3 Commando Brigade

Last updated

3rd Special Service Brigade
3rd Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
RoyalMarineBadge.svg
Cap Badge of the Royal Marines
Active14 February 1942–present
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Branch RoyalMarineBadge.svg Royal Marines
Type Marines
Commando
Light infantry
RoleCommando/Amphibious Landing Force
Size8 battalions
Garrison/HQHQ - Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth
MarchQuick - Sarie Marais
EngagementsSecond World War

Operation Musketeer
Falklands War
Iraq War

War in Afghanistan
Commanders
Brigade Commander Brigadier Mathew Jackson DSO
Insignia
3 Commando Brigade Formation Badge 3 Commando.svg

3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando Qualified sailors, soldiers and airmen.

British Armed Forces combined military forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The British Armed Forces, also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces, are the military services responsible for the defence of the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They also promote Britain's wider interests, support international peacekeeping efforts and provide humanitarian aid.

Royal Marines marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom

The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.

Royal Engineers corps of the British Army

The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army.

Contents

The brigade was formed in 1942, during the Second World War, with a mixture of Army commando and Royal Marine commando units and served in the Burma Campaign. After the Second World War, the Army commandos were disbanded and the brigade became a Royal Marine formation. Recently, the brigade has again become a mixed Army and Marine formation with the addition of an Army infantry battalion, artillery regiment and engineer regiment alongside three Royal Marine battalions and support services. Since the end of the Second World War, it has served in the Suez crisis, Falklands War, Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Burma Campaign series of battles fought in the British colony of Burma, South-East Asian theatre of World War II

The Burma Campaign was a series of battles fought in the British colony of Burma, South-East Asian theatre of World War II, primarily involving the forces of the British Empire and China, with support from the United States, against the invading forces of Imperial Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Empire forces peaked at around 1,000,000 land and air forces, and were drawn primarily from British India, with British Army forces, 100,000 East and West African colonial troops, and smaller numbers of land and air forces from several other Dominions and Colonies. The Burma Independence Army was trained by the Japanese and spearheaded the initial attacks against British Empire forces.

Falklands War 1982 war between Argentina and the United Kingdom

The Falklands War, also known as the Falklands Conflict, Falklands Crisis, Malvinas War, South Atlantic Conflict, and the Guerra del Atlántico Sur, was a ten-week war between Argentina and the United Kingdom over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands, and its territorial dependency, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It began on Friday, 2 April 1982, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

History

The 3rd Special Service Brigade was formed in 1943 and sailed for the Far East and saw action against the Japanese in the Burma Campaign. [1] On 6 December 1944, the brigade was renamed 3rd Commando Brigade, removing the hated title Special Service and its association with the German SS. [2] In January 1945, the Brigade was involved in the battles to secure the Myebon peninsula and Kangaw. [1]

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

<i>Schutzstaffel</i> Major paramilitary organization of Nazi Germany

The Schutzstaffel was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction (1929–45) it grew from a small paramilitary formation to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. From 1929 until the regime's collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security, surveillance, and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe.

The brigade was then withdrawn to India to prepare for the amphibious assault on Malaya, but the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan ended the war before the planned invasion. [1] Instead, the brigade moved to Hong Kong to secure the Crown Colony. [1]

Amphibious warfare Type of offensive military operations

Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operations were conducted using ship's boats as the primary method of delivering troops to shore. Since the Gallipoli Campaign, specialised watercraft were increasingly designed for landing troops, materiel and vehicles, including by landing craft and for insertion of commandos, by fast patrol boats, zodiacs and from mini-submersibles.

British Malaya set of states on Malay Peninsula and island of Singapore under British dominance from 18th to 20th centuries

The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Unlike the term "British India", which excludes the Indian princely states, British Malaya is often used to refer to the Malay States under indirect British rule as well as the Straits Settlements that were under the sovereignty of the British Crown.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the use of atomic weapons by the United States on Japan towards the end of World War II

During the final stage of World War II, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. The United States dropped the bombs after obtaining the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed 129,000–226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. They remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of armed conflict.

In 1946, the Army Commandos in the brigade were disbanded and the brigade became a Royal Marine Commando formation. [1]

Formation in the Second World War

The brigade was composed as follows: [3] [4]

The No. 1 Commando was a unit of the British Commandos and part of the British Army during the Second World War. It was raised in 1940 from the ranks of the existing independent companies. Operationally they carried out a series of small scale cross channel raids and spearheaded the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. They were then sent to the India as part of the 3rd Commando Brigade and took part in operations in the Burma Campaign. During the Second World War only eight commandos were recipients of the Victoria Cross, two of the eight were from No. 1 Commando. After the war they were sent to reoccupy Hong Kong before being amalgamated with No. 5 Commando to form No. 1/5 Commando. The amalgamated No. 1/5 Commando was disbanded in 1947.

No. 5 Commando was a battalion-sized commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War.

42 Commando is a subordinate unit within the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Fleet Commander.

Post Second World War

3 Commando Brigade's most high-profile operation after the war was the Suez Crisis, when it took part in the amphibious assault against Egyptian targets. During Operation Musketeer, units of the brigade made a helicopter-borne assault. [5]

1971 saw the withdrawal of British forces from the Far East and Persian Gulf. The brigade returned to the UK with other British units. It moved to Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth, where it remains to this day. [6] The brigade was deployed to Northern Ireland as part of Operation Banner as violence escalated during the Troubles in July 1972. [7]

Operation Corporate

The brigade's next large operation was in 1982. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, and 3 Commando Brigade, reinforced by 2 Para and 3 Para, was one of the two main British land formations that took part in operations to recapture the islands. The Brigade landed at San Carlos Water and marched across East Falkland to Stanley. Argentine units were defeated in several sharp engagements, and their forces surrendered on 14 June. [8]

Gulf War

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the brigade was deployed on a non-combat task in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds had suffered immensely during the war and in its immediate aftermath, and the brigade was used due to its rapid deployment ability. It provided humanitarian aid to the Kurds and saved many from starvation. [9]

21st century

A Jackal armoured vehicle of 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines on patrol during Operation Fibonacci near Kuh-e Baba and Shin Ghar, Helmand, Afghanistan RM Jackal Vehicle in Afghanistan MOD 45150600.jpg
A Jackal armoured vehicle of 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines on patrol during Operation Fibonacci near Kuh-e Baba and Shin Ghar, Helmand, Afghanistan

Recently, the brigade has been involved in two major campaigns, including Operation Veritas in Afghanistan, 2001 and 2002, and Operation Telic during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In Afghanistan, no contact was made with enemy forces, despite contrary predictions. Iraq, however, saw heavy fighting occur in the early stages of the campaign, as the brigade made its first amphibious assault in over 20 years by landing on the Al-Faw peninsula in south east Iraq. [10] In 2006, the brigade returned to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick, replacing 16 Air Assault Brigade, where intense fighting occurred. [11] From 2008 to 2012 1st Battalion, The Rifles was one of the attached army units in 3 Commando Brigade.

Organisation

The brigade is commanded by a Royal Marines brigadier and contains Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force personnel. The subordinate units are: [12]

Royal MarinesBritish Army
30 Commando Information Exploitation Group
(Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth)
24 Commando Regiment Royal Engineers
(RM Chivenor, Devon)
40 Commando
(Norton Manor Camp, Taunton)
29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery
(Royal Citadel, Plymouth)
42 Commando
(Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth)
383 Commando Petroleum Troop Royal Logistic Corps
(Plymouth)
45 Commando
(RM Condor, Arbroath)
Korps Mariniers
(as part of UK/NL Landing Force)
43 Commando Fleet Protection Group
(HMNB Clyde, Argyll and Bute)
1st Marine Combat Group
(Doorn, Utrechtse Heuvelrug)
539 Assault Squadron
(HMNB Devonport, Plymouth)
Royal Marines Armoured Support Group
(RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset)
Commando Logistic Regiment
(RM Chivenor, Devon)

Commanders

Commanders have included: [13]

Battle honours

The following Battle honours were awarded to the British Commandos during the Second World War. [15] [16]

See also

Related Research Articles

No. 62 Commando

No. 62 Commando or the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF) was a British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The unit was formed around a small group of commandos under the command of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). They carried out a number of raids before being disbanded in 1943.

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

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.

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. On December 6, 1944, the Brigade was renamed 2nd Commando Brigade, removing the hated title Special Service and its association with the Schutzstaffel.

No. 8 (Guards) Commando was a unit of the British Commandos and part of the British Army during the Second World War. The Commando was formed in June 1940 primarily from members of the Brigade of Guards. It was one of the units selected to be sent to the Middle East as part of Layforce. On arrival they became known as 'B' Battalion in an attempt at deception, not wanting the Axis forces to know there was a commando formation in the theatre of war. The commando participated in the Battle of Crete and around Tobruk before being disbanded in late 1941. After this, many of its personnel went on to serve in other commando units formed in the area, including the Special Air Service.

No. 7 Commando was a unit of the British Commandos and part of the British Army during the Second World War. The commando was formed in August 1940 in the United Kingdom. No. 7 Commando was transferred to the Middle East as part of Layforce. Committed to the Battle of Crete, it suffered heavy casualties, after which it was disbanded.

No. 11 (Scottish) Commando was a battalion-sized commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. Formed in Scotland, members of No. 11 (Scottish) Commando adopted the Tam o'shanter as their official headdress.

No. 12 Commando

No. 12 Commando was a battalion-sized commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. Formed in 1940 in Northern Ireland, they carried out a number of small-scale raids in Norway and France between 1941 and 1943 before being disbanded and its personnel dispersed to other commando units.

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.

No. 44 Commando was a battalion size formation in the British Commandos, formed during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 3rd Special Service Brigade and served in the Burma Campaign.

No. 50 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commando was formed in 1940, from volunteers in Egypt and Palestine. Shortly after formation it was amalgamated with No. 52 Commando and became 'D' Battalion, Layforce.

No. 52 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commando was formed in 1940, from volunteers in Egypt and Palestine. Shortly after formation it was amalgamated with No. 50 Commando and became 'D' Battalion, Layforce.

No. 51 Commando was a battalion-sized British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commando was formed in 1940, from Jewish and Arab volunteers from Palestine. The Commando fought against the Italians in Abyssinia and Eritrea before it was absorbed into the Middle East Commando.

No. 48 Commando was a battalion-sized formation of the British Commandos, formed in 1944 during the Second World War. No. 48 Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served in North West Europe, taking part in the Normandy landings and operations around Ostend and Antwerp before being disbanded after the war in January 1946.

No. 47 Commando was a battalion size formation in the British Commandos, formed in August 1943 during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served North West Europe and took part in the Normandy Landings, operations around Ostend, Antwerp and the Netherlands before being disbanded in January 1946.

No. 14 (Arctic) Commando sometimes also called the Special Commando Boating Group, was a 60-man British Commando unit of the British Army during the Second World War. The commando was formed in 1942 for service in the Arctic and was disbanded in 1943.

No. 46 Commando was a battalion size formation of the Royal Marines, part of the British Commandos, formed in August 1943 during the Second World War. The Commando was assigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade and served in North-west Europe and took part in the D-Day landings, as well as operations around Ostend and Antwerp, before being disbanded after the war in January 1946.

References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Chappell 1996, p. 31.
  2. Moreman 2008, p. 32.
  3. "burmastar". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  4. Chappell 1996, p. 28.
  5. "1956: Allied Forces take control of Suez". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  6. "3 Commando Brigade". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  7. Van der Bijl 2009, p. 68
  8. "3 Commando Brigade". Naval History.net. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  9. "1991: UK forces withdraw from Kurdish haven". BBC News. 14 July 1991. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  10. "Marines spearhead the invasion with lightning attack". The Telegraph. 21 March 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  11. "Commandos ready to face the Taliban". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  12. "3 Commando Brigade". Royal Navy. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  13. Royal Navy Senior Appointments Archived 11 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. "3 Commando Brigade change over". January/February Edition. 14 February 2019.
  15. Moreman, p.94
  16. "Commando Forces at regiments.org by T.F.Mills". Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2015-07-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

Sources

  • Chappell, Mike (1996). Army Commandos 1940–1945. Elite Series # 64. London: Osprey Military Publishing. ISBN   1-85532-579-9.
  • Moreman, Tim (2008). British Commandos 1940–46. Battle Orders. London: Osprey Military Publishing. ISBN   978-1-84176-986-8.
  • Southby-Tailyour, Ewen (2009). 3 Commando Brigade. Ebury Press. ISBN   978-0-09-192696-0.
  • Neillands, Robin (2004). By Sea and Land: The Story of the Royal Marine Commandos. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Classics. ISBN   1-84415-043-7.
  • Philip, Sea soldiers' readied for a new world disorder,' Jane's Navy International, September 2001
  • Van der Bijl, Nick (2009). Operation Banner: The British Army in Northern Ireland 1969-2007. Pen & Sword. ISBN   978-1844159567.