This page is the beginning of the "45 Commando Royal Marines" section, all Links in this section are on this page. To follow the links in order, click-on the highlighted Links at the bottom of the page, or use the Links at the side.
The previous page was: "Taliban Weapons"
45 Commando Royal Marines (prounounced "four-five commando") 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.
Roled as a Commando amphibious unit, 45 Cdo RM is capable of a wide range of operational tasks. Based at RM Condor, their barracks in Arbroath, Scotland.
Personnel regularly deploy outside the United Kingdom on operations or training. While 3 Cdo Bde 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.
The Commando is a regular participant in the annual Brigade cold weather warfare exercise in Norway having been the first UK unit to specialise in the mountain and arctic warfare role during the early 1970s and deployed to Norway on NATO’s northern flank most years until the end of the Cold War.
All personnel have completed the Commando course at the Commando
Training Centre at Lympstone, in Devon, entitling them to wear the coverted green beret, with the attached personnel having completed the "All Arms Commando Course".
The 5th RM Battalion
Was originally raised for a brief period at the end of World War I, September 1918-February 1919, and was again raised on 2 April 1940, following mass mobilisation and the influx of “hostilities only” Royal Marine recruits.
The battalion was raised at Cowshot Camp in Brookwood, now part of the Pirbright Camp complex, being incorporated into 101 RM Brigade, along with the 1st RM Battalion.
Between August and October 1940, the 1st RM Battalion took part in operations in the "Battle of Dakar". The Allies decided to send a task force to Dakar composed of a aircraft carrier; five cruisers; ten destroyers; and several transports carrying 8,000 troops. English novelist Evelyn Waugh participated as one of the Royal Marine officers.
On their return until August 1943, the battalion conducted
extensive training in Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Wight and Burley, where the battalion reformed as 45 RM Commando on 1st August 1943.
45 Cdo Helmand
45 Cdo Lion
45 Cdo Dar-es-Salaam
45 Royal Marine Commando
After reforming and retitling the unit transitioned to the Commando role as a formed unit, by-passing the individual volunteer and selection process undertaken by Army Commando personnel. Recruits undertook, and completed, the Commando Basic Training Course at Achnacarry, Scotland.
As part of the 1st Special Service Brigade the Commando participated in Operation Overlord, the D-Day Normandy landings, going on to move through Europe into Germany.
When the D-day arrived for the crossing of the Elbe, the last of the rivers to be tackled, it was fixed for Sunday 29th April. The usual tactics that had proved so successful were again employed.
The task of establishing a bridgehead was entrusted to No.6 Army
Commando, while 46 R.M. Commando were to pass through and take the town of Lauenburg.
There was some enemy fire against the beaches from both flanks, and after crossing and scrambling up the steep bank of the other side X Troop suffered casualties caused from hand-grenades hurled from an enemy post on top of the cliff.
Without hesitation Captain N. K. Easton made his way up the bank
until he was within fifteen yards of the post and then, standing in full view of the enemy, effectively silenced the post with two well-aim grenades, enabling the remainder of X Troop to reach the top without further trouble.
Tommy Treacher's D-Day Landing
Derrick Cakebread's D-Day Landing
With The Bridgehead Secured
The remainder of the Commando soon came ashore and passed through, making their way into the town without too much difficulty. Then they proceeded to ready themselves, preparing for any counter-attack which the Germans were notorious for launching early the next morning.
Once again the crossing had been made at night, and when dawn broke there was much confusion, especially when British and German troops found themselves digging-in side by side.
The confusion soon turned to laughter and amusement, for the Germans had now had their fill of the fighting and of the war. Four days later the Brigade, which by now had advanced to Neustadt, received the welcome news that all the German forces on the front of the 21st Army Group had surrendered unconditionally.
Derrick Cakebread's Rivers Of Fire
Derrick Cakebread's Five Rivers
For Some The War Was Over
Although they could not have realised it at the time, the war was over for 45 and 46 R.M. Commandos. They had been employed as
spearhead troops in the Normandy landings; they had carried out the same function in the invasion of Germany; and all their fighting was fought in an ethos recognised today as the spirit of the Commandos their: "Esprit de Corps."
A Hundred and thirty-three years before, the Duke of Wellington used these words: "Napoleon's marshals planned their campaigns just as you might make a spendid harness. It looks very well and answers very well, until it gets broken, and then you are done for. Now I made my campaign of ropes, if anything went wrong, I tied a knot, and went on."
Brilliant improvisation, itself is one of the features of their
training, and it was the mainspring of the success of the Marine
Commandos in Germany. Marines understand ropes and knots.
The Commando role is their traditional function, and today the
Marines have brought it nearer to perfection than ever before.
When they Entered Germany from the first crossing of the Rhine, 45 and 46 Commandos, together with their brothers-in-arms, 3 and 6 Army commandos, had advanced 200 miles in less than a month; and they had captured many hundreds of German prisoners.
By the speed and skill with which they had secured the bridgeheads of the German rivers they had greatly enhanced the safe crossing of the main forces of the Army.
45 Cdo Operation Crocodile
45 Commando Rhine 1945
Post-World War II Reorganisation
Following the defeat of Germany in the Second World War both the 1st Commando Brigade, composed of Nos 3, and 6 Army Commandos, and 45 and 46 R.M. Commandos; and the 2nd Commando Brigade, composed of Nos 2 and 9 Army Commandos and 40 and 43 R.M. Commandos, disbanded. Leaving only the 3rd Commando Brigade, then comprising 1 and 5 Army Commandos and 42 and 44 RM Commandos, still in place in the far east.
3 Commando Brigade completely reorganised, disbanding 1 and 5 Army Commandos, and 44 R.M. Commando. It retained 42 R.M. Commando and it incorporated 45 R.M. Commando, which joined the Brigade in Hong Kong, from the UK, in January 1946. And then 40 R.M. Commando joined the 3rd Brigade in March 1946.
1940s To 1950s
After the War, the Commando Brigade was based in Hong Kong between January 1946 and May 1947, conducting internal security duties there. Between May 1947 and December 1948 the Commando moved to Malta, during which time it deployed to Libya, Palestine, Suez and Jordan.
The Commando returned to Hong Kong in December 1948 and from there deployed to Malaya between 1950 and 1952 taking part in operations during the Emergency.
Between 1952 and 1959 the Commando was once again based in Malta, from where it took part in a number of tours of Cyprus as well as the Suez Crisis, conducting the first ever helicopter assault.
Between 1960 and 1967 the Commando was based in Aden, from where it conducted 10 operational tours in the Radfan during the Aden Emergency. The Commando also deployed briefly to Kuwait following an Iraqi threat to her Independence In 1961.
In 1964, 45 R.M. Cdo, deployed to Tanganyika during the Zanzibar
Revolution for internal security duties, returning to Aden after each deployment. The last elements of the Commando left Aden on 29th November 1967, to return to the UK for the first time since the end of World War II. There they set up home in Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth.
1970s To 1980s
In 1970 the Commando began arctic training for the first time, taking on the role of the UK’s mountain and arctic warfare experts, they were joined later by the other Commandos.
45 Cdo RM deployed to Norway for the first of many winters in 1971, which coincided with a move of the unit from Stonehouse, Plymouth to the old Naval Air Station, RNAS Condor (now RM Condor) in Arbroath, Scotland, where the unit remains to this day.
This period in the unit’s history is characterised by the alternation of Northern Ireland tours and winters in Norway, protecting NATO’s northern flank. The principal break in this routine came from the Falklands War in 1982.
Following the Argentinian invasion of 2nd April 1982, 45 Cdo RM were recalled from leave and deployed to the Falklands immediately. Having landed at Red Beach, Ajax Bay on 21st May 1982, the men of 45 Cdo R.M. yomped across East Falkland, to take part in the Battle for Stanley, conducting a night attack on the Two Sisters feature over the 11th/12th June 1982, during which the Commando lost 8 men killed and 17 wounded. The Argentinians surrendered on 14th June 1982.
The Commando deployed to Northern Iraq on Operation Haven at the end of the Gulf War, where it spent 2 months in the Zakho area, withdrawing at the end of June.
In 1993 The Commando was deployed to Belize for the last operational jungle tour in that country. In a mirror image of its 1961 deployment to Kuwait, the Commando returned on Operation Driver in 1994, in support of Kuwait following some threatening troop movements by the Iraqis on their side of the border.
In 1998 the Commando was redirected from an exercise in Belize to assist Nicaragua and Honduras following the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch – Operation Tellar.
Fast Boats Pages
Joe Wezley Pages
At the turn of the Millennium, the Commando was deployed to Kosovo under KFOR as part of 3 Cdo Bde RM, on Operation Agricola IV.
In 2002 the unit deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Jacana (known more universally by its US name Operation Anaconda), and also took part on (Op Telic 1) the 2003, invasion of Iraq. X Company Group was attached to the SBS, Zulu Company Group was attached to SAS.
In January 2004 the unit deployed to Northern Ireland for 6 months in support of peacekeeping operations, returning home in June. On return, it became the Spearhead Lead Commando, a role assumed on a rotational basis. The Lead Commando is at a high level of readiness, able to deploy at short notice on operations worldwide.
In September 2004, whilst still Lead Commando, the Group deployed to the United States on Exercise BLACKHORSE. This was split into two phases, the first of which took place with the United States Marines Corps Ground-Air Combat Centre at 29 Palms, California.
This 900 hundred square miles of desert allowed realistic live firing, involving artillery and air strikes. The second phase took place at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Centre, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. An early snowfall meant the Commando was able to carry out cold weather warfare training, operating between 7000 and 11,000 feet.
2006 saw the Unit deploy to Norway for further arctic training which culminated with a NATO-led exercise. The focus switched to preparation for deploying to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 5 in late 2006. This deployment saw the Commando take on a number of different roles.
Their principal role being that of the Operational Mentoring and
Liaison Team (OMLT). The OMLT task was to work alongside the Afghan National Army and develop it into a self-sufficient organisation. The Unit recovered from Afghanistan in April 2007 before reforming and assuming Lead Commando Group responsibility later that year.
October 2008, saw the Commando return to Afghanistan as Northern
Battle Group in Helmand Province on Operation HERRICK 9. The
operational area of responsibility was the Upper Sangin Valley which extended for 80 km along the length of the Helmand River. The Battle Group was in excess of 1200 strong, half of whom came from 45 Commando.
The Unit was split between five Forward Operating Bases. The main location was in the town of Sangin and consisted of the Commando HQ and Whisky Company. The town had a population of approx 25,000.
Whisky Company was responsible for the security of Sangin, mounting daily patrols to reassure the local population. Some parts of the town were friendlier than others, and the Company was involved in a number of battles with the Taliban in the suburbs.
The deployment was a hectic 6 months, but the successes were notable. Most progress was in Sangin, with schools being built and shops opening in the bazaar. Importantly, the Afghan Police are now almost exclusively responsible for security in the centre of the town.
The influence of the district governor helped spread local governance with ten times more people than predicted, from all tribal backgrounds, registering for the national elections. The Afghan Government also delivered hundreds of tons of free wheat seed to local farmers, encouraging them to grow wheat instead of poppy.
This progress was possible because of the security that was provided by 45 Commando. The Unit made it harder for the enemy to intimidate local Afghans, and when attacked, the Unit responded quickly, and effectively.
45 Commando conducted a number of intelligence led, targeted operations against the Taliban. Operation GHARTSE PALANG found hidden stores of assault rifles, explosives and ammunition. Another, Operation DIESEL, was a night time raid by helicopter into one of the enemy’s safe havens, which included the destruction of their main heroin production factories.
45 Commando left the Upper Sangin Valley significantly safer and better developed than it had found it.
April 2009 saw the return of the Commando to Arbroath in Scotland for reorganisation ahead of a winter deployment to Norway where it will again hone its collective cold weather warfare and amphibious skills. Thereafter, it stands ready as always to fight and win operations around the globe.
In 2010, 45 Commando deployed to Afghanistan as part of 3 Commando Brigade in March 2011 on Operation Herrick 14, they will return after a 6 month deployment in October 2011.
The next Link below will be: "45 Commando Helmand"
45 Commando Helmand
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