War Diaries 

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

1943

 

Home 1939 1940 1941
1942 1944 1945 1946

 

 

January 1943

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

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

20 miles E

 1st

 

 Recce made for battle positions in area WADI TAMET (726) in case of enemy counter attack.

 

 of W., TAMET

 

 

 

 

 

 2nd

 

 On 30 mins move for 24 hrs.

 

 

 5th

 

 Practice regimental concentrations with live shell.

 

 

 

 

 Night march with 3 R.T.R.

 

 

 8-9

 

 Practice regimental targets & course shooting.

 

 

 10th

 

 Maj J.A. Norman rejoins battery. Lt. Col. G.P. Gregson R.H.A. having taken over command of regt.

 

 

 12th

 0830

Advance to area Y0565 with 3 R.T.R. regimental group. Harbour for night. Mileage – 38 miles. Enemy aircraft engaged by own planes.

 

 

 13th

 0900

Advanced 9 miles over WADO GHERBIT to Y8060.

 

 

 

 1800

Formed up for night march to area Y7363 (12 miles).

 

 

 

 

Total 59 miles.

 

 Y7363

 14th

 

Enemy fighter over leaguer area at 50 ft & dropped delay action bombs. No casualties. Night march 18 miles to area X46.

 

 

 15th

 

Advanced at first light & on crossing the BU NGEM road shelling were shelled by the enemy. Dropped both troops in action west of of X46 & stepped troops up to a final position 400620. B.C. was controlling six O.P’s – ‘A’ Troop (Capt Noble) ‘B’ Troop (Capt Pitt) – two from 146 Fd. Regt. – 2 from 7th Medium.

 

 

 

 

Many targets principally A/T guns & infy were engaged. It was soon apparent that the enemy had a main position in the area west of the road supported by artillery & tanks. A main tank battle developed in the afternoon. In regimental leaguer at last light.

 

 

 16th

 0800

Enemy evacuated the position during the night & we advanced 42 miles to area R.90.

 

 

 

 

The further opposition was met with & battery dropped into action to support 3 R.T.R. Antitank guns & infy engaged by both troops.

 

 

 

1400

Stuka attack – no casualties - two planes shot down. Leaguered for the night. Flares & bombs dropped by enemy with no damage.

 

 

17th

0730

Enemy pulled out by night & advance continued & was held up by WADDI NFED west of SEDADA (R19).

 

 

 

0900

Group bombed by Stukas. Gnr. Robinson W.A. killed, Dvr Fairbairn & Gnr Dunlop wounded & evacuated. Three trucks damaged but repaired by fitters. At 1000 hrs advance continues to area 5657 some 50 miles.

 

 

18th

1000

Leading troops contacted enemy south of TARHUNA. 3 R.T.R. group ordered to demonstrate west of the road. The battery had to come into action in the open in order to support the tanks – no other pstns being available. A troop L Sub B:Q8599. Later there were moved when it became possible. All positions were heavily shelled throughout the day especially when moving. We were fortunate to have the doctor & padre to keep spirits up! Excellent shooting by both O.P.’s who plastered everything they saw. A number of vehicles hit but patched up.

 

 

20th

 

Advanced by a very difficult route in an objective on the TRIPOLI road 5 miles West of TARHUNA. At 1000hrs dropped into action to deal with slight opposition some 4 miles short of this & then advance about 2½ miles to a good position astride a road but very well covered. The country had now changed & we almost ?????? by contrast with the desert. Some good shooting by O.P.’s who dealt faithfully with everything they say. At last light the B.C. went forward with Maj Howard (The Buffs) on a recce to the main road TARHUNA – TRIPOLI  to see that it was clear & a router fit for wheels. The group went into leaguer by the main road. The Buffs were ordered to put in a night attack astride the main road to try & take the pass.

 

 

21st

0400

B.C. orders to move up the road to support the Buffs at first light. A recce was made by moonlight. Country very close & difficult/ Eventually B troop were put on action in a deep ravine with A troop some 200 ft above them in a small wood. At F.L. targets were engaged including M.G.’s & mortars.

 

 

 

 

At 1200 hrs B.C. assumed temporary command of regt, Lt.Col, G.P. Gregson having been wounded.

 

Ref 1/200,000

21

1400

Major J.R. Kynaston RHA took over the battery vice Major J.A. Norman RHA who took temporary command of the Regiment owing to the C.O. Lt-Col G.P. Gregson M.C. RHA being slightly wounded.

 

TRIPOLI

 

 

     A Difficult afternoon – the battery was sites in very steep wadis which made shooting very difficult. There was a considerable amount of hostile shelling particulary in the evening though fortunately no on the battery area.

 

L 7815

 

 

During the day the 3 R.Tanks were trying to cover a Sapper recces to fill in a ‘blow’ in the road and find a way round. The battery supported by engaging hostile guns & suspected OPs. Effects were not great as HBs were extremely difficult to hit when sited in a very steep wadi.

 

 

 

 

Visibility was limited by the type of country. RB broke a track in soft sand at the bottom of one wadi. This was repaired next day.

 

 

 

1800

Orders received to fire concentrations at a time to be notified in support of 131 Bde who were forcing the pass & then to move behind 3 R.Tanks in the continued advance on Tripoli.

 

 

21

2042

Orders received to fire at 2045. Just did it. A Tp then pulled out of action.

 

 

 

2315

Orders to move – the battery formed up on the road behind the tanks.

 

 

 

 

The advance was slow at first owing to several blows in the road which the REs had to fill in or make a detour. The 131 Bde has met no opposition and the pace quicken as we reached the plain in front of Tripoli.

 

 

 

 

The following casualties were received during the shelling of A Troop later on the day: - Killed – Gnr Savage W.H.T

 

 

 

 

Wounded:- Lt D.C. Rawson RHA.                  Dr ic   Crotty T.C.

 

 

 

 

                   Gnr Clegg H.                                 W/Sgt Gibson W.

 

 

 

 

                   Gnr Severn S.                                Gnr     Coad K.F.

 

 

 

 

                   Gnr Appleton F. (died in ADA 24 Jan)

 

 

 

 

Amn expenditure – 620 HE 16 smoke.

 

L5923

22

0400

A longish hold up due to a bad blow with mined detours. There were several tank & RE casualties before the way was cleared.

 

 

 

0730

One 88mm shot at leading tanks – A troop dropped in action L 4832, B remained on wheels. A few rounds were fired and after about an hour the situation clarified & the enemy had withdrawn.

 

 

 

1000

B troop came into action L473325 and was joined by A Troop. 3 Tanks took up position facing west south & west of Rd junc L43

 

 

 

1300

Orders for 3.R.Tanks Regimental Group to move North astride the road to CASTEL BENITO. Contact was made about 2-3 miles South of CASTEL BENITO and battery dropped into action.

 

 

 

 

The rest of the day was spent in engaging suspected 88mm & A/T guns. Owing to the close nature of the country observation was very limited.

 

 

 

1830

Orders to be prepared to fire concentrations to support 131 Bde attack if the Hun had not pulled out & then follow up 3 R.Tanks to TRIPOLI.

 

 

 

2100

Learnt it was unlikely we should have to fire.

 

 

 

2345

Formed up on the road ready to follow the tanks.

 

 

 

 

Amn. Expenditure:- 80 H.E. 7 Smoke

 

 

23

0300

Started to move on TRIPOLI – once clear of CASTEL BENITO moved at a good pace along the main road without hindrance.

 

 

 

0500

Tanks leaguered & guns dropped into action about KILO 4 from TRIPOLI.  It was understood that the 3 Tank Regtl Group was the first group to enter the town.

 

L 5267

 

1015

Prepare to move to an area on coast road west of TRIPOLI.

 

 

 

1045

March began along the route starting TRIPOLI. An eventful march through an unattractive bit of semi-countryside with many inhabitants line up watching & waving to us. Natives predominated. Once on the coast road the country improved though there were several ‘blows’ to detour.

 

 

 

1400

Occupied a defensive position with guns in action L295635.

 

 

 

1700

A few rounds of machine gun fire landed in OP area – the probable location of the M.G. was registered but nothing more transpired. Armoured Car patrol reported the fire had come from a 15 cwt truck.

 

 

 

2000

A listening post was put out by the OP. Amn expenditure 9 H.E.

 

L 5267

24

 

Everyone settled down to cleaning & maintenance after the first night’s sleep in 3 nights. It appeared that we might remain where we were for some time

 

 

 

1400

A message from 3 R.Tanks warning us to be ready to move forward by 1500 hrs.

 

 

 

1500

Information received that the tanks were not moving but that the Regiment was to support the Buffs.

 

 

 

1610

Orders issues by O.C. Buffs - G Bty to support A Coy which was in the lead. Head of company to pass S.P. 1 mile west at 1715. Objective to push the enemy rearguard back & if possible reach ZAUIA by dusk.

 

L 2160

 

1800

Leading armoured cars were shell on reaching L1558. B Troop dropped into action L2160 & engaged probable gun areas – the object being to get rounds on the ground & shown the enemy we were there.

 

 

 

 

Troop leaguered in position with Bty HQ – A Troop remained on the road on wheel. BC & RB moved forward after dark with infantry to area L0857 where they leaguered for the night. Amn expenditure 52HE. 2 Smoke.

 

 

25

0845

Advance continued, contact being made west of L0356 where some fairly heavy shelling was encountered by the leading infantry & OP in area of level crossing & immediately east.

 

L 0656

 

 

The battery came into action L0656 & engaged infantry MT & suspected gun positions all day. The Regiment moved up in rear & linked up. Ops were in the general area of level crossing though attempts were made to get a better view from trees & to the flank. Observation was limited by the close country. B Coy Buffs sent out a patrol at 2200 hrs – the battery leaguered in position ready either to support the patrol or move forward the next morning. Amn expenditure 168 HE 28 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

Gnr Hennessey W.J. was evacuated sick.

 

 

26

 

Patrol successful but was fired upon whenever it moved after first light.

 

 

 

0800

BC & RB moved up road to area P98956 where a certain amount of shelling was encountered.

 

Ref 1/200.000

 

0900

Recce parties were ordered to area P9856 L0156 under Regimental arrangements, ‘G’ moving last.

 

ZAURA

 

1000

Bty in action P9856 L0156 – RB with B Coy Buffs & OPs from K & CC about P9657.

 

P9856 L0156

 

 

RA area P9758 & BC contacted Notts Yeo south of Rly

 

 

 

 

Several tgts were engaged mainly infantry positions and one HB by RA which was afterwards taken by whole Regt.

 

 

26

1700

RB contacted 6 Queens who were taking over from 1 Buffs & RA was instructed to contact 40 R. Tanks who were relieving Notts Yeo. However they were not located until the following morning as they were not in the location given

 

 

 

 

B Tp was shelled on road on way to position in morning, BSM Lungley being slightly wounded (not evacuated) & the G.P.O. Lt. J.S. Fielding RHA being struck by splinters which did not penetrate. The Bty remained in action during the night. Amn, expenditure 120 H.E. 6 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

   WOII Weddle A & W/Bdr Thorburn W.R. rejoined the Bty.

 

 

27

0600

BC moved up to 6 Queens Bn HQ at P9657 ready to move forward with RB with Bn HQ at first light.

 

 

 

0730

Infantry moved forward without meeting opposition – B TpCmdr & BC had some trouble in following infantry on foot with their vehicles.

 

P7744

 

1600

Infantry proceed unopposed to area P7565 where they took up a position for the night- Bty in action P7744 after dropping in action east of SABRATHA on the way along. No firing OP at rd junc P76.

 

 

28

 

No movement all day. Enemy had withdrawn west of MELLITA but advance was held up by holes in the road across a salt marsh.

 

 

 

1600

Recce parties forward to try & move the battery & 7 Queens to MELLITA, going impassable owing to heavy rain most of the day.

 

 

29

0730

Recce parties forward to MELLITA, going improved after a dry night but not considered fit for guns before 1200hrs. Contact made about 4 Kilo west of MELLITA.

 

 

 

1100

B Troop moved up to P597689 – two guns moving on railway & two on track south of road. Guns on rly took 3 hours – A troop followed up along track. Any vehicles which went of the track promptly got stuck. Rly v. slow & congested with infantry lorries etc.

 

 

 

1500

Bty in action complete. RB had been registering several targets & engaging pill boxes & occasional MT with 2 guns. Bty remained in action with DF tasks in front of the infantry. Amn. expenditure 108 HE 6 Smoke.

 

P7744

 

1800

Orders to be prepared to support an attack by 6 Queens & 40 R.Tanks at 0300 hrs if patrol find enemy still in position.

 

 

30

0245

LO reported Concentrations would be required.

 

 

 

0430

Fired concentrations. Am ammunition crisis as 2 amn lorries had broken down & FAP was 15 miles back over v. bad going.

 

 

 

 

All HE available 40 r.p.g. was used, but as firing finished at 0500 two RASC lorries arrived & the loads of our own 2 lorries were soon received.

 

 

 

 

Attack was unsuccessful & the enemy was not dislodge. Suspected gun positions, pill boxes & any movement seen was engaged all day without marked effect. An infantry patrol with an 18 set tries to spot target for OP but through poor communications & disruption of targets was not very successful. Amn expenditure 520 HE 16 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

Dr i.c. Swift K.H & Gnr Kershaw L.A. rejoined the Bty.

 

 

31

0930

Patrols during the night had not made contact. Infantry & armoured cars began to feel forwards and OPs were soon in ZUARA with armoured cars and carriers. No opposition was encountered beyond the usual holes in the road.

 

 

 

1030

Bty moved to P5671. A certain amount of shelling was encountered on front edges & in ZUARA from positions some distance west. RB remained in observation on western edge of ZUARA & RA went a little way forward with 40 R Tanks. A battery position was recced on eastern edge of ZUARA but not occupied, K & CC only being moved up.

 

 

 

1600

OPs were called in & the battery leaguered complete & out of action.

 

 

 

 

Gnr Smith H. rejoined & W/Sgt Spence W. was evacuated sick. Amn expenditure NIL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1943

Commanding Officer:  Major J.R. Kynaston M.C. RHA

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Ref 1/2000,00

 

A day of rest devoted to maintenance of men and equipment and some men bathing. Sat state of the M.T. was reviewed. The Bty has on 8 Quads left two of which will not tow guns: several 3 tonners are on their last legs & only 8 trailers remain.

 

ZUARA

 

 

It is with difficulty that 100 r.p.g can be carried in our transport.

 

P.5773

 

 

However a pool of 5 x 3 Ton from the tank Regiments in 8 Armd Bde has been formed to help case the situation.

 

 

 

 

          A slight bombing raid by MEs during the afternoon; no damage or casualties though several booms in the leaguer area.

 

 

2

 

Continues rest and maintenance.

 

 

 

1500

Orders received by R/T that we are at 20 minutes to move to probable area ZELTEN P28. No more transport.

 

 

3

0800

Move does not appear imminent but still at 30 minutes notice.

 

 

 

1400

Information received no move today: move early tomorrow to take over 407 Bty (of 146 Fd Regt) position in ZUARA MARINA. Gnr Coad rejoined.

 

 

4

0745

G Parties moved to new area followed by the battery at 0800.

 

 

 

0845

In area P4977, leaguered with trucks on the ground – command post in a house – the first for ages.

 

 

 

0945

A party sent to exchange vehicles with 3 RHA our worst 2 quads, 3 x 3 ton & one 15 cwt for 2 quads 7 x 3 ton 4 x 15 cwts and 2 Honeys. Two new 3 Tonners arrived from TRIPOLI and a driver sent to collect a quad.

 

 

 

 

Notification of the following immediate awards were received – Military Cross, Major J.R. Kynaston RHA – Military Medal L/Bdr Pugh & L/Bdr Sharples.

 

 

5

 

A peaceful day. Capt. C.P. North RHA was posted from K Bty to command A Troop.

 

 

 

1630

Orders received for a move at 0900 tp REGDALIN to concentrate with part of 8th Armd Bde in order to continue the advance.

 

 

6

0900

Moved to leaguer in REGALIN area.

 

 

 

2000

Verbal orders for move into action in area O 9979 in support of 1 Buffs.

 

 

 

 

Order of march Buffs B Bty with 2 Tps 268 A/T Bty under command, Tac Bde HQ, Staffs Yeo, CC, K, 242 Medium Bty, 258 A/T Bty less 2 Troops, Main Bde & RHQ, FAP, Bde Rec Sec.

 

 

7

0820

Moved off behind Buffs, considerable difficulty getting out of leaguer area owing to heavy rain over night.

 

 

 

1300

In action 9879, OPs Point 14 & 19 with a & C Coys of Buffs.

 

 

 

 

Infantry & gun positions engaged during afternood & several Regimental targets on gun areas. Not much movement or hostile artillery activity at last light. Bty remained in action BC & Ops leaguering with Buffs.

 

 

 

 

Amn expenditure     HE     Smoke

 

 

8

0730

Ops moved out RA to Pt 14 & RB with B Coy Carriers

 

 

 

1030

Bty moved to O9684. RB crossed salt marsh into TUNISIA. NO opposition.

 

 

 

1400

BC & 1 Buffs Bn HQ moved across salt marsh without difficulty though some vehicles were sticking. No opposition though armoured cars some way ahead were shelled.

 

 

 

 

Buffs formed a bridge head covered by Staffs & CC Bty: G remaining on East side able to reach FDL for defensive fire.

 

 

 

 

BC & Ops leaguered with Buffs in TUNISA – Bty in TRIPOLITANIA. Amn expenditure – NIL.

 

 

9

1000

Orders from C.O. to move battery across salt marsh. After complete recce it appeared that the shortest way by the Bde C.L. would take the longest time & the battery was moved across further north – the majority of the vehicles had to be towed by the Honey tanks.

 

 

 

1600

In action O 9386 OP all day in area O 8888. Little movement seen & all well out of range.

 

O.9386

10

 

No change. OP in area O.8888 little movement until evening when a few tanks appeared out of range.

 

O.9386

11.

 

No change. A sniping troop was moved to O8786 with an OP at PT 17 O 8493 but no targets were seen.

 

O.9386

12.

 

No change. B1 echelon still east of salt marsh waiting for the causeway to be complete by the REs. Only essential supply trucks can cross & normally have to winched. Capt Pitt evacuated after an accident when he shot himself in the hand.

 

O.9386

13

1200

No change. Causeway still not complete. Bombed by 4 MEs – Command Post straddled no casualties but M1 (15 cwt) knocked out by splinters through engine. Lt J.S. Fielding evacuated as result of traffic accident a week ago, Concussion & twisted cartilage.

 

 

 

1800

Orders from C.O. for move tomorrow at 1230. 8 Reinforcements received

 

 

 

 

Gnrs. Patterson, Eeely, Lloyd, Know, Lawton, Benge, Harrop & Edwards.

 

 

14

1145

Moved with 8 Armd Bde to concentration area O.8282 arriving 1345.

 

 

 

 

A short journey across bad going in a sandstorm. Close leaguered at last light ready to move on BEN GARDAN the following morning.

 

O.8282

15

0915

Moved off in desert formation direct on X tracks J.6302. Order of march Staffs Yeo. CC Bty. Tac Bde, G.K with Buffs & 258 A/T Bty on flanks. Main HQ.

 

 

 

1215

An uneventful march. Dropped into action O.6697 while tanks were working forward.

 

 

 

1330

Moved to J 6301 with OP with tanks. A at J 5904, B 5705. Two HB’s silenced.

 

 

 

 

Several infantry positions engage with good effect & OPs forced to move. Remained in action at night with D.F. tasks covering the Buffs. Amn Expenditure HE 216 Smoke 6.

 

 

 

 

Gnr Potts joined the Bty & Gnr Severn rejoined.

 

Ref Sheet

16

 

OPs at first light reported no signs of the enemy.

 

1/500,000 PISIDA

 

1200

Orders to be ready to move 1400 hrs. Moved at that hour:- going was fair though heavy but after about five miles it became impassible for guns.

 

J 6202

 

 

After a long recce over very bad going a position was found about J 5204. The guns were brought in on another route arriving just before last light with the Brigade taking up position along the WADI FESSI. One O.P. slept with the Buffs who were covered by D.F. tasks.

 

 

 

2130

Orders to be ready to move 0930 the next day to area J 30.

 

 

17

0930

Moved off in column of router along wadi for about 4 miles & then moved N.W. across very heavy going.

 

 

 

1430

Bde took up a defensive position with battery in action A 0257.

 

 

 

 

One OP with Buffs but no contact with enemy. Lt Hussey joined.

 

 

18

 

Remained in same area while 8 Armd Bde was being relieved by 22 Armd Bde. This regiment was not relieved.

 

A.0257

19

A.M.

Arrangements made for some course shooting. B.C. attended conference at RHQ & following promotions were made to Sgt, L/SGt Shaw, to L/Sgt. Bdrs Warren, Thornburn, Walker & Beesley, to Bdr L/Bdrs Humphrey & Armitage.

 

 

 

1300

Warning order probable night move to MEDENIN area – practice cancelled.

 

 

 

 

The battery affiliated to 5 R. Tanks. Ready to move at 1900 hrs following 5 Tanks.

 

 

 

 

A dearth of orders until 10 minutes before moving at 1945 hrs. Moved in column of router along road to leaguer in area Pt 104 E8281. 5 R. Tanks Regt Group were to work round the north of MEDENIN the next morning to force the enemy to withdraw from the high ground overlooking MEDENIN from West.

 

 

20

0630

Moved in action just out of leaguer area E8281 – a position unmaped but under cover – hade been recced by moonlight.

 

 

 

0800

Tanks moved on through a bridge head made by 2RB (no opposition) over a wadi north west of position. There was no opposition until the tanks were well in view of the high ground about METAMEUR.

 

 

 

0930

The bty followed up & came into action E8084 later moving to E 808 7586. OPs in area 6689 tried to engage enemy infantry & guns but own to poor visibility & smoke from enemy shells little result was seen until the afternoon. An attempt was made to move the battery forward during the afternoon as the range was becoming very long but owing to enemy OPs on the high ground it was impossible to move the battery before the light failed  As it without meaning heavy casualties. As it was the recce parties were shelled. Gnr Urquhart being wounded

 

 

 

1900

Moved & remained in action for the night. Amn expenditure 82 HE 11 Smoke

 

E 7088

21

 

Enemy had pulled back virtually out of range. OPs at 6290 & 6587 had little to report except occasional shelling particularly in the forward area.

 

 

 

 

Bty remained in action all day without firing

 

 

22

AM

No change. During afternoon positions were recced & surveyed in area E.6889.

 

 

 

1800

Orders to pull out at last light & leaguer on top of the WADI ready to occupy the positions recced previously by first light.

 

 

 

1930

Pulled out into leaguer. Clocks put back one hour at midnight – putting us on English time.

 

E.6889

23

0630

Moved into position E 6889. Rather a squeeze to get everything in, but it turned out quite well when dug in & camouflaged. OP (Capt North) at 6292 in a Jeep : not much movement but spasmodic shelling all day – HBs located by sound only & mostly out of range. One engaged by as Regtl target. Amn expenditure 21 HE.

 

 

24

 

No change. OP (Lt Harvey) 6292, little to report. OP (Capt Noble) in Jeep went to E5987 – more like a Jeep patrol as accompanied by an officer, from CC Bty in another Jeep – both well armed.

 

 

 

1400

Warning order to move by 1st light to area 6284, later changed to move at 2100 hrs.

 

 

 

1815

Bty pulled out & formed up for night march.

 

 

 

1830

Move cancelled - bty leaguered in present position. Amn Ex 24 H.E.

 

E.6889

25

 

No change – OPs as for yesterday. Spasmodic shelling through none very near the battery. One regimental target engaged. Amn 21 H.E.

 

 

26

0615

A troop moved out to do some sniping into two section parties at 648920 and 642930. OPs, RA (Capt North) at 6292 and RB (Lt Noble) in a jeep in same area moving later to 5994. Little to shoot as the enemy had pulled back – a few infantry & some guns behind a ridge engaged.

 

 

 

1700

Troop moved back to E6889 – one excitement during the afternoon, one ME short down by Spitfires crashed between left section & the waggon lines & exploded. No one hurt.

 

 

 

1800

Amn. Ex. 60 HE 2 Smoke. Warning order for move at 0900 hrs tomorrow to area south west of ME.

 

 

27

0830

Formed up ready to move but did not start until about 1000hrs.

 

 

 

1200

In action area E6579. The Brigade in a defensive position on left flank of line. No enemy withing sight. One OP (Lt Noble) with 5 R. Tanks.

 

 

 

1800

Orders to ‘stand to’ daily 0545 – 0645 and 1815 – 1915.

 

E 6578

28

 

No change. OP in area 6477 with 5 R. Tanks. Nothing to report.

 

 

 

 

Gnr Gee & Slack joined the battery. A day of rest and maintenance though the battery is at 15 minutes notice to move. It appears the Brigade will probably stay on this area for about 3 weeks while the supplies for attacking the MARETH LINE are being built up.

 

 

 

 

A good rest would be pleasant though it is probably a forlorn hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 1943

Commanding Officer:  Major J.R. Kynaston M.C. RHA

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

E6579

1

1000

5 RHA Operation Order No 35 received. Capt T.J. Cooke RHA awarded the M.C. a periodical award which appeared first in the Egyptian Mail.

Appendix No. 1

 

 

1500

Warning order to move tomorrow to 681805 in rear of CC Bty,

 

 

 

 

A recce of the area was carried out. It appeared somewhat cramped & on very hard ground. Lt Dunlop was evacuated to MDS suffering from athlete’s foot. Gnr Gee & lack joined.

 

 

2

0600

Warning order to be ready to move by 1800 hrs to area 6587 with the brigade. Move to 681805 cancelled.

 

 

 

 

“Stand to” order from 1800hrs today.

 

 

 

1400

Recce parties moved to marsh area, part returning later as guides.

 

 

 

1830

Moved at last light & leaguered in area E7085 near battery area.

 

 

 

 

5 RHA O.O. No 36 received.

Appendix No. 2

 

3

0530

Reveille & moved into action 705858. BC & Ops with 5 R.Tanks in area 7087. 5 Tanks in reserve. Spasmodic gunfire during the day well away from battery area. A small German attack was put in on 51(H) Div at about 1800. BC & OPs leaguered with 5 Tanks & battery remained in action with 6 D.F. tanks covering a lot of the front.

 

705858

3

 

Areas MANSE & WOLFE were recced during the afternoon

 

 

4

 

No change – “stand to” still in force. By evening all the Panzer divisions 10, 15 & 21 were reported in the area.

 

 

5

 

No change, Lt D. Alton-Nagel joined the battery & was posted to A Tp as G.P.O. vice Lt P.A.L. Wilson who returned to B Troop as Tp leader.

 

 

6

0700

From reports coming in it appeared the Hun was attacking or preparing to attack. Both OPs & BC remained with the 5 Tanks who were in reserve. Later in the morning when it appeared that the main threat from being from the left RB (Lt Noble) went to area 6586 but was unable to get good observation.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the day the enemy continued to attack on the left with tanks & infantry, though the infantry attacks were often broken up by artillery concentrations before they materialised. The 5th Tanks remained in position & were not in action all day.

 

E.705858

 

 

The battery did a considerable amount of shooting on regimental and divisional targets mainly tanks or infantry in area 6284, No observed shooting was done by the battery thought CC Bty initiated several concentrations resulting in the brewing up of at least one tank & causing the enemy to abandon several vehicles & one 50 mm.

 

 

 

 

The battery had fired 725 HE by dark. Lt V.C.J. Potter joined. Dv Beardman R. joined from R.A. Base Depot, He had just completed a course in the “Priest’ – the 105 mm S.P. Gun. A possible omen.

 

 

7

 

At intervals throughout the night D.F. fire was put down on orders from RHQ, usually when the forward troops heard movement in front of the, - in all 240 HE were fired. There is no doubt that this fire prevented the enemy from recovering his knocked out tanks, as the great majority were still there in the morning when the sappers went to blow them up.

 

 

 

 

Preliminary reports indicate a bay of some 30 for a loss of none of ours. No attacks were made during the day & the battery did not fire. RA (Capt North) was at 635855 but no movement could be seen though there was spasmodic shelling in that area.

 

 

8

0700

All quiet. RB (Lt Hussey) remained with 5 Tanks, BC & RA (Capt North) returned to the battery

 

 

 

1000

Codeword ‘VAPEX’ received. The battery “stood down” though remained at 15 minutes notice.

 

 

 

 

No OP was manned though one officer remained with 5 Tanks for liaison.

 

 

 

 

Officers Mess was put up & some fresh mutton enjoyed – the result of a foraging expedition to TRIPOLI. Lt Noble proceeded to TRIPOLI for a short rest to try & rid himself of desert sores & also to replace office equipment for RHQ whose office truck had been blown up by a direct hit from a bomb. Lt Hussey took over B Troop, Lt Wilson G.P.P & Lt Potter Troop leader.

 

E.705858

9

 

No change, Parties of ten went on a “battle field tour”. The M.O. (Capt Martin) gave a lecture on ‘Malaria’ to all ranks. We area approaching a very malarious region

 

 

10

 

Started a week’s training programme, signalling classes & a cadre class for NCOs – probably optimistic as any programme usually means a move/

 

 

 

 

A week can be very profitably employed for overhauling vehicles & general smartening up.

 

 

11

am

No change. A recce by BC and Bty Capt to find a suitable troop position for some practice with 11 Hussars (Armoured Cars) acting as OPs/

 

 

 

pm

BC’s conference & signs of coming battle. Recce’s laid on for tomorrow for battle positions.

 

 

12

0730

Recce parties prepare a battery position in square E6292.

 

 

 

0800

B Troop moved to E 665837 to do some practice shooting with observation by 11 Hussars. System seemed to work well though slow owing to 18 sets used by Armoured Cars working indifferently. Method was for 11 Hussars personnel to walk to the top of a hill with an 18 set – wireless observations to the 19 set in A car at the bottom & from the car to the battery. Amn expenditure 31 HE.

 

 

 

1200

B Troop returned to Bty position. Dvr Wray evacuated sick.

 

 

13

am.

Orders to dump 160 r.p.g. in position recce in 6292.

 

 

 

1700

Dumping party of 5 lorries from FAP & 3 from the battery left under Bty Capt (Capt Cooke) to dump by moonlight & dig in the amm. A small guard was left – the position was in front of our FDLs.

 

 

 

 

L/Bdr Laing and L/Bdr (M/M) Alder rejoined the battery. One OP (Capt North) to E 635852 to cover 2 Bn Scots Guards. Warning order move to battle position night 14/15 Mar.

 

 

14.

 

Lt V Hussey posted to 22 Armd Bde as L.O. Gnr Chapman & Whitcombe joined from R.A.B.D.

 

 

 

2045

Moved by moonlight to area E628925 getting into action soon after 2300 hrs.

 

E.6292

 

 

Most of the remainder of the night was spent on digging in & camouflaging guns & vehicles. Position well forward & somewhat exposed though flash cover from the gun. Strict orders issued for no movement of vehicles & minimum of personnel during daylight.

 

 

 

1700

Ammunition vehicles forward remained in WADI ZESSOR about E6593. 5 RHA Op Ins No 37 received,

App III

 

15

0545

A check up to ensure that maximum protection from view from ground & air had been obtained. Results appeared fairly satisfactory

 

 

 

0600

Capt North returned as our responsibility for S.Guards front had ceased.

 

 

 

 

A quiet day with virtually no enemy shelling a Gnd OP at Pt99 manned

 

 

 

1800

5 RHA Op Order No 38 & barrage tracing received.

App IV

 

16

 

Continued to lie up & prepare for barrage tonight.

 

 

 

2045

Started firing to mark the line for infantry (210 Guards Brigade) though barraged did not start for about another hour.

 

 

 

2302

Barrage finished without incident or retaliation. Success signals had been seen & the battery laid out on SOS lines.

 

E6292

17

 

Two DF calls were answered during the early hours of the morning.

 

 

 

0700

It appeared that attack had not been successful on the left – the Coldstream Guards had gained a foothold on one part of the objective but we were allowed to shoot on the other.

 

 

 

0800

Warning order for a divisional smoke screen – this was fired by at least 2 Regiments & lasted for about 1½ hour. Object to allow the Guards to disengage & pull back. This was achieved. The rest of the day was quiet. One OP (Capt Noble) with Scots Guards engaged a few parties of infantry.

 

 

 

1800

Points for a “mythical” barrage requested - the idea to try & persuade the enemy we were registering for another attack tonight – in point of fact the line was pulled back a little. Amn expenditure including 1164 H.E. 267 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

D.F. tasks were allotted covering the Guards front & OPs (Capt North & Lt Potter) slept with Scots Guards & 5 R.Tanks respectively.

 

E6292

18

 

Continued to lie up in same position. Amn allotment reduced to 10 r.p.g. Only one OP (Lt Potter) as liaison with 5 Tanks. OP with Scots Guards relived by CC Bty OP. Amn Ex 21 H.E..

 

 

 

 

The following rejoined the battery: L/Bdr Golding, Dv Stone, Dv Olds Gnr Ince, Gnr Jeavous, Gnr Sinclair

 

 

19

0600

Capt North returned to Scots Guards & remained on observation all day engaging on one target

 

 

 

1300

Lt Gen Horrocks, 10th Corps Cmdr visited the battery.

 

 

 

1600

Lt Noble relived Lt Potter as 5 Tanks are due to relieve C.L.Y. tonight & moved up on our left.

 

 

 

1730

Some shelling in the battery area – all lines cut but no damage or casualties. Amn Ex. 25 HE.

 

 

20

0600

Capt Noble relieve by CC Bty OP. Some shelling in battery area -

 

 

 

0930

Several rounds in B Troop position. Gnr Potts wounded & one limber caught fire, but luckily on a few charges burnt & these were quickly put out.

 

 

 

1415

Alternative positions surveyed at 6493 (approx) – impossible to move before dark owing to exposed position now in.

 

E6292

 

 

A dumping programmed (only 75 r.p.g_ laid on for last light.

 

 

 

1900

Moved to 6493 & fired concentrations from 2145 to 2355.

 

 

 

2130

Orders to move to area E7292 immediately after firing programme was finished. This was due to end 0245 but was cut down.

 

 

 

0005

Moved, Ammunition expenditure 615 H.E. 38 Smoke.

 

E7292

21

0330

Leaguered by roadside – when the light came we found ourselves in the middle of Army HQ.

 

 

 

0600

Moved to leaguer in WOLFE area – this occupied by 20 Corps HQ – however we found room on the flank.

 

 

 

 

Lying up all day & close leaguer at night with 5 Tanks at Z7002.

 

 Z 7104

22

0600

Moved out into open leaguer 7104 – OPs remaining with tanks.

 

 

 

1500

Recces for area to cover C Sqn who was to support 151 Bde in bridgehead in MARETH LIINE 6210. A suitable position found at 6305 in a minefield. REs cleared a patch in which the guns could be placed with waggon lines some 1500 yards back.

 

 

 

2300

Moved to area, by now the plan had changes & both heavy sqns & RHQ 5 Tanks with 2 FOOS were to go through into bridgehead.

 

Z 6305

23

0100

In position. The expected attacked by our infantry did not materialise & Hun counter attacks liquidated the bridgehead. Moving found the battery in action 630053 with FOOs Capt North & Lt Noble with the tanks in battle line in square 6208. There they remained all day being heavily shelled at intervals. Several enemy tanks, infantry & gun positions were engaged.

 

 

 

 

RA received a direct hit from a 50 mm damaging the driving sprocket but not putting the tank out of action.

 

 

 

 

The tanks remained out all night. OPs & BC, remaining at RHQ 625085.

 

 

 

 

Amn Ex 312 HE, 10 Smoke, Gnrs                               joined the Bty

 

 

24

0430

1sr Tanks relieved 5th Tanks. Lt Noble remained with 1st Tanks in same area. BC & Capt Noble moved with 5 Tanks to E6598. Bty remained in same position.

 

 

 

1600

Lt Noble engaged inf, mortars & OPs at intervals throughout the day. Recce parties at area E 6695 at last light.

 

 

 

2230

Move completed Bty in area E 6695. Amn expenditure 320 HE.

 

E 6695

25

0730

Recce parties to old area WELLINGTON E7056868 – Bty moved to 1000 hrs & was in by 1200 hrs, No OPs but a L.O. with 5 Tanks. Remainder of day spent in rest & cleaning.

 

E7056868

26 

0700

Recce parties to E6182. Bty standing by to move from 1000hrs,

 

E6182

 

1300

In action E6182 supporting 1 RB – one OP (Lt Noble) 580867 no movement seen but poor visibility owing to sand.

 

 

 

 

Fire plan at 1530 on SAIHRA while CLY & carriers of 1 RB made a demonstration to bluff the enemy out. No sign of retaliation or movement. Plan for 2nd60th & 1RB to clean up SAIKRA & REMTSIA & 131 Bde high ground further west during the night.

 

 

 

 

We are to fire concentrations for 5 minutes at 0520 hrs. Ammunition Expenditure 302 HE.

 

 

27

0520

Concentrations fired. Attack successful & 1 RB gained the summit of SAIKRA taking about 140 P.W. from PISTOIA Div but suffering fairly heavy casualties from mines.

 

 

 

 

Lt Noble occupied OP in a Jeep in area 820867 – no hostile movement was seen though there was some mortar & gunfire during the morning. By evening it appeared that the enemy had pulled out. Amn expenditure 220 HE 25 Smoke.

 

E6182

28

0600

One OP to 580867 reported no movement. 201 Guards Brigade were taking over from 1RB & OP was relieved by midday.

 

 

 

 

Battery remained in position awaiting orders. The news was good as it appears that the enemy is pulling out of the MARETH LINE.

 

 

 

 

Dvr Wood F wounded & evacuated when his truck hit a mine in the waggon lines.

 

 

29

0800

Order to send 2 tonner to salvage empties left on previous positions – Regiment now at 6 hours notice to move – delay probably due to clearing mines in MARETH LINE.

 

 

 

1600

Warning order to be ready to move early tomorrow to area South East of GABES. Lt D.G. Rawson rejoined the Bty & took over Troop Leader A Troop from Lt Gardner.

 

E6182

30

0800

Formed up to tee in behind 5 Tanks & moved in column of router through MARETH LINE to Z 4106 & leaguered there at 1500 hrs, Remaining there for the night.

 

Z 4106

31

0900

Moved in column of route to area Z 3515 where we leaguered with 5 Tanks/ Lt Noble promoted Capt – Capt Cooke left the battery & joined RHQ tp understudy & take over Adjutant.

 

 

 

2100

Warning Order for recce parties to be ready from 0630 hrs tomorrow. Battery to move night 1/ 2 March April & 300 r.p.g. to be dumped by 0001 hrs 2 Apr/

 

 

 

 

Order of battle Officers:-

 

 

 

 

Bty HQ   Maj JR Kynaston BC                    A. Troop. Capt C.P. North          B.Troop.  Capt J.P. Noble

 

 

 

 

                Lt C.D.M. Peal   CPO                                  Lt. D. Alton Nagel                       Lt. P.A.L. Wilson

 

 

 

 

                Lt K.D. Jamieson A.C.P.O.                          Lt D.G. Rawson                           Lt V.C. Potter

 

 

 

 

                Lt A.E. Gardner    B.echelon

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Appendix No1 Mar

SECRET

5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.35

Copy No. ..1

(Ref map TUNISIA 1/200,000, Sheet 29.)

28 Feb 43

 

 

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy.

(a)

 

The enemy is holding the MARETH line from ZARAT to TOUJANE with an outpost line on high ground WEST of WADI ZEUSS ending at a defended locality on the DJEBEL RENTSIESE 5386. Covering his right flank is a forces holding the HALLOUF pass E 47, E46

(b)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His dispositions are believed to be as follows:-

German
15 Armd Div WEST of WADI ZEUSS SOUT of rd MARETH-MEDININ, as far as DJEBEL REMTSIA
90 Lt Div ARRAM and MARETH line WEST of main rd.
164 Lt Div ) In MARETH Line EAST of TOUTAI E 4991 and in hills area TOUJANE -Bj ZELTANE - HALLOUF
Italian )
XII Corps )
PISTOLA
TRIESTE
XX Corps MARETH line EAST of ARRAM
SPEZIA
YOUNG FASCISTS
Battle Gp of 15 Armd Div, PGR Africa, one coy A.Tk guns from 21 Armd Div and CENTAURO battle gp are believed to be returning to this front from KHASSERINE area, and will probably arrive about 27 Feb.

(c)

 

 

The enemy is now receiving considerable reinforcements of men and materials, and will the calling off of the advance towards TEBESSA, will probably hold his present posns more strongly. He has definitely broken contact in the KHASSERINE area and may concentrate his forces against us in the hope of dealing a blow before we have built up our fill strength.

(d)

 

 

Details of the enemy's defences and strength will be issued separately. C/B information shows his main gun area to have been 27 Feb from E 5600 to % 4898 with some guns EAST of WADI ZIGAOU in general area of X tracks E 5495. His FDLs follow general line of high ground E 5795 0 E 5491 - E 5689 - E 5183.
2. Own Troops.

(i)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Armd Div are scouring Pt 214 feature E 5986, TAJJEFAS E 7078 and HARBOUB E 7574 L.Gs and protecting left flank of 30 Corps.

(a)

 

131 Bde

 

is holding a defensive posn on general line E 6088 - E 5986 - E 6484 and observing enemy between inter div bndy and E 85 northing grid.

(b)

 

22 Armd Bde

 

is ready to occupy battle posn MOORE E 6580 at 15 mins notice. It is reconnoitring as far WEST as possible, and is prepared to counter-attack any enemy adv NORTH or SOUTH of MOORE.

(c)

 

1/Buffs

 

with 75 A.Tk Regt less one bty under comd have formed an A.Tk screen SOUTH from incl MOORE battle posn to protect MEDNIN L.Gs

(d)

4 Lt Armd Bde

is protecting left flank of 7 Armd Div, and observing the rds leading EAST from TOUJANE.

(e)

12 L

are observing enemy between E 85 NORTHING and incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE.

(ii)

51 (H) Div is disposed as followe:-

(a)

 

153 Bde

 

in posn on line WADI ZEUSS NORTH of line E 6799 - Z 6203 with one Bn EAST of WADI ZESSOR. If heavily attacked are to withdraw to line of WADI ZESSOR, which will be held.

(b)

 

152 Bde

 

are maintaining firm base on high ground area E 6596 with outpost on WADI ZEUSS. One bn is being kept mobile EAST of WADI ZESSOR.

(c)

154 Bde

is holding area E 6292 - ABDELLA E 7592.

(d)

 

23 Armd Bde

 

50 R.Tanks area E 6596.

40 R.Tamks area E 7592

3.

A Fighting French force (Force L) under comd General LECLERC is operating WEST of 4 Lt Armd Bde.

4. 201 Guards Bde are arriving about 2 Mar and may take over area held by 154 Bde.
5. 8 Armd Bde are arribing about 2 Mar and are to be in Corps Reserve area MEDININE, prepared to occupy battle position are E 6972.

6.

 

RAF are carrying out extensive bombing by day and niht and intensifying attacks on enemy air force. HARBOUR L.G. (E 7472) is in use by fighter and it is hoped to operate MEDININE WEST L.G. (7077) shortly.

7. One Bn I.M.P is deployed for immediate defense of MEDININE L.Gs.
8. Inter Div Bndy incl 51 (H) Div X tracks E 630873 - ABDALLA E 6089 - excl GLIEB ET TINE E 5691 - incl X tracks E 538949.
9. Med Arty 69 Med Regt area E 6387 and 7 Med Regt area MEDININE under comd CAGRA.

10.

Minefields.

 (i)

CRE is laying a marked minefield in WADI ZEUSS NORTH of E 85 Northing Grid

(ii)

CRE is laying unmarked scatted minefields across tracks at foot of the hills area E 57.

(iii)

CRE is laying marked dummy minefields in front of our FDLs
 
 
INTENTION.

11.

5 RHA will support 22 Armd Bde

METHOD,

12.

 

5 RHA under comd CRA, in support of 22 Armd Bde, while in MOORE posn, but revert to 22 Armd Bde if the latter are ordered to move from this posn.

13.

Btys are allotted to Armd Regts as follows, in the event of any move:-

G Bty RHA

 . . 5 R.Tanks

K Bty RHA

 . . 4 CLY

CC Bty RHA

 . . 1 R.Tanks

14.

 

 

 

 

(i)

 

5 R.Tanks are prepares to occupy battle posn from excl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE at Pt 140 (E6580) to excl track METAMEUT - GAETTAR at E 6677.
(ii) 4 CLY are prepared to occupy battle posn from E 6582 to incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE at Pt 140.
(iii) 1 R.Tanks in reserve, in rear of 5 R.Tanks.

15.

Gun area 6570, 6679 6779.

16.

Z.L. 280°

17.

 

 

 

 

O.Ps.

 

 

 

(i)

 

 

 

Each bty will maintain one OP on a static posn, to cover zones as follows:-

G Bty - West of 67 Easting Grid and South of 80 Northing.

K Bty - Right of 6387 to 5092: Left Track 6879 to 5072.

CC Bty - West of 67 Easting Grid and North of 80 Northing.

(ii) Each bty will maintain one FOO with the Armd Regts they are supporting at nights.

18.

 

 

 

 

(i)

 

 

 

D.F. Task for MOOR posn:-

G Bty   :- E 63000 80200 to a point 100 yds due North.

K Bty   :- E 63000 80300 to a point 100 yds due North.

CC Bty :- E 63000 80400 to a point 100 yds due North..

(ii) D.F. wil be fired on orders from this HQ, and will be answered by 2 mins Rate 5 followed by 3 Mins Rate 3.
19. State of Readiness.

 

 

 

 

 

(i)

All units at 15 mins notice to move 

(ii)

 

Alarm Signal: RED - WHITE - RED, on receipt of which all units will stand to immediately, and will not stand down until orders from this HQ.

(iii)

Code work for stand to:- "PYGMALION", on which all units will stand to until receipt of "VAPEX" (stand down).
(iv) All units will stand to from 0545 - 0645, and 1815 - 1915 hrs daily. All vehicles will be started at stand to.

20.

Patrolling.

 

 

 

(i)

 

5 R.Tanks and 4 CLY will be maintaining patrols both by day and night on line rd E 5577 - 6284, keeping contact with 12 L on right, and with ROYALS on lef.

(ii)

Patrols of 12 L and ROYALS will be returning through own lines after last light and going out before first light each day.

21.

 

A.A.   145 Lt AA Bty at present under comd CRA, and operating on area basis, but reverts to command 22 Armd Bde on move from present area.

22. Amn.

 

 

 

(i)

 

The Regt is officially limited to 20 rpg for Div HB policy, and 10 rpg for other tgts. Btys will therefore bear this in mind, if engaging tgts (not HBs) and will notify this HQ if the expenditure starts to exceed this, that that extra allotment can be requested.

(ii)

All echelons to be kept full and on wheels until further orders.

23.

B Ech - under Bde control in area E 8575.

24.

Replenishment - normal.

25.

Rec. LAD at E 6679 (in area of G Bty WLs).

26.

 

Med. RAP with CC Bty.

         Further admin information when available

INTERCOMN.

27.

L/T to Btys, 22 Armd Bde, RA 7 Armd Div

28.

 

 

 

R/T

(i)

Listening watch on Bde Rear Link.

(ii) Regtl net checks not 0600 hrs daily, otherwise listening watch.
(iii) RA Rear Link as ordered.

29.

 

 

 

 

(i)

Tac and Main RHQ at 673798 wef 0930 hrs 1 Mar.

(ii) 22 Armd Bde HQ E 6878. (iii) Main 7 Armd Div E 7180.
(iv) Rear 7 Amrd Div E 7777. (v) Main 51 (H) Div E 9394
(vi) Main 30 Corps E 9083
ACK.

Capt.  

T.O.S. 0751/A

Adj.  

Distribution.
G Bty........1 LAD........................5 OO...........................9
K Bty........2 145 Lt AA Bty.........6 QM.........................10
CC Bty.....3 CO...........................7 MO.........................11
Sig Sec......4 CO2.........................8 W/Diary...................12/13
File...........................14

 

 

 

 

SECRET.                

AMENDMENT NO.1 to 5 RHA OPERATION ORDER NO.35

dated 28 Feb 43.


 

Par  14(iii) 1 R.Tanks - Delete present detail and insert :-
" will be prepared to occupy battle posn from incl track METAMEUR - GAETTAR Eastwards to approx 70 Grid line."

 

Para 17 Delete para (i)
"(i) Each Bty will maintain an O.P. with the Armd Regt they are supporting, to cover zones as follows :-
K Bty:- excl rd MEDININE - MARETH to incl 80 Northing Grid.
G Bty:- incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE to incl track METAMEUR - E 6264.
CC Bty:- incl track METAMEUR - rd junc E 5072 to track MEDININE  - E 7669 - E 7753.
K Bty will also establish an OP on the high feature E 660833:
this OP will be dug in and connected by L/T with the Bty posn, and will be manned at once in the event of "Stand to" being given. An officer will be detailed daily to man this OP in case required.
Locations of OPs will be forwarded to the office by 1200 hrs 2 Mar."

 

Capt.
Adjt.
Distribution.
G Bty ........1 C.O...........4
K Bty ........2 C.O.2........5
CC Bty ... .3 File ...........6

 

 

Appendix No 2 March

 

Appendix.

Mar. 2.

 
     

        

5 R.H.A. OPERATIONAL ORDER No 36.        
   

2 Mar 43

(Ref Map Tunisia 1/200,000 Sheet 29).    
     

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy. are expected to attack any time  3 Mar onwards, probably in the North and also down main rd or from TOUJANE.

 

2. Own Tps. – (i) 201 GDS BDE are under comd 7 A.Div, and are taking over as far North as excl E.640852 – E.628843 – E.623832. Also patrol line for 22 Armd Bde as given in 5 RHA operational order No 35. 257 A/Tk Bty remains with 201 Gds Bde.

(ii) 8 Armd Bde concentrate area E.7488 to-day.

(iii) 2 N.Z. Div concentrate area MEDENIN p.m. 3 Mar, and take over from 1 Buffs.

 

3. 7 Armd Div – (i) to destrory enemy’s thrust.

(ii) to hold present 131 Bde area

(iii) observe enemy between 51 (H) Div and “L” Force.

 

4. 8 Armd Bde – prepared to move to battle posn

(a) WELLINGTON (area to be occupied by 22 Bde 2/3 Mar)

(b) MOORE (area at present occupied by 22 Bde)

(c) MANLEY (area E.7709 to E.7497, facing N.W.)

(d) LICHFIELD (area E.7072 facing west)

(e) BURSLEM (area E.7697 to E.7494, facing N.W.)

(f) STOKE (area E.7488 facing North)

 

5. 22 Armd Bde

(i) on codeword “BULLDOG-SOUTH”, adopt battle posn MOORE.

(ii) on night 2/3 Mar are moving to battle posn WELLINGTON (area E.6892 – 6688 facing West)

(iii) Recce battle posn WOLFE (area E7298 to 7096 facing N.W.)

(iv) Recce battle posn MANSE (area E.7095 to 6893 facing N.W.)

 

INTENTION.

6. 5 RHA will support 22 Armd Bde.

 

METHOD.

7. Move to battle posn WELLINGTON from MOORE ion 2 Mar, as already detailed

8. Order of March CC, RHQ, K. G.

9. Depart present area 1730 hrs.

10. Density 20 v.t.m. during daylight, 80 v.t.m. as soon as it gets dark.

11. Readiness : all units will be at highest degree of alertness from 1800 hrs 2 Mar.

12. Units will leaguer night 2/3 Mar in gun area and will occupy posns at first light.

13. F.O.O’s will move with Armd Regts.

 

ADMIN.

14. B.Ech new area A.0186.

15. L.A.D. with Main R.H.Q.

16. R.A.P. with CC Bty.

17. F.A.P. with Main RHQ & Bde A.Ech

 

INTERCOMM.

18. Regtl Net listening watch until L/T laid, or otherwise ordered, in WELLINGTON posn.

19. Tac RHQ closes present area 1730 hrs

     Main RHQ at 726830.

20. Synchronise by R/T or L/T at 0630 hrs daily

 

ACK

T.O.S. 1125 hrs

 

    Adj. 5 Regt. R.H.A.

G Bty  – 1

K Bty  – 2

CC Bty – 3

File -- 4.

   
     

 

Appendix No 3 March

S E C R E T          

14 Mar 43.           

5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.37

Copy No. ...

(Ref map 1/50,000 TUNISIA, 91.NE, 91.SE, 92.NW, 92.SW
 

 

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy. As issued to L.Os 14 March.

2. Own Troops.

(i)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a)

 

210 Gds Bde (less 2.S.Gs) occupying area 630945 - 610920 approx night 14/15 march. This move will take place as soon after last light as possible.

(b)

4 C.L.Y are moving into the area Southern half Square 6291, night 14/15 March, to act as left protection to 201 Gds Bde.

(c)

22 Armd Bde (less 4 CLY) remain prsent area.

(d)

1 S.Gs and 1.RB. are holding origina 201 Gds Bde fron (i.e. approx 6384 - 6579) until relieved by 2 Armd bde, 0001 hrs 16 Mar.

(e)

7 Indian Inf Bde, less 1 Bttn, relieve 131 Bde South from excluding ABDALLA to 6385, night 15/16 Mar.

(f) 131 Inf Bde take over Southern portion of 154 Bde front from approx 603891 to 615916, night 15/16 March.

3.

 

7 Armd Div artillery is moving into area 6292, 6392, 6492and South and East of this, to support subsequent attack of 201 Gds Bde on "HORSEHOE" feature (582956 - 575956 - SIDI EL GUELAA 5694 - ZEHMOULA 5793).

INTENTION.

4.

 

(i) 5 RHA will move to battle position in area 6292, as already recce'd, on night 14/15 March
(ii) 5 RHA will support 22nd Armd Bde throughout.
METHOD,

5.

Zero line 270Ί

6.

 

Depart present area:- K.Bty - 2000 hrs 14 Mar: CC.Bty - As soon at tail of K Bty is clear: G.Bty - on receipt of code word "DANDELION" (unless previously notified that this will no longer apply, in which case, will move when tail of CC.Bty is clear, see para 8 below

7.

 

 

Route. As recce'd a.m 14 March to x tks 649922, thence to Bty posns. the route will be lighted at intervals by 22 Armd Bde Pro. Div TCP will be established at x tks 649922, and leading vehicle of K.Bty will report to TCP that they are the first vehicle of 5 RHA. G.Bty will detail one officer to travel in read of their column, who will report to TCP when tail of Regt is clear.

8.

D.F.

 

(i) Regt is at present responsible for DF on front 2 S.Gs (D.F 1000) 121 Fd Regt are however, to take over this task as soon as possible. This relief may be completed prior to commencement of move, in which case Regt will have NO DF responsibilities during the move: F.O.O from G Bty at present at present with 2 S.Gs may return to his Bty as soon as relieved by F.O.O from 121 Fd.

(ii) Should this relieve NOT be completed prior to 2000 hrs 14 Mar, G Bty will continue to be prepared to engage D.F 1000 and will NOT depart present area until receipt of "DANDELION". This code word will be given by K.Bty and will indicate that K.Bty is in action and ready to engage DF 1000. F.O.O from G.Bty will remain with 2 S.Gs until relieved by 121 Fd. Similarly G and CC Btys will be prepared to engage this D.F if required on arrival.

(iii) On arrival new area, K.Bty will contact HQ 201 Gds Bde and ascertain DF task arranged with 58 Fd Regt RA (who are responsible for close support of 201 Gds Bde until 1000 hrs 16 Mar, when this responsibility is taken over by 3 RHA.) As soon as the Regt is relieve of responsibility of D.F 1000, S.O.S task will be as required by 201 Gds Bde.

9. F.O.Os.
(i) 1 F.O.O from K.Bty will contact 4 CLY by 1800/14 and remain with them until further orders.
(ii) F.O.Os from CC Bty will contact 1 R.Tanks and 5 R.Tanks respectively and will remain with them in present area.
(iii) F.O.O from G.Bty with 2 S.Gs until relieved by 121 Fd.

(iv)

F.O.O from K.Bty with 201 Gds Bde (less 2 S.Gs) as soon as possible after completion of move, night 14/15.

10.

 

Minefields.

R.E. are supposed to have lifter all mines in 154 Bde's sectop, less field from 635925 to 632917..

11.

Speed and Density.  80 v.t.m     4 m.i.h

12. No Halts.

13.

Wadi crossing by TCP at 649922 is ONE WAY only.

14.

Btys will report immediately all guns are in action by coder word "BUTTERCUP".

15.

 

All guns will be dug in and vehicles camouflages, and slit trenches dug, by 1st light 15 March. During hours of daylight 15 & 16 March MINIMUM movement allowed around gun positions, and NO movement of vehicles unless operationally essential.

16.

A.A. Tps Lt.A.A. with Btys. All A.A. guns will be sited below crests.

17.

 

B.1 Echelons Bty B.1 Echelons will move under Bty arrangements to area WADI ZESSAR between 93 and 94 Northing Grid. All Echelons to be under an officer and to have R/T communication with their Btys.

ADMIN

18.

B.Echelon remains present area.

19.

Ammn 160 r.p.g dumped battle positions. 1st line ammn with Btys on wheels

20.

Med. RAP with TAC RHA.
21. Rec. LAD remains present area, but will move fwd to new Main RHQ area when latter moves.
INTERCOM.
22. Regtl net opens 1830 hrs 14 Mar; then listening watch until connected by L/T in new area.

23.

 

 

 

F.O.Os with Armd Regts will newt on Regtl frequency at 1830 hrs, as follows:- K.Bty F.O.O with 4 CLY ... "F.5 Orange". CC.Bty (a) FOO with 1 R.Tanks ... "F.6 Orange 1", (b) FOO with 51 R.Tanks ... "F.6 Orange 2".

RHQ will maintain one set open, to answer calls from FOOs; FOOS will come up to check net at 2000 hrs, 2200 hrs, 14 Mar; and subsequently 0545 hrs, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800 and 2200 hrs daily.

24. Tac RHQ closed present location 1830 hrs 14 Mar and opens 628930 on arrival.
25. Main RHQ Will recce area 6587 (being vacated by 4 CLY, night 14/15 Mar) and will move to that area p.m. 15 Mar if possible.

26.

Synchronisation. R/T or Lt. 0630 hrs daily
ACK.

Captain RHA.         

T.O.S

Adjutant.                        

Distribution.
G Bty........1
K Bty........2
CC Bty.....3
CO...........4
O.O..........5
File............6

 

 

Appendix No 4 March

     
 

App IV March.

 
     
  5 R.H.A. OPERATIONAL ORDER No 38.

SECRET

    15 Mar 43
     

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy. – Nothing further, except that posns astride main rd at 5895 are thought to be held by 90 Lt Div, (200 PGR).

 

2. Own Tps. – (a) 201 GDS BDE are capturing HORSESHOW advancing from high ground WEST of HACHCHANA WADI, (631940 to 610920) on night 16/17 Mar.

Right – 6 Gren Gds – objective feature 574956.

Left  -  3 Coldstream Gds – objective Pt 153 (567947)

(b) Attack will be carried out in 3 phases.

Phase 1. Adv from HACHCHAMA WADU to S.L. (WADI ZESS 598951 to 592935) from Z-60 to Z-15. Pause in this line Z-15 to Zero.

Phase 2. At Zero. Adv from S.L. to WADI BOU REML to reach by Z+36. Pause on this line from Z+36 to Z+46. Z+46, adv and capture objectives.

Z+120, 2 S,G’s adv and occupy high ground EAST of WADI BOU REML.

Phase 3. At Z+126. Both Bns fan out NORTH and SOUTH. Probable F.D.L. line then will be :- 586958 – X Tks 581963 – Pt 153. (5694) – 565932 – WADI BOU REML 580924.

 

(c) 131 Inf Bde. At zero, 1/6 Queens adv to area WADI EL BAGUEL 5991.

            1/8 Queens then occupy area 6189 with F.D.L’s on WADI MOUSSA, and 1/7 Queens in area 6190.

(d) 4 CLY occupy battle posn sq 6191 by first light 17 Mar, to counter any enemy thrust.

(e) 51(H) DIV. F.D.L’s in approx. line WADI 2588, 622000 to 600960. Thence they adv with 2 Bns to area 602980 -  620984 – 610957.

(f) 7 Armd Div Arty are supporting attack of 201 Gds by concentrations and a barrage.

 

INTENTION.

3. 5 RHA will support attack by barrage, and will be ready to move forward to new position from first light 17 Mar.

 

METHOD.

5. See Barrage trace and instructions att.

6. Zero hour :- 1930 hrs, 16 Mar. All rds to land on lift (a) of barrage at Z+75.

9. G Bty right, K Bty left, CC Bty superimposed 150x ahead throughout.

8. Codewords

“STONE” – Inf establishing themselves WEST of WADI BOU REML

“WOOD” – Inf capture objectives.

“IRON” - Inf exploit NORTH AND SOUTH and consolidate.

9. Success Signal – RED-GREEN-RED, rptd.

10. L.O’s (i) CC Bty – with H.Q.R.A. 30 Corps, 0900/16 for 4 days.

(ii) G Bty with H.Q.R.A. 7 Armd Div w.e.f. 1600/16, for 2 days.

(iii) K Bty with H.Q. 131 Bde 1900/15 to 0200/16 (to have R/T, as arranged).

11. F.O.O’s As already arranged with 22 Armd Bde, on moving 17 Mar, 1 F.O.O. party will move forward adequately to engage opportunity tgts as much as possible.

 

ADMIN.

12. Btys to report if, when ordered to move on 17 Mar, they have any unexpended dumped ammo which they cannot carry.

13. Med. R.A.P. with Tac R.H.Q.

 

INTERCOMM.

14. L/T, net essential for open R/T at once if line goes down night 16/17 March. Check net 0545 hrs, daily, and at 1800 hrs 16 March.

15. Synchronisation in time for barrage - by L/T lines

 

ACK

T.O.S. 1920/15 hrs

 

     

G Bty  – 1

K Bty  – 2

CC Bty – 3

File -- 4.

   
     

 

 

 BARRAGE TABLE  

 

 

SHEET ONE.

(Issued with ref to RA 7 ARMD DIV OP ORDER

No. 9 date 14 Mar 43, para 6)                                                                            

Scale 1/25,000.

 

 

 

 

Ref Map 1/25,000 MARETH Series, Sheet

                                No. 2, E NEKKAR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CO-ORDINATES.

 

 

 

A.

1959280

495380

75

 

 

 

B.

1958190

493740

75

 

 

 

C.

1958590

495680

70

 

 

 

D.

1957790

494000

88

S.

1956476

495044

E.

1957060

496300

100

U.

1956568

495248

F.

1956270

494620

120

T.

1956663

495458

           Width of Regtl lane is 500 yds.

p.

1957990

494420

           Each lift from t to t is 100 yds

R.

1958092

494635

 

 

 

 

Q.

1958190

494840

For TIMINGS, AMN, etc., see Sheet 2.

M.

1958761

494151

 

 

 

 

L.

1958846

494356

 

 

 

 

N.

1958936

        885

494524

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BARRAGE TABLE

 

 

 

 SHEET TWO

 

 

 

(Issued with ref to RA 7 ARMD DIV OP ORDER

No. 9 date 14 Mar 43, para 6)

 

                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

BARRAGE TIMINGS.

a.

Z plus

 75 to Z plus

 91

k.

Z plus

172

to Z plus

176

b.

 

136

140

l.

 

176

 

180

c.

 

140

146

m.

 

180

 

184

d.

 

144

148

n.

 

184

 

188

e.

 

148

152

o.

 

188

 

192

f.

 

152

156

p.

 

192

 

196

g.

 

156

160

q.

 

196

 

200

h.

 

160

164

r.

 

200

 

204

i.

 

164

168

s.

 

204

 

208

j.

 

168

172

t.

 

208

 

212

 

 

AMN.

 

a.

Engage salvo from 9 guns = 4 mins in area

b – d.

Very slow

c – g.

Normal

h – i.

Very slow

k – o.

Normal

o – t.

Very slow

 

 

TASKS.

 

1.

31, 128, 146 Fd Regts and 5 RHA barrage H.E.

*One Bty per Regt to be superimposed and remain 150 yards ahead throughout.

2.

Right gun of each Bty, less those superimposed, and left hand gun of the left Bty of 31 Fd Regt are the nine guns to fire on line a.

This is to make a line 400 yds plus of inf Start Line

3

No guns will be rested during the barrage.

4

This trace is not accurate enough to shoot from.

 

 

 

* G Bty right, K Bty left, CC Bty superimposed plus 150 yds.

 

 

April 1943

Commanding Officer:  Major J.R. Kynaston M.C. RHA

Place

Date

Hour

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

Z 3525

1

0600

Recce parties left for recce positions Z 1847. Bty expecting to move & dump ammo during evening.

 

 

 

1700

Orders received no dumping or move tonight.

 

 

 

1800

Orders to move to lying up area Z 2535 before occupying recced positions later.

 

Z 3525

2

0730

Moved as a Regiment to the new area in column of route arriving by 0930.

 

Z 2535

 

1400

160 r.p.g. dumped in new area – 3 x 3 ton lorries handed over to 3 RHA leaving us only 17!

 

 

 

1445

Orders to move to new area at 1745.

 

 

 

1740

Started to move – main road packed but managed to get along just as light failed. Bty in action Z193475 by 1930 hrs.

 

Z193475

3

 

Lying up all day. A further 140 r.p.g. dumped during the morning.

 

 

 

 

One OP (Lt Wilson) with a “survey” role to get the lie of the land.

 

 

4

 

Lying up all day. Capt Noble in survey OP. Some enemy air activity.

 

 

 

 

Quite a change - & some shelling though not in the immediate neighbourhood.

 

Z183475

5

 

Continue lying up. Plan for attack given to BC’s at 7 Armd Div HQ. An attack on a 3 divisional front by 4 Ind. 50 & 51 Div supported by some 14 & 4 Medium Regts.

 

 

 

1630

Fire pan received see App I

App I

 

6

0445

Guns opened on a timed programme firing until 0721.

 

 

 

 

OPs has no responsibilities but watched Capt North & BC from 1751 & Capt Noble from 2055. Attack went according to plan & no targets were engaged by observed fire except a repeat of one concentration quieting 2 M.G.s.

 

 

 

1300

Revered to command 22 Armd Bde & instructed to join 5 Tanks at 1939 – moved off & contacted them to way to cove left flank of 5 Ind Div – moved to 1142 & dropped into action from the night. Ammunition expenditure 1640 HE 124 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

B Troop had a premature when emptying guns during morning – no casualties.

 

 

 

 

Sgt Spence joined & Gnr Gibson joined.

 

Z 1142

7.

0930

Moved with 5 Tanks to 1854 prepared to cross the WADI AKARIT & minefields – leaguered until a second gap was made & moved through at 1500 hrs. Enemy out of touch of us & retreating.

 

Z 1570

 

 

Moved to 1570 & dropped into action though enemy just out of range – leaguered with tanks at last light.

 

Z 1570

8

0800

Moved with 5 Tanks behind Bde HQ being in reserved. Good going & moved in open formation. A quiet day as far as we were concerned as tanks were not engaged. We halted at intervals while other armoured regimental groups dealt with rearguards.

 

 

 

1700

Group halted at 2495, the battery dropped into action & tried to engaged some guns at extreme range which were shooting at the forward troops – range too great. Leaguered with tanks. Amn expenditure 15 HE.

 

 

9

0600

Brigade moved 2 up 1 R Tanks left 5 R Tanks Right on the following C.L. Z 2495 – U 3602 – U 4204 – U4411 – U5331 – U 6232 – U 6842 – V7251. An interesting day; the first enemy were sighted after about 10 miles but they quickly withdrew.

 

 

 

 

After a few more miles more resistance was encountered & one troop dropped into action. From then on until dark the battery was continually on the move or firing giving the tanks close support.

 

 

 

 

The going was bad for guns – olive groves & plough – whenever possible the guns were moved in columns of router all the C.L. when it was a road or track. Several lorries were ‘brewed up1 & guns silenced & PWs gave themselves up to Capt Noble.

 

 

 

 

At the end of the day Lt. Hutton O.C. 5 Tanks expresses his satisfaction at the quick & accurate support he had received.

 

 

 

 

Amn. Expenditure 420 HE 12 Smoke – mileage 36/

 

U 5332

10

0600

Continued the advance over bad going but without encountering any opposition: The guns kept up well

 

 

 

1200

Halted in area 7748 where it was expected the tanks would maintain. Ordered to produce one troop (B troop) to go on a column with a Coy of 1 RB.

 

 

 

1400

B Troop got ready & formed up in area 7747. Order to move at 1430 – this was closely followed by stand fast & order for the troop to return o the battery at 7748.

 

 

 

1515

Warning order to get ready to move. This was closely followed by order to concentrate about 7845 with the rest of the regiment to go out on a column consisting of 1RB & 5RHA with A/Tk guns etc.

 

 

 

1615

Order to return to tanks as column was off – this was followed immediately by order to leaguered somewhere where we were.

 

 

 

 

No further movement or orders & battery leaguered in olive grove about 7845 - a fine day for the practical joke department.

 

U78

11

 

A day of rest & maintenance – no movement.

 

 

12.

 

No movement – bathing & sight seeing parties went to SFAX.

 

 

 

1600

At BC’s conference plans were made for a week’s training. At the end of the conference the telephone rang – BM with a warning ordering to be ready to move tomorrow!

 

 

13.

0900

Moved by road to area 10 miles south of KAIROUAN P1317.

 

 

 

 

Travelled as regiment with ????dent arriving about 1700 hrs – a distance of 84 miles

 

P1317

13

 

Formed open leaguer,

 

 

14.

1600

Maintenance, Warning order to move tomorrow morning.

 

 

15.

0840

Started to move as a Regiment by road to area P 0665 – long delay at S.P. & a slow march arriving without incident about 1600 hrs.

 

P 0665

 

1930

Formed open leaguer. Warned to be prepared to join 5 Tanks as they are liable to be called upon to help 131 Bde at short notice.

 

 

16

1000

Warning order to be ready to move at 1100hrs with 5 Tanks.

 

 

 

1130

Moved to P 0473 & dropped into action about 1000 yards South of the tanks. Recced tanks battle positions. Remained in action during the night. 5 Tank Groups role is support of 131 Bde.

 

P 0473

17

 

One OP (Capt Noble) in a jeep went to area P 1385 mainly in a watching capacity as the range is to great to do much. Another OP (Capt North) went with I Coy 1RB who took over from 6 Queens in area P0375.

 

 

 

 

Little to report beyond some sound bearing on a few guns & the odd German armoured car. Linked up with 146 Fld Regt RA for D,F, tansk.

 

 

18

 

No change. Position recced at 1377 but not occupied

 

P 0473

19

0900

Warning order to be ready to move with 5 R. Tanks at 1400hrs.

 

 

 

1200

5 RHA Operation Order No 38 received (App II). B Troop waggon lines were shelled while orders were being issued – no damage.

App II

 

 

1430

Moved off – a sticky march was completed as it was all over open ground however it passed off without incident.

 

 

 

 

Lay up in area P 1474 until last light & then occupied positions 132763 at last light. D.F.s to cover 131 Bde during their attack – these were not fired.

 

P 1376

20

0430

OPs & BC moved with tanks to general area 1382. Bty moved in to action 1278.

 

 

 

0500

OPs Capt North 128820, Capt Noble 125846. Little activity to begin with.

 

 

 

1000

Moved 1 section A Tp to 137810 – an exposed route but arrived without incident. Some flashes & suspected infantry were taken on by this section.

 

 

 

1500

2nd section moved up. Some infantry and A/Tk gun engaged.

 

P 137810

20

1930

B Troop moved up & 100 rpg dumped for concentrations for 131 Bde attack.

 

 

 

 

Attack was put off but some concentrations were fired, Orders from RHQ to move battery back to 1376 at 0430 hrs. Amn expenditure excluding concentrations 385 HE 10 Smoke. Concentrations 320 HE.

 

 

21

0430

Bty moved to 1276 only to find 5 Tanks were note moving.

 

 

 

0900

Here range was too great to do much good. B Troops moved to 137810 followed by A Troop two hours later. A few infantry engaged. Capt Noble in same place. Capt North at 113842.

 

 

 

 

Some infantry & suspected gun positions during day. Amn expenditure 220 HE.

 

137810

22.

 

Bty remained in action in same position with Capt Noble at 125844 & Capt North with Cruiser patrol up as far as 105870. Guns & infantry engaged during the day.

 

 

 

 

Amn expenditures 253 HE 3 Smoke. Harassing tasks during the night used 243 HE,

 

P 137810

23

0500

Moved one section of B Tp to forward position 126825. OPs Capt Noble in usual place, Lt Peal in a jeep in 11 Hussars (armoured cars) on left flank about 090879. This OP had an excellent days shooting on infantry, guns & M.T. – Capt Noble also had some good shoots on infantry & guns.

 

 

 

 

The forward section fired over 160 r.p.g. Total expenditure 558 HE 3 Smoke. During the day some unused charges in A troop caught fire badly burning L/Bdr Pugh & Gnr Roberts

 

 

 

1915

Section returned to main position.

 

 

24.

 

Same as yesterday – a section of A troop forward & Lt Jamieson with 11 Hussars & Capt North at 125844. The armoured cars were shelled off the OP & which moved south on the left flank.

 

 

 

 

A number of targets were engaged included some HBs which were silenced. Amn 309 HE 2 Smoke.

 

 

 

 

B Troop were heavily shelled in the evening but no casualties. L/Bdr Peacock was killed & Gnr Gibson injured in a traffic accident. When they were being driven to B echelon from workshops. B Troop leaguered with tanks.

 

137810

26

0430

5 Tanks were relieved from 1st Tanks & the battery took over CC Bty OP responsibilities. A Troop moved to 134827 & B troop dropped into A troop gun pits. One OP maned on 131 Bde front (Lt Alton-Nagel) at 154840. A day in OP in the infantry front line – a good view & several targets were successful engaged including infantry, HBs & MET. Amn expenditure 378 HE.

 

 

27

 

As for yesterday – B Troop moving forward & Lt Wilson at OP.

 

 

 

 

Little activity – enemy appears to have thinned out. Several shoots were taken by an air OP.

 

 

 

1300

Movement table attached (App   ).

App

 

 

1930

Moved at last light to 139743 where leaguered for night – Amn expenditures 177 HE.

 

139743

28

0900

Moved to SP but held up by 131 Bde for about 2 hours.

 

 

 

1200

Arrived area 2677 where we open leaguered with 5 Tanks.

 

 

 

 

Remainder of the day spent in maintenance.

 

P 2677

29

 

A day of rest and maintenance.

 

P 2677

30

1100

Warning order that we are at 1 hours notice to move from 1500 hrs but unlikely to move before dark. “Honeys” to move with 5 Tanks on transporters. Destination unknown but it must be 1st Army.

 

 

 

1600

Route received. AMOR – almost to KAIROUAN – OUESSELTIA – SILIANA – LE KRIB. SP AMOR – head of Bde to pass at 2030 hrs.

 

 

 

1900

Move to area near S.P. & wait turn to move. Move at about 2145 & continue all dark. A difficult march pitch dark & no moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Plan App 1

 

 

 

 

TASK TABLE “D” ISSUES WITH TRACE “E”

            MOST SECRET.

 

 

            Copy No:  69

 

 

 

1.       Concentrations.

57 Fd Regt.   -   on WA – enemy defences centred 150584.

 

            Timings.          0415 – 0645    )

                                    0700 – 0730    )           Rate     1 rpgpm. Amn__ HE.

                                    0800 – 0815    )           NB.     0530 – 0600             amn 10% smoke.

 

2.       58 Fd Regt.

(a)    One bty on E, F and G.

Coordinates – E 12945576.

           F 12825602.

                       G 12695620.

     Timings.  – All open at 0415    )

                       Lift off E a0442     )          Rate 1 rpgpm

                        “     “  F at0450    )           Amn. HE.       

                                               “     “  G at0458    )           

                             Bty turns on WB at 0500.

(b)    One bty on WB – defences centred 161578.

 

Timings.         0415 -  0645 )  Rate 1 rpgpm. Amn. HE.

                        0700 – 0730 )  NB.     0530 – 0600 amn 10% smoke.

 

3.       127 Fd Regt. on WF.

128, 146 Fd Regt less one Bty – on WG.

 

(a)    Coordinates   - WF    1240  5870.  5770

     WG 1300  5918.  5812

            Timings.          127, 128 Fd Regts.

                                                0525 – 0545    Rate 1 rpgpm.  Amn            HE.

 

                                    146 Fd Regt.   (two btys).

                                                0545 – 0615    Rate  1 rpgpm  Amn            HE.

 

(b)    One bty 146 Fd Regt on defence centred 183568 – WH

  Timing.

                                    0530 – 0600    Rate  2 rpgpm. Amn            HE.

                                                                                    10% smoke

 

4.       Approach cover for 7 B.W. attack.         Called on Code Word “JAMES”.

Time.               Task.    Regt                Rate.                Amn.

                                                Responsible.

0651    JAMES + 30