Always marked out for high rank, Robert Laycock came into his own when selected to raise 8 Commando, a new ‘crack’ unit early in the Second World War. After training, 7, 8 and 11 Commandos were sent to the Middle East in early 1941 and all became Layforce under Laycock’s command. Layforce was disbanded after Crete fell. Laycock took part in the abortive raid on Rommel’s HQ. As commander of the Special Service Brigade Laycock played an important role in the Sicily landings and at Salerno. In October 1943 he succeeded Mountbatten as Chief of Combined Operations, coordinating combined services operations and training and attending Allied conferences. In later life Laycock became Governor of Malta and Colonel of the SAS. In this long overdue biography, the author reveals the detail of this fine soldier’s character and superb military record.
COMMANDO GENERAL The Life of Major General Sir Robert Laycock KCM, CB, DSO
This well balanced biography is to a large part, the history of the Army Commandos during the war. Laycock was involved in the beginning with the raising of the first commando units, rising to Head of Combined Operations by 1945. The author has woven with the political and military strategic issues around the deployment, and development, of the commandos, with the personal life of Laycock and the more tactical side of the operations. The level of research is excellent, with the book based upon interviews with relevant people, primary and secondary research.