75 years ago this year, brave men of many nations stormed the beaches at Normandy, ready to fight tooth and nail, to reclaim occupied land.
As part of the D-Day 75 remembrance, DC Thomson Media are releasing a commemorative set of D-Day themed Commando comics. On sale this Thursday in all good newsagents and via various digital platforms, issues 5231 – 5234 offer stories of the sappers at dawn break to Commandos on the beachhead…
On 6th June 1944, an Allied invasion force of 156,000 troops landed in Normandy. Supporting the invasion were more than 7,000 ships and smaller vessels off the coast and 11,000 aircraft. In total, British, Commonwealth and Allied casualties (killed, wounded or missing) on D-Day numbered approximately 4,300. The invasion established a crucial second front in the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation, ultimately leading to victory for Allied Forces in 1945.
Commando 5231 – Home of Heroes: First Men Ashore
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Art: Muller & Klacik | Cover: Neil Roberts
“First Men Ashore” focuses on the little-told heroism of the sappers on that fateful day. Writer Iain McLaughlin was inspired by the true events in the predawn hours of Tuesday 6th June, 1944, where the 32 Armoured Engineer Regiment RE cleared the minefields ahead of the vital D-Day landings.
Without those courageous sappers, the beach would have been a catastrophe for the Allied troops who were due to land at 0600 hours.
Commando 5232 – Gold Collection: Big Joe
Story: Fitzsimmons | Art: Cortes | Cover: Lopez Espi
Originally Commando No. 203 (1966)
Rough and ready boxer, Big Joe Barton is geared up for D-Day. Wronged by a nasty SS Captain who cheated during their match, Big Joe is determined to get even – and no little thing called D-Day is going to get in the way of his fists! With classic cover by Lopez Epsi, this Commando is a belter!
Commando 5233 – Action and Adventure: Dead by Dawn
Story: Kate Dewar | Art and Cover: Manuel Benet
Kate Dewar is Commando’s second new female writer in 30 years whose work debuts this year (Georgia Standen Battle‘s first story was released just four weeks ago), and she smashes into comics with a whopper of a story!
Dewar’s plot starts on the morning of the D-Day landings, but focusses on the events of Battle of Port-en-Bessin on 7th June, 1944, where the brave Royal Marine Commandos took the Nazi stronghold. 47 Commando was assigned the task of force-marching nine miles west of Arromanches to seize the small harbour of Port-en-Bessin, which would become the main port for fuel deliveries to Normandy until Cherbourg was liberated. 47 Royal Marine Commando captured the port in a stiff fight, supported by naval gunfire.
“The issue was inspired by a meeting with Royal Marine Commando re-enactors at Military Odyssey in Kent last year,” says Dewar. “Researching one of their main tasks, Operation Aubery, I knew it would be the perfect setting for a Commando story, and a great way to commemorate the 75th D-Day anniversary.
“It’s also a story about family being more than blood and the bonds between these men, all of whom were volunteers.”
Commando 5234 – Silver Collection: Marked Man
Story: Bounds | Art: Gallindo | Cover: Gonzalez
Originally Commando No. 570 (1971)
Inspired by Operation Bodyguard, protagonist Pete Barton – of no relation to Big Joe – is tasked with a mission no man would want; to plant fake invasion plans on a dead British Commando. Only, when everything goes wrong, he’s pegged as everything from a coward to a spy to an actual German soldier!
It doesn’t matter to Pete, what really matters is that those fake plans get into Nazi hands – at any cost necessary!
D-DAY 75 OFFICIAL COMMEMORATIONS
To signify the importance of Portsmouth’s role in the Normandy Landings as a major embarkation point for the Allied forces, there will be a series of events commencing on the 5th June. For more details head to Visit Portsmouth
In partnership with The Royal British Legion and the National Memorial Arboretum will hold a service of Remembrance for D-Day in Staffordshire from 10.30 am on 6th June. Coverage from the events in France will be relayed on a large screen afterwards. For more details, visit the National Memorial Arboretum website.
In the UK, screens at Southsea Common and Portsmouth Guildhall Square will relay The Royal British Legion’s commemorative events in Bayeux, France. For more details, visit The Royal British Legion website
The Normandy Memorial Trust was created in 2016 to bring to fruition the desire to have a British Normandy Memorial, honouring all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in Normandy
• For an unofficial but useful guide to D-Day 75 events worldwide, including in the US and Canada, visit www.dday.center |You can also download D-Day Center’s free PDF version of the D-Day 75th Anniversary events listing to make it easier to print, share or view offline.
COMMANDO COMICS LINKS
• Official Commando Comics Site: www.commandocomics.com
• Don’t forget The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)
• Commando Comics on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)