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4th July 2013 at 1.30 pm
General Richard Barrons, CBE,
Commander of the
Joint Forces Command,
will unveil the dedication plaque at the ceremony.
If you'd like to attend the
The main construction
of the memorial nearing
completion in its tranquil setting on the banks of the River Tame
within the grounds of the
National Memorial Arboretum in
Staffordshire. Full story and more photos
COMBINED OPERATIONS - A NORMANDY BEACHHEAD. Buy
a print in memory of a veteran and support the Memorial Fund.
£35.00 to £73.00 + P&P Limited Edition illustrated above.
Click here to visit the Prints page.
The 1 metre diameter
mosaic. The centre piece of the memorial.
The Combined Operations Command was set up by Churchill
in the spring of 1940.
From 17/07/40 to 27/10/41 Admiral of the Fleet,
Roger Keyes held the post of Director
of Combined Operations. He was succeeded by
Lord Louis Mountbatten who held the redefined post from
27/10/41 until he moved to Burma in October
1943. Major General
Robert Laycock then held the post
Combined Operations made a huge
contribution to the successful outcome of the Second World War by
planning, equipping and training for offensive amphibious operations
after the evacuation at Dunkirk in June 1940. In the ensuing years
there were many raids and landings mostly against the Axis forces from Norway
in the north to
Madagascar in the south and from the Mediterranean in the west to the Far East, culminating in the
D-Day Invasion on
the beaches of Normandy on the 6th of June 1944.
The Command drew on the best practices and
expertise the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force had to
offer to create a unified force. Many of their top planners and
experts formed the nucleus around which the Command was formed and, as
the requirements of offensive operations took on an international
dimension, the service personnel of many Allied countries proudly wore
the Combined Operations badge.
The 'All Pages Index' (above
left) has brief
descriptions of around l50 pages about this amazing and ubiquitous
WWII organisation whose auspices included such diverse subjects as
Commando Raids and Major
Landings, Landing Craft
Training for hundreds of thousands, Mulberry Harbours,
the PLUTO Pipeline project and even top secret
experiments on an unsinkable "Ice Ship" in the Rocky mountains.
It's a testimony to the enduring nature of the Combined Operations
concept that the Combined
Operations Badge, designed by Lt D A Grant, RNVR, in 1942, is still in use to this day in a number of countries
2013 - 73rd Anniversary Year
On Thursday, July 4th 2013, the Combined Operations
Command Memorial will be unveiled by General Richard Barrons,
CBE, Commander of the UK's Joint Forces Command.
No greater honour could be bestowed on the service personnel of
yesteryear, than for the Commander of their modern equivalent Force to
honour their memory and achievements in this way.
(More information here.)
It was on June 4th 1940 that Churchill sent a memorandum to his Chief
Military Assistant and Staff Officer, General Ismay. Ismay was Churchill's main
communications link with
the Chiefs of Staff. The memorandum warned against the dangers of concentrating on the defence the United Kingdom against
enemy attack or invasion. "It is of the highest consequence to keep the largest
numbers of German forces all along the coasts of the countries they have
conquered, and we should immediately set to work to organise raiding forces on these coasts
where the populations are friendly." Two days later he continued on the
same theme, "I look to the joint Chiefs of Staff to propose me measures for a
vigorous, enterprising and ceaseless offensive against the whole German-occupied
On the 14th of June the Chief's of staff appointed
Lieutenant-General Alan Bourne to the aptly and amply described post of
"Commander of Raiding Operations on coasts in enemy occupation, and Adviser
to the Chiefs of Staff on Combined Operations." Bourne was 58 and had been in
charge of the Royal Marines for about a year. His wide experience on land and
sea and attendance at the Imperial Defence and Army Staff Colleges were no
doubt factors in his selection for this new and challenging post.
Churchill was not consulted about the appointment during these
frenzied and anxious times. Whilst he held Bourne in high regard he felt he was
too close to the Admiralty to be able to operate without undue influence from
them and he lacked the seniority and authority to deal with the three
Ministries. In July 1940 Churchill appointed Roger
Keyes to the newly named post of Director of
There are over 200 books listed on our 'Combined
Operations Books' page which can be purchased on-line
via the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE) search banner which
checks the shelves of thousands of book shops world-wide. 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. Just click on
the book icon opposite to take you to the ABE