No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando

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No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando
RoyalMarineBadge.png
Cap Badge of the Royal Marines
Active 1 August 1943 – 31 January 1946
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Marines
Type Commando
Role Coastal raiding force
Assault Infantry
Size One battalion
Part of 4th Special Service Brigade
Nickname Four Four
Motto Per Mare Per Terram (By Sea By Land) (Latin)
March Quick – A Life on the Ocean Wave
Slow – Preobrajensky
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lieutenant Colonel Campbell Hardy
Insignia
Combined Operations Shoulder Patch Insignia of Combined Operations units it is a combination of a red Thompson submachine gun, a pair of wings, an anchor and mortar rounds on a black backing

No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando was a battalion size formation in the British Commandos, formed in August 1943 during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served North West Europe and took part in the Normandy Landings, as well as operations around Ostend and Antwerp, before being disbanded in January 1946.

Background[edit]

The British Commandos were formed in 1940, by the order of Winston Churchill the British Prime Minister. He called for specially trained troops that would "develop a reign of terror down the enemy coast".[1] At first they were a small force of volunteers who carried out small raids against enemy occupied territory, [2] but by 1943 their role had changed into lightly equipped assault Infantry which specialised in spearheading amphibious landings.[3]

The man selected as the overall commander of the force was Admiral Sir Roger Keyes himself a veteran of the landings at Galipoli and the Zeebrugge raid in the First World War.[4] Initially the Commandos were a British Army formation the first Royal Marine Commando was formed in 1942.[5] The Royal Marine Commandos like all British Commandos went through the six week intensive commando course at Achnacarry. The course in the Scottish Highlands concentrated on fitness, speed marches, weapons training, map reading, climbing, small boat operations and demolitions both by day and by night.[6]

No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando was formed in August 1943, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C R Hardy as part of the conversion of the Royal Marine Division into commandos. Following training it was allocated to the 1st Special Service Brigade. It took part in the Normandy landings 6 June 1944, serving on the Orne River bridgehead alongside 6th Airborne Division. It suffered heavy casualties in Normandy and at the end of September 1944 was returned to the United Kingdom to refit. Returning to mainland Europe in January 1945 it was the Antwerp guard force. The commando then participated in a number of assault river crossing during the advance into Germany. At the end of the war the commando took part in the occupation of Germany before being disbanded in February 1946.[7]

Legacy[edit]

No. 46 (Royal Marine) Commando together with all the army commandos were disbanded after the Second World War and the commando role was taken over by the Royal Marines.[8] However the present day Parachute Regiment, Special Air Service and Special Boat Service can all trace their origins to the Commandos.[9][10][11]

Battle honours[edit]

The following Battle honours were awarded to the British Commandos during the Second World War.[12]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Chappell, p.5
  2. ^ Chappell, p.3
  3. ^ Moreman, p.8
  4. ^ Chappell, p.6
  5. ^ Fowler, p.5
  6. ^ van der Bijl, p.12
  7. ^ Moreman, p.93
  8. ^ Lord & Graham, pp.216–317
  9. ^ Otway, pp.31–32
  10. ^ Breuer, pp.46–47
  11. ^ Molinari, p.22
  12. ^ Moreman, p.94

Bibliography

  • van der Bijl, Nick (2006). No. 10 Inter-Allied Commando 1942–45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-999-1. 
  • Chappell, Mike (1996). Army Commandos 1940–45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-579-9. 
  • Fowler, Will (2009). Royal Marine Commando 1950–82: From Korea to the Falklands. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84603-372-1. 
  • Haining, Peter (2006). The banzai hunters: the forgotten armada of little ships that defeated the Japanese, 1944–45. Robson. ISBN 1-86105-941-8. 
  • Moreman, Timothy Robert (2006). British Commandos 1940–46. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-986-X. 
  • Neilands, Robin (2005). The Dieppe Raid. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34781-5. 
  • Shortt, James; McBride, Angus (1981). The Special Air Service. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-396-8. 
  • Tomblin, Barbara (2004). With utmost spirit: Allied naval operations in the Mediterranean, 1942–1945. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2338-0.