British Royal Marine Commando, 1942-1945

Table of Organisation & Equipment

British Royal Marine Commando, 1942–1945

Unpainted conversions of British Paras showing the different parts which turned them into Royal Marine Commandos. From left to right: Esci Para with Esci infantry helmet, Revell Para with legs from another Revell Para and beret from a Matchbox Nato Paratrooper, Airfix Para with stocking cap from an Airfix Commando and an Airfix Para with Esci infantry helmet. The parts are pinned together with 0.6 mm pianowire and then secured with white glue. So many interesting converstions may be created in this way that every man in the troop can be a different figure.

The Campaigns

  • Raiding detachments, Far East 1941-42
  • Home Defence, England 1942
  • Madagaskar 1943
  • Sicily 1943
  • Italy 1943
  • Normandy 1944
  • Balkans 1943-1945
  • Western Front 1945
  • Italy 1945

Combined Operations

The Royal Marines have a long tradition as Britain's elite amphibious force. In December of 1939 The Royal Marine (Amphibious) Brigade was formed, and it participated in the Narvik campaign in 1940. Marine units at duty stations in the Far East formed ad hoc raiding detachments operating against the Japanese in 1941 and 1942. The original Royal Marine Commando was raised on 14 February 1942. The unit participated in the Dieppe landings, where it suffered heavy casualties and was subsequently rebuilt as #40 (Royal Marine) Commando. In preparation for the invasion of Europe, additional Royal Marine Battalions were converted to Royal Marine Commandos as follows:

  • #41 (RM) Commando, Oct. 1942
  • #42 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #43 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #44 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #45 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #46 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #47 (RM) Commando, Aug. 1943
  • #48 (RM) Commando, Mar. 1944

The official strength of a Royal Marine Commando was established at 450 all ranks. The men were not volunteers like the Army Commandos, they were drawn from Royal Marine Battalions whenever replacements were needed. As a result, Royal Marine Commandos tended to have fewer replacement difficulties than the Army Commandos who depended on volunteers from regular and territorial regiments who wished to join them.

Uniforms

Royal Marine Commandos wore a regulation uniform of British Army Battledress, 1937 web gear and the British Mk. I (Tin Hat) Helmet. In addition, camouflage smocks similar to those worn by the Paratroops were issued. Royal Marine Commandos wore green Commando berets with the Royal Marine cap badge. Stocking caps were popular as well. To recreate Royal Marine Commandos in miniature, some conversion work is required:

  • Torso from Revell, ESCI or Airfix British Paratroopers.
  • Tin hat from British Infantry or 8th Army, preferably with mesh cover.
  • Beret from Matchbox (Army) Commandos or Nato Paratroopers (No. 40909).
  • Stocking cap from Matchbox or Airfix (Army) Commandos.

Miniatures

  • British Royal Marine Commando Officer, 1:32 Andrea Miniatures S5-F15
  • Royal Marine Commando Officer with Thompson SMG, 20 mm Raventhorpe BC1
  • Royal Marine Commando NCO advancing with Thompson SMG, 20 mm Raventhorpe BC2
  • Royal Marine Commando kneeling with »K« Gun 20 mm Raventhorpe BC3
  • Royal Marine Commando firing Rifle, 20 mm Raventhorpe BC4
  • Royal Marine Commando advancing with Rifle and light Pack, 20 mm Raventhorpe BC5
  • Royal Marine Commando advancing with Rifle and full Pack, 20 mm Raventhorpe BC6

The camouflage smocks can be painted in the same pattern used by British Paratroopers. Royal Marine Commandos not wearing the camouflage smock may be painted without conversion, using regular British Infantry, Commando or Australian Infantry figures from various manufacturers.

Royal Marine Commando Troop 1944

  • Troop Headquarters:
    • Captain with Colt Automatic pistol & Very pistol
    • Lieutenant with rifle & Very pistol, two 3" mortar bombs
    • 2nd Lieutenant with rifle & Very pistol, two 3" mortar bombs
    • Troop Sergeant-Major with rifle & Very pistol
    • Orderly with rifle, two 3" mortar bombs
    • Orderly with rifle, two 3" mortar bombs
  • No. 1 Section:
    • Assault Sub-Section
      Leader: Sergeant with SMG and 5 magazines, 2 grenades, four 3" mortar bombs.
      • Rifle Group: (carrying three 3" mortar bombs per man)
        Corporal with SMG and 5 magazines, 2 grenades.
        5 Marines with rifles and 50 rounds, 2 Bren magazines and 2 grenades.
      • Bren Group:
        Corporal with Rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines.
        No. 1 with Bren light machine gun and 4 magazines.
        No. 2 with rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines.
        No. 3 with rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines, five 3" mortar bombs.
    • No. 2 Sub-Section:
      Leader: Sergeant with SMG and 5 magazines, 2 grenades.
      • Rifle Group: (carrying 4 lbs. of explosives per man)
        Corporal with SMG and 5 magazines, 2 grenades.
        5 Marines with rifles and 50 rounds, 2 Bren magazines and 2 grenades.
      • Bren Group: (carrying 4 lbs. of explosives per man)
        Corporal with Rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines.
        No. 1 with Bren light machine gun and 4 magazines.
        No. 2 with rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines.
        No. 3 with rifle and 50 rounds, 4 Bren magazines.
    • Support Sub-Section:
      Leader: Corporal with SMG and 5 magazines, 2 grenades, binoculars, compass.
      • Mortar Lance-Corporal with rifle and 50 rounds, twelve 2" mortar bombs (three HE and nine smoke rounds).
        No. 1 Mortarman with 2" mortar and 6 mortar bombs (three HE, three smoke), Colt Automatic pistol and three magazines.
        No. 2 with rifle and 50 rounds, 12 mortar bombs (six HE, six smoke).
      • Sniper with rifle, telescopic sights, 50 rounds, 2 Bren magazines.
  • No. 2 Section:
    • Assault Sub-Section, same as above
    • No. 2 Sub-Section, same as above
    • Support Sub-Section, same as above

Royal Marine Heavy Weapons Troop 1944

  • Troop Headquarters: (may be mounted in Jeeps)
    • Captain with Colt Automatic pistol
    • Lieutenant with rifle
    • Sergeant with rifle
    • Batman/Driver
    • Batman/Driver
    • Lance-Corporal RAMC
  • 3" Mortar Section: (may be mounted in Jeeps)
    • 2 Corporals
    • 1 Lance-Corporal
    • 2 Drivers/Mechanics
    • 6 Mortarmen with two 3" mortars
    • 1 Range Taker
    • 3 Drivers
    • 2 Signalmen
  • Machine Gun Section: (may be mounted in Jeeps)
    • 2 Corporals
    • 1 Lance-Corporal
    • 2 Drivers/Mechanics
    • 6 Machine Gunners with two .303 Vickers MG
    • 1 Range Taker
    • 3 Drivers
    • 1 Runner

Wargame Formations

The following list shows scaled down versions of the formation above to be used in conjunction with certain wargame rules.

Frequently Asked Questions

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British Miniatures of World War Two