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No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando

Page Created
October 8th, 2022
Last Updated
October 9th, 2022
British Flag
Additional Information
Order of Battle
Interactive Page
July 2nd, 1942
September 4th, 1945
Theater of Operations
Organisational History

No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando is formally raised on July 2nd, 1942. The unit’s name is still available since Northern Command has failed to find sufficient volunteers and is billeted in Wales. The unit It is something of an experiment.

The men are recruited from various nationalities as they had escaped from German occupied Europe. Their language skills and local knowledge are judged ideal for raiding operations. The unit is placed under command of Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Lister, only its Headquarter troop consisted entirely of British personnel. It incorporated an existing French 1er Compagnie Fusilier Marin. Their Commander is Captain Phillipe Kieffer. Kiefer is granted permission to raise a commando unit from Free French Naval Forces based on the British Commando model. On completion of the Commando training, at Achnacarry, the men of 1er Compagnie de Fusiliers Marin become No. 1 Troop of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando.

It is joined by a troop of Free Dutch that already had started their training. The forty-eight men from the Royal Brigade, Prinses Irene start on March 22nd, 1942, with their preliminary training at No. 3 Commando, No. 4 Commando, No. 9 Commando and No. 12 Commando. In May 1942, the group meeets at the Commando Basic Training Centre in Achnacarry, Scotland, for Commando training. In te end of those forty-eight men, twenty-five receive the green beret. On June 29th, 1942, the group graduates, and leaves Achnacarry behind. From here they move to Troon on the Scottish West Coast, to become No. 2 Dutch Troop, No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando. The Troop is commanded by Luitenant P.J. Mulders.

Under conditions of extreme secrecy, X Troop., also known No. 3 (Miscellaneous) troop or the English troop becomes the third troop of No.1 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando. The unit is raised in July 1942 and is made up from native speaking German recruits, only the Commanding Officer and several officers are British. Recruits come from Germany and Austria, as well as German speaking Czechs, Danes, Hungarians, Russians and Rumanians. The men are united in their opposition to the Nazi regime and had all volunteered for the Alien Companies of the Pioneer Corps or had been working with Military Intelligence at the War Office.

On August 7th, 1942, No. 4 (Belgian) Troop joins the Commando. They are formed from the 1st Independent Belgium Brigade and are under command of Captain Georges Danloy.

That same month the Belgiums are followed by a No. 5 (Norwegian) Troop. The men of the troop come from the refugees brought back to Great Britain after the Commando raids In Norway and sailors stranded abroad after the German invasion of Norway.

No. 6 (Polish) Troop is the last to join No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando for that moment. The unit is formed in August 1942 as the 1st Independent Commando Company. In October 1942 it is integrated into No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando. The unit is commanded by Captain Smrokowski and it comprised of seven officers and eighty-four other ranks. 

No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando first sees action at Dieppe on August 19th, 1942. No. 1 Troop and No. 3 Troop are attached to other Commandos and act as interpreters, and successfully gather information, distribute French money under the French resistance, and persuade Frenchmen to return with them.

During this period, the unit serves with distinction, providing individuals, sub-units and complete troops for both clandestine and other more conventional specialised tasks.

In May 1943, the need for Italian speakers is identified. Therefore No. 7 (Mediterranean) Troop is raised. Captain Coates is appointed as the commander of the troop, but he has great difficulties in finding Italian speaking soldiers in the British Army. Eventually, the Special Operations Executive offers Italian-speaking Slovenes from the Royal Yugoslavian Army. The troop only numbers two officers and twenty men and is renamed to No. 7 (Yugoslavian) Troop.

No. 8 Troop is formed in 1943 from forty-five men of the disbanded 2nd Naval Infantry Battalion which had been stationed in Lebanon and men who had been interned and released in Spain. The troop is commanded by Captain Charles Trepel. The two French troops are combined under the command of Kieffer and called the 1er Battaillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos. 

In March 1944, the 1er Battaillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos receives its official designation, and in May 1944, a few weeks before the Normandy landings, they receive their own badge consisting of an ecu of bronze charged with a brig (representing adventure) and the barred dagger of the Commandos with, in the sinistral corner, the Cross of Lorraine and underlined by a streamer carrying the inscription “1er Bn F.M.Commando”. The green beret is worn in the British fashion, pulled right with badge over the left eye or temple. The battalion is initially assigned to No.4 Commando of the British Army’s 1st Special Service Brigade, serving as its 5th Troop and 6th Troop.