48(RM) Commando


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I was thinking of putting this in the Book Club but perhaps it fits better here.

In 1942 Kenneth McAlpine ran away from his public school and joined the RM, landed with 48 on Juno beach on D-Day as a member of No.3 Section and with them fought his way from Normandy to the Dutch/German border via the landings at Walcheren. He and his mate Fred seem to be the only members of 3 Section to survive their eleven months of war. McAlpine tells his story, of conditions so harsh it is amazing anyone coped with them let alone was still able to fight, with no little wry humour in

http://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Died-Our-Boots-Clean/dp/0752460420 (the History Press 2009).

There are two very negative reviews on Amazon with which I totally disagree; the book is a worm's eye view of Commando training, and of the war and I thought well worth reading. The section was its own little world and it is important to understand how little information often filtered down to the man with the bayonet. Other points are the real user's opinion of the inferiority of our infantry kit compared to the German, and how unimporessed (too put it mildly) McAlpine was by superiors. All, to my mind, brilliantly delineated.
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