Anyone know about "Combined Operations"?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Invictus_88, Sep 21, 2003.

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  1. My Grandfather was in Combined Operations during WW2.
    He never said anything about it and kept silent till the day he died.
    I've heard very little in-all, what i heard was told by his surviving friends from the unit.
    His uniform was donated to a museum on Guernsey where he lived (till the hun moved in) and all i remember was the distinctive combined ops flash.
    I've seen it since used in a few computer-games and on the uniform of a British officer in Iraq.
    I don't know anything except that they were apparrently hard-as-nails and don't exist anymore.
    Can anyone help?
  2. almost all ops are combined ops, its the way things are these days
  3. I didn't mean Combined Operations as in 'operations which are combined' but instead the WW2 unit called "Combined Operations", i've since found out that they had a training-base by some lake in scotland and that they did parachute-training, covert-insertion (oo-er!), and nightime sea-wall demolitions.
    I know the lots of things nowadays are combined but there was a unit called such and it's shoulder flash was an anchor-thing with a bren-gun or somthing crossed over it.
    All in a not-very-macho pink! though. :wink:

  4. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    You may be interested to know that the Combined Ops badge is still in use by PJHQ...
  5. Who are PJHQ? what do they do and why do they still use it? I suppose that's who i was on the news in Iraq with it on.

    (thanks for the website by the way bb, much appreciated!)

  6. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    PJHQ = Permanent Joint HQ, a large organisation in Northwood who run all current operations. They have a deployable element that is always one of the first units into a potential conflict zone. That is who you will have seen on the TV
  7. I think civ in green may have been poking a bit of fun in PJHQ's direction?

    One of the two websites is certainly testament to the projection of a potent military capability by a well informed leadership.

    Then there's the PJHQ website as well :wink:
  8. ...I've explored the PJHQ site and i've come to a reasonable conclusion.

    ...desk-jockeys, I see no evidence of any form of action anywhere. They have a shoulder-flash which gave birth to the SBS. Their WW2 units were among the 'Heroes of Telemark' in Norway.
    I've since discovered that my grandfather was trained in: Demolitions, as a frogman, parachuting, yugoslavian languages, sniping, working with the partisans, disassembly and reassembly of small field-guns, abseiling and using those mini-submarine things.

    I see no correlation between Combined Operations then and Combined operations now...Should they scrub the badge off their shoulder and replace it with a Laptop and crossed Joysticks or some-such thing surely?


  9. The concept of Combined ops is to use a single command structure to eliminate the politics and back biting usually inherent with things like the army needing to use an aeroplane or a boat. Thus, when the Heroes of Telemark needed to fly to Norway they could get a plane without being told that the weather was too bad just because there was a drinks do at the mess or a football match on the telly.

    Likewise PJHQ was designed to overcome the inter-service rivalries. Hencde the badge. You're right though not much in common betwween the Heroes of Telemark and the Deskwallahs.
  10. Combined Ops was set up in 1940 to run unconventional military operations involving all 3 services. Originally commanded by Admiral Keyes, they were the birth place of the Commandos and the Paras. Also trained people like the guys on Telemark.

    The main aim was to make sure that Tommy was not left on a beach somewhere in northern france waiting for a boat to get back to Blighty just because noone knew how to tell teh navy.

    THe Joint natue of todays ops is the reason for teh return of teh insigna. It is different from the WW2 badge as it now has an SA80 in teh middle to represent the army not a tommy gun on the original.

    Only know about the modrn stuff as I was on teh palne back from telic with a load of blokes from the HQ in qatar.
  11. Excellent, thanks...
  12. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    'Combined Ops' in WW2 encompassed many things - Commandos (training in Achnacarry in Scotland and elsewhere), canoeists trained at Eastney ('Cockleshell Heroes'), Combined Ops Pilotage Parties at Hayling Island Sailing Club, Landing craft crews training on Hayling and in Scotland, all sorts. For adventures in Yugoslavia check out Fitzroy Maclean. Also read up on Mountbatten.

    Finding out what an individual did could be tricky. Naval personnel would be recorded on the books of the Combined Ops depot HMS Cobra in Glasgow but they could well be in a 'field' unit hundreds of miles away.

    If your man was RM try the RM Museum staff.