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.