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47 Cdo - Training for Operation Infatuate

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Unit/ Formation: 47 Cdo RM

Location: Belgium

Period/ Conflict: World War II

Year: 1944

Date/s: 27 September 1944

After relief by 7 Battalion Black Watch the Commando moved to WENDUINE. This move was completed and the unit in satisfactory was billeted by 27 Sept.

Soon after our arrival it became obvious that we were earmarked for an amphibious operation. Training was soon in full swing in the sand-dunes between WENDUINE and OOSTENDE Intensive training continued among the sand-dunes and the troops soon shook down. L.V.T. were used and new teams were trained to use ‘L1FEBUOY' FLAME THROWERS.

Royal Marine training on a 'Life Buoy Flame Thrower' at Dalditch Camp Devon []

An outline of the intended operation was given to Troop Commanders to allow for foresight in training, and signal exercises were carried out on the lines of the Commando's own task. The Commando carried out a series of troop exercises in co-operation with FLAIL tanks giving supporting fire and finally the Commando carried out an exercise dealing with all likely problems.

Weasal amphibious vehicles at Walcheren with Buffalo LVT's in the background

While these exercises were going on the Commando Motor Transport drivers had been taught to drive WEASELS, and 20 of these vehicles were allotted.

On the 29th October the Commando moved to a concentration area in DE HAAN. The area was sealed on the following day and briefing for Operation INFATUATE, the assault on the islands of WALCHEREN commenced. Stores were pre-loaded in L.V.T. and WEASELS and these in turn were loaded into L.C.I. at OOSTENDE.

On 31 Oct. the Commando moved by marching route to OOSTENDE and embarked in 4 L.C.T. Reference: 47 Commando Org

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My grandads photo album has a picture of a M29 water Weasel with him in it. I think they were American design and manufacture. He has his beret on so I guess he's the only English marine in the photo!

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