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"British Commando headgear" Topic

12 Posts

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591 hits since 8 Jun 2005
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RobH Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 3:29 a.m. PST

When did the "Green Beret" become standard wear for Commandos?
Pictures seem to show most British Army commandos (in Artic & European missions) in the woolen cap (comforter), but DDay references have the famous green beret.

Was the choice of headgear a personal one or did regulations specify?

Griefbringer09 Jun 2005 3:53 a.m. PST

I do not think it ever was standard wear in action - a mix of headgear being used for that (even helmets - gasp!). Basically in action soldiers tend to wear whatever they like to and ignore regulations (unless their superiors are trying to supervise it).

When not on the front, observation of dress regulation could be more strict.

Checking any commando history (I do not have any round here), you might be able to find the date when green was officially recognised as the colour of berets for commandoes.


Gav Tyler Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 4:55 a.m. PST

I think the Beret came into use during 1944, just bedoe D-day

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 5:25 a.m. PST

I'll second both of the above; 1944 for the beret, but use remained patchy; it was actually introduced in 1942, but seems not to have been worn in combat. Raiders should be cap comforters and the odd helmet, while D-Day onwards can include berets.

I wish I could remember where I read it, but seem to recall that on D-Day at least one commando (ie. battalion) went ashore all in berets while others were the usual hodge-podge....


Cheshire Cat Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 5:46 a.m. PST

Army Commandos usually went to battle in knit watch caps or helmets as a general rule until the D-Day landings. While some did land with berets, most still used the knit cap or helmet even for the landings in 1945. I'm not 100% sure if the Marines were different than the Army about their head gear.


RobH Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 8:52 a.m. PST

Thanks for you help guys.

I have posted a new question on Commandos now, this one about TO&E

(as you may guess I am putting together a commando troop for skirmish gaming. 20mm at 1 to 1 scale.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 9:44 a.m. PST

In one of the many accounts about Pegasus Bridge, it is recorded that the Commandos marched across in formation, wearing their beretsuntil one was shot through the head by a sniper and from that point forth, all Commandos in the area rapidly donned their helmets!

Griefbringer09 Jun 2005 11:25 a.m. PST

Well, helmet really does not give that much protection from a rifle bullet - though it is very good to wear it as protection against shrapnel (a great cause of casualties in WWII).


Jedispice Inactive Member09 Jun 2005 2:40 p.m. PST

I've read that Lord Lovat ordered his commandoes to where the beret; many of them wore the helmet on top of the beret as to not break the order.

vforvictory Inactive Member10 Jun 2005 12:56 a.m. PST

The Green beret was adopted during 1943 to standardise parade head gear as prior to this the men wore their own units head gear.

During raids commandos would wear light order, which included the cap comforter. For larger actions they would likely have worn helmets (for example at Vaagso, St Nazaire and 3 Commando at Dieppe.) Lord Lovat ordered his men to discard helmets when he commanded 4 commando at Dieppe and they wore cap comforters. When he commanded 1 SS Bde at D-Day he ordered them all to wear berets.

Cap comforters were still worn when raiding up to the end of the war.

Pyrate Captain23 Jun 2018 4:09 p.m. PST

Interestingly enough, any person in any branch of service who completes the commando course, can where the green beret. This rule holds true today.

Windy Miller24 Jun 2018 12:31 a.m. PST

Not quite true. Anyone who passes the All Arms Commando Course is awarded a green beret but they only wear it if they're attached to 3 Commando Brigade. They can however wear the Commando Dagger patch on their uniform.

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