This is an astonishing, absolutely absorbing account of the accomplishments of those picked men from the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force, who work with U.S. Rangers and others of the United Nations in what is known officially as Combined Operations—or, more popularly, the Commandos. So far as possible, without giving aid to the enemy, it is the complete story of the Commandos since the very beginning of their activities, commencing with the experimental attacks on Norwegian islands, and proceeding with more ambitious attempts on the Continent. In quick succession follow highly dramatic accounts of the assault on southern Italy, the evacuation of Crete, the defeat of the French in Syria, the daring penetration of the enemy’s line in Libya—culminating in the suspenseful stalking of Rommel’s headquarters—the assault on St. Nazaire, the capture of Madagascar, the Dieppe raid, the invasion of North Africa.
The book is utterly without heroics, and yet is all heroism. The reader marvels at the terrible efficiency, the terrible simplicity, the terrible courage and the awesome nonchalance of the British Royal Navy and Army and R.A.F. men who participate in these raids.
The author has the true narrator’s gift—a style which is direct, authentic, episodic in a high degree, and stirring from beginning to end. The inspiring scenes he describes keep recurring to the reader long after the book has been laid aside.