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Encyclopedia > British Commandos

The British Commandos were first formed by the Army in June 1940 during World War II as a well-armed but non-regimental raider force employing unconventional and irregular tactics to assault, disrupt and reconnoitre the enemy in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. For other uses, see Commando (disambiguation). ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Irregular soldiers in Beauharnois, Quebec, 19th century. ...


Initially raids were typically made by comparatively small numbers, of short duration and at night, later growing in complexity and size. The Commandos were formed and operated in secrecy and produced a demoralising effect on German coastal forces while achieving celebrity status among the British public, comparable with that attached to fighter pilots and shrouded in myth. As the war progressed commandos operated increasingly in the role of shock troops, sometimes up to brigade strength and sometimes in conjunction with infantry. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Stormtrooper. ... In military science a brigade is a military unit that is part of a division and includes regiments (where that level exists), or (in modern armies) is composed of several battalions (typically two to four) and directly attached supporting units. ...

Contents

Formation

Following Sir Winston Churchill's instruction to form a "butcher and bolt" raiding force as a means of continuing the war against Nazi Germany after the evacuation of most of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk, a format for the new force was put forward by Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley Clarke (Royal Artillery) during his time as Military Assistant to General Sir John Dill, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff. He penned his proposals on June 5, 1940, just two days after the evacuation, which was approved at a meeting between Dill and Churchill on June 8, and department M.O.9 of the War Office was created the following day to pursue the idea. M.O.9 continued to foster the Commando idea until disbanded with the creation of the Tri-service organisation known as Combined Operations, encompassing all three services. On Churchill's orders the units were to be armed with the latest equipment and were to launch an attack at the earliest opportunity. The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British statesman, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. At various times an author, soldier, journalist, and politician, Churchill is generally regarded... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... French troops rescued by a British merchant ship at Dunkirk British evacuation on Dunkirk beach Operation Dynamo (or Dunkirk Evacuation, the Miracle of Dunkirk or just Dunkirk) was the name given to the World War II mass evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939–1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... Location within France For the battleship, see Dunkerque Dunkirk (French: Dunkerque; Dutch: Duinkerke; German: Dünkirchen) is a harbour city and a commune in the northernmost part of France, in the département of Nord, 10 km from the Belgian border. ... Tactical Recognition Flash of the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army. ... Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill, GCB, CMG, DSO (25 December 1881 - 4 November 1944) was a British commander in World War I and World War II who played a significant role in the formation of the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. ... Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) was the title of the professional head of the British Army from 1908 to 1964. ... is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Old War Office Building, seen from Whitehall, London - the former location of the War Office The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. ... Combined Operations was a department of the British War Office set up during World War II to harass the Germans on the European continent by means of raids carried out by use of combined naval and army forces. ...

The Commando Memorial located in the Scottish Highlands.
The Commando Memorial located in the Scottish Highlands.

In 1940, volunteers were called for from serving Army soldiers within certain formations still in Britain and men of the disbanding Divisional Independent Companies originally raised from Territorial Army Divisions and who had seen service in Norway. Some later recruiting was conducted in the various theatres and among foreign nationals joining the Allies. In 1942 the Admiralty agreed to volunteers being sought from the Royal Marines Division and the first Royal Marines Commando, No.40, was formed in mid February. The same year, recruits were also called for from the British Police Force. Some 400 men passed Commando training and were then assigned to various battalions. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (661x1000, 108 KB)The Commando Memorial located in the Scottish Highlands near Ben Nevis. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (661x1000, 108 KB)The Commando Memorial located in the Scottish Highlands near Ben Nevis. ... The Scottish Highlands are the mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. ... The Territorial Army (TA) is the principal reserve force of the British Army, the land armed forces of the United Kingdom, and composed mostly of part-time soldiers paid at the same rate, while engaged on military activities, as their Regular equivalents. ... For the international law of the sea, see Admiralty law. ... The Royal Marines Division was activated as the Royal Marines expanded during the first days of World War II. Its primary objective was to act as a specialised amphibious assault formation for the United Kingdom, much as the divisions of the United States Marine Corps did for the United States... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ...


Dudley Clarke proposed the name "Commando" after the raiding and assault style of Boer Commando units of the Second Boer War. Despite Churchill's liking for the name, some senior officers preferred the term "Special Service" and both terms coexisted until the latter part of the war. Persistence of the term "Special Service" derived the terms "Special Air Service", for the original No. 2 Commando parachutists, and longer term the "Special Boat Service" whose origin lays in Lt. Roger Courtney's Folbot Troop, later "Special Boat Section" of No.8 Commando and "101 Troop" of No.6 Commando. For other uses, see Commando (disambiguation). ... Combatants British Empire Orange Free State South African Republic Commanders Sir Redvers Buller Lord Kitchener Lord Roberts Paul Kruger Louis Botha Koos de la Rey Martinus Steyn Christiaan de Wet Casualties 6,000 - 7,000 (A further ~14,000 from disease) 6,000 - 8,000 (Unknown number from disease) Civilians... The Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) is the principal special forces unit of the British Army. ... The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the British Royal Navys special forces unit. ... Roger Jumbo Courtney was influential in the establishment of the UK Special Boat Service. ...


Each Commando was to consist of a headquarters unit plus ten troops of 50 men including three officers (changed in 1941 to six troops of 65 men per Commando including a Heavy Weapons Troop). Some thirty Commando units were formed during the war within the Army, Royal Marines, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, together with a number of other Special Forces units. Army Commandos and Royal Marines Commandos were eventually formed into four brigades. For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Special Forces (SF) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) are highly-trained military units that conduct specialized operations such as reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, and counter-terrorism actions. ...


Each Commando was initially responsible for the selection and training of its own officers and men. Commando troops received extra pay from which they had to find their own accommodation whenever in Britain. They trained in physical fitness, survival, orienteering, close quarter combat, silent killing, signalling, amphibious and cliff assault, vehicle operation, weapons (including the use of captured enemy small arms) and demolition. Many officers, NCOs and trainee instructors initially attended various courses at the all forces Special Training Centre at Lochailort, Scotland. Also in the Scottish Highlands, Combined Operations established a substantial all forces amphibious training centre at Inveraray, and in 1942 a specific Commando Training Centre at Achnacarry near Spean Bridge. All field training was conducted with live ammunition. Lochailort is a village in Scotland that lies at the head of Loch Ailort, a sea loch, on the junction of the Road to the Isles (A830) between Fort William and Mallaig with the A861 loop towards Salen and Strontian. ... This article is about the country. ... The Scottish Highlands are the mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. ... Inveraray is a burgh in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, located on the western shore of Loch Fyne near its head, and on the A83 road. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Achnacarry is a small hamlet, private estate, and a castle in the Lochaber region of Highland, Scotland, about 15 miles north of the town of Fort William near the village of Spean Bridge. ... Spean Bridge is a settlement in the Highland region of Scotland. ...


Some World War II operations

Northwest Europe

The first attack - though not very effective except in respect of its propaganda value - was made by 120 men of the 375-strong No.11 Commando/Independent Company commanded by Major Ronnie Tod on the night of June 23, 1940. The attack - code-named Operation Collar - was an offensive reconnaissance on the French coast south of Boulogne and Le Touquet. The only British injury was a bullet graze to Dudley Clarke's ear (Clarke there as an observer), while at least two German soldiers were killed. is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... During World War II, Operation Collar was a small, fast three-ship convoy that left Britain on 12th Novemeber, 1940 and passed Gibraltar on 24 November, escorted by two cruisers for Malta and Alexandria. ... Boulogne is the name of several communes in France: Boulogne in the Vendée département Boulogne-Billancourt, in the Hauts-de-Seine département Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the Pas_de_Calais département This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share... Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, commonly referred to as Le Touquet, is a coastal town and commune of the Pas-de-Calais département, in northern France. ...


A second and similarly inconsequential attack, Operation Ambassador, was launched on the German occupied island of Guernsey on the night of July 14, 1940, by men drawn from H Troop of No.3 Commando under John Durnford-Slater and No.11 Independent Company. The raiders failed to make contact with the German garrison. During World War II, Operation Ambassador (14/15 July, 1940) was the second raid by British Commandos comprising 40 men of H Troop, No. ... is the 195th day of the year (196th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Norway

After intensive training and a number of cancelled operations over the following months, a major raid, Operation Claymore, was launched on the morning of March 3, 1941, by No.3 and No.4 Commando on the practically undefended Norwegian Lofoten Islands, successfully destroying fish-oil factories, petrol dumps, and 11 ships, capturing 216 Germans, and recruiting 315 Norwegian volunteers. Encryption equipment and codebooks were also seized during this operation. During World War II, Operation Claymore was a British Commando and Royal Navy raid on 4 March, 1941 on the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle. ... is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Henningsvær, a fishing village in Lofoten during fishing season (April, 2001). ... Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. ... “Cipher” redirects here. ... Categories: Cryptography stubs | Cryptography ...


Middle East

In an attempt to help stem the early successes of Rommel's Afrika Korps, a force derived from Troops of Nos. 3, 4, 7, 8, and 11 Commando, organised as three 'Special Service' Battalions, with the addition of another 'Special Service' Battalion drawn from the locally raised '50' series Middle East Commando (together known as Layforce after their commander Colonel Robert Laycock) were attached to General Sir Archibald Wavell's army in February 1941. Their first raid was made on April 20 on the port of Bardia; although little damage was caused, Rommel temporarily recalled a brigade sized battle group from the front to defend against subsequent raids. The Commandos were then used to help defend the island of Crete, and covered the eventual evacuation, with the exception of No.11 Commando, which was reinforcing Cyprus. Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most distinguished German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... The seal of the Deutsches Afrikakorps. ... Layforce consisted of Nos. ... Layforce consisted of Nos. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 _ May 24, 1950) was a British General and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... is the 110th day of the year (111th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bardia is a geographic region in the Kingdom of Nepal. ... Combatants Greece United Kingdom New Zealand Australia Germany Italy Commanders Bernard Freyberg Kurt Student Strength United Kingdom: 15,000 Greece: 11,000 Australia: 7,100 New Zealand: 6,700 Total: 40,000 (10,000 without fighting capability. ...


Following the British invasion of Syria on June 8, 1941, No.11 Commando successfully led the crossing of the Litani River in Palestine, fighting against troops of the French Vichy Régime. is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... The Litani River in red The Litani River (Arabic: نهر الليطاني; transliterated: Nahr al-Lytany) is an important waterway in southern Lebanon. ... Map of the British Mandate of Palestine. ... Motto Travail, famille, patrie French: Unoccupied zone of Vichy France (until November 1942) Capital Vichy Capital-in-exile Sigmaringen (1944-1945) Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholic Government Dictatorship Chief of state  - 1940 — 1944 Philippe Pétain President of the Council  - 1940 — 1942 Philippe Pétain  - 1942 — 1944 Pierre Laval...


Return to Norway

The minor Norwegian port of Vågsøy (Vaagso in English) was to be the main target of one of the first raids under Louis Mountbatten's Combined Operations organisation. Operation Archery involved Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 6 Commando, a flotilla from the Royal Navy, and limited air support. The raid took place on the morning of December 27, 1941, causing significant damage to factories, warehouses, the German garrison, and sinking 8 ships. County Sogn og Fjordane Landscape Nordfjord Municipality NO-1439 Administrative centre MÃ¥løy Mayor (2004) Roger Bernt Silden (Ap) Official language form Nynorsk Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 348 176 km² 171 km² 0. ... Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC (25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979) was a British admiral and statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. ... Combined Operations was a department of the British War Office set up during World War II to harass the Germans on the European continent by means of raids carried out by use of combined naval and army forces. ... During World War II, Operation Archery was a British Combined Operations raid on December 27, 1941 against German positions on Vaagso(VÃ¥gsøy), Norway. ... A flotilla (from Spanish, meaning a flota of small ships, and this from French flotte), or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (362nd in leap years). ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ...


The raid prompted Hitler to divert 30,000 troops to Norway, upgrade coastal and inland defences, and send the battleship Tirpitz, the battlecruiser (or light battleship) Scharnhorst, the "pocket battleship" Lutzow and the heavy cruisers Hipper and Prinz Eugen to Norway — a major reorientation of effort away from the North Atlantic convoy routes for the protection of Norway. Hitler was led to believe that the British might invade northern Norway to put pressure on Sweden and Finland. Hitler redirects here. ... The firepower of a battleship demonstrated by USS Iowa A battleship is a large, heavily-armored warship with a main battery consisting of the largest caliber of guns. ... Tirpitz was the second Bismarck class battleship of the German Kriegsmarine, sistership of Bismarck. ... HMS Hood (left) and the battleship HMS Barham (right), in Malta, 1937. ... Scharnhorst was a 31,500 tonne Gneisenau class battlecruiser of the German Kriegsmarine, named after the Prussian general and army reformer Gerhard von Scharnhorst and to commemorate the World War I armored cruiser SMS Scharnhorst. ... Pocket battleship is an English language term for a class of warships built by German Reichsmarine in accordance with restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. ... Deutschland (Germany), later re-named Lützow, was the first German large armoured ship built after World War I. Its keel was laid down in February 1929, at the Deustche Werke shipyard in Kiel; it was launched in May 1931. ... HMS Raleigh a Hawkins class cruiser around which the treaty limits for Heavy cruisers were written. ... The German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper fought as part of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was named after Admiral Ritter von Hipper, commander of the German battlecruiser squadron during the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and later commander-in-chief of the German High Seas Fleet. ... The German cruiser Prinz Eugen (pron. ... In norwegian: Nord-Norge meaning Northern Norway. ...


As a diversion Operation Anklet was launched on the Lofoten Islands at the same time. During World War II, Operation Ambassador was a British Commando raid on 26th December, 1941 on the Lofoten Islands. ...


France

St Nazaire

The French port of St. Nazaire contained the only dry dock on the French Atlantic coast capable of berthing the German battleship Tirpitz for repairs, and thus enable it to operate against convoys from there. Saint-Nazaire is also a commune of the Gard département of France. ... U.S. Navy submarine USS Greeneville in dry dock following collision with a fishing boat. ... German battleship Tirpitz underway for her trials, 1941 Tirpitz was a battleship of the German Kriegsmarine, a sister ship to the German battleship Bismarck, and named for Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. ...


No.2 Commando plus demolition experts from Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12 Commandos launched a Combined Operations raid, Operation Chariot, with the Royal Navy on 28 March 1942, which became known in Britain thereafter as 'The Greatest Raid of All'. Combined Operations was a department of the British War Office set up during World War II to harass the Germans on the European continent by means of raids carried out by use of combined naval and army forces. ... Combatants United Kingdom Nazi Germany Casualties 169 dead 400 dead [1] The St Nazaire Raid (also called Operation Chariot) was a successful British seaborne attack on the heavily defended docks of St. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... is the 87th day of the year (88th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ...


The destroyer HMS Campbeltown (formerly the 1919 decommissioned USS Buchanan) had 24 Mark VII depth-charges (4 1/4 tons) cemented below decks behind the forward gun support. USS Buchanan (DD-131), named for Franklin Buchanan, was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy. ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Depth Charge is a character in the Beast Wars: Transformers universe. ...


Accompanied by 18 smaller ships, the Campbeltown sailed into port where she was rammed directly into the Normandie dry dock gates. The Commandos engaged the German forces and destroyed the dock facilities. Eight hours later, delayed-action fuses set off the explosives in the Campbeltown which wrecked the dock gates and killed some 360 Germans and French.


The dock remained out of action for the duration of the war and the Tirpitz was never sent south to France, eventually being destroyed by British bombers while at anchor off Tromsø, Norway. A total of 611 soldiers and sailors took part in Chariot; 169 were killed and 200 (most wounded) taken prisoner. Only 242 returned immediately. Of the 241 Commandos who took part 64 were posted as killed or missing and 109 captured. Among participants in the raid two commandos and three members of the Royal Navy were awarded the Victoria Cross, while 80 others received decorations for gallantry. County Troms District Municipality NO-1902 Administrative centre Tromsø Mayor (2004) Herman Kristoffersen (Ap) Official language form Neutral Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 18 2,566 km² 2,519 km² 0. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour in the face of the enemy to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. ...


Dieppe

On August 19, 1942, Dieppe was the site of a bloody landing by 4,965 Canadian troops and 1,075 men of No.3 and No.4 Commando, and the newly formed No.40 Commando Royal Marines, designated A Commando (RM) at that time. Among them were distributed 50 U.S. Rangers and members of 3 Troop, No.10 (Inter Allied) Commando (German-speaking, many Jewish) and some of the embryonic No.30 (Assault Unit) Commando. is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Dieppe is a town and commune in the Seine-Maritime département of Haute-Normandie (eastern Normandy), France. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... The 75th Ranger Regiment—also known as the United States Army Rangers—is an elite light infantry special operations force of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC); with headquarters in Fort Benning, Georgia. ...


Nos.3 and 4 (with those of No.10 (IA) and most of the Rangers) were to destroy batteries to the north and south respectively which overlooked the harbour. No.40 Commando (RM) and some Rangers were to land with the Canadian infantry and armour. No.30 (AU) was to race through to the Dieppe Town Hall/Headquarters and capture whatever intelligence documents could be found. An RAF radar expert had a mission to search for and take German radar documents believed to be at Dieppe. Unknown to him, his bodyguards had orders to kill him in the event of capture. This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll. ... Bodyguards of Viktor Yushchenko (far left) after leaving Gdansk city hall. ...


The boats carrying No.3 Commando ran into a German convoy and the ensuing sea battle scattered their formation and prevented the landing and attack going to plan. Though only 18 men succeeded in reaching their objective and were unable to destroy the guns, determined sniping prevented the German gun crews from firing on the invasion force. No.4 landed successfully and destroyed their target battery.


The raid lasted only nine hours but claimed 907 Canadian dead and 1,946 taken prisoner. The Royal Air Force lost 106 aircraft and 153 men in the air battle above Dieppe (the largest air battle of the European war in terms of sorties flown), while the Royal Navy lost a destroyer, several landing craft and 550 men. While Germany suffered several hundred casualties, the overall operation was widely criticised as poorly conceived, although it did lead to the decision not to attempt to capture a port by way of head-on assault during the invasion of Normandy in 1944Operation Overlord. Look up aircraft in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Flag of Normandy Normandy (in French: Normandie, and in Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region in northern France. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free France Poland Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Omar Bradley (U.S. 1st Army) Miles Dempsey (UK 2nd Army) Harry Crerar (Canadian 1st Army) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe...

See Dieppe Raid for more detail.

Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts Gerd von Rundstedt Strength 6,086 1,500 Casualties Canada: 950 dead, 2,340 captured wounded or not; United Kingdom: 600; United States:4+; 311 dead, 280 wounded The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or...

Italy

On 1st April 1945 the whole of 2 Commando Brigade, Nos. 2, 9, 40 (RM) and 43 (RM), under Brigadier Ronnie Tod were engaged in Operation Roast at Comacchio lagoon, north east Italy. This was the first major action in the big spring offensive to push the Germans back across the River Po and out of Italy. After a fierce three-day battle, the Commandos succeeded in clearing the spit separating the lagoon from the Adriatic, so securing the flank of the 8th Army and fostering the idea the main offensive would be along the coast and not though the Argenta Gap. Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... Operation Roast was an operation by British Commandos at Comacchio lagoon, north east Italy during World War II. This was the first major action in the big spring offensive to push the Germans back to and across the River Po and out of Italy. ... Comacchio is a town of Emilia Romagna, Italy, in the province of Ferrara, 48 km by road from the town of Ferrara, on the level of the sea, in the centre of the lagoon of Valli di Comacchio, just N. of the present mouth of the Reno. ... This mid bay barrier in Narrabeen, a suburb of Sydney (Australia), has blocked what used to be a bay to form a lagoon. ... Po redirects here, for alternate uses see Po (disambiguation). ... A satellite image of the Adriatic Sea. ... The Eighth Army was one of the best-known formations in World War II, fighting in the campaigns in North Africa and Italy. ... Argenta is a town in the province of Emilia-Romagna, north east Italy, about 30 km southeast of Ferrara, and midway between Ferrara and Ravenna. ...


A total of 946 prisoners were taken, while three battalions, two troops of artillery and a company of machine gunners were wiped out. In the course of the operation 20 field guns and a number of mortars and rocket launchers were also captured. During the operation, Cpl Tom Hunter of No.43 Commando (RM) earned a posthumous Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry in single handedly clearing a farmstead housing three Spandau machine guns, then engaging further Spandaus entrenched on the far side of the canal from open ground. Artillery with Gabion fortification Cannons on display at Fort Point Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772 – 1851) A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... Missing image Photo submitted by Luigi Sartorel Thomas Peck Hunter was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour in the face of the enemy to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. ... The MG42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or Machine Rifle 42) was a machine gun that was developed for and entered service with Nazi Germany in 1942, during World War II. The 7. ...


Burma

In Burma 142 Commando Company formed part of the Chindits (the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade), and fought in the first long-range Chindit operation behind Japanese lines, codenamed Operation Longcloth. The raid began on February 8, 1943 and lasted for about three months. It inflicted little damage on Japanese supply lines but it did show that British and Indian Army and Indian forces could fight in the jungle as well as or better than the Japanese; this gave a boost to the morale of the Allied forces fighting in the South-East Asian Theatre. The Chindits (Officially in 1942 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and in 1943 Indian 3rd Infantry Division) were a British Indian Army Special Force that served in Burma and India from 1942 until 1945 during the Burma Campaign in World War II. They were formed into long range penetration groups trained... The Chindits (Officially in 1942 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and in 1943 Indian 3rd Infantry Division) were a British Indian Army Special Force that served in Burma and India from 1942 until 1945 during the Burma Campaign in World War II. They were formed into long range penetration groups trained... is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was the name given to the campaigns of the Pacific War in India, Burma, Thailand, Malaya and Singapore. ...


In the India / Burma theatre 142 Commando Company also operated in conjunction with the U.S. unit Merrill's Marauders. Merrill’s Marauders officially 5307th Composite Unit (provisional) was a US commando unit in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II who fought in the Burma Campaign. ...


Later in the Burma Campaign No.42 Commando and No.1 Commando took part in the coastal landings during the Allied Southern Front offensive of 1944/45. Combatants United Kingdom British India Republic of China United States Empire of Japan Indian National Army Burma National Army Thailand Commanders Louis Mountbatten William Slim Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stilwell Aung San(From 1944) Masakazu Kawabe Hyotaro Kimura Renya Mutaguchi Subhash Chandra Bose Aung San(until 1944) Strength Unknown Unknown... Combatants United Kingdom British India Republic of China United States Empire of Japan Indian National Army Burma National Army Thailand Commanders Louis Mountbatten William Slim Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stilwell Aung San(From 1944) Masakazu Kawabe Hyotaro Kimura Renya Mutaguchi Subhash Chandra Bose Aung San(until 1944) Strength Unknown Unknown...


Hitler's Commando Order

On October 18, 1942 Hitler issued his Kommandobefehl, or Commando Order. In this order, Hitler required that British or Allied soldiers participating in Commando operations should be "annihilated to the last man", even if in uniform, escaping, or surrendering — contrary to the stipulations of the Geneva Conventions. This was prompted by his rage at the success of the Commandos and their effect on the morale of his men, and an incident on the Isle of Sark, Channel Islands, involving men of the Small Scale Raiding Force and No.12 Commando. In this action 3 German prisoners were killed with their hands tied while attempting escape. is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Kommandobefehl (German for Commando Order) was Adolf Hitlers order to execute all captured Allied Commandos in 1942. ... The Commando Order was a top secret order issued by Adolf Hitler on October 18, 1942 stating that all commandos captured in Europe and Africa (but excluding sailors), should be immediately executed even if they attempted to surrender. ... Original document. ... Sark is a small island of the Channel Islands, part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. ... This article is about the British dependencies. ... A Small Scale Raiding Force was initiated by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, in February/March 1942 to be a permanent ‘amphibious sabotage force’ of fifty men directly under his command. ...


Commando battle honours

Adriatic - Alethangyaw - Aller - Anzio - Argenta Gap - Burma 1943/45 - Crete - Dieppe - Dives Crossing - Djebel Choucha - Flushing - Greece 1944/45 - Italy 1943/45 - Kangaw - Landing at Porto San Venere - Landing in Sicily - Leese - Litani - Madagascar - Middle East 1941,42,44 - Monte Ornito - Myebon - N. Africa 1941/43 - N.W. Europe 1942,44,45 - Normandy Landing - Norway 1941 - Pursuit to Messina - Rhine - Salerno - Sedjenane 1 - Sicily 1943 - St.Nazaire - Steamroller Farm - Syria 1941 - Termoli - Vaagso - Valli di Comacchio - Westkapelle. The Aller is a river in Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony, Germany. ... Combatants United States, United Kingdom Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark W. Clark John P. Lucas Lucian Truscott Albert Kesselring Eberhard von Mackensen Strength 22 Jan 1944: 36,000 soldiers and 2,300 vehicles End May:150,000 soldiers and 1,500 guns 22 Jan 1944: 20,000 soldiers End May... Argenta is a town in the province of Emilia-Romagna, north east Italy, about 30 km southeast of Ferrara, and midway between Ferrara and Ravenna. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts Gerd von Rundstedt Strength 6,086 1,500 Casualties Canada: 950 dead, 2,340 captured wounded or not; United Kingdom: 600; United States:4+; 311 dead, 280 wounded The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or... Vlissingen (help· info) (occasionally British English: Flushing) is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. ... Operation Litani was the official name of the Israel Defense Forces 1978 invasion of Lebanon up to the Litani river. ... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ... Messina, Italy Strait of Messina, Italy. ... Salerno is a town in Campania, south-western Italy, the capital of the province of the same name. ... Sedjenane is a town in northern Tunisia, on the railway line to Mateur and the port of Bizerta. ... This article is about the 1942 raid on St Nazaire. ... Termoli is a medium-sized town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, in the province of Campobasso, region of Molise. ... County Sogn og Fjordane Landscape Nordfjord Municipality NO-1439 Administrative centre MÃ¥løy Mayor (2004) Roger Bernt Silden (Ap) Official language form Nynorsk Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 348 176 km² 171 km² 0. ... Veere is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands, on Walcheren in the province of Zeeland. ...


Post-World War II reorganisation

During the war the British Army Commandos spawned several other famous British units such as the Special Air Service, the Special Boat Service and the Parachute Regiment. The British Army Commandos themselves were never regimented and were disbanded at the end of the war while the Royal Marines Commandos continued, though in smaller numbers and with much reorganisation. The Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) is the principal special forces unit of the British Army. ... The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the British Royal Navys special forces unit. ... The Parachute Regiments display team, the Red Devils at an American airshow The Parachute Regiment is the main body of elite airborne troops of the British Army. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ...


In 2005 the operational British Commando force consisted of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines which included 40, 42 and 45 Commando Royal Marines, 29 Commando Royal Artillery, and Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers (the latter two both Army Commandos), a logistic regiment, a naval squadron of medium helicopters, and a landing craft squadron. 3 Commando Brigade also included either the First or the Second Battalion Korps Mariniers. 3 Commando Brigade is the main manoeuvre force of the British Royal Marines. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... Tactical Recognition Flash of the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA), is, despite its name, a corps of the British Army. ... 3 Commando Brigade is the main manoeuvre force of the British Royal Marines. ... The Korps Mariniers is the marine corps of the Netherlands, and is part of the Royal Netherlands Navy. ...


Commando Training Today

Royal Marines recruits undergo a 32 week course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone. Incuded within this (and Royal Marines Officer Training) is the Commando Course. The Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) is the principal military training centre for the Royal Marines. ...


Those volunteers for Commando Training from elsewhere, for example:

  • Royal Navy eg Medical Staff, Educators and Signallers destined for 148 (Meiktila) Battery RA;
  • Army eg Royal Artillery. and Royal Engineers or Royal Signals, REME, RLC or other Corps destined for the Commando Logistic Regiment or other parts of the Commando Brigade;
  • Royal Air Force eg BALO;
  • Overseas Exchange personnel eg USMC serving on attachments with the Commando Brigade.

Will already have completed basic training and indeed may be very experinced personnel. The must pass the All Arms Commando Course at CTCRM. A 'beat-up' course is run by both the Commando Gunners and the Commando Engineers to prepare volunteers for the Commando Course itself. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery is a specialist Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation (NGSFO) unit within 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. ... The Royal Corps of Signals (sometimes referred to incorrectly as the Royal Signal Corps and often known simply as the Royal Signals or R Sigs) is one of the arms (combat support corps) of the British Army. ... The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers cap badge The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME; usually pronounced phonetically as Reemee) is a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance of all electrical and mechanical equipment. ... RLC may refer to: The Royal Logistic Corps, the largest corps in the British Army. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... United States Marine Corps Emblem The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the second smallest of the five branches of the United States armed forces, with 170,000 active and 40,000 reserve Marines as of 2002. ... The All Arms Commando Course is run by the Royal Marines. ...


There is also a Reserve Commando Course run for members of the Royal Marines Reserve and Commando units of the Territorial Army. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Territorial Army (TA) is the principal reserve force of the British Army, the land armed forces of the United Kingdom, and composed mostly of part-time soldiers paid at the same rate, while engaged on military activities, as their Regular equivalents. ...


Some other Commando operations

  • Ambassador July 1940 raid on Guernsey
  • Anklet December 1941 raid on the Lofoten Islands.
  • Archery December 1941 raid on Vaagso, Norway.
  • Colossus February 1941 first airborne raid, raid on Italian aqueduct, origin of term 'SAS', (but not the organisation).
  • Gauntlet August 1941 raid on Spitsbergen.
  • Claymore March 1941 on the Lofoten Islands.
  • Biting February 1942 raid on the German radar near Bruneval, France.
  • Chariot March 1942 raid on St. Nazaire, France.
  • Abercrombie April 1942 raid on Hardelot, France.
  • Basalt October 1942 raid on Sark (SSRF).
  • Clawhammer October 1942 planned raid on radar sites near Cherbourg.
  • Frankton December 1942 raid on shipping near Bordeaux, (RN Boom Patrol Detachment - Cockleshell Heroes).
  • Gunnerside February 1943 raid on the heavy water plant at Rjukan (SOE Norwegians).

During World War II, Operation Ambassador (14/15 July, 1940) was the second raid by British Commandos comprising 40 men of H Troop, No. ... During World War II, Operation Ambassador was a British Commando raid on 26th December, 1941 on the Lofoten Islands. ... Henningsvær, a fishing village in Lofoten during fishing season (April, 2001). ... During World War II, Operation Archery was a British Combined Operations raid on December 27, 1941 against German positions on Vaagso(VÃ¥gsøy), Norway. ... During World War II, Operation Colossus was an experimental raid by thirty-eight of the five hundred men of No. ... During World War II, Operation Gauntlet was a Combined Operations raid by Canadian Infantry, British Commandos and Norwegian servicemen on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, 600 miles south of the North Pole, from 18 August 1941, over several weeks. ... Map of Svalbard, showing Spitsbergen in the West. ... During World War II, Operation Claymore was a British Commando and Royal Navy raid on 4 March, 1941 on the Lofoten Islands, off the coast of Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle. ... RAF photo-reconnaissance picture of the Bruneval Wuerzburg (the dish-shaped object in the left-foreground) The Bruneval Wuerzburg from another angle, showing the equipment in profile During World War II, Operation Biting was a Combined Operations raid to capture components of a German Wuerzburg radar set at Bruneval, France... This article is about the 1942 raid on St Nazaire. ... During World War II, Operation Abercrombie was a raid on the French coastal village of Hardelot scheduled for the night of 18/19 April,1942, but inhibited by bad weather until 21/22 April. ... During World War II, Operation Basalt was a small raid on the German occupied British Channel Island of Sark, on the night of 3/4 October, 1942. ... Flag of Sark The location of the Channel Islands in Europe An aerial view of Sark Sark (French: Sercq; Sercquiais: Sèr) is a small feudal island in the southwestern English Channel. ... During World War II, Operation Clawhammer was a planned British Commandos raid on a German radar and communication site near Cherbourg, France. ... Cherbourg is a city of Normandy, in northwestern France, in the Manche département, of which it is a sous_préfecture. ... During World War II, Operation Frankton was a British Combined Operations raid on shipping in Bordeaux harbour, France in December, 1942, by 12 men of the Boom Patrol Detachment, Royal Navy, in two-man Cockle MK II Canoes. ... The Vemork hydroelectric plant, site of the heavy water production In World War II, Nazi Germany investigated the possibility of building an atomic bomb. ... Map showing the position of Rjukan between lakes Møsvatn (West, upstream) and Tinnsjø (East) Rjukan is the centre of Tinn municipality in Telemark, Norway. ...

See also

The 30 Assault Unit (aka No. ... A Small Scale Raiding Force was initiated by Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, in February/March 1942 to be a permanent ‘amphibious sabotage force’ of fifty men directly under his command. ... The Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) is the principal special forces unit of the British Army. ... The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the British Royal Navys special forces unit. ... The United Kingdom, along with its crown colonies like the Indian Empire, declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939, after the German invasion of Poland. ... The Royal Marines (RM), are the Royal Navys elite fighting forces. ... Promotional artwork for the Commandos series. ... The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) is an umbrella directorate overseeing the Special Forces units of the British Armed Forces. ...

External links

  • Combined Operations
  • Commando Veterans Association
  • 30 Commando Assault Unit - Ian Fleming's 'Red Indians'
  • No.6 (Army) Commando

  Results from FactBites:
 
Iran to prosecute detained British commandos - World - www.theage.com.au (620 words)
The British embassy in Tehran said it was trying to gain access to the eight troops, and that British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had discussed the matter by telephone with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharazi.
Iran seized three British naval patrol boats and detained their eight crew yesterday, saying the boats had crossed into the Iranian side of the Shatt al-Arab waterway which forms the southern part of the border between Iran and Iraq.
Southern coastguard chief General Ali Hammadi said the British crew were controlling landing stages used by smugglers on the Iraqi side of the Shatt al-Arab, when their boats drifted on to the Iranian side.
UK Soldiers Caught Dressed As Iraqis Killing Local Police (458 words)
The reports stated two British commando special forces dressed as Iraqis have been cought by the Iraqis after they were found shooting and killing local policemen.
British forces in tanks and helicopters stormed an Iraqi jail tonight to rescue two service personnel who were arrested after allegedly shooting dead a local policeman and wounding another, the governor of Basra said.
British troops had arrived at the police station where the two men were being held and encircled the building.
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