An historic unit name synonymous with the Commando heroics and bravery of WW2, 47 Commando, has been revived for a new era of the Royal Marines.
Royal Navy News Release, 05 November 2019: 1 Assault Group Royal Marines – the marines’ amphibious warfare experts – will now be known as 47 Commando Raiding Group, reinvigorating a unit name that not only gives a nod to the past but also to the future of 3 Commando Brigade.
The renaming was announced following the 75th anniversary commemorations of one of 47 Commando’s greatest battles during World War Two at Walcheren in the Netherlands. The battle for the island was vital in freeing the approaches to Antwerp, an important supply port, and 47 Commando played a key role in victory alongside their fellow commandos.
Around 48 hours after landing on Gold Beach on D-Day, 47 Commando were also in action in Port-en-Bessin, carrying out a daring tactical raid, approaching from the rear flank and against extreme odds claiming a vital victory to open up supply lines for the advancing allied forces. It is that action at Port-en-Bessin that partly inspired the name change, with the Royal Marines now refocusing on tactical raiding and putting their seaborne warfare expertise back at the forefront of the way they fight after concentrating on more conventional warfighting in the recent past.
It puts their small raiding craft at the centre of what they do along with the development of cutting-edge weapons, tactics and strategy for battle. This is all part of the Future Commando Force concept and is why the ‘Raiding Group’ part of the new name holds considerable significance.
Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Matt Holmes said: “It is with enormous pride that I have been able to announce the renaming of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines to 47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines.
“This change better captures the future role of this specialist 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines unit, whilst reflecting the esteem in which we hold the forebears given their audacious Commando operations of the past.
“The Commando ethos is incredibly strong and remains the golden thread that runs through the Royal Marines as we accelerate into the future as the Royal Navy’s Commando force.”
47 Commando was dismantled after the war in 1946 but is now revived as 1AGRM is now under the command of 3 Commando Bridge Royal Marines. The new name is more in keeping with the traditions of the brigade. 1AGRM have always had strong links with the 47 Commando Association and was formed in 2001 to look after the landing craft specialisation and assault squadrons. As part of this move, 539 Assault Squadron will now be called 539 Raiding Squadron, adding further emphasis on the raiding future of the Royal Marines.