Royal Marine Commandosby Simon Dunstan
The Commandos were formed in summer 1940 and their first raid was on the Lofoten Islands on 4 March 1941. Later, the attack on Vaagso showed how effective Commandos could be, destroying a German garrison, taking 102 prisoners, blowing up a coastal defence battery and destroying 18,000 tons of shipping at a cost of 20 killed. Amphibious raids pointed up to the need for better intelligence and control on the beaches, so the RN Commandos were formed. They took part in all the main amphibious operations from then on -- including Dieppe, Torch, Husky, Monte Cristo and Pantelleria, Salerno and Anzio, Elba, Arakan, Overlord, Walcheren and crossing the Rhine. Elsewhere, Commandos performed with great glory in the Desert War and in the Middle East.
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