Friday, January 15, 2016
Uncovering WW2 Elite Training Centre
Achnacarry Castle, the ancestral home of the chiefs of Clan Cameron, was crucial to the allied campaign against the Axis powers during WW2.
The castle, about 15 miles north east of Fort William, was used to train elite commandos from Britain and the US as well as France, the Netherlands, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Belgium from 1942 to 1945.
The grounds are now being excavated. Earlier excavations have uncovered live ammunition, including bullets for captured German weapons.
Instructors included Dutchman Cpl Martien van Barneveld, the tall figure wearing a beret pictured in a snow storm at the centre. A veteran of the Battle of Arnhem, he was known to his Dutch recruits as the Big Man of Achnacarry.
More than 25,000 men passed through Achnacarry from when the commando centre opened in 1942 and until it closed in 1946.
Photo's: Commando Veterans Archive