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British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War.
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Postby Andy H on 17 Aug 2006 21:40

1) King Force- Maj N King MC
2) 7th Motor Bde / 1st Armoured Division
3) 01/10/43
4) ?/10/43
5) Special Tank Squadron
6) 6 Mk III Churchills
7) Battle of El Alamein. A full account can be seen at http://www.nih.ww2site.com/nih/Articles/7.html
8 ) W.G.E.Jackson, The Battle for North Africa 1940-43, David Fletcher, Mr. Churchill's Tank and http://www.nih.ww2site.com/nih/Articles/7.html. Thanks also to AHF member Gerry Chester.

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Postby Andy H on 05 Oct 2006 15:25

1) Force Gold
2) ?
3) 03/12/41?
4) ?
5) 1Sqn Central India Horse, 31st Field Regt RA, 1Bty 65th ATTK Regt RA
6) ?
7) Defensive actions around Sidi Aziet during the Crusader offensive
8.) The Sid Rezeg Battles 1941 by Agar-Hamilton & Turner. Published by Oxford University Press

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Postby Andy H on 21 Nov 2006 23:23

) Rud Force
2) ?
3) 09/04/45?
4) 15/04/45?
5) ?
6) ?
7) Offensive action as part of the 8th Army crossing the Senio, Santerno & Silaro rivers in northern Italy. The force was located on the extyreme left flank of the Polish Carpathian Division (which was also the corp boundary between 2Pol Corp & 10 Corps)
8.) The Polish 2nd Corps and the Italian Campaign 1943-45 by Witold Madeja

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Postby Necros on 11 Dec 2006 21:15

1) Stiletto Force
2) 19th Indian Division
3) (?)
4) (?)
5) 1st Assam (Div Recon Btn), 1/15th Punjab (Div HQ Btn), Indian & British tanks, Madras Sappers, guns.
6) (?)
7) The force took part in the attack on Mandalay in March 1945
8) The British Army in the Far East 1941-45, Osprey Publishing, Battle Orders 13
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Postby Andy H on 19 Aug 2007 18:28

1) Parry Force Major R Parry
2) 48th Infantry Brigade
3) March 1944(?)
4) March 1944(?)
5) 1 Commando Composite Company. Made up from 1 Commando Platoon from each Inf Btn of the 48th Brigade
6) (?)
7) The force took part in the attack on Bunker Hill during the battle of Sakawang March 20-25 1945
8) Burma the Turning Point (The 7 Battles on the Tiddim Road) by Ian L Grant

1) Strike Force Brigadier Anstice
2) 7th Armoured Brigade
3) 28/03/42
4) (?)
5) 7th Hussars, 414Bty RHA, I/West Yorkshire Regt, 2nd Duke of Wellington's Regt, 1st Glosters, 1st Cameronians, 24th Field Company
6) Infantry strength was the equiv of 2 weak battalions.
7) The battle for Shwedaung against Japanese 33rdID
8) Burma 1942-The Japanese Invasion by Ian L Grant & Kazuo Tamayama
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Postby Andy H on 29 Aug 2007 11:19

1) Mag Force Lt Col Thomas
2) 1st Cameronians
3) ?/04/42
4) (?)
5) 5th Mountain Bty, 1st Cameronians, 7th Burma Rifles and 12th Burma Rifles
6) (?)
7) Originally formed to garrison Magwe, it later took part in the battle at Yenangyaung
8) Burma 1942-The Japanese Invasion by Ian L Grant & Kazuo Tamayama, Eastern Epic by Compton Mackenzie

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Postby Andy H on 29 Aug 2007 17:32

1) Pegu Force
2) 17th Infantry Division ?
3) 18/02/42
4) (?)
5) 1st West Yorkshire Regt, FF6 Burma Frontier Force, Burma Military Police
6) (?)
7) (?)
8.) http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaw ... dian42.htm

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Postby Andy H on 19 Oct 2007 16:33

1) Rob Force
2) 2nd Btn The Suffolk Regiment
3) 06/03/45
4) 08/03/45 ?
5) 2nd Btn The Suffolk Regiment, plus A/Car detachment from 11th (Prince Albert Victors Own) Cavalry. A company of Madrasses relieved the Suffolks around the 8th.
6) (?)
7) Formed to provide mobile long range ground defence for the airstrip at Onbauk, Burma
8) Constant Vigilence-The RAF Regiment in the Burma Campaign by Nigel WM Warwick and published by Pen & Sword
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PS: Above book states the 1st Btn Suffolks but the unit was in NW Europe at the time.
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Postby Aufklarung on 14 Feb 2008 03:05

1) TIGER GROUP (1) Brigadier RW Moncel 4CAB Commanding
2) II Cdn Corps, 4CAD, 4CAB
3) 25 Feb 45
4) 27 Feb 45
5) Consisted of five (5) battle groups- Jerry Force and Snuff Force = British Columbia Regt (BCR) minus a Sqn, Lincoln and Welland Regt (L&W R) minus a Coy, Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG) minus a Sqn, Argyl and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (A&SH of C) minus a Coy, Cole Force and Jock Force = BCR Sqn, L&W Coy, CGG Sqn, and A&SH of C Coy, , and Smith Force = Governor General's Foot Guards (GGFG) and Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) (LSR(Mot)). Also supporting Arms (unkn Identities).
6) Sherman III, Sherman Vc, Ram Kangaroo APCs, Bren Carriers, various other spt vehs and equipt.
7) As part of Operation "BLOCKBUSTER", II Corps entry in Germany, Jerry and Snuff Forces led the initial assault. Cole and Jock Forces followed up and re-inforced, and Smith Force pushed to three pimples NE of town of Udem (Pauls-berg, Katzen-berg and the other un-named. By 26 Feb 45, Smith Force was in Todtenhugel.
8.) -The Royal Candian Armoured Corps- An Illustrated History John Marteinson/Michael McNorgan. 2000. The RCAC Association.
- http://www.canadianheroes.org/loren/veritabl.htm .
- Canadian Military History in Perspective Pt 44 by Terry Copp, Legion Magazine, Jan/Feb 2003 edition.
- Cinderella Army: The Canadians in Northwest Europe, 1944-1945 by Terry Copp, University of Toronto Press, 2003 and 2007.
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Re: British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Postby Andy H on 22 Jun 2008 12:06

1) Pin Force under Brigadier Pienaar
2) 1st South African Brigade Group
3) 14/1240
4) (?)
5) HQ 1st SA Infantry Brigade, No 3 SA Armoured Car Coy (-2Plts), 13.7" Howitzer Bty 4th Fld Brigade SAA, 1st Transvaal Scottish, Royal Natal Carbineers, 1st Fld Coy SAEC (-1Sec) and 10th Field Ambulance SAMC (-1Coy)
6) (?)
7) The attack from Kenya into Somaliland at El Wak. Pin Forces target was the viallage at El Bura Haja and the defended camps covering an Italian Brigade HQ still further east, on the road to Bardera
8.) East African & Abyssinian campaigns (South African Forces WW2 (VolI)) by Neil Orpen, published by Purnell 1968

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Re: British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Postby Andy H on 22 Jun 2008 12:29

1) Cre Force under Brigadier T Brodie(?)
2) formed from HQ 14th Infantry Brigade
3) 06/10/40
4) 27/04/41(?)
5) 53rd LAA Regt (156 & 129 LAA Btys plus 151 HAA Bty). The latter 2Bty's were from 15LAA Regt and 151 HAA Regt respectively), 15th Coast Regt (207 & Z Coast Btys plus Y & Z Btys Notts Yeomanry), 42nd Fld Coy RE, 14th Bde Sig Sec & W/T Coy, 2nd Black Watch, 2nd York & Lancaster and 50th ME Commando
6) (?)
7) Garrison and support for British/CW forces heading to Greece
8.) Orders of Battle 1939-45 Vol II by Lt-Col Joslen, by HMSO 1960

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Re: British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Postby Andy H on 11 Aug 2008 18:16

1) Brace Force Brig Burrows
2) 12th Corp
3) 03/08/40
4) ?
5) 1st Motorized MG Bde:-17/21 Lancers, 16/5 Lancers, 2nd Lothian & Border Horse, 5th Devons, 9th East Surreys and 5th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. In addition 1st MMG Bde Coy RASC & 165th Lt Fd Amb.
6) (?)
7) Formed as an armoured C/A force based to the rear between Bognor Regis and Brighton, based at Steyning.
8) Appendix V from AIR16/1021

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Re: British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Postby Andy H on 22 Mar 2009 13:11

1) Nick Force Brig Cameron Nicholson
2) ?
3) 14/02/43
4) ?
5) 17th/21st Lancers, 2nd Lothians & Border Horse, 10th Rifle Brigade+, Tp/F Bty 12th (HAC) Regt RHA, 1Tp/450th Bty 71st (West Riding) Field Regiment . *** This force would also inc 2nd/5th Leicesters, 90th Bty 23rd Field Regt RA, 229Bty 58th (Duke of Wellingtons) AT-TK Regt, all of F Bty 12th (HAC) Regt RHA, a 4.2" Mortar Coy RE, 6x37mm US AT-TK guns.
6) Valentines and Crusader tanks plus 25pdr's
7) Formed to deny the road from Le Kef by establishing a blocking position east of Thala
8) Ubique-The Royal Artillery in the Second Word War by Richard Doherty

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Clarke Force

Postby Aufklarung on 08 May 2009 21:00

1)CLARKEFORCE. Commander unkn.
2)34 Armoured Brigade
3)17 Oct 1944
4)29 Oct 1944
5)"H.Q. 34 Armoured Brigade; 107 Regt. R.A.C.; 49 (WR) Div. Recce Regt; One troop Fife and Forfar Yeomanry (Crocodiles); D Company 1 Leicestershire Regt; One troop S.P. Anti‑tank battery, R.A.; Two Sections, R.E.; 191 Field Regt. R.A., (under command with O.C. acting as C.R.A's representative)",[i] "7 Duke of Wellington's Regt.; 1/4 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry; Two troops S.P. Anti‑tank, R.A. (M 10s)"[/i] (Placed under command later).
6) Unkn other than unit IDs and their TOEs at the time.
7) "Its role was to launch through a gap, NORTH of St. LEONARD, to be made by 49 (West Riding) Division, advance Northward (in order to protect the right flank of the 4 Canadian Armoured Division) and to gain ground as a spearhead to 49 (West Riding) Division whose main bulk would follow up and take over as opportunity occurred. The Divisional Commander's briefing was wide in its terms and gave the O.C. Force the fullest freedom to operate over a generous area of country to the EAST of where the Canadians right flank was expected to move. Provided thrust was maintained he promised his fullest backing; in the event some desperate fighting ensued on the part of the Division purely in keeping open our Lines of Communication, and we never once had to look over our shoulder no matter what we by‑passed. The village of LOENHOUT, the area of STONE BRIDGE, WUESTWEZEL and the woods to the North of it all saw actions close behind CLARKEFORCE, but this did not involve the fighting part of it which could concentrate its energies on the main object. This was mainly due the speed with which the Force advanced.
It was in the woods to the North West of WUESTWEZEL that the 107 Regt. R.A.C. echelon vehicles were captured. They were eventually released after suffering casualties including the loss of their R.S.M., Mr Gregg, and several vehicles.
In the operations which took place CLARKEFORCE performed as envisaged, launching through a hole made by 9 R.T.R., supporting 56 Infantry Brigade, who speeded the Force with all possible help. Thereafter a somewhat tenuous Line of Communication connecting the Force and the rest of 49 (West Riding) Division was subjected to fierce counter‑attack from the EAST by enemy infantry and armour, and only maintained on 21 October by infantry from the following Brigade, supported by 147 Regt. R.A.C., fighting heavily all one day. Thus in Operation REBOUND (19 to 24 October) all the Brigade (less 7 R.T.R.) were heavily involved.
In Operation THRUSTER (26 to 29 October) the HALLAMS with 9 R.T. R. came up on the right flank of CLARKEFORCE and then 9 R.T.R. were used fully in capturing ROOSENDAAL; 147 Regt. R.A.C. operated even further EAST to cover their flank, under command 104 (Timberwolf) Division U.S. Army (who had come under I Corps for about a month and were having their initial blooding).
CLARKEFORCE existed for 12 days, and fought on nine of those days with its Armoured Regt. (107 Regt. R.A.C.) involved in two very exhausting and continuous spasms of five and four days. There were less than three non‑fighting days between in which some rest and real maintenance were possible, although in this pause two short moves had to be made and all planning and orders done for the second operation. The Regt. fought successful actions involving all its Squadrons at NIEUMOER, VIESSEHENHEUVEL and EAST of ESSCHEN in the first advance, and at BREMBOSCH, WARBERGSHE BRIDGE, COSTLAR and WOUW in the second drive forward. Early on it was found that the Recce Regt. could not lead, resistance never softening up enough, so that Churchills were used in the forefront of the advance after the first 24 hours. This helped to keep down the Recce Regt. casualties, which were serious enough in any case from the mines and enemy S.P. guns. This was a heavy strain on 107 Regt. R.A.C. but all had started fresh and morale was such at the finish after capturing WOUW that nothing would have seemed impossible to them."

8)The Story of 34 Armoured Brigade,Independently Published,1945

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Re: British Army & CW ad-hoc 'Force' formations

Postby Andy H on 10 May 2009 22:55

1) Brad Force (Lt-Col J M K Bradford)
2) 2nd Infantry Division
3) 14/01/45
4) 17/01/45?
5) 2 Btys 99th Fld Regt RA, 1 Trp 100th LAA/AT Regt RA, plus detachments from RE, RAMC & RASC
6) 6Pdr AT-TK guns and carriers provided by RASC
7) To advance along the Shwebo-Mandalay road. They also had a 1/2 Sqn of the 3rd Dragoon Guards in support
8.) Only the Enemy In Front by Richard Doherty, publshed by Tom Donovan Publishing, 1994

1) Hook Force (Maj K G Hook)
2) 281st Infantry Brigade
3) 24/02/45
4) 11/03/45
5) C Sqn/ 2nd Recce Regt, A Coy/ Mahundra Dal Regiment. Plus 53rd Deception Coy
6) ?
7) Defence of the RAF airstrip at Sadaung and Corps HQ a little further to the south.
8.) Only the Enemy In Front by Richard Doherty, publshed by Tom Donovan Publishing, 1994
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