WW2 Commando History - September

WW2 Commando History - September

There are too many operations and/or notable dates to mention each and every one but here are some. Touch/click photos for more information.

The above happy photo depicts Officers of No 2 Commando taken in Gibraltar mid 1943. Five of the 17 Officers in this photo would, just a few months later, be killed in action during the Salerno operations.

27/28 September 1941 Operation Choppers and Deepcut.

On the night of 28th Sep 1941 65 men of 5 Troop No1 Commando took part in a twin raid against the coast of Northern France, code named Operation Chopper and Deepcut. One raiding party landed at Luc sur Mer (Chopper) and took a number of casualties including two killed, Pte Elwyn Edwards and L/Cpl Cyril Evans. The other raiding party landed at St Vaast Bay (Deepcut) and ambushed a German cycle patrol.

September 1942 Operation Musketoon - a raid on an electricity generating station at Glomfjord in German occupied Norway. Ten Commandos from No 2 Commando and 2 Norwegian corporals working for the SOE took part in the raid. They were taken by submarine to a remote Fjord, completed a difficult overland route, approaching their target from the rear and successfully destroyed it. Seven were captured and later executed at Sachsenhausen Concentraion Camp under Hitler's infamous Commando Order.

Follow this link for Information about Operation Musketoon

Memorial to those interned at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and who perished there or elsewhere at the hands of their captors. Included are the Commandos and Naval personnel from Operation Checkmate, and the Commandos from Operation Musketoon.

 

September 1942  saw raids along the French coast by the SSRF including Operations Dryad, Hanford, and Aquatint. Click/touch this link to view our album of photos and information about the Small Scale Raiding Force

9th-18th September 1943  Operation Avalanche.

Amongst the Allied forces taking part were No 2 Army Commando and 41RM Commando. During the fighting in and around Salerno, the Commandos lost many good men. Amongst the Fallen was Henry Wellesley - 6th Duke of Wellington, Captain of 2 troop No 2 Commando.

A publication about the raid by Major H.H. Blissett can be read HERE

The graves of some of the fallen during this operation can be viewed on this link to our gallery for Salerno War Cemetery

September 1943 saw the continuation of the Forfar raids along the French coastline involving men from No 12 Commando, the SSRF, and the SBS. There were a number of Raids called Forfar raids - Forfar- Beer -Dog -How -Love-Item. During Forfar Item the men went into France by parachute and returned by MTB.

September 1944 was a busy period for the Central Mediterranean Force. No 9 Army Commando and 43RM Commando were involved in Foxforce operations around the Peloponnese peninsula of Southern Greece, including Athens. 43RM Commando would later participate in Operation Healing 3 at Solta, and Nos. 2 and 40 Commandos were fighting along the Sarande area of Albania in Operation Mercerised * (see below and also October's account).

Meanwhile in North West Europe the allied advance continued.

*Below is a transcript from the No 2 Commando War Diary relating to the first few days of Operation Mercerised:

23 Sept 44: Landed Sugar beach. Recce patrol met on beach. Conference on board LCI due to information received. German patrol had proceeded down the valley on Friday morning and very nearly surrounded Recce party. Beach was pounded with light mobile gun and neighbouring woods were raked with spandau fire, but on movement back Germans were caught by Partisans at head of valley. They killed or captured more than half of the 150 men in the patrol without loss to themselves. C.O. decided to occupy feature in centre of valley with Troops on either side of it. All positions were occupied by dawn. 4 Troop were then moved up to Point 586. Spitfires attacked Sarande. Rest of day spent diggin in.

24 Sept 44: Arrival of HQ No.2 SS Brigade under Brig. T.B.L. Churchill, MC. First day and night of rain. Corfu guns fired into Bay during afternoon. Partisan report received that 5 Germans had been killed in attack on Sarande yesterday. Patrol by 3 Troop down road towards Vermero, by 2 Troop to bridge at SHIAN, by 1 and 4 Troops towards Sarande.
2300 Demolition Party under Capt. Whitehouse, S.O.R.E., 2 SS Bde., blew crater in SHEN VASIL- SARANDE road at 315845

25 Sept 44:
0500 Arrival of Brig.Davey, Comd L.F.A. for brief visit. Shown over positions by C.O. More firing from Corfu guns.
1150 Venturas bombed S.E. of Delvine.
1450 Spitfires attempted to bomb bridge SHIAN without success.
Another night of rain. Patrol by 4 Troop reported enemy extremely active in Sarande area, but no enemy positions contacted. Engagement between Partisans and Germans at M.R.323828. 5 Troop reported considerable shell fire on position. Report from 3 Troops that Germans had taken to hills around Sarande. No civilians allowed in area. This patrol reached point 400 yards North of town of Sarande. Considerable M.T. activity on road and Naval activity in Sarande.

26 Sept 44:
0830 5 Troop returned from GHASHTE. 4 Troop reported Germans in occupation of METOG and LEKURES. Albanian militia with Italian uniform but unarmed reported in Sarande area - estimated 60 strong. 5 Troop reached VERMERO Church, then Eastwards down track to VERMERO ridge. Bumped small patrol but uncertain whether German or Partisan. Reached GJASHTE, threw H.E. Grenades but received no reaction. Fwd troops moved to Points 586 and 469. F.O.O. set up on latter. Telephone lines laid to link up these points with Brigade and Commando HQ.
1130 Brigadier and B.M. visited Commando HQ. Request to L.F.A. for bombing of DELVINE as soon as possible. Brigadier gave orders for a Troop (3 Troop) to be moved to area of SHIAN Bridge, to be followed by two more Troops and Commando fwd. HQ. Partisan diversion towards DELVINE arranged.
1510 Shelling of Commando valley from DELVINE. 4 Troop reported fire came from M.R. 345844. Informed 25 pounders would arrive BORSI approximately 1500 hours on the 27th.

27 Sept 44: Attempt by 3 Troop to bow up bridge failed. Demolition party lost contact with main body and unable to locate bridge. Lieut. ROE returned with demolition party to report. 3 Troop and Med. Det. left on ridge overlooking bridge and defended localities at VANE 337861. C.O. went out to recce positions and possibilities
1125 Report from 5 Troop of 5,000 ton ship lying off Corfu
1305 Shelling of Commando valley from German guns at 347843
1340 Counter battery work by R.S.R.
1500 C.O. reported by wireless on condition of 3 Troop.Shelling of bridge area good and would recce further forward with Os.C. 1 and 3 Troops
1900 Order received from B.M to send Patrols to Pt. 802 290883. Sections of 2 Troop detailed for this.
Rain during night

28 Sept 44: Sections from 2 Troop on Point 802 reported no enemy in area
1300 25 pounders reported in position SHEN VASIL
1708 5 Troop report enemy guns at 410878 and 395880firing at top of Commando valley
1900 Shelling of beach area
Rain during night.

29 Sept 44:
0900 C.O. told not to advance from present position except to move from Pt. 586 to Pt. 469
1200 Rain continuous for 16 hours stops at last - temporarily
1700Orders received to send out 2 Patrols of 3 Subalterns each to shoot up transport on main road

 

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