42 Commando


42 Commando
42 Commando, Royal Marines
RoyalMarineBadge.png
Cap Badge of the Royal Marines
Active 1943-
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Marines
Type Marine Infantry
Role Commando
Size One battalion
Part of Naval Service
Garrison/HQ Bickleigh Barracks, Devon
Motto Per Mare Per Terram (By Sea By Land) (Latin)
Commanders
Captain-General HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Captain-General, Royal Marines)
Insignia
Commando Flash Royal Marines Commando Flash.jpg

42 Commando Royal Marines (pronounced: "Four Two Commando") is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet.

Roled as a Commando light infantry unit, 42 Cdo RM is capable of a wide range of operational tasks. Based at Bickleigh Barracks near Plymouth, personnel regularly deploy outside the United Kingdom on operations or training. Whilst 3 Commando Brigade RM are the principal cold weather warfare formation, personnel are capable of operating in a variety of theatres including tropical jungle, desert or mountainous terrain.

All personnel will have completed the Commando course at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone in Devon, entitling them to wear the green beret, with attached personnel having completed the All Arms Commando Course.

Contents

History

Second World War

Early Commando units were all from the British Army but by February 1942, the Royal Marines were asked to organise Commando units of their own, and 6,000 men volunteered.[1]

No. 42 (Royal Marine) Commando was raised in August 1943, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R C de M. Leathes from the 1st Royal Marine Battalion, as part of the expansion of the commandos. They were assigned to the 3rd Special Service Brigade and served in India and Burma in 1943–45, including operations in the Arakan and Assam. It took part in the third Arakan campaign and carried out a series of amphibious landings down the Burmese coastline. Including the landings at Myebon and the battle of Hill 170. It then returned to India to prepare for Operation Flipper the invasion of British Malaya. The war ended before operation began and the commando was diverted to reoccupy Hong Kong.[2]

Post-WW2

Following the Second World War 1st, 2nd and 4th commando brigades disbanded leaving only one brigade -- the 3rd (40(RM), 42(RM) and 45(RM)). The Commando was involved in operations during the confrontation with Indonesia (Borneo) it was during this tour that the famous Limbang raid was conducted by Lima Company. Throughout the following decade and was based in Singapore at the RNAS Sembawang or HMS Simbang.[3][4]

Return to UK

After the return the UK the Commando was deployed to Northern Ireland, the New Hebrides in 1980 and exercised regularly overseas. Recently the Commando had seen operational service in South Georgia, Montserratt in 1995, Iraq and Afghanistan. [5]

Falklands Conflict

In 1982, following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, the Commando deployed on Operation Corporate. On 21 May the Commando were Brigade reserve at San Carlos under Lt. Col. Nick Vaux RM. The unit was deployed to seize Mount Kent in a night move by helicopter. By 4 June the unit had moved forward, mostly under cover of darkness, to positions west of high ground overlooking Stanley and the last Argentine stronghold. After days of probing reconnaissance, a Brigade assault took place on the night of 11/12 June in which the Commando's task was to secure Mount Harriet on the Brigade right flank.

By moonlight and in freezing temperatures, 42 Commando moved undetected through enemy minefields in a 9km right-flanking movement to surprise the enemy in their rear. Consecutive assaults by "K" and "L" Companies followed, up steep slopes onto company positions . Against strong resistance and continuous artillery bombardment, the Marines prevailed. By first light more than 30 enemy had been killed and over 300 prisoners taken as 42 Commando consolidated on Mount Harriet. 42 Commando suffered 2 fatalities themselves – one on Mount Harriet and one on Wall Mountain.

For the bravery shown in the attack on Mount Harriet, 42 Commando was awarded 1 DSO, 1 Military Cross, 4 Military Medals and 8 men were Mentioned in Dispatches.[6]

Recent history

The new millennium saw the Commando deploy on Op Telic 1 for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 where they launched a helicopter assault on the Al Faw Peninsular to support 40 Commando RM. The unit returned from Afghanistan on 16 April 2009, where it served as the Regional Battle Group (South). In essence, it was the Divisional Reserve. It served several operations alongside 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, with whom it has maintained ties.

Battle honours

The following Battle honours were awarded to the British Commandos during the Second World War.[7]

References

  1. ^ Haskew, pp.48–49
  2. ^ Moreman, p.93
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "New UK Afghan deployment begins". BBC News. 15 February 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4714842.stm. 
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ Moreman, p.94


  • Chappell, Mike (1996). Army Commandos 1940–45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 185532579925799. 
  • Haskew, Michael E (2007). Encyclopaedia of Elite Forces in the Second World War. Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781844155774. 
  • Miller, Russell (1981). The Commandos. Time-Life Books. ISBN 0809433990. 
  • Moreman, Timothy Robert (2006). British Commandos 1940–46. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 184176986X. 



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