The Royal Marines’ amphibious warfare expert group has been renamed. 1 Assault Group Royal Marines will now be known as 47 Commando Raiding Group. After the Second World War, 47 Commando was dismantled, but the name has now been revived. Former 1 Assault Group Royal Marines is now under the command of 3 Commando Bridge Royal Marines.
“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,” said Major General Matt Holmes. “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,” he added. “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.”
The unit name is associated with heroics and bravery of personnel during the Second World War. The renaming coincides with the 75th anniversary of one of the group’s greatest battles fought by the group, Battle of Walcheren in the Netherlands. The battle for the island was vital in freeing the approaches to Antwerp, in Belgium. 47 Commando played a key role in victory alongside their fellow commandos.
They were also instrumental in the D-Day landings on Gold Beach, and 48 hours after arriving in Normandy they were also in action in Port-en-Bessin. In the French town, they carried out a tactical raid which resulted in a vital victory to open up supply lines to the Allies. The crucial action at Port-en-Bessin inspired the name change, as the Royal Marines are currently refocusing on tactical raiding while also putting their seaborne warfare expertise back at the forefront of their fighting style. Further name changes also mean 539 Assault Squadron will now be called 539 Raiding Squadron.
This also explains why the ‘Raiding Group’ part of the new name holds considerable significance. Further name changes also mean 539 Assault Squadron will now be called 539 Raiding Squadron.