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Butler, Undersecretary of State at the Foreign Office, admitted to the Swedish minister in June that Britain would only fight on if it could guarantee victory. The Anglophobic American ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, reported Britain’s impending ruin in regular semi-exultant tones to his masters in Washington. He fled to the countryside to escape the Blitz. Roosevelt sacked him in November following an incoherent interview published in the Boston Globe in which he opined that, for the United States, ‘The whole reason for aiding England is to give us time … As long as she is in there, we have time to prepare.

I commend it to all as an account of a fine operation, carried out by a particularly brave party of men. Mountbatten, 1956 I realised it would be certain death for the gallant men who took part, unless brave men and women of the resistance movement in France came to their rescue. Mountbatten, 1964 These cruel murders of the Marine Commandos were among the vilest things the Germans ever did. Airey Neave DSO, OBE, MC, 1969 [The raid] was carried out without any ‘modern’ equipment, and without any radio or electronics.

Thirty Folbots were ordered from their manufacturer in London’s East End. During 1941, from Malta and Alexandria, Courtney did much to develop the art of raiding from the sea with a group of men in the Special Boat Section of the Army Commandos. Launched from submarines in the Mediterranean, small detachments of men would paddle into the shore, attacking airfields, bridges, roads and trains and carrying out reconnaissances of the enemy coast. The idea was mooted as to the efficacy of doing something similar against targets in Europe, and on 8 September the Deputy Combined Operations (Bourne) sent a letter to Brigadier Charles Haydon, Commander of the Special Service Brigade (the Commandos), asking that early examination be undertaken of the capabilities of two-man Folbots and RAF rescue dinghies.

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American Eagles - American Volunteers RAF

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