WWII COMMANDO UNITS

In late 1940 the Australian Army began considering the issue of raising independent companies or commando units for the conduct of irregular warfare. Based upon proposals and advice from the British Military Mission in Australia, in February 1941 the Army began training company-sized units (appx. 280 men) that would act independently of higher command to carry out tasks such as raiding, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare.

 

Initially, they were intended to be sent to the Middle East as part of the 2nd AIF, however, prior to Japan's entry into the war, several of these units were hastily deployed to the islands to the north of Australia the country to act first as an observation and early warning force and then following the arrival of Japanese forces to carry out delaying, harassment and demolition operations. Several of these early companies having initially engaged with overpowering Japanese forces became stay-behind forces conducting a guerrilla warfare campaign. Most of these commando units went through numerous role and name changes and restructures as the war in the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) evolved. Below is a brief history of each of the WWII Army and Naval Commando units as well as additional information, photographs and videos.

HISTORY, SELECTION & TRAINING

Further information coming soon

1 INDEPENTENT COMPANY

The 1 Independent Company was officially formed in early June 1941.

2/2nd COMMANDO SQUADRON

Initially formed as the "2nd Independent Company", the unit was raised in 1941.

2/3rd COMMANDO COMPANY

Formed in October 1941 as the 2/3rd Independent Company

2/4th COMMANDO COMPANY

The unit was initially formed as "No. 4 Independent Company" in August 1941.

2/5th COMMANDO COMPANY

No. 7 Infantry Training Centre was formed at Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, Australia.

2/6th COMMANDO COMPANY

Formed in May 1942 at the Guerrilla Warfare School at No. 7 Infantry Training Centre at Tidal Rive.

2/7th COMMANDO COMPANY

The 2/7th Independent Company was formed in May 1942.

2/8th COMMANDO COMPANY

The 2/8th Independent Company was formed at Wilsons Promontory, in Victoria in July 1942.

2/9th COMMANDO COMPANY

The 2/9th Commando Squadron was raised in January 1944.

2/6th CAVALRY COMMANDO REGIMENT

The 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment was a cavalry regiment served during WW2 and later converted into a commando unit.

2/7th CAVALRY COMMANDO REGIMENT

The 2/7th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment was one of three commando regiments raised for service during World War II.