Tag Archives: long range patrol

Codename Snake Eyes and Jungle Green

Royal Marines exercise “Codename Snake Eyes” circa 1960 documentary– in Color!— by the Central Office of Information for the Admiralty. A great way to spend a half-hour. 

The exercise involves a combined-arms amphibious attack on a fictitious Mediterranean island nation that looks suspiciously like Cyprus, complete with an airfield and radar station.

It is jolly good stuff, complete with pipe smoking, beards, Denison smocks, a wet predawn paradrop from an RAF Boxcar by SBS frogmen, Fleet Air Arm Vampires launched from an RN carrier conducting rocket attacks to soften things up, dory-landed (and Enfield/Sterling-armed!) Royal Marines from 45 Commando leaping ashore from LCVPs to complete a rock face free climb, then reinforced by Wessex helicopter-delivered 40 Commando (“choppers may be useful but they have no natural dignity”), finished off by LCM-landed 42 Commando (who finally have some FN FALs/L1A1s) on the third wave after NGFS from gun-armed cruisers.

And that’s just in the first 10 minutes!


For a less varnished but no less fascinating look at Royal Marines at the sharp end, check out “Jungle Green,” a 1964 BBC documentary following an isolated 25-man long-range patrol/listening post of 40 Commando and their two Iban trackers some 50 miles deep in the bush in Borneo during the very Vietnam-ish Konfrontasi, the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.

‘If you track behind, you’ll likely find yourself newly dead’

Jungle Marines,” a 15~ minute Crown Film Unit production, “Shows the dangers faced by long-range Royal Marines patrols in the jungles of the Far East.”

It portrays an 8-man RM patrol, all good chums, roaming around what looks like Burma during the latter part of WWII. Armed with No. 4 Lee Enfields, an M1928 Tommy gun, a BREN gun, and machetes, they poke around in good fashion in the green hell and across rice paddies, burning off leeches with cigarettes and winning hearts and minds with the locals while trying to keep one step ahead of the Japanese and jungle rot.

Of particular interest is how light they pack, using just a small musette bag for what seems to be a week-long patrol.

At the 7:40 mark, they make a great little raft out of groundsheets and bamboo to help them cross a river.

Then comes a night ambush.