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5.0 out of 5 stars Decision at Padang - A great soldier saved 800 lives in WW II, 2 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Marines Don't Hold Their Horses: Biography of Colonel Alan Warren (Hardcover)
Who actually created the British Commandos? Who led the very first British Commando raid of WW II (into occupied France)? Who was the secret head of all British military clandestine operations in the Far East before the fall of Singapore? Who ran all military operations in Asia for the fabled Special Operations Executive (SOE) out of their Singapore HQ? Who, as the acting Commander in Chief of all remaining British forces in Sumatra, personally surrendered all Allied forces in Sumatra to the victorious Japanese Army? The correct answer is the unsung RM hero Col. Alan G. Ferguson-Warren (RM), CBE, DSC.
Alan Ferguson-Warren ('Cocky' to his mates and family) was one of the Royal Marines' greatest innovators, with a storied career ranging from chasing pirates in the South China Sea from carrier-based bi-planes in the 1920s to personally inventing the British Independent Company Commandos (although not exactly to Winston Churchill's satisfaction),to master minding all clandestine British military operations in Malaya for SOE, to creating Singapore's lifesaving Dunkirk-style evacuation route. His rocketing military career came to a halt when he decided to stay behind in the town of Padang in Sumatra in 1942 and restore military authority over the 800 leaderless British stragglers there. Had he not done so, they would almost certainly been executed by the Japanese Army. His action also saved the military doctors,nurses, and patients. He was a POW for the rest of the war and was marked for death by the Kempeitai as the supposed head of SOE. His heroism is honored today by an international society named after him.
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