at the highest level.
Churchill thought highly of the commandos so he moved them into the correct roles and kept them there throughout the war. They became more successful with every raid since conducting missions was like honing their skills.
Commandos tells stories resulting in medals being earned on regular basis. Bravery in the face of evil should always be rewarded. This behaviour inspires others, sets a standard to follow and can only be good for morale. There are funny stories like the first commando raid. The mission led to a bren gun attached to the cab of a truck and a few Germans getting a whack over their heads.
Parker explains how the Royal Marines were occupied all over the world for decades. From Suez, Korea, Bosnia, the Gulf War, the Falklands and more. The legends you’ve heard of could well be featured in this book. The list also includes Thomas Hunter who earned his VC at Lake Commachio leading to him being a Corps legend.
Told from experience of the soldiers who were there and records from the Royal Marines museum. This book is a thorough account of one of the finest fighting units in the world. A must read for anyone with an interest in the commando forces and how they’ve evolved.