Commando Despatch Rider: With 41 Royal Marines Commando in North-West Europe 1944-1945
In 1944, Ray Mitchell landed in Normandy with his unit 41 Royal Marine Commando. His role in bringing the Third Reich to its knees was that of dispatch rider. Often operating alone in totally unfamiliar and hostile terrain, he and his motor bike delivered vital messages to forward units. This is a fighting soldier's account of war - warts and all and describes in vivid terms his and his fellow commandos' experiences and emotions.
Over the next ten months the commandos were in the thick of the action in France, the Low Countries and Germany itself. Of particular note was the amphibious landing on the Walcheren Peninsula where the beleaguered German garrison fought fiercely to deny the Allies the vital port of Antwerp.
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41 Commando afternoon Airborne aircraft Allied Army arrived artillery ashore assault attack Battalion battery beach began Bergen op Zoom bike billet bombs bridges Brigade British Buffaloes Caen camp Canadian Canadian First Army Cany-Barville carried casualties civilian Commando HQ Compo convoy D-Day Despatch Riders Domburg dyke enemy engine explosions feet Fighting Troops fire forward front German German position ground guns head Headquarters hundred Infantry island jeep journey jump Landing Craft Landing Craft Infantry later leave Lion-sur-Mer Luc-sur-Mer Maas marched miles military morning mortar motorbike moved nearby night Officer operation Orne parachute passed patrol prisoners radar stations Ranville Rear Echelon riding river River Orne road route Royal Marines Commando Sallenelles Scheldt shells side Signals smoke Sunday SWORD beach tanks town track trip Troarn truck unit vehicles Walcheren Waspik weeks Westkapelle wounded yards