Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

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MarkN
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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by MarkN » 15 Jan 2015 13:12

RichTO90 wrote:
MarkN wrote: How can 8RTR have 32 when only 28 existed? You can't both be right. :wink:

Remember, the establishment of an Army Tank Coy was:-
Coy HQ: 1 x Light Tank and 1 x Infantry Tank with 5 off troops of 3 Infantry Tanks each.
Coy total: 1 x Light Tank, 16 x Infantry Tank

Please help!
Sorry, you may have missed it in all the Sturm und Drang, but 23 A.12 was plenty to fully equip C Squadron and provide a few more for RHQ and A and B Squadron, which would still have the 27 A.11 as reported. 8 RTR reported 27 A.11 and 23 A. 12. For a total of 50 "I" Tanks under the establishment they were on then. The likely layout was:

Rgt. HQ 2 A. 12
A & B Squadron 5 A. 12 and 27 A. 11
C Squadron 16 A. 12
Thank you for this. You seem very sure of your data.

However, I remain even more confused now because, despite the "Sturm und Drang" I read this very assertive post(my bold and underlining):-
RichTO90 wrote: Really? Why? Other than the "evidence" of the convoy speed? Ninety-seven of the 127 A.11 built were lost in France. Another two - at least, were sent to Egypt as training vehicles. So, at most, there were 28 left in England. And perhaps 300 A.12. Why would one squadron of 8 RTR be refitted with A.11 on its return from France after the A.11 had been relegated to training?
On the one hand (last month) you seem certain that 8RTR cannot possibly be populated with a coy's (C) worth of A.11, and now you're stating that over half the battalion (most of A & B.) coys had them. Ie. you dismissed the notion they had 16, but now promote the notion they had 27!

Irrespective of this, "Knouterer's" post implied that all of A & B coys were A.11, not a mixed bag according to your "likely layout." Ie. There were 32, not 27, A.11. Are you suggesting that the Milforce WD is inaccurate or that "Knouterer" has presented incorrect information?


Sorry. Still confused and needing clarification and help. :(

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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by RichTO90 » 15 Jan 2015 13:47

MarkN wrote:Thank you for this. You seem very sure of your data.
Actually, no I'm not sure of the fundamental question, which is how many A. 11 were actually built? Was it one pilot and 139 production types as one data source indicates (the production record cards)? Or was it one pilot and 127 production types as another data source (the AVIA records)?
However, I remain even more confused now because, despite the "Sturm und Drang" I read this very assertive post(my bold and underlining):-
RichTO90 wrote: Really? Why? Other than the "evidence" of the convoy speed? Ninety-seven of the 127 A.11 built were lost in France. Another two - at least, were sent to Egypt as training vehicles. So, at most, there were 28 left in England. And perhaps 300 A.12. Why would one squadron of 8 RTR be refitted with A.11 on its return from France after the A.11 had been relegated to training?
On the one hand (last month) you seem certain that 8RTR cannot possibly be populated with a coy's (C) worth of A.11, and now you're stating that over half the battalion (most of A & B.) coys had them. Ie. you dismissed the notion they had 16, but now promote the notion they had 27!

Irrespective of this, "Knouterer's" post implied that all of A & B coys were A.11, not a mixed bag according to your "likely layout." Ie. There were 32, not 27, A.11. Are you suggesting that the Milforce WD is inaccurate or that "Knouterer" has presented incorrect information?


Sorry. Still confused and needing clarification and help. :(
You may be confused, because - unlike some other posters (who I will refrain from naming) - I have little problem in saying I am wrong when I find out that I am wrong? And, no matter how certain I might be, evidence always trumps my certainty. :D

Anyway, I made the fundamental error of failing to double check the primary source for the British armor strengths during the period, which was Newbold. :oops: Thus, I forgot that he gave the strengths and equipment of those units at different periods (and I also managed to continuously confuse 7 and 8 RTR :oops: ).

The simple fact is that the unit records of the period, as transcribed from the relevant War Office files by Newbold, give 50 as the total strength for 8 RTR, comprised of 27 A. 11 and 23 A. 12. We also have other records, for C Squadron, which state the entire squadron was equipped with A. 12. The rest is maths and - in regards to RHQ having A. 12 - speculation that 27 A. 11 conveniently divides into nine troops of three each and that it would make little sense to mix A. 11 and A. 12 in the same troop.

Hope that clarifies things.

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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 15 Jan 2015 16:39

The simple fact is that the unit records of the period, as transcribed from the relevant War Office files by Newbold, give 50 as the total strength for 8 RTR, comprised of 27 A. 11 and 23 A. 12. We also have other records, for C Squadron, which state the entire squadron was equipped with A. 12.
Rich, don't forget the same sources - the war diary entries provided by Knouterer, two of - also say that A and B squadron were wholly equipped with MkII/A.12s...

...which, according to the numbers In Newbold can't be right - and also according to Stuart Hamilton's memoir can't be right.

So either there's something wrong with the war dairy entries, and thus the comment on C Sqn can't be relied on either....or Newbold is wrong. And incidently Hamilton.

Except Newbold isn't the primary source for these figures - he reproduced the tables and numbers thereon complete from a CAB file - CAB 70/2 "War Cabinet Defence Committee (Supply) memoranda, June-Sept 1940", and the annex to that file DCS(40)(80) "Return of tanks in the hands of troops in the United Kingdom on 20 Oct. 1940"...and they confirm the 27/23 split in 8RTR from 10th of June 1940 right the way through to October.

The rest is maths and - in regards to RHQ having A. 12 - speculation that 27 A. 11 conveniently divides into nine troops of three each and that it would make little sense to mix A. 11 and A. 12 in the same troop.
It is indeed maths. But while it doesn't make sense to mix MkI/A.11s and MkII/A.12s in the same troop...It does make sense to mix them by troop at the squadron level in the battalion.

After all - given that 8RTR did have both types, and in numbers that dictate a mix somewhere in the OOB - they must have been accommodated SOMEHOW. And in a way that was considered by the British Army to be practical and useable.

Mark - what are your thoughts on that aspect?
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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by RichTO90 » 15 Jan 2015 16:57

phylo_roadking wrote:Rich, don't forget the same sources - the war diary entries provided by Knouterer, two of - also say that A and B squadron were wholly equipped with MkII/A.12s...
I don't recall that. Could you point out exactly where and when he said that?
After all - given that 8RTR did have both types, and in numbers that dictate a mix somewhere in the OOB - they must have been accommodated SOMEHOW. And in a way that was considered by the British Army to be practical and useable.
Or it makes perfect sense to keep C Squadron uniform, given that it is the lead element?

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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 15 Jan 2015 17:13

RichTO90 wrote: I don't recall that. Could you point out exactly where and when he said that?
24.8.1940: "New organisation of "I" tanks in Sqns. "C" Sqn entirely equipped with Mk. II tanks and "A" and "B" Sqns with Mk. I tanks."

I am sure you noticed but only "C" squadron are stated to be entirely equipped with one type of tank. The war diarist probably couldn't be arsed to add further on the precise breakdowns in "A" and "B" squadrons
I dare say the old organisation had a more even distribution of the Mark IIs in the squadrons.
Or it makes perfect sense to keep C Squadron uniform, given that it is the lead element?
Makes perfect sense? Good luck with that :lol:

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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 15 Jan 2015 17:29

RichTO90 wrote:I don't recall that. Could you point out exactly where and when he said that?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1914592
So I did, but I don't mind repeating it for those with short memories: - 24.8.1940: "New organisation of "I" tanks in Sqns. "C" Sqn entirely equipped with Mk. II tanks and "A" and "B" Sqns with Mk. I tanks."
...and http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1914406
The WD of "Milforce" states quite clearly that as of 18 Sept. C squadron 8 RTR had Mk II Matildas and the other two squadrons, which would follow on behind later, Mk Is. There's no question about that.
You're right, it is indeed maths...and the numbers in Newbold/CAb 70/2 mean those statements cannot be right.



Or it makes perfect sense to keep C Squadron uniform, given that it is the lead element?
But....IS it the "lead element"?

There are several very "thin" tertiary sources scattered about the net that say the OTHER two squadrons of 8RTR would indeed be following 2NZEF down the road....

...but they aren't mentioned in any part of INSTRUCTION NO.4 we've seen to date, and they aren't mentioned as part of Freyberg's counterattacking force in the NZ OH.

There's no reason to believe....yet...that 8RTR was meant to go into action as a whole unit - bar that comment from the MILFORCE war diary mentioned above. There's a short OH of 8RTR at Bovington, and I was posted the first page of it by a member on ww2talk...

The first paragraph reads...
The exploits of 8 RTR in the 1939/45 war are not very evident in the many books written about the last war. The reason for this is mainly the fact that the regiment was so frequently split up into Squadrons and sometimes Troops and attached to another arm of the service. That arm of the service would be mentioned as having fought in a particular battle but no mention of any supporting arm. As one officer so aptly put it - "We fought for who fed us."
The last paragraph on that page, which rounds off the brief 8RTR 1940 experience, reads thus...
First the defence of the airports around London. Other temporary stations included Farnborough, Horley in Sussex, Challock and Eastwell Park in Kent. A considerable cadre was despatched for new 12th RTR and the Dunkirk evacuation meant that many involved security measures had to be carried out. But at the end of 1940 the 8th RTR had taken recognisable shape as an Army tank battalion.
Poor MILFORCE doesn't even get a proper mention :lol: But you'll see from the above that 8 RTR didn't operate as anything like a cohesive unit through 1940 until the very end of the year...and given all the various distributed (and obviously regarded as important, to have tanks allocated to them) duties its constituent parts were given it's doubtful it could have all been gathered together again in a few short hours and sent down the A20 in two cohesive squadrons, A and B, in the event of invasion. Not if it was scattered all over the countryside like that.

It would be an interesting job for someone to sit down with the war diaries and plot exactly where all the various squadron and troop elements of 8RTR were through September and early October 1940, like the list of super heavy artillery battery locations from ATB.
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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by MarkN » 15 Jan 2015 17:37

RichTO90 wrote: Hope that clarifies things.
Thank you for the 'clarification' Rich, but I'm still not out of my confused fug. See below.

Phylo, I have some analysis that may prove helpful, it may not. And perhaps a 'theory' specific to MILFORCE and these specific issues. However, it would be daft of me to comment at this point without knowing the context of the various quotes and posts in this thread. I confess that, until 48 hours ago, I'd never heard of (this) MILFORCE - although I did serve in one myself many years ago in Pirbright. As you can imagine, it's quite a common moniker for an ad hoc unit/formation.

Gooner, my confusion now (perhaps) flows entirely from reading the words that you and "Knouterer" differently.

To me, these words "24.8.1940: "New organisation of "I" tanks in Sqns. "C" Sqn entirely equipped with Mk. II tanks and "A" and "B" Sqns with Mk. I tanks." implicitly imply that A & B coys were equipped only with A.11.

The English language provides a number of devices to show that one clause offers contradictory information to another within the same sentence. By using clausal linking "and" (the one in bold), the author implies that the "entirely equipped" carries over. Had the author wished to imply that A & B coys were mixed, then he would likely use a clausal linker such as "whereas", or "on the other hand" etc etc. Alternatively, he could have insert other words to confer the non-uniformity that you interpret.

PS. Where did the quote come from?

The same applies here:
Knouterer wrote:The WD of "Milforce" states quite clearly that as of 18 Sept. C squadron 8 RTR had Mk II Matildas and the other two squadrons, which would follow on behind later, Mk Is. There's no question about that.
Now, I can see how one can interpret them in a different way if one chooses, but the words themselves do NOT state A and B coys are of mixed equipment.


To help me gain a better understanding of the context, would it be possible for "Knouterer" and "Gooner1" to upload the page/document where these quotes come from for me to have a wee read?

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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 15 Jan 2015 17:40

I should also note...
Or it makes perfect sense to keep C Squadron uniform, given that it is the lead element?
Any "need" to keep it uniform would thus depend on it being the lead element (see above)...

And - all of 8RTR in 1940 seems to have been an exercise in combining two different types of "I" tanks, with two different sets of capabilities; why would it make sense to have a single squadron that had different capabilities to the other two....just for one putative operation? After all, 8RTR lived with and trained/exercised with this combined "I" tank wrinkle for at least five months through 1940, June to October, that we know of.

I wonder if the 8RTR war diary mentions when enough of battalion's MkIIs were shuffled around to supposedly completely equip C squadron...?




P.S. does anyone happen to have a copy of "MILFORCE INSTRUCTION No.1", and "No.2", and "No.3"....so we can see the (rapid) evolution of INSTRUCTION No.4, and any changes thereto?
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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by MarkN » 15 Jan 2015 19:12

Apologies to Gooner1, you were just requoting this...
Knouterer wrote:So I did, but I don't mind repeating it for those with short memories: - 24.8.1940: "New organisation of "I" tanks in Sqns. "C" Sqn entirely equipped with Mk. II tanks and "A" and "B" Sqns with Mk. I tanks."
What is the source of this?

Comparing it to the other, almost identical extract from from MILFORCE WD:-
Knouterer wrote:The WD of "Milforce" states quite clearly that as of 18 Sept. C squadron 8 RTR had Mk II Matildas and the other two squadrons, which would follow on behind later, Mk Is. There's no question about that.
So, 8RTR had an internal reconfiguration of troops from one coy to another on 24 August, at some point, changed it to something else, and then back once again on 18 Sep.

Or, should I read it is the order for the change was issued on 24 Aug to be effected on 18 Sept?

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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Knouterer » 16 Jan 2015 09:48

I really don't think all this hair-splitting about one tank more or less is very useful, but in any case the situation is clear enough to me. According to the CAB documents used by Newbold (Return of Tanks etc.), which by the way I would not trust to be 100% accurate, the 1st Army Tank Brigade had 27 A11 (Mk I) tanks on 4 Aug., and this number remains unchanged in the returns for 27 Aug., 15 and 29 Sept., and 20 Oct.
It is undisputed that these were all with the 8th RTR.
The numbers of Mk II and Mk III (Valentine) tanks, by contrast, increased as more came off the production lines - from 158 (in total) on 27.8 to to 197 on 15.9 to 238 on 29.9.
Therefore, the tank strength was continually changing. The sources do not say that A and/or B squadron were ever equipped exclusively with Mk Is in Aug. - I don't think so because it looks as if the battalion had a full complement of 50 tanks even then - but even if they were, one or both must have received a few Mk IIs as well in Sept.
Operation Instructions for Milforce No. 1 (9 Sept.), No. 2 (14 Sept.), No. 3 (18 Sept.) are in the WD of Milforce, No. 4 in the WD of 8th RTR as quoted. Changes are minimal; 3 and 4 agree that C squadron will be in the lead with Milforce and the slower A and B squadrons will follow on later.

I can think of no earthly reason why C squadron, having been fully equipped with Mk IIs (max speed 15 mph), would have exchanged any for Mk Is (8 mph) again in the course of September, thereby slowing Milforce down considerably - unless you want to argue,as some people like to do, that the British were doing everything possible to handicap themselves, just to give the invaders a sporting chance :D
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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Knouterer » 16 Jan 2015 10:26

The Milforce WD, by the way, also contains Op Instruction No. 13 of the NZ Division of 13 Sept., which states:
"11. MILFORCE less two sqns of Mk 1 tanks will advance and gain contact with enemy, taking up posn to cover debussing of 5 Inf Bde Gp and await arrival of Mk 1 tanks."

Which implies pretty clearly that there were no Mk 1 tanks in the third tank squadron in the lead.
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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by MarkN » 16 Jan 2015 14:47

Hello Knouterer,
Knouterer wrote:I really don't think all this hair-splitting about one tank more or less is very useful, but in any case the situation is clear enough to me. According to the CAB documents used by Newbold (Return of Tanks etc.), which by the way I would not trust to be 100% accurate, the 1st Army Tank Brigade had 27 A11 (Mk I) tanks on 4 Aug., and this number remains unchanged in the returns for 27 Aug., 15 and 29 Sept., and 20 Oct.
It is undisputed that these were all with the 8th RTR.
...
Therefore, the tank strength was continually changing. The sources do not say that A and/or B squadron were ever equipped exclusively with Mk Is in Aug. - I don't think so because it looks as if the battalion had a full complement of 50 tanks even then - but even if they were, one or both must have received a few Mk IIs as well in Sept.
Operation Instructions for Milforce No. 1 (9 Sept.), No. 2 (14 Sept.), No. 3 (18 Sept.) are in the WD of Milforce, No. 4 in the WD of 8th RTR as quoted. Changes are minimal; 3 and 4 agree that C squadron will be in the lead with Milforce and the slower A and B squadrons will follow on later.

I can think of no earthly reason why C squadron, having been fully equipped with Mk IIs (max speed 15 mph), would have exchanged any for Mk Is (8 mph) again in the course of September, thereby slowing Milforce down considerably - unless you want to argue,as some people like to do, that the British were doing everything possible to handicap themselves, just to give the invaders a sporting chance :D
It's not your fault, but it doesn't resolve my (immediate) query.

For many years, I have posited a theory amongst a number of friends/aquaintances that the 'mixed' configuration of the Army Tank (ATk) battalions was deliberate. I proposed that this configuration was intended on doctrinal/tactical basis and NOT just a hodge podge.

Btn: HQ with 2 x A.12 + 4 x LT
coy: HQ with 1 x A.12 + 1 x LT and 5 tps of 3 tanks: 2 x A.12 tps (6), 3 tps of A.11 (9). [Total 7 x A.12, 9 x A.11 and 1 x LT]
coy: HQ with 1 x A.12 + 1 x LT and 5 tps of 3 tanks: 2 x A.12 tps (6), 3 tps of A.11 (9). [Total 7 x A.12, 9 x A.11 and 1 x LT]
coy: HQ with 1 x A.12 + 1 x LT and 5 tps of 3 tanks: 2 x A.12 tps (6), 3 tps of A.11 (9). [Total 7 x A.12, 9 x A.11 and 1 x LT]

Grand totals for the btn: 23 x A.12, 27 x A.11 and 7 x LT.

The 23/27/7 configuration was how 7RTR deployed to France in May 1940. I contended this was an intended establishment, other contended it was merely a hodge podge of whatever could be thrown together. It this followed that 8RTR would be similarly configured back in the UK. I also suggested it could have been an deliberate establishment from as early as March.

All of us were just looking at this issue as an interesting talking point, and saw little profit from the time, energy and expenses of trotting off to Kew to prove either one side or the other. For many years, we all happily agreed to disagree.

Over time, the internet has thrown up a number pieces of evidence with have ultimately proved my theory. You mention the Newbold PhD thesis which is one of those. Then, more recently, I was shown a copy of Peter Browns article which demonstrates it was actually doctrinal thinking back to late 1939 and there was also the intention - when possible - to convert 4RTR in France to this establishment.

In this thread, which I only came across a couple of days ago, you have posted 2 excerpts of information concerning the same subject: that this 'mixed' coy establishment was, in 8RTR, task organised in the summer of 1940 to create 'uniformly' established coys. I have absolutely no problem in accepting that this happened. My interest is purely in the date that this occured and who issued the instruction.

The first excerpt you post indicates it was an order issued on 24 August 1940 - but do not state where this information came from. Was it 1 ATK Bde HQ, 8RTR or other?

The second excerpt you post indicates that the task organisation would come into force on 18 Sept 1940. This time you quote your source as MILFORCE WD.

Confusion:- Why the apparent contradiction? Did the order take almost a month to effect? Was the change implimented twice with an unknown chaange occuring between? etc etc etc

So, from you Knouterer, I'm not really interested in how many A.11 existed, I'm trying to establish when exactly the task organisation occured and upon whose orders.

Can you please provide some information as to where you obtained your information regarding 24 August 1940. Was it the 8RTR WD, the 1 ATK Bde WD or something completely different? Second, if you could put some more meat on the bones, it would be helpful to irradicate the confusion flowing from the MILFORCE. If you have copies or access to the documents your information comes from, I'd be extreamly grateful if you could shed some enlightenment.

And finally, your second post may clear up some confusion for other posters here. It seems to confirm that, as of 13 September, A and B/8RTR were task organised out of MILFORCE and placed under command 5 Bde or their own initiative (direct NZ EF cmd, perhaps).

Thank you.

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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Jan 2015 15:33

I can think of no earthly reason why C squadron, having been fully equipped with Mk IIs (max speed 15 mph), would have exchanged any for Mk Is (8 mph) again in the course of September, thereby slowing Milforce down considerably - unless you want to argue,as some people like to do, that the British were doing everything possible to handicap themselves, just to give the invaders a sporting chance :D
The Milforce WD, by the way, also contains Op Instruction No. 13 of the NZ Division of 13 Sept., which states:
"11. MILFORCE less two sqns of Mk 1 tanks will advance and gain contact with enemy, taking up posn to cover debussing of 5 Inf Bde Gp and await arrival of Mk 1 tanks."
Perhaps we at last need to see the WHOLE of Instruction No.4....not the cherrypicked versions that have appeared to date?

So that we can see exactly what comes between Part7 and Parts 14 and 15?
4. Tasks in general.

The tasks of N.Z. Div. in order of priority are:
(a) to counter attack vigorously any enemy landing in 1 Lon.
Div. area, especially in the area North and N.W. of DOVER
and FOLKESTONE.
(b) To re-establish the line of ROYAL MILITARY CANAL eastwards
of HAM STREET.
(c) Concurrently with the above, to deal with any hostile air
borne landings in the area SITTINBOURNE - FAVERSHAM -
CHARING - MAIDSTONE.

6. Tasks in particular.

(a) N.Z. Div. less 7 Inf. Bde. Gp. is to be prepared to counter-
attack enemy in area:
(i) North and N.W. of DOVER south of the line SANDWICH (7776)-
WINGHAM (6875) from the direction of CANTERBURY. This will
be known as plan "A".
(ii) N.W. of FOLKESTONE from the direction of SELLINGE (5356)
Plan "B".
(iii) POSTLING GREEN (5153) LYMINGE (6059) - Plan "C"
(b) 7 Inf. Bde. Gp. is to be prepared to:
(i) Attack enemy air-borne landings in the area
SITTINGBOURNE - FAVERSHAM - CHARING - MAIDSTONE.
(ii) From petions [sic] on high ground immediately North of
road HARRIETSHAM (3171) - CHARING - to provide A.A. L.M.G.
defence for move of 5 Inf. Bde. Gp. on that road.
(iii) Support remainder of Div. in Plans "A" "B" OR "C".

INTENTION.

7. MILFORCE will act as Div. Adv. Guard. and will take up a position covering the debussing of 5 Inf. Bde.

14. Speed.
8 m.i.h.

15. Density.
10 v.t.m.
Perhaps you can tell us the file numbers at Kew for the MILFORCE and 8RTR war diaries?
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Re: Chemcal Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 16 Jan 2015 16:33

phylo_roadking wrote: Indeed. Which puts them where in relation to the main FJ drops under discussion? That would be -

A/ many miles away on the coast and right then under attack from the first amphibious forces, and B/ somewhat tied to the super heavy batteries - unless they abandon them and go chasing paratroopers :P


Oh, they can feel free to trail a battalion of FJ across a few miles of Kent countryside :D No matter how "short" said battalion, remember we already know from Knouterer that the Home Guard units in the area were small and thin on the ground, because of the sparse population.

And the only Home Guard trailing anyone anywhere would be the ones NOT slated to be sent into various "Fortresses" and Nodal Points to assist the defenders...

Yes? See above. Now - where was there any of these...and their Boyes a/t rifles and Brens and short on small arms...in relation to where the FJ were going to be dropping in force? Don't magic this stuff out of thin air...find them. It should be all recorded.

And anyway - where were they going to be sent first? As the brigade antitank company? Oh yes....down towards where the enemy tanks were coming ashore...

a/ that comment was dated "September"....and

b/ we don't know if it ever happened. And of course...

c/ only one small section of FJ are dropping in "the rear Sectors of the Marsh" - ALL the rest are dropping way out of sight and a long distance away behind the escarpment behind the RMC that marks the rear boundary of the Marsh :lol: You really should look at those maps.

As per C above... if only to refresh your memory where Burmarsh was in relation to the FJ battalion drops.

Quite correct...remember the long discussion had about the FJ and Vickers Light tanks? And their vulnerability to grenades and AP rifle/MG rounds? ;)
Hey, I just realised we were having the exact same argument 5 years ago :lol: :lol:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... E#p1449439

Rather than going over old ground couple of new things, maybe.
From 45th Div. defence scheme
1. Intention
The tasks alloted to 45 Div. and attached tps, including Home Guard, in the Div. area are:

(b) as regards action from the air - to defeat
any enemy air borne tps and parachutists
landing in the Div. area.

From Operation Order No.13 5th SLI
7. All Coys will be responsible for dealing with parachutists
landing in their area.

If there is any credence to that map of the planned parachute drops the Germans are planning on - 4 weak battalions over 10 kilometres - they really are going to be the hunted, not the hunters.

Knouterer
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012 17:19

Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Knouterer » 16 Jan 2015 16:36

Hello MarkN,
Here's the relevant page of the WD of the 8th RTR, which is WO 166/1408. I'm not going to scan dozens of pages of documents now because frankly I don't find the question that fascinating; but I can say that the available sources seem to agree that C Sqn had Mk IIs exclusively from the end of August. When I wrote "as of 18 Sept." I did not mean to imply that the situation before was any different, perhaps I should have expressed myself more precisely.
One thing everybody in Great Britain agreed on at the time was that in case of enemy landings by air or sea counterattacks should be made as rapidly as possible. It therefore made sense to organise this tank battalion in such a way that one squadron could move a bit faster, instead of limiting all three to the very slow speed of the Mk I - even before Milforce was formed (on 6 Sept.) and C squadron was attached to it.
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