Shoulder flashes Royal Marines <set> (Royal Marines <set>)

Regimental Designation embroided

€ 20,00

During the early parts of World War II, a small party of Royal Marines were first ashore at Namsos in April 1940, seizing the approaches to the Norwegian town preparatory to a landing by the British Army two days later. The Royal Marines formed the Royal Marine Division as an amphibious warfare trained division, parts of which served at Dakar and in the capture of Madagascar. After the assault on the French naval base at Antsirane in Madagascar was held up, fifty Sea Service Royal Marines from HMS Ramilles commanded by Captain Martin Price were landed on the quay of the base by the British destroyer HMS Anthony after it ran the gauntlet of French shore batteries defending Diego Suarez Bay. They then captured two of the batteries, which led to a quick surrender by the French.[11] In addition the Royal Marines formed Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisations (MNBDOs) similar to the US Marine Corps Defense Battalions. One of these took part in the defence of Crete. Royal Marines also served in Malaya and Singapore, where due to losses they were joined with remnants of the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the "Plymouth Argylls" (as there is a football club called Plymouth Argyle F.C., and the Royal Marines were associated with Plymouth).

The Royal Marines formed one Commando (A Commando) which served at Dieppe. One month after Dieppe, most of the 11th Royal Marine Battalion was killed or captured in an amphibious landing at Tobruk in Operation Agreement, again the Marines were involved with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders this time the 1st Battalion. In 1943 the Infantry Battalions of the Royal Marine Division were re-organised as Commandos, joining the Army Commandos. The Division command structure became a Special Service Brigade command. The support troops became landing craft crew.

A total of four Special Service, later Commando, Brigades were raised during the war, and Royal Marines were represented in all of them. Nine RM Commando (battalions) were raised during the war, numbered from 40 to 48.

1st Commando Brigade had just one RM Battalion, No 45 Commando and took part in the Allied invasion of Sicilyand the D Day Operation Overlord invasion of German-occupied Normandy, then campaigns in the Rhineland andcrossing the Rhine.

2nd Commando Brigade had two RM battalions, No. 40 and No. 43 and was involved in the Salerno landings,Anzio, Comacchio, and operations in the Argenta Gap.

3rd Commando Brigade also had two, No. 42 and No. 44 and served in Allied invasion of Sicily and Burma.

4th Commando Brigade was entirely Royal Marine after March 1944, comprising No. 41, No. 46, No. 47 and No. 48 Commando served in Normandy and in the Battle of the Scheldt on the island of Walcheren during the clearing ofAntwerp.

In January 1945, two further RM Brigades were formed, 116th Royal Marine Brigade and 117th Royal Marine Brigade. Both were conventional Infantry, rather than Commando brigades, and were formed by surplus landing craft crews. 116th Brigade saw some action in the Netherlands, but 117th Brigade was hardly used operationally. In addition, one Landing Craft Assault (LCA) unit was stationed in Australia late in the war as a training unit. That month the elements of the Royal Marines saw action in the Pacific theatre when they were deployed to Arakan as part of the British campaign in Burma. 42 Commando & No. 44 Commando as part of 3 Commando Brigade took part in the Battle of Hill 170. Royal Marines also took part in capturing Ramree and Cheduba islands, the latter achieved without resistance.

In 1946, the Army Commandos and all but three Royal Marine Commandos and three out of four Commando brigades were disbanded, leaving 3 Commando Brigade and 40, 42 and 45 Commando Royal Marines to continue the Commando role (with supporting Army elements).

A number of Royal Marines served as aircraft pilots during the Second World War. It was a Royal Marines officer who led the attack by a formation of Blackburn Skuas that sank the German cruiser Königsberg. Eighteen Royal Marines commanded Fleet Air Arm squadrons during the course of the war, and with the formation of the British Pacific Fleet were well represented in the final drive on Japan in the Pacific Theatre. Captains and Majors generally commanded squadrons, whilst in one case Lt. Colonel R.C.Hay on HMS Indefatigable (R10) was Air Group Co-ordinator from HMS Victorious (R38) of the entire British Pacific Fleet. Some were captured including Captain Guy Griffiths, who was captured very early on in the war.

Only one Marine, 21 year old Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter of 43 Commando, was awarded the Victoria Cross in the Second World War. The medal was awarded for action at Comacchio lagoon during Operation Roast in the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy. Hunter was the last Royal Marine Commando to be awarded the medal to date.


Throughout the war Royal Marines continued in their traditional role of providing ships detachments and manning a proportion of the guns oncruisers and capital ships. They also provided the crew for the UK's minor Landing Craft and operated two regiments of Centaur IV tanks of the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group on D Day.

The Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment, The Cockleshell Heroes, under Blondie Hasler carried out Operation Frankton and provided the basis for the post-war continuation of the Special Boat Service.

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