2nd Special Service Brigade

Last updated
2nd Special Service
2nd Commando Brigade
Active 1943–1946
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  Royal Navy
Type Commando
Role Coastal raiding
Assault infantry
Special operations
Part of Combined Operations
Engagements Second World War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Ronnie Tod
Insignia
Combined
Operations
Tactical
recognition
flash
British Commandos Patch.svg

The 2nd Special Service Brigade was formed in late 1943 in the Middle East and saw service in Italy, the Adriatic, the landings at Anzio and took part in operations in Yugoslavia. [1] On December 6, 1944, the Brigade was renamed 2nd Commando Brigade, removing the hated title Special Service and its association with the Schutzstaffel. [2]

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern and Western Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Anzio Comune in Lazio, Italy

Anzio[ˈantsjo] is a city and comune on the coast of the Lazio region of Italy, about 51 kilometres (32 mi) south of Rome.

Yugoslavia 1918–1992 country in Southeastern and Central Europe

Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, and constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and then Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign. The kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929.

Contents

Italian Campaign

The brigade as a formation, was not involved in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, but 40 RM Commando was involved in the assault landings as Army Troops. In Operation Shingle, the assault at Anzio, No. 9 (Army) Commando and No. 43 (Royal Marine) Commando were the only units involved. The whole brigade would be involved in the final offensive of the Italian Campaign.

Allied invasion of Sicily major World War II campaign

The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers. It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign.

40 Commando RM is a battalion-sized formation of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet.

Battle of Anzio 1944 battle in Italy

The Battle of Anzio was a battle of the Italian Campaign of World War II that took place from January 22, 1944 to June 5, 1944. The operation was opposed by German forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno. The operation was initially commanded by Major General John P. Lucas, of the U.S. Army, commanding U.S. VI Corps with the intention being to outflank German forces at the Winter Line and enable an attack on Rome.

In 1945 the brigade was involved in the Lake Comacchio battle, Operation Roast, where Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter of 43 Commando was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous Gallantry in single-handedly clearing a farmstead housing three Spandau machine guns after charging across 200 metres of open ground firing his Bren gun from the hip, then moving to an exposed position to draw fire away from his comrades by engaging further Spandaus entrenched on the far side of the canal. After Operation Roast the brigade was involved in the follow-up actions until the German surrender.

Operation Roast

Operation Roast was a military operation undertaken by British Commandos, at Comacchio lagoon in north-east Italy, during the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, part of the Italian Campaign, during the final stages of Second World War.

Corporal is a military rank in use in some form by many militaries and by some police forces or other uniformed organizations. Within NATO, each member nation's corresponding military rank of corporal is combined under the NATO-standard rank scale code OR-3 or OR-4. However, there are often differences in how each nation employs corporals. Some militaries don't have corporals, but may instead have a Junior Sergeant.

Victoria Cross highest military decoration awarded for valour in armed forces of various Commonwealth countries

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

The brigade remained in the area on security duties until it was disbanded in 1946 [1]

Formation

Brigadier Ronald John Frederick "Ronnie" Tod CBE, DSO & Bar was a British Army officer who was instrumental in the development of the British Commandos during the Second World War.

No. 2 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The first No.2 Commando was formed on the 22nd June 1940 for a parachuting role at Cambrai Barracks, Perham Down, near Tidworth, Hants. The Unit at the time consisted of four troops - 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'. Eventually 11 troops were raised. On 21 November, it was re-designated as the 11th Special Air Service (SAS) Battalion and eventually re-designated 1st Parachute Battalion. After their re-designation as the 11th SAS Battalion, a second No. 2 Commando was formed. This No. 2 Commando was the leading commando unit in the St Nazaire Raid and suffered heavy casualties. Those who made it back from St Nazaire rejoined the few who had not gone on the raid, and the commando was reinforced by the first intake of volunteers from the new Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry. No. 2 Commando then went on to serve in the Mediterranean, Sicily, Yugoslavia, and Albania, before being disbanded in 1946.

No. 9 Commando

No. 9 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit raised by the British Army during the Second World War. It took part in raids across the English Channel and in the Mediterranean, ending the war in Italy as part of the 2nd Special Service Brigade. Like all Army commando units it was disbanded in 1946.

Battle honours

The following Battle honours were awarded to British Commandos during the Second World War. [3]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Army Commandos 1940–45 By Mike Chappell, p 31
  2. British Commandos 1940–46 By Timothy Robert Moreman, p 32
  3. Moreman, p.94