Letter: Brave tales of the first Commandos

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your defence correspondent, in his fascinating article on the Royal Marines ('Strike force finds tactics for survival in a changing world', 15 February), chose to ignore or is unaware that the Commandos were formed in 1940 from army volunteers 'as a specialist amphibious warfare force able to strike from the sea', and it was they who adopted the green beret.

By 1943, when the Royal Marine Commandos had come into existence, commando raids had taken place on Norway, the Middle East and France, including Dieppe and 'the greatest raid of all' at St Nazaire, when two VCs were won by the commando force, by Lieut-Col A. C. Newman of 2 Commando and Sergeant Tom Durrant of 1 Commando, the latter being the only soldier to gain this honour in a naval engagement.

After serving in many theatres of war, including Burma, the original commando units were disbanded in 1946, so it is pleasing to read that the 'togetherness training' initiated by them in the early years of the war is being maintained 53 years later.

Yours faithfully,


Devizes, Wiltshire

15 February