Although the Beachhead Commandos normally worked with as little kit as possible, there were a few essential pieces they needed to allow them to carry out their objectives as efficiently as possible. Any other equipment they had would be dependant on where they were and what they were doing. We have a selection of the equipment they would have had and vary this between shows to represent the diversity of the Navy Commandos.
As the RNBC were originally sailors, they retained lots of their sailors uniform, such as headdress and boots, though they wore the same battledress as regular soldiers.
As a group we have painstakingly conducted extensive research to find out exactly what and how uniforms were worn. This has been a difficult task as there are many bits of conflicting information between photographs, official memos and veterans accounts.
The RN Commandos carried a variety of weapons, from revolvers to machine guns, allowing them to rapidly lay down large amounts of accurate fire. The Navy were also the main service to use the Lanchester Sub-machine gun. Like the Army and Royal Marine Commandos, The RN Commandos received a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife at the end of their training.
To allow the Beachhead Commando to effectively run a beach they often used any vehicle they could get hold of. This was normally anything from a bicycle to a Jeep or Truck. We currently have a 1939 Bedford MW Aeroscreen, a 1942 MWD and multiple wartime bicycles.
After a safe Beachhead was established the RNBC would set up a few tents to live whilst running the beach. These would often have been very basic but would contain most of the essentials. Our camp currently consists of Two officers tents, 3 pup tents and a machine gun nest.
Through a mixture of loudhailers, Lamps, Phones, Flags and signs, almost any message could be sent across the land and to nearby ships. This was crucial to the effective management of a beach.
Mine Clearance and Explosives
An important job of the Commandos was clearing the beach of mines and debris. These varied from small anti-personnel mines to large anti-vehicle mines and even washed up sea mines.
Explosives training was a vital part of the commando training as they were used both defensively in clearances and offensively to destroy enemy structures and supplies.