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The 2nd Special Service Brigade was formed in late 1943 in the Middle East and saw service in Italy, the Adriatic, the landings at Anzio and took part in operations in Yugoslavia.[1] On December 6, 1944, the Brigade was renamed 2nd Commando Brigade, removing the hated title Special Service and its association with the German SS.[2]

Italian Campaign

The brigade as a formation, was not involved in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, but 40 RM Commando was involved in the assault landings as Army Troops. In Operation Shingle, the assault at Anzio, No 9 Army Commando and 43 RM Commando were the only units involved. The whole brigade would be involved in the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy.

In 1945 the brigade was involved in the Lake Comacchio battle, Operation Roast, where Cpl Tom Hunter of No.43 RM Commando earned a posthumous Victoria Cross for conspicuous Gallantry in single handedly clearing a farmstead housing three Spandau machine guns after charging across 200 metres of open ground firing his Bren gun from the hip, then moving to an exposed position to draw fire away from his comrades by engaging further Spandaus entrenched on the far side of the canal. After Operation Roast the brigade was involved in the follow-up actions until the German surrender.

The brigade remained in the area on security duties until it was disbanded in 1946 [1]


Battle honours

The following Battle honours were awarded to British Commandos during the Second World War.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Army Commandos 1940-45 By Mike Chappell,p 31
  2. British Commandos 1940-46 By Timothy Robert Moreman,p 32
  3. Moreman, p.94

See also


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