3 Commando

3 Commando

History of the Unit

No.3 Commando was formed at Plymouth on 23 June 1940 under the command of Lt. Col. J.F. Durnford –Slater
Many of the original members of No.3 had served with the British Expeditionary force in France and had been evacuated from Dunkirk.
24 October 1940 No 3 Commando and No 8 Commando were reorganised into the 4th Special Service Batallion. The Batallion HQ was at Brightlingsea.
A further reorganisation back to the smaller individual Commando units was authorised on 26th February 1941 and implemented by 5th March 1941.
No.3 was the first Commando unit ever to see action with the raid on Guernsey, Operation Ambassador, 14/15 July 1940 with 11 Independent Company.
Some other No.3 Commando operations
Operation ‘Claymore. Lofoton Islands March 1941.
Operation Archery. Vaagso December1941
Operation Chariot. St. Nazaire March 1942. No.3 supplied a detachment of demolition specialists for the raid.
Operation Jubilee. Dieppe August 1942. Heavy losses sustained. [View Dieppe ROH]. As a result of the losses at Dieppe the Commando was then rested for replenishment.
Operation Husky. Sicily 10th July 1943 and Operation Devon at Termoli.
The War Diary records that in July 1943 total strength was down to just over 250 and the Troops were reorganised into HQ and four other Troops. The then 2 Troop became a Heavy Weapons Troop
After the actions in Italy the Commando returned to the UK for the preparation for the landings in Normandy and D-Day.
Operation Overlord. One of the critical actions fought by No 3 after D-Day was at the river Orne and the capture of the Merville Battery to the flank of the landing beaches. The Battery was captured but at great loss to No 3 Commando.  A brief replenishment in the UK followed at Worthing and then the unit was back in action again as part of the British Liberation Army.
No3 were involved in the actions during the crossing of the river Maas, the clearing of the Maas Rhine Triangle, the capture of Osnabruck, the crossing the Weser (Operation Widgeon) and Aller rivers, and finally the crossing of the River Elbe.
In June 1945 No 3 Commando, along with No 6 Commando, were back in the UK preparing for the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. No 4 Commando were still in Germany at Recklinghausen.
At this time 233 OR's from No.4 Commando were posted to Nos. 3 and 6 Commandos, to bolster their numbers for the invasion, however Japan surrendered and the war ended.

The Commando was disbanded along with other Army Commando units in November 1945.


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