The word "Commando"

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The word "Commando"

Post by stevezodiac »

After watching my recently acquired Red River dvd last night I crept into bed at 2am and listened to Dotun Adebayo on five live. In the studio he had a guest who specialises in the origins of words and he mentioned that Winston Churchill brought the word Commando to the English language - but I can't remember the exact details I think it was from the Boer War where he served as a news correspondent?. He also mentioned that during the first world war Britain came up with a secret weapon but they used a code name to prevent details leaking into enemy hands and the secret weapon was referred to as Water Carriers for Russia. Churchill said it sounded too much like WCs and they should change it - so they said how about Water Tanks? and Churchill agreed this was better - the secret weapons were from then on referred to as Tanks which is what they are still called today. I cannot corroborate all this but this is what the words expert said. The words expert was on last week so probably a regular item on his show.

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Re: The word "Commando"

Post by felneymike »

The first "Kommando" were Boers who were not part of the regular fighting force (such as it was) of the Boers, but small raiding parties who made hit and run attacks on British camps. There was a Commando comic called Commando VS Kommando dealing with this a while ago.
Max Pemberton also refers to them and to the German "detached cruiser" the Emden in the introduction to the 1930's book edition of The Iron Pirate, which was originally a serial in Chums in 1893.

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