Secret mission on D-Day

Jul 2017
421
Memphis
#1
If you were the decision maker for such things, and you felt an almost suicidal commando attack, or whatever would be extremely helpful on D-Day consisting
of twelve enlisted men, a non-com, and an officer, would you feel it necessary to have the enlisted men be violent criminals or do you think
amongst all the USA soldiers in the the UK you could find 12 good men willing to volunteer to almost be guarenteed to die for the cause?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,584
Sydney
#2
a good commando man is steady , cool headed under extreme pressure and obey instructions to the letter without any discussion
he ( she ?) must be able to work in a team without friction and improvise alone if needed
it require a lot of training in all sort of weapons and equipment , extreme fitness and endurance testing to near breaking point
a certain dullness of temper is needed , fiery types are a no no

the selection process take a long time
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,470
Dispargum
#3
If you were the decision maker for such things, and you felt an almost suicidal commando attack, or whatever would be extremely helpful on D-Day consisting
of twelve enlisted men, a non-com, and an officer, would you feel it necessary to have the enlisted men be violent criminals or do you think
amongst all the USA soldiers in the the UK you could find 12 good men willing to volunteer to almost be guarenteed to die for the cause?
Regardless of time and place, if I was a commander contemplating sending someone on a suicide mission, I would seriously consider the suicide aspect to be a guarantee of mission failure. No matter how insistent a person is about their willingness to risk death, at the critical moment of decision most people will refuse to risk death. The only missions likely to succeed are those that allow for the likely survival of the participants.

As for your "Dirty Dozen" scenario, I find it highly unlikely that a group of violent criminals could learn to function as a close-knit team. They became criminals in the first place because they could not function in society, ie, get along with others.
 
Jan 2015
3,175
Rupert's Land ;)
#4
If you were the decision maker for such things, and you felt an almost suicidal commando attack, or whatever would be extremely helpful on D-Day consisting
of twelve enlisted men, a non-com, and an officer, would you feel it necessary to have the enlisted men be violent criminals or do you think
amongst all the USA soldiers in the the UK you could find 12 good men willing to volunteer to almost be guarenteed to die for the cause?
Why would death be so likely, but not capture?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,584
Sydney
#5
during the Dieppe raid , Jack Nissenthall , a British Radar expert was tasked with getting information and part of the new Freya radar
since he knew everything about the British radars he was emphatically told that his capture was to be avoided at all cost !
he carried a hand gun and a poison pill determined to avoid such a fate .
his Canadian escort squad sergeant was told the same with the implied order to shoot him should it be necessary
as the whole miserable expedition , the mission was largely a failure in spite of the heroic efforts of the men to make it succeed

Nissenthall was one of the few lucky ones to make it back
 
Oct 2015
886
Norway
#6
Special Operations Executive operators routinely carried suicide pills on missions. Their radio operators coud only expect to live four weeks and certainly carried suicide pills. When the nine SOE agents carried out the sabotage mission on the heavy water plant in Vemork, Norway, they didn't expect to survive. They planned an exfiltration on skiis to Sweden and that worked out perfectly to everyone's surprise, but they were Norwegians with local knowldege and expert skiers with a lot of Winter survival training.

There was actually a prior mission to blow up the heavy water plant that was even more suicidal. In Operation Freshman a small airborne force composed of 34 British engineers would land by glider a short distance from the plant, demolish it with explosives and then escape over the Norwegian border into Sweden. Combined Operations initially suggested the men should fight their way to the Swedish border, but MI9 believed their chances of survival were better if they attempted to disguise themselves as Norwegians and travel in pairs. In order to facilitate their escape the men were provided with civilian clothes (to be worn after the operation), simple Norwegian phrases (in the hope no German they encountered would speak Norwegian) and escape sets containing money and maps. They were also ordered to shave any moustaches and grow their hair long in order to blend in with Norwegian men. I'd call this a suicide mission, my only question is if the troops knew it. They all died, BTW.
 
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Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,684
Navan, Ireland
#7
After 1942 and the 'Commando Order' any caught from such a unit would be executed anyway.

I am not aware that the order had any effect on the Commandos at all.
 
Nov 2014
1,496
Birmingham, UK
#8
during the Dieppe raid , Jack Nissenthall , a British Radar expert was tasked with getting information and part of the new Freya radar
since he knew everything about the British radars he was emphatically told that his capture was to be avoided at all cost !
he carried a hand gun and a poison pill determined to avoid such a fate .
his Canadian escort squad sergeant was told the same with the implied order to shoot him should it be necessary
as the whole miserable expedition , the mission was largely a failure in spite of the heroic efforts of the men to make it succeed

Nissenthall was one of the few lucky ones to make it back
Over two thousand made it back