Cold War Climate: Royal Marines

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Conflict, change and the Royal Marines, Cold War

Suspicion and rivalry with the USSR and the spread of Communism dominated much of the Post War period sparking a state of political and military tension.

Serving under UN and NATO commands, the ‘Cold War Climate’ provided the Royal Marines with some specialised and specific roles within the international security of the Western world.

The role of the Royal Marines within the United Nations and NATO highlights the ability of the Corps to adapt to different command structures and protocols.

Notable service include fighting as party of the UN during the Korean War, and guarding NATO's Northern and Southern Flanks.

In 1956 45 Commando’s successful execution of the first ever operational heli-borne raid on the Egyptian at Suez heralded dramatic change to the operations of the Royal Marines.

The effectiveness of using helicopters in amphibious raids sparked new means of deploying commandos quickly and effectively.

As a result, the government commissioned the Landing Platform Docks HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid in the mid 1960s specifically for Cold War Amphibious Warfare. The new assault ships raised the amphibious capabilities of the Corps considerably.

45 Commando approaching the landing zone in Whirlwind helicopters, 6 November 1956. (RMM)
45 Commando approaching the landing zone in Whirlwind helicopters, Suez Raid, 6 November 1956. (RMM)

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