War Diaries 

of G Battery (Mercer's Troop), Royal Horse Artillery

1942

 

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January 1942

Commanding Officer: Major J. A Norman R.H.A 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
BURROUGHS Jan   The regiment put in to 48 hrs. notice, then 2 weeks, & finally reverts to S.E. command control.  
LEAS     Normal training & leave resumes  
  5 Jan   Informal visit by Inspector R.A.  
  29 Jan          "        "    "  Adjutant General  

 

February 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  Feb   Normal training continues. Special attention had been paid to anti tank training during this month.  
         

 

March 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
SHERE 16 March Anti Tank Firing HENLEY PARK ranges.  
  18   Receive order to re-mobilise  
  26   Practice Camp ALFRISTON  
  28   Inspected by Army Commander  
         

 

April 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Burroughs Leas 3rd   Practice Camp at ALFRISTON  
  10th   M.G.R.A. visits the battery  
  12th   Vehicles & guns taken to port for shipment.  
      Al G.1098 stores loaded in vehicles. Sgt Emery proceeds in charhe of transport  
  26th   Inspection by C. in C. & Sec. of State for War.  
      Both were extremely pleased  
  27th   Regtl Shooting Competion. Gnr Green wins the individual prize.  
  29th   Comdr. 2nd Armd. Gp. visits the Bty.  
  30th   Lecture by G.O.C.  
         

 

May 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A. 

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
BURROUGHS 2nd   Inspection by H.M. the King at WOTTON HATCH.  
LEA 1-5th   Final preparation for moving and handing over to 12 R.H.A.. We hand over to 'G' Bty (H.A.C.),  
  6th   Baggage party leaves in the morning. Remainder leave GOMSHALL station about 2100hrs. Seen off by Spt. Gp. Com - Brig. Stanford & Brig Pratt (S.E. Command).  
GOUROCK 7th   Arrived at GOUROCK (Clyde Bank) about 1600 hrs. via NEWCASTLE & EDINBURGH. 11 officers, 201 O.R.'s (including 1st reinforcements) embarked on U.S.AT "BORINQUEN" (AGWI Line). M.1.4.2 Nominal roll officers & men.
AT SEA     Note that L/Sgt Emery proceed ahead i/c vehicles & Bdr, Stokoe was attached to 'K' Bty R.H.A. who left 2 days later than we did & sailed on "MONARCH OF BERMUDA" from LIVERPOOL. R.H.Q. & 'CC' Bty. also embarked in our ship. Quarters for all ranks very cramped & uncomfortable. Latrine & ablution accommodation totally inadequate.  
AT SEA 10th 2359 Sailed. P.T. & Training parade continues throughout the voyage.  
      Shaped a course round the north of IRELAND close to the AZORES towarss N.W. AFRICA.  
  22nd 1413 Arrived FREETOWN & anchored in ?????????. No shore leave.  
      Very hot & sticky. All ranks have been in dull  for 3 days.  
  26th   Left FREETOWN & shaped course south towards ST HELENA.  
         
      P.T, Shadow Gun Drill, Navigating, Signalling, Owing min Range & T.E.W.T.S continued the training for the remainder of voyage.  
         

 

 

APPENDIX M.1.42 

'G' BATTERY (MERCER'S TROOP) 

 

NOMINAL ROLL OF OFFICERS

 

     
T/Capt. COOKE Timothy James
Lieut FIELDING John Stanley.
2/Lieut JAMIESON Kenneth Douglas.
T/Capt NICHOLSON Gavin Newzam
Lieut NOBLE John Padmore
T/Major NORMAN John Anquetil
Lieut PEAL Cyril Douglas Mercer
Lieut PITT Robert Alan
2/Lt. RAWSON Douglas Gilmore
  T/Capt ST. JOHN Stephen Rowland
  2/Lieut WILSON Patrick Alan Lindsay.

May 1942

 

    

 

NOMINAL ROLL OF 'G' BATTERY (MERCER'S TROOP). R.H.A.

 

SHEET 1

 

Dr.    IC.

ALCOCK William.

Gnr. (MM)

ALDER John Robert.

W/Bdr. (MM)

AMPHLETT Alexander.

Gnr.

ANDREWS Walter James

Gnr.

APPLETON FRANK

Gnr

ARCHER Walter.

P/A/L/Bdr

ARMITAGE John

Dr.    IC.

ATKINSON Robert

W/Sgt.

BARTLE Rufus Alan

Gnr.

BATEMAN William Edward

Gnr.

BECKSMITH James Frederick

W/Bdr.

BEESLEY Ronald

Dr.    IC.

BIBBY James Henry

W/Bdr (Dr/Op)

BILLING Hasham

Dr.    IC.

BOWERS Donald

Gnr.

BROWN George Frank Dowse

Gnr

BURNIKELL Albert Mortimer

Dr.    IC.

BUTCHER Norman Victor

P/A/L/Sgt

CADMAN Albert

W/WOII (BSM)

CALLUM Thomas William

Dr.    IC.

CHATFIELD Thomas Arthur

Dr.    IC.

CHERRY Chatles Bertram

Dr.    IC.

CLARKE Frank

Dr.    IC.

COGLEY Aidan

W/Bdr.

COLCLOUGH Arther Reginald

P/A/L/Sgt.

CRISP Arthur

Dr.    IC.

CROTTY Thomas Clifford

Gnr.

DAVIES Trevor Albert.

 

Dr.    IC.

DAVIES Norman Clifford

Gnr.

DEAN Ronald

 

P/A/L/Bdr (Dr/Op)

DICK James

W/Sgt

DIXON George

Gnr.

DOE Arthur Edward

U/A/L/Bdr.

DROY John William

Gnr

DUCKWORTH Allan Marsden

Gnr (Dr/Op)

DUNLOP William

Gnr.

DUNLOP John

Gnr.

ELLIOTT Charles Sidney

*

P/A/L/Sgt

EMERY George

Gnr

FACKRELL Leonard James

Gnr.

FAIRBAIRN David

W/Bdr (Dr/Op)

FOST Ernest George

W/Sgt

FOSTER Norman

Gnr.

FOULGER James

Gnr

FOWLS Albert Edward

Dr.    IC.

FRENCH John William

 

Gnr. (MM)

FRY John Arthur

Gnr (Dr/Op)

FUNNELL William James

 

* Note: This man proceeded ahead I/C of the vehicles

 

 

NOMINAL ROLL OF 'G' BATTERY (MERCER'S TROOP). R.H.A.  SHEET 2

 

 

W/Sgt

GIBSON William

Gnr

GIBSON James Alexander

Dr.    IC.

GOLDING Donald George

P/A/L/Bdr

GRANT Robert Lewis

Gnr.

GREEN William

Gnr    (DM)

GRIMSHAW George Samuel

Gnr

GUILD John Millar

U/A/L/Bdr

GWINWELL Leonard John

P/A/L/Bdr

GWYN William Stanley

Dr.    IC.

HALL Edward

Gnr.

HALLGARTH Stanley James

Gnr.   (MM)

HANCOCKS William Henry

Gnr.

HARDMAN Arnold

Gnr.

HARRINGTON Harry Leonard Williams

Gnr.

HAYNES George

Gnr.

HENNESSEY William James

Dr.    IC.

HERMAN William Henry

Dr.    IC.

HERRING George

Dr.    IC.

HIGGINS Peter Paul

Gnr.

HIGHAM Edward William

Gnr.

HOBBS Ronald

Dr.    IC.

HOPE  Arthur

Gnr    (DM)

HOPKINS Gordon

Gnr.

HORROCKS  Joseph

Gnr

HOUGH Harold

Gnr   (MM)

HOWARD Douglas William

Dr.    IC.

HOWDEN Leonard

P/A/L/Bdr

HUMPHREY Ronald Ellis

Gnr     (DM)

IBBOTSON William Richard

 

Gnr.

JACKSON Joseph Harry

 

P/A/L/Sgt

JONES Harry Albert

Gnr.

JONES John Steel

Gnr.

JOHNSON Ebenezer

Dr.    IC.

JOHNSON Sidney George

Gnr   (UC)

JENNER William Edward

Dr.    IC.

KEMPSON John

Gnr

KERSHAW Louise Alexander

Gnr.

KING Henry

U/A/L/Bdr. (Dr/Op)

LAING William Henderson

Gnr

LAMBERT Arthur Edmond

U/A/L/Bdr.

LEIGHTON Archibald Norman

Gnr.  (Dr/Op)

LEWIS George Frederick

Gnr.

LLOYD David Thomas

P/A/L/Bdr.

LOWRY Walter Edward

W/WOII (BSM)

LUNGLEY Leonard George

 

 

 

 

SHEET 3

 

U/A/L/Bdr. (Dr/Op)

MANLEY George Charles

P/A/L/Bdr  (T/S)

MARKHAM Arthur Albert Henry

Gnr

MASKILL George

Gnr.

MEAKIN Leslie Raymond

Gnr.

MEE Stanley George

Gnr

MITCHELL Reginald James

Gnr.

MORAM John

Gnr.

MORGAN William Thomas

Dr.    IC.

MORRIS George Lewis

Gnr

MORTIMER Edward Lawrence

Dr

MOULT Charles

Dr.    IC.

MULHALL Francis Edward

Gnr.

MYERTHALL Arthur

P/A/L/Bdr.

MCDONALD Daniel

P/A/Bdr

MCKAY James Patrick

Gnr     (DM)

NEEDLE George Alex

Gnr.

NEWBY William

Gnr.

O'CONNELL Charles Albert

P/A/L/Bdr

O'CONNOR Kevin John

U/A//L/Bdr. (Dr/Op)

OLDFIELD Thomas Leonard

Dr.    IC.

OLDS Robinson Wallace

Dr.    IC.

ORME Horace

Gnr

OLIVER James Frederick

Dr.    IC.

PALMER George

P/A/L/Sgt

PATTERSON George

Gnr

PEACOCK William

Dr.    IC.

PEARSE Eric Edward

 

Gnr

PEGG Frederick James

Gnr.    (DM)

PERRY Albert

 

Gnr.

PESCOD Edward John

Dr.    IC.

PETTIT Frederick

Gnr.

PIGGIN James Robert

Gnr (Dr/Op)

PIRIE William Munro

Gnr (Dr/Op)

POTTS George Henry

Dr.    IC.

POWELL Royston

Dr.    IC.

PREECE George Michael

U/AL/Bdr.

PRITCHARD Donald Stanley

Gnr.

PUGH Samuel

W/Sgt

RATLEY Thomas Frank

Gnr

RENNIE Thomas

W/Bdr.. (BS)

REVELL George Arthur

P/A/L/Bdr,

REYNOLDS Raymond Charles

P/A/L/Sgt

RICHES Robert Richard George

Gnr. (UC)

RIDLEY Thomas Albert

Gnr

ROACH Wilfred

Gnr.

ROBERTS Reginald Ernest

 

Gnr.

ROBINSON William Abraham

Gnr

ROBINSON Francis Greenhall

Gnr.

ROBSON Francis Samuel

W/Sgt

ROGERS Harry Leonard

Gnr

RONER John Gordon Raymond

W/Sgt.

ROTHWELL Cyril

 

 

 

 

 

SHEET 4 & LAST

 

 

Dr.    IC.

SAUNDERS Gordon

Gnr

SAYWELL Jack Shipman

Gnr

SCOTT Herbert

Gnr.   (DM)

SEAGRAVE Arthur

Gnr.

SEVERN Fred

W/Bdr.

SHAW Francis

Dr.    IC.

SHAW Eric

Gnr.

SILLITTO Thomas James

Gnr

SILLITTO Frederick John

Gnr

SMITH Horace

W/Sgt

SPENCE William

Gnr

STACEY Clifford

W/Bdr

STANIER Harold George
P/A/Bdr ** STOKOE William

Dr.    IC.

STONE John

Dr.    IC.

SWIFT Kenneth Harcourt
Dr.    IC. SYMONS Clarence Alexander John

Gnr

SHARPLES Alexander
P/A/L/Bdr. TAYLOR Norman Albert

Dr.    IC.

THOMPSON Richard George

W/Bdr (Dr/Op)

THORBURN William Robson

Dr.    IC.

TOZE Cyril Stanley

Gnr

TRAINER Sidney

W/Bdr

TURNBULL William Edsdon

Gnr

TURNER James William
W/BQMS TYLER George James

Gnr. (Dr/Op)

URQUHART William

Gnr

WAGSTAFF Walter

 

W/Bdr

WALBY Frederick George

Gnr.    (FLIV)

WALKER Arthur

 

W/Bdr

WALKER Thomas

P/A/L/Sgt

WALKER Walter

W/Bdr   (FG)

WALLACE Eric George

Dr.    IC.

WARREN George Leonard Charles

Gnr

WATTS William John Knight

W/Sgt  (E/R)

WEARE Henry George

W/WOII (BSM)

WEDDLE Alexancer

U/A/L/Bdr.

WHALLEY James

Gnr.

WILLIAMS Reginald
Gnr WILLOX Edward

U/A/L/Bdr.

WILSON Frank Jackson

Gnr

WILSON Geoffrey Charles)

P/A/L/Bdr.

WILSON John Lawrence (attached to R.H.Q.)

Dr.    IC.

WILSON Michael

Gnr   (FG)

WITTS John Faulkner

Dr.    IC.

WOOD Frank

Gnr

WOOD Herbert Edward James

Dr.    IC.

WRAY Cyril Dowsling

 

W/Sgt

WRIGHT William

Gnr.

YARDY Edmund Joseph

W/Sgt

YOUNG John William

*

Note. This man proceed with "K" Battery R.H.A on another ship.

ARMY CATERING CORPS ATTACHED TO "G" BATTERY (MERCER'S TROOP) R.H.A.

Pte. ADAMS John Thomas.
Pte. HORROCKS John.
Pte. MONGER Edward George.
P/Cpl. UNDERWOOD. Geaoge.

 

 

NB. Service Numbers Omitted

 

June 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
CAPE TOWN 6 1325 Arrived CAPE TOWN & berthed in the docks about 1300hrs.  
  7 0700 Proceeded by rail to Rest Camp at RETREAT some 14 miles out. Under canvas pitched in camp.  
      Excellent food  
  8   Very heavy rain. Camp washed out in afternoon & evening. Alternative accommodation found for the men in huts.  
  9   Returned to ship about 1900hrs.  
  11 1300 Sailed & shaped course south. The local inhabitants were very good to the men & gave them an excellent time.  
      R.H.A & 'CC' Bty R.H.A. transhipped to 'MONARCH OF BERMUDA' to join 'K'. Mercer's were left alone on their glory in the BORINQUEN.  
      Preparations were now put in hand for WATERLOO day.  
  12-17   Rounded the Cape & sailed N.E. past DURBAN then to the East of MADAGASCAR.  
      Preparations for Waterloo Day continues.  
  18th 0900h Muster Parade. Bty History in brief by B.C. Message read out. JN.1.42.Copy of
    0930-1200 Sports & Fun Fair on boat deck. There were a great ???? & very popular. Prizes were distributed when they were won.

signals received from

CO 5 R.H.A.

    1600 First sitting WATERLOO DAY dinner

O.C. 'K Bty RHA

OC C/73 A/T Bty R.A.

    1645 Second "           "                           "  
    2000 Concert by Officers & Sgts. Followed by Supper. JN.2.42.
  30th   Arrive ADEN MONARCH leaves same day we are due to leave 1 July & proceed up the RED SEA on our own.  

 

APP JN.1.42

APP JN.2.42

 

July 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
At sea 1   Depart Aden Ref pams 1/250000
  6   Arrive Suez. Disembarkation 1300 hrs No 14 EL DABA
KASSASSIN 6 2300 Arrive TAHAG 23 Camp nea KASSASSIN 1/50000 sheets 2,3,5 & 6
  6-14   Desert modifications carried out on all vehicles & special equipment drawn  
  15   Advance parties 23 AD. Bde leave for concentration area 4 miles S. of EL HAMMAN  
  17   Remainder of Bde leave and spend the night at COWLEY Staging Camp (MENA)  
4 mile S.E. of EL HAM 18   Arrive at concentration area  
474889        
  19   One Regtl. group formed to operate in northern EL ALAMEIN front. 'CC' Bty R.H.A. woth 50 R.T.R., A Bty A/T form the group. 'G' to work with 40 R.T.R. 'K' with 46 R.T.R. a remainder of Bde & move to central sector.  
889279 21 1600 Left back area & arrived forward concentration area 889279  
880273 22nd  0700h Came into action 220273 in support of 40 R.T.R. 'A' Troop supplying one tank (Stuart) O.P. under Capt. Cook. Appendix Jul.1.42
       After engaging some targets O.P. shot up by an A.T. gun & Dvr Dunl;op & L/Bdr Dick wounded. The were evacuated through 151 Indian Inf. Bdr. The O.P. carried on until L/Bdr Armitage was wounded when the B.C. ordered 'B' Tp O.P. with Capt. Nicholson R.H.A. to relieve 'A' O.P. 5 R.H.A. Op Order No 1
      Capt. Cook brought l/Bdr Armitage & his tank back to the gun pstn driving the tank himself.  
      Capt. Nicholson contacted 40 R.T.R. who had lost their C.O. & a number of tanks in a minefield. Shortly afterwards the tank struck a mine & was blown up. The driver Took being the only one injured slightly in the foot.  
      They made their way back on foot having to lie up in the minefield for 2 hrs under heavy M.G. fire. Meanwhile the 40 & 46 R.T.R. having reached their objectives were beaten off & rallied on the start line with only 12 tanks left between them.  
      The B.C. went out & having contacted 23 AD Bde & established an O.P. at about 87752794 [1 Tp. 23 A/Tk & 1 Tp. 13 Lt. A.A. attached for this operation)  
880273 23rd   Same O.P. manned and 7 R.B. contacted. They required no external support. Fired by observation on various targets  
  24th   Two O.P.s out one as before & Lt Peal R.H.A. at 87682762 & 87752762. Italian F.D.L's located & reported. O.P. truck shelled & Bdr Revell killed by a shell fragment. Buried at 87972743  
    2300h Fired a concentration off the map at some enemy batteries  
  25th 0500 One O.P. at 87752794.  
    1515 Enemy shell 'B' Troop pstn with 5.9's Some 20 - 30 rounds were accurate into the gun position/  
      Four wounded L/Sgt Cadman (shell shock), Sgt wright, L/Bdr. Wilson, Bdr Thorburn evacuated to 4 N.Z A.D.S.  
      Moved to alternative position. Two ammunition limbers set in fire. These were put out. One 8 cwt (GB) destroyed by Shell Fire  
  26th 0630-0800 Fired a number of concentrations. O.P. as usual. Bad sandstorms visibility 200x.  
  27th   O.P.'s as usual. Operation inst received. we supply one O.P. with OFFORCE. Appendix Jul.2.42
      Gnr Butcher 'B' troop injured in hand & evacuated to 4th N.Z. A.D.S. 5 R.H.A. Op Order No 2
    1600 B Troop ranged on. B.C. ordered then out of action. Last vehicle got off the pstin as the first round of fire for effect arrived. No casualties in B Tp, but 1 killed & 1 wounded in 'C' To 37 Bty, 12 Lt A.A. Regt.  
  28th   Bty moved & came into action at 8552767. O.P. as usual. Gnr Turner J evacuated sick 4th N.Z. A.D.S. 5 R.H.A movement Inst Ref Jul.3.42
  29th 1415h Moved  out to 248899 handed over to 'L' Bty (Nery Tp) . R.H.A. Arrived at ALAM EL DAKAR near EL SHAMAMMA after dark & went into leaguer. 23 AD Bde in reserved in counter attack role. Letter from C.O. 5 R.H.A. Ref Jul.4.42
  30th   Bathing & maintenance. Lt Pitt & Fielding and Gnr Brown evacuated to S.A. A.D.S.  
      A great deal of trouble experience with Fordson back axles  Letter from Brig  L.E. Misa D.S.O.
        Cmdr. 23 Ad Div JUL.5.42
  31st   Bathing & maintenance.  

 

 

 

Appendix Jul.1.42

 
     
 

5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.1

21 July 42.

Maps:   1: 250,000 El Daba

             1: 50,000 E Daba

 

copy No …1…. 

INFORMATION.

1.    Enemy. As already issued. Enemy appears to be mining, digging in and playing for time until arrival of reinforcements. 

 

2.  Own Tps. (i) Phase 1.

(a)   13 Corps are attacking at 2330 hours on D.1. to capture enemy F.D.Ls on the line pt 64 in 87602790 to 87302760;

Right 5 Ind Div; left 2 NZ Div.

Object:- to consolidate consolidate and remove mine fields in this area. 

(b)   2 Armd Bde Gp will be prepared to move to meet enemy counter attack after this attack.

(c)   Code word for this phase - SALLY.  

(ii) Phase 2.

(a)   During night D.1/D.2, 5 Ind Div and 2 NZ Div are making gaps in enemy minefields N and S of 2780 Northern Grid Line. 4 6-prs 5 Ind Div are being established at 87602795 to fire SW: and 4 6-prs 1 R.B. or moving with 23 Armd Bde Gp to engage any tanks operating against him during the attack. 

(b)   23 Armd Bde Gp is attacking to capture line Pt 59 87202792 to escarpment 87202775.

(c)   Southern flank protection will be provided by 22 Armd Bde Gp with 2 Armd Bde Gp in reserve.

(d)   Code word for phase *DIANA"

(ii) Phase 3.

(a)   Exploitation Wostwards, for which further orders will be issued

3.     Code word for whole operation - SPLENDOUR. Should the operation be postponed for any reason, it will be postponed for completed periods of 24 hours buy code word “SPLENDOUR + 1, 2 “ or as the case may be, do noting the number of days postponement.

4.   (a) 23 Armd Bde Gp is attacking 2 up.

                     Right - 40 R.Tanks.

                     Left - 46 R.Tanks.

(b)   Centre line 2780 northing agreed.

(c)   Speed 5 M.I.H.

(d)   S.L. Track running South from Pt 64 (88102790).

5.  (a) 1 RHA are firing smokescreen to cover front of attack from Pt 59 to escarpment from Z + 24 to Z + 36.

(b)   NZ and Ind Div Artys are firing H.E. concentration from Z + 20 to Z + 35 on objective, and from Z + 35 to Z + 50 on an area to West of 7800 Easting Grid Line.

INTENTION.

6.     5 RHA less CC Bty will support attack of 23 Armd Bde Gp from Zero

METHOD.

7.     Gun Area squares 87802750, 87902750.

8.     SL. 270°.

9.     B Bty 73 A/T Regt and C Tp 37 LT A.A. Regt, come on the command from 1030 hours D1, for protection of gun area O.C. K Bty will Coordinate defensive gun area.

10.  F.O.Os as detailed later will contact Regts as under by 0730 hrs D.2, on the Start Line:- 

G Bty - 40 R.Tanks. 

K Bty - 46 R.Tanks.

On reaching the objective F.O.Os will remain with Regts they are supporting, but will also contact Coy Cmdr of 7 R.B., who are consolidating on objective. 

11.  Movement to S.L.

(a)   23 Armd Bde Gp will leaguera night D.1/D.2 in area 89902780 – 88902750 – 88702760 - 88602780. Harbouring parties under C.O.2, will have Bty guides at 88902790 to lead units to harbour area on arrival.

(b)   5 RHA, with att tps, will move to leaguer area by track “C” as a really detailed.

Order of March ‘G’, ‘K’, REs, B Bty AT/k, C Tp Lt. A.A., LAD.1.

(c)   Stuart tanks will move by transporters as a really detailed to tank depressing area, or will join units in leaguer area at dark. 

 ADMIN.

12.  (a) A.2. Ech will Be ready to move from present area by 1200 hours. Officers i/c Bty A.2 Echs will report to Q.M. at RHQ at 1200 hours. Q,M will meet B.T.O at Bde HQ at 11:30 hrs.

(b)   Echelon R/T link will move under orders of Q.M. 

13.  One Pet lorry and one Q lorry per Bty will proceed to leaguer area with fighting Tps, will there revert to A.2 ECH after replenishment of fighting tps .

14.  Recovery O.M.E. In LAD.1 will move in rear of fighting tps to leaguer area, moving behind C TP 37 LT A/A. Subsequently revert to A.2 ECH. 

15.  Further admin instructions will be issued when received. 

 

INTERCOMN

16.  Time to cross S.L. will be given by signal Diane Diana 0800 hours, or whatever hour is ordered.

17.  Frequencies:-                                        Code Names

RHA – 2890                   23 Armd Bde Gp – ROW DIRECTORY &

                                                                      CODE LIST NO.1

G Bty – (3250

             (3080

K Bty - (3840

             (5530

18.  Success signal - 3 white verey lights, followed by R/T signal “LUCKY DIANA”. 

19.  Co-ordinating conference 1800 hours 21 at RHQ in leaguer area. 

20.  Bde HQ opens 88802770 from 1400 hrs , 21 July. 

21.  Synchronization – as issued subsequently. 

 

ACK

 

    Capt.

Time of signature ………1032 hrs.

  Adj
     
Distribution.    
G Bty …….1 C.O. ……....7 War Diary…. 13/14
K Bty ……2 C.O.2 ……..8 File ………………..
Sig Sec …..3 O.O………..9  
LAD ……..4 R.S.O. …...10  
B/73 A/T Regt …….5 Q.M. …….11  
C TP 37 Lt AA Regt …..6 M.O. …….12  

 

 

 

Appendix Jul.2.42

 
     
  5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.2  
 

 

copy No …1…

(Ref Maps:   1: 250,000 El Daba.

                    1: 50,000 E Daba.   )

 

27 July 42.

INF.

Enemy. Main strengths of enemy is concentrated in an area W and NW of line 871283 -  876281 - 871277. There are infantry strongpoints in depressions at 876281 and 876277. It is appreciated that the enemy has suffered considerable casualties to personnel and equipment. It is, therefore, considered essential to continue to strike him at before he has time to be reinforced.

 

Own tps.

(a)   23 Armd Bde Gp came on the cmd 7 Armd Div w.e.f.1930 hours 25 July.

      7 Armd Div is to support the front at present held by 5 Ind Div, which is approx as follows;

       Rt:- 282 Northing Grid line westwards as far as 876281.

       Lt:- 278 Northing Grid; 

also 2 N.Z. Div, who are holding the line from left of this as far South as 265 Northing Grid. The dev has to be prepared to counter-attack enemy attacks on areas occupied by these 2 formations.

(c)   23 Armd Bde Gp has been allocated the task of counter attacking any enemy force which penetrates the minefield Eastwards from 279 Northing , East of 878 Easting, and North of 278 Northing grid lines.

To do this a composite force has been formed from the Bde, to be known as OFFORCE, consisting of 10 tanks each from 40 and 46 R.Tanks. Half of this force will be kept in the forward area 880279, reminder in forward concentration area (885277) at 5 minutes notice to move.

 

(d)                    Code words for movements of OFFORCE:

BLUEBELL - forward tanks will move to battle posns to counter-attack any enemy attacking through minefield 87872793 88022793, or across the RUWEISAT RIDGE; reserve tanks move forward to support posns.

PRIMROSE - as above, but to counter-attack any enemy attack through my field from the West.

TULIP - reserve tanks are brought up into action, as the Reese of battle area indicates that neither of the two posns is available.

SETTER - OFFORCE rallies back in area 885277.

 

3.         5 Ind Div are holding RUWEISAT RIDGE as far WEST as incl Pt 63 875279. This morning 69 Inf Bde, supported by 1 Armd Div, attacked N and NW from area 880283. The success of this attack is not known.

 

INTENTION

 

4.         5 RHA will support 23 Armd Bde.

 

METHOD.

 

5.         5 RHA remain under cmd 23 Armd Bde, and are also affiliated with Div Arty, 5 Ind Div.

 

6.         To ensure this comma the Regt will continue to occupy present posns and would be prepared to engage targets W of 876 Easting Grid line and bring down defensive fire if required.

 

7. O.Ps. (i)        G Bty will remain maintain one F.O.O. constantly with OFFORCE. He will leaguer with them and also proceed out each morning is required. He will report to RHQ each evening anything which may have been observed.

              (ii)        K Bty will continue to man one O.P. in area 877276, and G Bty one O.P. on RUWEISAT RIDGE, as far WEST as posn of own tps permits compatible with good observation.

 

8.         In the event of an enemy counter-attack in which OFFORCE may be involved, code words given in para 2(d) above will indicate the line of attack of the enemy and probably areas on which defensive fire may be required.

 

9.         Minefields. A sketch of minefields in the area is attached for each Bty. THESE MUST NOT FALL INTO ENEMY HANDS.

 

ADMIN.

10. (i)   5 RHA will continue to be administered by 23 Armd Bbe Gp under 7 Armd Div.

      (ii)   F.O.O. with OFFORCE will be responsible for his own sup and water, which may be obtained through RHQ

 

INTERCOMN .

 

11.       As normal, except that F.O.O. G Bty may close down wireless between 2100 and 0430 hrs each night.

 

12.       RHQ remains present location.

 

ACK.

     
     

Time of signature …1610... hrs.

  Capt.
    Adj
Distribution.    
G Bty …….1 O.O. ……....6  
K Bty ……2 Q.M... ……..7  
CC Bty. …,3 War Diary......8  
Sig Sec …,,4 File. .......…...9  
C.O. ……..5    
     

 

 

 

Appendix Jul.3.42

 
   

copy No …1…

 

5 RHA MOVEMENT INSTRUCTIONS

23 July 42.

Maps 1/250,000 sheet 14, 1/50,000 El Daba

 

INF

 

1. 23 Armoured Brigade will come on the command 30 Corps w.e.f. 1200 hrs 29 July, and remove to area 425899. Head of 23 Armd Bde to be at 442895 at 1700 Hrs.

 

INT

 

2. 5 RHA will move with 23 Arm Bde.

 

METHOD

 

3. Regtl SP. 88772768.                Time to pass:    K. Bty - Zero

                                                                            RHQ   – Zero + 10

                                                                            G Bty  - Zero + 14

                                                                            Coy 7 RB. Zero + 24 .

                                                                            B. Bty 73 A/Tk/ - Zero + 30.

 

4. Order of March. K. Bty, RHQ , H. Bty, Coy 7 RB, B. Bty 73 A/Tk Regt.

Tp of 37 Lt.A.A Bty will be interspersed in the column as follows –

One gun in rear of K Bty, one gun in rear of G Bty, One gun in rear of Coy 7 R.B. HQ Tp LT.A.A, moves with G Bty.

 

5. Route. 73° trace as far as 442895. This approximately follows “C” track on the escarpment.

 

6. Density. Units will move in Bty column where possible. (i.e. 2 parallel lines) with 100 yds between vehicles in both directions.

 

7. Preliminary concentration area. It may be necessary in order to conform with orders of 23 Armd Bde, and so as to join the Bde column . I have a primary halt in the area of trig point 97 429890. In this event the column will disperse as widely as possible , but be prepared to move as soon as orders are issued.

 

8. Control. Maj. D. Welsh RHA will be column cmdr.

 

9. Recce Party. CO2 and Bty Captains report to El Imayid Sta 443899 as recce party to recce new area.

ADMIN

10. A.Ech moves under Bde control. New location will be notified later.

11. Haversack rations should be carried for tea.

INTERCOM

12. Wireless silence, accept but unless otherwise ordered K Bty “H” truck and Z will remain open; reR link to 23 Armd Bde also remain open. All other sets close down at Zero.

13. RHQ close present location Z - 15.

14. Code word for move - ABRAHAM + Z.

15. Synchronization by RT on issue of code word.

 

    Capt. RHA.

Time of Sig ………1.15 .

  Adj
     
Distribution.    
G Bty …….1 Coy. 7.RB. ….5 O.O…..……......9
K Bty ……2 C. Trp. 37 Lt.A.A….6 War Diary…10/11
Sig Sec …..3 C.O. ……....7 File ……………12

B Bty

73 A/T Regt ..4

C.O.2 ……..8  
     

 

 

Appendix Jul.4.42

 

Appendix JUL.4.42

 

HEADQUARTERS 

  5th. Regiment. R.H.A.

        25th July 1942

 

 
To:-

ALL RANKS OF THE REGIMENT

 
                          Casualties during the first phase of the desert battle have already been received. We have also, by some excellent shooting, inflicted losses on the enemy.

                          I should like to congratulate all ranks of the Regiment on the splendid spirit which has been shown throughout the last few days, and to say how particularly noticeable it was when I visited various Troop positions almost immediately after certain casualties had occurred.

                          Let the spirit continue, and in the end we are bound to win. 

   
   
  Lt.Col.
  Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A.

 

Appendix Jul.5.42

 

Appendix JUL.5.42

Subject:- Congratulations.

Ref:- 13/1.

 

 

Officer Commanding,

      'G' Bty (Mercer's Tp) R.H.A.

      'K' Bty R.H.A

      'CC' Bty R.H.A.

Orderly Officer

 
 
                          The following copy of a Special Order of the Day by Brigadier L.E. Misa, D.S.O. Cmde., 23rd Armoured Brigade Groups, dated 24 July 42, is forwarded for information.

                          "The G.O.C. 8th Armd Div wishes to congratulate all ranks of 23rd Armoured Brigade on the excellent fighting spirit which they have shown in their first action.

                          He hopes they will soon receive some more tanks and will have the opportunity of avenging their losses. 

   
   
27.7.42. Capt. R.H.A.
L.S.C. Adjutant 5th Regiment. R.H.A.

 

 

August 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1st   "A" tp tank out of action & sent back for exchange, Owing to shortage of vehicles kit bags & as much gear as possible was stored in MUSTAFA barracks ALEXANDRIA.  
    1600 Winged ME.109 comes low over area smoking from one engine  
    1630 B.C, Capt. Nemke, & 2/Lt Wilson. contact C.O. 7th S.A. Fd. Regt to make arrangement for O.P.'s to go out in their area.  
  2nd   Capt. Cook to 7th S.A. Fd Regt, to go out with O.P. on 3rd.  
  3rd 1145 Regt moved to area 891290. 424900, 425899.  
  4th 0700 Battle pstns. recced & prepared. Role of 23 Ad. Bde, Gp. counter attack. 2/Lt Wilson to 7th S.A. Fd. Regt.  
      Capt. Nicholson to C.R.A. 9 Aus. Div. & out in recce with Div. Cav.  
      Practice night occupation of battle pstns.  
  6th   Visit of CCRA Brig Meade Dennis  Appendix Aug 1/42
  7th   Recce groups survey arwa 880029820 for night firing positions 5 R.H.A. Op Inst No.5
    2100 Occupied night firing pstn. Fires 10 rounds super charge per gun about 2330 hrs. F.S. section reported rounds on target (enemy guns) areas. Appendix Aug 2/42
      During gun pits were erected & left. Back in conc. area 0200hrs Letter from C in C Home Forces
  9th   Lt. Peal as F.O.O. on Bde "I" tank night attack practice  
      2/Lt Rawson rejoins from Base.  
  10th   Recce for further night firing pstns.  
  12th    Night firing 10 rds per gun. A tp. 882426968, B tp.88242964. Tgts P1 87202977, P 2 87212971.  
  14th   B.C.'s recce for Bde Exercise. 23 Armd. Bde, Cmdr. Brig Richards visits the battery.  
  15th   Bde Scheme Appendix Aug 3/42
  16th   23rd Ad. Bde less, less Regtl group moves to 89192770.  5 R.H.A. Movement Inst Order No. 6
      Regtl, Gp, move Cmdr 40 R.T.R., as under 'G' Bty R.HA., 1 Tp 73 A/T, 1 Tp Lt. A.A. 1 Sec Fd. Amb. 1 Sec.R.E., R.A.S.C A.P. This group under cmd 9 Aus. Div in a counter attack role

Appendix Aug 4/42

G Bty Movement Order No.1

  17-19   Recce of O.P. areas probable lines of attack. Battle pstns A. 88252967, B. 88262965. Occupied battle positions by night 2330 hrs.  
  20th   Move to 42839003. 40 R.T.R tale over our old leaguer area.  
  21st   C-in-C. Gen Alexander visits Regtl. Gp. Replacement 15 cwt arrives. Still down 4-15 cwts, 1-8 cwt, & 1 - 3 tonner. A troop occupy firing pstn by night.  
  22nd   B.C. recce with 40 R.T.R. of ALAMEIN defended localities  
  23rd   Regtl. Group reverts to 23 Ad. Bde & Bty moves to area EL AGURI TOMB 423887 & joins remainder of Regt.  
EL AGURI TOMB 24   Gen. Alexander visits regiment. German attack expected during the full moon period. All ranks to sleep in their cloths. Double guards put in & normal stand to continued. Al ranks to sleep with their weapons as an anti-parachutist recaution.  
  24-26   Recce of plans  A.B.C. carried out & gun pits dug in battle positions (see Appendix)

APPENDIX AUG/5/42

5. R.H.A. OPERATION INSTRUCTION No 10 (to follow next month)

  26th   Owing to the Colonel going sick Capt S.R. St Joihn takes over 'K' Bty R.H.A. vice Maj D Welch in command.  
      Capt. Nicholson becomes Bty Capt, Lt. Noble takes over command of B Troop, 2/Lt Rawson Tp Lde. A Troop - Capt. Cook/ Lt Wilson G.P.O, B.S.M Lungley T.L. Lt Peal - C.P.O. Lieut. Pitt & Fielding are still in hospital.  
  27th   Skeleton Bde Exercise. Practise Plan D  
  28th         "          "       "             "         Plan E  
  30th   Recce an ???????? over to 32 Fd. Regt.  
  31st   ACTION STATIONs 0500hrs. Enemy reported through minefields in the South. Remained in situ until 12 noon when regiment moved to AUCKLAND pstns.  
      TWO F.O.O.'s with 40 R.T.R. Enemy reported to have lost 60 tanks. Two dive bombing attacks during day. C Troop 13 Lt A.A. shot down two.  
      Formed close leaguer for the night the tanks coming back behind the guns  

 

 

 

Appendix Aug 1/42

 
   

S E C R E T

   

Copy: No …1…

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO. 5.

   

6th Aug. 42.

Ref Maps: 1/50,000 El Alamein, & 1/250,000, Sheet 14  

 

INF

 

1. Enemy

Present dispositions as given in intelligence summaries.

 

As reinforcements arrive comma the GERMANS will presumably build up a striking force as soon as possible. This force may be ready to operate during the second half of August, but I read it during the first half of the month is NOT out of the question.

 

2. Own TPS

23 Armd Bde less 46 R.Tanks, under Comd 5 Ind Div, and 50 R.Tanks under Comd 9 Aust Div are concentrated in area 427901 - 427900 - 428900 - 429900.

One sqn 6 SA Armd C Regt to support 23 Armd Bde Gp if required 88152928

 

3. Inter Div Boundaries.

            Between 9 Aust Div and 1 SA Diy, to incl 1 SA Div 8692929 - Tele line 8815298 - 888289 - 431896 - 440897 - 446 897.

Between 1 SA Div and 5 Ind Div, incl 5 Ind Div, 872284 - DIER EL SHEIN - 875281 - 878282 282 northing 2 891282 - 440897 - 450898.

 

4. 30 Corps are holding the present F.D.Ls except that 9 Aust Div has withdrawn from area West of ALAMEIN BOX so that F.D.Ls now run from inclusive Pt 33 (875301) - incl TEL EL EISA STA – line  railway 2881295; Corps are organising dispositions in order to create reserve for counteroffensive comma and to give greater depth to the defence.

 

5. 23 Armd Bde Gp are responsible for the counter attacking any enemy forces which may penetrate the ALAMEIN BOX or the Box south of this. 40 R.Tanks will concentrate in area 425899, prepared to carry out one of the following roles:-

  (a) Move West through prepared gap in perimeter minefield at eight 8842893 to attack enemy breakthrough from the SW (Code word for move “CAPETOWN”.)

  (b) Move SW through gap in minefield at 88822863 to counter attack any breakthrough of the Southern box (Code name for move: “DURBAN”.)

 

6. 7 RB are preparing defended localities in areas 886288 and 888290 to cover these gaps and to not deny them to the enemy.

 

INT

 

7. 5 RHA with under Comd one Bty 73 A/Tk Regt and one Tp Lt.A.A. Regt will occupy battle positions in area 890288 - 891288 - 891287 with the objective of:-

(a) Close support of counter attack by 40 R.Tanks.

(b) Support of defended localities of 7 RB.

 

METHOD

 

8. Code word for move - “MOOLTAN”. On receipt of this code word, Btys (incl B.Bty A/Tks and Lt.A.A.) We'll move it once to occupy battle positions. F.O.O. will link up with units as follows -

  (a) One F.O.O. “G” Bty and one F.O.O. “CC” Bty with 40 R.Tanks in present location.

  (b) One F.O.O. “G” Bty will contact 7 R.B. in defended locality 888290, will be prepared to establish an O.P. on the high ground near Pt. 21.

  (c) One F.O.O. “K” Bty will contact 7 R.B. defended locality in area 886288 and will be prepared to occupy an O.P. on the high ground near Pt. 15 (886289).

  (d) One F.O.O. “CC” Bty Will proceed forward to area Pt 36 (881920) to contact F.O.O. from 7th African Fld Regt and will remain, or withdraw, with these F.O.Os as the situation demands .

  (e) “K” Bty will hold one F.O.O. in reserve for usage required.

 

9. A/Tk B.Bty A/Tk will occupy positions in the area of high ground 889289 - 891287 - 424897 and will act as protection for the gun area.

 

10. Lt.A.A. C.Trp Lt.A.A will occupy positions in the gun area to give all protection possible.

 

11. B.Ech Will be located in the area 444901, but will not move the until ordered to do so by Brigade HQ.

 

12. Medical        (a) MDS 7 Lt Fd Amb will open at 4445901 (Junc of track from EL IMAYID STA and main rd.)

(b) ADS opens at Main HQ 23 Armd Bde and also with B.Ech.

 

13. Recovery.    (a) Recovery section will be near main HQ 23 ARM di BD a

(b) “Crock” dump will form in area 436903 to which all vehicle casualties will be evacuated by the LAD and Bde Recovery SEC

(c) Bde ordnance workshops and OFP remained present location.

 

14. Ammn. A.P. will be located near main HQ 23 Armd Bde.

 

INTERCOMM

15. NO wireless silence. Units will open up wireless on receipt of code word “MOOLTAN”.

 

16. RHQ remains present location unless otherwise notified.

 

17. Main Bde HQ move to area 436901; Tac HQ remains present location.

ACK    
     

Time of signature …1430... hrs.

  Capt. RHA .
    Adjutant.
Distribution:    
G Bty (Mercer’s Trp) …..1    
K Bty ………………..…2    
CC. Bty RHA …………..3    
Signal Section ………......4    
L.A.D. ………………….5    
B. Bty 73 A/T Regt RA….6    
C Trp Lt AA Regt ……....7    
C.O……………………..8    
CO2 …..………………..9    
OO……….……………10    
MO ………………..….11    
War Diary………..12 & 13    
File ………………....…16    
     

 

 

.Appendix Aug 2/42

Officer Commanding.

    G Bty (Mercer's Tp) R.H.A.

    K Bty.. R.H.A.

    CC Bty., R.H.A.

O.O.                          

 
   
     The attached is a copy of a letter which I have just received from C.-in-C., Home Forces. It is forwarded for the information of all ranks.
   
7 AUG 42. Lt.Col. R.H.A.
FCA Cmdg. 5th Regiment. R.H.A.
   

COPY.

HF/1563.C-in-C.

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS

  HOME FORCES

 

5 May, 1942.
 
                          Thank you for your letter of 3rd may and for the good wishes from yourself and the Regiment, which I greatly appreciate.

                          I thank you also, and those under your command, for the high example you have set us in Home Forces through your excellent standards of esprit-de-corps, battle efficiency and turn-out; it has been second to none.

                          I send to you and to all ranks my best wishes for your future and my regret at losing such a fine unit from Home Forces. 

  Yours sincerely.
  (Sgd)    B.T, PAGET

Lieut. Co. Rawdon Hoare, D.S.O., M.C.,

Headquarters,

5th Regiment R.H.A.

"Round Down"

Gomshall,

Nr. GUILDFORD.

   

 

 

 

Appendix Aug 3/42

 
   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO. 6.

   

Copy: No …1…

   

15 Aug. 42.

(Ref Maps: 1:100,000 El Hanman

     1:50,000, El Alamein. )

 

 

(a)   INFORMATION.

1.     23 Armd Bde Gp, less 40 Tanks Regtl Gp, is moving to conc area S.W. of defended locality ‘C’ in order to be prepared for a counter-attack role N.W. or S.W. of RUWEISAT RIDGE.

2.     40 R.Tanks Regtl Gp, comprising 40 R.Tanks with under comd G Bty RHA, 1 tp Lt AA and 1 tp A/Tk, will remain present area in support of 9 Australian Div.

 

(b)   INTENTION.

3.     (i) 5 RHA, less G Bty, will move to conc area approx. 891276, 891277, 424886, 424887 on 16 Aug 42.

(ii) G Bty RHA will move to conc area originally occupied by HQ 23 Armd Bde on 16 Aug 42.

 

(c)   METHOD.

5 RHA less G Bty.

4.     Regtl S.P.:- tk junc 42629003.

Times to pass:-              CC Bty ….0930 hrs.

                                    RHQ……..0942  “

                                    K Bty ……0950  “

            Head of CC Bty will not pass 430 grid line before 0945 hrs; tail of K Bty will be clear of 430 grid line by 1030 hrs.

5.    Route:-              By tk parallel to and SOUTH of rly as far as EL IMAYID Sta 442899; thence South to BIR EL SADI 442895, and on to the escarpment; thence S.W. by new ‘C’ Tk as far as 430 grid line. Guides from harbour parties will meet units at 430 grid line. (Note: All tanks must keep of the road where wire matting has been laid down._

6.    Speed and Density.         8 m.i.h.             10 v.t.m.

7.    Officer D.R. from CC Bty will report to D.A.P.M at EL IMAYID Sta by 1015 hrs to ensure that no vehicles of this Regt move on to the tk South from EL IMAYID Sta before 73 A/Tks are clear.

8.    Dispersion.        Proper dispersion must be preserved at all times. This particularly applies during last portion of journey, when delays are possible due to difficulty in getting conc area.

9.    Harbour Party,   limited to one vehicle per Bty and RHA, RV at RHQ at 0735 hrs.

10.  Light A.A.

 (i) 1 tp will be in action in area EL IMAYID Sta.    42408890

            (ii)  1 tp will be in action in area BIR EL SADI.

            Both tps may cross 430 grid line at 0845 hrs, and will remain in are stated until Bde is clear.

11.  Stragglers Post.  EL AGURI TOMB 425885.

G BTY RHA.-

12.  Command:- G Bty comes under comes under command 40 R.T.R. w.e.f. 0900 hrs 16 Aug 42.

13.  Bty Will mive to conc area originally occupied by HQ 23 Armd Bde between 1200 and 1400 hrs 16 Aug. L.O. will be sent 40 R.Tanks on completion of move to report location, and to collect any orders.

 

(d)   ADMIN.

14.  B Ech, less G Bty B Ech, is moving under Bde control to approx area 438890 at approx 1300 hrs 16 Aug.

B Ech G Bty remains present are until ordered otherwise. G Bty will contact 40 R.Tanks and make all admin arrangements necessary with them.

15.  Sup.      Double haversack rations carried for the move; it is hoped to have suppers on arrival in conc area.

16.  Med.     RAP movers with RHQ throughout.

17.  Recovery. LAD moves with B Ech.

1 Scammel from Bde Recovery Section should be reporting to the Regt before the move, and will travel in rear of K Bty.

18.  Dress. Skeleton web equipment; greatcoats, pack, etc., in vehicles. Side hats to be worn.

 

 

(e)   INTERCOMN.

19.  Wireless silence throughout, unless otherwise ordered.

20.  RHQ closes present location at 0915 hrs, and moves on C.L.

21.  Liaison. One L.O. each from K and CC Btys will report to RHQ on completion of the move, to report that their Bty is all correct, or otherwise.

22.  Synchronisation. Signal time 0700 hrs.

 

 

ACK    
     

Time of signature …0610... hrs.

  Capt.
    Adj.
Distribution:    
G Bty …..1 C.O………………...7  
K Bty ..…2 C.O.2 …..………… 8  
CC. Bty ..3 O.O.…….………… 9  
Sig Sec.....4 Q.M……………….10  
O.C. A Tp L.A.A. … 5 M.O ………………11  
O.C. C Tp L.A.A. … 6 War Diary………12/13  
  File ……………..…14  

 

 

 

Appendix Aug 4/42

'G' Bty. Movement Instruction No.1
   
The Regiment, less 'G' Battery (Mercer's Troop) R.H.A. moves today.

'G' Battery form Regimental Group, with 1 Troop Lt.AA. 1 Troop A/Tk & 40th R.T.R.

We move to present Bde HQ area by 1400 hrs.

23rd Armd Bde move out about 1115 hrs. Btys move from here about 1100 hrs.

Harbour Parties.    Bty Capt & 1 truck per troop, leave

                              about 1000 hrs, with wireless communication 

                              to X

A2 Echelon comes under direct Bty Control.

Administration, direct through 40th R.T.R. who come under Australians.

The Bty Capt. will contact Capt Elston & Lt. Barrow before leaving present area

Wireless Code to be used, if necessary, as for yesterday's scheme.

 

16.8.42  
rg  
 

To. All Officers

       WOs.

       War Diary (3)

 

 

 

September 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
82092729 1st 0530 Bty in action in the AUCKLAND positions. Capt Cooke (RA) and Lt. Noble (RB) as F.O.O.s in Honeys with 40 R.T.R. at pt 84

APPENDIX 1/SEP/42

Order if the day - various

DEIR EL HIMMA 1st 1000hr

Capt. Cooke moved to Cairn 100 (42358785) on BARE RIDGE, with C Sqn. 40 R.T.R. as protection with a special task of getting better observation & shooting up an enemy battery in the DEIR DARIS area

This point 100 proved the key to this operation of the AUCKLAND position & it is difficult to understand why it was not occupied in the original appreciation. It was an excellent view point and the whole situation was spread out and in a panorama below. R.A. established an O.P. 1000x due E. of cairn in a wadi turret down. Engaged some 75mm. on S.P. mountings and several groups of of M.T. O.P. sniped by S.P. guns.

APPENDIX 2/SEP/42

[5 RHA Op Inst No10

[    "      "     "     No11

NB. This inst also refers to August War Diary

  1st 1200hr R.A. moved to O.P. 200x E of Cairn 100 & ran out 300x of line on to the flat west of the ???ye. Further shelling of O.P. by enemy sniping troop which was 1200x due south in dead ground. Neutralised & silenced this troop with gun fire. Further shelling of enemy M.T.  
      Lt Noble (RB) in support of A Sqn. 40 R.T.R. O.P. established S.W. of cairn 100 with excellent observation. Several M.T. & tank targets were engaged and dispersed. One tank & four vehicles set on fire.  
    1530hr 40 R.T.R. less 2 troops A Sqn withdrew to 84 ???e Lt. Noble in support of the other two troops/  
    1600hr 15 Italian M12's & 7 G MK IV's observed entering the DEIR EL DATAIS depression. Engaged with no visible effect.  
    1700hr. 25 Italian & 50 German tanks were reported lined up S. of Cairn 100 facing north. An attack appeared imminent. Leaving Capt Cooke (RA) to cover RB if necessary the B.C. left 40 R.T.R. to tee up the guns for some open sight shooting. Meanwhile RB got much shooting. The attacked did not materialise. Four enemy tanks (incl. 1 Crusader) & approx 150 infantry reached Trig 98 (2000x due W. of Cairn 100) & gave "K" Bty R.H.A. some very pretty shooting. They knocked out the Crusader & a number of infantry. At last light the two O.P.s withdrew with 40 R.T.R. into close leaguer behind the Bty position. Gnrs. Haynes and Hallgarth were hit by shell fragments & admitted to 2nd Lt. Fd. Amb.   
      This day the Bty fired 1028 rounds.  
  2nd. F.L.

Bty. in action 89092729. Capt. Cooke (R.A.) & Lt. Noble (R.B.) in support of 40 R.T.R with O.P.’s E of Cairn 100 in 400 X S. W. respectively. This ridge (BARE ridge) was being fairly heavily shelled by enemy guns in the dead ground in the near edge of depression and also by a troop of 105 mm. in an open position in the far side of the depression. These guns were heavily engaged by both troops and the fire kept down. The troop in the open position suffered a direct hit on one gun and two derelict guns reviewed in this area later. Only one gun was seen to leave the position. Both O.P.’s got continual targets of M.T.T. re-engaged the enemy batteries in the depression. A concentration was fired at O615 hours onto an enemy leaguer area in the depression. The general of movement there of enemy MT during the afternoon was to the west. R.A.F. Boston bombers were very active causing numerous fires most refreshing to watch. Both O.P.’s went into closed leaguer with 40 R.T.R. 600X South of cairn 100.

This day the battery fired 1013 rounds.

 
DEIR EL HIMMA 3rd F/L Bty in action at the same place both O.P.’s with 40 R.T.R. on cairn 100  
    0745h

Capt. Cook (R.A.). goes forward with two troops C Sqn to patrol DEIR DAYIS depression. This patrol contacted 22nd Armoured Bde who were working West from the Scotland positions full step. Lt. Noble (RB) was held in reserve with the B.C. on cairn 100. A magnificent view of the battle could be had and it was most interesting observing how the opposing armoured formations operate.

 
    0800

B.C. and C.O. 40 R.T.R. carry out recce to forward tanks 22nd As Bde still working west on our left. Meanwhile both O.P.’s continued to get good shooting at M.T., tanks and on S.P. gun battery mostly 11000 - 12000 X.

 
    1300

R.A. tank hit by 105 75mm. H.E. No damage.

 
     

R.B. goes forward on patrol with A Sqn and established an O.P. near the blockhouse at Pt. 81. Engaged further targets including guns. Near miss buy largest HE shell on R.B. which meant later repairs to the wireless and self stuart and had to be towed by a Valentine to start

 
    1330

Fierce dog fight over bty position very encouraging to see as much of our own planes during the battle. OP S continues to shell M.T. but ammo expenditure had to be cut down what orders from R.H.Q. Enemy M.T. movement generally in a westerly direction. Enemy Air Force very active this night. The battery fired 949 rounds.

 
    L.L

RA or RB in close leaguer with 40 R.T.R. south of Trig 98.

 
  4th F.L

RA on patrol with A Sqn into MUSTAPHA DEP. and got some good shooting at MT and isolated A/T guns. Five vehicles were seen burning as a result. O.P. in area 423266 received a certain amount of shelling. In MUMASSIB depression RA was hit at long range by 50 mm. which glanced off. A near miss from 105 mm. carried away the wireless mast, air filter and punctured all the water containers.

 
    1300

RA relieves RA and establish is OP about 890266. Continued enemy shelling especially when the O.P. looking was into the MUNASSIB depression. Enemy Infy digging in and a tea guns were engaged. K Bty R.H.A. got in some fine shooting on these targets.

 
    L.L.

O.P.’s into close leaguer with 40 R.T.R. south of trig 98. Fired 325 rounds this day.

 
  5th 0900

40 R.T.R. remained on Trig 98 not moving forward. Lt. Noble (R.B) was sent forward to maintain obtain information and establish an O.P. Bty advances to position A troop 88922699 B troop 88962702. Lt. Noble was forward to edge off MUNASSIB depression and reported no enemy insight E of 883 grid line. Then contacted 2 F.O.O.’s from 1st R.H.A. who up against the minefield. Observed and engage some inventory. Also one 25 pdr gun in the minefield reported by 1 R.H.A. to be derelict. Lt. Noble was just giving going to give it a round from the 37 mm when a crew sprung to life and manned it. He reversed down the slope firing his Browning which no doubt accounted for the gun shooting at him. Two rounds wood fired by the 25 pdr one hitting the ground and the second carrying away The ration box. Unfortunately one of the 1 R.H.A. honeys was hit and the F.O.O. killed. A smokescreen was put down and the honey extricated. RB moved to another O.P. and engaged a few targets mainly isolated A/T guns.

 
    1330

RB released by RA (Capt Cooke). Nothing further of note observed. This day the battery fired 115 rounds

O.P.’s leaguered with 40 R.T.R. N of trig 98. A nice gesture by 40 R.T.R. who more them replaced RB’s rations (shot away) with some of their own. The bty went into close leaguer ½ mile North off the position. “M” battery RHA Maj. PT O’Brien-Butler who had been attached to the regiment was next to us.

 
  6th  

Bty moves back into same positions. One O.P. out in observation & relieved at midday by the other.

Nothing to note.

 

    1600

Saw six planes shot down in and around the area

Appendix 3/SEP/42

Register of messages received & sent during battle.

    1700

Bty moves back to original concentration area El AGURI TOMB (4233887). Role - mobile reserve.

 

  7th 1000

Bty suddenly ordered to re-occupy the positions just vacated. These were found to be clearly occupied by 104th R.H.A. (Essex Yeomanry) 22nd Ad. Bde.

 

    1200

Bty went into action 1000X South & later moved into other positions when 104th moved out. 

 

    1500

Ordered to return to original positions (AUCKLAND) 890270.

 

    L.L.

Formed close leaguer behind battery position.

 

  8th  

Remained in action in the same area. No firing. Army Commander visits the regiment. At night the battery moves into close leaguer with the tanks.

 

  9th  

The Corps Cmdr. Lt.Gen Horrock gave a very clear account of the battle. Rommel has suffered a very severe reverse due to a large extent to the well directed and concentrated artillery effort. The able concentration of the Royal Navy and RF was also stressed. It would appear that Rommel suffered 40% tank casualties 40 of which were definitely destroyed by our sappers. The threat to EGYPT there can now be considered to be over and we get ready to administer the Coup de Grace.

 

  10th  

Still in same pstn. Lt. R. A. Pit R.H.A. re-joins from hospital & takes up command of B Troop.

 

  11th  

Lt. Noble R.H.A. to hospital with a poisoned leg.

 

  13th  

B troop move forward for some firing O.P. observed by Lt. Pitt and 2/Lt. Wilson. 72 rounds fired at enemy inventory and sangers.

APPENDIX 4/Sep/42

5RHA movement order NO12

  14th  

The Bty moves with the regiment to area 44388 823. Our affiliated tank regiment 40 R.T.R. are re-joining the Australians on the sea. We were all very sorry to see them go as we have developed a very close & active liaison and know each other’s methods well.

 

     

They have always been all out to help and cooperate and have given us the greatest assistance with the O.P.’s & with wireless batteries.

 

     

Rumour has it that we are to leave 23rd Ad. Bde. This will indeed be a sad day for the battery as we have now been training with them off and on for 2 years.

It will also mean leaving ‘C’ troop 37 Lt. A.A. Bty R.A. whose efficient willing and cheerful gun crews ably reflect the selflessness of their commander Lt. J. J. Bee R.A. Since we have been in the desert with one or two and generally three of these guns have been with the battery. Their quick and accurate fire has resulted in the destruction of at least 12 enemy aircraft & there is no doubt that this has been a terrific effect on all our men. Extracts from their war diary are given an appendix to show a situation during this period.

 

  15th  

Bde exercise two practice our next operational role (code name ABERDEEN). Troop positions in area 431884. Z.L. 180°. Both F.O.O.’s in reserve.

 

  16th  

Training - gun drill, laying, 406 inspections WT procedure and Nos 1 class. Lt Noble re-joins.

 

  17th  

Lt. A.A. det. ceased to be attached

 

  18 & 19.  

Maintenance (406 inspections), training drill order.

 

  20.  

Brigadier Richards visits regt.

 

  21.  

Regt. moves back to re-join 8th Armd. Div. ‘C’ track to 170 kilo & harbour for the night at 88 kilo. 2/Lt. Jamieson to hospital.

APPENDIX 6/Sep/1942

5RHA. Movement order No.13.

  22.  

Harbour at 32 kilo. Capt. S. A. St. John returns & officers resume normal job. Both parties all day to MENA.

 

  23th,  

Join 24th Armd. Bde. At 56358055. 41, 45 and 47 R.T.R. supported by ‘G’, ‘K’, and ‘CC’ R.H.A. respectively.

APPENDIX 7/Sep/1942

5RHA. Movement order No.14

  24-25th  

Night exercise forming up in front of British $ German minefields & going through by night. Very difficult route due to soft sand but everything got through after much labour and winching.

 

  27.  

Moved to 587818.

APPENDIX 5/Sep/1942

5RHA. Movement order No.15

  28.  

Were to have fix concentration on demonstration. Cancelled.

 

     

Bty. D.O. indexed

 

  29.  

Div. Cmdr. Inspects the regiment. Both he & the Colonel expressed themselves is very satisfied with the Btys turnout.

 

  30.  

Recce for 1 day practice camp.

APPENDIX 9

6/Sep/1942

5RHA. Practice Camp 30 – 1 Oct.

     

 

APPENDIX 10/Sep/1942

Letter from Brig. Richards.

 

N.B. Rest of Appendices to be added later.

 

October 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1.  

The Battery continue training with 8 Armd Div and in particular with 41 R.T.R. of the 24 Armd Bde. Firing practice on this day.

 

  2.  

Bde. Exercise.

 

  8.  

Move to concentration area for Bde Exercise.

 

  9.  

Bde Exercise firing of life shell. Gun groups return after firing. Regiment represented in skeleton.

 

  10.  

Bty Moves to staging area kilo 73.

 

  11.  

Proceeds down F track to 78 track and leaguers As for the night.

 

  12.  

Reaches destination at

 

  13.  

2/Lt. Rawson to hospital with jaundice. This training proved very trying owing to the very bad area of soft sand. Extra maintenance on all vehicles had to be continued daily. Excessive amount of winching required by the quads when vehicles stuck cause excessive wear.

 

  17  

2/Lts. Davidson J and Dorey A.H.J. joined on 1st appointment from base. 4 extra 3 tonners arrived 1 replacement and 3 to put us in M.E. Scale. These were a great help and we were able to lighten their loads. One issue to each troop (called A4 & A5) to take cooking gear, ammo and sig equipment. One as P.2 and one Q3 to do shuttle service petrol rations. The captured Italian lorry (taken at BARE Ridge) was retained as a Fitters lorry with Gun Group

 

  18.  

Capt. Nicholson attached to K Bty R.H.A. as Bty Capt

 

  19.  

2/Lt. Jamieson to hospital. Night March to staging area 475887 moved with 41 Regtl. Group. Great difficulty experience with soft sand.

1/OCT/42 with original

  20.  

Leaguered 475882. Night March 2300 hra.

 

  21. 0600

Arrived at Assembly area 239886.

 

  22  

Lt. Dunlop arrives on first appointment to R.H.A.

D.1.

  23. 2030

Bty advances with 41 R.T.R Regtl. group to go through bridgehead made in minefields by the NZ. 24 Armd now with 10 Armd Div. Route - Beachy Head - Bottle track which runs roughly parallel to the line of railway and South of it some 2 miles. Topped up at SPRINGBOK Road. (88492900). No difficulties to here. After this the route deteriorated & was badly cut up & some difficulty was experienced in getting through. We were now in the area of our medium artillery & they and the field guns in front were putting up a terrific barrelage. The route had been very well lighted. Difficulty was now experienced in running up against the transport of the 8th Armd Bde who are held up in front. We passed through our own mind fields (CARMELITE) just before dawn.

D.2.

2/OCT/42 with original

4/OCT/42 & 5/OCT/42

  24 D.3.   Dawn found us together with a mass of other vehicles in between our own minefields (CARMELITE) and the first enemy minefield (LAWTON). After a hasty recce the battery was ordered into action in area 875292 (A  87572934 B 87682934) B O.P. (Lt. Pitt R.H.A.) at 87572447. Shortly afterwards the B.C. was ordered to take over the area for anti-tank defence as an attack was expected from the N.W. This was done with B Coy K.R.R.C of the group and some N.Z. anti-tank guns in the area. Meanwhile the 45 R.T.R. K Bty and 47 R.T.R. CC Bty & RHQ with the 24 Armd Bde had advanced by different route and were also in action in the area.  
    1700 B O.P. moves to 87232917 with 41 R.T.R. At last light form close leaguer, the guns remaining in action. B O.P. returns with the 41 R.T.R. for night patrol. Bombed during the night.  
    2230 Concentration fired. During the day hard fighting was experienced on the OXALITE Ridge. A certain amount of bombing by day. The night 24/25 was very active there being much night bombing. This day the Battery fired 526 rounds.  
8792934 25 D4 FL. Art. Walker A. of B Troop wounded by bomb splinters.  
    0700 Bty moves to A 87372917 B 87382916 B O.P. at 87212925.  
    2000 Battery ordered to move via BOTTLE, QUATTARA and STAR tracks  
  26   Leaguers at 0230 hrs west of LAWTON & takes up battle positions area 866294.  
    1430 Bty advances two A 87372956 B 87412953 A O.P. relieves B O.P. and remains out all night. Fired 122 rounds.  
  27.   24 Armd Bde do a holding attack for PIERSON. Ridge and tanks get badly cut up.  
      A OP (Capt Cooke R.H.A.) engaged targets at first light including tanks at 86992932. Twp were destroyed and set on fire. At 0930 A O.P. hit a mine breaking a track and shaking up the crew. Continued to engage enemy targets with ground O.P. until relieved by B O.P. B.C. evacuated A crew in a carrier borrowed from K Bty R.H.A. Heavy shell fire encountered in O.P. area.  
    1530 B.C. orders Bty to advance by troops. A 87132955 B 87152953.  
    1630 CR 42 bombs battery position. Gnr Newby slightly wound did & remains one A.A gunner (attached) evacuated wounded. K2 and one quad damaged (radiator and wheels). These were quickly put right by the fitters and mechanics. This shows the value of a fitters lorry up complete with spares.  
    2130 Barrage fired to assist 133 Inf Bde to gain WOODCOCK AND SNIPE. High ground between PIERSON and SKINFLINT to the N.W. of O.P.s  
      This attack was successful. This day the Battery fired 1308 rds. B O.P. remains out all night with 41 R.T.R  
  28 D.7. Capt. Pitt R.H.A. interposted two K Bty R.H.A. Capt. Nicholson R.H.A. returns and takes over B troop. B O.P. out Capt Nicholson up. Got some excellent shooting on working parties, M.T. & sangers (see appendix messages). B O.P. at           Lt, Dunlop 2/Lt. Davidson and Dorey out to O.P.s at various times. The stationary R.A. now in the forward elements of the Argylle _& Sutherlands was used to good effect. Numerous Regtl & LL ground targets were engaged. Three bombing attacks no casualties. Intermittent shell fire on Bty position. Dr, Hall and Gnr Wilson wounded and evacuated. This this day fired 1089 rounds.  
  29 D.8. Capt. Cooke & Lt. Dunlop to O.P.s. Capt. St. John & 2/Lt. Wilson also to stationary R.A. Numerous targets engage. Two bombing attacks no casualties. Enemy attack expected and reported at 1900 hrs. Fired on S.O.S. 2 Nothing further developed. This day fired 972 rounds  
  30 D.9. Capt. Nicholson & 2/Lt. Davidson at O.P. Good target observed & engaged. Harassing fire put down from midnight to dawn. Intermittent shelling Gnrs Horrocks (evacuated) and Pescod (sent to B.2. echelon) wounded. Intermittent bombing and shelling O.P. and guns  
      Jery seems to be definitely short of guns or ammo. A quiet night. B.S.M. Lungley grazed by splinter and the Major’s bedding punctured. A sore point! The Australians were to attack in the North tonight. Fired 570 rounds.  
  31 D.10 Capt. Cooke & Lt Peal to O.P. Bombing attacked at 0830 hours no damage. Shoots conducted with success in conjunction with forward Inf. Post. At 1500 hts Lt. Dorey to O.P. various targets engaged. Bombing attacked at 1800 hours. Lt. A.A. claim 5 hits and 3 kills in the day. 400 r.p.g. arrive today. We hear that the Australians have surrounded a large pocket of Germans. 6/OCT/42
      It is interesting note that the 1st, 2nd, 2rd, & 5th Regiments of Royal Horse Artillery are all in action within a few miles of each other.  
      Bty fired 400 and rds today.  
         

 

3/OCT/42

5 R.H.A. OPERATIONAL ORDER No…..                   

MOST SECRET.
  OFFICERS ONLY
 

INF.

1. Enemy. As per current Sit. Reps. (Not to hand).

 

2. Own Tps. As per current Sit Reps.

 

3. 30 Corps and 10 Armd Div Arty are supporting a night move by 2nd NZ Div and 10 Armd Div. 10 Armd Div  will be occupying battle positions by moonlight. 24th Armd Bde on the right, 8th Armd Bde on the left, and 133 Lorried Infantry Bde 2 Battalions as a pivot.

 

4. 24 Armd Bde start line. - 200 yards north and east of OXALIC; objective PIERSON, from 86672937 to 86732910.

 

5. 8 Armd Bde start line. - 200 yards north and east of OXALIC between todays gaps in 10 Armd Div. Objective 86732910 to 87002880.

 

6. 133 Lorried Infantry Bde. Is forming pivot in area MITERZA RIDGE between todays gaps.

 

7. R.A. 30 Corps and 10 Armd Bde is supporting by:-

    (a) Counter Battery 2200 to 2215.

    (b) 2215 to 2315 covering fire on Armd Bde front.

 

8. R.E.s are making as many 16 ft gaps as possible, as cover for the 133 Lorried Infantry Bde.

 

INTENTION.

9. 5 R.H.A. will support in conjunction with 10 Armd Div Arty.

 

METHOD.

10. Counter battery concentrations, as per task table if this arrives in time. The Richmond has not guaranteed at this task.

 

11. Barrage. In accordance with attached trace.

       NOT

 

12. Btys. will move from their present locations after completion of the barrage, except on orders from this H.Q. It is improbable that there will be any move before first light 25 Oct.

 

ADMIN.

12. Dump 40 r.p.g.

 

INTERCOMM.

13. Synchronise at 1915 hours,

 

24.10.42. 

 Signed ?????? Captain RHA

Adjutant. 5 Regt. R.H.A. 

 

 

 

4/OCT42

 

Eighth Army

 

Personal Message from the Army Commander.

 

1.     When I assumed command of this Eighth Army I said that the mandate was to destroy Rommel and his Army and that it actually be done as soon as we are ready.

 

2.     We are ready now

The battle which is about to begin be one of the decisive battles of history. It will be the turning point of the war. The eyes of the whole world will be honest, watching anxiously which way the battle will swing.

We can give them the answer at once “It will swing our way”.

 

3.     We have first class equipment, good tanks, good anti tank guns, plenty of artillery & plenty of ammunition, and we are up backed up by the finest air striking force in the world.

All that is necessary is that each one of us every officer & man should enter the battle waves determination to see it through to fight and kill and finally to win .

If all of us do this there can be only one result! together we will hit the enemy for “six” right out of North Africa.

 

4.     The sooner we win this battle, it should be the turning point of the war, the sooner we shall all get back home to our families.

 

5.     Therefore, every officer & man enter battle with a stout heart comma and with the determination to do his duty as long as he has breath in his body.

 

AND LET NO MAN SURRENDER SO LONG AS HE IS UNWOUNDED AND CAN FIGHT.

 

Let us is all prey that! “The Lord mighty in battle” will give us the victory.

 

BL MONTGOMERY

M.E.F.

Lt.General G.O.C in C Eighth Army

23-10-42  
   

 

 

22nd October 1942

5/OCT/42

 

To: All Ranks.

5 Regt. Royal Horse Artillery

 

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all ranks of the regiment the best of good luck during the coming battle.

 

New life I feel convinced that you were all given excellent account of yourselves.

 

 

Signed R.R. HOARE. Lt.Col.

R.H.A

 

 

 

6/OCT/42

 

Officer Commanding

G.Bty (Mercer’s Tp) RHA

K.Bty RHA.

CC.Bty RHA

 

It is with great reluctance that I have been persuaded to be evacuated to hospital . The severe crash which i had has been aggravated by my continuing afterwards force five days in the line .

 

I should be glad if we will see all ranks are told what has happened. I hope to be back in about 10 days.

 

 

31-10-42   

Signed R.R. Hoare. Lt.Col. RHA

 

Cmding 5 Regt. R.H.A.

   

 

                           MESSAGES RECEIVED AT BATTERY COMMAND POST.

7/OCT/42

 

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

 

 

24

 

Enemy tanks & A/Tk guns 868294.

Passed on

01

01

 

0820

Area S of ridge 874288 Heavy A/Tk and H.E. Fire

 

01

01

 

0847

25 Enemy tanks located 871294.

Passed to Tps.

 

 

 

 

Take all precautions.

 

02

Btys

 

0900

Two groups enemy tanks 25 in each 868294 & 866290

Passed to Tps.

02

Btys.

 

1050

Enemy Inf and mortars firing 870286

   “        “   “

02

Btys

 

1100

Infantry and Tank attack developing 871285

   “        “   “

AOP

CP

 

1115

Inf. Attacking 872285 Moving N.

   “        toRHQ&

AOP

CP

 

1026

Shot at infantry dug in positions unobserved owing to smoke 86832883

   “        “ R.H.Q.

02

Btys

 

1130

50 M.T. & 12 Tanks now being engaged 871286 by friends

   “        “  Tps

02

Btys

 

1140

14 enemy tanks 868299 &868293

   “        “   “

AOP

CP.

 

1200

Enemy appear to be increasing number of troops in area 867287 & 868286

   “        “ R.H.Q.

AOP

CP.

 

1210

Enemy has increased his A/Tk guns. S.P. strength 865286 866285 867285 strength is now 30 to 40. The area 87232905 is being shelled by 105s.

   “        “   “

 

Btys

 

 

33 tanks at 87202902.

   “        “  Tps

DNH

Btys

 

 

Enemy mines covered by 88 mms 867295 30 tanks at 86752950 Stationary.

   “        “   “

DNH

Btys.

 

 

872289 enemy reported laying mines engage if possible. CRA suggest this battery OP too well placed to engage.

   “        “   “

AOP.

CP.

 

1258

40 Enemy Inf and 1 tank moving in area 868289.  Am now engaging them

   “        “  RHQ

DNH

Btys.

 

 

Can you observe 8 tanks and 400 M.T. widely dispersed in area 8702912873289.

   “        “  Tps.

02

CP.

 

 

Reported enemy debussing area 870291

   “        “   “

AOP

CP.

 

1435

Engaged enemy MT & Inf

   “        “   RHQ

DNH

Btys

 

 

There appears to be steadily mounting threat of attack on our right sector.

 

 

 

 

 

Tanks and Inf forming up 869290.

   “        “   Tps.

02

Btys

 

1545

L.L. 400 MT 87002865

   “        “   “

AOP

CP.

 

1705

Enemy tanks 2000x from objective

 

 

 

 

 

4 German tanks on fire.

   “        “   “

AOP

 

 

1740

Shelling of Rt. Flank from heavy guns (105mm to 150mm)

 

 

 

25

0845

Engaging enemy inf part dug in 86737899

   “        “   “

RHQ

Btys

 

1049

Gun flashes observed 87402869

   “        “   “

BOP

CP.

 

1050

2 Med. Guns firing Appx location 6852881

   “        “   RHQ

BOP

CP.

 

1130

Observed fire was not very successful.

There were firing before but are now silent. At 86788272 gun pits marked unoccupied are now occupied

 

   “        “   “

RHQ

Btys

 

1155

LL ground as many as possible

Immediate. 86722888

   “        “   Tps

RHQ

Btys

 

1130

6 guns on bearing 90° 86722888.

Believe 105s/

   “        “   “

L1

LL

 

 

When LL targets are engaged LL shots will be reported.

 

BOP.

CP.

 

1210

On ridge where targets B2 is situated I saw 4 tanks which have not moved since we occupied this position.

 

BOP

CP.

 

1325

Main enemy ridgeruns from 867291 to minefield 870286

   “        “   RHQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet 2.

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

L2

L2

25

 

3 88mm guns abandoned 871289 & believed to have withdrawn leaving light A/Tk screen along ridge 867287 to 870284.

 

CPO

B.

 

 

Hornets attacking friends. Why is nothing being done. L5 at disposal.

 

 

 

 

1804

6 Tanks moving N.W. 868289

Passed to RHQ

AOP

Cp,

 

1830

Enemy Battery 867286

   “        “   “

LL Target.

 

1832

LL ground 87252898

Engaged.

 

Btys

 

 

10 tanks facing west 87042892

   “

B Tp.

CP.

26

 

Target Records B Tp.

Noted

A Tp.

CP.

 

 

Target Records A Tp.

   “

RHQ

Btys

 

 

Information. At 1455 hrs at 865293 30 enemy tanks & MT coming up. Friends report at 865301 50 tanks. 865297 35 tanks. 866297 30 tanks & inf. now being engaged.

 

 

Passed to Tps.

AOP.

CP.

 

 

Last Light Report. At 1915 hrs all firing from Tks previously reported has ceased. There is nothing to report from this section. Am now on my way in.

 

AOP

 

27.

0645

Everything is quiet. Good news from our friends on our right. 2 88 mm & a number of tanks have been destroyed.

One 88 appears to be firing on fixed lines.

 

 

To RHQ

AOP

CP.

 

0714

Engaged enemy guns dug in at 868560 292145 (Z 336° 6800) Also tanks in that area.

 “     “

A Tp.

CP.

 

0845

Enemy OP at 86952925 is being dealt with/ (Trig 30 Capt Cookes O.P.)

 “     “

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

20 to 30 tanks after being engaged by DNI now moving N.W. will give locations of DNI shortly.

 “    Tps.

AOP

Cp.

 

0815

17 tanks engaged at 866670 293390.

1 on fire.

 

Noted & recced

AOP

Cp.

 

0930

Approx 30 enemy tanks hull down on high ground 863 864289 type cannot be distinguished as yet.

 

ToRHQ

AOP

Cp.

 

0947

Engaged enemy tanks & Inf of which 100 and 1Officer gave themselves up at 865680 289515.

“   “  &

Recorded.

AOP

Cp.

 

 

More prisoners 8670 2940 2920,

Looks like a Batt. Nationality unknown

To RHQ.

AOP

Cp.

 

1045

333° 11200 865540 286381 Tgt Tanks

All rds in area. Difficult to observe

“   “

AOP

CP.

 

1120

Tgt 341° 10400 865409 290390 Guns heard but not seen.

“   “

AOP

CP.

 

1205

There are three “LOngbottoms” and 1 “Tinbelly” in area where Capt Cooke is now at & they belong to Mr. Benke’s crowd.

 

CRA

Btys.

 

1205

Tank attack developing at 864294

Capt. Cooke’s location 8697 2932

The major is coming in with 3s party will you inform Harry small scattered minefields S of 3s position. Leaving RA there.

“  A Tp.

“  Tps

“  RHQ

 

Informed.

RHQ

 

 

1325

Beware of minefields 86782942 to 86372946 and from 86382942 to 86372946.

To Tps.

RHQ

 

 

1340

100 Tks reported 863297 No further information available at present.

 

 

 

 

 

What out and do what you can,

 

RHQ

 

 

1350

Large column enemy MT moving N.E. 862298.

To Tps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

RHQ

CP

26

0641

15 tanks stationary at 19 863298

To Tps.

O2

 CP

 

0929

LL Target 86402955

A shot

O2

CP

 

 

LL Target Infantry advancing 86252955

To Tps.

RHQ

Btys

 

1040

Woodcock reported overrun but threat with caution

“     “

RHQ

Btys

 

 

LL Ground close tgt. 86472945

“     “

RHQ

 “

 

 

861290 infantry dug in. In area 864296 864295 about 20 tks. Mostly Mk.3 & 4 special. Nearly all knocked out.

“     “

RHQ

 “

 

 

LL Tgt. 86422949

“     “

AOP.

CP.

 

1045

At 1040 hrs met our friends at GOTYer 7014 no sign of enemy in front but reported to be 3000 yds in front of this position. I am going forward so that I can get a better look at the enemy party consisting of Inf, and small Armd Cars.

 

 

To R.H.Q.

AOP

CP

 

 

I have just looked at RA it requires recovering as it is mostly superficial damage I suggest that recovery gets a guide from B Tp.

 

To Tps.

RHQ

Btys

 

 

20 Tks reported moving N.E. in 863295 and 864294 Tell eyes to keep them open.

“     “

B Tp.

CP.

 

 

B.O.P. has moved 800x S of R.A.

 

BOP

Btys

 

 

Tgt. Working party around derelict vehicles. Dispersed on shelled

 

RHQ

Btys

 

 

Enemy O.P. located 86472929 can you observe a knockout if possible.

“     “

RHQ

Btys

 

 

100 M.T. at 86902919 Deal with these as much as possible. Call for help if required.

“     “

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

Enemy O.P. active somewhere on front and is carrying out observed shooting Warn all eyes and report if sighted.

“     “

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

10 enemy tanks at 864292. 18 tks 862294

 

BOP.

CP.

 

1325

Inf dug in 86702931 shot at but effect very difficult to observe,

“    RHQ

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

20 tks moving in. 863294 eyes to observe if possible and report. Our friends have already engaged them.

“    Tps.

BOP.

CP.

 

1330

Vis. Moderate in front owing to dust and heat haze. Shelling of X area. No targets observed

“     RHQ

RHQ

CP.

 

1405

60 Tks in area depression 862295 can you deal with them.

“     Tps.

BOP.

CP.

 

1400

S6 has nothing to report except intermittent shelling X area.

“     RHQ

RHQ

Btys

 

 

Reported possible approx number of enemy Tks knocked out or destroyed by you so far today

 

BOP

CP.

 

1527

Action by RF in area 863295 and 864296 most successful. Seen at least six vehicles burning

RHQ

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

8 guns firing along 86372951 to 86432961

Eyes to engage at once.

To Tps

BOP

CP.

 

1530

Ref message about guns. Major can not see them xxxxxxxx BOP cannot see them owing to smoke from RAF.

“    RHQ

BOP

CP.

 

1615

Ref message derelict tanks, it is established 7 derelict tanks in 866292. There are also some stationary tanks in 864494

 

“    “

BOP

CP.

 

1646

At 1630 hrs to 1645 hrs X area shelling fairly heavily from 863293. Cannot observe very clearly.

“    “

RHQ

Btys.

 

 

Warn eyes to keep looking where bombs fall as there may be another lot on the way

“     Tps

BOP

Cp.

 

 

engage 15 tanks stationary or slightly moving on horizon 865780 293540

“     RHQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

RHQ

Btys

 

 

8 hull down tanks 861296 2 Mk IVs 864293 6 Tks 866294 5 Tks 866492

4 field guns 866230 300460

 

To Tps

BOP

CP.

 

1840

Last Light report. On front N. & S of 00400 Fry 046 Big Boys 1000x behind 12 enemy tanks stationary and moving N & S of high ground 8644442930. Some met moving N & S in area 86402905

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing seen further South. Front otherwise quiet. M.T. moving along lines of Cairn in area 863295 864296 & still burning.

 

To RHQ

RHQ

 

 

 

6 MK.III Tanks reported at 867291

To Tps

RHQ

CP

29

 

Tell eyes, do not engage guns in K1.

To OPs

RHQ

 CP

29

 

Tell eyes to watch for Gun flashes & report as follows. Most important,

 

 

 

 

 

1.     Originator.

2.     Map ref

3.     Bearing of flash.

4.     Time of flash.

5.     Area sheeled.

6.     Nature of fire.

7.     Damage if known.

8.     No. & type of guns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To OPs

RHQ

CP

29

 

12. Tanks & Infy approaching Pt.28 in 865296

To Tps

BOP

CP

29

 

B20. 867145290200. Tanks & Infy dug in engaged. 321° 30’.. 7200

 

‘A’ Tp

CP

29

1035

Q OK FRY 046 4 or 6 Enemy 105s

Shelling area 86802946. Bearing of firing 270°. Time of firing 1030 hrs

 

 

 

 

 

12 rounds fired. Damaged not known.

To RHQ

A tp

CP

29

1040

‘A’ OP 8682946

To RHQ

‘B’

CP

29

1045

Engaged Tgt 865050289150. 10 vehicles moving on skyline.Results.Chased away (327°. 9600)

Recorded

& to RHQ

Intercepted Message

29

 

Enemy Infy advancing 864295

To Tps

A OP

CP

29

1155

4.Enemy flashes observed Bearing 275° area shelled not know.Calibre not known

To RHQ

RHQ

Btys

29

1205

20 S.P. guns reported to have been engaged by friends in area 864296

 

 

 

 

 

W6 should be able to assist.

To Tps.

RHQ

Btys

29

 

Eyes to observe area 86643006 & pass any information

To Tps

RHQ

Btys

29

 

88 mm guns being engaged at 86552935 also MT at 86462940. Also 15 MT one towing A-Tk gun at 867292. Tell eye to see what he can do,

 

 

To Tps.

A To

CP

29

1218

Enemy Infy dug in positions amongst derelict tanks 86622963. 8662945 86702940. 2 trucks moving South. Fire effective in area. 1 truck on fire. Engaged M.T. area 86632934 at 1212 hrs.

 

 

 

To RHQ

A Tp

CP

29

1215

Tgt 21. 866219293943. Enemy vehicles

1 on fire

 

A Tp

CP

29

1250

Tgt A23. 866058294405. MT.Tgt obscured by smoke.

To RHQ

& recorded.

B Tp

CP

29

1252

Stationary vehile suspected IP at 86742903. Have engaged.

To RHQ

VQ

CPO

29

1420

3 tgta M5 engage these as LL Ground Calls at times states & W4 will engage at plus 200x of Ref given. W6 at minus 200x. All tgts on LL Ground Scale A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

 

 

 

 

Tgts MS2 86472945 Z Hrs.1430

       MS3 86672925          1445

       MS4 86272955          1500

Engaged

Recorded &

To RHQ

 

W1

29

1425

LL Ground 88mm 86302935

Record as MS5

Shot &

recorded

 

W1

29

 

3 guns believed Heavy 866375

290465. Height of guns is given as 30. Guns face E on frontage of 100x. 4 Rnds GF at 2 fell owed by 2 mins Rate 2. (MS21)

 

 

 Passed to RHQ

B

4

29

1420

Enemy 25 pdrs ranging on us now. Sound bearing 270°. Damage Nil. Enemy sheeling area 868295

To RHQ

 

 

 

 

Sound bearing 220°. No damage/

 

W1

Btys

29

MS6

LL Ground 86362960. Scale A

Recorded

W1

Btys

29

MS7

 “      “      86162966     “     “

     “

A

Bty

29

 

PA.21. 352°6250x, 865800293700

     “

 

 

 

 

PA.24. 348°, 5800x, 866330293480

     “

W1

Bty

29

      5

1620

LL Ground 86612930. (12 Tanks)

Fire at 1625 hrs (40 MT)

Fired by Capt Cooke. Record as M22

 

 

Shot

 

Bty

29

      5

1640

LL Ground 86602940. (Capt Cooke) fire at 1645.

Correction to above tgt.

 

Shot

B

Bty

29

 

Between 1625 & 1630 hrs enemy shelled area 8682952

Bearing. 310°. No of guns approx 3, 1045s 12 rds fired,

 

To RHQ

W

Bty

29

1815

LL Shoot, Tanks and Inf 86502998

  “

W

Bty

29

1820

Eyes of friends report last LL shoot very successful

2 large explosions observed. 2 A/Tk guns being towed away.

 

 

Tps

W1

Bty

 

 

LL Ground 86402995

Shot

W1

Bty

29

1855

LL Ground         86402998

Shot

B

CP

30

 

Tgt B 26 867360292425

Reported

destroyed

to RHQ

RHQ

Btys

30

0905

9 enemy tks reported

Stationary on road 865289

 

Tps

BOP

B,CP

30

0945

6 now at Q008EFV038. Cmdr going forward on foot to observe bearing. Other Cmdr to hold Fort

 

W1

Bty

 

MS9

LL Ground 86372968

 

 

 

 

1150

19°55. 8335(a) 22°110 8650(b) 1200hrs

Shot

B Tp

CP

 

 

B24 Tgt 867500292840

Recorded

N1

CPO

30

1310

LL Ground M310 86172905

Tps.Recorded

N1

CPO

30

 

LL Ground MS11.

        “

N1

CPO

30

 

LL Ground MS12

        “

W1

Btys

30

 

Reported approx 4 105s

Bearing 280° from Z9K19

Tp RHQ

BOP

B,CP

 

 

odd MT moving N & S 865 Easting, otherwise nothing to report. Visibility dusty Am pushing forward hoping too establish ground OP

To

   RHQ

 

 

 

 

Inf movement 867293

 

BOP

B,CP

 

1530

Nature of tgt was inf but damage done could not be observed though inf was moved

To

RHQ

BOP

B,CP

 

 

Tgt B28 866020293165, 350°20’ A/S 2. 6350. Inf & MY moving round derelict tanks.

 

W1

CPO

30

 

Troops debussing 863299.

Observe & engage

To Tps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From

to

Date

Time.

Message.

Remarks.

RHQ

Btys

30.

 

       From 865293 to 867293 Inf & lorries long lines appear to be laying mines. Get on to eyes particularly N4, N5, should be able to observe & engagem hard.

 

 

To Tps.

RHQ

Btys

30

MS13

LL Ground in that Ref.N4 add 200.N6 drop 200 fire at 1730, 8652935

Tgt

Recorded

RHQ

Btys

30

MS14

LL Ground 86582938

Shot &

Recorded

A Tp

 

 

 

P20,867600,293360, 340°

4800. Infy

 

Recorded

A  “

 

30

 

867395, 292508 Infy, 232°30’

5300

 

Recorded

A OP

CP

31

0900

OP now at 86482954

 

A OP

CPO

31

0905

At 0845, 5 lorries widely dispersed moving NE at 17 m.p.h.in area 865289. At 0900 4 3 ton lorries moving S, 866294

To

   RHQ

A OP

CPO

31

0930

At 0928, 1 enemy tp of 4 105s fired 18 rds in area 867297, Bg 284°, Estimated posn 862296

 Damage Nil

 

S1

Btys

 

 

Bry, reports 2 enemy guns, ? 105s, registered, rounds in area. 863980295325.

To Tpd

S3

Btys

 

1015

A.29. Engaged enemy MT 865125 289817. 327°25’ 9100.1 MT hits

To RHQ

B Tp

CPO

 

1010

B.29 Tgt reg. 326°30’ A/S 2 2925. 868950292610

 

AOP

CPO

 

 

OP now at 868950292610

To RHQ

S1

Btys

 

 

11 enemy tks engaged by friends area 865299

To Tps

S1

Btys

 

 

Friends report 4 88m in area 86092954. opened up in last RAF attack. 2 gun flashes believed 105s, bearing 255° from 57J15.Eyes to engage.

Passed to OPS

S3

Btys

 

1100

Engaged enemy MT directed by our friends at 867460291360.

Fire very effective

 

To RHQ

S1

Btys

 

 

LL Ground 86122921 ½ scale.

S4 fire 200 plus, S6 200 minus

Z – 1255. Eyes to observe

 

S1

 

 

 

LL Ground 86222946 ½ scale A

Shot

S1

 

 

 

LL Ground enemy 88s 86082956

A To fired for B as well.

 

Recorded

S3

S4

 

1330

1325, 3 MT mined s of area

863294 at 20 mph.

 

To RHQ

S1

 

 

 

LL Ground 864740295040.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tp double scale.

To RHQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
87132453m 1st 0800. Enemy shelling 200X west of B tp . No casualties. Stuka rate driven off by fighters. The OP Lt. Noble RHA reports all bombs jettisoned on his own troops. Very satisfying.  
    1000. Capt. St. John to K Bty to command while Maj. D Welsh R.H.A. takes over the regiment - the Colonel unfortunately having been evacuated with delayed concussion the result of a collision with a tank.  
      During the morning and afternoon various targets including LL ground taken in  
 

 

1600

400 r.p.g. dumped in preparation for barrage to exist the attack by N.Z. division Capt Cooke sent out to report to 131 Inf Bde on Pt, 33. He is to observe for the whole regiment. For details see Appendix 1/Nov/42.

1/Nov/42

10 Ad. Div, Warning Order

 

 

 

All guns checked, barrage tasked and gun ranged by 2100 hours.

 
 

2nd

0100h

Barrage fired. This went on until 0630 hours. In the middle of it two D.F. tasks were fired to assist the Australians who had been counter attacked. They were more beat this off successfully& an reported to still have large numbers of enemy surrounded between themselves & the sea. The N.Z attack was successful & they reached their first objective taking 600 prisoners. Some of these returned by the Bty position much to everybody's satisfaction. While the barrage was being fired a certain amount came back. One Lt. A.A. 15 cwt suffered a direct hit from a 105 mm on the radiator & was written off. A Jeep & a 3 tinner were also damaged but were quickly set right by the fitters staff. Sgt. Rothwell found a dud 105 mm in his ammo pit in the morning!

 
 

 

 

Meanwhile Capt. Cooke had some good shooting destroying two 88 mm & listing two others as probables. Several LL ground tgts engaged. On return he reported one 25 pdr & one mortar both destroyed.

 
 

 

1100

Plane makes crash landing next to be troop. Pilot a Free French officer on strike & hit by A.A. fire. Capt. Nicholson RHA took his report what which was forwarded to RHQ.

 
 

 

1800

Two concentrations fired. Sgt. Foster’s gun had a premature in the barrel which was a bulger. No casualties. Small amount of enemy shelling during the night. This date fired 3439 rounds.

 
 

3rd

0200

Barrage fired to assist 51 Highland Div who were taking over some ground to the S.W. of the N.Z. forming a defensive left flank. This was successful

 
 

 

F.L.

Capt. Pitt R.H.A. to O.P. on pt. 33. Very few targets but several hits with his Browning on a Stuka

 
 

 

0900

Sgt Dixon receives a new gun. New 25 pdr MKII with solid piston and strengthened cradle. Sgt Foster’s gun is sent to echelon.

 
 

 

1400

Recce parties forward to new area & are bombed en route. Bty shelled just before moving out. Advance A: 86782928 B: 86802978. Sgt Wright’s gun overturns in a shell hole and damages the sight bracket. This reduces B to to two guns. Various LL ground engaged. ‘B’ echelon stays the night & returns FL. 4th. This day battery Five 540 rounds

 
 

4th

0300

Concentration fired  } to assist attack

 
 

 

0515-0710

Barrage fired           }

 
 

 

F.L.

Lt. Noble R.H.A to Pt. 33 advances with 8th A D. Bde. Eventually reaches 866 2975. Enemy going back fast.

 
 

 

1120

Bty advances A. 86292965   B 86342962.

 
 

 

 

We now have over 1000 prisoners taken. Cmdr. AFRIKA Corps Von Sturmar killed 2i/c a prisoner

 
 

 

1600

 

 
 

 

 

A order that we were to withdraw to 8th Ad Div. to form part of a special force (GRAPE SHOT) which is to be sent on a special mission to Tobruk.

 
 

 

1700

Replacement gun arrives for Sgt foster

 
 

 

 

This day fired 1370 rounds.

 
   

 

 

 
  5th

 

Remained in action at same place awaiting further orders

 
  6th

1300

Bty moves to 86463072 (SIDI EL RAHMAN) to be on main road ready to move up.

 
  7th

 

Remain in the same place. The special mission to TOBRUK is off & much to everyone's disappointment there seems to be no job for us. It would appear that they are only using the absolute minimum of troops in front going to supply difficulties.

 
  8th

 

Same place. Bathing parties & all L.M.G's, rifles and pistols fired. One gunner of ‘B’ troop had the off front wheel blown off on a mine. This was repaired ‘in situe’ by L/Bdr Greene & Dvr Orme.

 
  9th

 

Same place. ‘C’ troop 37 Lt. A.A. Bty leaves us to go to MERSA MATRUH. General news excellent over 40,000 prisoners 500 tanks taken and an American landing in ALGIERS.

 
  10th   Maj. D Welsh R.H.A. promoted and assumes cmd. 78 FD. Reg. Captain S. R. St. John R.H.A. promoted & interposted to K Bty R.H.A. Capt. G. W. Nicholson R.H.A. takes over duty of Bty Capt. Capt. R.A. Pitt R.H.A. takes over cmd ‘B’ troop. Lt.Col. R.R. Hoare D.S.O., M.C. returns from hospital and re-assumes cmd of regt.  
         
  9-13  

Maintenance, training and salvage duty cleaning up battlefield. Much tentage found which came in very useful for dining and recreation tents. The sad news received that TOBRUK party is off - apparently Jerry is going back so fast it TOBRUK will fall automatically . Harbour parties move to kilo 92 to the east of ALAMEIN. All small arms fired at targets on sea shore . Bathing.

 

     

 

 

  14th  

Bty. moves to new area. An attractive location on the sea. Everybody makes the most of it and much bathing. A small 7 a side football pitch made on the edge of the Bty area. Lts. Rawson and Fielding re-joined from hospital.

 

  15th  

M.G.R.A. visits the regiment.

NOMIMAL ROLL OFFICERS 20.11.42

BTY HQ.

  16-19  

2/Lt. Davidson posted to K Bty R.H.A. Cadre class of recently promoted N.C.O’S & new newly joined officers started. The regiment is now under 13 corps & on 17th visited by C.C.R.A.

MAJ. NORMAN R.H.A.

CAPT. G .W. NICHOLSON R.H.A.

  20th  

Lt Jamison RHA re-joins from hospital. The welcome news received that we ought to join 7th AD Div. & are to proceed to EL ADEM + roads. Lt. Noble proceeds on forward recce to 10 corps for orders.

LT. C.O.M. PEAL R.H.A. [C.P.O]

  21st  

Commence March to join 7th A D. 1530 hours Harbour at 7 one 0325. 86 miles.

LT. K.D. JAMIESON R.H.A. [A.C.P.O]

     

Many abandoned German tanks, planes, guns and vehicles en route. An interesting 88 mm in Battery area. Painted on the shield & number of parachutes, guns, aerials, red stars & one ship (of of Viking pattern!)

LT. D.G. RAWSON R.H.A.

2/LT A.J. DOREY R.H.A

  22nd  

Harbour 711336 South of CHARING CROSS near MATRUH. 52 miles. Tot 138 miles.

“A” TP

CAPT. T.J. COOKE R.H.A.

  23rd  

Leave road 8 miles S.W. of CHARING CROSS and proceed via PICCADILLY 2597333. Mileage 73. Total 211 miles.

LT. J.P. NOBLE R.H.A. [G.P.O.]

LT. W.B. DUNLOP R.H.A. [T.L.]

  24th  

Proceed 70 miles to FORT CAPUZZO South of SULLUM. Total 281 miles. Some gun & vehicle spares picked up en route.

“B” TP.

CAPT. R.A. PITT R.H.A.

LT. J.S. FIELDING R.H.A. [G.P.O]

LT. P.A.L. WILSON. R.H.A. [T.L.]

  25th  

Proceed to EL ADEM cross roads South of TOBRUK. Mileage 74 total 355 miles.

{APPENDICES. 5 R.H.A.

{2/NOV/1942 }Movement

{3/NOV/1942} orders

  26  

All vehicles on a certain number of broken Springs. Tomorrow is to spend on maintenance after which we proceed via Knightsbridge - MSUS – ANTELAT to AGEDABIA.

{4/NOV/1942} Nos 19

{5/NOV/1942} 20, 21, 22, & 23

{6/NOV/1942} 

  26th  

Hard maintenance. The fitters &s a mechanics as usual have done very well during the whole march. Various scrounging party sent out for spares. The Regt. has to take various vehicles forward & will not now move until 28th. Water ration to ½ gallon per man.

{APPENDIX. 5 R.H.A.

{7/NOV/1942 letter – movement

{APPENDIX. {8/NOV/1942 messages Received at C.P. during period 1st - 4th

  27th  

Maintenance.

{APPENDIX. 9/NOV/1942 {Congratulary messages (2)

Line of march. 28,  

Lt. J.P. Noble R.H.A. interposted to ‘K’ on promotion to cmd. E/F troop. March continues, Harbour V4823. 77 miles. Total 432 miles.

 

  29.  

75 miles to harbour T2922. Total 507.

 

  30.  

March continues to area MSUS where today orders were received to leaguer north of ANTELAT at X5178. 73 miles. Total 580.

 

     

 

 

 

N.B. Appendices to be added later.

 

 

December 1942

Commanding Officer: Maj J. A Norman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1st  

Continue to X2333 - 30 miles. Total 610.

 
  3rd  

Advanced 20716. 17 miles. Total 627.

 
  4th  

Advance to concentration area for 8th AD. Bde, where we now join under cmd. 7th Amd. Div. at B8676 - 38 miles. Total 665 miles.

 
  5th  

Btys are affiliated to regimental groups as follows:- ‘G’ - 3 R.T.R., ‘K’ - Notts Yer. (Sherwood Rangers) ‘CC’ Staffs Yer. We move forward 9 miles to area interaction at B7165 O.P.’s at B6764. 3 R.T.R have patrols out ‘C’ Coy Buffs are the other unit in the group. The approach march has been a total 674 miles. 

 
     

All vehicles got the distance thanks to excellent work by the fitters, mechanics & drivers & much assistance collecting of spare parts from derelict vehicles

 
  6th F.L

O.P.’s out. One section of ‘A’ troop moved forward into a sniping position B 6461 & engaged various targets at B5363 mainly guns. 71 H.E. fired with effect. Desultory enemy shelling.

 
  7th  

O.P.’s ‘A’ B674635. ‘B’ 674638. B troop moves a section & fires 27 rds. Recce by B.C., ‘A’ tp cmdr, & Maj. Crisp of possible area for ambush work.

 
  8th  

A column under cmd. Maj. R.J. Crisp. D.S.O., 3 R.T.R. is all to recce & hot up the area of the “spectacles” (overprint maps) at 5550. A Sqn. (cruiser), ‘A’ tp R.H.A., and detachment of buffs go out at 0830 hrs. At 12 noon the Top of the ‘spectacle’ ridge is well plastered by ‘A’ Troop causing enemy infy to give ground quickly. Under cover of this the tanks worked forward I spotted some wire, a possible minefield & enemy A/T guns. ‘A’ troop had some effective shooting on these legal at last light 5 miles to the East in a very bad Patch of soft sand.

 
  9th F.L.

Column moves out for further crack at the pstn. Maj crisp fired on by 50 mm. at close range & extracted himself with the aid of Capt. Cooke’s shooting. Very little shelling in return with 3 or 4 single guns and poor shooting at that. ‘A’ Tp. fires 850 rounds in the two days. 

 
     

Column leaguers at L.L. and was in next morning. See Appendix.

 
  10th  

The Div. Cmdr. Maj Gen. R. Harding visit the Bty.

 
         
  12th   ‘B’ Tp go out on a column with A Sqn. to 'spectacle' area. Meanwhile 152 Bde (51 H.D). ask for assistance on the left flank. Reminder of Bty advances with 3 RTR & & are late joiners for the column. Bty pstn. at 6961 about 12 noon. Advances to B1246 at 1620 hrs . Meanwhile 3 R.T.R. had engaged enemy with Grants and Shermans and destroyed 2 enemy tanks and 1 tracked vehicle.  
      Close leaguer for the night only gun pstn.  
  13th   The enemy withdrew during the night & we passed through his minefield at about 12 noon. Some difficult going encountered and much winching required. Leaguer at 4659.  
  14th   The group moved on at first light. As the leading group We were directed on the band in the road some miles S. AGHELIA. About 1030 hrs the forward patrols encountered a belt of wire. The enemy started shelling at intervals. The Bty. came into action 2859 with 2 O.P.’s out to cover the sappers making a gap. Shortly afterwards the tanks passed through Captain Cooke as F.O.O. with A Sqn.    
      The battery then ‘leapfroged’ through to come into action in area 2555. Many targets were engaged mainly A/T guns and crews. The battery was ranged on by enemy arty what why and suffered heavy heavily shelling & was moved to an alternative position. Ten casualties were sustained Sgt. Bartle, Sgt Dixon (slight not evacuated), Bdr Lowry, Dvr Herring (fatally), Gnrs Burnikill, Trainer, Oliver, Jervis, & Dvr Hope and Jeevons. During this time a pretty little battle had brewed up the enemy holding are line the other side of the road across a permanent pimple. This was taken on in expert fashion by the 3rd Bn R.T.R. who captured the position knocking out 13 enemy tanks (M13’s) for the loss of none. The remaining enemy 5 officers & 50 O.R.’s (Italians) surrendered.   
      Heavy enemy shelling was experienced during this operation. 511 rounds were fired this day. At L.L. leaguered with tanks in area 1852. During this night no petrol, water or rations arrive. Apparently the echelon was directed onto an enemy leaguer who captured the lorries. Our four men escaped & were found next day. Two sacks of mail were lost including the Major’s new cap sent over by Herbert-Johnson! Truly a tragedy.  
  15th   At FL the enemy was found to have cleared out & we went hell for leather along the wadi moving N.W. Meanwhile AGHEILA was reported clear. On the way K1 struck a delay action mine & was blown up. Unfortunately Capt. G.W. Nicholson R.H.A. was killed a tragic loss felt by everyone deep body. L/Bdr Davy was badly shaken & Gnr Dixon slightly injured. On joining the coast road we turned West & uncontacted the enemy in front of the anti-tank ditch. Battery in action 0264 and later advanced 1000 yards. Leaguered in area 9267 with the tanks.   
      “CC” & the Staffs had a hard fight in this area and we learnt with regret of the casualties & in particular of the death of Sgt. Major. N.L. Foster who had only left us a few days previously on promotion. All the area was heavily mined.   
      Lt. A.E. Gardner joins on first appointment to R.H.A.  
  16th   Bty. advances 44 miles. Passing South of “MARBLE ARCH”. This typically bombastic edifice made an excellent landmark which was about its sole use. Various abandoned aircraft on the L.G. Going very hard and various springs broken. Some of our transport, quads especially, is well past mark of mouth - 2 years old & 6000 miles. Contact gained we leaguer at 5089.  
  17th   Bty. advances 44 miles. Passing South of “MARBLE ARCH”. This typically bombastic edifice made an excellent landmark which was about its sole use. Various abandoned aircraft on the L.G. Going very hard and various springs broken. Some of our transport, quads especially, is well past mark of mouth - 2 years old & 6000 miles. Contact gained we leaguer at 5089.  
  18th - 21st   Halt for maintenance much needed & training. Enemy now reported West of NOFILIA pursued by N.Z Bde who failed to cut them off by MARBLE ARCH. On the 21st a group exercise was held - 3 R.T.R., Buffs & the A/T Bty. Live shell was fired.  
  22   All guns served for anti-tank firing. Capt. J.P. Noble, R.H.A. Reported from K Bty to command A Trp, Capt. T.J. Cooke having taken over the duties of Bty Captain.  
  23   The battery was honoured by a visit from the Commander of the Eighth Army, Gen. B. L. Montgomery, who met representatives of the whole regiment at the Bty Command Post.  
  24   Brig. B Custace, commanding 8 Arm. Bde., visited the Bty, & talked to a representative selection of all ranks. The imminence of Christmas was handled by a service conducted by Padre Simnot during the afternoon. To the delight and surprise at all, there arrived in the evening Turkeys, Pork, Xmas puddings and cakes. N.A.A.F.I and the R.A.S.C. are to be congratulated on producing this in the middle of the desert 300 miles from the nearest port.  
  25   Observed as a holiday in pleasant sunshine. Drawn football match with K Bty in the afternoon.  
       

APPENDICES.

  26/27   The enemy had by now withdrawn from SIRTE to the WADI CHEBIR X97 & 8 Arm Bde was to have advanced on 26 Dec Move postponed till 27 Dec, when the Bty moved to area Z12. Mileage 79 miles O.P. tanks travelled separately on transporters with 3 RTR, rejoining on Jan, 1, 1943.

APP/1/DEC/42 – APP/7/DEC/42

Movement and operation orders & instructions.

APP/8/DEC/42

  28   March continue to area Y25. Mileage 55 miles.

Report of operations by Capt. T.J. Cooke. R.H.A.

  29   The recces went forward to Wadi El CHEIBIR area; enemy air activity was encountered, and Lt. Col. R. R. Hoare. DSO., M.C., R.H.A. was wounded by strafing and unfortunately was evacuated. Major J. A. Norman R.H.A. assumed command of the regiment in his absence, and Captain S R. St. John R.H.A. was posted from K Bty to command Mercer’s Troop. During another strafing incident W.O. II Weddle was also wounded and evacuated.

APP/9/DEC/42 Report of Recce of Wadi Tamet.

APP/10/DEC/42. ?????? Citation of Immediate award to L/Bdr. Pugh, Gnr Sharples and Gnr, Myerthall

      Lt. K.D. Jamison RHA was posted to K Bty.  
      Owing to the Q situation, the Brigade’s armour did not advance further west than Y54, and the regiment moved back on 31st Dec to join it in the area. APP/11/DEC/42. Roll of Officers serving with 3rd Battalion of Royal Tank Regiment.
      Mileage: 22 miles.  
         

 

APP/1/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO. 24

(Ref Maps 1/250,000 EGYPT and CYRENAICA.)

Copy: No …1…

   

27 Nov. 42.

 

 

INFORMATION

1. 5RHA and att troops are moving to join 7th Armd. Div. under Cmd 30 Corps

INTENTION

2. 5 RHA were moved area MSUS.

METHOD

3. Route:- by TRIGH CAPUZZO to B.608 (401409), thence due south by “Q” Track to 400398 - HAGFET EL BAAR 390391 BIR SCERRARA 376386 -  BIR HACHIM 3638 - MENNY MASSIV U.42 - MSUS S.81.

(60 miles short of MSUS, approx, “Q” Track becomes “F” Track; track also marked intervals my inverted red triangle).

4. Staging Area for night 28/29 Nov: U.4725 (but this will depend on going).

5. Depart present area, 28 Nov:-

K. Bty…………..0800 Hrs.

RHQ….…………0810  “

G. Bty…………..0820  “

CC. Bty…………0830  “

Vehicle Section..0840 Hrs

RASC…………….0850 Hrs

LAD………………0855  “

Units will move out onto TRIGH CAPUZZO in the order above, and will keep contact rear to front throughout.

 

6. Halts. 1000 - 1010 hrs, 1200 - 1230 hrs, 1400 - 1440 hrs.

7. Speed. 10 m.i.h. (this will increase to 12 m.i.h. if the going permits).

8. Density. 15 v.tm. Column of route for the first 6 miles , then battery column where the route permits.

9. Att. Troops.

(a) Vehicle Section under Capt GARRETT R.A. 4 Fd. Regt. RA will proceed in rear of CC. Bty.

Composition:   11 Quads (incl. 4 limbers and 1 Q.F. 25-pdr.

 2 Portees.

 2 A.A. Tractors.

 3 Scout. Cars.

 3 NAAFI Stores lorries.

S.1 (RHQ) will travel with this party, and will pass orders to OC. Vehicle section and also to O.C. 2nd Line RASC.

(b) Two A/Tk. Portees will proceed with each Bty under Bty arrangements.

 

10. A.O.P.s will proceed on transporters in separate column under Lt. P.W.A Simmons RHA. (See “Instructions for Transporter Column” issued separately.

11. Adv. Party. Under CO2 to consist of Bty Captains and one Officer per Bty and RHQ in separate transport. Also one Jeep per Bty will proceed ahead to recce route, leave guides as necessary and arrange harbouring. R.V. at the Eastern end of CC. Bty at 0725 hrs. One NCO from vehicle section will travel in Sur.1 (RHQ) and will report to Regtl Office at 0720 hrs.

 

12. A.A. All units will be prepared to engage hostile aircraft with all available small arms fire if attacked.

ADMINISTRATION

13. Sup. 4 days rations to be carried by all units.

 

14. Water. Water for four days will be carried over and above vehicle reserve. It is hoped that it may be possible to replenish water MSUS. 

15. Petrol. Petrol for 400 miles will be carried. Vehicle section will carry the necessary additional fuel distributed on the own vehicles.

16. Med. R.A.P. with R.H.Q.

INTERCOMM

17. Wireless.     Regtl net opens at 0745 hours 28 N.

Check net at 0700 hours.

S.1 moves with vehicle section.

S.3 moves with L.A.S.

 

18. Synchronise by R/T 0710 hrs 28 Nov. 

19. R.H.Q. closes present location 0800 hrs.

 

ACK    
    Captain R.H.A.
    Adjutant.
Distribution:    
G Bty ….......................1    
K Bty ..….....................2    
CC. Bty .......................3    
Sig Section....................4    
L.A.D .....................… 5    
C.O…………………..6    
C.O.2 …..……………7    
O.O.…….……………8    
Q.M…………………..9    
Capt. Garrett R.A........10    
O.C. RASC.................11    
File ……………12 & 13    
     

 

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

INSTRUCTIONS FOR 5 R.H.A. TRANSPORT COLUMN

 

Copy: No …1…

   

27 Nov. 42.

 

 

INFORMATION

1.   5 RHA less A.O.Ps are proceeding to area AGEDBIA to join 7th Armd. Div, by desert track/

 

INTENTION

2.   5 RHA A.O.Ps. will proceed to MAGRUN by road.

 

METHOD

3.    Composition of Party:-

Lt. P.W.A. Simmonds RHA O.C. party.

1 Dvr and O.R. per tank (to include 1 M.M from CC. Bty.)

10 RASC drivers

1 light truck (to be provided by K Bty.)

4.   Route:- EL ADEM X Rds 409411 – Rd junc 390438 – TMINI P.79 – MARTUBA, thence by the best metalled router to BENGHAZI; then by coast road to EL MAGRUN S.OO.

5.   Depart present area 0750 hours 28 N. Party will RV at East End of G BT Y at 0745 hours.

6.   Arrival: On arrival at MAGRUN, O.C. Party will arrange for a guide to be left permanently at Rd and Tk junc S.0303. He will establish a leaguer area as close to this rd junc as is conveniently possible, and will await orders. Should any permanent police post be established at this tk junc, or in the neighbourhood of MAGRUN, he will enquire of these for any messages. He will NOT proceed South of MAGRUN without orders from this H.Q.

7.   Speed & Density. 15 m.i.h. 15 v.t.m.

8.   Staging.)

Halts.    )  As detailed by OC party.

ADMIN

9.   Sup. This HQ will provide five days rations for the whole party, unless the truck from ke battery.

10.    Water. Btys are responsible for the provision of water for their own and RASC personnel off the own tanks.

11.    Pet. Petrol for 400 miles has already been issued to Btys.

A.G.O. for 400 miles already held by diesel engined transporters. More may be drawn from D.I.D. on Coast road near rd junc 390438.

 

ACK    
    Captain R.H.A.
    Adjutant.
Distribution:    
G Bty …......................1    
K Bty ..…....................2    
CC. Bty .......................3    
Lt. PWA Simmonds......4    
Q.M………………….5    
File …………………..6    
     

APP/2/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO. 25

 

Copy: No …1…

 

(Ref Maps 1/250,000 Egypt and Cyrenaica.)

27 Nov. 42.

 

 

INFORMATION  )

INTENTION        )  as per movement order NO.24

 

METHOD

1. Route:- for 30 Nov, Continue along “Q” track, (which becomes “F” Track in approx 50 miles).

 

2. Depart present area:-

K. Bty…………..0800 hrs.

RHQ….…………0810  hrs

G. Bty…………..0820  hrs

CC. Bty…………0830  hrs

Vehicle Section..0840 hrs

RASC…………….0850 hrs

L.A.D. move in rear of R.A.S.C.

 

3. Staging Area. night 29/30:- approx Grid Line …….T.4…..

 

4. Advance Party. Composition as 28 Nov, will R.V. on high point West of “K” Bty at 0725 hrs.

 

5. Halts, Speeds & Density.  as for 28 Nov

 

9. Leaguering:- All vehicles MUST face NORTH when leaguering.

 

ADMIN

 

7. Pet    )

    Sup   ) Units replenish from own holdings. R.A.S.C. will not issue.

    Water)

 

8. Maintenance:- Organised maintenance, under supervision of Officers MUST be commences as soon as vehicles come into leaguer each afternoon. Leaguering is especially arranged at an early hour of the afternoon to ensure that adequate maintenance can be done..

 

INTERCOMM

7. Wireless.       as for 28 Nov.

10. R.H.Q. closes present location 0800 hrs 29 Nov.

 

ACK    
    Captain R.H.A.
28.11.42   Adjutant 5th Regiment R.H.A.
WHK.    
     
Distribution:    
G Bty ….......................1    
K Bty ..….....................2    
CC. Bty .......................3    
Sig Section....................4    
L.A.D .....................… 5    
C.O…………………..6    
C.O.2 …..……………7    
O.O.…….……………8    
Capt. Garrett R.A.........9    
Off i/c. RASC.............10    
File ………….........…11/12    
     

APP/3/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO. 26

(Ref Maps 1/250,000 EGYPT and CYRENAICA.)

Copy: No …1…

    29 Nov. 42.
     

INFORMATION

1. As per movement order No.24.

 

INTENTION

2. 5 RHA and attd troops will proceed to MSUS where orders for subsequent movement will be issued.

METHOD

3. Route:- By “F” Tk to Easting Co-ord S.9 (approx 28 miles). Here column will halt and await orders in regard to replenishment and route.

4. Staging Area Night 30Nov/1 Dec: will depend on orders received at MSUS.

4. Adv. Party. Composition as for 28 Nov under Capt. G.N. Nicholson RHA will proceed ahead as far as MSUS, and subsequently as ordered . RV at RHQ site on F Tk at 0730 hours.

        Recce party under C.O. to include CO2 and QM is proceeding ahead with Adv Party to contact L.O. at MSUS. 

6. Order Group composed of Adj (Z3) and one officer from Capt Cooke G and CC B ys will proceed at head off “K” Bty in rear of leading Quad. Recce party will send back orders to this party. Officers from G and CC Btys will RV at K.Bty at 0750 hrs. 

7. Depart present area 30 Nov:-

K. Bty……………………0800 Hrs.

RHQ….………………….0810  “

G. Bty……………………0820  “

CC. Bty…………………..0830  “

RASC…………………….0840  “

Vehicle Section……….......0850  “

LAD……………………...0855  “

RASC or travel ahead of vehicle section to facilitate replenishment at MSUS. .

 

8. Halts.              (i) At Gridline S.9 on orders from this HQ by R/T.

 (ii) 1200 - 1230 Hrs

(iii) 1430 - 1440   “.

9. Speed. 10 m.i.h. (this will increase to 12 m.i.h. if the going permits).

10. Density. 10 v.t.m. Dispersion in leaguer will be increased to 150 yds between vehicles.

 

ADMIN

11. Sup. Units consume from own holdings.

12. Pet. RASC replenish Btys and RHQ tonight. 

13. Water. RASC replenish Btys and RHQ on scale of 1 gall per man tonight.

14. Replenishment may be possible at MSUS. To enable this to be affected Q4 (RHQ) and 1 empty 3 -ton lorry Q Capt to detail provided by G.Bty will travel with RASC tomorrow. They will repeat report to OC RASC at 0815 hrs and will move with its replenishment party. 

15. Mail. All Mail will be handed in to RHQ office by 0645 hours 30 Nov. This will then be handed to RASC for dispatch at MSUS if possible.

INTERCOMM

16. Wireless & Synchronisation :- As for 29 Nov.

17. RHQ closes present location 0800 hrs 30 Nov 42.

 

    Captain R.H.A.
ACK    

Adjutant 

.    
     
       
G Bty....................1 Sig Section..........4 C.O.2…………7 Capt. Garrett R.A......9
K Bty....................2 L.A.D ...........… 5 O.O.…….…….8 OC. RASC.............10
CC. Bty.................3 C.O………..…..6 QM.…….……..9 File ………….........11
       

APP/4/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO. 27

(Ref Maps 1/250,000 Egypt and Cyrenaica.)  

Copy: No …1…

 

30 Nov. 42.

 

 

INFORMATION

1.                     5 R.H.A. come under command 8 Armd Bde forthwith.

2.                     8 Armd Bde are concentrating in area Sq. B.88.

3.                     22 Armd Bde are keeping contact with the enemy on the general line GASR E: BREGA B.58 – BLEIDET ET TARATIT B.66 thence S.W

INTENTION

4.                     5 R.H.A. & attd trps will move on Dec 1st to conc: area approx X.2333 (though this will depend on conditions prevalent in the area ), preparatory to moving to 8 Armd Bde ConcL area on 2 Dec.

METHOD

5. Route:- Continue on present track to ANTELAT X.46, thence by track two AGEDABIA for approx 26 miles.

6. Depart present area:-

K. Bty……………………0830 hrs.

R.H.Q…..……………….0900 hrs

G. Bty……………………0930 hrs  

CC. Bty………………….1000 hrs

R.A.S.C,………………..1030 hrs

Vehicle Section………1100 hrs

L.A.D to move in rear of Vehicle section.

 

7. Speed. 10 m.i.h.

8. Density. 10 v.t.m. Units will move in column of route due to danger of mines.

9. Recce Officer. K Bty will details an Officer to report to R.H.Q. at 0730 hrs to proceed with L.O. from H.Q. R.A. 7 Armd Div, who will indicate safe leaguer area. This officer will be left on the track to contact Adv Party.

10. Adv Party. Composition is normal, (less C.O2 & Q.M.) under Capt G.N. Nicholson RHA oversee ahead. R.V. derelict cruiser tank north of R.H.Q. at 0800 hrs. Capt Nicholson report to C.O. at 0730 hrs 1 Dec. 

11. C.O2 & Q.M. proceed to H.Q. 7 Armd Div and 8 Armd Bde at 0730 hrs rejoining in new area. 

12. A.O.Ps One Officer detailed by O.C. G Bty will proceed to MAGRUN S.00, to contact A.O.P party, and bring them into leaguer area. He will report to R.H.Q. at 0730 hrs for orders, and will carry as much H.O.P. as possible. 

13. Halts 1 Dec 42, K Bty, RHQ. G Bty, halt 1030-1040. Dinners on leaguer area on arrival. CC Bty, RASC, Vehicle Section :- halt 1200-1230.

14. A.A. Enemy air activity in forward area has been increased scale. Commencing leaguer area occupied evening 1 Dec, all vehicles will be camouflaged, slit trenches dug,and centralised feeding will only be carried on a “staggered” basis. Men will not remain congregated in tents, or in leaguer area, except after dark. A.A. L.M.Gs will be ready for immediate instant use, both on the move and in leaguer, and all vehicles air sentries went in line march. In event of air attack in line of march, personnel will dismount at once, with their weapons run 80 yds to the flank, take cover, engage with all possible small arms fire.

15. Mines. All units are warned against scattered mines South of Northing Grid line (S) X,4, which may not yet have been cleared, particularly on the edges of the tracks.

 

ADMIN

16. Sup. RASC delivery one days rations to RHQ tonight. 

17. Water.       (i) Btys will fill cans from water cart already detailed

(ii) Water convoy, composed as follows, will RV at derelict Cruiser North of RHA at 0745 hrs, 1 Dec :-

Btys, RHQ and RASC Water carts.

RASC Water replenishment lorries. 

18. Pet. RASC delivers all remaining petrol to Btys and RHQ. Btys and RHQ will report by 0645 hrs, 1 Dec their deficiencies in Pet to make up full 1st line scale, after refueling tonight.

19. A/Tk Portees at present on charge to Btys will be handed over to vehicle section at 0730 hrs, 1 Dec. O.C. Vehicle Section will have drivers ready to take over. Vehicles will be handed over with FULL tanks.

20. Blackout      (i) Necessity for complete blackout from now on cannot be over-emphasised. All sub-units will appoint a blackout officer forthwith, who will be responsible for strict blackout.

(ii) Fires will NOT be lit in the mornings before 0700 hrs unless blacked out.

 

21. B.Echelon Btys and RHQ will be prepared to form B.Echelon w.e.f. night 1/2 December if ordered.

 

INTERCOMM

22. Wireless as for 30 Nov. For move, net at 0730, open up 0800 hrs. S.1 opens rear link to HQRA 7 Armd Div in leaguer area.

23. Codex. New codex strips for use w.e.f. 1 Dec 42 will be issued as soon as received.

24. Sychronisation. R/T at 0740 hrs.

25. RHQ closes present location 0900 hrs 1 Dec.

 

ACK    
    Captain R.H.A.
    Adjutant .
     
Distribution:    
G Bty ….......................1    
K Bty ..….....................2    
CC. Bty .......................3    
Sig Section....................4    
L.A.D ..................... … 5    
C.O…………………..6    
C.O.2 …..……………7    
Q.M...................../.......8    
O.O.…….……………9    
Capt. Garrett R.A........10    
O.C. RASC.................11    
File ………….........…12    

APP/5/DEC/5

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 R.H.A ADMINSTRATION ORDER NO. 27 Copy: No …1…
 

1 Dec 42

 

INFORMATION

1. 5 RHA. less K.Bty will remain in present area until further orders.

2. K.Bty RHA will remain in present area (X.0713) until further orders.

3. Vehicle Section are dispersing to join units as detailed by CO2 to Capt. Garrett RA this evening.

 

INTENTION

4. To continue administration of a regiment.

METHOD

5. Sup.              (i) RASC are drawing 2 days rations, if possible, from Div RASC.

(ii) Supply echelon from Regt, consisting of 1 petrol lorry and one empty ration lorry per Bty and Rhq, will be ready to proceed under RQMS to join Bde. B.Echelon from 1100 hrs. All personnel will have kit and bedding.            On receipt of orders, this party will RV on tk North of RHQ.

5. Water. Btys will draw two days water from RHQ at 1100 hrs.

6. Pet.               (i) Btys refill from own holdings.

(ii) There is an ACUTE shortage of petrol in the general area South of BENGHASI. No further issued petrol likely for several days.

 

8. Disposal of “Vehicle Section” vehicles. 
  (i) Vehicles from 4 Fd Regt, and 3 RHA, and 2 Lt. A.A. tractors, will be disposed of under orders of Capt. Garrett, less one “quad” on charge to 3 RHA. O.C. 3 RHA party will arrange to leave one driver with the “Quad” and BME arrange for its evacuation in the morning to No. 2 O.F.P.

 

RV 0715

Emery    )

Pearse   )

Jeavous )

Alcock  )

Morris    )

(ii) 4  Dvrs (each) from G and CC Btys, capable of driving A/Tk portees and one senior NCO (Sgt) from G.Bty will report to Capt. Garrett at vehicle section leaguer at 0730 hrs 2 Dec. These will remain with the portes, to act as guard, until approx 1000 hrs. At this time, an officer from K Bty will report to RHQ bringing the K.Bty petrol lorry (see para 5 (ii)). This officer will then be responsible for taking back the 8 portees to K.Bty area for handing over to 65th A/Tk Regiment. He will report to RHQ for instructions prior to departure. One 3-ton lorry from CC.Bty will report to the NCO i/c at the vehicle section at 0945 hours, prepared to proceed with this party, and convey personnel back to the present area. NCO i/c will be responsible for the return of the party. All personnel will carry haversack rations.
  (iii) NCO i/c party will also be responsible for driving over the three White Scout cars left in vehicle section area after departure of Capt. Garrett's party, to RHQ area where he will report to the RSM for disposal instructions.

INTERCOMM

9. Regimental net opens to K.Bty only 0730 hrs 2 Dec

    Rear Link to HQRA 7 Armd Div and 8 Armd Bde, as detailed.

     
ACK   Captain R.H.A.
    Adjutant .
     
     
Distribution:    
G Bty ….......................1    
K Bty ..….....................2    
CC. Bty .......................3    
Sig Section....................4

NOTICE

R.C. MASS in Men’s dinning tent at RHQ at 0930 hrs, 2 Dec.

All R.C.’s to attend, if available.

 

L.A.D ..................... … 5
C.O…………………..6
C.O.2 …..……………7
Q.M...................../.......8
O.O.…….……………9
Capt. Garrett R.A........10
O.C. RASC.................11
File ………….........…12

APP/6/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA OPERATION ORDER NO. 26 Copy: No …1…

Ref Maps: 1/250,000 EGYPT & CYRENAICA

                                    Sheet 8 AGHELIA

                                        “    9 EL HASEIAT

3 Dec. 42.

   
     

INFORMATION

1. Enemy.

     The enemy appears to be holding a defensive posn on a general line MARSA BREGA B 5585 to B 5452 in some strength.           The enemy holds positions on his Southern flank as far West s 35 Easting Grid. There are indications that the posns are held by the SPEZIA (largely immobile), PISTORIA and Facist Youth Division with the remains of the AFRIKA CORPS organised I battle groups behind them.

2. Own Troops.

     30 Corps have taken over operation control off Western Cyrenaica. 152 Bde or 51 Div took over MARSA BREGA front from the coast to Pumphouse B 6081 night 2/3 Dec.

153 Bde of 51 Div established a defended locality in the area B. SES SUERA B 6060 night 2/3 Dec.

Greek Bde is to relieve 153 Bde in this posn about 10 Dec.

3. On this relief 51 Div will take up three Bde posns, one behind the other astride AGHELIA - MARSA BREGA rd.

 

4. The tasks of 7 Armd Div are :-

   (a) To observe that part of the enemy’s Eastern and Southern flanks not in view of the Bde in the MARSA BREGA posns.

   (b) To protect the left flank of the Bde in the MARSA BREGA posn and both flanks of Inf Bde in the SUERA posn.

    (c) To destroy any enemy debouching East from his main posn.

 

5. 4 Lt.Armd Bde concentrate in area EL HASEIAT (X) C 48 3 Dec pending passing under comd to N.Z. Div.

    K.D.G’s (under comd 4 Lt. Armd Bde) will recce possible advance landing grounds in area MAATEN GHEIZEL (X) C 0020.

 

6. Royals (Div Tps) remain in observation in area “Pimples” (X) B 5030.

 

7. Main HQ 7 Armd Div moves to area B 8376 4 Dec. Rear HQ 7 Armd Div moves to area EL GTAFIA B 9887 4 Dec.

 

8. RAF in operating 244 Fighter Wing from HASSEIAT wef 3 Dec.

 

9. 8 Armd Bde Gp less 3 R.Tanks, are moving on 3 Dec to concentration area BIR EL GINN N.6677 – MN EL GERERA B.7970 – B.6962, and taking over from 22 Armd Bde. 3 R.Tanks are already in the area, and revert to command 8 Armd Bde 2000 hrs x 4 Dec.

 

INTENTION

10. 5 RHA, less B.Echelon will move with 8 Armd Bde Gp.

 

METHOD

11. K.Bty, CC Bty, are forming Regtl groups with Notts Yeo and Staffs Yeo respectively in present area, prioe to departure.

 

12. RHQ. Moves in rear of Bde HQ. 

13. G,Bty. moves in rear 1 Buffs, amd joins 3 R.Tanks Regtl Group on arrival.

14. Route. Div Centre line:- Track X.0815 – RIDOLTA EL GTAFIA – B.BILAL B.9081 – Crash Aeroplane B.7673. This track is marked “B” and becomes “E” and leads straight to crashed aeroplane. From here, units will routed onwards.

 

Note:- The vicinity of Fort at GTAFLA is mined (marked), and a detour, here units will be routed onwards.

 

15. (i)  K & CC Btys will move under orders Regtl Gps.

     (ii)  G. Bty will arrange direct with Bn HQ. 1 Buffs (and D.Coy) as place for ‘tailing in’.

    (iii)  RHQ departs present area 0830 hrs to join Bde. HQ, route:- “C” Tk.

    (iv)  Notts Yeo Regtl Gp move off 0830 hrs; all other units will “tail in” with no interval.

 

16. Bde Order of March.

Notts Yeo Gp; Staff Yep Gp; Bde.HQ; HQ. 1 Buffs & D.Coy; G.Bty, RHA; B.Coy 1 Buffs; 258 A/Tk Bty; and Recc Sec.

 

17. 3 R.Tanks are sending guide to crashed aeroplane from 1500 hrs, 4 Dec to guide G.Bty forward to their Regtl area.

 

18. Halts.

                        0920 – 0930 hrs

                        1140 – 1200 “

                        1340 – 1400 “

 

19. Density.

     200 yds between “B” Vehicles. Bde is moving in “desert formation” which is understood to mean 4 or 5 lines. K and CC Btys will move as detailed by Regts; G.Bty and RHQ will move in double-battle-column.

 

20. A.A. All A.A.L.M.Gs and small arms will be ready for immediate action against hostile aircraft; on arrival, slit trenches will be dug, vehicles dug in camouflaged.

 

21. Speed.

       7 m.i.h. where possible.

 

22. Stand To.

        All units “stand tp” in forward area from 0645 to 0715 hrs daily.

 

ADMIN

23. B.Ech.

  (i) At present in area X.1535, but understood to be moving forward shortly. Location will forward when known.

 (ii) All vehicles not moving up with the fighting troops on 4 Dec (e.g. Officer’s Messes etc) will RV in RHQ present area at 0930 hrs. QM will arrange to collect these and conduct them to B.Echelon.

 

24. Pet. No movement of vehicles in fwd area other than operation essential, in order to save petrol.

 

25. Med. RAP with RHQ.

 

26. Rec. EME moves with RHQ on 4 Dec, and then reverts to B.Echelon.

Other administrative information will be forwarded when received.

 

27. It is essential that EVE returns reach this HQ by 1600 hours, daily.

 

INTERCOMM

28. No wireless silence.

    (i) Regtl net opens 0730 hrs 4 Dec.

   (ii) Rear Links open RA7 Armd Div and 8 Armd Bde, as ordered by formations.

 

29. L.Os, from Btys will report to RHQ when Btys have arrived, to give Bty locations.

30. RHQ closes present location 0815 hrs 4 Dec, and moves by C.L.

31. Synchronisation. R/T at 0800 hrs 4 Dec.

ACK  

    Captain R.H.A.
   

Adjutant 

     
       
G Bty....................1 L.A.D ...........… 5 QM.…….…….......9  
K Bty....................2 C.O………..…..6 MO.…….…….....10  
CC. Bty.................3 C.O.2…………7 war Diary….11 & 12  
Sig Section..........4 O.O.…….…….8 File ………….......13  
       

 

APP/7/DEC/42

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T

5 RHA OPERATION INTRUCTION  NO. 27 Copy: No …1…

Ref map 1/250,000,  Sheet 8 

6 Dec. 42.

   
     

INFORMATION

Enemy.             1.         Nothing new.

     

Own Troops.    2.         “COLFORCE” assembled 5 December in area B.7278 for employment under Div comd, West of BIR EL GINN (B.6777) in prolongation of left flank of 152 Inf Bde.

Compositions:-   HQ 65 A/Tk Regt

                        216 A/Tk Regt

                        Bty 4 Fd Regt

                        2 tps 1 Lt AA Bty

                        C coys, 1 Buffs

                        2 coys, R.N.F.

 

3. Royals have been withdrawn from area PIMPLES

11 Hussars are in observation on Div front.

 

4. 8 Armd Bde Gp are moving in two phases to occupy a posn in area B.76, ready to move NW or SW, from which it can destroy the enemy armour should he attack Eastwards either North or South of 153 Inf Bde posn.

 

INTENTION.

5. 5 RHA will continue to support 8 Armd Bde Gp.

 

METHOD

Phase I.

6. (a) Staffs Yeo Regtl Gp (less C Coy 1 Buffs) remains in present area.

            Roles (i) to protect left flank of Inf Bde posn at SUERA.

        (ii) to destroy any enemy debouching East from Southern sector of Main posn.

    (b) 3 R.Tanks Regtl Gp and 258 A.Tk Bty will remain in present posns.

    (c) Notts Yeo Regtl Gp will move to lying up area (X) B 7268 ready to move up into posns on left of 3 R.Tanks

    (d) 4 Fd Regt RA (less one bty) will move 6 December to area B 7874 where it will remain in Bde reserve.

    (e) 257 A.Tk bty will move 6 December with 4 Fd Regt. On 7 December bty will move to a lying up area immediately East of the lying up area to be occupied by Notts Yeo (see (c) above) ready to move up into battle posns on the left of Notts Yeo battle posns.

 

7. (i) K Bty will move with Notts Yeo to area B 7368.

   (ii) G, CC Btys, RHQ remain present locations

Phase II.

8. Phase II will take place when “COLFORCE” has moved into its battle posns. Code word for operation:- “OYSTER”.

 

9. On receipt of “OYSTER”, a force composed of 1 Buffs, Bty 4 Fd Regt and 258 A/Tk Bty will come under the comd Lt.Col. G.H.G. Smith Dorrien, and occupy posns on the left flank of 153 Inf Bde posns at SUERA.

 

10. 8 Armd Bde, (less tps under comd Lt.Col. Smith Dorrien) will concentrate in area B 76 ready to move NW or SW to destroy any enemy debouching East from his main position.

   (i) 3 R.Tanks, G Bty 5 RHA, RE Det in area 7068        ZL 225°

  (ii) Notts Yeo, K Bty 5 RHA, RE Det in area B 7268.

 (iii) Staffs Yeo, CC Bty 5 RHA, RE Det in area B7470.

 (iv) 146 Fd Regt (less 2 btys) on arrival will lie up in area to be recce’d later in Bde reserve.

  (v) 257 A/Tk Bty (under comd 5 RHA) in an area to be detailed.

 

11. (i) G & CC Btys will move with their respective Regtl Gps to this area.

     (ii) RHQ will move with Bde HQ to area 7270. O.C. will contact Bde HQ to ascertain area allocated to RHQ.

    (iii) K Bty will remain in posns occupied in Phase I.

    (iv) As far as possible, a Regtl posn will be established within the Bde area, which can be occupied by Btys in the event of action being required from the Bde area: C.O.2 will conduct a recce of this area on 7 December: C.P.O. CC Bty will RV at RHQ at 0900 hrs; ne officer from G and K Btys (C.P.O. if possible) will RV at Point 13 (7271) at 0920 hrs. Officer from K Bty will guide party to K Bty area.

 

ADMIN.

12. No change. B Ech remains present area until further orders.  

 

INTERCOMM

13. No wireless silence.

    (a) Phase 1. Regtl net open G and K Btys. L/T to CC Bty & Bde.

                      Rear Links to Bde and R.A. 7 Armd Div as required

    (b) Phase 2. Regtl net to all Btys until connected by L/T.

 

14. Synchronisation:- Signal Time by R/T daily at 0800 hrs.

ACK  

    Captain R.H.A.
TOS 1745  

Adjutant 

     
       
G Bty.....................1      
K Bty....................2      
CC. Bty.................3      
Sig Section............4      
L.A.D ...........…... 5      
C.O………..….....6      
C.O.2…………....7      
O.O.…….…….....8      
QM.…….……......9      
War Diary….........10/11      
File ………….......12      

 

APP/8/DEC/42

REPORT BY CAPT. T.J. COOKE. R.H.A. ON OPERATION BY 

“A” TROOP “G” BTY (MERCER'S TROOP) R.H.A. 8 – 9th DECEMBER 42.


 

1. OBJECT. (i) To locate a target in area B5550 (8 miles S.W. of B ES SUERA.

(ii) To find a gun position and a route for the guns to this area.

11. On 7 Dec. 42 are recce was made in 4 Crusader tanks by Major J.A. Norman R.H.A., Major Crisp, DSO., R.T.R. Capt. T.J. Cook R.H.A and Lt. W.S. Dunlop R.H.A. When approaching the area light shelling was encountered from one 105 mm. gun and men could be seen standing on high ground we should be in occupied by the enemy in Dec. 41. The Recce obtained the following information.

(a) The area was held by infantry and possibly A/Tk guns and there was an O.P. on the ridge.

(b) The area had not received any attention from our forces and required shelling.

(c) A suitable gun area was found and it was possible to get guns there although the going was very rough with a lot of soft sand and part of the route was in view to the enemy.

111. On returning on evening 7 Dec., Lt-Col Pyman Cmdng 3 R.T.R. gave the following orders.

A column would go out can post as follows:-

Major Crisp in command with 9 Cruisers from his Sqn.

“A” Tp. G Bty (Mercer's Tp) R.H.A. with some carriers in 6 pdr portee from B Coy 1 Buffs.

The column will go out on 8 Dec. shoot up the tgt area and engage any other tgts that appeared. Withdraw on the evening 5 miles and repeat the process the following day.

The column will stay out for 48 hours.

2. On 8th Dec the column left the Regtl. area, the Cruisers and A.O.P. going out in front and independent of the guns which will lead and navigated by the G.P.O. (Lt. W.S. Dunlop) and protected by the force provided by B Coy 1 Buffs.

            Both portions of the column what ineffectively shelled by the same 105 mm gun as they took up their position. The men could be observed plainly standing about in the tgt area.

At approx 1200 hrs the troupe opened up on the tgt with 4 bursts of 5 rds gunfire which covered the top of the Ridge. Fires was put down on the rear areas of the position and in all 50 r.p.g. were fired in about 20 minutes. The response from the guns being very good indeed.

No other tgts weere engaged until the evening, the enemy keeping very quiet on the main tgt after the first burst of gunfire. In the evening a gun to the N.W. tried to shell the troop what was found to be able to range of our guns.

In the evening the column withdrew to a R.V. where replenishment lorries we're waiting for us. The going was very bad it was not till 2 hours after dark that all the guns were in. Ammunition replenishment could not take place that night as both lorries were stuck one mile on either side of the leaguer area . These were brought in at first light and the column moved off at 0830 hrs 9 Dec.

3. At a conference on night 8/9 Dec the following points were agreed upon.

(a) the enemy held the high groubd with Inf(having been observed on one position.) and there was properly at least one 88 mm a bit back from the crest, as, what was believed to be the crew that had been observed.

(b) only three single guns had been observed and fire and fired at us during the day.

(c) The following deductions were made:-

(i)            Their position seemed only lightly held and as a result of the day's shelling nearly 400 H.E. in the area he would either reinforce, withdraw or leave the position unchanged on the 9th Dec.

(ii)           Major Crisp thought he could get his tanks up there quite easily as his forward troops had not been fired on, but though they had sat within 100X of the position

(iii)          There is no point however in occupying the position and & Major Crisp’s suggestion was overruled by Lt-Col Pyman.  

4. On 9th Dec the tanks and O.P. went forward showing themselves more than previously but there is no shelling. Once the guns were ready the tanks advanced towards the position with the guns giving covering fire. The tanks halted 600 X from the Crest and major crisp went forward alone and the rate of fire from a troop was increased.  

At 200 X Major Crisp saw men crawling towards a 50 mm A/Tk gun but his Besa jammed. The A/Tk gun opened up at 200 X but Major Crisp was able to get away as one of our shells landed between the 80 gun and him and temporarily blinded the gun, which could not be observed from the OP as it was over 6000 X away. The truth however was ranged onto the gun and for the rest today laid 3RD SG dot F dot with guns concentrated was fired on the tgt.

The other tgts engaged were an SP gun which moved hardly, a gun in the open, which never fired and 105 mm which fired in the evening and the smoke of which could be seen behind the crest. One tank reported an explosion in the area but the gun was never put out of action.

5. Next morning 10th Dec. the column returned to the Regtl area, which was about 15 miles away.

6. Cooperation between the O.P. and the tanks had been excellent. The tanks often giving great assistance and ranging onto targets which they can see better than the O.P. Cross observation with the tanks was used on two occasions.

7. The ibjects of the column were achieved and some accurate information was obtained on the enemy's defensive lay out S.W. of B ES SEURA.

 

 

11.12.42.    
hh.  

Capt. R.H.A

APP/9/DEC/42

REPORT OF REECE OF EAST BANK OF WADI TAMET IN 

AREA Y 26.


Working North from Y 2055 it was found that for 3 or 4 miles there is no possibility of a suitable hull-down position for the tanks. It will be difficult also to find good O.P.s in this area, with the exception of a hill in the middle of the wadi, which was thought to be the Shiek Tomb at Y 1858.

Continuing in Northward the first good O.P. position is at approx Y 2063 at the Northern corner of the junction alright subsidiary wadi from the East with the Wadi Tamet. It was considered, however, that there was still no suitable position to be held by the tanks in this area .

The next morning commanding ground he's around Trig Point at Y 1966, and along the ridge running northwards from that point for about 5000 yards. It was considered that the ridge would be a suitable battle position for the tanks.

The recce was not continued further northwards and no contact was made with 131 Bde.

Gun Positions.

 The ground immediately to the east of the last mentioned Ridge is flat and there was no flash cover from the West. About 5000 yards due east of the trig point there is, however, a group of small bodies which would make suitable gun positions. The approach to this area from our present concentration area would need careful recce column intervening ground on a straight bearing is indented with deep and difficult wadis.

 

1.1.43.    
hh,  

Major R.H.A

APP/10/DEC/42

CITATION OF IMMEDIATE AWARD OF M.M. TO:-

1092511 

786266 

824162 

 L/BDR. PUGH S

GNR. SHARPLES. A.

GNR. MYERTHALL. A.

 

G BTY (MERCER'S TP) R.H.A

 

At about 1600 hours on 14 Dec 1942 “A” Troop of “G” Bty (Mercer’s Tp.) R.H.A. while supporting 3 R.T.R in an attack on the pimples about 2555 South of AGHELIA. Gnr. Sharples gun was ranging when it was heavily shelled and the 2nd i/c of the gun and two gunners wounded and evacuated. 

The truth was later ordered to an alternative position on the position and the position of the assembly, when limbered up, was it getting severely shelled. One shell landed beside the quad, wounding the driver, Sgt. Dixon (the No. 1.) and one more gunner. Although the picture was pouring down from the reserve, L/Bdr. Pugh came over and tried to drive the quad, but failed. He was then ordered back to his own subsection.

Sgt. Dixon ordered the detachment clear and Gnr S Sharples and mire fell dragged the wound it away. Another quarter was brought up and while Sgt. Dixon attended to the driver who was fatally wound did, Gnrs Sharples and Myerthall winched the gun clear off the old quad and hooked in. They then drove to the new position and brought the gun into action on their own. The initiative, coolness and courage of Gnrs Sharples and Myerthall undoubtedly saved a great delay in getting the gun into action, when it was badly needed. L/Bdr. Pugh was then sent over to take command of the gun in action.

The troop were then ordered out of action and L/Bdr. Pugh found that one wheel hoping hit and was flat. Owing to shortage of men the gun had to be winched out 6 times, and during the whole time heavy shelling was experienced. The operation was completed successfully, and the gun rejoined the troop at the leaguer area although it was dark. L/Bdr. Pugh showed great power off command and leadership under extremely trying conditions.

 

 

19.12.42.   Major R.H.A
hh. Commanding “G” Bty (Mercer’s Troop) R.H.A

APP/11/DEC/42

3rd. BATTALION ROYAL TANK REGIMENT

ROLE OF OFFICERS SERVING WITH THE BATTALION ON 8TH DECEMBER 1942.


     

REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS.

 

 

 

 

 

Lt-Col H.E. PYMAN. DSO. MBE.

 

Commanding Officer.

Major H.M. STRANGE.

 

2nd in Command.

Capt. G.H. BARKER

 

Adjutant.

Capt. R.G. SHATTOCK.

 

Bn. Technical Adjutant.

Lieut. W.A. HALL

 

Bna. Signals Officer.

Lieut. WP HUGHES.

 

Intelligence Officer.

Capt. J. W. MACMILLAN. MC

 

Medical Officer.

 

 

 

Scout Troop.

 

 

Lieut E.O. HALL

 

Troop leader.

 

 

 

“A” Squadron.

 

 

 

 

 

Major R.J. CRISP. DSO.

 

Squadron Leader.

Lieut R.C. ROBINSON

 

Troop leader.

Lieut M.V. THOMPSON

 

Troop leader.

2/Lt. S. FARNINGHAM MM.

 

Troop leader.

 

 

 

“B” Squadron.

 

 

Capt. J.A WATTS.

 

Squadron Leader.

Lieut E.F.W. GILBOY.

 

Troop leader.

Lieut J.S. PONSFORD.

 

Troop leader.

2/Lt. A. ATTENBURGH.

 

Troop leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“C” Squadron.

 

 

Capt. A.K. Doig.

 

Squadron Leader.

Capt. J.D. DUNLOP.

 

Troop leader.

Lieut E.M. PHELAN.

 

Troop leader.

Lieut H.E. KIRKHAM. DCM.

 

Troop leader.

 

 

 

B.3. Echelon.

 

 

Capt. S.M. Johnson.

 

Echelon Commander.

Lieut E.O. Bennett.

 

2 i/c Echelon.

Lieut (QM) V. HEHIR.

 

Lieut Quartermaster.

Capt. I. S. PAYNE. REME.

 

E.M.E.

 

 

 

B.1. Echelon.

 

 

Capt. T. J. TROWARD.

 

Echelon Commander.

 

 

 

 

 

 


o  O  o


 

 

 

LIEUT W. P. BROCKSHAW.

 

L.O. 8th Armd Bde.

 

 

 

 

 

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