The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe. Initially drawn from within the British Army from soldiers who volunteered for special service, the Commandos' ranks would eventually be filled by members of all branches of the United Kingdom's armed forces and a number of foreign volunteers from German-occupied countries. Formed as a crack raiding force, the Commandos used much standard-issue infantry equipment. Standard infantry-issue boots which had hob-nailed soles for grip and gave sturdy support to the ankles. Webbing harness, strapped over the shoulders and belted at the waist, bore a self-assembly axe and ammunition packs. Face rail or scarf of mottle camouflage, used to cover the face or throat in conjunction with blackout cream. The woollen cap comforter was worn instead of a helmet, which was both too cumbersome and shiny for rapid night raids. Water bottle, standard infantry issue, was strapped to the belt and covered in cooling canvas. Dagger, Commando issue only. The makers of this remarkably well-balanced, razor-sharp weapon were Wilkinson Sword. Reaching a wartime strength of over 30 individual units and four assault brigades, the Commandos served in all theatres of war from the Arctic circle to Europe and from the Middle East to South-East Asia. Their operations ranged from small groups of men landing from the sea or by parachute to a brigade of assault troops spearheading the Allied invasions of Europe and Asia.