Recommendations for Future Operations.
The recommendations made in this section are based on suggestions
made by operational NCDU officers and Army Demolition officers. In
other words, they represent the views of some of those who have actually
done this type of work, and who will be called on to do it again if there
are further operations here.
A. General recommendations, for NCDU work under any circumstances.
The lack of a Commanding Officer of some rank meant that much
of the valuable early months spent by the first ten units in the U.K. was
wasted. This lack had three effects, stated below.
(i) it produced a lack of direction within the group itself,
where there were ensigns, lieutenants (jg) , and one full lieutenant,
none of them officially designated as C.O.; each was officially O-in-C
of his own Unit and no more, and therefore none desired to appropriate
control of the Group though all were aware of the need for a command.
(ii) The group had no representative to look after its interests
with the various interested commands. At the same time, this lack
was accentuated by the fact that there were several commands having some
jurisdiction over the units.
(iii) Such a Commanding Officer might well have succeeded in
obtaining certain critical items of gear, such as Dunlop U.W. Swim Suits,
and Reddy Fox Charges, in time to include their use in the planning of
the operation (Swim Suits might enable an Underwater attack, Reddy Fox
might obviate hend-placed charges, etc.).
It is therefore suggested that NCDUs, when being despatched
to a theatre as a group, should be given a formal group organization
before leaving the U. S. A. By the time the Units of this Task Force
were ready for the operation, they had officers performing all the
following functions (whether officially designated as such or not):
Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Supply Officer, Intelligence Officer,
and First Lieutenant; and there were men acting as yeomen, storekeepers,
mess cooks, etc; all this was either instead of or in addition to regular
duties with Naval Combat Demolition Units. By May the group was almost
400 officers and men; and their presence put a heavy demand on facilities
of Bases for transportation, feeding, clothing, general
and technical supplies, and medical attention.
In short, a group or this size should probably become a Commissioned
2. Army-Navy Cooperation.
In all the aspects of Obstacle-clearance work in Neptune with
which this observer is familiar, Army-Navy cooperation was virtually
perfect. Especially on the beach itself (notably 0MAHA) where conditions
kept the Army Teams on the beach several days), the two groups of teams
and their respective commands operated in complete harmony. The relationship
was closest within the Navy units themselves; where five Army men
and between five and seven Navy men worked as one team, under a Naval
The recommendation in this instance is not to change but rather
to extend such cooperation.