This WWII film shows the training of the British Commando units, and one of their attacks into enemy held territory in Norway, likely Operation Claymore in March of 1941.
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe. Initially drawn from within the British Army from soldiers who volunteered for the Special Service Brigade, the Commandos' ranks would eventually be filled by members of all branches of the United Kingdom's armed forces and a number of foreign volunteers from German-occupied countries.
Reaching a wartime strength of over 30 individual units and four assault brigades, the Commandos served in all theatres of war from the Arctic Circle to Europe and from the Mediterranean and Middle East to South-East Asia. Their operations ranged from small groups of men landing from the sea or by parachute to a brigade of assault troops spearheading the Allied invasions of Europe and Asia.
After the war most Commando units were disbanded, leaving just the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade. However, the present day Royal Marine Commandos, Parachute Regiment, Special Air Service, and Special Boat Service trace their origins to the original Commandos. The Second World War Commando legacy also extends to mainland Europe and the United States: the French Naval commandos, Dutch Korps Commandotroepen, Belgian Paracommando Brigade and United States Army Rangers were all influenced to some degree by the British Commandos.
The first Commando raid in Norway, Operation Claymore, was conducted in March 1941 by men of No.s 3 and 4 Commandos. This was the first large scale raid from the United Kingdom during the war. Their objective was the undefended Norwegian Lofoten Islands. They successfully destroyed the fish-oil factories, petrol dumps, and 11 ships, while capturing 216 Germans, encryption equipment, and codebooks.
In December 1941 there were two raids. The first was Operation Anklet, a raid on the Lofoten Islands by No. 12 Commando on 26 December. The German garrison was in the midst of their Christmas celebrations and was easily overcome; the Commandos re-embarked after two days. Operation Archery was a larger raid at Vågsøy Island. This raid involved men from Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 6 Commandos, a Royal Navy flotilla, and limited air support. The raid caused significant damage to factories, warehouses, and the German garrison, and sank eight ships. After this the Germans increased the garrison in Norway by an extra 30,000 troops, upgraded coastal and inland defences, and sent a number of capital ships to the area.
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The Commandoes outraged Adolf Hitler who issued the Commando Order (German: Kommandobefehl) on 18 October 1942 stating that all Allied commandos encountered by German forces in Europe and Africa should be killed immediately without trial, even in proper uniforms or if they attempted to surrender. Shortly after World War II, at the Nuremberg Trials, the Commando Order was found to be a direct breach of the laws of war, and German officers who carried out illegal executions under the Commando Order were found guilty of war crimes.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com