48RM Commando

This was the last WW2 Commando unit to be raised. The planning for DDay required one additional Commando unit and it was decided to use the 7th Battalion, Royal Marines, for this purpose, with any shortfall in numbers to be filled by Marines serving in 2nd Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation (MNBDO2), Royal Marines. Both these units returned from overseas deployments and disembarked in the Clyde 10 February 1944.

The 7th Bn. had been overseas since September 1942 and had had considerable experience in combined operations. During the preparations for the invasion of Sicily, it was at, and helped to run, the Combined Training Centre at Kabrit. Subsequently it was formed into 31 Beach Brick and landed with the first wave at 0400hrs 10 July 1943. The Unit then fought through the Sicilian Campaign as infantry, notably in the mountainous country and in the Catanian plain around Gerbini, and were later used in the local protection around the naval base at Taranto.

48 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines, was raised at Deal between 2–13 March 1944 under the command of  Lt Col James Louis Moulton, RM. The Commando immediately moved to the Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry to take part in an 18 day course, shortened due to time constraints, of Commando training.  The course ended on the 3rd April 1944 after which the Commando moved to billets in Gravesend.

During the D Day operations,  they landed on Nan Red Sector of Juno Beach, alongside the Canadians. Commando casualties during the landings were very high and included most of the Troop Commanders. They continued with the offensive taking the enemy strongpoint at Langrune. After being reinforced a few days later, the next few months would see the Commando participating in the fighting during the allied advance inland, and they would continue in this role until mid September.

It was at this time that they begain training for the landings that were to take place at Walcheren.  Having left Ostend on the 31st October 1944, 48RM Commando, as part of 4 Special Service Brigade, assaulted the beaches at Westkapelle with No.41RM Commando the following day. Their role was to destroy gun batteries and enemy coastal defences. The Commando would continue in operations in The Netherlands over the next few months.

In March 1945 with the promotion of Lt Col Moulton to Brigadier i/c 4 Special Service Brigade, Lt Col Martin Price took command of No.48 RM Commando.

After the surrender of Germany in May, the Commando was moved to Minden in Germany in a policing and security role that would take them to different locations around North Germany.

Having returned to the UK in November, No. 48 Royal Marine Commando RM, was disbanded the following year at Beeding, near Horsham, on 31 January 1946.

The Official History of 48RM Commando publsihed in 1946.

D Day Commando - From Normandy to the Maas with 48RM Commando by Ken Ford.

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