Raids

By the Commandos

The previous page was: "Logistic Regiment"

Dudley Clarke's conception of the Commandos was; a small raids force, to carry out Commando raids. Selecting a small number of hand picked men who were prepared to do work of a very hazardous nature.

The object of maintaining the offensive spirit of the Nation; which had already undergone a significant change.

The blow dealt by Hitler on the west of the Continent had the whole world looking at Great Britain.

What could the British do against such might?

Would history repeat itself; like the "Great Armada" that they were once confronted with?

Would that same creed of people step forward and once more say.

"What we have done once we can do again."

With the British there can only be one answer; "Yes."

Experienced in fighting the Commandos progressed into something uniquely special.

Logistic Regiment

Volunteers Every One Of Them

World War II produced some of the most daring raids in history; and most were carried out by gallant men of the British Commandos both Army and Royal Marine Commandos; who fought together along-side each other in 147 battles.

Not all of the raids were carried out by Commandos; some were undertaken by soldiers who would eventually become wearers of the coverted green beret; with other missions of this caliber being fulfilled by Commando type warriors.

Not all of the Commandos serving in the British Forces were British; there were many other nationallities which will become apparent as you read through the raids that you will eventually be able to access on this page.

Some of the men of the different nationallities are self explanitory; men whose countries had been over-run by Germany.

The most surprising to some people are the Germans who fought in the British Commandos; not because they were traitors but because they did not like what the Nazi regime stood for.

At first when the Commandos were a new and untried idea; not everything was successful; obviously everybody involved had to go through the learning process; but once honed into shape and with the experience gained in all departments the Commando soldier became the finest human fighting machine in history.

The First Raid

'Operation Collar' Was the first raid of WW II it was carried out on the 24th/25th June 1940, it was carried out by No.11 Independent Company, by 200 men at Boulogne Le Touquet, France. The mission was to carry out reconnaissance and attempt to capture German prisoners and bring them back for interrogation.

The mission was only a propaganda victory; two Germans were killed for no loss of life and all the Commandos returned safely. However, Dudley Clarke who concieved the Commando idea went on the mission as an observer and was the only British person to be wounded.

Operation Collar

The Second Raid

On the 14th/15th July 1940, ‘Operation Ambassador’ was carried out by No.3 Army Commando, No.11 Independent Company by 100 men on the Guernsey Channel Island, to capture prisoners. The raid was a failure due to a series of mishaps, poor fortune and the haste with which it was planned and implemented; it resulted in no immediate military gains.

The third clandestine mission was a much bigger operatrion; it was carried out on the 4th March 1941. 'Operation Claymore' was undertaken by No.3 Commando and No.4 Commando by 800 men to the Lofoten Islands, Norway.

Destroying industry with about 800,000 gallons of fish oil, kerosene and paraffin; which they were set on fire; the factories were also destroyed and they captured 228 prisoners of war.

The next attempt was on the 27th/28th July 1941. 'Operation Chess' was carried out by No.12 Commando using 16 men at Ambleteuse, France. It was intended as a reconnaissance and to capture prisoners mission. The Commandos remained ashore for one hour; no prisoners were taken and there were no casualties.

Operation Ambassadore Lofoten Vaagso Operation Claymore

Operation Gauntlet

From 24th August until 2nd September 1941. 'Operation Gauntlet' was carried out by the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade with between 900 to 1,500 men at Spitsbergen, Norway. They destroyed industrial Coal mining facilities.

The sixth raid was on the 30th/31st August 1941. 'Operation Acid Drop' it was executed by No.3 Commando using 25 men at Neufchâtel-Hardelot, Merlimont, France. Again it was intended as a reconnaissance and capture prisoners mission. The Commandos spent 30 minutes ashore but did not encounter any Germans.

The idea of the raids was to get the Germans to reinforce these areas to keep troops away from other fronts and to lead the Germans into believing that the raids were a probe to see if it would make an ideal place to invade from.

Also at the same time the Royal Marines Divisions were Britain's only fully equipped and fully manned and properly organised fighting units; but they were being held in reserve because of the possible imminent German invasion threat.

Only when the threat had deminished could the Royal Marines form their own Commando Units for raiding; something they had been doing successfully for hundreds of years.

The 'Operation Chopper' raid, over the night of 27th/28th September 1941, targeted Saint-Aubin-d'Arquenay, France; a troop of 25 men from No.1 Army Commando spent a day ashore. Their mission was for reconnaissance and to capture prisoners.

Two Commandos were killed and had to be left behind; no prisoners were captured due to superior numbers of Germans. The British 'Operation Chopper' during the Second World War; is not to be confused with the US 'Operation Chopper' in Viet-Nam.

On the 27th/28th September 1941, 'Operation Deep Cut' was by 25 men from No.1 Commando at St Vaast, France. This was also a reconnaissance and capture prisoners mission intending to harry the Germans. The Commandos encountered and opened fire on a German Bicycle patrol; the Germans returned the fire and wounded two men before a hasty departure.

The 12th/13th November 1941, raid was 'Operation Astrakan' by men of No.6 Army Commando at Houlgate, France. It was a Beach Reconnaissance where the Commandos did not encounter any Germans, but did gather information on the suitability of the beach for use by Landing craft.

Operation Gauntlet

The Tenth British Raid

'Operation Sunstar' was a Second World War raid on Houlgate in Normandy, France over the night of 22/23 November 1941. British Commandos of No.9 Army Commando took part in the raid.

Their objective was the Batterie de Tournebride on the Butte de Houlgate. Ninety men of No.9 Commando travelled across the English Channel on the HMS Prince Leopold and landed at the bottom of the Vaches Noires.

The ship also transported four Assault Landing Craft which were used for the landing, four Motor Gun Boats were used to provide cover. The operation encountered difficulties and did not succeed in destroying the battery or taking any prisoners but they did obtain documents and other information.

'Operation Anklet' was a raid on the Lofoten Islands which was carried out in December 1941, by 300 men from No.12 Army Commando and the Norwegian Independent Company 1.

The landing party was supported by 22 ships from three navies. At the same time, another raid was taking place in the Lofoten Islands. This raid was 'Operation Archery' on the 27th December 1941, and was seen as a diversionary raid for Operation Anklet, intended to draw away the German naval and air forces.

'Operation Archery' also known as the Vaagso Raid, was a British Combined Operations raid against German positions on Vaagso Island, Norway, on the 27th December 1941.

The raid was conducted by British Commandos of No.3 Commando, two troops of No.2 Commando, a medical detachment of No.4 Commando, a demolition party from 101 Troop (canoe) of No.6 Commando and a dozen Norwegians from Norwegian Independent Company 1.

The action was supported by Royal Navy gunfire, led by the light cruiser HMS Kenya, with the destroyers HMS Onslow, Oribi, Offa and Chiddingfold. The submarine HMS Tuna was in support as the force navigational check.

For troop transport the Prince Charles and Prince Leopold were used. Also in support were Royal Air Force bombers and fighter- bombers. No Royal Navy ships were lost, but the navy suffered four men killed and four wounded.

The Commandos sustained 17 killed and 53 wounded, the commander of the Norwegians, Capt. Linge, was killed in an attack on the local German headquarters, and the Royal Air Force had eight planes downed. The Commandos accounted for at least 120 enemy killed and returned with 98 prisoners and a complete copy of the German Naval Code.

Unlucky 13. On the 17th/18th January 1942, 'Operation Curlew' was a raid by the 'V Corps school of raiding' using 100 men at St Laurent, France, for the reconnaissance of the beach defences.

The mission failed and the landing party had to be rescued by the navy.

'Operation Biting' carried out on the 27th/28th February 1942, by the newly formed 1st Parachute Battalion using 100 men at Bruneval, France, to capture Radar equipment.

This was a successful raid that led to the expansion of the British airborne forces and the creation of the Parachute Regiment.

Operation Anklet Operation Archery Operation Biting

The Greatest Raid Of All

The St Nazaire Raid or 'Operation Chariot' was a highly successful British amphibious attack on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock at St Nazaire in German-occupied France during the Second World War.

The operation was undertaken by the Royal Navy and British Commandos under the auspices of Combined Operations Headquarters on th 28th March 1942.

St Nazaire was targeted because the loss of its dry dock would force any large German warship in need of repairs, such as the Tirpitz, to return to home waters rather than having a safe haven available on the Atlantic coast.

It resulted in all British objectives completed and all targets completely destroyed.

The Greatest Commando Raid Operation Frankton

The Unexpected

'Operation Myrmidon' was the planned raid by No.1 Commando and No.6 Commando in April 1942. This operation was an abortive raid on the Ardour Estuary, in southern France.

The plan was to disrupt road and rail transport between France and Spain by landing approximately 3,000 troops, consisting of two Army commandos, who would be followed up by one and a half Royal Marine battalions along with an armoured regiment and a motor battalion.

After embarking on the transport ships Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix, the force spent a month sailing off the French coast disguised as Spanish merchant ships. On the 5th April, the ships approached the mouth of the estuary in order to carry out the landing, however, amidst bad weather they encountered a sandbar that they had not expected and were unable to pass it, the raid was called off and the ships returned to the United Kingdom.

'Operation J V' was a small British Commando raid over the night of the 11th/12th April 1942, during the Second World War. It was carried out by two men Captain Gerald Montanaro, accompanied by Trooper Preece of 101 Folbot Troop, No.6 Commando.

The two men paddled a two man canoe into Boulogne harbour, planted a limpet mine on a German tanker and withdrew unseen.

During World War II, 'Operation Abercrombie' was an Anglo- Canadian reconnaissance raid on the area around the French coastal village of Hardelot.

It had been scheduled for the night of the 19th/20th April,1942, but it was delayed until 21st/22nd April. The raid was largely unopposed but, on review, the benefits were thought not to have been worth the effort.

The Canadian detachment lost their way and had to abort. This was the first occasion for No.4 Commando to experience the support of the new Landing Craft Support ships.

'Operation Bristle' was a British Commando raid over the night of the 3rd/4th June 1942, raid during the Second World War. The target of the raid was a German radar site, at Plage-Ste-Cecile, between Boulogne and Le Touquet.

The raiding force which was provided by No.6 Commando was defeated by the strong German defences. During the return voyage at around dawn the naval force was attacked by German fighter aircraft which damaged two Motor Launchs and one Motor Gun Boat, killing one Commando and two naval personnel and wounding another 19, with only the arrival of Royal Air Force preventing further damage and losses.

The Twentieth British Raid

The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, 'Operation Rutter' and, later, 'Operation Jubilee' it was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe.

Rutter was originally intended to be a raid on Dieppe harbour to bring back the boats and other vessels to Britain. But the Army wanted a large raid to gain experience for planning a possible invasion of France.

The raid took place on the northern coast of France on the 19th August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 a.m. and by 10:50 a.m. the Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat. Over 6,000 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by limited Royal Navy and large Royal Air Force contingents.

The objective of the raid was discussed by Churchill in his war memoirs, "I thought it most important that a large-scale operation should take place this summer, and military opinion seemed unanimous that until an operation on that scale was undertaken, no responsible general would take the responsibility of planning the main invasion".

Churchill continues, "In discussion with Admiral Mountbatten it became clear that time did not permit a new large-scale operations to be mounted during the summer; after 'Operation Rutter' had been cancelled, but the Dieppe Raid could be remounted under the new code-name 'Operation Jubilee'."

'Operation Dryad' was a raid on the Casquets lighthouse by the Small Scale Raiding Force known as No.62 Commando, in the Channel islands by British Commandos. The Commandos captured the lighthouse and its occupants and departed leaving no trace that anyone had ever been there.

'Operation Branford' was a British Commando raid. The target of the raid was the island of Burhou in the Channel islands. The raiding force was supplied by No.62 Commando also known as the Small Scale Raiding Force was commanded by Captain Ogden-Smith and consisted of 11 men.

The raid took place a few days after the successful Operation Dryad over the night of 7th/8th September 1942. Their objective was to establish whether the island was suitable as an artillery battery position to support an attack on Alderney.

'Operation Aquatint' was the codename for a failed raid by British Commandos on the coast of occupied France. The raid was undertaken in September 1942, on part of what later became Omaha Beach by No.62 Commando, also known as the (SSRF).

Glomfjord Power Plant Destruction

'Operation Musketoon' was the codeword for an Anglo-Norwegian raid. The operation was mounted against the German-held Glomfjord power plant in Norway between 11th/21st September 1942.

The raiding party consisted of two officers and eight men from No.2 Commando, and two men of the Norwegian Armed Forces in exile who were part of the Special Operations Executive.

Crossing the North Sea by submarine, on arrival in Norway they successfully attacked and sufficiently damaged the plant; it remained inoperative for the remainder of the war.

To evade German search parties, the commandos split into two groups. One group of four men safely reached Sweden and were eventually repatriated back to the United Kingdom.

The second group were captured; one man died of his wounds and the other seven were taken to Germany, interrogated and then executed at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. They became the first victims of the Commando Order.

'Operation Fahrenheit' was a British Commando raid which was carried out by a small group of men from No.12 Commando and No.62 Commando over the night of the 11th/12th November 1942.

Captain O B 'Micky' Rooney and six Non-commissioned officers from No.6 Commando, with two men from No.62 Commando formed the raiding party.

The objective of the raid was to capture German servicemen for interrogation by attacking a signals station at Pointe de Plouezec, on the north Brittany coast.

One raiding party left Dartmouth on the 11th November, in Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 344. After reaching their target they discovered that the cliff tops were heavily mined.

Rooney and one of his men checked out the signals station and a nearby pillbox. The signals station was protected by barbed wire and sentries and the pillbox was unoccupied.

Rooney decided to carry out a frontal assault on the signals station. Splitting the unit into three groups, they made their way to within yards of the barbed wire.

While Rooney was preparing a hand grenade they were heard by the two sentries. Before they could react they were killed by the hand grenade and machine gun fire.

The occupants of the signal station were then engaged, killing two who had come into the open. The others returned fire from inside the signals station and it was decided to withdraw before reinforcements arrived. The party successfully re-embarked and returned to Dartmouth.

Little is known about 'Operation Batman' which was a Second World War raid by British Commandos near Cherbourg, France, in November 1942. The men that took part in the raid were drawn from No.12 Commando and No.62 Commando.

Commando Order

Operation Freshman

Was the codename given to a British airborne operation conducted in November 1942, during World War II. It was the first British airborne operation conducted using gliders, and its target was the Vemork Norsk Hydro chemical plant in Telemark county, Norway, which produced heavy water for Nazi Germany.

By 1942 the German atomic weapons programme had come close to being able to develop a nuclear reactor, but in order for the reactor to function it would require a great deal of heavy water.

None of the soldiers or aircrew who survived the crashes remained alive for very long. Of the soldiers from the first glider, three of the four injured men were tortured by the Gestapo and later killed by a doctor who injected air into their bloodstreams.

The fourth injured man was shot in the back of the head the next day. All four bodies were dumped at sea. The five uninjured men were held at Grini concentration camp until the 18th January 1943, when they were taken to nearby woods, blindfolded and executed by the Gestapo.

An operation between the 22nd/29th November 1942, was attempted by No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando 5 men tried to get to Bergen, Norway, on a reconnaissance and capture mission.

There were three attempts at this operation. The first one turned back after being spotted by German aircraft, the second did gather some intelligence from Norwegian fishermen before turning back and the third was abandoned due to bad weather.

'Operation Frankton' was a commando raid on shipping in the German occupied French port of Bordeaux in the Bay of Biscay. The raid was carried out by a small unit of Royal Marines known as the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD), part of Combined Operations.

The plan was for six canoes to be taken to the area of the Gironde estuary by submarine. They would then paddle by night to Bordeaux. On arrival they would attack the docked cargo ships with limpet mines and then escape overland to Spain.

Twelve men from no.1 section were selected for the raid; including the C.O. Blondie Hasler and the reserve Colley the total of the team numbered thirteen. Two men survived the raid: Hasler, and his no.2 in the canoe, Sparks. Of the other eight, six were executed by the Germans while two died from hypothermia.

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill believed the mission shortened the Second World War by six months and Admiral Louis Mountbatten, the commander of Combined Operations, deemed the raid "the most courageous and imaginative of all the raids ever carried out by the men of Combined Operations."

Modern-day Pages Fast Boats Pages Joe Wezley Pages

The Twenty-ninth Operation

'Operation Cartoon' was a British Commando raid on the island of Stord near Leirvik over the night of 23rd and 24th January 1943. It was carried out by fifty-three men of No.12 Commando supported by ten men from the Norwegian Troop, No.10 Commando.

The raiders were transported to Stord by seven Royal Norwegian Navy motor torpedo boats of the 30th MTB Flotila. Their objective was the destruction of the Pyrite mine on the island of Stord.

On arrival at Stord half the commandos were landed at Sagvåg quay and engaged the defending German positions there whilst the remainder were landed on the other side of the bay. The Commandos carrying 50lbs of explosives reached the Pyrite mine which was 2 miles away after twenty-five minutes.

Exploding their explosive charges the mine was put out of action for a year. On their extraction from the island the torpedo boats attacked a German steamer which they left sinking.

The Commandos also captured three German prisoners as well as a quantity of papers and equipment, this was achieved for the loss of one Commando killed, two Commando’s and eight sailors injured.

'Operation Crackers' was a British Commando raid from the 23rd February to the 3rd March 1943, at Sognefjord, in Norway, consisted of 16 men drawn from No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, No.12 Commando and No.30 Commando.

The original object of the raid was to attack an observation post and take a look at another, rough seas prevented this, so instead an observation post was manned for a week undetected, gathering information.

'Operation Huckaback' was a British Commando raid which was carried out by No.62 Commando also known as the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF) over the night of 27th/28th February 1943.

The raid was originally planned for the night of 9th/10th February 1943, as simultaneous raids on Herm, Jethou and Brecqhou. The objective was to take prisoners and gain information about the situation in the occupied Channel Islands.

It was to be carried out by 42 men from the SSRF and No.4 Commando, but was cancelled because of bad weather.

Huckaback was reinvented as a raid on Herm alone; ten men of the SSRF under Captain Patrick Anthony Porteous VC landed 200 yards to the north-west of Selle Rocque on a shingle beach.

After three unsuccessful attempts to scale the cliff, Porteous finally managed to climb up the bed of a stream and pulled the others up with a rope. On reaching Belvoir House, they found it had been broken into and left abandoned.

Further reconnaissance found that the Old Tower of Herm and the Chateau were also deserted. The raid did not find any signs of the German occupation troop or the islands population.

'Operation Brandy' was a raid on Florø, Norway, by British Commandos and Motor Torpedo Boats. The raid over the night of the 14th/15th February 1943, consisted of two Norwegian Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) and seven men from No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando and No.12 Commando.

Two German ships were torpedoed and a third struck a mine laid by the MTBs. One of the MTBs ran aground and had to be abandoned.

'Operation Roundabout' was a British Commando raid that took place on the 23rd March 1943. The Commando party was commanded by Captain Gilchrist of No.12 Commando and included two Commandos from the same unit, as well as an officer and four men from the 29th Ranger Battalion and four Norwegian soldiers.

The raid was supposed to destroy a bridge over a Fjord but was unsuccessful when one of the Norwegians dropped the magazine for his machine gun, alerting the German guards.

'Operation Checkmate' was the codename for a raid on shipping at Haugesund, Norway, in April 1943, by British Commandos. The raiding party consisted of seven men of No.14 (Arctic) Commando who managed to sink one ship using limpet mines.

While waiting in hiding for the transport back to the United Kingdom they were all captured on the 14th and 15th May 1943, and were eventually taken to Sachsenhausen and Belsen Concentration Camps where six of them were executed, victims of the Commando Order. The seventh died of typhus.

Forfarforce

Fofarforce was the name given to a series of British Commandos raids in 1943. The raids consisted of small groups numbering up to 10 man who in the summer of 1943, they carried out cross chanel raids on the coast of France.

The purpose of these raids was to identify German coastal units and to gain technical intelligence on German equipment. The men were normally drawn from No.12 Commando, No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando and the Special Boat Squadron.

Forfarforce Raids Were:

'Forfar Dog' was a raid overnight at Biville, over the night of the 5th/6th July.

'Forfar How' was a raid at Quend, in July and August.

Forfar Love was a raid overnight at Dunkirk, over the night of the 4th/5th August.

'Forfar Easy' was a raid overnight at Onival, over the night of the 4th/5th August.

'Forfar Beer' was the name given to a raid on Eletot from the 1st to the 4th September 1943, by a detachment from No.12 Commando and No.1 French troop from No.10 Commando.

'Forfar Item' was a raid at St Valery en Caux, from the 1st to the 4th September 1943, by a detachment from No.12 Commando and No.3 troop from No.10 Commando.

Over the night of 3rd/4th September 1943, 'Operation Pound' was carried out by No.12 Commando at Ushant, France. It was a reconnaissance and capture prisoners mission. Two Germans were believed to have been killed but they were unable to identify their unit.

Operation Hardtack

'Operation Hardtack' was the name given to another series of British Commando raids, on the Channel islands and the coast of northern France which was carried out by No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, No.12 Commando and the Special Boat Squadron (SBS).

All took place over a short period of time in December 1943. Hardtack raids consisted of a small force of ten all ranks, transported by Motor Torpedo Boats, and dorys, apart from one operation, which was to be an airborne landing.

The raids were finally abandoned on the orders of Major-General Robert Laycock, because they encouraged the enemy to reinforce their positions which, in the longer term, could be disadvantageous to the Allies.

This was at the time when the invasion plans were at an advanced stage but was still going through the planning process.

The Hardtack Raids Were:

'Hardtack 4' was a raid over the night of the 26th/27tth December 1943, at Biville, by 9 men of No.12 and No.8 French Troop, of No.10 Commando. A German patrol forced them to withdraw.

'Hardtack 5' was a raid over the night of the 26th/27th December, at Onival, France.

'Hardtack 7' was a raid over the nights of the 26th/27th December, on the Channel island of Sark. During the raid the Commandos five men from No.8 French Troop, No.10 Commando and No.12 Commando had to return in England because it was too difficult to climb the cliffs.

'Hardtack 11' was two raids over the nights of 24th/25th and 25th/26th December, at Gravelines. The raiders were seven men from No.1 and No.8 French troops, of No.10 Commando. The MTB's transporting them diverted to attack a convoy and their dory sank with the death of one man the other six reached the shore and joined the French resistance.

'Hardtack 13' was a raid at Benouville, France over the night of the 26th/27th December 1943, by eight men from No.1 French Troop, of No.10 Commando and two men from the SBS.

'Hardtack 21' was a raid over the night of the 26th/27th December, at Quineville, France. The raiders were six men from No.1 French Troop, of No.10 Commando. The raid gathered information on the defensive obstacles on what would become Utah beach.

'Hardtack 23' was a raid over the night of the 27th/28th December, at Ostend, Holland, by six men from No.1 French Troop, of No.10 Commando the raid was called off after their MTB ran aground.

'Hardtack 28' was a raid on the Channel island of Jersey over the night of th 25th/26th December. The Commandos six men from No.8 French Troop, of No.10 Commando and an officer From No.12 Commando managed to successfully climb the cliffs.

unfortunately they then entered a minefield which resulted in the death of the raid commander Captain Phillip Ayton. The exploding mines alerted the German garrison and the Commandos had to return to their dinghy.

'Hardtack 36' was a raid over the night of the 24th/25th December 1943, at Wassenaar, Holland, by six men from No.8 French Troop of No.10 Commando. All were killed after landing.

Operation Tarbrush

Was the name given to a series of British Commando raids in 1944. The raids were carried out by members of No.10 Inter- Allied Commando. It was for the purpose of for the purpose of bringing back photographs and examples of mines and obstacles that had been laid on the beaches.

'Tarbrush 3' was a raid over the night of the 16th/17th May, at Bray Dunes, near the French Belgian border.

'Tarbrush 5' was a raid over the night of the 15th/16th May, at Dunkirk.

'Tarbrush 8' was a raid over the night of the 15th/16th May, at Quend.

'Tarbrush 10' was a raid over the night of the 17th/18th May at Onival. Three of the missions were commanded by George Lane, whose mission was to examine mines on the French coast near Ault.

During the lead-up to D-Day, an RAF fighter had strafed a pillbox on the French coast. The aircraft carried a camera, and the scientists who examined the film were puzzled that the plane's rockets, which fell short, appeared to have set off underwater explosions.

The Allies wanted to know if the Germans were using a new kind of mine on the beaches. Lane led a hazardous reconnaissance mission that required a two-mile approach to a heavily defended coastline.

Lane's reconnaissance expedition discovered that the Germans had attached Teller mines to stakes in the water. These would be submerged when the tide was high and would explode on impact with a landing craft.

However, the mines had no waterproofing and had corroded. They had only exploded when the rockets from the RAF fighter had hit nearby. Lane concluded that the Teller mines were only a crude improvisation, not an advanced type of mine.

'Operation Rumford' was the last British Commando raid during the Second World War. It was carried out over the night of the 25th/26th August 1944, by the Belgian No.4 Troop of No.10 Inter -Allied Commando.

They had returned to England in June and were selected to capture the French Isle of Yeu, only to find during a reconnaissance that the Germans had already left.

After this raid the Army and Royal Marine Commandos were used as Specialized Infantry, leading spearheads of advancing Forces; from D-day all of the way through to Berlin.

On D-day three Army Commandos and five Royal Marine Commandos led the Allied advance through Europe; other Commando were leading the spearhead at fighting the Japanese, in the Far East.

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