War Diaries of C Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

1942

 

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The following copy C Battery Diary was included the 4 Regt RHA's Diaries for January 1942

January 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices

 

1-3   Harassed the enemy from positions near WELL WITH WINDPUMP. Few targets engaged

 

3-4   Bty move 15 miles SW with the intention of harassing behind the main enemy position BELANDAH-AGEDABIA, and came into action, but5 real targets were out of range.

 

  5-6   Two days rest in area WELL WITH WINDPUMP.  

 

7-12   On the enemy vacating their positions around AGEDABIA and BELANDAH, Bty advanced SW. Difficulties experiences with supply, bad going and minefields.

 

 

12-15   Remained in area SW of BIR EL MNEISEI. C 0960.

 

  16   Bty moved back to B Echelon area, where it remained during the sandstorm. Certain vehicles were handed over ; the Coln was disbanded ; and the Bty rejoined the Regt.  
  17-21   The Regt, marched back to GAMBUT on its way back to the DELTA.  
  22   Further march towards DELTA postponed because of a new German threat at AGEDABIA.  
  23-26   Continued the march back to the DELTA, arriving BENI YUSEF at about 1300 hrs on 26 Jan. Complete change of clothing issues to each man and by 1700 hrs most of the personnel were able to leave Camp.  
  27-31   Remained at BENI YUSEF resting and preparing for a move to ALMAYA, re-equipping, etc.  
         

 

 

 

February - May 1942

Missing

 

The following copy C Battery Diaries is included the 4 Regt RHA's Diaries for April to August 1942

April 1942

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.R.C. Christopher, DSO.

Place

Date

Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

22 - 30.

C BATTERY RHA.

The Battery was operating in the WADI MARA as the left flank Column of 30 CORPS. There was very little action during this period.

    

 

 

 

May 1942

Commanding Officer: 

        Place                      Date           Time

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

C Battery RHA

 

                                      1st May 43

                                      to 14 May 43

The Battery was operating in the WADI MARA as the left flank Column of 30 Corps. There was little action during this period.

 

                                      16th May 43

                                      to 26 May 43

Period of training and digging gun pits. On 23 May 43 B Troop went to the sea for 48 hours, followed by A Troop on 25 May 43.

 

                                      26 May / 27th

The enemy attacked during the night. O.Ps were soon driven inside the perimeter after a considerable amount of shooting. Enemy infantry and Antitank Guns appeared on B Troops position, the first warning that there had been a break through. They were engaged until ammunition ran out, when the Troop was surround and captured. A Troop returned with all speed from the sea to find B Troop overrun and the “box” being evacuated. The Troop collected their vehicles from the box and withdrew with the remainder of 7th Motor Brigade. For collecting ammunition from the “box” under heavy fire. Captain J.A.T. Sharpe. Was awarded the M.C.

 

 

B.S.M Johnson was awarded the M.M. for rescuing three men from a blazing lorry. The Columns were reformed with C Battery RHA and 2 R.B. as MARCH Column, F Battery RHA with 9 K.R.R.C. as JULY Column and DD Battery RHA with 2 K.R.R.C. as AUGUST Column.

 

                                      28th and 29th

                                      May 1943

7 Motor Bde moved N & W to area SIDI MUFTAH, role being to protect supply dumps. Guns in action at SIDI REZEGH facing SW – no firing.

 

                                      30 May 43.

MARCH Column advanced along TOBRUK by pass through EL ADEM. Fired at enemy vicinity KNIGHTSBRIDGE BOX.

 

                                      31 May 43.

Column advanced WEST. A Troop had a good shoot at MET resulting on Capture of 5 Mark III Tanks. Night March SE in open formation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

                1 June.

Reached area S of MTEIFEL at dawn; fired at Echelons all day, causing much damage.

                2

Lt.Col J.R. Christopher, D.S.O., R.H.A. took over the Column; in same position firing North.

                3

Battery engaged enemy South of HACHEIM.

                4

In action same area; dispersed enemy Column advancing S from due North of us.

                5

Enemy Northern Column reinforces; successfully engaged by Bty: Bty forced to withdraw when attacked by large tank column which eventually linked up with Northern Column

                6

Shot all day with some success at Columns North of us attacking HACHEIM.

                7

Escorted water and ammunition convoys at HACHEIM by night.

                8

SIDI GIADALLA O.P. heavily shelled. Bty engaged tanks and MET near HACHEIM.

                9

Column Echelon straffed by M.Es

              10

Free French due to evacuate HACHEIM to-night; Bty to give covering fire.

              11

Many survivors collected from HACHEIM and sent off on RASC convoy.

Column ordered to withdraw West. Leaguered 402362.

              12

In action 407395; shelled MET moving East.

              13

In action same area; successful shelling of enemy Columns.

              14 

In reserve: maintenance and rest S of BIR BENIAL 406884.

              15

In action near GERADEL : shelling of large enemy Columns moving East.

Salvaged many derelict vehicles both British and German.

              16

GERADEL area again. Targets of MET now widely dispersed.

              18

Ordered into reserve again but came into action at 415386, enemy being engaged at GUBI.

              19

Found GUBI clear of enemy. Ordered to assist in repelling heavy attack on TOBRUK as soon as possible. Concentrations engaged on EL ADEM aerodrome.

              20

GERADEL area again. Targets of MET now widely dispersed.

              21 June

Concentrations in EL ADEM area again engaged. Light enemy forces approached O.Ps and Troop Positions and driven off.

              22

On wheels at 472332.

              23

Moved through wire Gap 66, into action. Large enemy forces approached Gaps. Column ordered to withdraw; moved 38 miles on 115°.

              24

Moved all day.

              25

Enemy Column leaguered less than a mile away. “F” Troop came into action scoring many “Brews”. Column moved to QUARET SALIB South of KE NAYIS

              26

Moved 2½ miles N, and came into action in good covered position. Engaged enemy Column in late afternoon.

              27

Engaged enemy Column just breaking leaguer. Tanks attacked the Bty position ; withdrew while 4 Armd Bde and 22 Armd Bde engaged tanks, until suddenly called to rescue New Zealanders further East. Move a new mile S East of KHALDA.

              28

Moved East all day. In action near dummy minefield 785297.

              29

In action 783293; engaged and halted a Column trying to adv S

Towards evening large enemy Column advanced East and we had to withdraw.

              30

Move about 25 miles East ; came into action firing East and fired a large number of rounds into enemy leaguer.

 

 

 

July 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

EGYPT. 1st July 42

EL ALAMEIN

Formed up as a Briigade and prepared to make a push through to the ALAMEIN LINE. 3000 MET reported between the Brigade and the ALAMEIN LINE but the Brigade marched all day and reached the line by evening without encountering any enemy

2nd and 3rd.

Moved NE 16 miles, the N, finally WEST. In action at Pt.102 but did not fire

4th

Heavy armoured battle on RUWEISAT RIDGE – joined in from the SOUTH but very little firing due to bad observation and extreme range.

5th

Move NW. O.Ps covering RUWEISAT RIDGE – very little targets.

6th

Battery moved WEST from Pt.102 – in action near the “CHARNEL HOUSE” where the New Zealanders had broken up an Italian Leaguer on previous day.

7th

Again in action SOUTH of the “CHARNEL HOUSE”. One OP almost on RUWEISAT RIDGE, the other on Pt.102. Fired most of the day at men and guns on RUWEISAT RIDGE.

8th.

Moved first light to cover the withdrawal of the New Zealanders from their box at QUARET EL ABD. One O.P. went towards Pt 64 and the other WEST of the box towards EL MREIR. Latter driven into box during the morning by M.13’s. Enemy occupied the box after the Column R.E.s has destroyed the dumps.

 

The Battery engaged the enemy heavily during the morning and in the afternoon withdrew to positions in DEIR MUNASSIB. Just before last light the Battery had a good shoot on enemy tanks on the high ground at the Eastern End of the Box and continued firing into the Box most of the night.

9th.

Both O.Ps at Pt 104. Good shooting at enemy advancing towards O.Ps. Large enemy column moved NORTH from TA QA. Guns moved into “LOB BOWLERS ALLEY” and OPS moved SOUTH to deal with this threat.

 

The Column engaged this attack with all available arms for the rest of the day and stopped it completely 2000 yards from the guns. This must have been one of the most successful actions fought by the Battery as the attacking force consisted of at least three strong German battle groups.

 

Battlegroups/ including tanks

10th.

After dark (night 9.10) column withdrew DEIR ROHL, spent the following day resting.

11th to

Column in action North and North-West on HIMEIMAT harassing enemy

18th July

Recce elements. On 16th enemy advanced with two columns from KALAKH

19th. to

Battery rested in the western end of DEIR MUHAFID.

24th July.

 

25th.

)

to.

) Battery in action Western end of DEIR MUHAFID.

31st July.

)

 

 

 

August 1942

Commanding Officer: 

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

DEIR EL MUHAFID. 1 - 13 Battery resting in western end of DEIR EL MUHAFID. Battery in action.  
EGYPT

OPs overlooking NZ Box and North and KALAKH and TAQA to the south.

 
  Defensive position of minefield and barbed wire constructed.  
  Limited amount of ammunition fired at enemy infantry positions, OPs, Guns and Transport daily  
     

13th - 20th

MARCH Column moved back 3 miles into reserved, Came under Command of the GREYS  
     

20th – 31st.

Battery came under command of 7 R.B. in a reformed MARCH Column. 2 RB joined F Battery in JULY Column. Column was in reserve North of DEIR RAGIL.  
  Period spend in training  
     

31st

At 0100 hrs enemy attacked. Two forward Columns withdrew behind MARCH Column, who engaged large concentrations of MET and tanks in DEIR RAGIL;  
  During the night the enemy turned north and Column withdrew EAST.  
     

 

 

September - December 1942

Missing

 

 

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