National Archives catalogue number WO 171/4756.
Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Advance Work Detachment
British Liberation Army
Division / Divisional
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
General Officer Commanding
Headquarters Royal Artillery
Light Aid Detachment
Prisoner of War
Royal Army Service Corps
Road / Round
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Reinforcement Holding Unit
Royal Ulster Rifles
South East Asia Command
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Self-Propelled / Support (if lower case)
Wireless / Telegraphy
Month and year : March 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt Col F.E. Allday R.A.
1st March 1945
Received warning that Regt will come under control SHAEF w.e.f. 14 Mar 45. Posting of 847631 W/WO II (BSM) COLLETT H.A. to fully WE of this unit to fill vacancy for WO I (RSM).
9th March 1945
Received War Office Warning Order re mobilization of 15 Airldg LAD (Type "B") REME to be completed by 0001 hrs 21 Mar 45.
12th March 1945
Mobilization of HQ 2 Airldg A Tk Regt RA complete. Posting of T/Capt T.H. ARGENT to full WE of this unit - to be Adjutant. Posting of Lt J.F. MACGREGOR to full WE of this unit - to be Liaison Officer.
14th March 1945
Under control SHAEF.
16th March 1945
Arrival of the following 1st Reinforcement Officers - Lt B.E. Shaw, Lt H.G. Barker and Lt R. Knowles RA. Operation Order VARSITY PLUNDER received. Anti Tank distribution and grouping for the Divisional task of seizing, clearing and holding the SCHNEPPENBERG feature 1646 and the village of HAMINKELN 2048 together with bridges over the river ISSEL at 223485, 217497 and 216500 was decided as follows:- u/c 3 Para Bde on the left 1 6 pr tp, 3 Airldg A Tk Bty. u/c 5 Para Bde in the centre 4 Airldg A Tk Bty (8 x 17 pr - 8 x 6 pr). u/c 6 Airldg Bde on the right 3 Airldg A Tk Bty (less two 6 pr tps and 1 17 pr section) - total in support 6 17 prs. Divisional reserve 1 tp 6 pr and 1 section 17 pr from 3 Airldg A Tk Bty plus, after link-up of land element, 6 A/L A Tk Bty (4 17 prs and 12 6 prs) and 146 SP A tk Bty of 12 17 prs.
17th March 1945
1200 - Submission of AFs W3008 and 3009.
18th March 1945
Infm received that link-up of land elements with air-party would be as follows:- D Day - 146 SP A Tk Bty D+1 (approx) 6 A/L A Tk Bty.
0800 - Main Sea Tail party as in Appx "A" left for port of embarkation.
20th March 1945
0800 - Dep of glider elements to Airborne Transit Camps - Shudy Camps M 079634 and Glevering Hall 750756 as at Appx "D". All personnel were sealed on entering the camps.
21st March 1945
0930 - Briefing room set up containing maps, aerial photos and defence overprints and the CO gave the initial briefing to offrs and ORs. BCs and Tp Comds carried on with briefing on tp and gun det basis.
Place: Glevering Hall
1400 - CO and BCs briefing as above.
22nd March 1945
0900 - GOC 6 Airborne Division, Major General Bols, addressed all officers and men on the forthcoming operation and stressed particularly three points (i) Traffic (ii) Looting and (iii) relations with German civilians.
1030 - The Regt carried out all the tactical loading of tpt, guns and equipment at airfds DUNMOW, WOODBRIDGE and EARLS COLNE.
23rd March 1945
Final briefing and preparations for the operation were concluded. All ranks were subjected to enforced rest with effect from 1900 hrs.
24th March 1945
0115 - Reveille.
0330 - All airborne personnel proceeded to airfds in RASC transport. All ranks emplaned between 0600 and 0630 hrs.
0645 to 0730 - Regt becomes airborne. Flight over East Anglia, Kent, France, Belgium and Germany.
1000 - P Hour after which landings were made by the Regt's gliders in the general area of HAMMINKELN EAST of the RHINE about four miles NORTH of WESEL. Moderate flak from ground AA units experienced and smoke from the arty bombardment and the "screen" laid several days previously on the RHINE had drifted EASTWARDS preventing accurate tactical landings on LZs as planned.
1215 - RHQ established next to HQ RA by CO and LO. Message received by wireless that 3 Bty (less 1 tp which landed separately with 3 Bde outside the Div area) had deployed in the 6 Airldg Bde area EAST, SOUTH, and in HAMMINKELN. Bty HQ est with Bde HQ.
1400 - Message received by DR from 4 Bty that all guns available had been deployed in the 5 Bde area with task defence against attack by AFVs from the NORTH. Landings of gliders, personnel and equipment will be found in Appx "G".
1600 - Visibility greatly improved - weather warm and summerlike. Div had secured all its objectives. 12 guns of the Regt (out of 32) were deployed on the ground. During the night two or three tanks or SP guns approached the bridge due EAST of HAMMINKELN but withdrew without hostile action.
25th March 1945
Follow up sea tail embarked.
Div area remained intact and no hostile AFVs appeared.
1300 - Link up by 146 SP A Tk Bty having crossed the RHINE by rafts.
Return submitted to HQ RA giving particulars of key personnel required urgently for operational purposes as follows:-
Sjts Nos 1
Gnrs (Layers and Gun Nos)
Bdrs (link Nos)
Nominal roll submitted to HQ RA of all killed, wounded and missing by ranks.
The 12 SP 17 prs of 146 Bty were deployed under comd OC 2 A/L A tk and used to strengthen A tk dispositions on the NW sector of the Div area.
1400 - RHQ moved its location to house at 214489.
1700 - CO sends message to btys as at Appx "C". Arrival of Major ROWAT, OC 6 A/L A tk Bty, during the evening who reported that his bty was across the RHINE.
26th March 1945
1200 - Rear sea tail disembarked.
27th March 1945
1225 - Deficiency list as at Appendix "E" fwd to HQ RA. RHQ est in GRENZERKUST 2445. General mov of Div was a sidestep SOUTHWARDS and an advance on a 1 Bde front, 3 Para Bde leading with 3 A tk Bty u/c.
28th March 1945
63 A tk Regt (12 Corps) came u/c 6 A/B Div - OC Lt Col TAYLOR joined this RHQ with his Tac HQ. RHQ est SE of ERLE 3948.
29th March 1945
0800 - RHQ move fwd to est near HQ RA at RHADE 4450. 3 and 4 Btys, the amalgamation of whom is now complete, (necessitated by heavy landing losses in both personnel and equipment) continued to move u/c 3 Para Bde; 6 Bty, u/c 5 Para Bde. Following re-inforcement officers joined Regt:- Lt THOMPSON Lt VAUGHAN Lt WOOD Lt KING and Lt DUNN.
1930 - Message received that general adv would continue 30th. 3 and 6 A/L Btys to remain u/c 3 and 5 Para Bdes respectively.
30th March 1945
Party despatched to collect 4 6 prs and 4 17 prs towers from Corps sources.
1700 - RHQ moved in the Divisional column via COESFELD and BILLERBECK and est in farm 7578. Lt MACGREGOR interposted to 3 Bty vice Capt SAVIOUR deceased and appointed A/Capt.
31st March 1945
During the day fwd elements of the Div adv beyond GREVEN.
1800 - RHQ adv with Div HQ from 7578 to new location WEST of GREVEN 8787. A possible threat from SE where MUNSTER was still in enemy hands led to the deployment of 1 tp 6 prs of 3/4 Bty to block the rd running SE from ALTENBERG 8183 to MUNSTER. Shelling from two SP guns in GREVEN 9188.
2000 - Lt EDWARDS and 74 OR re-inforcements arrived from 31 RHU. Submission of AFs W3008 and W3009.
Month and year : April 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt Col F.E. Allday R.A.
1st April 1945
0800 - CO and Adjutant interview all newly joined re-inforcements and personnel the major portion of whom are sent to 3/4 Bty so that 4 Bty can be detached from comd OC 3 Bty and re-formed as a bty proper u/c Capt ELLIOTT. Lt Edwards interposted to 4 Bty.
1400 - CO and Adjutant move fwd to HQ RA at LENGERICH 0898. RHQ main body under LO to move up to SCHMEDEHAUSEN 9789 as veh movement over DORTMUND-EMS CANAL is restricted.
2100 - CO and Adjutant report HQ RA. Some shelling of LENGERICH and the Div Axis main rd running into LENGERICH. Orders received from HQ RA that A tk grouping for 2 Apr would be 6 Bty less 1 tp u/c 5 Bde; 1 tp 17 prs 6 Bty u/c 6 Bde; 3 Bty u/c 3 Bde.
2nd April 1945
0300 - Orders by DR from CO for RHQ and the Div res tp of 6 prs from 4 Bty to move and harbour area LENGERICH at 0700 hrs.
1000 - Arrival of RHQ and 6 pr tp in location 062972.
1100 - CO holds BCs conference. See Appx "A".
1400 - CO gives orders for deployment of res tp 6 prs. Task to block rds up from MUNSTER to LENGERICH as MUNSTER remains in enemy hands.
4th April 1945
1000 - LO goes fwd to recce new location near HQ RA in area BLASHEIME.
1700 - CO leaves for HQ RA at BLASHEIME 567123.
5th April 1945
0615 - LO ambushed small arms fire in area 5009. Jeep rendered u/s and ev AWD and LO sustains a "story book" escape - several bullets penetrating clothing but deflected from the heart by cigarette tin. US armd recce car unit contacted and area cleaned up.
0900 - Adjutant with RHQ moves up Div Axis arriving BLASHEIM 1400 hrs.
1400 - CO contacted at HQ RA - the latter are about to move to a new area SUDFELDE 7819.
1620 - RHQ move up Div Axis.
2000 - RHQ est new location 782198.
6th April 1945
0800 - Adjutant to HQ RA - informed no likely move today so on return gave internal economy order.
0900 - CO orders composite tps 17 prs 3 Bty to be at 15 mins notice to cross river WESER for consolidation if required of 5 Bde bridgehead.
1400 - CO visits all btys. OC 6 Bty agrees to: (1) loan 4 jeeps and dvrs plus 4 gun nos to 3 Bty pending arrival of re-inforcements to the latter (2) hand over all 17 pr gun stores held by the 17 pr tp of 6 Bty at present equipped with 6 prs to 4 Bty.
1600 - Message received from HQ RA composite tp 17 prs to move immediately over river WESER and deploy in bridgehead u/c 6 Airldg Bde.
1900 - CO receives orders from HQ RA that 146 SP Bty comes under Regt comd also 6 Airldg A tk Bty. 3 A tk Bty remain u/c 3 Para Bde. 1 tp 17 prs at present in sp 6 Airldg Bde to revert u/c 3 Bty on move of Bde fwd. 1 tp 146 SP Bty u/c 2 Guards Armd Regt with 3 Para Bde.
2000 - OC 146 SP Bty reports this location having received orders from Bde and est liaison with 6 A tk Bty.
7th April 1945
0800 - CO to HQ RA for orders.
0900 - CO moves over river WESER with 5 Bde. Wireless set on Regt frequency with flick to CRA.
1030 - LO to HQ RA - informed no move expected before 0700 hrs 8 Apr but tac HQ may be called fwd at 1200 hrs today.
1800 - Out of wireless touch with Tac HQ RA - Adjt moves over river WESER to contact HQ RA at HAGENBURG. Submission of AFsW 3008 & 3009.
8th April 1945
0730 - CO moves fwd to Tac RA.
0800 - LO brings fwd RHQ.
1300 - RHQ est STEINHUDER 1029.
1600 - OC 4 Bty reports ordered by CO to send up two tps (each 2 x 6 prs and 2 x 17 prs) to from Div reserve.
9th April 1945
0830 - CO to HQ RA for orders. CRA given composite trace of gun pos of btys.
1230 - Two composite tps of 4 Bty arrived to harbour area ALTENHAGEN.
1500 - Adjt to 4 Bty with orders for deployment of two reserve tps - 1 tp each to two coys 13 Para Bn in sp of occupation of BRINK 2035 and SCHARREL 2338.
2000 - CO receives orders that adv is to continue next day with btys in sp as follows: 3 Bty with 3 Para Bde; to area BISSENDORF 3738, MELLENDORF 3540 and BRELINGEN 3241. 6 Bty less 3 6 prs tps ie 1 17 pr to only to go with 6 Airldg Bde.
10th April 1945
0900 - CO moves fwd with 5 Para Bde - wireless on Regt frequency and flick CRA Comd Net.
1500 - CO returns.
1600 - 4 Bty less 2 tps arrive location ALTENBURG.
1700 - 1 tp 4 Bty given orders to deploy by CO in BORDENAU area to cover EAST approaches to town.
11th April 1945
0900 - CO receives orders from HQ RA that 15 Scottish Div are to pass through. CO gives orders for 3 Bty to be at one hours notice to move with 3 Para Bde; 4 Bty to be at six hours notice to move with 5 Para Bde; 6 Bty no likely move and remain with 6 Airldg Bde.
12th April 1945
0900 - Adjt to HQ RA.
0915 - CO leaves to visit Btys.
1430 - 6 Bty HQ move to OBERENDE 268314.
14th April 1945
1000 - RHQ move in HQ RA column up Div Axis.
1600 - RHQ est next to HQ RA in wood 673603.
1700 - CO receives orders from HQ RA to prepare two parachute 6 pr tps to be in sp of special op planned by 5 Bde.
2100 - BCs conference. 251/63 A tk Bty comes under Regt comd.
2245 - Arrangements confirmed by message as at Appendix "C". Submission of AFs W 3008 & W 3009.
2250 - CO sends out message covering forthcoming events as at Appx "E".
15th April 1945
1045 - CO gives orders for concentration of 2 parachute 6 pr troops as at Appx "F".
2355 - Orders received for move 16th Apr. 4 Bty Residues, 251 A tk Bty, 15 LAD to move and harbour area BOKEL 8971.
16th April 1945
0800 - RHQ move in HQ RA column.
1300 - RHQ est in NETTLEKAMP 919799.
1700 - Information received that special task of 5 Para Bde to be held temporarily in abeyance and the Bde was to move to area NIENDORF.
1900 - CO sends message to BCs to attend conference so that arrangements could be made for the temporary resuscitation of 2 tps 6 pr u/c Major WOODROW in order that the latter can sp 5 Para Bde in a temporary fd role.
2000 - 17 pr gun 3 Bty taking wrong route out of RATZLINGEN shot up by 88's. Quad destroyed but det escaped with inf of positions of enemy tanks which was passed to Div. 4 Bty tp shot at with SA fire by coachload of Germans entering MOLZEN from UELZEN. A tracked veh engaged with 1 rd HE entering MOLZEN from EAST and blown up. 17 pr (4 Bty) knocked out a tracked Panzer wagon at 927954. Tp 251 Bty shot up germans with SA fire approaching from SOUTH towards MOLZEN.
17th April 1945
1000 - CO and OC 251 Bty go fwd round gun positions and to call on Tac HQ RA at LEHMKE. Additional 1 tp 251 Bty went fwd.
1200 - A tk grouping now as follows: 3 Para Bde 2 tps (each 3 x 6 pr 1 x 17 pr) 2 tps (each 2 x 6 pr 2 x 17 pr) 2 tps Crusader towed 17 prs. 6 Airldg Bde 2 tps (each 2 x 6 pr and 2 x 17 pr) 1 tp (6 pr). 5 Para Bde 2 tps (each 4 x 6 pr).
1600 - RHQ and HQ 251 Bty move from NETTLEKAMP to est in new location LEHMKE 953849. Wireless communications to HQ RA at Btys est.
2100 - CO to HQ RA - small adv to be made on 18 Apr - distribution of A tk tps remains unchanged.
18th April 1945
0900 - CO to HQ RA.
1000 - 15 LAD arrives this location.
19th April 1945
2345 - CO sends message to Btys with regard to a temporary regrouping during the prolonged wait for the 5 Para Bde "Special Task" for which two Parachute Tps of 4 x 6 prs each have been formed and held in readiness. See Appendix "H".
20th April 1945
0900 - Lt Hunter leaves for LZ areas near Rhine to trace if possible Major DIXON's glider, as no information of occupants of glider yet received.
1300 - LO leaves with Div Recce party to new area WEST of LUNEBURG.
1400 - 6 Bty requested to change lettering of their tps. Tps now known as follows:- 3 Bty A - B - C - D 4 Bty E - F - G - H 6 Bty I - J - K - L.
21st April 1945
0900 - CO visits Btys.
1200 - 10 reinforcements arrive from 61 A tk Regt. Allotted:- 4 Bty - 2 Gnrs. 3 Bty - 2 Bdrs and 6 Gnrs.
1700 - Submission of AFs W 3008 and W 3009.
22nd April 1945
0900 - LO leaves with Regt Recce party for WESSENSTEDT to allocate Bty areas.
1100 - "W" Bty u/c Major WOODROW remobilizes and concentrates in area LEHMKE.
1400 - HQ RA to close down CRA's Comd Net. Major WOODROW attends conference at 5 Para Bde re Operation "ENTERPRISE".
1800 - Movement Order No.2 forwarded to Btys for Regt move to concentration area at WESSENSTEDT 825992. See Appendix "J".
2100 - Regt Wireless Net closed down.
23rd April 1945
0800 - 251 A tk Bty moves independently from LEHMKE to LUNEBURG area and reverts to u/c 8 Corps reserve.
1300 - Regt moves to WESSENSTEDT into Div concentration area 825992.
24th April 1945
0800 - Adjt to HQ RA. Letter as Appx "K" to HQ RA.
1500 - Lt HUNTER returns and reports to CO that he has discovered the 4 Bty glider containing Major DIXON, Lt BANNISTER and other Bty HQ personnel who are confirmed as killed in action.
1800 - Op Instr No.12 "Enterprise" received from HQ RA.
25th April 1945
0900 - CO to HQ RA.
1200 - Message to OC "W" Bty to send Lt HART as advance party to the airfd to inspect and report on the Halifax loads for the 5 Para special task.
1800 - First round played in the Regt Inter-Tp Knockout football competition.
26th April 1945
0900 - CO to HQ RA.
1000 - Regt Church Parade.
27th April 1945
1030 - CRA inspects Regt less 6 Bty.
1045 - OC "W" Bty reports that 5 Para Bde special task is cancelled and that he is returning to Div concentration area.
1530 - "W" Bty move into Regt area.
1800 - 5 OR reinforcements arrive for the Regt.
28th April 1945
0930 - Rfts interposted - 3 Bty 3 Gnrs - 4 Bty 2 Gnrs.
1000 - BCs conference. BCs asked to note suitable personnel for permanent retention within the Regt. OC 6 Bty to take over 1 17 pr each 3 and 4 Btys to make up his total holding of 17 prs to 6.
1700 - Submission of AFs W 3008 and W 3009.
29th April 1945
0900 - LO to HQ RA who reports bridgehead est over ELBE.
1000 - CO to 5 Para Bde.
1400 - CO holds BCs conference.
1500 - HQ RA advise that 5 Para Bde special task is cancelled.
1600 - CO and Adjt to HQ RA.
30th April 1945
0900 - Movement Order No.4 as at Appx "M" issued to Btys.
Month and year : May 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt Col F.E. Allday R.A.
1st May 1945
0600 - RHQ crossed River ELBE. Harboured in 8935 Nr. LAUENBURG.
1000 - 25 ORs Re-inforcements arrived and were distributed to Btys and RHQ as follows: 11 to 3 Bty. 1 to RHQ 13 4 Bty.
1100 - Received Op. order No.94.
1900 - LO to HQRA. 6 Airborne Div now under control 18 US Airborne Corps.
3rd May 1945
0800 - Cleaning up on arrival at WISMAR. LO to HQRA. CO to HQRA.
4th May 1945
0900 - CO to HQRA.
1130 - HQRA - Advise boundary agreed with RUSSIANS also instructed on relationship with the RUSSIANS.
1800 - CO to HQRA.
1930 - CO held BCs Conference.
2245 - Adjt. to 6 Bty. CO advised 6 Bty they will assist RUR's in organising and controlling of POW Camp at MUHLEN EICHSEN 3279.
5th May 1945
0800 - CO to HQ RA.
0800 - Hostilities ceased at 0800 on 21 Army Group Front.
1000 - CRA visits CO.
1015 - CO instructs 4 Bty to send Offr. & 6 ORs with knowledge of AA to proceed to WISMAR Goods Yard to immobilise Flak train.
1300 - Sec of RE's sent to assist 4 Bty and in cleaning Flak train of Boobytraps.
1800 - 4 Bty report immobilisation of Flak train completed.
6th May 1945
1100 - Div. Church Service at WISMAR. Representatives of the Regt attended.
7th May 1945
0900 - CO to HQRA.
1200 - Fd. Marshal Montgomery and Marshal ROKOSSOVSKY meet at Div. HQ at WISMAR.
1400 - CO visits POW Camp at MUHLEN EICHSEN (6 Bty).
8th May 1945
0900 - CO to HQRA.
1000 - CRA visits POW Camp at MUHLEN EICHSEN (6 Bty).
9th May 1945
0900 - CO flies to Denmark.
1000 - Adjt to HQ RA.
10th May 1945
0930 - Adjt to HQRA.
1530 - Semi Final Inter Tp. Football Comp. 4 Bty versus 3 Bty. Result: 3 Bty. A win.
11th May 1945
0800 - 257 A.tk.Bty reverts to command of 7 Armd. and move to Conc. area N. of HAMBURG.
12th May 1945
0900 - CRA visited the Regt. and inspected billets and working parties, trg. Etc.
14th May 1945
1000 - Small Party (1 Offr and 6 ORs) were present at the investiture of the CRA Brig. FAITHFULL with the U.S. Silver Star by Maj. Gen. RIDGEWAY, U.S. Airborne Corps Commander.
15th May 1945
0900 - Mov. Order received to move to UK and for the despatch of a small adv party by air.
17th May 1945
0730 - Regtl. Advance Party left for Luneburg Aerodrome at 1400 hrs. comprising the 3 'Q' Capts. and 4 Sgts. Arrived Netheravon (UK) 1830 hrs. Bulford 1900 hrs.
18th May 1945
0800 - Regt moved from WISMAR area by road to LUNEBURG during the day. Arrived approx. 1600 hrs. and harboured for the night.
19th May 1945
1400 - The Regtl. flying Party emplaned at LUNEBURG at 1400 hrs. landed NIVELLE (Nr. BRUSSELS) at 1615 hrs. to refuel and arrived NEWBURY at 1840 hrs. Reached BULFORD 2000 hrs. The Regtl. Vehicle Party left harbour area LUNEBURG on the morning of 19.May.45. and started road journey to OSTENDE.
27th May 1945
0100 - The bulk of the Regtl. Vehicle Party arrived in BULFORD from CALAIS during the early hours of the morning having crossed from CALAIS to DOVER the previous evening.
28th May 1945
0900 - Remainder of Regt. eligible to proceed to SEAC (A/S Gps 27 & over) went on 28 days leave. Rear Parties proceeded to check all equipment on Q 1098 in preparation for Mob. Orders.
29th to 31st May 1945
The Regt. is on leave.
SUBJECT:- REPORT ON OPS
HQ RA 6 Airborne Division
Copies: OC 3 Airldg A tk Bty RA
OC 4 Airldg A tk Bty RA
OC 6 Airldg A tk Bty RA
Ref your RA/T/508 dated 11 Apr 45 herewith full report as asked for on behalf of this Regt:-
(i) The large scale model as prepared by experts at Div HQ, and to a lesser extent by Bde HQs, is probably of more use to this Regt for the briefing of Tp Comds and Nos 1 than any other medium. The amount of time this model was available to the Regt was, understandably, inadequate due to the other calls thereon and it is suggested that a model for the use of RA units might be prepared by experts for use in briefing for future airborne operations.
(ii) It is considered imperative that A tk Tp Comds should be "X" listed at the same period of briefing as Coy Comds in order that they may attend all Bn co-ordinating conferences from their inception.
(iii) Mainly due to the reasons stated in para (b) (i) below the days at transit camps available for briefing were insufficient.
(b) AIRFD NOTES.
(i) Personnel of the two airborne btys and RHQ were split up over four airfds. In more than one instance, due to the numerical allocation of gliders at each airfd, even a tp was split over two aerodromes. The difficulties in briefing involved thereby are obvious, the round trip of the airfds necessitated motoring over 150 miles with resulting wastage of briefing time. It is thought that more consideration could be given to the A tk Regt in future ops by the staff responsible for the allotment of gliders and airfds without inconveniencing the, apparently, more important units.
(ii) It is considered essential that greater opportunity be given for glider-borne personnel to liaise with their respective glider pilots. The two pilots, in most cases, represent twenty five per cent of the personnel in the glider and a certain amount of pre-planning and discussion with them would increase unloading efficiency, produce a better team, thereby increasing morale on landing.
(iii) There appears to be little or no co-ordinated thinking on the subject of glider loading between AFDC and RAF. The RAF methods varied considerably between aerodromes e.g. at Earls Colne the RAF forbade the loading of the jeep and trailer in the Mk II Horsa with the jeep facing the tail whereas at Great Dunmow this was encouraged. It is thought essential that the loading drill as taught to glider-borne tps should be the same in all respects as that practiced by the RAF; last minute changes in such procedure tend to create nervousness and lack of confidence amongst the glider-borne personnel.
(c) FLIGHT AND DISPERSION ON LANDING.
In general the flight was excellent but due to the haze etc., the landing was gravely dispersed e.g. a number of gliders landed over two miles from their correct LZ; in the case of one bty only two gliders out of a total of twenty seven landed on the correct LZ. The implications of such a landing area too obvious and too numerous to go into in detail.
(d) LOSSES OF GLIDERS.
(1) HORSAS. (Total loaded 38).
The following did not arrive according to plan:-
(i) 3 Bty HQ 1 - crashed on landing - load salvaged five hours later.
(ii) 3 Bty HQ 2 - landed NORTH EAST of autobahn, load and personnel OK - joined up with bty.
(iii) 3 Bty HQ 3 - landed on LZ, hit by 88mm whilst unloading and burned out. Load lost - one survivor (badly wounded).
(iv) A Tp HQ 1 - landed off LZ - jeep and trailer hit by mortar when crossing LZ. Four "X" casualties.
(v) A Tp HQ 2 - landed near autobahn - lashings gave way but load salvaged.
(vi) B Tp HQ 1 - landed far SOUTH of LZ in American area - load shot up by MG fire in glider and had to be abandoned.
(vii) B Tp HQ 2 - no trace.
(viii) C Tp HQ 1 - hit in air by flak. Crashed and burned out - load lost.
(ix) D Tp HQ 2 - let to 3 Para Bde. Flew composite load (including Major Cully, 210 Airldg Lt Bty RA) - hit by flak crashed and burned out - load lost.
(x) D Tp Gun det 3 - landed on top of trees - crashed - load lost.
(xi) D Tp Gun det 4 - no trace.
(xii) 4 Bty HQ 1 - no trace.
(xiii) 4 Bty HQ 2 - no information available. Crew casualties or PW (thought to have been hit by flak).
(xiv) E Tp Gun det 3 - no information - crew all casualties.
(xv) E Tp Gun det 4 - landed EAST of ISSEL near HAMMINKELN. Jeep disappeared - gun found abandoned EAST of river with two of det dead nearby. Remainder crew missing.
(xvi) F Tp HQ 2 - no information - crew all casualties.
(xvii) G Tp HQ 1 - no information - crew all casualties - Tp Comd killed.
(xviii) G Tp HQ 2 - no trace.
(xix) G Tp Gun det 3 - no information - all crew in hospital.
(xx) G Tp Gun det 4 - tow rope trouble - landed BOURG LEOPOLD, BELGIUM - no casualties to personnel or equipment.
(xxi) H Tp Gun det 4 - crashed SOUTH edge of LZ. Two casualties - jeep "Z" casualty - gun repairable.
(xxii) RHQ - landed two miles NORTH of LZ - load and crew OK.
Result. Fifty eight per cent Horsa "incidents".
(2) HAMILCARS. (Total loaded 16).
The following failed to arrive according to plan:-
(i) B Tp Gun det - failed to take off.
(ii) A Tp Gun det - landed WEST of RHINE at BOURG LEOPOLD - no casualties.
(iii) C Tp Gun det - landed far to SOUTH in American area - no casualties.
(iv) A Tp Gun det - crashed on wrong LZ - wrecked - load lost.
(v) C Tp Gun det - crashed EAST of river ISSEL in American area - one survivor - load lost.
(vi) B Tp Gun det - no trace.
(vii) F Tp Gun det 1 - no information - all crew casualties or PW.
(viii) F Tp Gun det 2 - landed MANSTON, UK - tug trouble - no casualties.
(ix) G Tp Gun det 1 - no information - crew all casualties and PW.
(x) H Tp Gun det 1 - landed near BRUSSELS - tow rope trouble no casualties.
(xi) H Tp Gun det 2 - landed near CALAIS - tow rope trouble - no casualties.
(xii) G Tp Gun det 2 - hit tree-top edge of LZ - turned over - all casualties - load lost.
RESULT: Seventy five per cent Hamilcar "incidents".
(e) GUNS IN ACTION.
(i) P + 1hrs - three out of thirty two.
(ii) P + 6hrs - twelve out of thirty two.
The Regt possessed an "unofficial" 62/22 set net between RHQ and 3 and 4 Btys. The sets were "obtained" on D - 4 and as a result trained signallers within the two btys were scarce and unpracticed. Thus any shortcomings in initial signal communications do not entirely reflect upon the efficiency of the equipment itself.
22 set still in glider until P + 5. One 22 set through to RHQ P + 3.
Communications WT non-existent due to non-arrival of both RHQ glider loads.
68 communications within btys throughout first day were not completely established due to the loss, or damage on arrival, of either the control or outstation sets.
The inexperienced signallers on 62/22 set link had difficulty, in the first few days, in establishing communications due to the proximity, at Div HQ and Bde HQ, of many and divers sets of higher power. Standard of WT intercommunication is improving.
(g) CASUALTIES - PERSONNEL. (Incurred D Day amended to date).
(h) AMMUNITION AND RATION RESUPPLY ETC.
(i) Ammunition - no difficulties.
(ii) Rations - a number of compo rations are known to have been lost to the enemy through being left in gliders as directed.
(i) Not applicable to this Regt.
(j) Not applicable to this Regt.
No tanks were engaged on D Day, and in fact subsequently, due to their non-appearance in the areas covered by the guns of this Regt. Many reports of their immediate presence and threat have been received but they either (1) vanished or (2) proved to be (a) Allied (b) jeeps (c) farm vehicles (d) chicken houses. It is hoped that the future will yield more worthy targets.
The Regt has confined its aggressive activity to firing at houses, soft vehicles, and a static 88mm gun, the latter on D Day when a 17 pr engaged and eliminated an 88mm with HE. The 88mm was shooting up CG4As (Wacos).
(l) SEA TAIL JOINING UP.
(m) GENERAL POINTS.
(i) An extremely high standard of infantry training is required; since for the first hour or so the majority of the work to be done is infantry work; this is especially so in tactical landings on LZs which have not been cleared.
(ii) Even with Mk II Horsas it is deemed necessary to load with the primary intention of coming out through the tail, i.e. with the jeep facing aft.
(iii) Strapping in on landing is most essential.
(iv) Ditching drill in detail is required.
(v) The WE of the RHQ of and Airldg A tk Regt RA has shown itself to be capable of improvement. It is asked that this may be made the subject of a separate letter at a later date when a copy of WE of Infantry Division A tk RHQ has been obtained.
Lt Col RA
Comd 2 Airldg A tk Regt RA
18 Apr 45.
Subject;- BCs Conference - 2 April 45 - Outcome Thereof.
OsC 3 Airldg A Tk Bty RA
4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA
Copy to:- OC 6 Airldg A Tk Bty RA
1. The present absorption of reinforcements and replacement equipment is being directed to create 3 and 4 Btys as, firstly, full strength three Tp Btys and, secondly, full strength four Tp Btys.
2. 10 Jeeps are being delivered to Regt within 24 hrs - 3 are suballotted to 3 Bty and 7 to 4 Bty.
3. The reinforcements as asked for as replacement of key personnel have already been received. Additional "bodies" will only be forthcoming henceforth as a result of the receipt, by 2nd Echelon of the weekly AFs W 3008 and 3009. However, an urgent signal is being forwarded to Reinforcements 2nd Army for the provision of the 44 ORs detailed by BCs - priority 1 being a WO II for 4 Bty.
4. Tractors FA 4 x 4 to replace the eight Dodges have also been asked for - disposal instructions for the Dodges on receipt of the Tractors will be forwarded in due course.
5. The question of the disposal of Side Shields 6 pr is being decided by CRA. Reserve gas stores may be reduced to minimum at BCs discretion.
6. Three additional 3 ton vehicles for each 3 and 4 Btys have been indented for. Such extra vehicles have not as yet been made available to the Div.
7. Three additional 6 prs only are being drawn for 4 Bty.
8. OC 4 Bty will contact EME HQRA with a view to the issue of AF G 1043 for damaged 6 pr.
9. Application has been made for the return of H4 to its rightful owner.
10. BCs will ensure the immediate inter. bty reshuffle of personnel and equipment.
11. OC 3 Bty will arrange to draw from 4 Bty the following equipment and WOCs:- (a) 5 Brens (30 magazines) (b) 4 68 sets.
12. BCs are reminded that it is imperative that the Daily Casualty Returns are put in DAILY through the formation under whose command they are functioning at the time. Also AFs W 3008 and 3009 must be rendered weekly as this is now the only source of information to 2nd Echelon for the posting in of reinforcements. Btys finding themselves under Regtl command will submit the above returns from RHQ.
13. Any losses of major items of equipment through enemy action and any casualties to personnel will, in addition, to the submission of the normal return Bde, be notified immediately to RHQ.
14. OC 4 Bty will keep CO informed of progress of reconstruction of 4 Bty.
15. Finally, BCs are reminded that the vehicles at present charge to the Regt are likely to have to function throughout some weeks of strenuous mobile operations. Already overloaded, vehicles will not, therefore, be permitted to become cluttered up with unnecessary junk dubiously acquired. Btys will only fight and travel with sufficient material to ensure efficiency.
Signed Lt Col RA
Commanding 2 Airldg A Tk Regt RA
2 Apr 45