A résumé of the wartime RM Commandos

Early in 1942 it was decided to expand the number of Commando Units and volunteers were called for from the Royal Marines for the first RM Commando unit to join the existing Army Commandos.
  • Formed in February 1942 as the 'Royal Marine Commando'. 
  • Later renamed 'A' RM Commando with the planned introduction of a second unit.
  • Finally designated as 40 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines.
In October 1942 the 8th RM Battalion was disbanded to form 'B' RM Commando which was very quickly redesignated as 41RM Commando. They were to be the only RM Commando units consisting entirely of 'volunteers' as in the Army Commandos.

In August 1943 further RM Battalions were disbanded to raise new RM Commandos. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th and 10th RM Battalions became 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47 RM Commandos respectively. In March 1944 the 7th RM Battalion and some Marines from MNBDO11 formed the new 48RM Commando.

It should be noted that RM Commando Units underwent full Commando training at Achnacarry. For various reasons, not least the fact that a RM Bn., consisted of almost 1,000 Marines whereas a Commando consisted of approx 450 Commandos, not all RM's went onto Commando training. Those who did not, or who were unsuccessful on the Commando Course, were allocated to other sections of the Royal Marines, including Landing Craft duties.

In 1943 both Army and RM Commando Units, each keeping their separate identities, were grouped into four Special Service Brigades, later known as Commando Brigades.
  • Nos. 1 and 4 Brigades operated in North West Europe;
  • No. 2 Bde in the Central Mediterranean;
  • No. 3 Bde in the Far East.

Return to the WW2 Commando pages HERE.

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