Laycock was leader of the Commando group known as ‘Layforce’ which conducted numerous behind-the- line operations from 1940 onwards. It took part in raids in Libya and Crete but after the extremely high casualties resulting from an attack on Crete in May 1941, it was disbanded. Laycock went to North Africa and led another Commando group which attempted to assassinate ROMMEL. The group which included KEYES, attacked Rommel’s house in Sidi Rafaa, only to find he was no longer there. Laycock and one other soldier were the only survivors and they had to walk through the desert to reach British lines. After this he went on further operations in Sicily and Italy but returned to England in 1943 to train Commando groups. He succeeded MOUNTBATTEN as Chief of Combined Operations and prepared the plans for D-Day.