'Cliff Assaults'

Type: Files
Author: Prepared under the direction of the Chief of Combined Operations 1945
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: commando mountain warfare training, cliff assaults


Initially formed at Braemar in Scotland in December 1942 and called the Commmando Snow and Mountain Warfare Training Centre. The Commanding Officer was Squadron Leader Frank Smythe, an accomplished mountaineer. Its role was to train Commandos to fight in high snow covered mountain territory. After 6 months the unit moved to North Wales and assumed a different role including the training of Lovat Scouts as a Mountaineer Battalion.

At the end of 1943 the unit again moved this time to St Ives and again its role changed to one of training Commandos for cliff assaults as part of the training for the forthcoming D Day landings. On the 9th September 1946 the centre was renamed the Commando Cliff Assault Centre RM (CCAC). [1]  

Several ex Army Commandos such as Jimmy Dunning were 'seconded' to the Royal Marines for their respective roles at the centre. The centre at St Ives finally closed in 1950.

The Combined Operations Pamphlet below has specific detail on Cliff Assaults.

[1] RMRO 1135 dated 5th Sept.1946.
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