Commando

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The first appearance and use of the term "commando" was taken from the Dutch Afrikaner guerilla units known as "Kommandos" in South Africa during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902 Afrikaner Commandos2.JPG
The first appearance and use of the term "commando" was taken from the Dutch Afrikaner guerilla units known as "Kommandos" in South Africa during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902
The "commando" name was permanently established with the introduction of the British Commandos in 1942 the elite special forces units of the British Army in World War II No. 3 Commando men after Dieppe raid.jpg
The "commando" name was permanently established with the introduction of the British Commandos in 1942 the elite special forces units of the British Army in World War II
The French Navy commando unit Jaubert storms a naval vessel in a mock assault Commando jauber1.jpg
The French Navy commando unit Jaubert storms a naval vessel in a mock assault
Sri Lankan commandos marching Sri Lanka Military 0078.jpg
Sri Lankan commandos marching

A commando is a soldier or operative of an elite light infantry or special operations force often specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting or abseiling.

Soldier one who serves as part of an organized armed force

A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer.

Light infantry Type of infantry

Light infantry is a designation applied to certain types of foot soldiers (infantry) throughout history, typically having lighter equipment or armament or a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as heavy infantry or line infantry. Historically, light infantry often fought as scouts, raiders and skirmishers—soldiers who fight in a loose formation ahead of the main army to harass, delay, disrupt supply lines, and generally "soften up" an enemy before the main battle. After World War II, the term "light infantry" evolved, and now generally refers to rapid-deployment units that specifically emphasize speed and mobility over armor and firepower. Some units or battalions that historically held a skirmishing role have kept their designation "light infantry" for the sake of tradition.

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.

Contents

Originally "a commando" was a type of combat unit, as opposed to an individual in that unit. In other languages, commando and kommando denote a "command", including the sense of a military or an elite special operations unit.

A command in military terminology is an organisational unit for which a military commander is responsible. A commander is normally specifically appointed to the role in order to provide a legal framework for the authority bestowed. Naval and military officers have legal authority by virtue of their officer's commission, but the specific responsibilities and privileges of command are derived from the publication of appointment.

In the militaries and governments of most countries, commandos are distinctive in that they specialize in assault on unconventional high-value targets. However, the term commando is sometimes used in relation to units carrying out the latter tasks (including some civilian police units). Commandos differ from other types of special forces in that they primarily operate in overt combat, front-line reconnaissance, and raiding, rather than long range reconnaissance and unconventional warfare.

In United States military terminology, a high-value target (HVT) is a person or resource that an enemy commander requires to complete a mission. The term has been widely used in the news media for Osama Bin Laden and high-ranking officers of Al-Qaeda who are considered essential for completing their operations. Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was known as High Value Target Number One by the United States military before his capture.

Police Law enforcement body

The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect the lives, liberty and possessions of citizens, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the power of arrest and the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with the police forces of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from the military and other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. Police forces are usually public sector services, funded through taxes.

Reconnaissance military exploration beyond the area occupied by friendly forces

In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration outside an area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about natural features and other activities in the area.

In English, occasionally to distinguish between an individual commando and the unit Commando, the unit is capitalized. [1]

Etymology

The word stems from the Afrikaans word kommando, which translates as "a command or order" and also roughly to "mobile infantry regiment". This term originally referred to mounted infantry regiments, who fought against the British Army in the first and second Boer Wars.

Afrikaans West Germanic language, spoken in South Africa and Namibia

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland spoken by the largely Dutch settlers and the people of colour associated with them in what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch, and was previously referred to as "Cape Dutch" or "kitchen Dutch". However, it is also variously described as a creole or as a partially creolised language. The term is ultimately derived from Dutch Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch".


Mounted infantry were infantry who rode horses instead of marching. The original dragoons were essentially mounted infantry. According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "Mounted rifles are half cavalry, mounted infantry merely specially mobile infantry." Today, with motor vehicles having replaced horses for military transport, the motorized infantry are in some respects successors to mounted infantry.

Regiment Military unit

A regiment is a military unit. Their role and size varies markedly, depending on the country and the arm of service.

It is also possible the word was adopted into Afrikaans from interactions with Portuguese colonies. [2] Less likely, it is a High German loan word, which was borrowed from Italian in the 17th century, from the sizable minority of German settlers in the initial European colonization of South Africa. [1]

The officer commanding an Afrikaans kommando is called a kommandant, which is a regimental commander equivalent to a lieutenant-colonel or a colonel.

The Oxford English Dictionary ties the English use of the word meaning "[a] member of a body of picked men ..." directly into its Afrikaans' origins: [3]

1943 Combined Operations (Min. of Information) i. Lt. Lieutenant-Colonel D. W. Clarke... produced the outline of a scheme.... The men for this type of irregular warfare should, he suggested, be formed into units to be known as Commandos.... Nor was the historical parallel far-fetched. After the victories of Roberts and Kitchener had scattered the Boer army, the guerrilla tactics of its individual units (which were styled ‘Commandos’)... prevented decisive victory.... His [sc. Lt.-Col. D. W. Clarke's] ideas were accepted; so also, with some hesitation, was the name Commando.

During World War II, newspaper reports of the deeds of "the commandos" only in the plural led to readers thinking that the singular meant one man rather than one military unit, and this new usage became established.

History

After the Dutch Cape Colony was established in 1652, the word was used to describe bands of militia. The first "Commando Law" was instated by the original Dutch East India Company chartered settlements and similar laws were maintained through the independent Boer Orange Free State and South African Republic. The law compelled Burghers to equip themselves with a horse and a firearm when required in defense. The implementation of these laws was called the "Commando System". A group of mounted militiamen were organized in a unit known as a commando and headed by a Commandant, who was normally elected from inside the unit. [1] Men called up to serve were said to be "on commando". [4] British experience with this system led to the widespread adoption of the word "commandeer" into English in the 1880s. [5]

During the "Great Trek", conflicts with Southern African peoples such as the Xhosa and the Zulu caused the Boers to retain the commando system despite being free of colonial laws. Also, the word became used to describe any armed raid. During this period, the Boers also developed guerrilla techniques for use against numerically superior but less mobile bands of natives such as the Zulu who fought in large, complex formations. [1]

In the First Boer War, Boer commandos were able to use superior marksmanship, fieldcraft, camouflage and mobility to expel an occupying British force (poorly trained in marksmanship, wearing red uniforms and unmounted) from the Transvaal. These tactics were continued throughout the Second Boer War. In the final phase of the war, 75,000 Boers carried out asymmetric warfare against the 450,000-strong British Imperial forces for two years after the British had captured the capital cities of the two Boer republics. During these conflicts the word entered English, retaining its general Afrikaans meaning of a "militia unit" or a "raid". Robert Baden-Powell recognised the importance of fieldcraft and was inspired to form the scouting movement.

In 1941, Lieutenant-Colonel D. W. Clarke of the British Imperial General Staff, suggested the name Commando for specialized raiding units of the British Army Special Service in evocation of the effectiveness and tactics of the Boer commandos. [1] During World War II, American and British publications, confused over the use of the plural "commandos" for that type of British military units, gave rise to the modern common habit of using "a commando" to mean one member of such a unit, or one man engaged on a raiding-type operation. [1]

Green Berets and training origins

Since the 20th century and World War II in particular, commandos have been set apart from other military units by virtue of their extreme training regimes; these are usually associated with the awarding of green berets which originated with British Commandos. The British Commandos were instrumental in founding many other international commando units during World War II. Some international commando units were formed from members who served as part of or alongside British Commandos, such as the Dutch Korps Commandotroepen (who still wear the recognition flash insignia of the British Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife), the Belgian 5th Special Air Service, or Greek Sacred Band (World War II). In 1944 the SAS Brigade was formed from the British 1st and 2nd SAS, the French 3rd and 4th SAS, and the Belgian 5th SAS. The French Army special forces (1er RPIMa) still use the motto Qui Ose Gagne, a translation of the SAS motto "Who Dares Wins."

In addition, many Commonwealth nations were part of the original British Commando units. They developed their own national traditions, including the Australian Special Air Service Regiment, the New Zealand Special Air Service, and the Southern Rhodesian Special Air Service, all of whom share (or used to) the same insignia and motto as their British counterparts. During the Second World War, the British SAS quickly adopted sand-coloured berets, since they were almost entirely based in the North African theatre; they used these rather than green berets to distinguish themselves from other British Commando units. (See History of the Special Air Service). Other Commonwealth commando units were formed after the Second World War directly based on the British Commando units, such as the Australian Army Reserve 1st Commando Regiment (Australia), distinct from the Regular Army 2nd Commando Regiment (Australia), who originated from the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in 1997 .

The US Rangers were founded by Major General Lucian Truscott of the US Army, a liaison officer with the British General Staff. In 1942, he submitted a proposal to General George Marshall that an American unit be set up "along the lines of the British Commandos". The original US Rangers trained at the British Commandos centre at Achnacarry Castle. The US Navy SEALs' original formation, the Observer Group, was also trained and influenced by British Commandos. [6] The US Special Forces originated with the First Special Service Force, formed under British Combined Operations.

Malaysian green beret special forces PASKAL [7] and Grup Gerak Khas (who still wear the Blue Lanyard of the Royal Marines) were originally trained by British Commandos. The Brazilian marine special operations COMANF also originated with Royal Marines mentoring. Other British units, such as the SAS, led to the development of many international special operations units that are now typically referred to as commandos, including the Pakistani Special Services Group, the Indian MARCOS, and the Jordanian special forces.

World War I

Austro-Hungarian assault units

During the winter of 1914–1915 large parts of the Eastern Front switched to trench warfare. To cope with the new situation many Austro-Hungarian regiments spontaneously formed infantry squads called Jagdkommandos. These squads were named after the specially trained forces of Russian army formed in 1886 and were used to protect against ambushes, to perform reconnaissance and for low intensity fights in no-man's-land.

Austro-Hungarian High army command (Armeeoberkommando, AOK) realized the need for special forces and decided to draw on German experience. Starting in September–October 1916 about 120 officers and 300 NCOs were trained in the German training area in Beuville (near the village of Doncourt) to be the main cadre of the newly raised Austro-Hungarian army assault battalions. The former Jagdkommandos were incorporated into these battalions.

Italy

The first country to establish commando troops was Italy, in the summer 1917, shortly before Germany.[ citation needed ]

Italy used specialist trench-raiding teams to break the stalemate of static fighting against Austria-Hungary, in the Alpine battles of World War I. These teams were called "Arditi" (meaning "daring, brave ones"); they were almost always men under 25 in top physical condition and, possibly at first, bachelors (due to fear of very high casualty rates). Actually the Arditi (who were led to the lines just a few hours before the assault, having been familiarised with the terrain via photo-reconnaissance and trained on trench systems re-created ad hoc for them) suffered fewer casualties than regular line infantry and were highly successful in their tasks. Many of them volunteered for extreme-right formations in the turbulent years after the war and (the Fascist Party took pride in this and adopted the style and the mannerism of Arditi), but some people of left-wing political persuasions created the "Arditi del Popolo" (People's Arditi) and for some years held the fascist raids in check, defending Socialist and Communist Party sections, buildings, rallies and meeting places. [8]

World War II

Finland

The Finns fielded the Erillinen Pataljoona 4. About 150 men were trained before the beginning of summer 1941. At first the units only had as few as 15 men, but during the war this was increased up to 60 men. On July 1, 1943 the units were organised in the 4th Detached Battalion. In 1944 a special unit with amphibious He 115 planes was founded to support the battalion. The total strength of the battalion was 678 men, and 76 women (see Lotta Svärd).

In the Battle of Ilomantsi, soldiers of the 4th disrupted the supply lines of the Soviet artillery, preventing effective fire support. The battalion made over 50 missions in 1943 and just under 100 in 1944, and was disbanded November 30 of that same year.

Sissiosasto/5.D is another Finnish Commando unit of the World War Two era. The Detachment was founded on August 20, 1941, under the Lynx Division (5th Division, Finnish VI Corps). It was a self-contained unit for reconnaissance patrolling, sabotage and guerrilla warfare operations behind enemy lines.

Germany

Skorzeny with soldiers of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion (1945) Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R81453, SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny an der Oder Recolored.jpg
Skorzeny with soldiers of the 500th SS Parachute Battalion (1945)

In December 1939, following the success of German infiltration and sabotage operations in the Polish campaign, the German Office for Foreign and Counter-Intelligence (OKW Amt Ausland/Abwehr) formed the Brandenburger Regiment (known officially as the 800th Special Purpose Training and Construction Company). The Brandenburgers conducted a mixture of covert and conventional operations but became increasingly involved in ordinary infantry actions and were eventually converted into a Panzer-Grenadier Division, suffering heavy losses in Russia. Otto Skorzeny (most famed for his rescue of Benito Mussolini) conducted many special operations for Adolf Hitler. Skorzeny commanded Sonderlehrgang z.b.V. Oranienburg, Sonderverband z.b.V. Friedenthal, and SS-Jäger-Bataillon 502, 500th SS Parachute Battalion, SS-Jagdverband Mitte and all other SS commando units.

The German Fallschirmjäger were famous for their elite skills and use in rapid commando style raids and use as elite "fire brigade" infantrymen. [9] [ full citation needed ]

A report written by Major-General Robert Laycock in 1947 said there was a German raid on a radar station on the Isle of Wight in 1941. [10] [11]

Japan

In 1944–45, Japanese Teishin Shudan ("Raiding Group") and Giretsu ("heroic") detachments made airborne assaults on Allied airfields in the Philippines, Marianas and Okinawa. The attacking forces varied in size from a few paratroopers to operations involving several companies. Due to the balance of forces concerned, these raids achieved little in the way of damage or casualties, and resulted in the destruction of the Japanese units concerned. Considering that there were no plans to extract these forces, and the reluctance to surrender by Japanese personnel during that era, they are often seen in the same light as kamikaze pilots of 1944–45.

Nakano School trained intelligence and commando officers and organized commando teams for sabotage and guerrilla warfare.

The navy had commando units "S-toku" (Submarine special attack units, see Kure 101st JSNLF(in Japanese) ) for infiltrating enemy areas by submarine. It was called the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces of Kure 101st, Sasebo 101st and 102nd.

Italy

Italy's most renowned commando unit of World War II was Decima Flottiglia MAS ("10th Assault Vehicle Flotilla"), which, from mid-1940, sank or damaged a considerable tonnage of Allied ships in the Mediterranean.

After Italy surrendered in 1943, some of the Decima Flottiglia MAS were on the Allied side of the battle line and fought with the Allies, renaming themselves the Mariassalto. The others fought on the German side and kept their original name but did not operate at sea after 1943, being mostly employed against Italian partisans; some of its men were involved in atrocities against civilians.

In post-war years the Italian marine commandos were re-organised as the "Comsubin" (an abbreviation of Comando Subacqueo Incursori, or Underwater Raiders Command). They wear the green Commando beret.

Soviet Union

Voyennaya Razvyedka (Razvedchiki Scouts) are "Military intelligence" personnel/units within larger formations in ground troops, airborne troops and marines. Intelligence battalion in the division, reconnaissance company in the brigade, a reconnaissance platoon in the regiment. [12] [ page needed ]

Soviet Naval Frogmen The legendary Soviet Naval Scout Viktor Leonov commanded an elite unit of Naval Commandos. The 4th Special Volunteer Detachment was a unit of 70 veterans. [12] Initially they were confined to performing small scale reconnaissance missions, platoon sized insertions by sea and on occasion on land into Finland and later Norway. [12] Later they were renamed the 181st Special Reconnaissance Detachment. [12] They began conducting sabotage missions and raids to snatch prisoners for interrogation. [12] They would also destroy German ammunition and supply depots, communication centers, and harass enemy troop concentrations along the Finnish and Russian coasts. [13] [ page needed ] After the European conflict ended Leonov and his men were sent to the Pacific theatre to conduct operations against the Japanese.

United Kingdom

British Commandos wearing the green beret and carrying the Bergen rucksack during the Normandy landings Landing on Queen Red Beach, Sword Area.jpg
British Commandos wearing the green beret and carrying the Bergen rucksack during the Normandy landings

In 1940, the British Army also formed "independent companies", later reformed as battalion sized "commandos", thereby reviving the word. The British intended that their commandos be small, highly mobile surprise raiding and reconnaissance forces. They intended them to carry all they needed and not remain in field operations for more than 36 hours. Army Commandos were all volunteers selected from existing soldiers still in Britain.

During the war the British Army Commandos spawned several other famous British units such as the Special Air Service, the Special Boat Service and the Parachute Regiment. The British Army Commandos themselves were never regimented and were disbanded at the end of the war.

The Special Operations Executive (SOE) also formed commando units from British and displaced European personnel (e.g., Cichociemni) to conduct raiding operations in occupied Europe. They also worked in small teams, such as the SAS, which was composed of ten or fewer commandos because that was better for special operations. One example is Norwegian Independent Company 1, which destroyed heavy water facilities in Norway in 1941.

The Royal Navy also controlled Royal Navy Beach Parties, based on teams formed to control the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. [14] These were later known simply as RN Commandos, and they did not see action until they successfully fought for control of the landing beaches (as in the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942). The RN Commandos, including Commando "W" from the Royal Canadian Navy, saw action on D-Day. [15]

The Commando Memorial unveiled in 1952 in Scotland is dedicated to the World War II British Commandos The Commando Memorial by night.jpg
The Commando Memorial unveiled in 1952 in Scotland is dedicated to the World War II British Commandos

In 1942, the Royal Navy's nine Royal Marines infantry battalions were reorganized as Commandos, numbered from 40 to 48, joining the British Army Commandos in combined Commando Brigades. After the war the Army Commandos were disbanded. The Royal Marines form an enduring Brigade-strength capability as 3 Commando Brigade with supporting Army units. [16]

The Royal Air Force also formed 15 commando units in 1942, each of which was 150 strong. These units consisted of trained technicians, armourers and maintainers who had volunteered to undertake the commando course. These RAF commandos accompanied the Allied invasion forces in all theatres; their main role was to allow the forward operation of friendly fighters by servicing and arming them from captured air fields. However, due to the forward position of these airfields, the Royal Air Force Commandos were also trained to secure and make safe these airfields and to help defend them from enemy counterattack. [17]

Australia

The Australian Army formed commando units, known as Australian independent companies in the early stages of World War II. They first saw action in early 1942 during the Japanese assault on New Ireland, and in the Battle of Timor. Part of the 2/1st Independent Company was wiped out on New Ireland, but on Timor, the 2/2nd Independent Company formed the heart of an Allied force that engaged Japanese forces in a guerrilla campaign. The Japanese commander on the island drew parallels with the Boer War, and decided that it would require a 10:1 numerical advantage to defeat the Allies. The campaign occupied the attention of an entire Japanese division for almost a year. The independent companies were later renamed commando squadrons, and they saw widespread action in the South West Pacific Area, especially in New Guinea and Borneo. In 1943, all the commando squadrons except the 2/2nd and 2/8th were grouped into the 2/6th, 2/7th and 2/9th Cavalry Commando Regiments.

Later in the war the Royal Australian Navy also formed commando units along the lines of the Royal Naval Commandos to go ashore with the first waves of major amphibious assaults, to signpost the beaches and carry out other naval tasks. These were known as RAN Commandos. Four were formed—lettered A, B, C and D like their British counterparts—and they took part in the Borneo campaign.

Z Force, an Australian-British-New Zealand military intelligence commando unit, formed by the Australian Services Reconnaissance Department, also carried out many raiding and reconnaissance operations in the South West Pacific theatre, most notably Operation Jaywick, in which they destroyed tonnes of Japanese shipping at Singapore Harbour. An attempt to replicate this success, with Operation Rimau, resulted in the death of almost all those involved. However, Z Force and other SRD units continued operations until the war's end.

New Zealand

New Zealand formed the Southern Independent Commando in Fiji 1942. Its primary function was to wage a guerrilla war on any Japanese forces should they attempt to capture the strategically important Fiji islands. 200 native Fijians were recruited and organised by 44 New Zealanders. Training focused intensely on jungle warfare, and many successful 'mock' raids were made on American garrisons who awoke to find dummy time bombs placed on their ammunition dumps, or chalk crosses drawn on the equipment of their guards.

When it became apparent that a Japanese invasion of Fiji was no longer likely, the commando was deployed to undertake scouting tasks for US forces around Guadalcanal and New Georgia. Recruiting was further expanded to include men from other pacific islands such as the Solomons and Tonga, and occasionally British or American personnel took part in training or accompanied the commandos on missions. After many successful operations and engagements, the harsh conditions of extended jungle living took their toll, and many men began to suffer from ill-health. As a result, the commando was reduced in strength until it was declared unfit for further service, and was disbanded in May 1944.

The commando's contribution to the Solomon Island campaign was significant, with senior American officers referring to the unit as "most capable", "invaluable" and "unquestionably ... of great aid in the campaign". [18]

New Zealanders were also a notable component of the Long Range Desert Group, which undertook reconnaissance and occasional strike missions deep behind enemy lines during the North African Campaign.

Canada

A joint Canadian-American Commando unit, the 1st Special Service Force, nicknamed the Devil's Brigade, was formed in 1942 under the command of Colonel Robert Frederick. The unit initially saw service in the Pacific, in August 1943 at Kiska in the Aleutians campaign. However most of its operations occurred during the Italian campaign and in southern France. Its most famous raid, which was documented in the film Devil's Brigade, was the battle of Monte la Difensa. In 1945, the unit was disbanded; some of the Canadian members were sent to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion as replacements, and the American members were sent to either the 101st Airborne Division or the 82nd Airborne Division as replacements or the 474th Regimental Combat Team. Ironically they were sent to service in Norway in 1945, the country they were formed to raid.

Greece

The Sacred band (Greek : Ιερός Λόχος) was a Greek special forces unit formed in 1942 in the Middle East, composed entirely of Greek officers and officer cadets under the command of Col. Christodoulos Tsigantes. It fought alongside the SAS in the Libyan Desert and with the SBS in the Aegean, as well as with General Leclerc's Free French Forces in Tunisia. It was disbanded in August 1945.

United States

During 1941, the United States Marine Corps formed commando battalions. The USMC commandos were known collectively as Marine Raiders. On orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt through a proposal from OSS Director Colonel William J. Donovan and the former Commander of the United States Marine Detachment Major Evans F Carlson, directed the formation of what became the Marine Raiders. Initially this unit was to be called Marine Commandos and were to be the counterpart to the British Commandos. The name Marine Commandos met with much controversy within the Marine Corps leading Commandant Thomas J. Holcomb to state, "the term 'Marine' is sufficient to indicate a man ready for duty at any time, and the injection of a special name, such as commando, would be undesirable and superfluous." President Roosevelt's son James Roosevelt served with the Marine Raiders. The Raiders initially saw action at the Battle of Tulagi and the Battle of Makin, as well as the Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, and other parts of the Pacific Ocean Areas. In February 1944 the four Raider battalions were converted to regular Marine units. Additionally, as parachuting special forces units, Paramarines arguably also qualified as commandos [19] - though they too were assimilated into regular Marine units in 1944.

In mid-1942, the United States Army formed its Army Rangers in Northern Ireland under William O. (Bill) Darby. The Rangers were designed along the similar lines to the British Commandos. The first sizable Ranger action took place in August 1942 at the Dieppe Raid, where 50 Rangers from the 1st Ranger Battalion were dispersed among Canadian regulars and British Commandos. The first full Ranger action took place in November 1942 during the invasion of Algiers in Northwest Africa in (Operation Torch), again by members of the 1st Ranger Battalion. [20] [ page needed ]

Poland

After 1945

After World War II there was much publicity about the deeds of "the commandos"; many civilians reading these accounts, guessing a meaning from the context, thought in error that the singular "a commando" meant one man, and that usage became general.

See also

Related Research Articles

Commandos (United Kingdom) British commando formation

The Commandos also known as British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe. Initially drawn from within the British Army from soldiers who volunteered for the Special Service Brigade, the Commandos' ranks would eventually be filled by members of all branches of the British Armed Forces and a number of foreign volunteers from German-occupied countries. By the end of the war 25,000 men had passed through the Commando course at Achnacarry. This total includes not only the British volunteers, but volunteers from Greece, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and the United States Army Rangers, which were modelled on the Commandos.

Commandos Marine Special operations forces of the French Navy

The Commandos Marine are the Special Operation Forces (SOF) of the French Navy. The Commandos Marine are nicknamed Bérets Verts. They operate under the Naval Riflemen and Special Operations Forces Command (FORFUSCO) and form part of the French Special Operations Command.

Long-range reconnaissance patrol small, heavily armed long-range reconnaissance teams that patrol deep in enemy-held territory

A long-range reconnaissance patrol, or LRRP, is a small, heavily armed reconnaissance team that patrols deep in enemy-held territory.

Artists Rifles regiment of the British Army Reserve

The Artists Rifles is a regiment of the British Army Reserve within 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade. Raised in London in 1859 as a volunteer light infantry unit, the regiment saw active service during the Second Boer War and the First World War, earning a number of battle honours. It did not serve outside Britain during the Second World War, as it was used as an officer training unit at that time. The regiment was disbanded in 1945, but in 1947 it was re-established to resurrect the Special Air Service Regiment. Today, the full title of the Regiment is 21 Special Air Service Regiment (Artists) (Reserve) and with 23 Special Air Service Regiment (Reserve), it forms the Special Air Service (Reserve).

This is a list of British ground forces in the Falklands War. For a list of ground forces from Argentina, see Argentine ground forces in the Falklands War

Jungle warfare is a term used to cover the special techniques needed for military units to survive and fight in jungle terrain.

The Italian Special Forces include special forces units from several branches of the Italian Armed Forces: the Esercito Italiano (Army), the Marina Militare (Navy), the Aeronautica Militare and the Arma dei Carabinieri (Carabineers).

Marines Military service branch specialized in amphibious warfare

Marines, also known as naval infantry, are typically an infantry force that specializes in the support of naval and army operations at sea and on land and air, as well as the execution of their own operations. In many countries, the marines are an integral part of that state's navy. In others, it is a separate organization altogether, such as in the United States, where the Marine Corps falls under the US Department of the Navy, yet it operates independently. Marines can also fall under a country's army like the Troupes de marine and Givati Brigade.

The name commando has been applied to a variety of Australian special forces and light infantry units that have been formed since 1941–42. The first Australian "commando" units were formed during the Second World War, where they mainly performed reconnaissance and long-range patrol roles during Australia's campaigns in New Guinea and Borneo, although other units such as M and Z Special Units performed more clandestine roles. These units were disbanded following the end of the war; however, in the 1950s it was realised that there was a need for such units again in the Australian forces. Today, the Australian Army possesses a number of units that perform more conventional direct-action type commando roles, as well as counter-terrorism response, long-range patrolling, and clandestine deep-penetration operations.

Special Forces Support Group

The Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is a unit of the British Armed Forces. The SFSG is the newest addition to the United Kingdom Special Forces. It was formed officially on 3 April 2006 to support the Special Air Service, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Boat Service on operations. The 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, a company strength group of Royal Marines, and a contingent of RAF Regiment personnel form the UK's Special Forces Support Group (SFSG). The SFSG may provide extra firepower from land or air to fulfil their mission.

Tan beret

The tan beret also known as a beige beret has been adopted as official headgear by several special operations forces as a symbol of their unique capabilities.

Special reconnaissance intelligence gathering discipline

Special reconnaissance (SR) is conducted by small units of highly trained military personnel, usually from special forces units or military intelligence organizations, who operate behind enemy lines, avoiding direct combat and detection by the enemy. As a role, SR is distinct from commando operations, but both are often carried out by the same units. The SR role frequently includes covert direction of air and missile attacks, in areas deep behind enemy lines, placement of remotely monitored sensors and preparations for other special forces. Like other special forces, SR units may also carry out direct action (DA) and unconventional warfare (UW), including guerrilla operations.

Special forces Military units trained to conduct special operations


Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military units trained to conduct special operations. NATO has defined special operations as "military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment".

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. 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.

British Commando operations during the Second World War

The Commandos formed during the Second World War, following an order from the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in June 1940 for a force that could carry out raids against German occupied Europe. Churchill stated in a minute to General Ismay on 6 June 1940: "Enterprises must be prepared, with specially-trained troops of the hunter class, who can develop a reign of terror down these coasts, first of all on the "butcher and bolt" policy..." Commandos were all volunteers for special service and originally came from the British Army but volunteers would eventually come from all branches of the United Kingdom's armed forces and foreign volunteers from countries occupied by the Germans. These volunteers formed over 30 individual units and four assault brigades.

References

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