WW11 Heroes-Fantastic

Good that there is to be another book to stimulate interest in WWII, other than the usual. I wonder if our PM researched subjects himself or had staff do it? For a bit of ‘Boy’s Own’ story telling, probably par for the course – Military History, try again.

”Maid Honor was the unlikely flagship of the newly formed seaborne commando unit, which reported to Mountbatten – whose idea it was – in the Special Service Department of the War Office.”
A bit too much license with events and dates, no? The ‘Maid Honor Force’ was initiated by Colin Gubbins of the SOE. Gubbins recruited March-Phillipps and Appleyard from B Trp. No.7 Cdo and others from various including mainstream SOE. When they came back from West Africa, minus the boat, Mountbatten (in the ascendancy in Combined Ops), blagged/bullied control of the unit from SOE. The arrangement was SSRF remained on the SOE roll as Station 62, but came under Operational Control of Combined Ops as No.62 Cdo. But, you say, if Combined Ops had the Cdos, what did they need another, smaller, unit for? Perhaps logically, they didn’t, except that at a time when everyone seemed to be spawning their own special force (aka private army), perhaps Louis wanted a small crew of his own that he could deploy without going through such formalities involved with deploying all or part of a Cdo battalions.

”night of 12 September 1942 the three set out on another raid near Cherbourg”
OK it was 40 miles from Cherbourg, as the crow flies, but I catch the drift. If Mr Brown writes someone ’landed near Portsmouth’, I’ll imagine it may well be Brighton? It was the coastal stretch off Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer which later became part of Omaha on 6th June ’44. Incidentally, there is a plaque to Op AQUATINT there which states ‘Royal Marines Commandos’? Unless no one bothered to check when it was cast, rather than suggest the Bootnecks were after stealing thunder, I would guess at the time the SSRF were still classified?

” Small Scale Raiding Force: a Mountbatten creation that can be seen now as the precursor of the Royal Navy’s elite Special Boat Squadron.”
Sorry, imagination limit just exceeded. The SBS, with various alterations to what the second ‘S’ stood for, was an Army unit which came about from 1940 (Roger Keyes era) though the ideas and endeavours of Roger Courtney, and, 101 Trp of No.6 Cdo – and in ‘43 the significant input of the Italian Mariassalto (part of the former Decima Flottiglia MAS). The Navy of course were following the lead and ‘pushing their boat out’ so to speak alla RM Boom Patrol, Blondie Hassler et al. Anyway, Gus March-Phillipps was the SSRF. After his death, even under Apple, no one reports it being the same. It was expanded (on paper), largely with men of No.12 Cdo – often temp attch – but success of raids varied and SOE and SIS appear to have picked on their missions as yet another bickering point of ‘whose job is this anyway’. Apple commanded the dubious Sark raid where German propaganda made much of an alleged bound prisoner/s being knifed, (who mentioned anything about Lassen?). The unit was wound down and a number went to the Med where some, like Apple, joined 2 SAS, and some, like Lassen, joined the SBS who been enjoying themselves mostly working for Cunningham, and miffed when the well connected Stirling had ‘acquired’ them. As Courtney put it, ’it was a shotgun wedding’.

And the choice of Telegraph photo from their library, (as I presume it’s not used in the book?), well, that’s not the most informed choice either. Yes, it’s Veterans at the Spean Memorial, but it’s not Remembrance Sunday nor are the Veterans British. It was taken on 29th April 2004 and the Veterans (and the squad on the right) are French. Veterans of the French Trps of No.10 (IA) Cdo – who landed as part of No.4 Cdo on D-Day - came over with assistance from the RMs, and no one had the intelligence or decency to advise and/or invite No.4 Veterans. Nice one Telegraph. :thumright:


ps. that Telegraph site is riddled with spyware :wink:

Similar threads

Latest Threads