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Striking Back: Britain's Airborne and Commando Raids 1940-42: Britain's Airborne and Commando Raids 1940-1942 [Kindle Edition]

Niall Cherry
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

As the events of the Second World War fade into the distance it is important that the activities of a small band of brothers are not overlooked. In the dark days following Dunkirk in 1940 these men volunteered for what was euphemistically termed 'Special Service'. Often given very little idea of what they were letting themselves in for, they all wanted to strike back at the enemy. Later, these units evolved into the famed airborne forces and commandos who went on to take a major part in operations such as D-Day, Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine. However, before this, during the early years of the war, they undertook a number of smaller scale raids.

Whilst some of the early raids such as St Nazaire and Dieppe have received quite a lot of coverage, others such as Lofoten, Glomfjord, Tragino and Bruneval have received far less, yet a knowledge of them is vital to give the development of Britain's special forces historical perspective.

The formation of these two fledging arms is recounted in detail, including material relating to the training undertaken before going on Special Service. In addition to the operations mentioned above raids on the Channel Islands, the coast of northern France, Vaagso, North Africa and Vermork are also covered.

As well as numerous eyewitness accounts from veterans a selection of official reports, kit, weapon and explosives lists are included. The book is complemented by around 125 photographs and maps.


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Review

The formation of these two fledgling arms is recounted in detail, including material relating to the training undertaken before going on Special Service. --www.bestofbritishmag.co.uk

About the Author

Niall Cherry was born in London in 1959 and recalls becoming interested in military history as a schoolboy from watching films such as 'The Battle of Britain' and a 'Bridge Too Far'. He later found out that one of his grandfathers had fought in the Great War, serving as a Chemical Corporal at Loos. His father served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers during the early 1950s. He continued in the family tradition by serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, qualifying as a Combat Medical Technician Class 1, an instructor in First Aid and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare. He finished his service as a senior NCO. / Deeply interested in the Great War, he has visited numerous battlegrounds on both the Western Front and at Gallipoli. He is a long-standing member of the Western Front Association, the Gallipoli Association and the Military Heraldry Society. He also has the honour of being the first non-Arnhem veteran to hold the post of UK representative for the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek, Holland. / In 2000, Niall's first book was published, 'Red Berets and Red Crosses: The Story of the Medical Services in the 1st Airborne Division in World War II'. The following year, answering an appeal from the Manchester Regimen Museum, he wrote 'I Shall Not Find His Equal', a biography of Brigadier Noel Lee. In the last few years has also contributed articles to 'Battlefields Review' and 'After the Battle', together with helping with around 20 other books on the Airborne Forces and Gallipoli. / Niall currently lives in Lancashire with his wife and two daughters, working for BAE Systems helping build fast military jets.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6196 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Helion (14 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BLQON2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,478,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The one commodity which has remained constant in the history of warfare has been the need for men on the ground. Since WW2, men of airborne forces have, generally speaking, become regarded as the elite. Realistically, they are a selection of the hardest and toughest infantry soldiers whose means of transport to any battlefield is by parachute. When British Paratroopers are placed alongside Commandoes of the Royal Marines, you have a force to reckon with.

In this well-researched, perceptive and detailed analysis of the source of those particular troops, author Niall Cherry takes the reader on a journey of discovery into the origins of the British Paratrooper and Commando. Where more famous raids (Arnhem, Dieppe and St. Nazaire) have been well recorded by historians, others - such as Bruneval (a Parachute Regiment Battle Honour), Glomfjord, Lofoten and Tragino have not.

Having served with all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment, mostly on operational service and occasionally alongside the Royal Marines, I understand the bond which binds these men together. In the former it is called the "Airborne Brotherhood" and something similar exists within the latter. The roots of these experts in modern hand-to-hand warfare are firmly exposed in this book.

When the call went out asking for men to "volunteer for special service," none had any idea of the covert and eventually overt operations that would take many of them deep into enemy territory. They had to be tough with their mettle being tested to the limit. Many failed to make the grade, giving considerable respect to those who were successful and even creating some myths.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The origin of modern airborne and commando operations. 1 Jun. 2009
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The one commodity which has remained constant in the history of warfare has been the need for men on the ground. Since WW2, men of airborne forces have, generally speaking, become regarded as the elite. Realistically, they are a selection of the hardest and toughest infantry soldiers whose means of transport to any battlefield is by parachute. When British Paratroopers are placed alongside Commandoes of the Royal Marines, you have a force to reckon with.

In this well-researched, perceptive and detailed analysis of the source of those particular troops, author Niall Cherry takes the reader on a journey of discovery into the origins of the British Paratrooper and Commando. Where more famous raids (Arnhem, Dieppe and St. Nazaire) have been well recorded by historians, others - such as Bruneval (a Parachute Regiment Battle Honour), Glomfjord, Lofoten and Tragino have not.

Having served with all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment, mostly on operational service and occasionally alongside the Royal Marines, I understand the bond which binds these men together. In the former it is called the "Airborne Brotherhood" and something similar exists within the latter. The roots of these experts in modern hand-to-hand warfare are firmly exposed in this book.

When the call went out asking for men to "volunteer for special service," none had any idea of the covert and eventually overt operations that would take many of them deep into enemy territory. They had to be tough with their mettle being tested to the limit. Many failed to make the grade, giving considerable respect to those who were successful and even creating some myths. This book is all about the men who met those stringent requirements and of their deeds with particular emphasis on those operations which failed to make the headlines of history.

In short, the dawn of the British Paratrooper is explained in conjunction with a complete description of how the Royal Marine became the Royal Marine Commando. In so doing, this author also sheds light on those early operations which firmly established these particular forces. This book is essential reading for every Paratrooper and Commando (retired or serving) because it explains their birth.

NM
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW2 Commandos 31 May 2013
By Brian M Moyse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Niall has been able to present an excellent account of the now legendary Commandos for the first two years from their creation in 1940.
These special troops were the forerunners & provided the basis for 'the Rangers' plus any other 'special forces' unit anywhere in the world.
5.0 out of 5 stars The raids were generally small which is good for miniatures 24 May 2015
By Kenneth A. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very interesting account of the British Commandos and Airborne raids in the early war years.
I study these raids in order to make war game scenarios for miniatures.
The raids were generally small which is good for miniatures.
It is hard to game a battle which had hundreds of soldiers participating.
The only difficulty was in understanding British slang and abbreviations.
Such words as: Jocks, Wallahs, Boffins, etc. are unknown to me.
There were also abbreviations which caused me difficulty: U/S, ALC, CLS, LSC, FAP, etc.
Eventually I was able to look up most of the terms and abbreviations.
"Striking Back" is a good summary of the early British raids.
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