Beach sub-area units

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Kingfish
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Beach sub-area units

Post by Kingfish » 03 Dec 2018 10:41

What role did the infantry battalions assigned to each beach sub area perform once the beachhead was secured?

Did they see any front line action?
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Delta Tank
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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 03 Dec 2018 14:25

Kingfish,

Which beach? In Normandy, IIRC all infantry units had an objective further inland.

Mike

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Kingfish » 03 Dec 2018 23:56

All 3 commonwealth beaches had beach sub-area HQs with a multitude of units under command

I'm not sure what equivalent, if any, the Americans had.
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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 04 Dec 2018 00:02

Kingfish,

I am absolutely clueless what you are asking. Every battalion and IIRC companies had an objective further in land. Captain Joe Dawson and his company got off the beach and instead of attacking WN 62 from the rear he went to his objective that he was assigned, which was Colleville-ser-mer.

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Gary Kennedy » 04 Dec 2018 01:01

Kingfish is referring to the Beach Sub-Area and their subordinate Beach Groups. Particular I think to the Br/Cdn beaches each contained two non-Div Infantry Battalions, presumably one per Beach Group. They were not part of the Assault Divisions. I'd guess that Richard Anderson could fill in the details for their role in the days after the landings. Never found anything to suggest they had a different war establishment to the normal Inf Bns, though I'm sure they required some tinkering on that front.

Gary

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Kingfish » 04 Dec 2018 11:04

Delta, this might help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Beach#British_forces

Scroll down a bit to where it lists 104 Beach Sub Area HQ.
You'll notice there are three infantry battalions assigned to this unit:
-2nd Bn Heftordshire regiment
-6th Bn Border regiment
-16th Bn Durham light infantry
These are the units I am referring to

Juno and Sword had similar organizations
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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Gary Kennedy » 04 Dec 2018 20:07

This is the D-Day list from Joslen, which excludes 18 DLI presumably as they landed on a later tide.

104 Beach Sub-Area (9 & 10 Beach Groups);
2 Herts
6 Border

102 Beach Sub-Area (7 & 8 Beach Groups);
8 Kings
5 R Berks

101 Beach Sub-Area (5 & 6 Beach Groups);
5 Kings
1 Bucks

A few searches for the various Battalions involved does show the generally expected role of units landing after the assault troops, namely consolidation, dealing with bypassed resistance and organising local defence and protection in anticipation of German counterattacks. The units then largely switched to the Line of Communication role. Joslen shows both 6 Border and 8 Kings were off the order of battle by Nov44 (seemingly disbanded quite swiftly to provide replacements), followed by 2 Herts by May 1945. 5 R Berks were transferred into 115 Inf Bde in Apr45.

Gary

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Kingfish » 07 Dec 2018 00:06

Gary Kennedy wrote:
04 Dec 2018 20:07
Joslen shows both 6 Border and 8 Kings were off the order of battle by Nov44 (seemingly disbanded quite swiftly to provide replacements), followed by 2 Herts by May 1945. 5 R Berks were transferred into 115 Inf Bde in Apr45.
Seems odd they were kept on the books for so long while 59th Staffordshire was given the axe in August.
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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Dec 2018 14:27

There was still a need for some LoC troops, especially as the advance moved beyond Normandy, so perhaps the disbanding of two of them was considered as much as could be done. I must admit I don't know if the US Army had an equivalent to LoC infantry units?

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Aber » 07 Dec 2018 14:33

Gary Kennedy wrote:
07 Dec 2018 14:27
There was still a need for some LoC troops, especially as the advance moved beyond Normandy, so perhaps the disbanding of two of them was considered as much as could be done.
IIRC disbanding of UK units was principally due to shortages of junior officers, rather than replacements in general.

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 10 Dec 2018 14:23

Gary Kennedy wrote:
07 Dec 2018 14:27
There was still a need for some LoC troops, especially as the advance moved beyond Normandy, so perhaps the disbanding of two of them was considered as much as could be done. I must admit I don't know if the US Army had an equivalent to LoC infantry units?

Gary
Gary,

Yes, IIRC we had three regiments assigned to those duties. I don’t think they had Artillery or AT weapons.

Mike

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Dec 2018 17:19

Delta Tank wrote:
10 Dec 2018 14:23
... Yes, IIRC we had three regiments assigned to those duties.
Do you know if those were Separate or independent Infantry regiments, or from one or more divisions?
I don’t think they had Artillery or AT weapons.

Mike
Both Separate & Division infantry regiments had a light cannon company and a AT gun company as part of the TO/TE. Which does not mean they were brought along. For LoC duties the heavy weapons may have been left in storage somewhere & the men deployed for the LoC mission.

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Dec 2018 17:36

Carl,

I have been looking for those units for the last two days, they are on Axis History Forum somewhere. I remember Rich provided the regimental numbers and I am pretty sure they are listed in Ruppenthal Vol II, but I can’t get to my “Green Series” books until after Christmas.

These regiments were tasked with guarding the Lines of Communication so, I don’t think they were organized like a divisional regiment.

Mike

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Dec 2018 18:08

Carl,

With your superior search skills, I think you can find them. A person posted something along the lines “General Lee got Eisenhower to give him an infantry division. . . “

Mike

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Re: Beach sub-area units

Post by Delta Tank » 12 Dec 2018 01:16

Found it!!

steverodgers801 wrote:
“JCH LEE conned Marshall into forcing Ike to give a division or so worth of men to guard supply point, Ike was not very happy about it.”

Rich wrote
“The separate Infantry Regiments were used for that purpose. In the ETO the prominent ones were the 3d, 29th, 65th, 118th, and 156th. A couple - the 3d, 29th, and 118th had been used to garrison Newfoundland, Iceland, and Northern England early on. Most of them arrived fairly late in the campaign...the 65th went to the Maritime Alps and 7th Army, working occasionally with the 442d, which came via the MTO. They were mostly engaged in front line service. The 3d, 29th, 118th, and 156th went to Europe in the fall and early winter. The 156th was used as headquarters and installations guards, as well as PW guards. The 3d, 29th, and 118th were used to secure various COMZ routes and the 29th and 118th became fairly heavily engaged in the Ardennes. The 29th in particular did good service helping to secure the Meuse River line and fighting Panzer Lehr at Rochefort.

J.C.H. Lee did not "con" Marshall or Ike into doing anything.”

Read it all here! viewtopic.php?f=113&t=220230&p=1996772& ... s#p1996772

Mike

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