British Commandos - Legacy


At the end of the Second World War all the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and some Royal Marines Commandos were disbanded, leaving only three Royal Marines Commandos and one brigade. As of 2010 the British Commando force is 3 Commando Brigade, which consists of both Royal Marines and British Army components. Other units of the British armed forces that can trace their origins to the British Commandos of the Second World War are the Parachute Regiment, the Special Air Service, and the Special Boat Service.

Of the Western nations represented in No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando only Norway did not develop a Commando force. The French troops were the predecessors of the Naval commandos. The Dutch Troops were the predecessors of the Korps Commandotroepen and the Belgian Troops were the predecessors of the Paracommando Brigade. The United States Army Rangers can also trace their origins to the British Commandos. Their first volunteers were from troops stationed in Northern Ireland, who were sent to train at the Commando depot at Achnacarry.

The men serving with the Commandos were awarded 479 decorations during the war. This includes eight Victoria Crosses awarded to all ranks. Officers were awarded 37 Distinguished Service Orders with nine bars for a second award and 162 Military Crosses with 13 bars. Other ranks were awarded 32 Distinguished Conduct Medals and 218 Military Medals. In 1952 the Commando Memorial was unveiled by the Queen Mother. It is now a Category A listed monument in Scotland, dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during Second World War. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge village, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle.

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