A Royal Marines Commando
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The previous page was: "Sangin Transfer"
Pronounced as; "Four-Two Commando" it is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3rd Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet.
Rolled as a Commando light infantry unit, 42 Cdo RM is capable of a wide range of operational tasks. Based at Bickliegh Barracks, near Plymouth. Personnel regularly deploy outside the United Kingdom on operations or training.
Whilst the 3rd Commando Brigade RM are another of 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 coveted green beret, with attached personnel having
completed the All Arms Commando Course.
Second World War
Early Commando units were all from the British Army but by
February 1942, Admiral Louise Mountbatten asked the Royal Marines to organise Commando units of their own, and instantly 6,000 men volunteered.
No.42 Royal Marine Commando was raised along with other Royal
Marine Commando Units 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
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 the operation
began and the commando was diverted to re-occupy Hong Kong.
42 Commando Confrontation
42 Cdo Helmand
42 Commando Kandahar
On 15th November 1943 the 3rd Commando Brigade composed of No's 1 and 5 Army Commandos and No's 42 and 44 Royal Marines Commandos sailed from Gourock for India and the war against Japan.
By 22nd January 1944, half of it; Headquarters, No.5 and 44 RM
Commandos had reached Bombay. No.1 Army, and 42 RM Commando had been less fortunate. The ship in which they travelled was bombed
repeatedly and put into Alexandria for repairs.
It was not until September 1944, that the Brigade was finally
united in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The opening actions of the campaign were fought by only half of it.
During their occupation of Burma, the Japanese Armies had killed
and wounded treble the number of British and their Allies; than
which they'd had. But now they were on the defensive, the supplies they had captured were running low or finished.
With no logistical support to back them; the Japanese armies
lived on the country, and for transport relied on coolies and
such mules, bullocks and carts as they could commandeer; captured British lorries were only used at night. But the Jap was a good defensive soldier; who must not be allowed time to dig in.
42 Commando Red-Dagger
42 Cdo Limbang
42 Commando Coming Home
Post World War II
Following the ending of the Second World War; 1st, 2nd and 4th
Commando Brigades disbanded leaving only one brigade - the 3rd
Commando Brigade after re-structuring comprising of; No's 40 RM;
42 RM; and 45 RM Commando Units.
The Commando was involved in operations during the Brunei,
uprising driven by the 'Tentara Nasional Kalimantan Utara' (TNKU). It was during this tour that the famous Limbang raid was
conducted by Lima Company.
The Commando was also later substantially involved in operations
during the Confrontation with Indonesia, Borneo; 'Operation
Claret' from 1964 to 1966.
Throughout the following decade four-two was based in Singapore
at the R.N.A.S. Sembawang or H.M.S. Simbang. They were then
returned to UK when the Commando was required for deployment to
Northern Ireland. They exercised in The New Hebrides in 1980, and regularly overseas.
42 Commando Honourable Warriors
42 Commando Memorial Garden
Falklands Conflict In 1982
Following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, the
Commando deployed on 'Operation Corporate'. On the 21st May, the
Commando were Brigade reserve at San Carlos under Lt. Col. Nick
The unit was deployed to seize Mount Kent, in a night move by
helicopter; which they achieved. Then by the 4th June, the unit
had moved forward, mostly under cover of darkness, to positions
west of high ground overlooking Port Stanley; the last Argentine
After days of probing reconnaissance, a Brigade assault took
place on the night of 11th/12th 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; then in a 9km right-flanking movement surprised the enemy by attacking them 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.
Elizabeth Island 1944
Rangoon Mansion House
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 in Operation Granby.
Operation Granby was the name given to the British military
operations during the Gulf War. It took its name from John
Manners, the Marquis of Granby, a British commander in the Seven
Years' War that took place in 1753 to 1763.
The 1991 Gulf War was fought to the south and west of al-Faw, but the peninsula's military installations were heavily bombed by Allied forces during the conflict.
The Allied forces effectively closed down all of Iraq's shipping
activities, thus rendering its access to the Shatt al-Arab and
the Persian Gulf useless.
The peninsula was one of the first targets of the Coalition
forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with Royal Marines involved
in the Capture of Al Faw, Umm Qasr Port, the town and later they
went on to take the Al Faw Palace, in Baghdad.
Forces from the Royal Marines, U.S. Marines and the Polish GROM
staged a successful midnight amphibious assault on the peninsula. All were attached to the British 3rd Commando Brigade.
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Their mission was to secure the port of 'Umm Qasr' to allow
humanitarian goods to be shipped in, and to secure the key oil
installations located in the area before they could be sabotaged
by retreating Iraqi forces.
The peninsula fell quickly with minimal Iraqi resistance,
although unexpected fierce resistance in Umm Qasr required
several days' fighting before the town was secured.
The Al Faw Palace is also known as the Water Palace, it is
located in Baghdad approximately 5 kilometres from the Baghdad
International Airport, Iraq.
Saddam Hussein commissioned its construction to commemorate the
Iraqi forces' re-taking of the Al-Faw Peninsula during the Iran-
The Al Faw Palace complex contains numerous villas and smaller
palaces. The palace contains over 62 rooms and 29 bathrooms.
There is an artificial lake surrounding the palace that has a
special breed of large bass dubbed the Saddam bass, as well as
large carp. Saddam formerly used the palace for duck-hunting
The resort is surrounded by high walls with pre-constructed
security towers, which contributes to more readily maintaining
surveillance and security for the former resort.
The total cost of operations was £2.434 billion (1992) of which
at least £2.049 billion was paid for by other nations such as
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia; £200 million of equipment was lost or
Al-Faw, sometimes transliterated as Fao, is a small port on the
Al Faw Peninsula in Iraq near the Shatt al-Arab and the Persian
Gulf. The Al Faw Peninsula itself is part of the Basrah
The town lies at the south-east end of the Al-Faw Peninsula on
the right bank of the Shatt al-Arab, only few kilometres away
from the Persian Gulf. Due to its strategic position at the
entrance of the Shatt al-Arab,it has been the scene of armed
conflict throughout all of the Iraq Wars.
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Afghan Spring Offensive 2011
The unit returned from Afghanistan on 16th April 2009, where it
served as the Regional Battle Group (South). In essence, this time it was the Divisional Reserve. It served several operations
alongside 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, with whom it has maintained its ties.
Four-Two were recently at the forefront of a major operation
involving British and Afghan forces which saw them enter insurgent territory to drive out the enemy and bring more people under the protective security of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Forces.
42 Cdo, having driven insurgents out of one district of Helmand,
the green berets helped clear improvised explosives devices from
the main route to the provincial capital.
Intelligence suggested insurgents were using an area to plan attacks. As the Commandos entered the area they came under intense fire, but beat back the enemy then moved forward to discover what their foes had been trying to protect.
Laid out on the ground was a slab of home-made explosives, it was one of the biggest single finds discovered; enough to make three 500lb devices; or more likely 150 smaller IEDs.
Just two weeks earlier they had uncovered a bomb-making factory and an insurgent training camp in the Nahr-e Saraj area. After a bold daylight raid and intense fire-fighting with the insurgents both were destroyed.
The next Link below will be: 42 Commando Afghanistan
42 Commando Afghanistan
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