While looking through old newspaper files I found this interesting article:
The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954) Monday 19 January 1942 Page 1
The word "commando" is much in the news at present, and no doubt as the war progresses we shall hear more of it. It is a word of Portuguese origin, commandra, meaning a command, and was used by the South African Dutch and familiarised in the Boer War. In effect, it is a small raiding party whose success depends upon the dash of its leader and the initiative of the men under him.
Courage and mobility are important factors, and Australian troops, both in the last war and in the present, have proved themselves masters in the art of this type of warfare.
And here I was, thinking all the time that it was a Dutch word!