Keyes Papers. H. Director of Combined Operations Papers: Vols. clv-clviii. Director of Combined Operations; 22 Oct. 1940– 27 April 1942, n.d. Partly printed. Contains papers relating to Keyes’s appointment, remit, and eventual departure; detailed plans for commando operations; Chiefs of Staff committee minutes and memoranda; memoranda by Keyes proposing operations and commenting on decisions made by the Chiefs of Staff; notes made by Keyes during his tenure as DCO; some reports on operations carried out by commandos under Col. R. E. Laycock; and papers relating to the formation, organisation and training of commando units, and the equipment and material required for their operations. Specific operations referred to in detail include Workshop (Pantelleria), Claymore (the Lofoten Islands), Yorker (Cagliari), Irrigate (deployment to Freetown, Sierra Leone), and Pilgrim and Puma (both of which were concerned with Gran Canaria). Also contains sheet music for ‘Commandos March’ by J. E. Needham, dedicated to Keyes. Having been restored to the active list in March 1940 Keyes was appointed Director of Combined Operations by Winston Churchill in July 1940. His role was to organise and carry out raids on specific targets in German-occupied Europe using specially selected and trained men from all services. They were to become known as commandos. Inter-service rivalries, lack of men and equipment, and Keyes’s frustration at his plans being ruled out or repeatedly postponed resulted in constant tensions and in October 1941 Churchill accepted a Chiefs of Staff proposal to re-organise the planning of combined operations. Keyes was offered an advisory role and when he refused it he was relieved of his duties and replaced by Capt. Louis Mountbatten. Four volumes.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 58 Add MS 82527-82530
  • Alternative Id.
      (ark) ark:/81055/vdc_100000000019.0x00009c
  • Dates of Creation
      22 Oct 1940-27 Apr 1942
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      4 items

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