This story of a proud unit in an elite Corps also reflects the evolution of Commando warfare during the Second World War. The 2nd Battalion, Royal Marines saw action securing Iceland for the Allies early in the war, and in 1940 took part in the ill-fated attempt to wrest the West African French colony of Dakar from the control of Vichy in the name of De Gaulle’s Free French. In 1943, re-named and re-trained as 43 Commando, Royal Marines, the unit took part in the Anzio landings in Italy and then crossed the Adriatic to take part in island hopping operations along the Dalmatian coast alongside Tito’s Yugoslavian partisans. Finally, in north Italy at the end of the war in 1945 the unit’s Tom Hunter won a (sadly posthumous) Victoria Cross – the only VC won by a Royal Marine in the war.
NOTHING MUCH TO LOSE The Story of 2nd Battalion Royal Marines, 1940-1943 and 43 Commando Royal Marines, 1943-1945
The story of an elite unit in an elite Corps in the Second World War. The 2nd Royal Marines – later 43 Royal Marine Commando – fought from Iceland to Dakar, and from Anzio to Dalmatia as a spearhead to oust the Nazi occupiers.