Wartime RM Commandos - a résumé

Early in 1942 it was decided to expand the number of Commando Units and volunteers were called for from the Royal Marines for a first RM Commando unit to join the Army Commandos already operating since 1940.
  • It was formed in February 1942 as the 'Royal Marine Commando', Royal Marines.
  • Later renamed Royal Marine Commando (A) with the introduction of a second unit.
  • Finally designated as No.40 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines.
In October 1942 the 8th RM Battalion was disbanded to form Royal Marine Commando (B) 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 Commando units. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th and 10th RM Battalions became 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47 RM Commandos respectively.
At the same time 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 Special Service Brigades operated in North West Europe;
  • No. 2 Special Service Brigade in the Central Mediterranean;
  • No. 3 Special Service Brigade in the Far East.
  • 101st  RM Brigade HQ was redesignated 4 Special Service Brigade HQ.
  • 102nd RM Brigade HQ was redesignated 3 Special Service Brigade HQ
In March 1944 the 7th RM Battalion and some Marines from MNBDO11 formed the basis of a new 48RM Commando. 

For various reasons, not least the fact that a Royal Marine Bn., consisted of almost 1,000 Marines whereas a Commando consisted of approx 450 Commandos, not all the Royal Marines from these Battalions went onto Commando training. Those who did not for any reason, or who did not pass or complete the Commando Course, were allocated to other sections of the Royal Marines, including Landing Craft duties.
 
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