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Commando Despatch Rider (Paperback)

From D-Day to Deutschland 1944-5

Military WWII

By Raymond Mitchell
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781473822924
Published: 9th June 2014
Last Released: 11th May 2022



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In 1944, Ray Mitchell landed in Normandy with his unit 41 Royal Marine Commando. His role in bringing the Third Reich to its knees was that of despatch rider. Often operating alone in totally unfamiliar and hostile terrain, he and his motor bike delivered vital messages to forward units. This is a fighting soldier's account of war - warts and all and describes in vivid terms his and his fellow commandos' experiences and emotions.

Over the next ten months the commandos were in the thick of the action in France, the Low Countries and Germany itself. Of particular note was the amphibious landing on the Walcheren Peninsula where the beleaguered German garrison fought fiercely to deny the Allies the vital port of Antwerp.

A delightful account of life in battle and between battles. It is by turns gripping, exciting, colourful, authentic and human.


If you never tire of listening to wartime anecdotes or you’re too young to remember the old boy down the pub or you never heard your grandfather’s tales then this book is for you. Keep both hands on the handlebars, watch out for the shell holes and ride off somewhere quiet with a copy!

War History Online

This is a fighting solder's account of war described in vivid terms of his and his fellow commandos' experiences and emotions.

Britain at War

It is a richly detailed account and would be worthy of mention if it were just that of an ordinary infantryman's experience, but it is all the more valuable as the lot of the despatch rider has never received much attention. While it provides a superb insight into their role, it also gives a precious perspective on the activities of No.41 Commando as Mitchell came into contact with all elements of the unit and this level of access afforded him a point of view which few others could enjoy.

Pegasus Archive

A really good read, and a fascinating perspective on life for a Commando during this period.

Military Modelling
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