The Royal Marines Commandos are one of the greatest special forces in the world. Their achievement, toughness, professionalism and enterprise puts them in the same league as such other elites as the SAS, the Paras, the US Marines and the French Foreign Legion. This is their stirring and fascinating story, brilliantly and authoritatively told by Major General Julian Thompson, commander of the Commando Brigade in the Falklands.
The Marines of the eighteenth and nineteeth centuries would not recognize their descendents in the second half of the twentieth. Marines shared with their sailor comrades all the disadvantages of serving at sea (as Samual Johnson remarked, 'being in a jail with the chance of being drowned'), but were denied the glittering advantages open to their naval shipmates - including promotion to the highest rank and the lion's share of any prize money (sometimes equivalent to winning the lottery in today's terms).
The Royal Marines: From Sea Soldiers to a Special Force tells how this all changed in the middle of the twentieth century. With their transformation to Commandos and landing craft crews, they set the scene for their leading role for the next fifty years and into the future.
'vivid extracts from personal accounts' Field Marshal Lord Carver, Times Literary Supplement
'A fine narrative history... that does not hold back from strong opinion.' Legion
'Compelling narrative... spiced with wry observations.' Soldier