The Commando Compendium, the Facts About Churchill’s Hunter Class, Locations and Operations of British and Inter-Allied Commando Formations During World War Two.

Michael John Beckett

The first Royal Marines Commando was raised in February 1942, just a few months after Lord Mountbatten became the Chief of Combined Operations. After the war he was to write that he found it surprising that so few Marines were in Commandos, a role that he saw as naturally theirs. It had been in June 1940 when Churchill had called for “specially trained forces of the hunter class” to tie up enemy troops by raiding the coast of German occupied Europe. This book traces the origins of the many Army, Navy, Air Force and Royal Marines units that were raised and served as Commandos. Over the past three decades Mike Beckett has meticulously researched and interrogated records of these often-clandestine units during World War Two.

Some 22,000 pages of war diaries have been diligently condensed into a series of tables and maps that for the first time give a true and complete picture of the activities of Churchill’s hunter class. “The wartime achievements of these embryonic raiding forces – detailed in this book – were legendary. From small beginnings, relying initially on their volunteers’ raw courage and boyish enthusiasm, they adapted their tactics and equipment to become an outstanding professional force that was capable of meeting strategic objectives” Saul David.

The Royal Marines Historical Society is particularly pleased to be able to publish Mike’s research in this Commando Compendium. A true and unique record of the men who served so gallantly and who’s legacy today survives not just in the Royal Marines but in all the units of 3 Commando Brigade and other Special Forces.

£25 PLUS £5 P&P


The Commando Compendium
The Commando Compendium
Back cover
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