Thanks to Bob Hilton for a copy of this war diary.

 

Abbreviations

056495
Adm

Amb

Amn

A Tk

Bde

Bn

Br

Bty

Comd

Coy

Det

DZ

Est

Fd
Fm

Gp

Hy

Incl

Indep

Lt

LZ

MC

Med

OO

Op

Pdr

Posn

Pt

RA

RAP

Rds

RE

Ref

RPG

RV

SA

SAA

Sp

Sqn

Tp

Veh

Map Reference

Administration

Ambulance

Ammunition

Anti-Tank

Brigade

Battalion

Bridge

Battery

Command

Company

Detachment

Drop Zone

Establish

Field

Farm

Group

Heavy

Including

Independent

Light

Landing Zone

Motorcycle

Medical

Operation Order

Operation

Pounder

Position

Point

Royal Artillery

Regimental Aid Post

Rounds

Royal Engineers

Reference

Rounds per Gun

Rendezvous

Small Arms

Small Arms Ammunition

Support

Squadron

Troop

Vehicle

 

Month and year: July 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. J.R. Wilson, R.A.

 

 

8th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

0630 - All ranks briefed for Operation 'Glutton'.

 

9th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

Final preparations for Operation 'Glutton'.

 

10th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

1900 - Operation 'Glutton' postponed 24 hrs.

 

11th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

1700 - Operation 'Glutton' cancelled.

 

13th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

1700 - All ranks due to have taken part in Op 'Glutton' move to Mahdia area.

 

15th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

'G' Troop attached to 10th Bn, 4th Para Bde.

 

18th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

1600 - Return from Mahdia area.

 

22nd July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

Four Troops fire 6-pdr & small arms.

 

23rd July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

HQ, S.A. firing.

 

26th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

'G' Troop return from attachment to 10th Bn, 4th Para Bde.  HQ field firing 6-pdr.  Two Troops attached to 4th & 5th Bn's, 2nd Para Bde.

 

28th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

Exercise 'Snookered' - one Troop.

 

29th July 1943

Place: Kairouan area

 

Exercise 'Snookered' - one Troop.

 

 

Appendix

OPERATION 'GLUTTON'

2nd Air Landing Anti-Tank Bty R.A.

O.O. No.1

 

Copy No: 17

7 July 43.

 

Ref Maps ITALY: 1/100,00 GSGS 4164 SICILY sheet 274.

                ITALY: 1/25,000 GSGS 4228 SICILY sheet 274.

 

INFORMATION

        1.  Topography.

                (a) Area of ops consists of rolling country intersected by deep river valleys running WEST to EAST. Most of the country is covered with olive trees and is rocky and stony. Main features are:

                        (i) R. MULINELLO reaching sea at 056495.

                        (ii) R. MARCHILINO reaching sea at 051472.

                        (iii) High ground about 989497.

                        (iv) Br at 042498.

                        (v) AUGUSTA 0848.

                        (vi) Red AUGUSTA - VILLASMUNDO 9650.

                        (vii) High ground 0752.

        2.  Enemy.

                Full information and annotated maps available in Bde and Bn briefing rooms.  Following static enemy dispositions immediately effect this Bty's operations:-

                        (i) Hy. A.A. Bty at 014504.

                        (ii) Lt. A.A. Bty at 038497.

                        (iii) Strong pt area 989497.

                        (iv) Hy. A.A. Bty at 071511.

        3.  Own Tps.

                (i) 2 Para Bde is under comd 13 Corps which is making a seaborne landing SOUTH OF SYRACUSE on morning of D-Day and is then thrusting NORTH along the coast to AUGUSTA.  Leading Tps 13 Corps are not expected to arrive in AUGUSTA area before 1600 hrs D plus 1 day.

                (ii) Under Comd 2 Para Bde:-

                        2nd (Oban) Air Landing Anti-Tank Bty R.A. (less 'F' & 'G' Tps)

                        2 Naval Bombardment Dets.

                        2nd Para Sqn R.E. (less 1 tp)

                        127th Para Fd Amb (less 1 sec)

                        Det Indep Para Coy.

                (iii) 2 Para Bde Gp are dropping to capture Br at 042498 and to facilitate the capture of the port of AUGUSTA by seaborne tps during night of D/D+1 or later.

                (iv) Assault Coys of 4 & 6 Bns drop 2215 hrs. Main bodies of 4 & 5 Bns and Bde HQ drop between 2300 & 2335 hrs.

                (v) Maximum air sp will be given by R.A.F. throughout the operation.

 

INTENTION

        4.  2nd (Oban) Air Landing Anti-Tank Bty R.A. (less 'F' & 'G' Tps) will destroy all enemy armour in 2 Para Bde Gp area.

 

METHOD

        5.  Action on base airfield.

                (a) Gliders will be available for loading from 0700 hrs D - 1 day.

                (b) Guns will be pulled back fifteen inches and secured by S hooks before loading into HORSAS.

                (c) Bty will spend D day in own lines. Times of moves to airfield issued later.

                (d) Airfield used will be 'E'.

        6.  Outline air plan.

                (a) Gliders will be allotted as follows:- Bty H.Q. - 1 WACO. E-Tp - 3 HORSAS H-Tp - 3 HORSAS - 1 WACO

                (b) Line of flight over L.Z's - SOUTH to NORTH. Glider release at 500 ft.

                (c) D.Z's & L/Z's - shown and numbered, with list of troops dropping and landing on each, on trace 'X' attached. L.Z's will be lit by Indep Para Coy.

                (d) Every man in each glider will carry one Pyrene fire extinguisher for use should the glider catch fire during flight or from attack on airlanding.

                (e) A Cordex surcingle will be carried in each HORSA to blow the tail off if all other methods of unloading fail.  A hacksaw and blades will be carried in each WACO to cut a way out if the necessity arises.

                (f) Hot tea and bread and jam sandwiches and chewing gum will be put into each glider for consumption during the flight.  B.Q.M.S. will arrange this.

        7.  Battery Para recce parties.

                (a) These will be as follows:-

                        (i) With Bde H.Q. - Lt. G.H. Thomason, R.A. B.S.M. MacInnes. W. L/Bdr. Anderson. G. L/Bdr. Osborn. G.

                        (ii) With 4th Bn - Sgt. Dingle. J. L/Bdr. MacArthur. D.J.

                        (iii) With 5th Bn. - 2/Lieut. W.R. Mills, R.A. Sgt. Campbell. J.M.

                                Recce parties will drop on D.Z's as marked on trace 'X' attached. Each recce party will drop with two No.18 sets. Lt. G.H. Thomason will be responsible for all arrangements on base airfields for Bty Recce Parties.

                (b) Tasks of Tp Recce Parties will be

                        (i) To carry out all possible recce of gun area's.

                        (ii) To get into wireless comn with their Tp Comds as soon as gliders land and inform them of any change of plan.

                        (iii) To pass to Bty Recce Party with Bde H.Q. all possible information of the battle situation in their area's.  Recce party with Bde H.Q. will move with it and keep up to date with Bde situation.  It will est wireless comn with Bty H.Q. when the latter airland at 0015 hrs and inform Bty Comd of any change of plan.

                (c) Recce Parties sets will est comn with each other by 2345 hrs.

        8.  Ground Plan.

                (i) Bty H.Q, on airlanding, moves to quarry 041498 and joins Bde H.Q. and own para recce party.

                (ii) 'E' Tp on airlanding, moves to Br 042498 and joins own para recce party and C Coy 6th Para Bn.

                (iii) 'H' Tp on airlanding, moves to RV at fm 037528 and joins own recce party and 5th Para Bn.

                (iv) Tp Comds and Tp Sgts will recce alternative gun posns as soon as possible after initial deployment.

                (v) Glider Pilots come under comd on landing and will be transported by sub sections.

                (vi) One set of troughs per sub section will be removed from glider when unloading and carried in Jeep to Tp RV.  These will facilitate crossing unbridges streams, etc.

        9.  Method of dealing with any opposition on L.Z.

                (i) If there is firing on the L.Z. but not directed at the glider, unloading will go on and sub sections will move off to their R.V's.

                (ii) If firing is directed at the glider and unloading is impossible then the sub section must attack and destroy the opposition leaving the two Glider Pilots for the local defence of the glider and its load.

 

ADM.

        10.  Dress.  Bush shirts, denim trousers, boots and gaiters.  Method of carriage of articles of personal equipment on man is shown at appx 'A' attached.

        11.  Rations.  Rations will be carried as follows:- per man

                (a) One 48 hr ration in mess tin and small pack.

                (b) Two emergency rations. Both these are for consumption after landing.

        12.  Water.

                (a) Two water bottles per man will be carried.  These will be filled before emplaning.  When water bottles are filled after airlanding they will be chlorinated by the addition of two tablets from the individual water sterilisation set which will be carried with each water bottle.  One de-testing (blue) tablet will be put into each water bottle not less than one hour after chlorination.

                (b) Each Jeep will carry one empty two gallon tin for filling up and chlorination as opportunity offers after landing.

        13.  Petrol and Oil.  All Vehs and M/C's will have full tanks when loaded into gliders.  Oil levels will be checked on the day before loading and any necessary oil changes made.  No spare petrol will be carried.

        14.  M.T.  One spare wheel per Tp will be carried.  Horns of Jeeps and M/C's will be disconnected before leaving base to avoid risk of noise on airlanding.

        15.  Amn.

                (a) 6-pdr.  24 R.P.G. will be carried.  30 rds will be dropped by Bn H.Q's of each of 4 and 5 Bn's, and will be the only containers lit when dropping.  Recce parties will note their posn for future collection by Tps concerned.

                (b) S.A.A.  50 rds per rifleman on the man.  1500 rds per Bren.  450 rds per Sten.

        16.  Digging Tools. Each car 5cwt will carry one axe, one pick, one shovel and one spade.  These will be sharpened before emplaning.

        17.  Blankets.  Each man will take one blanket with him when emplaning, for use while in flight.  Blankets will be left in gliders on landing.

        18.  Sandbags.  An issue of 20 sandbags will be made to each Jeep.  The entire floor space of Jeeps, incl the space under Dvr and No's 1 and rear seats will be covered by sandbags, which will be filled as soon as possible after landing.  This affords protection against exploding mines.

        19.  Medical.

                (a) Med equipment to be carried.

                        (i) Each man will carry his first field dressing in pocket provided in denim trousers.

                        (ii) Each Jeep will carry its shell dressing satchel.

                        (iii) All ranks will carry morphine tube with first field dressing.  To avoid possibility of morphine poisoning by giving a casualty too many injections, when a morphine injection has been given the empty case will be securely fastened to the collar or pocket flap of the shirt or smock where it can be easily seen.

                (b) Casualties.  Casualties on L.Z's will, if possible, be brought in to Bn R.V's and handed over to Bn R.A.P's.  If their injuries are such that they cannot be moved they must be left on L.Z's and their location notified to Bn R.A.P's as soon as possible, so that they can be picked up and attended to.  The same principle will be applied in dealing with casualties in the latter stages.  No man will remain with a casualty.  Small packs and rations must not be removed from wounded men.  AF.W. 3084 will be pasted in every A.B. 64.

        20.  Fighting Strength Returns.  Strength in men and weapons will be sent to Bty H.Q. by Tps as soon as possible after airlanding and at 0600 hrs daily thereafter.  No change returns are required.  The following code will be used:- AX - Killed AY - Wounded AZ - Missing C - Posted strength with Tp at 0600 hrs.  The following is an example of type of message required:- AX - One and three AY - Nil and Nil AZ - Nil and one. C - 25.  This means one Officer and three O.R's killed, no Officer or O.R. wounded, no Officer and one O.R. missing, posted strength 25.

        21.  Intercommunication.  Bty H.Q. on airlanding joins Bde H.Q. at quarry 041498 - thereafter moves with Bde H.Q.  On arrival at Bde H.Q. Bty Comd will take over control set from own para recce party.

        22. No.18 Sets.  2 sets will be dropped with each recce party.  One set will be airlanded by each Tp H.Q. and by Bty H.Q. Total sets leaving base will be nine.  Frequency 6.2

        23.  Recognition signals.

                (a) Bty to Bde - Side and rear lights of own Jeeps will be green as identification by night to 2 Para Bde Tps.  This lighting is being demonstrated to 2 Para Bde, by night, before leaving base.

                (b) Between Seaborne Forces and Airborne Forces.

                        (i) A.F.V's - pennants on A.F.V's will be flown as follows:- Top of mast - one pennant.  Centre of mast - one pennant.

                                British A.F.V's will carry a rectangular patch on front, sides and rear, thus:-

                                    6"      6"        6"

                                | Red | White | Red | and one R.A.F. roundel painted on a horizontal surface.

                        (ii) Vehs other than A.F.V's will have one R.A.F. roundel or large white star surrounded by 4" white circle on a horizontal surface.  Captured vehs will have Union Jack displayed on windscreen or radiator.

                (c) Personnel. Between Airborne and Seaborne Forces Red panel 2" x 4" with white star in centre, held by Pl's. Berets will be worn as opportunity offers.

                (d) Within Bde in Phase 1.  One long followed by one short light or sound, given on torch, whistle or horn, for night recognition.

                (e) Passwords.  Challenge - DESERT RATS.

                                         Answer - KILL ITALIANS.

24.  D-Day:  10 July 43.  May be postponed for 24 or 48 hrs.

25.  Ack.

 

J.R. Wilson. Major R.A.

C.O. 2nd (Oban) Air Landing Anti-Tank Battery, R.A.

Field.

7 July 43.

 

 

APPENDIX 'A' TO 2nd (OBAN) AIR LANDING A-TK BTY R.A. O.O. No.1

METHOD OF CARRIAGE OF ARTICLES OF PERSONAL EQPT ON MAN.

 

        1.  ON MAN.  Identity Discs.

                                Knives Clasp.

        2.  ON WEB EQPT. Water bottle, haversack, basic pouches.

        3.  IN HAVERSACK.     Water Bottle.              Beret.

                                                Half Mess Tin.             Foot Powder.

                                                Knife, fork, spoon.       De-lousing powder.

                                                Small towel.                 Dubbin.

                                                2 prs spare socks.        Middle East dual container, half Atebrine, half mosquito cream.

                                                Housewife.                   Spare bootlaces.

                                                Razor, cleaning kit.       Cardigan.

                                                Soap.                           Candle.

        4. IN BUSH SHIRT.

                (a) Right Breast Pocket.  Spare.

                (b) Left Breast Pocket.  A.B. 64 Pt. 1.

                (c) Right Bottom Pocket.  1 Shell Dressing.

                (d) Left Bottom Pocket.  Emergency Rations.

        5. IN DENIM TROUSERS.

                (a) 1st Fd Dressing Pocket.  1st Fd Dressing.  Water Sterilising Outfit.  Tubenze (in water sterilising outfit).

                (b) Long Pocket.  1 shell dressing.  Maps.