Thursday, February 19, 2015

Books re Combined Operations

Assault Landing Craft

[Copies can be purchased at]

[Allied troops practice exitting ALCs (aka LCAs) in Inveraray, Scotland]

Book title and author: Assault Landing Craft: Design, Construction and Operations by Brian Lavery, 2009

Chapters: Inception and design, Layout and build, Crews, Parent Ships, Techniques and tactics, The army on board, Specialist Craft and roles, Operations

Introduction: The Assault Landing Craft, or ALC... was the only serviceable British landing craft in the early stages of the Second World War... The assault landing craft was the humblest vessel in the wartime Royal Navy during (WW2)... Nearly 2,000 were built and these were a vital link in allied wartime operations.

 [Caption: LCAs are checked on a dockside before the landings at Anzio (Italy)]

 [ALC 428 is boarded by American troops exitting the
Riena Del Pacifico at N. Africa, November 1942]

[A/B Seaman Doug Harrison (my father), a member of RCNVR & Comb. Ops
attached to ALC 428, assists American troops at Arzeu, N. Africa in Nov. 1942]

Comments: Many photos reveal Canadian members of Combined Operations at work during training, actual raids and significant invasions. I spotted my father in one of them (above) and now have a copy of the photograph from the Imperial War Museum.

Chapter 8 - Operations: This is a valuable, lengthy chapter that provides details re Combined Operations involvement on many fronts, eventually including the efforts of many Canadians. E.g., Narvick - April 1940, Dunkirk - May 1940, Dakar - September 1940, Early Commando Raids, The evacuation of Greece - April 1941, Crete - May 1941, More Commando Raids, Madagascar - May 1942, Dieppe - August 1942, North Africa - November 1942, Sicily - July 1943, Italy - September 1943, Anzio - January 1944, Normandy - June 1944.

The book reveals much about the experiences of the average Combined Ops rating or seaman during training and combat missions.

Link to Canadian Members of Combined Operations

Photos by GH

Photo credits to Imperial War Museum
& Royal Navy photographers F. A. Hudson and J. E. Russell

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