Did Britain's Commando heroes die in vain?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by oldbaldy, Nov 8, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Read more: Did Britain's Commando heroes die in vain? Their daring raids drove Hitler to order them shot on sight, but a new book argues the soldiers, who died in their hundreds, did little to change the course of the war | Mail Online

    Interesting take on how Commando's were used!
  2. Bollox.
    No account taken on the drain of manpower sent to guard Fortress Europa rather than the Eastern Front or the fear induced into German sentries of recieving a Sykes Fairbain to the throat in the dark of night. :wink:
    A relatively small band of men or the threat thereof held back useful troops, after all France could have been held by 2nd raters, Police Battalions etc.
    Judging the effectiveness of Commandos Forces purely on the results of raids is a blinkered approach.
    Churchill had to do something to prove to both the British public and the US and later the USSR that UK PLC was capable and willing to hit back in as many ways as possible.
    Raids were also used to prove techniques for beach recces, control of beachheads and equipment. Sure this ended in disasters such as Dieppe, but lessons were learned and used to great effect later.
    Regular forces landed on beaches without the knowledge gained from earlier Army and RM Commando raids would have had found their job much harder.
    • Like Like x 15
  3. No individulal 'changed the course of the war' not even Churchill.

    It was a team event.

    The fact that Hitler decided that Commandos should be shot on sight tells teh tale here. That is how 'insignificant' they were... that the Germans were sh1t scared of them.

    There operations tied up 1,000s of German troops in the Rear Echelons, just like POW escapes.

    People say the Dambusters raid was pointless too. Easy to say when you are sat in an armchair of a secure country and not facing the most powerful war machine in Europe, not knowing if you too will be crushed under the heel of the jackboot.... and these cnuts NEVER put forward better solutions.

    One can only ssume we should have fought the war with some strongly worded letters sent from our starving Isle.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. What a load of rubbish.

    Telemark... Enough said on the "was it worth it" argument.

    Op Franklin (Cockleshell Heroes) was carried out by Royal Marines who weren't Commando forces, bit pedantic as they are kind of the forefathers of the SBS but, history's history.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Huzzah, Blondie Hasler's love child speaks!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Compare the 'special' attacks on Tirpitz with the fcukng carnage wreaked upon the Royal Navy by Bismarck...
  7. Hush now, you'll get those smelly sludgemariners from RR all unnecessary.
  8. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Interesting viewpoint but flawed, the losses incurred by the commando raid were relatively few (especially if discount Dieppe, which was slightly larger than your average raid). Proportionally they might hae been large on those involved but the fact that there were survivors proves they were not a suicide missions as such as highly risky ones.
    Given the fact that it wa always an away game aganist a stronger and larger opponent it was always likely to be thus.

    The impact depended on the raid itself, the destruction of the dry docks at St. Nazaire was definitely high impact, Telemark again, the raid to capture radar part at Brunville ( or something close to that in spelling), Loftus Islands were all highly successful.

    Others as mentioned tied down thousands of Germans and had a disproportionate effect on morale at home.
  9. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    they tied up and worried the germans keeping units back when they could have gone east, just like the bombing raids kept back 10,000 odd guns, some of the best lufwaffe fighters, pilots and hundreds of thousands of men.

    men which could have over run the middle east and really spoilt things.

    commando raids are like the arguaments about dieppe - yep it failed but it taught enough lessons that overlord succeeded.
  10. If the Commandos hadn't have been formed the Para's wouldn't have been sporn and the word "Hat" would still mean something that is worn on the head and not scraped off a shoe.
    • Like Like x 4
  11. The argument of Regular Force Commanders that the creation of the Commandos robbed their Units of the best and brightest is of course true to this day. :wink:
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    the para course was totally different though, as far as I was aware it was due to the fact that both the russians and germans had para units the latter using them rather well if with a high casualty rate due to crap shutes
  13. I think its "no individual won the war", as certain individuals most certainly did affect the course of the war - not least Churchill, Hitler, Stalin and Roosevelt each individually at different points.

    The original article seems like the usual revisionist rowlocks. It never ceases to amaze me how some present day writer imagines how he can identify the correct decision(s) that should have been taken in WW2, rather than the hundreds/thousands of best and brightest minds of their generation who were in charge at the time....
    • Like Like x 8
  14. I had the Honour & Privilage to have a chat & a coffee with some Dieppe Survivors in the Automat in CTCRM Lymstone, when I was a nod....they were having a reunion, they looked like little old men who couldnt harm a fly....I only seen them as Giants....You don't realize when you go through such training that you have some Big Boots to fill...until you talk to guy's like that!
    • Like Like x 9
  15. My neighbour John, lovely old chap, was a Commando during WWIi.
    He'll happily talk about his time in the Commandoes, he'll also tell you he regarded the war as a 'bloody waste', however, he makes no bones about it they were nasty little buggers when on their cross channel jollies.
    The only Germans left alive after one of the raids would be the one they grabbed to take back for interrogation.
    They fought a very vicious and nasty little war and neither gave nor expected any quarter.
    • Like Like x 2