Quarterly Historical Report For

The 5th Field Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery



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1943 1944 1945 1947
Memorandum From Lt.-Col R.R. Hoare D.S.O., M.C., R.H.A. August 1942



January to June 1946





for the quarter ending 30 September 1946.

1. Locations. Until 18 July 1946 at HEIDE, Schleswig, Map Reference 8923.
    From 18 July 1946 to 30 July 1946 at SCHOOL OF ARTILLERY MUNSTER LAGER.
    From 30 July 1946 at WINKELHAUSEN   Barracks, OSNABRUCK, Map Refernce W 203114
2 Strengths. 15 Jul 46  30 Officers   600 OR's including 8 Officers 191 OR's detached in UK.
    30 Jul 46  30 Officers   587 OR's including 8 Officers 194 OR's detached in UK.
    15 Jul 46  30 Officers   568 OR's including 8 Officers 212 OR's detached in UK.
    15 Jul 46  30 Officers   560 OR's including 8 Officers 226 OR's detached in UK.
    15 Jul 46  30 Officers   560 OR's including 8 Officers 235 OR's detached in UK.
    15 Jul 46  30 Officers   515 OR's including 8 Officers 233 OR's detached in UK.
3. Employment 1 - 5 July Occupational duties. Two curfew patrols 7 Jul 46 and 12 Jul 46 with no results
    This period was spent in preparing to move from HEIDE to Practice Camp (18 Jul 46).
    One local firing exercise took place 11 Jul 46.
    Each Battery deployed 4 guns for firing on to coastal mudflats. Eleven shoots were carried out. This was course shooting practice for Practice Camp. Amn expended 463 HE  67 Smk  44 '222' Fuses
    Occupational security responsibility passed to 153 Fd Regt. R.A . 15 Jul 46. I.O. and CO;s rep from this Regiment had both visited HEIDE so that we could persuade them to place tps in the town when we had left in view of extensive Security commitments area: in this we were unsuccessful and C.O. 153 Fd. Regt R.A. decided not to decentralise his Regiment and we left the Barracks empty.
  15 - 18 July Final preparations for movement.
  18 July Main Party moves to School of Artillery, MUNSTER LAGER.
  20 - 29 July Firing at practice camp
    The days for shooting were divided as follows:-
           Saturday 20 July.     Regimental Comparative Calibration
           Monday 22 July.      Course shooting
                                           Morning - G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA
                                           Morning - CC Bty RHA
           Tuesday 23 July.      Tactical Fire and Movement
                                           Exercise No. 1 (restricted in view of other tps on ranges) 
                                           - G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA
           Wednesday 24 July.  Tactical Fire and Movement
                                           Exercise No. 2 (unrestricted) 
                                           - G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA
           Thursday 27 July.     Tactical Fire and Movement
                                           Exercise No. 2 (as above) 
                                           - G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA
           Friday  26 July.         Tactical Fire and Movement
                                           Exercise No. 1 (as above) 
                                           -  CC Bty RHA
           Saturday 27 July.      Morning - Regiment concentration shooting (static)
                                           Afternoon - Ex "PREDICTION" - under control of SCHOOL OF ARTILLERY , BAOR
           Monday 29 July.      Regimental Fire and Movement
                                           Exercise set by CRA 7 Armd Div -
                                           Exercise  "CORMORANT"
    Conclusions on Practice Camp.
                        1.   That the practice had been fully needed and shown by the indifferent shoots of the first three days,
                        2.   That the standard had improved considerably during the firing camp and that the final exercise had been a creditable performance.
                        3.   That the School or Artillery BAOR ranges were adequate for one unit to work on but are too small for more that one for fire and movement.
  30 - 31 July.                 The final road and rail move were made to complete the change of location to OSNABRUCK
  1 Aug - 8 Sep. This period was spent in settling into the new Barracks and getting the place into a reasonable condition. 
                    The Barracks were to be shared by 5 Regiment RHA and 1 Bn. R.B.: the half belonging to the latter had been 120 Transit Camp and was reasonable habitable: our half had been a DP Camp.
                    The Barrack blocks had already been de-loused with DDT - two blocks have been sprayed three times by necessity and to a certain extent scrubbed clean, but conditions were bad. It was therefore decided that we should spend the whole of the first month in settling in and nothing else.
                    An immense amount of work was done during this period by the Regiment on such work as removing some hundreds of tons of sand and earth which had been blast projection for the Barrack blocks, in laying pavements and pathways which had been removed for the earthworks and in construction, such as paying a concrete car park 25 x 30 yards which was carried out by the Regimental Education classes.
                    During this period the DRE was employing about 70 technicians and 100 labourers in the repairs necessary to the Barracks - glazing, tiling, carpentry, painting and redecorating - and a daily detail of about 50 Displaced Persons gave considerable help with the heavy manual labour.
                    By the end of the period (1-8 Sep) the Barracks were showing signs of having changed greatly - areas of overgrown wasteland used for depositing filth and garbage had been cleaned and dug over, paths had been levelled and largely relaid, grass plots had been sown in many places and were beginning to show green, accomodation stores were well in supply and distributed
  8 Sep - 30 Sep.                 The pressure of work on the Barracks was now allowed to slacken off al little while two troops prepared for exercises. 
    CC Bty RHA was to supply one Troop commanded by Captain T.B. Davies, MC, RHA to give a quick action demonstration in "EX SPLINTER" - a large demonstration of all activities of the Royal Artillery to be held at the School of Artillery 20 Sep 46. G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA were to produce a Troop to be attached to a Trg Camp to be run by 131 Lor Inf Bde at BAD LIPPERSPRINGE to operate with them on all their exercises 22 Sep 46 and 11 Oct 46.
                    The quick action Troop completed their trg after moving to MUNSTER LAGER on 12 Sep 46 and gave a very satisfactory performance on 20 Sep : this demonstration was planned in the form of a Competition between the Troop from this Regiment (S.P.) and a wheeled Troop, the task being to advance 400 yrds across country and engage a target. Our troop fire the first round in 1 minute 10 secs from the start of the shoot, produced gunfire in 2 minutes 25 secs and completed the shoot in 3 minutes 20 secs : the wheeled Troop produced times of 1 minute 45 secs, 2 minutes 15 secs and 5 minutes 10 secs respectively.
                    The Troop with 131 Lor Inf Bde carried out their first support commitment 23 Sep 46 and the second 30 Sep 46 - all went well.
                    In addition the exercise commitments the Regiment was also responsible for the security of the SK Osnabruck. The security scheme was prepared by the Regiment from 7 Aug onwards being published 26 Aug 46: considerable difficulty has been experienced and accounting for the miscellaneous small units and in getting information on their composition.
                    On orders from 131 Lor Ind Bde the Regiment in addition was responsible for send a patrol out monthly to remind the small rarely visited villages in LK Osmabrück of the existence of military units : patrols on 24 Aug and 18 Sep 46 had nothing to report.
4. Administration.                 The move from HEIDE to OSNABRUCK have been completed by the introduction of a fortnight's  Practice Camp in the middle of the move. 
    The brilliance of the staff plan to combine both activities was rapidly discounted when the Regiment had to deploy an advance party to OSNABRUCK (13 July), a main body direct to OSNABRUCK (20 July) and still go in force to Practice Camp : the officer situation is particular became acute and three officers as a result were unable to attend Practice Camp.
                    For convoys moving under control of Q (M) 30 Corps difficulty was experienced in obtaining any convoy information in advance of the departure of vehs : phone calls direct achieved no success. One convoy moved on the wrong route and timings as a result, but no difficulty was experienced.
  1 - 15 Aug I                 The administrative position became confused as the Regiment was under HQRA 7 Armd Div., 131 Lor Ind Bde and 22 Armd Bde for different administrative matters.
    Decisions were reached on 15 Aug the Regiment then being under HQRA 7 Armd Div, for 
                    All RA matters.
                    MS matters.
                    Postings and Personnel.
                    Leave (less compassionate)
                    All major disciplinary matters - FGCM's etc.
    131 Lor Inf Bde.
                    Q matters 
                    Local admin.
                    Op. Union.
                    Compassionate leave.
                    Local discipline.
    22 Armd Bde for
                    The respective distances from this Regiment were 95, 18 and 34 miles.
  19 Aug 46.                 An inspection of the fire fighting arrangements of the Barracks was made by the AFS at the request of this Regiment and 1 Bn R.B.
    In view of the extreme shortage of any equipment the report was expected to be adverse - it was.
    The supply of equipment was materially speeded by this report and by combining with 1 Bn R.B. a most efficient Barrack Fire Brigade came into being 29 Aug 46.
  8 Sep 46.                 A letter from both 1 Bn R.B. and 5 Regiment RHA was fwd suggesting that the name of the Barracks be changed to "Alanbrooke".
    Nothing further has been heard of this by end September.
  9 Sep 46.                 The Army Commander inspected the Regiment with particular attention to canteens, messes and other welfare matters.
    General McCreery spoke of the need for every possible amenity in Barracks with a view towards keeping the soldier in Barracks by his own choice during the winter.
5. Miscellaneous                 Morale at the time of leaving HEIDE was below normal - far too many close attachments had been formed there to permit an easy departure..
    At Practice Camp as slight improvement was noticeable in spite of the weather because of the easier atmosphere tham that of the Baracks, the healthier feeling which everyone had and the full-time work.
                    On arrival in OSNABRUCK morale dropped sharply for a time. The town was depressing, the Barracks even more so and there seemed very little to look forward to. The intensive manual labour programme which came into force has a most desirable effect : after initial discomforts everyone settled in to work and morale was improved not only by keeping everyone so occupied but also by giving them something in which to take pride - which they most certainly did. This improvement in morale has been maintained particularly as more amenities become available - a full YMCA in the Barracks, a large-scale messing improvement for the cookhouses and so forth,
6. Appendices. 1.     Local Firing Practice Detail 11 July
    2.     Preliminary planning of the mover to practice camp and OSNABRUCK.
    3.     Movement order No. 1 - advance Party to OSNABRUCK
    4.     Movement order No. 2 - advance Party to Practice Camp
    5.     Movement of AFV Train to Practice Camp
    6.     Movement order No. 3 - Main Party (Road) to Practice Camp
    7.     Movement order No. 4 - 3 Tonners convoy (RASC) to OSNABRUCK.
    8.     Movement order No. 5 - Rear Party (Road) to OSNABRUCK.
    9.     Movement of AFV train to OSNABRUCK.
    10.   Movement order No. 6 - Main Party (Road) Camp to OSNABRUCK.
    11.   Practice Camp - Fire and Movement  Scheme No. 1 
    12.   Practice Camp - Fire and Movement  Scheme No. 2
    13.   List of safe and unsafe bridges for A vehs
    14.   Ranges SP track plan
    15.   Ranges detail   20 July.
    16.   Ranges detail   22 July.
    17.   Ranges detail   23 July.
    18.   Ranges detail   24 July.
    19.   Ranges detail   25 July.
    20.   Ranges detail   26 July.
    21.   Ranges detail   27 July.
    22.   Report of move of Regiment



Lieut Col RHA.


Commanding 5 Regiment RHA.


(Lieut Col. N.H, Kindersley, RHA)






for the quarter ending 31 September 1946.

    Map Reference       6202 6114     (OSNABRUCK)
2 Strengths.  1 Oct 46   Officers 27  OR's 566 of which  6 Officers 235 OR's det in UK.
    15 Oct 46  Officers 27  OR's 542 of which  7 Officers 229 OR's det in UK.
    30 Oct 46  Officers 26  OR's 522 of which  7 Officers 218 OR's det in UK.
    15 Nov 46 Officers 26  OR's 516 of which  7 Officers 187 OR's det in UK.
    30 Nov 46 Officers 23  OR's 496 of which  7 Officers 191 OR's det in UK.
    15 Dec 46 Officers 23  OR's 475 of which  7 Officers 182 OR's det in UK.
    30 Oct 46  Officers 22  OR's 522 of which  6 Officers 181 OR's det in UK..
3. How employed. 1     A beginning was made on the year of trg. Occupational duties continued without difficulties of an importance.
    Two ant-hooch raids were made on he D.P. Camps at FERNBLICK, OSNABRUCK and OHRBECK (1703): these were moderately successfully the first yielding 30 gallons of "wash" and eight "brewers" who received one years imprisonment, and the second 14 gallons and one miscreant. In each case the plan was to use as many men as possible in order to "put the wind up" the DPs and to show as many men as we could how disgusting the "brewing" is and thus dissuade them from interest in illicit liquor.
    2     Responsibility for the Garrison passed to this Regiment 11 Nov '46 when Lieut-Col. N.H, Kindersley RHA became the Garrison Commander.
    3     It had been intended to commence individual training in October but the committal of two separate Troops  in October prevented this until November. The two troops were committed as follows :-
    (i) One during the last week of September and the first weeks of October with 131 Lor Inf Bde on the PADERBORN Battle area.
    (ii) One with 22 Armd Bde from 17 - 22 October at the same place.
           In each case a composite Troop had to be made up by borrowing from other Troops and, in the case of CC Bty RHA, borrowing from the other Battery. This had to be done in order to ensure that sufficient competent trained me were available.
    4     The difficulties experience in meeting even these small commitments emphasized the fact that, although on paper the Regiment was strong in numbers, in fact, with a Battery somewhat above WE in UL and with a strong element of staff employed personnel in view of the static nature of the Regiment the shortage of personnel, particularly specially trained men, was being heavily felt.
    5.    The commencement of individual training was again put back at the beginning of November in view of the CRA's Part II Annual Inspection (8 Nov 46)
    6.    Training of senior Officers received much greater attention during this quarter the following haven taken place :-
           CO's week School of Artillery, BAOR.     28 Oct - 1 Nov.     C.O. Attended
           1 Corps Dist Study Period                                 3 - 6 Nov      C.O. Attended
           HQRA Study Period                                 10 Dec                   3 Majors  ) attended
                                                                                                          4 Capts    )
           GOC 7 Armd Div  Study Period                     16  - 18 Dec     2 Majors  ) attended
                                                                                                          2 Capts    )
    7.    Training in G Bty (Mercer's Tp) RHA began intensively in mid - November.
    Training was entirely done in small classes for the various trade classes being run for Signallers, Drivers, TAs RA and Gunners.
    8.    This training was carried on until 20 Dec '46 when the extensive preparations for Christmas cancelled all training for a week.
    9.    CC Bty RHA which was being kept merely as a cadre of 50 all ranks ceased to exist on 20 Nov '46 and all personnel and equipment remain in the Regiment and are known as C Bty RHA. The title was received on this date from 21 Field Regt (S.P) R.A. late 4 R.H.A. : it is hoped that the title (Campbell's) which has been provisionally granted to the Battery during the war will be confirmed and granted to this Battery later.
4. Administration. 1     The adm difficulties experienced in the previous quarter over the question of being under three Bdes for different matters are now largely resolved by common usage,
    A large proportion if all correspondence emanating from Div and Corps level is duplicated but this causes very little inconvenience.
    2     The constructional work in the Barracks which was being carried out by 229 DCRE largely came to a halt in the middle of October owing to the shortage of cement. This was only rectified in late November by the arrival of a train of 200 Tons, All DCRE work in this Barracks is now very slow indeed and cannot be completed until late Spring owing to transfer of 1 R.B. by GOC 1 Brit Corps Dist of the DCRE priority held by this Regiment until the end of September.
    3     Difficulty had been experience over the shortage of furnishings for the rest rooms. Attention was drawn to this on the CRAs Part II inspection and ADOS himself visited the Regiment within ten days. This produced a considerable quantity of furniture which brought the rest rooms to far better standard.
    4     CC Bty RHA changed to C Bty RHA 22 Nov '46. This was a change in title only and NOT personnel and equipment. It was found difficult to explain this fact to the Pay Offices, P.S.S. HQ BAOR and ADOS all of whom attempted to close all the accounts, Imprest and Fund, call in all Office machinery (of the Regiment !) and detail teh handing in of all vehs and stores. Copious correspondence with explanations managed to get these matters under control.
    5     By far the most difficulties were encountered in connection with Yugoslavs who came under command of this Regiment for Garrison V.P. Police duties 23 Dec '46. Firstly, they were due for the change-over to Corps of Mixed watchmen's Service on 29 Dec '46 and infm on the adm methods and responsibility relating to them before that date was non-existant. Secondly. as soon as the supposed to be CMWS all queries were to be submitted to CMWS Depot, 53 RHU, OSNABRUCK. This was tried on many occasion but on no occasion was any answer of any value received from the Depot. Finally, all adm matters were handles by agreement with 131 Lor Inf Bde on the "common sense" method.
5. Miscellaneous. 1.  Morale.
              In general good, a certain number of points have caused irritation and lowering of morale from time to time. Of these the following deserve mention:-
    (i)  Delay in implementing the CIGS reforms - the cancellation of rolls calls and so forth.
    (ii) The exceptional disparity between release in the Army and the other Services.
    (iii) The poor standard of entertainment offered to BAOR.
    (iv) The high cost of living for Op UNION personnel in BAOR.
    (v)  The realisation that the "new" rates of pay and allowances do NOT compare so very favourably with the old rates when the comparison is in cash and NOT in newspapers.
    (vi) Considerable apprehension at the details so far given of the new walking-out dress : this is viewed as probably an ordeal rather than a pleasure.
           It is considered that the introduction of Berets to replace Caps G.S. is going to effect  a considerable improvement in morale, Caps G.S having considerable lowered the OR's pride is his appearance.
6. Appendices. "A"  -  Programme of CRA's Part II Inspection 8 Nov '46.                  (5 Sheets).
    "B"  -  Vaccination and Inoculation state as at  8 Nov '46.                    (1 Sheet).
    "C"  - Incidence of Disease Report.                                                     (1 Sheet).
    "D"  -  Strength State  8 Nov '46.                                                        (1 Sheet).
    "E"  -  Crime and Punishment Figures.                                                  (1 Sheet).
    "F"  -  Veh State as at  8 Nov '46.                                                       (1 Sheet).
    "G"  -  Traffic Accidents Statistics.                                                       (1 Sheet).
    "H"  -  CRA's Report on Inspection  8 Nov '46.                                  (22 Sheets).
    "I"  -   Letter C8/81 of 26 Nov '46.                                                     (2 Sheets).
    "J"  -  Periodical Inspections   8 Nov 46. - Jan 47.                               (1 Sheet).



Lieut Col RHA.

  4 Jan '47.

Commanding 5 Regiment RHA.




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Memorandum From Lt.-Col R.R. Hoare D.S.O., M.C., R.H.A. August 1942


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