WW2 Monthly History - July

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

14th/15th July 1940 Operation Ambassador, a raid on the coast of Guernsey by men from the Independent Companies grouped together as No 11 Ind. Coy. and led by Major Ronnie Tod and also No 3 Commando.  Our gallery for the Independent Companies can be viewed HERE .

July 1941 saw 'B' Bn Layforce (No 8 Commando) in action in Tobruk and No 12 Commando in action at Ambleteuse, France. 

July 1943 Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. In addition to Commando units the Special Raiding Squadron (SRS) also participated. Whilst the SRS were engaged at Bagnara and Augusta and other areas, No 3 Commando's time in Sicily included one particular action at Agnone. 

On the 14th/15th July 1943 No.3 Commando were tasked with taking and holding a bridge at Malati until the arrival of the 50th Division. After capturing the bridge from the Italians and removing the demolitions they had laid, a counter attack by the Germans with support of tanks inflicted heavy casualties on No.3 Commando. Eventually they were ordered to withdraw but the bridge had been saved from demolition. 

General Montgomery later ordered that a stone be carved with “3 Commando Bridge” and this stone cemented into the Punta del Malati bridge.

An excellent account of the raid can be found in Lieut. Erskine’s recollections below : 

One of the pillboxes still remains at the bridge and it can be viewed HERE.
The graves of some of the fallen from No 3 Cdo during this operation can be viewed on this link to our gallery for Syracuse War Cemetery

July 1944 saw the continued advance into NW Europe after D day with heavy fighting in many areas. 
Thousands of British and Allied troops took part in these landings. The Commando Units involved were HQ Commando Group, Nos. 1 and 4 Commando Brigades, and troops from No.10(IA) Commando. Much has been written in the past about the landings and we could not hope to cover it in this small piece. Our thoughts are with them all. Suffice to say that those Commandos who made that original journey and did not come home are remembered with honour. 
Some of their graves can be seen in our War Graves albums for France HERE .
On the 14th July 1944 a memorial service was held at Le Plein where Captain the Abbe Rene de Naurois addressed the men of No.1 Special Service Bde. 
On the 16th July 1944 a medal ceremony took place at L'Ecarde Quarry, Amfreville, where Field Marshall Montgomery issued gallantry medals to some Commandos. Photos of individual Commandos receiving awards at this ceremony can be found in their respective Commando Unit galleries.
Some photos can be found here  Normandy - Operation Overlord

July 1944 also saw Commando operations around the world. 
No 5 Commando and 44RM Commando in Operation Silchar at Assam.

28/29th July No. 2 Commando at Spilje,  Albania (Operation Healing 2.)  

Some photos can be viewed here  No 2 Commando in Albania

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