The Commandos: Set Europe Ablaze

Richard Camp. Casemate, $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-6362-4008-4
Military nonfiction author Camp (Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq) makes his fiction debut with a lackluster WWII novel. In 1942, Capt. Jim Cain and Gunnery Sgt. Leland Montgomery of the U.S. Marine’s 1st Raider Battalion are reassigned to the British commando training center in Scotland, where the two Yanks encounter a slew of British clichés, including pubs, brogues, handlebar mustaches, and fair Scottish lasses. Training proceeds along familiar lines: target practice, close quarters combat, explosives, obstacle course. Just before their final training exercise, the commandos are called up for a genuine combat mission to disable a radar installation on a French island while infantry forces raid German territory. What should be a harrowing premature test of raw commandos seems more like a field trip, and that the Nazi forces arrayed against them, on land and sea, are so cartoonishly incompetent and cowardly undermines the soldiers’ victory and sacrifice. The 1942 raid on Dieppe, which appears to have inspired this book, is a far more fascinating tale. Keep calm and carry on past this one. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/19/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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