~ COMBINED OPERATIONS ~

WW2 land, sea and air forces of the Allied Nations planning, training and operating together as a unified force on amphibious raids and landings against the enemy.

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 Approaching 500k visits per year to 200  web pages & 3000 photos.  General information at the bottom of this and every web page.

Please show your appreciation for those who served the Allied cause in WW2 by 'liking' the Combined Ops Facebook page. Many thanks.

COMBINED OPS INDEX - FRANCE ~

Below are links to web pages with strong French connections to Combined Operations.

Combined Ops Memorial

Information about the memorial, including its location in the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The memorial embraces all the Allied nations whose service men and women served in or alongside Combined Operations, or were trained by them in amphibious warfare.

Operation Overlord

D Day, June 6 1944. Operations Neptune and Overlord were the culmination of years of planning and training by Combined Operation planners and others, notably the USA.

Mulberry Harbours

The Allies needed secure sheltered harbour facilities within days of the Normandy landings to supply their advancing forces until ports like Cherbourg were captured. How did they erect two harbours, each the size of Dover, in just a few days in wartime, when Dover took 7 years to construct in peacetime?

PLUTO

The Pipeline Under the Ocean (PLUTO), was designed to supply petrol from storage tanks in southern England, to the advancing Allied armies in France in the months following D-Day. This page tells the story of the planning, development, testing and installation of the pipelines and of their contribution to the war effort.

Normandy Poems

5 thoughtful poems about aspects of the Normandy landings.

The Gratitude of a Nation [Churchill]

An expression of a Nation's gratitude for the role of Combined Operations in planning and training for the amphibious aspects of D-Day, written to Mountbatten by Churchill on the evening of D + 6 after visiting the Normandy beaches.

Bruneval, France. (Biting)

Operation Biting (27/2/42) was a daring Combined Operations raid on a German radar station at Bruneval in northern France. The purpose was to obtain German radar components for analysis by experts.  [Air] 1 Whitley Squadron. [Sea] Landing Craft & Escorts. 

St Nazaire, France (Chariot)

Operation Chariot (28/3/42) was an audacious Combined Operation raid on the port of St Nazaire in German occupied France. Packed with tons of high explosives, a destroyer was rammed into the gates of the only dry dock capable of servicing the German battleship Tirpitz. Such was the damage caused, that the dry dock was rendered unusable for the remainder of the war.  [Land] Nos.1,2,3,4,5,9 & 10 Commandos. [Sea] HMS Campbelltown.

Dieppe, France (Jubilee)

Operation Jubilee (19/8/42), the Dieppe Raid, was very costly for Canadian forces but valuable lessons were learned in planning future operations, including D-Day. [Land] Nos 3 & 4 Commando with 50 US Rangers, the Canadian 2nd Division. [Sea] 230 ships with 3000 men. [Air] 65 RAF Squadrons (fighters, fighter/bombers and bombers).

'Omaha' Beach (Aquatint)

Operation Aquatint (12-13/9/42) was a Small Scale Raiding Force's (SSRF) operation which took place on part of 'Omaha' beach, which, unbeknown to anyone at the time, would witness the largest amphibious invasion force in history just 21 months later on June 6 1944.  [Land] 12 Commandos of the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF). [Sea] MTB 344 the Little Pisser under the command of Freddie Bourne.

River Gironde, France (Frankton)

Operation Frankton (7/12/42), popularly known as the Cockleshell Heroes, tells how a handful of Royal Marines paddled their way up 70 miles of the Gironde River to lay charges on enemy shipping.  [Land] 10 Royal Marines - "The Cockleshell Heroes." [Sea] Sub. HMS Tuna.

Normandy, France (Neptune & Overlord)

Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings of June 1944, was the beginning of the end for Hitler and his army in Europe. The German forces were under increasing pressure from all sides and the great effort by Allied forces proved decisive. Many hard battles, now etched in the collective memory of the nation, were fought along the route to the German heartland. 170,000 assault troops, 5000 ships and 820 aircraft mainly from Canada, UK and the USA.
 

There are around 300 books listed on our 'Combined Operations Books' page. They, or any other books you know about, can be purchased on-line from the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). Their search banner link, on our 'Books' page, checks the shelves of thousands of book shops world-wide. Just type in, or copy and paste the title of your choice, or use the 'keyword' box for book suggestions. There's no obligation to buy, no registration and no passwords.

News & Information

 

Memorial Maintenance

We have a small band of volunteers who take turns to visit the memorial each month, particularly during the growing season, to undertake routine maintenance such as weeding keeping the stones and slabs clear of bird dropping, lichen etc. and reporting on any issues. If you live near the National Memorial Arboretum and would like to find out more, please contact us.

Remember a Veteran

You can pay a personal tribute to veterans who served in, or alongside, the Combined Operations Command in WW2 by adding their details and optional photo to our Roll of Honour and They Also Served pages on this website.

Read the Combined Operations prayer.

Events and Places to Visit

To organisers: Reach the people who will be interested to know about your Combined Operations or war related event by adding it to our  webpage free of charge.

To everyone else: Visit our webpage for information on events and places to visit. If you know of an event or place of interest, that is not listed, please let us know.

To notify an event or place of interest, click here.

To visit the webpage click here.

Facebook

Why not join the thousands who visit our Facebook page about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans.

See the 'slide shows' of the dedication ceremony and the construction of the memorial plus the 'On this day in 194?' feature where major Combined Ops events are highlighted on their anniversary dates with links to additional information.

You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Find Books of Interest 

Search for Books direct from our Books page. Don't have the name of a book in mind? Just type in a keyword to get a list of possibilities... and if you want to purchase you can do so on line through the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). 5% commission goes into the memorial fund.

WW2 Combined Operations Handbook

This handbook was prepared for Combined Operations in the Far East. It illustrates the depth and complexity of the planning process necessary to ensure that the 3 services worked together as a unified force.

Restoration of Geoffrey Appleyard's  Memorial 

Click on the image if you'd like to contribute to the improvement of the memorial to Geoffrey Appleyard, DSO, MC and Bar, through the purchase of a limited edition print of a book about him. Geoffrey achieved so much in service with No 7 Commando, No 62 Commando, the Small Scale Raiding Force and the Second SAS Regiment. He was posted Missing in Action in July 1943, aged 26.

www.bramleywarmemorial.com/major-geoffrey-appleyard-book-now-available-for-purchase/

The Gazelle Helicopter Squadron Display Team

The Gazelle Squadron is a unique team of ex-British Military Gazelle helicopters in their original military colours and with their original military registrations. The core team includes four Gazelles, one from each service; The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army Air Corps and The Royal Air Force. A fifth Gazelle in Royal Marines colours will provide intimate support for the team. Their crest includes the Combined Operations badge. The last, and possibly, only time the badge was seen on an aircraft was in the early mid 40s. A photo of the Hurricane concerned is included in the 516 Squadron webpage.

Legasee Film Archive

As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for veterans from any conflict who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity. Films are now available on line. www.legasee.org.uk

New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to the subject.

About Us?

Background to the website and memorial project, and a look to the future; plus other small print stuff and website accounts etc. Click here for information.

 

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