Anyone know about "Combined Operations"?

#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!

..cool though. :wink:

Civilian_In_Green
 
#5
You may be interested to know that the Combined Ops badge is still in use by PJHQ...
 
#6
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!)

Civ
 
#7
Civilian_In_Green said:
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.
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

Background

The PJHQ was established to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency and was declared operational in 1996. Based at Northwood in north west London, PJHQ is co-located with the HQs of NATO's Eastern Atlantic Command and the maritime element of 3 Group RAF.

Primary Role

Commanded by the Chief of Joint Operations (CJO), the PJHQ's primary role is to be responsible, when directed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), for the planning and execution of UK-led Joint, potentially Joint, combined and multi-national operations, and for exercising Operational Command of UK Forces assigned to combined and multi national operations led by others, in order to achieve the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) military strategic objectives. Commanding at the Operational level of warfare, PJHQ is responsible for directing, deploying, sustaining and recovering forces on operations.

Joint Task Force HQ

The establishment of the Joint Rapid Reaction Forces (JRRF) was the most important Joint initiative in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR). To command the JRRF a fully resourced Joint Force HQ (JFHQ) is maintained at Northwood, and is permanently at 48 hours notice to move. The JRRF is a pool of highly capable units from all services that are maintained at high readiness for contingency operations.

CJO is responsible for the JRRF, although until deployed, OPCOM of units is retained by the single-service CinCs. Units within the JRRF are trained to Joint standards and are deployed in Joint Force packages, tailored to meet the operational requirement. The pool is configured to mount operations up to medium scale warfighting and can be employed nationally or multinationally under NATO, WEU, UN, OSCE or adhoc coalition auspices.

PJHQ and the Defence Crisis Management Organization (DCMO)

The nature and frequency of UK military operations since the end of the Cold War required a revision of command structures to provide highly responsive military and political command and control in a rapidly changing world. Command of expeditionary and joint operations, which range from warfighting, through peace support to the provision of disaster relief and humanitarian aid, is now provided by the PJHQ and the MOD acting together within the DCMO. The MOD provides policy guidance and strategic direction, and liaises with our Allies at the Department of State level, International Organisations and other Governmental Departments. PJHQ's function is to provide military advice, produce contingency plans and exercise operational command of forces committed to operations; as such PJHQ directs, deploys, sustains and recovers assigned UK forces. The single Services retain a key role in this organization. CDS receives single Service advice through the Chiefs of Staff Committee and CinCs deliver fully manned, trained and equipped forces for operations. The main players in the DCMO are not geographically co-located but are linked by a secure VTC system that also includes single service HQs and our key Allies. A routine DCMO conference is conducted daily to review ongoing and emergent operations and may be held more frequently as operations demand.
http://www.northwood.mod.uk/organization/pjhq/pjhq.htm
 
#8
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:
 
#9
...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?

Confusedly

Civ
 
#10
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.
 
#11
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.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
'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.
 
#16
You do realise that this thread is older than you are.
Relax, John Jones is really on his Jack Jones and has nothing else to do :)
 
#17
After the war Combined Operations HQ became Amphibious Warfare HQ with far fewer powers and resources. Already during the war much of the operational control of amphibious and special forces had been returned to the services. COHQ remained responsible for training and what I suppose we would call today force development as well as small raids and specialist units such as COPPs and Special Boat Section.
 
#18
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?
Just to get you back to basics - Spend £30 and apply for a copy of his service records from the MoD. These will give you chapter and verse on who he was with during the war and when he was with them. Once you know this info you can start looking at things like unit war diaries which will tell you what his unit was doing on a day to day basis and where they were doing it in the world.

Here's the link:

https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records
 
#19


Not just PJHQ that wear the flash- here is HMS Bulwark (her sister ship Albion also carries it) wearing said insignia on her middle mast. The ships company also wear it on their polo shirts.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Weasn' the insignia used on the Granby medal.
I'll have to find the bugger but it seems to ring a bell.
 

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