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 John 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 move 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 8/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.

 

 

    APPENDIX 1/SEP/42
 

C O P Y.

 
     

SPECIAL ORDER OF THE DAY by.

General Sir Claude J.E. Auchinleck, C.C..I.E., C.B., C.S.I.

D.S.O., O.B.E. Commander in Chief the Middle East forces.

                              ------------------------------------------

 

The following message has been received from His Highness the Duke of Gloucester:-

     
   

The Palace.

      Khartoum.

     
              3rd Aug. 42.
     

At the close of my very long and extensive visit to the Middle East, I wish to tell you and all ranks under your command how pleased I have been with what I have seen.

The size, distances and varying conditions in the Middle East made my tour intensely interesting and I was most impressed with the cheerfulness, efficiency and physical fitness of all the numerous formations that I visited.

Since I saw the Eighth Army in April and May they have been fighting a long and ceaseless battle emotion trying conditions and with the utmost endurance and gallantry

I was therefore particularly glad to have the opportunity of again visiting some of the formations during my short visit to the western desert on July 19th and I was greatly inspired by their excellent morale and eager confidence in the outcome of the battles they face that that faced them.

I wish you all the best of luck.

               Signed. J. Auchinleck . General 

General Sir Claude J.E. Auchinleck, C.C..I.E., C.B., C.S.I.

Commander-in-Chief. Middle East.

 

     

 

     
  Officers to see or muster Trps  
   

Appendix 1/Sep.1942

Subject: message from the Army Commander.

Officer commanding,

   G Bty (Mercer’s Tp) R.H.A.

   K Bty., R.H.A.

   CC Bty., R.H.A.

O.O.


 
     
The following message from the army commander is forwarded
     
“The battle of ALAMEIN has now lasted for 6 days and the enemy has slowly but surely been driven from the Eighth Army area . Tonight 5 set his regards are being driven West through this the Thefield area North of HIMEIMET. All formations and units both armd and unarmed have contributed towards this striking victory and I have been magnificently supported by the RAF. I congratulate all ranks of the Eighth Army on devotion to duty and good fighting qualities which has resulted in such a heavy defeat of the enemy and which will have far reaching results. I have sent a message to AOC Western Desert expressing our thanks to the RAF in their splendid support.”
     
     
9 Sep 42                 Capt., R.H.A.
FCA.   Adj., 5th Regt., R.H.A.
     

 

 

 

APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO. 10

S E C R E T.

    Copy: No …1…
 (Ref Maps:- Egypt 1:250,000. 25 Aug 42.
                     El Mreir, El Alamein, El Halfa, 1:50,000. )  
     

 

INFORMATION.

1.     30 Corps and 13 Corps are defending the line of present F.D.Ls at all costs. There is to be no withdrawal.

2.     Locations of defended localities and minefields have already been notified to Btys.

3.     Defended localities ‘A’ and ‘C’ are to contain mobile reserves.

4.     Anti-parachutist defence schemes are being prepared for all areas.

5.     23 Armd Bde Gp (less one sqn each 40 & 46 R.Tks and less 7.R.B.) with under comd B Sqn 6 S.A. A/C Regt is concentrated in area about Pt 79 (891887).

6.     23 Armd Bde, less above, is to be prepared to counter-attack in 4 roles, in the following order of priority:-

Task “A” – To restore present F.D.Ls on RUWEISAT RIDGE

                                                Code word “BOMBAY”.

Task “B” – To counter-attack SW towards NZ Div area under comd 13 Corps.

                                                Code word “AUCKLAND”.

Task “C” – To counter-attack towards 1 SA Div area.

                                                Code word “CAPETOWN”.

Task “D” – To counter-attack under 10 Armd Div, 13 Corps, in area East of locality ‘F’.

                                                Code word “LONDON”.

Task “E” – To occupy present battle positions of 22nd Ared Bde Code WORD “ SCOTLAND”

            Under cmd 10 Arm Div, 13 Corps.

7.     One sqn each 46 & 50 R.Tks are being made available to 5 Ind Div for counter-attack roles in the RUSWIESAT RIDGE area.

8.     32 Fd Regt RA, 9 Aust Div, may come under comd for certain operation. When coming on the comd of the Bde they will be grouped with 5 RHA under comd OC 5 RHA. (Tac serial of 32 Fd Regt, 202.)

9.     The code word “ACTION STATIONS” will indicate that the enemy attack has either started who is expected to start the near future. On receipt of this code word, or units are at once to be prepared to move at short notice, all admin veh not moving with fighting EC H will be dispatched to B Ech forthwith. (See Addendum No. 1 to Operation Instruction No 8)

 

INTENTION.

10.  5 RHA, With under comd B Bty 73 A.Tk  Regt and 1 tp 37 Lt AA Bt, will support attack of 23 Armd Bde Gp in all cases.

 

METHOD.

Task “A”.

11.  Inf.

     Bde will attack one up , 46R.Tks leading on Bde CL with 50 R.Tks as protection rt and 40 R.Tks protection lt. 46 R.Tks is forming up in area 88802785. 73 A.Tk Regt less 1 Bty will move forward on Bde CL in rear 46 R.Tks, and will be prepared to reorganise on reaching FDLs in conjunction with 5 Ind Inf Bde. 5 Ind Inf Bde are providing a mobile reserve to follow up adv of 23 Armd Bde Gp and for relieving 73 A.Tk Regt. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt remains present area. Route:-                   

12.  CL.        2785 Northing grid

13.  5 RHA will support the attack from posns in areas:-

 G Bty – 425887

 K Bty – 424886

CC Bty – 423887

14.  ZL.        270° grid.

15.  F.O.Os.

(a)   1 FOO from K Bty will move with 46 R.Tks, and 2 FOOs each from G & CC Btys will move with 40 and 50 R.Tks respectively. FOOs will marry up with their respective Regts at one on receipt of code word “ACTION STATIONS”.

(b)  FOOs from 11 Fd Regt and 28 Fd Regt (5 Ind Div Arty) will move with 46 and 50 R.Tks respectively.

16.  Occupation. Posns will be occupied immediately on receipt of the code word “BOMBAY”.

17.  A.Tk.    B Bty 73 A.Tk will provide protection for gun area.  Bty HQ will be established in conjunction with whichever RHA Bty Command post is most convenient.

18.  A.A. Will provide protection for gun area.

19.  Bde Tac HQ  establishes is at HQ 5 Ind Div 89072783, and then moves by Bde CL.

Bde Main HQ establishes in area 437889.

20.  Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ.

Main HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Main HQ. 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.

 

Task “B”.

21.  Inf.

     23 Armd Bde will form up facing South prepared to move one up to occupy battle posns at 890270 to 425881, 40 R.Tks leading, 50 R.Tks protection lt and 40 R.Tks protection rt. 40 R.Tks is forming up in area 89042739. 73 A.Tk Regt moves in rear 40 R.Tks and is prepared to come into action 889272, 891272, 424882. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt moves ahead on Bde CL.       

22.  Bde CL. 180° true.

23.  5 RHA will

(i) move in support, G Bty with 40 R.Tks, K Bty with 46 R.Tks, CC Bty with 50 R.Tks. dispositions to be in accordance with normal Bde formation.

(ii) take up posns in gun area as follows, to support battle posns of Tk.Regts :-

 G Bty – 890273

 K Bty – 890275

CC Bty – 424883

24.  FOOs. 2 FOOs from each Bty will move with respective Tk Regts the are supporting, and will marry with their respective Regts at one on receipt of code word “ACTION STATIONS”.

25.  A.Tk.    B Bty 73 A.Tk will move with on tp att each Bty RHA. Bty HQ moves with K Bty HQ.

26.  A.A. Tp Lt AA will have one gun with each Bty, unless a second tp is available, in which case each tp will provide one gun to move with G Bty RHA; remainder of each tp will cover the Btys to which they are at present attached.

27.  Bde Tac HQ  moves on Bde CL in rear 40 R.Tks. Main HQ remains present location.

28.  Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ. Main HQ joins moves Bde Main HQ in present area.

29.  Recce Parties will receive orders through Tk Regts they are supporting.

 

Task “C”.

30.  Inf.

     50 R.Tks are to be prepared to adv North to 89052845, using gaps in minefield 890284. 46 R.Tks move in reserve along same CL. 40 R.Tks in reserved in area 424889. 73 A.Tk (less one Bty) will occupy defensive areas facing West and North about 890281. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt remains present location.           

31.  5 RHA are to be prepare to support adv of Armd Regts.

32.  Gun Area     )

33.  A.Tk.           ) – As for Task “A”.

34.  A.A.            )

35.  ZL. 300°.

36.  Occupation.       Posns will be occupied on receipt of code word “CAPETOWN”.

37.  FOOs. 2 FOOs from each Bty will move with Tk Regts they are supporting, and will marry up with them on receipt of “ACTION STATIONS”.

38.  Bde Tac HQ  - area gap in minefield 89032810; Bde Main HQ area 437869.

39.  Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ.

Main HQ moves Bde Main HQ.

 

Task “D”.

40.  Inf.

     23 Armd Bde Gp will move to conc area approx. 425885, to come under comd 10 Armd Div. Bde will move in two groups –

(a)   tracked vehicles.

(b)  wheeled vehicles.   

Mobe to conc area.

41.  Tracked vehicles.

(a)   S.P. EL AGURI TOMB 425885

Times to pass:-

                                                By day.             By night.

40 R.Tks                                   Z                      Z

Bde HQ                                    Z + 20              Z + 30

50 R.Tks                                   Z + 30              Z + 55

46 R.Tks                                   Z + 50              Z + 75

42568850 -43788904 – 44788907 – to conc area

(b) Route – EL AGURI TOMB – 43788901 (65° for 6Ό miles) –

  44800910 (87° for 6½ miles).

(c) Speed. By day 6 m.i.h.  By night 4 m.i.h.

(d) Density.  By day 20 v.t.m    By night 40 v.t.m

42.  FOOs. 2 FOOs per Bty will marry with their respective Regts at one on receipt of code word “ACTION STATIONS”, and will move with them to conc area, with tracked vehicles.

43.  Wheeled vehicles.

(a)   Regt and att tps (less FOOs) will proceed with the wheeled veh of the Bde.

(b)  Regtl SP – ‘C’ tk, 500x East of RHQ.

Times to pass:-

                                                By day.             By night.

RHQ                                          Z + 40              Z + 10

CC Bty                                       Z + 50              Z + 17

K Bty                                         Z + 70              Z + 27

G Bty                                         Z + 90              Z + 37

 (c) Tps A.Tk will move with the respective Btys to which they are at present attached, in rear of this Btys. Bty HQ A/Tk will move with K Bty.

  44800910 (87° for 6½ miles).

(d) Tp A.A. (if not required for the protection of V.Ps by Bde, will move with one gun at the head of each RHA Bty.

(e)   Bde S.P. – ‘C’ tk, where crossed by 430 Easting grid.

Times to pass:-

                                                            By day.             By night.

B/6 S.A. A/C Regt                     Z - 20                Z - 20

73 A.Tk                                     Z                       Z

RHQ 5 RHA                              Z + 60              Z + 30

CC Bty                                      Z + 70               Z + 37

K Bty                                         Z + 90              Z + 47

G Bty                                         Z + 110            Z + 57

40 R.Tks veh                              Z + 160            Z + 80

Bde HQ                                     Z + 200            Z + 100

Followed by vehs 50 R.Tks, 46 R.Tks, & 9 Fd Sqn.

 

(f)   Speed.         5 m.i.h. by day and night..

(g)  Density.  By day 20 v.t.m    By night 40 v.t.m

(h)  1 offr from each Bty will report to RHQ (present location) on receipt of the code word “LONDON”, prepared to proceed forward to Regtl S.P. and ensure the necessary co-ordination for each Bty moving on the CL. Lt AA will have one gun with each Bty, unless a second tp is available, in which case each tp will provide one gun to move with G Bty RHA; remainder of each tp will cover the Btys to which they are at present attached.

(i)    CL. Regtl S.P,. – ‘C’ tk to conc area. ‘C’ tk will be marked by 5 Ind Div sign and 23 Armd Bde Gp signs (i.e. circle with either two small circles or a triangle cut out of the centre.)

(j)    9 Fd Sqn will mark and man gaps in minefield at 44808910 by day and night. Night markings are white lamps between which tanks must go. Edges of minefield marked with red lamps.

 9 Fd Sqn will mark & man the gap on either side of 44788907. Night markings will be as follows:- S.W. extremity of gap to be marked by red lamps & N.E. extremity by green lamps.

TASK E. Paras 44 to 48 attached  on separate sheet.

49.  44. As already issued in 5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 8 and Admin Instruction No.9.

(k)   Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ. Main HQ joins moves Bde Main HQ in present area.

(l)    Recce Parties will receive orders through Tk Regts they are supporting.

 

INTERCOMN.

50.   45. No wireless silences unless otherwise ordered. Open up wireless on receipt of “ACTIONS STATION”; line communication will then be reeled in. Current frequencies and code names will be used.

51.  46. Liaison. Throughout all tasks, B.Cs will maintain close liaison with Tk Regts they are supporting.

52.  47. Codex current codes; also 5 RHA ref code within Regt only.

53.  48. Synchronisation. Signal time as soon as possible after receipt of “ACTION STATIONS”.

54.  (Rear links

(See attached slip

(Amend No. 2

 

ACK

Time of signatures 1040 hrs.

 

   

A.C.S. Gimson    Lt. RHA

    Capt.
    Adj 
     

 

 
     
Distribution    
G Bty …........................1 C.O……………………...8  
K Bty ..…......................2 C.O.2 …..……………….9  
CC. Bty ........................3 O.O.…….……………...10  
Sig Sec………………..4 Q.M………………….....11  
B Bty 73 A.Tk Regt … .5 M.O …………………....12  
A Tp 37 Lt A.A. Bty … 6 War Diary……………... 13/14  
C Tp 37 Lt A.A. Bty … 7 File ……………………..15  
     
     

 

    APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

ADDENDUM No.1 to “5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION No. 10”.

S E C R E T.

    Copy: No …1…
    26 Aug 42.
     
     

Task “D”.

Para 43: Add new sub-para (k)

“On receipt of code word “LONDON”, Harbour parties, limited to two vehs per Bty and RHQ, will hold themselves ready to report RHQ at once, went sent for. (Code word “PATHFINDERS”.)

 

Para 44: add new sub-para

 

“Pet.   In the event of Task “D”, Bty and RHQ petrol lorries (if with the ech at the time action stations is received well are they at approx 43738915( ‘C’ tk, where tracks lead off to Ech area). These will be picked up by their respective units taken with them to conc area, where they will replenish all vehs. On completion of replenishment, they will remain with Btys, until sent back and orders of this HQ.”

 

 

Distribution  as for “5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 10”

 

 

 

    APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

5 RHA ADMIN INSTRUCTION NO. 9”.

S E C R E T.

 

(to be read in conjunction with OPERATION NO.8, dated 19 Aug 42)

Copy: No …1…
    21 Aug 42.
(Ref map 1:250,000 Sheet 14.)    
     

INFORMATION

1.     As per Operation Instruction No.8.

INTENTION.

2.     To continue the Admin of Bde Gp in event of the tasks “A”, “B” or “C” being put into operation.

 

METHOD.

3.     Dump if dieselite, 1,000 galls 87 Octane petrol, 5 days’ rations and 5 days’ water is being established at 43078906 (see 5 RHA Admin Instr No.7).

4.     Action on receipt of code word “BOMBAY”.

(a)   B Ech moves under Bde control

(i)            if loaded, to replenish fighting veh and then move to BIR SAMALUS (453895).

(ii)           If empty, moves direct to 453895.

(iii)          In either case, is at 30 mins notice to move.

(b)  Amn Pt. Moves to area 437889.

(c)   Rec.     Rec Sec remains with Bde HQ; remainder of RAOC stays present B Ech location.

(d)  Med.    ADS & MDS move with B Ech to area 453895.

5.     Action on receipt of code word “CAPETOWN”.

As in para 4 above.

 

6.     Action on receipt of code word “AUCKLAND”.

(a)   B Ech remains present location, carries out normal duties.

(b)  Amn Pt moves with Main Bde HQ.

(c)   Should code word “ZIGZAG” follow “AUCKLAND”, action will be taken as for “BOMBAY”.

 

7.     Action on receipt of code word “BOWLER”.

(a)   B Ech moves under Bde control to location 2 miles South of BURG EL ARAB (475906).

(b)  Route via “C” tk.

(c)   Amn Pt moves with Bde HQ..

(d)  Rec Sec remains with Bde HQ.

(e)   Med.           ADS & MDS move with B Ech.

 

 Capt.

ACK.

Adj.

Distribution  as for “5 RHA ADMIN INSTRUCTION NO. 9”
 

ADDENDUM NO.1 TO”5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO 8”, d. 19 Aug 42.

 

1.     Code word “ACTION STATIONS” will denote that a German attack has started or is expected to start in near future.

2.     On receipt of this code word, all veh not normally moving with fighting ech will return to B Ech forthwith. Any such veh will be made ready to move at once on receipt of this code word, and arrangements will be notified from RHQ as to RV to which all admin veh will report, so that they may proceed in a formed body to B Ech area.

3.     All fighting ech veh be prepared to move at short notice, and will be formed up in leaguer area to move out for any of the three operational tasks.

 

 
Capt.
Adj.
Distribution  as for “5 RHA ADMIN INSTRUCTION NO. 8”
 
 

 

    APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

ADDENDUM NO.1 to 5 RHA ADMIN INSTRUCTION NO. 9”.

S E C R E T.

  (to be read in conjunction with OPERATION NO.10, d 25 Aug 42. Copy: No …1…
    26 Aug 42.
(Ref map 1:250,000 Sheet 14.)    
INFORMATION, INTENTION, remain as given in OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO.10 and ADMIN. INSTRUCTION NO.9.
     

METHOD.

1.     In the event of Task “A”, Task “B” or Task “C” being put into operations, admin arrangements will remain as already issued in 5 RHA ADMIN. INSTRUCTION NO.9.

2.     Task “D”.

On receipt of code word “LONDON”,

(a)   B Ech, MDS, Amn Pt, Recovery Sec and Tank Delivery Tp move to BIR SAMALUS (453895).

(b)  5 RHA B Ech will move under Bde control to BIR SAMALUS.

(c)   Route:- from present area via ‘C’ tk is BIR SAMALUS.

Ech S.P. – 440 grid line on ‘C’ tk.

Times to pass will be obtained from Ech Cmdr.

 

3.     Med.

(a)   1 ADS moves with Bde Main HQ.

(b)  1 ADS moves with Bde E Ech.

4.     Recovery.  

(a)   Rec Sec moves as in para 2 (a) above.

(b)  Veh casualties during move of 23 Armd Bde Gp to conc area will be dealt with as follows:-

(i)            Tracks. – Crocks will be evacuated to GEBEL BEIN GABIR 437891, from where Rec Sec will evacuate to area 4548987.

(ii)           Wheels. – Unless otherwise ordered, LAD will evacuate direct to BIR SAMALUS.

Wheeled vehicle casualties will now be also evacuated to GEBEL BEIN GABGIR, for recovery.

Timed 1250 hrs

Capt.

Adj.

 

Distribution  as for “5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 9”

 

 

 

    APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

ADDENDUM No.2 to “5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION No. 10”.

S E C R E T.

    Copy: No …1…
    28 Aug 42.
     
     

Para 6.        Under Task “D” insert new sub-para -

Task “E”.      To occupy present battle posns of 22 Armd Bde, under command 10 Armd Div, 13 Corps.

                                                                                           Code word “SCOTLAND”            

 

Task “D”.

Para 41. Delete sub-para (b) and substitute new sub-para –

“(b) Route. EL AGURI TOMB – 43788904 (65° for 8½ miles) – thence 44788907 (132° for 4½ miles).”

Para 43.  Delete sub-para (j) and insert new sub-para –

“(j)          9 Fd Sqn will mark & man the gap on either side of 44788907. Night markings will be as follows:- S.W. extremity of gap to be marked by red lamps & N.E. extremity by green lamps.”

 

Under para 43 insert new paras as follows:-

“ Task “E”.

44.  Inf.

     23 Armd Bde will move up to occupy the present battle posns of 22 Armd Bde. The Bde moves one up to 22 Armd Bde area, having formed up as for Task “B” (“AUCKLAND”). facing South prepared to move one up to occupy battle posns at 890270 to 425881, 40 R.Tks leading, 50 R.Tks protection lt and 40 R.Tks protection rt. 40 R.Tks is forming up in area 89042739. 73 A.Tk Regt moves in rear 40 R.Tks and is prepared to come into action 889272, 891272, 424882. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt moves ahead on Bde CL.      

45.  5 RHA.  Will form up in Bde formation as for Task “B”, but when adv commences will NOT occup posns in para 23(ii).

46.  Bde CL 89042739 to Pt 102 (42808818). Bde wheel & NOT turn left.

47.  Arrangements for FOOs. A/Tk, A.A. and movements of RHQ remain as per Task “B”.

48.   C.P.Os’ RV will be notified later for the gun posn in 22 Armd Bde area” Units will move direct from ‘Auckland’ area to occupy battle posns for 22 Armd Bde when ordered. Posns to be occupied as shown on trace. More forward from AUCKLAND

Renumber paras 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 to read 49 50, 51, 52, 53.

      to Scotland work be ordered on arrival in AUCKLAND area.

“54. Rear links (G & Q) to Bde will be opened up on receipt of “ACTION STATIONS”; L/T to Bde will be left down, and RHQ ‘phone will be manned by an officer.

Capt.

Adj.

 

Distribution  as for “5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 10”

 

 

 

    App 2/SEP/42
 

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO. 8

S E C R E T.

   

Copy: No …1…

 (Ref Maps:- Egypt 1:250,000.) 19 Aug 42.
                      
     

 

INFORMATION.

1.     30 Corps and 1 Corps are defending the line of present F.D.Ls at all costs. There is to be no withdrawal.

2.     Locations of defended localities and minefields have already been notified to Btys.

3.     Defended localities ‘A’ and ‘C’ are to contain mobile reserve.

4.     Anti-parachutist defence schemes are being prepared for all areas.

5.     23 Armd Bde Gp, less 40 R.Tks Regtl Gp and 7.R.B., with under comd B Sqn 6 S.A. Armoured Car Regt is concentrated in area about Pt 79 (891887).

6.     23 Armd Bde, less dets above, is to be prepared to counter-attack in 3 roles, in the following order of priority:-

Task “A” – To restore present F.D.Ls on RUWEISAT RIDGE

                                                Code word “BOMBAY”.

Task “B” – To counter-attack S.W. towards NZ Div area.

                                                Code word “AUCKLAND”.

Task “C” – To counter-attack towards 1 SA Div area.

                                                Code word “CAPETOWN”.

 

INTENTION.

7.     5 RHA, less G Bty, with under comd B Bty 73 A.Tk  Regt and (less one tp and 1 tp 37 Lt AA Bty , will support attack of 23 Armd Bde Gp in all cases.

 

METHOD.

Task “A”.

8.     Inf.

     Bde will attack one up , 46R.Tks leading on Bde CL with 50 R.Tks as protection rt, 73 A.Tk Regt (less 2 Btys) will do protection lt, and will be reorganising in conjunction with 7 R.B. (if available) on arrival at the F.D.Ls. 7 R.B. (if available) moves in read 46 R.Tks along Bde CL and to reorganise F.D.Ls until relieved by 5 Ind Inf Div.

B/6 S.A. A/C Regt remains present area             

9.    CL.        2785 Northing grid

10.  Regt, less G Bty, will support the attack from posns in areas:-

either 887279, 888279

   or   886276, 887276

Posns will be recce’d later

Lt - K Bty

Rt - CC Bty

11.  ZL.        270° grid.

12.  F.O.Os. 2 F.O.Os from K Bty will move with 46 R.Tks, and 2 F.O.Os from CC Bty will move with 50 R.Tks. F.O.Os will marry up with their respective Regts at one on receipt of code word “BOMBAY”.

13.  Liaison. Os.C K and CC Btys will establish liaison with 46 and 50 R.Tks as soon as orders received for Task “A” to be put into operation.

14.  C.P.Os. RV, and all other gps RV, will be notified as soon as orders received for Task “A” to be put into operation.

15.  A.Tk.    B Bty 73 A.Tk will provide protection for gun areas;  defence to be co-ordinated with C.O.2 5 RHA. Bty HQ B/A.Tk will be established in conjunction with whichever R.H.A. Bty Command post is most convenient.

16.  A.A. Will provide protection for gun area.

17.  Bde Tac HQ  establishes is at HQ 5 Ind Div (89072783), and then moves by Bde CL.

Bde Main HQ establishes in area 437889.

18.  Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ.

Main HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Main HQ.

 

Task “B”.

19.  Inf.

     23 Armd Bde will form up facing South prepared to move one up 50 R.Tks leading, 46 R.Tks protection rt.  73 A.Tk Regt (less 2 Btys) protection lt. 7 R.B. (if available to move) in rear Bde HQ on Bde C.L. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt moves ahead on Bde CL.   

20.  Forming up area – RHQ 50 R.Tks at EL AGURI TOMB 425885.

21.  5 RHA (less one Bty) will move in support, K Bty with 46 R.Tks, CC Bty with 50 R.Tks. Dispositions to be in accordance with trace used for exercise “PANTHER”.

22.  F.O.Os. 2 FOOs K Bty and 2 F.O.Os CC Bty will move with 46 R.Tks and 50 R.Tks respectively.

23.  Liaison. Os.C K and CC Btys will establish liaison with Os.C 46 and 50 R.Tks.

24.  Bde C.L. EL AGURI TOMB 425885 – cairn 724881 – cairn 423878.

25.  A.Tk.    B Bty 73 A.Tk (less one tp_ will move with on tp att affiliated tp each Bty RHA., as per exercise “PANTHER” Bty HQ moves with K Bty HQ.

26.  A.A. Tp Lt AA will move 2 guns with CC Bty, one gun with K Bty, as exercise “PANTHER”.

27.  Bde Tac HQ  moves on Bde CL in rear 50 R.Tks.

28.  RHQ 5 RHA moves with Bde HQ.

29.  Recce Parties will receive orders through Tank Regts they are supporting.

 

Task “C”.

30.  Inf.

     50 R.Tks are to be prepared to adv North to Pt 35 (8862584), using gaps in minefield 890281. 46 R.Tks in res on same CL. 73 A.Tk (less 2 Btys) and 7 R.B. (if available) will occupy defensive areas facing West and North about 890281. B/6 S.A. A/C Regt remains present location.           

31.  5 RHA (less G Bty) are to be prepare dto support adv of 50 and 46 R.Tks.

32.  Gun Area   891277, 424887.

33.  ZL. 330°.

34.  C,P.Os RV, etc, will be issued on orders “CAPETOWN”.

35.  F.O.Os. 2 F.O.Os from K Bty and 2 F.O.Os from CC Bty will move with 46 an 50 R.Tks respectively, and will marry up with them on receipt of “CAPETOWN”.

36.  Liaison. Os.C K and CC Btys will establish liaison with Os.C 46 and 50 R.Tks, respectively.

37.  A.Tk. B Bty A/Tk (less one tp) will provide protection for gun areas. A.Tk defence to be co-ordinated with C.O.2 5 RHA.

38.  A.A. Tp Lt AA will proved protection for gun area.

39.  Bde Tac HQ  - area gap in minefield 890281; Bde Main HQ area 437869.

40.  Tac HQ 5 RHA moves with Bde Tac HQ.

      Main HQ 5 RHA moves Bde Main HQ throughout.

 

ADMIN.

41.  B Ech moves under  Bde control.

42.  Pet All units will move with tanks full under all circumstances, arrangements will be made for extra high octane petrol to be carried for O.P.

43.   Sup      On receipt of orders for any of the above operational tasks, all units will proceed with double haversack rations and the necessary 3 days’ reserve rations per man. Arrangements will be made so that personnel selected as guides for res sup dump in locality “C” are easily available if required (see 5 RHA Adm Instruction No.6.)

44.  Med RAP moves with RHQ in all cases.

45.  Recovery. On receipt of any of the operational code words, O.M.E. will report to Main RHQ at once and remain with it until further notice.

Further admin instructions will be issued when received.

INTERCOM.

46.  No wireless silences unless otherwise ordered. Open up wireless on receipt of any of the operation code words. Current frequencies and code names will be used.

47.  On receipt of any of the operational code words, liaison officer, will be sent at once to rhq to obtain further orders.

 

     
    Capt.
ACK     Adj 
Time of signatures 2245  hrs.      

 

 
     
Distribution    
G Bty (for inf).................1 C.O……………………...7  
K Bty ..…......................2 C.O.2 …..……………….8  
CC. Bty ........................3 O.O.…….…………….....9  
Sig Sec………………..4 Q.M………………….....10  
B Bty 73 A.Tk Regt … .5 X M.O …………………....11  
A Tp 37 Lt A.A. Bty … 6 War Diary……………... 12/13  
  File ……………………..14  
     
X    Note:- On receipt of any operation code word, B Bty A/Tk will at once line up with Btys RHA in present areas.
     

 

 

 

 

App/2/Sep/42

 

S E C R E T

 

 

 

INFORMATION.

30 Corps are defending the present line of F.D.LS at all costs and there will be no withdrawal. Anti-parachute and defence schemes are being prepared for all areas. 23rd Armd. Bde Gp is concentrating in area about point 79 in 861276.

INTENTION.

40 R. Tanks will be prepared to counter-attack in following order of priority-

Task “A”

“Bombay” 50 Tanks on rt. 46 Tanks centre , 40 tanks protection , left. 40 Tanks forming up area 88802778. Unit will face West. One up. “A” Sqn leading.

Order of approach march. “A” Sqn, “HQ” Sqn, “C” Sqn.

Bearing from present position 3.3 miles at 308 degrees.

A.1. Echelon to move North to present the Div area 4237888.

Task “B”

“AUCKLAND” Unit to proceed to known battle positions, “C” Sqn right, “A” Sqn left. Bearing 1.2 miles 255 degrees to forming our position then 2 miles to battle positions on 170 degrees.

A.1. Echelon to remain in present area.

Task “C”

“CAPETOWN” 40 tanks to remain in present Bde area of 424889. In this role 50 R. Tanks will advance North to Point 35 890281, using gaps in minefield 890281. 46 R. Tanks will be in reserve ahead of us.

Central line from our reserve position 1.4 miles on 320 degrees to gaps then 2.2 miles on 5 degrees to Point 35.

 

Order of March. “A”, “HQ” and “C” Sqn.

Task “D”

“LONDON”     Move to concentration area. Start point LOL Angel you are I tomb which is 1.3 miles on 77 degrees, events 8 and 1/4 miles on 65 degrees 243788 904, then 6 1/2 miles on 87 degrees 244808 910.

Timings,

 

    DAY

  NIGHT

 

40 R. Tanks

   Zero

      Zero

 

Bde H.Q.

Zero + 20

Zero + 30

 

50 R. Tanks

Zero + 30

Zero + 45

 

46 R. Tanks

Zero + 50

Zero + 75

M.I.H.

6 by day.    4 by night.

Wheels.

Order of March.   73 A/Tk Regt. R.A. 5 R.H.A., Vehs 40 R. Tanks,

Main Bde H.Q., Vehs 50 R.Tanks, Vehs 46 R. Tanks, 9 Fd Sqn. R.E.

 

Route – S.P.       “C” Track – conc area.

 

Start Point.         “C” Track crossing 430 degrees Easting grid.

 

 

 

Timings

 

DAY

NIGHT

 

 

Armd. Cs

Zero – 20

Zero - 20

 

 

73 A.Tk Regt.

    Zero

     Zero

 

 

5 R.H.A.

Zero + 60

Zero + 30

 

 

Vehs 40 R. Tanks

Zero + 160

Zero + 80

 

 

Bde H.Q.

Zero + 200

Zero + 100

 

 

Vehs 50 R. Tanks

Zero + 240

Zero + 120

 

 

Vehs 46 R. Tanks

Zero + 280

Zero + 140

 

 

9 Fd Sqn.

Zero + 320

Zero + 160

 

V.T.M.

20 day.     40 night.

 

 

 

M.I.H.

5 day and night.

 

 

INTERCOM.

Current “CODEX” and Call signs will be used. Wireless silence except on “B” sets during approach march. Order to break given by R.H.Q.

 

 

Distribution.

OS. C. “A”, “B”, “C” and HQ Sqns.        A.1. Echelon (2 copies).

 

G. Bty R.H.A.     B Tp 37 A/A Bty.    Reece tp.         Lieut N.S..

 

Pinnington    Lieut J.P.C. Wise.      War Diary.       File.

 

 

 

Timings (Continued from sheet one)

 

 

 

 

 

DAY

NIGHT

 

 

Vehs 50 R. Tanks

Zero + 240

Zero + 120

 

 

Vehs 46 R. Tanks

Zero + 280

Zero + 140

 

 

9 Fd Sqn.

Zero + 320

Zero + 160

 

 

 

 

 

 

V.T.M.

20 day.     40 night.

 

 

 

M.I.H.

5 day and night.

 

 

 

 

INTERCOM.

Current “CODEX” and Call signs will be used.

 

Wireless silence except on “B” sets during approach march. Order to break given by R.H.Q.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amended in accordance with

APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
Addendum No 1 date 11-9-42

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION NO. 11

S E C R E T.

    Copy: No …1…
 (Ref Maps:- 1/50,000 EL Halfa and El Mreir  
 
     

 

INFORMATION.

1.     The enemy have withdrawn onto our minefields in the area South of the New Zealand box, and is now establishing himself on a general line running South from New Zealand box to Deir El Minasaid and Himeimat.

2.     Own Tps are extending the New Zealand locality to include a further defended locality approximate area 885 Easting grid, as far South as 264 Northing grid, thence Eastward and up along the edge of the escarpment.

3.     23 Armd Bde Gp are responsible for holding the area between this locality and 22 Armd. Bde locality (“SCOTLAND”).

4.     On a receipt of code word “AUCKLAND”, Armd Regt are forming up in same areas as given for Plan “B” in 5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 10. (Note:- This will entail that movement only of 46 R. Tanks from their present position, as all other units are occupying their “AUCKLAND” positions.

5.     On receipt of BOMBAY, LONDON or SCOTLAND. 23Armd Bde are carrying out tasks A, D or E respectively as in 5 RHA Operation Instruction No.10.

6.     On receipt of code word “REPULSE”, Armd Regt will move South to occupy localities as follows:-

40 R.Tanks.                   Area Pt. 98   (889267)

46 R.Tanks.                   Area Pt. 97   (424881)

50 R.Tanks.                   Area Pt. 100 (423878)

INTENTION

7.     5 RHA will support 23 Armd Bde

 

METHOD.

8.     On receipt of code word “AUCKLAND” units will remain present positions and be prepared to support or advance as required.

9.     Receipt of BOMBAY, LONDON, or SCOTLAND action will be taken as per Operation Instruction No 10.      

10.  On receipt of code word “REPULSE”, Btys occupy positions as follows, in support of their respective tank regts:-

G.Bty    ---- 88952700

K.Bty     ---- 42388828

CC.Bty   ---- 42358805

11.  FOOs and BCs Will at once link up with their respective tank range on receipt of either code word and FOOS will move with their respective tank regt throughout. Para 13. On receipt of ACTION STATIONS (or 13 Corps TWELVEBORE) CC Bty will at once dispatched a FOO to H.Q. 57 Fd. Regt. R.A. in 131 Inf Bde area. O.C. CC Bty will ascertain location of H.Q. 57 Fd. Regt.

12.  Zero Line. 180° grid.

 

14.  A.A. Tp Lt.AA will move with the Bty to which they are at present attached and will provide protection for the gun area.

ADMIN

15.  As far as is known, B.Echelon remains present area. All administrative vehicles not required in the fighting echelon will return to B.Echelon on receipt of either code word.

MEDICAL.

16.  R.A.P. moves with R.H.Q.

 

18.  On Receipt of ACTION STATIONS (or TWELVEBORE) SigsO. will arrange for set on net of CCRA 13th Corps. (Other set on will be C.R.A. 7th Armd, 44, 51 Divs, CCRA 30 Corps & possibly CRA.

INTERCOMM.

17.  No wireless silence. Open up wireless on receipt of any of the operation either code amd reel in L/T.

19.  RHQ. AUCKLAND – Tac RHQ moves with Bde.Tac HQ to present Bde.HQ area. Main RHQ remains present area.

      REPULSE - Tac RHQ moves with Bde.Tac HQ to area Pt, 97 (891268). Main RHQ moves to area 89138833., liaison officer, will be sent at once to RHQ to obtain further orders.

 

 

 

     
    Captain.
ACK.   Adjudant 
     

 

 
     
Distribution: G.Bty....1 Sig,Sec...4 CO2.......7 War Diary 10 & 11
K.Bty....3 C.Tp.Lt,AA. 5 OO.........8 File....12
CC.Bty..3 C.O........6 QM.........9

 

 

    APPENDIX 2/SEP/42
 

ADDENDUM No.1 to

S E C R E T.

 

5 RHA OPERATION INSTRUCTION No. 11.

Copy: No …1…
    11 Aug 42.
     
     

INFORMATION

1. After para 4, insert            new para 5, as follows:-

5. On receipt of code words “BOMBAY”, “LONDON” or “SCOTLAND”, 23 Armd Bde are carrying out tasks “A”, “D” or “E” respectively, as given in “5 RHA Operation Instruction No.10”.

METHOD.

2. After para 7, insert new para 9, as follows:-

9. On receipt of code words “BOMBAY”, “LONDON” or “SCOTLAND”, action will be taken as given in “5 RHA Operation Instruction No.10”.

 

3. After para 10, insert new para 13 as follows:-

13. On receipt of code words “ACTION STATIONS (or 13 Corps code word “TWELVEBORE”),

CC Bty will at once despatch one F.O.O. to HQ 57 Fd Regt RA, in 131 Inf Bde area. OC CC Bty will arrange to ascertain location of HQ 57 Fd Regt.

INTERCOMM.

4. After para 14,  insert new para 18, as follows:-

18. On receipt of code words “ACTION STATIONS (or “TWELVEBORE”) Sigs.O. will arrange to open up a set on net of C.C.R.A. 13 Corps.

(Note that other stations on this net will include C.R.A. 7 Armd, 44, 51 Divs, C.C.R.A. 30 Corps, and possibly C.R.A. 10 Corps).CC Bty will at once despatch one F.O.O. to HQ 57 Fd Regt RA, in 131 Inf Bde area. OC CC Bty will arrange to ascertain location of HQ 57 Fd Regt.

 

5. Renumber paragraphs as follows:-

      For 5 read 6      For 10 read 12

        “  6   “    7      “    11   “   14

        “  7   “    8      “    12   “   15

        “  8   “    9      “    13   “   16

        “  9   “   10      “    14   “   17

                               “    15   “   19

 

Capt.

Adj.

 Distribution 

           As for “5 RHA Operation Instruction No. 11
 

 

 

APPENDIX  4/SEP/1942

   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO.12

   

Copy: No …1…

Ref. Map 1/100,000 EL HAMMAM.

13 Sep. 42.

 

INFORMATION 

1.     23 Armd Bde Gp (less 40 R.Tks) are moving to new area for training under 30 Corps in conjunction with 51 Div.

2.     This move is taking place on 14 Sep.

 

INTENTION.

3.     5 RHA, with under comd att 2 tps Lt AA, will move with 23 Armd Bde Gp to new areas as follows:-

RHQ…….44218820                   K Bty……….44288820

G Bty…..44358823                   CC Bty……..44428826

These areas have already been recce’d by C.O.2 and Bty Capts today.

.

METHOD.

 

4.     Depart present area by Btys and RHQ as follows:-

CC Bty…………..0900 hrs                          K Bty…….0915 hrs

G Bty…………….0910   “                           RHQ………0930  “

5.     C.L. Independently to 42608800, thence to 44058820 (9 miles on 82°).

This is Southernmost pt minefield between localities “E” and “F”.

6.     Density Units will move independently, in Bty coln when possible.

150 yds between vehs in both directions.    

7.     Speed. 7 m.i.h.

8.     Harbour Parties, limited to 2 vehs per Bty & RHQ, may proceed ahead independently, by the same route, leaving 0800 hrs.

9.     No halts.

10.  Guides.      Guides from Harbour Ptys will be 44058820 to direct units to leaguer on their arrival.

11.  A.A. Tps Lt AA will provide protection throughout, and will move with the Btys to which they are affiliated.

 

ADMIN.

12.  B Ech, remains present location, under Bde control.

13.  RASC, Rec Sec & Tank Delivery Tp remain present location.

14.  Amn Pt moves to area BIR SAMALUS.

15.  Med.   (a) RAP move with RHQ

     (b) MDS remains present location.

16.  Dress:- Skeleton web equipment. Steel helmets will be worn.

17.  Sup.    Dinners will be had in new area on arrival. Haversack rations not required.

18.  Pet. QM will arrange for petrol lorries to come to new area evening 14 Sep.

 

INTERCOM

19.  Bty H Trucks listening watch from 0815 hrs. Net at 0815 hrs.

Otherwise wireless silence.

20.  On arrival in new area, Sigs.O. will send guide to Bde Signal Office to guide lorry to RHQ.

21.  RHQ closes present area 0915 hrs. Re-opens in new area on arrival.

22.  Bde HQ 44178828.

23.  Synchronisation - Signal time 0700 hrs 14 Sep.

 

 

INFORMATION 

1.     8 Armd. Div are at 960210

2.     24 Armd. Bde H.Q. are at 560060.

INTENTION.

3.     5 RHA will move in 24 Armd Bde area on 22 Sep.

.

METHOD.

4.     Advance parties limited to 2 vehs per sub unit will R.V. at Kilo 32. 602824 at 0800 hrs and will proceed to 24 Armd Bde H.Q. under C.O.2.

5.     Main bodies depart present area by Btys & R.H.Q. as follows:-

K Bty ………………….. 0900 hrs                     CC Bty ……………... 0930 hrs.

G Bty ………………….. 0900  “                         RHQ  ……………… 0945  “

                                                                              LAD  ……………… 0955  “

6.     Order of March - K., G., CC., RHQ., L.A.D.

7.     Route Kilo 32 to D.P. at 600080. 28.5 miles on bearing of 248°

(Keeping North of Div HQ).

8.     Speed 7 m.i.h.

9.     Density 150 yrds between vehs. Sub-units will move independently and will be responsible for their own navigation and route finding and care must be taken to avoid soft sand

10.  Halt for dinner 1145 - 1230. No other halts.

11.  Guides will meet Btys & R.H.Q. at D.P.

 

ADMINISTRATION.

12.  B Echelon or move under Bty control.

13.  Dress - Skeleton web equipment, shirt sleeves, caps FS will be worn

14.  R.A.P. moves with R.H.Q.

15.  Haversack rations will be required. Teas in new area.  

INTERCOM

16.  Bty H Trucks listening watch otherwise wireless silence.

17.  R.H.Q. closes present area 0930 and reopens in new area on arrival

18.  Synchronisation by R/T at 0730 hrs 23 Sep.

 

 

ACK    
     
    Capt.

Time of signature …1815... hrs

  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  
C Tp Lt AA….….5 M.O.…….………...11  
N Tp   "...........… 6 War Diary………......12/13  
  File ……………..…14  

 

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO.13.

   

Copy: No …1…

   

Appendix 6/Sep/1942.

 

 

 

INF      

1.     5 RHA is rejoining 8th Armoured Division.

INTENTION.

2.     5 RHA will move by road and rail to 8th Armoured Divisional area on 21.9.4.

.

METHOD.

‘A’ Road Party.

‘B’ Rail Party.

‘A’ Road Party. Advance Party .

3.     Advance party one vehicle per Bty and RHQ will move ahead of the main body. Capt. G.F. Elston RHA will visit Rear HQ 8th Army (490920) to find out timings for the Main Body from K170 at the CAIRO to ALEXANDRIA ROAD, onwards. Remainder of Advance Party will go straight to K170, where they will meet Capt. G.F. Elston at 1100 hrs. Capt. Elston will arrange to leave responsible N.C.O. in Bantam (provided by “K” Bty RHA) to inform head of the column of timings and route from K170 onwards.

 

Road party. Main body.

4.     Will continue will consist of the whole regiment less Advance Party and B. Echelon.

5.     Route         As per Appendix “A” later

6.     L.A.D. and petrol lorries will report to RHQ and Btys respectively this evening, and will harbour in present Regimental area.

7.     B. Echelon (less petrol and LAD) will move under Quartermaster to replenishing point at BIR RAMALUS, and thence by ‘C’ Track to 487891 to await Main Body and join behind RHQ. If the Regiment have passed this point, a guide will be left by RHQ to inform the Quartermaster.

8.     Starting Point. 4438831.

9.     Times to pass starting point.          

“K” Bty    --  0700 Hrs.              

“CC” Bty  --  0710  “

                        “G” Bty    --  0720  “.

RHQ        --  0730  “

                        LAD         --  0736  “

           

10.  Speed and Density.    10 m.i.h.        Maximum 20 m.p.h.       20 v.t.m. in Bty Column where possible, otherwise 10 v.t.m in Column of Route.

11.  Halts.         0830 – 0900 Hrs.   To cock breakfast

0950 – 1000   “

1130 – 1200   “     For dinners.

12.  AA. LMGs will be manned throughout

‘B’        Rail Party.

13.  Honey Tanks will go by transporters under arrangements to be notified later. 

ADMIN

14.  Rations.      Double haversack rations will be carried for journey. Rations for the 22nd will be distributed after arrival in new area

15.  Medical. RAP moves with RHQ

16.  Dress. Skeleton web equipment, shirt sleeves, caps FS will be worn.

17.  Petrol. Petrol for 140 miles to be carried in vehicles. Petrol lorries will travel with B.Echelon, under QM throughout.

 

 

Remainder of document is missing

 

 

 

 

 
   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO.14

   

Copy: No …1…

Ref. Map 1/100,000 Sheets 80/60. 80/54.

22 Sep. 42.

 

APPENDIX  7/SEP/1942.

 

INFORMATION 

1.     8 Armd. Div are at 960210

2.     24 Armd. Bde H.Q. are at 560060.

INTENTION.

3.     5 RHA will move in 24 Armd Bde area on 22 Sep.

.

METHOD.

4.     Advance parties limited to 2 vehs per sub unit will R.V. at Kilo 32. 602824 at 0800 hrs and will proceed to 24 Armd Bde H.Q. under C.O.2.

5.     Main bodies depart present area by Btys & R.H.Q. as follows:-

K Bty ………………….. 0900 hrs                     CC Bty ……………... 0930 hrs.

G Bty ………………….. 0900  “                         RHQ  ……………… 0945  “

                                                                              LAD  ……………… 0955  “

6.     Order of March - K., G., CC., RHQ., L.A.D.

7.     Route Kilo 32 to D.P. at 600080. 28.5 miles on bearing of 248°

(Keeping North of Div HQ).

8.     Speed 7 m.i.h.

9.     Density 150 yrds between vehs. Sub-units will move independently and will be responsible for their own navigation and route finding and care must be taken to avoid soft sand

10.  Halt for dinner 1145 - 1230. No other halts.

11.  Guides will meet Btys & R.H.Q. at D.P.

 

ADMINISTRATION.

12.  B Echelon or move under Bty control.

13.  Dress - Skeleton web equipment, shirt sleeves, caps FS will be worn

14.  R.A.P. moves with R.H.Q.

15.  Haversack rations will be required. Teas in new area.  

INTERCOM

16.  Bty H Trucks listening watch otherwise wireless silence.

17.  R.H.Q. closes present area 0930 and reopens in new area on arrival

18.  Synchronisation by R/T at 0730 hrs 23 Sep.

 

 

ACK    
     
    Capt.

Time of signature …1050... hrs

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

 

   

8/SEP/1942.

   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA MOVEMENT ORDER NO.15

   

Copy: No …1…

.

26 Sep. 42.

(Ref. Map 1/100,000 Sheet 80/60)  

 

INFORMATION 

1.     24 Armd Bde Gp is moving from present area to new area about 585815 on 27 and 28 Sep.

 

INTENTION.

2.     5 RHA, with att 2 tps Lt AA, will move with 24 Armd Bde area on 27 Sep.

3.     Unit areas approx. as follows:-

RHQ      585818              CC Bty 585816

G Bty    587818               K Bty    586816

.

METHOD.

 

4.     Dep present area by Btys and RHQ as follows:-

CC Bty               0900 hrs

G Bty                  0915   “

RHQ                   0930   “

K Bty                  0945   “

LAD                    0955   “.

5.     Units will proceed independently to Dispersal Pt at Pt 150 (585814).

Route: Keep NORTH of GEBEL GUBR 569809. Straggles’s post Pt 141 (585816).

6.     Speed 7 m.i.h.        Density 150 yrds between vehs.

Formation Bty Coln when possible

7.     Harbour parties, limited to 2 vehs per unit will RV at RHQ at 0800 hrs

8.     Lt. A.A.  Tps Lt AA will move with the Btys to whom they are at present attached, and will provide protection in new area.Halt for dinner 1145 - 1230. No other halts.

9.     Slit Trenches. Great care will be taken to fill up all slit trenches prior to departure from present area.

10.  Guides.      Guides will meet Btys and RHQ at D.P.

11.  No halts

12.  Recce for battle demonstrations on 28 Sep:- B.Cs, registering tp cmdrs and C.P.Os will Rev at RHQ at 0830 hrs 27 Sep, to proceed on a recce of demonstration area.

ADMIN.

13.  B Ech, probably less replenishment lorries, will move with Btys.

14.  Dress:- Skeleton web equipment, Caps FS..

15.  Med.    RAP moves with RHQ.

16.  Sup, Pet.    Arrangements for replenishment will be notified later.

17.  Haversack rations not required; dinners in new area on arrival.

18.  Recovery will move by route North of GEBEL GUBR and South of QARET EL RAML in 581813.

INTERCOM

19.  Bty H Trucks listening watch from 0800 hrs. Close down L/T 0810 hrs.

20.  RHQ closes present area 0920 hrs. Re-opens in new area on arrival

 21.Synchronisation. Signal time 0730 hrs 27 Sep.

 

 

ACK    
     
    Capt.

Time of signature …1810... hrs

  Adj.
     
Distribution:    
G Bty …..............1 C..O………………...8  
K Bty ..…............2 C.O.2. …..………… 9  
CC. Bty ...............3 O.O………………..10  
Sig Sec.................4 Q.M... …..…………11  
LAD... ............… 5 M.O.…….…………12  
Tp 166 Bty Lt AA.6 War Diary………13/14  
    “       “       “      .7 File ……………..…15  
     

 

   

APPENDIX 9/SEP/1942.

   

S E C R E T.

5 RHA PRACTICE CAMP 30 Sep – 1 Oct 42

   

Copy: No …1…

.

26 Sep. 42.

 

INTENTION.

1.     The Regt will carry out a practise in the local area, commencing midday 30 Sep and ending approx midday 1 Oct

2.     This exercise is intended to practise:-

(i)            Passing of information by O.Ps.

(ii)           Communications.

(iii)          Engagement of targets.

 

METHOD.

3.     Outline of exercise.

(a)   30 Sep.

a.m.   Recce, under C.O., by B.Cs, Capt Elston and safety personnel of target area. RV at RHA 0845 hrs. G Bty will provide one FWD 3-ton lorry to transport safety personnel and tgt party (see para 10 (c)).

p.m.   (i) Btys and RHQ move to leaguer area and form up as for Regtl Groups, K Bty leading, G Bty rt, CC Bty lt, RHQ (with imaginary Bde HQ in centre. Details for move to leaguer area will be notified later.

(ii) Posn will be occupied in leaguer area and O.Ps will be sent forward. (It is possible that representatives of the Armd Regts will be present to pain the picture to O.Ps.)

(iii)“Last light reports” from O.Ps, goving situation at dusk, will be sent in to Btys by all O.Ps’ these reports will be forwarded to RHQ, where the will be recorded on ‘I’-map and the necessary information forwarded to Bde (if present).

(ii ) Btys will close up after dark into close leaguer, but trails will remain on the ground. O.Ps will be withdrawn ito Bty leaguers

(b)    1.Oct

a.m. (i) O.Ps will go fwd to occupy posns before first light, and will send back “first light reports” as soon as visibility renders these possible. There reports will be transmitted to RHQ in the normal way

(ii) Btys will open out at first light.

(iii) Support by fire of Armd Regts in the forming-up area, as soon as it becomes light enough to engage tgts. (Approx 2 tgts per Bty.)

(iv) Move fwd by tps or Btys to posns slightly ahead of the present ones, to cover the (imaginary) subsequent advance of Armd Regts. (This will only be a short adv)possible :

(v) Engagement of further tgts to support this adv.

(vi) Approx 1200 hrs:- Practice ends.

4.    Vehs participating. 8 guns per Bty, and the necessary admin vehs will be taken. Amn quads need on be taken in so far as it is necessary to carry detachments: limbers may be left. Unnecessary amn or ‘Q’ lorries may be left in present area. All W/T trucks will be taken.

5.    Zero Line will be notified later.

6.    F.O.Os.  will move in tanks where possible, and should these be undergoing repairs, 8-cwt trucks may be used. F.O.Os must transmit information messages throughout, and if no Armd Regt personnel are there to “paint the picture, imaginary reports, compatible with the situation must be made up and pass back by F.O.Os. A full record of all these messages sent must be carefully preserved as an O.P. log.

7.    Safety.  Capt G.F. Elston RHA will be O.i/c Safety Arrangement, under the directions of the C.O.s. He will be assisted by:-

(a)   Lt J.N.A. Armitgare-Smith RHA and 3 O.Rs per Bty and RHQ. This party will be responsible for the general safety arranges for the range area.

(b)  1 Offr & 1 W.O. per Bty, who will be act a safety offrs on gun posn.

All safety personel will wear white armbands

Capt. Elston will issue such safety instructions as may be necessary to Btys and safety personnel.

8.    Programme of Shoots. 5 shoots will be allowed to each Bty and 1 shoot for RHQ. Of these, a total of 2 shoots may be smoke shoots, Each shoot will consist of 15 rds.

9.     Amn Allotment.  216 rds H.E.   24 rds smoke.

10.  Targets

(a)   Tgts will consist, amongst others, of  -

  (i) A.Tk guns

 (ii) Enemy defended localities.

(iii) Hostile Btys to be neutralised,

(iv) 1 long range tgt, to be fired in with the use of the telescope

 (v) Smoke screen

(b) Material for the erection of tgts will be provide by 145 Fd Pk Sqn RE, CC Bty will arrange to despatch 1 3-ton FWD lorry, under an Officer, to report to 145 Fd Pk Sqn on the afternoon of 29 Sep, to collect these materials.

(c) Arrangements of the construction of tgts will be made on a.m. 30 Sep; 2 ORS per Bty will report of O.O. at RHQ at 0830 hrs 30 Sep to assist in construction of tgts: this party will travel in the G Bty lorry for safety personnel.

11.  Spectators will NOT be taken.

12.  As soon as units reach leaguer position area, careful testing of sights should be carried out.

 

C.   ADMIN.

13.  B Ech, Will remain present area.

14.  Sup.      QM will arrange for normal replenishment to be carried out on 30 Sep, and for the distribution of rations and water in leaguer area. Unless otherwise notified, which punishment will be as normal on 1 Oct.

15.  Med.     RAP movers with RHQ throughout.

16.  Pet.      All vehs who move with tanks full: ; But petrol lorries will move with B Ech.

17.  Rec.      WO II Ravenscroft will travel with RHQ to practise, for recovery purposes, if required. Remainder of LAD personnel will be left in present area under OME To assist where possible with repairs to non runner vehs.

18.  Dress. Skeleton web equipment; caps F.S.; greatcoats and cardigans will be taken in vehs.

19.  Vehs in present area.     Vehs not required for practise, and all surplus Amn above one full limber per gun , may be left in present area under the QM. All stores and vehicles will be closed up to K Bty area, after the move out of the main body, and QM will range such guards, etc., as he may consider necessary. Any fitters for repair of non runner vehs may be left behind at Btys’ discretion.

 

D. INTERCOMN.

20.  No wireless silence. Times for netting will be notified later.

21.  Correct call signs and Codex will be used.

22.  Synchronisation.             Signal time 0800 hrs 30 Sep.

 

   
     
    Capt.

s

  Adj.
     
Distribution:    
G Bty …..............1 C..O.2.……………...8  
K Bty ..…............2 O.O.2. …..………… 9  
CC. Bty ...............3 R.S.O.….…………..10  
Sig Sec.................4 Q.M... …..…………11  
LAD... ............… 5 M.O.…….…………12  
C.R.A. War Diary………13/14  
   8 Armd Div…...6 File ……………..…15  
C.O. ...................7    
     

 

APPENDIX 10/Sep/1942

     

HQ 23rd Armd Bde

25th Sept 

 

MEF

     

Dear Norman,

                                It was indeed very nice of you to write on the Eve of your departure. We all appreciate your letter very much indeed.

 

Nobody was more sorry than I was to lose you and your regiment however I am confident that the day will come when we shall all be joined up again.

 

I hope all your fellows are fighting fit and Please remember me to David Welch 

 

  Yours sincerely,  
 

Warren Richards

 
     

 

.

 

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 first 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 hrs.

 

  21. 0600
  1. 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