1 Assault Group Royal Marines – the Royal Marines’ amphibious warfare experts – will now be known as 47 Commando Raiding Group, say the Ministry of Defence.

According to a news release, 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.”

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. 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.”

539 Assault Squadron will also now be called 539 Raiding Squadron, adding further emphasis on the raiding future of the Royal Marines, say the MoD.

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Levi Goldsteinberg

It’s an irrational fantasy of mine to one day have a specialised commando of some description specialised in the kind of mobile desert warfare our special forces are currently involved in be named or renamed Long Range Desert Group, just for old time’s sake.

Daniele Mandelli

I guess the first of the changes coming to the Future Commando Force. But in this case there is not much raiding going on with 1 AGRM’s assets, this is another name change re branding exercise. 10 Training Squadron at Devonport. 11 Trials Squadron at Instow. 4 Assault Squadron with the LPD’s with heavier landing craft, the LCU’s and LCVP’s, not really a raiding unit. Its other formations, 6 Assault and 9 Assault Squadrons RM, once part of 1 AGRM, were cut with Ocean going and the second LPD being mothballed. 539 Assault is more the raiding unit, but that… Read more »

Steve Martin

It’s definitely a worry. Cutting the troop sizes to have “more available” just screams cuts to me.

There is some good news with old unit names and patches being brought back along with adopting the C8 and a change in camo it seems (this one could go either way admittedly). I also like that the focus seems to be shifting to a more technological role utilising more drones etc. I do worry there will be a bit of blurring as to what their actual role is though, making them more vulnerable to cuts.

John Clark

Definitely something to be concerned about Steve..

I meant to add to my above post, I am sure that when a Brigade deployment capability has been formally removed, the powers that be, will see no point in the Royal Marines being so sized as to be able to create a Brigade formation.

Pressure will then be placed to reduce the Corps to about 4,000 with the RN snapping up the allowed Navy manning balance as Sailors (if they can recruit them) for additional T31’s etc.


Hi Danielle, As we all know there are a lot of changes going on at the moment in the Marine’s and not just in the UK. I have read on here that even the USMC are getting out of largescale amphibious assults against defended positions. All fine and dandy but I wonder if anyone has asked our possible enemies if they would kindly not defend every beach! “with the renewed emphasis on Norway and Arctic warfare” This is the rub. I read recently (on UKDJ I think) that the Norwegians have been encountering Russian troops on the Norwegian side of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Chariot Rider.

Thanks for the response. Yes I recall the Norway border mention, it was indeed on UKDJ.

Yes, the QEC will always deploy with some of the CHF Merlns of 845 or 846 NAS embarked, with RM of 42 being used in a sort of CSAR role.

Have not read that pinstriped line article, will have a look.



The Commandant of the USMC didn’t quite say they were getting out of the amphibious assault business. He said, he was getting worried about the enhanced capabilities of Nations being able to defend coastlines and attack shipping over the horizon. This would put their large LPHs and LPDs in danger which means that they would need to operate from further away. They are going to rethink how a beach assault is conducted against a well defended coastline. Perhaps by using lots of smaller ships instead of a couple LPHs and LPDs just behind the horizon. He stated he was worried… Read more »


Brimstone and spear 3 box launchers on our amphibs could be useful?


DaveB, Thanks for the clarification much appreciated. I have read articles that have suggested the USMC were backing out of opposed assults, but obviously it pays to find the original statement – not always easy. Nevertheless, I wonder how feasible it still is to mount an assult against a well prepared enemy. Given the Dieppe raid there is obviously a point where it just isn’t feasible. I guess even the USMC with all of their great kit and experience have judged the potential strength of modern mobile coastal missile systems and SAM’s mean they need to respond. Of course, the… Read more »


There is a lot to consider when conducting a beach assault, this is something they learned after Dieppe (Operation Jubilee). For starters, no proper recce was done on the beach. Lots of phots were taken by flying over the town and its defences, but nobody considered the make up of the beach or conducted trials on a similar UK beach. The small pebbles defeated the Churchill tanks they took to provide fire support. So they couldn’t get off the beach and the Allies had to slog it out infantry style. One of the reasons for the raid was to try… Read more »


Hi DaveyB,

You pretty much described the basic D-Day plan – airborne to secure the area and guard the beaches for the heavies to come via the sea. Without the Cruise Missiles, of course.

I’m not sure the total air dominance over 50 miles will be enough against a peer enemy potentially with a stand off capability that extends well beyond 50 miles.

In any event they face huge challenges as much today as in WW2 so I sincerely hope they never have to try.

Simon m

To be honest delivery of the marines to the assault area is a navy concern. I was surprised of these comments when I read them – as if anti-ship missiles/other defences can take out the LPHs & LPDs surely they can destroy the whole USN? As they must have little confidence in Ticonderoga and Arleigh Burkes that surely would screen these vessels? Considering their capabilities and SAM capability nevermind the massive airforce the USN has, to me he is almost saying that naval warfare is dead!? Surely his argument means that you should scrap the corp and fly in! I… Read more »

John Clark

Unfortunately Daniele, this has been a very long time coming, a slow car crash if you would… First we had the rebuilding of the Commando brigade in 2000, with Albion, Bulwark and Ocean, then the auxiliaries, giving an impressive amphibious capability, second only to the US. Then September 11th happened …… Any thoughts of the RM deploying as an amphibious brigade were quite frankly jettisoned from that point on. I had ‘hoped’ that with a return to the forces traditional roles, post sand pit wars, we might see a return to a full brigade capability, it’s not to be unfortunately….… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I think you might be spot on John.

The spanner in the works are the MoD’s own published reports and the DS’s emphasising Norway and the Arctic! Bit of a contradiction of their own actions.

Steve Taylor

The only announcement I want them to make is 42 brought back up to full strength.

(3 new large fast LPD’s to support QE’s wouldn’t go amiss……….)


What is the true cost of changing the nomenclature of these units, is it pence, or good money best spent on hardware?

Steve Taylor

Not for free, but you know that. 🙂 I think this is all part of something wider. I think there will be moves soon to disestablish 3 Cdo and to turn the Corps more into ‘amphibious rangers’ (rangers used in US Army sense). So there will be lots of specialist sub units all using the designation commando. Stupid really. The Australians are doing their best to establish the capability of landing a light battle group across the beach. The NZ Army see their main role as stabilising the island nations of the south seas. Africa is growing in importance strategically;… Read more »

Simon m

Not really sure exactly what this means – but looking more and more likely that the LPDS are a goner & to be replaced by LSS which will probably be 2 converted point class 🙁. Unless an army formation is earmarked for amphibious ops this is surely inevitable.
The sad thing is that it actually makes CSGs toothless with the ability to attack from the air but unable to take further action.


I think the LPDs are safe because there is still a real need for the capabilities they specifically offer and the LSS will provide the troop lift that has been lost as the Bays seem to be deployed constantly to do other things such is their versatility. More likely is one of the LSS will be cheap and cheerful replacement of RFA Argus providing some reasonable helicopter lift to an ARG and the other will make up for the lack of sufficient Bay class vessels. Your last point would of course be the reality if the LPDs were sold off… Read more »


Excellent, there’s nothing that bolsters our defence more & puts the fear of God in our enemies than a name change!

James Fennell

Its a kind of backwards story – the Raiding Group bit – the USMC copied the Commando idea in 1940, creating the ‘Marine Raiders’ – as they wanted their own name, the 1st Raider battalion being led by a Col Edson, who had trained with the British Commandos. Yet despite fighting bravely in the Pacific the raiders were not popular with US commanders (they had some very idiosyncratic leaders, as the UK SF groups did too, Carlson, I think his name was, who helped start them and led the 2nd Raiders was a Red China expert and used Mao Tse… Read more »