Marines: May 29, 2002

Archives

Britain, which invented the modern concept of the commando, disbanded it's ten army commando's (as the battalion size commando units were called) at the end of World War II. The Royal Marines, however, saw the commando concepts as a welcome addition to their own doctrine and retained three of their nine Royal Marine Commandos. Since World War II, the Royal Marines have maintained at least three commando battalions (called commandos, instead of battalions.) Artillery and engineer units are supplied by the army. Like the U.S. Marines, the Royal Marines realized that assault from the sea always was a commando like operation, requiring special training, bold leadership and an aggressive spirit. Although the U.S. Marines organized commando battalions (called Raider Battalions) early in World War II, these were eventually used to form another Marine Regiment before the war ended. As one marine general put it, "all marines are raiders." The Royal Marines, like their American counterparts, continued to innovate after World War II. In 1956, it was a Royal Marine Commando that launched the first helicopter assault from ships against a land target (during the invasion of Egypt). The Royal Marine Commandos were used extensively to keep the peace in Ireland during the 1970s and 80s. In 1982, it was two Royal Marine Commandos and one parachute battalion that did most of the fighting to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina. The Royal Marines have performed peacekeeping duty in the Balkans and Africa, and served as an amphibious fast reaction force. While the U.S. Marines made a name for themselves with multi-division amphibious operations in the Pacific during World War II, the Royal Marines stuck with the commando type operations that characterize what marines spend most of the time doing between major wars. The last large scale amphibious operation took place over half a century ago (Inchon, Korea in 1950). Since then, the typical marine mission has been a quick assault using a small (usually battalion size) force.

 


Article Archive

Marines: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close