Daring Raids of World War Two, Heroic Land, Sea & Air Attacks

World War Two introduced large numbers of special forces, some 
traditional raids from the sea, and large scale raids by air. 
This fascinating book covers a selection  of raids to illustrate 
the new scope for attacks on and behind enemy lines, with the 
blurring of military operations, intelligence and spying, a great 
read with some truly inspiring stories.

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NAME: Daring Raids of World War Two, Heroic Land, Sea & Air Attacks
FILE: R2380
AUTHOR:  Peter Jacobs
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  237
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, Second World War, World War 2, training, special forces, 
covert operations, behind the lines, commando, paratrooper, amphibious 
assault, technology acquisition, sabotage, espionage, intelligence 
gathering
ISBN: 1-78346-333-3
IMAGE: B2380.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/zmdps6b
LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale 
DESCRIPTION: World War Two introduced large numbers of special forces, 
some traditional raids from the sea, and large scale raids by air. 
This fascinating book covers a selection  of raids to illustrate the 
new scope for attacks on and behind enemy lines, with the blurring of 
military operations, intelligence and spying, a great read with some 
truly inspiring stories.

One of the challenges a reviewer faces is in picking new publications, 
from a heavily covered topic group, that strongly merit the attention 
and money of readers and viewers. This is particularly true in the cases 
of military history and crime. These topic groups are in such heavy demand 
that they justify large numbers of new books and films/videos every year. 
Very rarely does a writer produce an account of something that has never 
been covered before, but virtually every new publication introduces fresh 
insights and conclusions to some extent.

This new book justifies the readers time and money for several reasons, 
even though the stories have been covered many times before.

The author has started by selecting a number of stories that illustrate 
the innovation in raiding that was introduced during WWII. He has then 
made a very good job of describing each action and relating them to the 
overall course of WWII. Each of the raids described nicely represents an 
area of raiding, from the small daring adventure to the large raids that 
might almost be considered an invasion.

In 1940, Great Britain and the Commonwealth stood virtually alone against 
the Nazi threat. At the closest point, the enemy was only 20 miles away 
and had a well practised war machine with great numbers under arms. The 
British were desperately short of equipment, having sent much to France 
where it had to be left behind when the BEF and French troops were 
evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk. Churchill, a dynamic and decisive 
war leader, had replaced the shambling appeaser Chamberlain. He did not 
want to sit licking his wounds, but take the battle back to the enemy. 
Special Forces were the only way forward as land forces, with Bomber 
Command as the only option from the air. Both could strike deep behind 
enemy lines and cause shock and actual damage far beyond their size. The 
Royal Navy was in a slightly different position, having most of the 
necessary resources intact and centuries of carrying out innovative raids 
on enemies around the world.

Britain and her allies had access to some new technology that was ideal 
for a war of raiding. The Royal Navy had a unique fleet of aircraft 
carriers and torpedo bombers. This enabled FAA crews to fly from land and 
from ship to raid enemy ships in port. These raids proved highly 
productive, with the raid on the Italian Fleet in port giving the RN a 
vital six months naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. The RAF also 
carried out pin point raids of high value targets in Occupied Europe, 
aided by the first true multi-role warplane, the Mosquito. These 
versatile aircraft were used to hunt U-boats in the Bay of Biscay and 
mark targets precisely for raids by large formations of heavy bombers, 
but there were also special squadrons trained for low level pinpoint 
attacks. In raiding Amiens jail and other similar facilities in France, 
these aircraft performed miracles. In more than one raid, French 
inhabitants were able to look down into the cockpits as Mosquitoes hurtled 
along their streets at near suicidal height. On reaching their targets 
they dropped their bombs with amazing accuracy, in one case dropping a 
bomb through the door of the SS barracks where it then skidded along the 
floor before going down a staircase to explode in the air raid shelter. At 
Amiens, the outer prison walls were breeched, enabling a coordinated attack 
by the French Resistance that freed large numbers of prisoners.

At sea, the RN had a fleet of hundreds of small fast attack craft, MTBs and 
MGBs, and slightly larger MLs. In addition to their normal duties, these 
vessels provided a way of inserting or extracting commandos from French and 
Dutch beaches. In addition, the RN also had midget submarines and human 
torpedoes built as a means of covertly attacking major enemy warships in 
port, including Japanese warships. Conventional submarines were employed to 
land small number of people for covert operations

In terms of great numbers, the special land forces were a very impressive 
part of the raiding activities, being delivered by parachute or glider and 
extracted by fast patrol vessels from beaches, the commandos rapidly 
expanded their activities to render Germans in all of Occupied Europe unsafe. 
Their attacks demonstrated careful training excellent equipment and great 
courage and determination. Their counterparts in North Africa relied mainly 
on specially equipped vehicles to navigate the desert on the enemy flank and 
then attack, using the desert again to provide the escape route

The military value of these methods of attack has been open to debate, but 
their propaganda value was enormous. There was also much evidence that 
serious damage was done to the enemy and that the raids helped shorten the 
war.

There were also larger raids. The raid on St Nazaire was virtually an 
invasion and denied the Germans the use of a huge dry dock that could have 
been used to repair capital ships. An even larger raid on Dieppe was 
effectively a rehearsal for the Liberation Invasion that became the Normandy 
Landings.

Critics have attempted to play down the value of raiding but with less than 
convincing arguments. Above all, these attacks made the Germans spread their 
resources more thinly, draw back forces from Russia to defend against attacks, 
and no German could have felt safe along the Atlantic Coast or in North 
Africa, Greece and the Balkans.