Saturday, February 28, 2015

Origins of Combined Operations

Information and Resources

Combined Operations Insignia

MOTTO: United We Conquer

There are several books and websites that provide information about how the Combined Operations organization began. A few are listed below.

1. Combined Operations by Clayton Marks, London, Ontario

Excerpt: After the evacuation of Dunkerque (between May 27 and June 4, 1940), Combined Operations began to take on a definite plan under the leadership of Sir Roger Keyes. It was indeed the raising of the Burning Brand; the signal proclaiming that the Allied Forces were at last prepared to rally to the offensive.

In October of 1941, Winston Churchill relieved Sir Roger Keyes of all duties as Chief of Combined Operations and appointed Comm. Louis Mountbatten as Chief of Combined Operations, with the direct order to start a program of raids of ever increasing intensity so as to keep the enemy coastline on the alert from the North Cape to the Bay of Biscay. But he stated that the main objective must be the re-invasion of France.

"You must create the machine which will make it possible to beat Hitler and his associates on land. You must select and build bases from which the assault will be launched, and create training centres at which the soldiers and seamen can be trained in amphibious assault. I want you to bring in the Air Force as well and create a proper inter-service organization to produce the technique of modern assault. I want you to select the area in which you feel the final assault should take place and start bending all your energies towards getting ready for that great day. Finally, at the present, all other Headquarters in Britain are on the defensive. Your headquarters are created to be on the offensive." (Source - History of the Combined Operations Organization, 1940 - 1945 London, 1956)

2. 'Combined Operations Explained' by Geoff Slee, Scotland, at his extensive website -

Excerpt: Origins

The need was urgent and Churchill wasted no time. On June 4th 1940, just hours after the evacuation at Dunkirk came to an end, he ordered the Chiefs of Staff (Army, Navy and Air Force) to set up what became the Combined Operations Command. The Command would concentrate solely on offensive operations against the enemy. It would not be distracted by defensive considerations.

 More to follow.

Link to Websites re Combined Operations

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