46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

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Richard Anderson
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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Nov 2018 17:47

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Nov 2018 03:50
I recall in the US civil war there was a comparison distorting difference between Confederate & Federal methods for counting wounded.
Not that I am aware of, but there was a difference in counting unit strengths for much of the war.
& Was there a difference in how the USN/Marines counted wounded during WWII? Evacuation is not a ready option aboard ships.
Yes there was. Typically the Marines maintained a 100% evacuation policy, so no matter how lightly wounded, a Marine was counted as WIA. They had no category of WIA CRO. Partly it was due to the presence of hospital ships in most operations, but fundamentally it was policy. The result was an inflation of the WIA:KIA ratio for the USMC versus the USA. The USN mirrored the USMC (or perhaps saying that vice versa would be more appropriate).
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Nov 2018 18:25

Thanks. thats what I remembered, but could find no notes/references. As I recall the policy meant the Marine, or Sailor wounded ashore was counted as a casualty even if not evacuated, & soon returned to his unit.

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by phaze » 11 Dec 2018 00:35

I hope I'm not intruding too much on the thread but since the subject of counting casualties was raised, I've to ask, how did the german system of said counting differ from allied ? The Capture Rate Study mentioned in the below bit, that it often did but I don't think it expanded on the subject.

Image

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Dec 2018 16:04

That does deserve some expansion. The writer is not making it clear how this makes a difference, & I'm not versed enough in statistics to make a guess.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 01 Jul 2020 20:19

Looking back at this I realise that I failed to include the file reference for the 10 Corps DDMS which was WO177/345.

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Tom

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Jul 2020 22:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
11 Dec 2018 16:04
That does deserve some expansion. The writer is not making it clear how this makes a difference, & I'm not versed enough in statistics to make a guess.
Somehow I missed this.

The Germans often did not report "lightly wounded" personnel in the 10-day reports through the operations section (the Ia IIRC?), but only through the medical section (the IVb IIRC?). Similarly the Americans distinguished between "lightly" and "severely" wounded in medical reporting (including "Carded for Record Only" - CRO - those so lightly injured that they were immediately returned to combat), but normally lumped them together in G-1 and G-3 reporting. So there can often be a mismatch in looking at the two.

The extreme was in the USMC, which literally reported everyone, including CRO, as "wounded". That is why you find the USMC KIA to WIA ratios so much different from the Army in WW II.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 03 Jul 2020 02:44

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Jul 2020 22:25
... The extreme was in the USMC, which literally reported everyone, including CRO, as "wounded". That is why you find the USMC KIA to WIA ratios so much different from the Army in WW II.
Must have had something to do with the Marines sticking with USN methodologies.

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Jul 2020 03:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
03 Jul 2020 02:44
Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Jul 2020 22:25
... The extreme was in the USMC, which literally reported everyone, including CRO, as "wounded". That is why you find the USMC KIA to WIA ratios so much different from the Army in WW II.
Must have had something to do with the Marines sticking with USN methodologies.
Yep.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 22 Dec 2020 16:16

One of the [many] difficulties facing the Allied units landing at Salerno in September 1943 was generating sufficient anti-tank and artillery firepower swiftly enough after the initial assault landings in the face of intelligence warnings of the likelihood of early tank opposition such as that recorded in the war diary of 167 (Lon) Inf Bde (WO169/8966):
Tank resistance is almost certain to be experienced early in the operation.
I'm yet to work out when the 56 Div's anti-tank regiment began to land (one battery of which was under command of 167 Inf Bde Gp for the assault) but field artillery landings were staggered throughout the day as demonstrated by the war diary of 64 Field Regt which supported 167 Inf Bde (WO169/9488) and which was complete and in action until early evening.

Quite a contrast with the artillery support provided to the assaulting brigades and regimental combat teams in Normandy 9 months later.

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Tom

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Dec 2020 20:37

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
22 Dec 2020 16:16
...

I'm yet to work out when the 56 Div's anti-tank regiment began to land (one battery of which was under command of 167 Inf Bde Gp for the assault) but field artillery landings were staggered throughout the day as demonstrated by the war diary of 64 Field Regt which supported 167 Inf Bde (WO169/9488) and which was complete and in action until early evening.

Quite a contrast with the artillery support provided to the assaulting brigades and regimental combat teams in Normandy 9 months later.

Regards

Tom
I'm always curious how the NGF was planned for the general post landing fire support.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 22 Dec 2020 20:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2020 20:37
I'm always curious how the NGF was planned for the general post landing fire support.
Hi Carl,

When I get to that I'll post up here, but from the war diary of 167 Inf Bde the two assaulting inf bns were each accompanied by:
one Naval FOO
LO and FOO 64 Fd Regt
one LCS (BLO found by [inf bn])
The "craft" (i.e. the LCS) supporting 9 Royal Fusiliers on the left beach of 167 Bde area was recorded as:
also supporting the landing of the RIGHT assault Bn 169 Bde. The rep of this Bn, 2/5 Queens, has priority should targets on both Bn fronts present themselves at the same time.)
I imagine there will be more details in the Div operation order, I'll post that up when I get to it.

Regards

Tom
Last edited by Tom from Cornwall on 23 Dec 2020 10:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Dec 2020 21:41

Would appreciate it. The intent for use of the NGF in the 24, 72, or 150 hours following the landing would be fascinating, as would any fire plans for that period.
one Naval FOO
LO and FOO 64 Fd Regt
one LCS (BLO found by [inf bn])
That looks so thin. In those same months in the Pacific the Amphib landing forces (Army & Marines) were starting to learn just how fragile or vulnerable a single FOO team made the NGF response. Adding more teams and radios turned out to be only part of the response.

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Dec 2020 21:56

I suspect the LCS would be an LCS (S)(1), which were just MG armed at this time? Three MG is not a whole lot of support. The LCS (L) were commissioned in 1944 IIRC?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Dec 2020 11:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Dec 2020 21:41
That looks so thin. In those same months in the Pacific the Amphib landing forces (Army & Marines) were starting to learn just how fragile or vulnerable a single FOO team made the NGF response. Adding more teams and radios turned out to be only part of the response.
Carl,

Yes, agreed, but just to clarify I meant that in 167 Inf Bde each assaulting bn (8 and 9 Royal Fusiliers) had a naval FOO and one LCS in support and the bde's third bn (7 Oxf Bucks) which landed as a Right Flank guard had in support three LCGs (also with one naval FOO). I'm now wondering whether there were any more naval FOOs with each bn in Normandy.

It's interesting too (well to me anyway!) that the British OH doesn't list LCS in the supporting forces available so now I'm wondering if the 169 Bde staff had the correct abbreviation in their op order.

According to the British OH (p.277), a single destroyer was also allocated to support the 167 Bde assault. Initially this was HMS LAFOREY which was damaged in a duel with "some guns" at around 0600 and was replaced by HMS LOOKOUT which remained in support for the rest of the day. The British OH also has a footnote on that page which says that:
By rule of thumb a destroyer's fire was reckoned as the equivalent of two field batteries, and the maximum range as 16,000 - 20,000 yards.
Providing heavy naval support to both 10th Corps beaches were the cruisers MAURITIUS and ORION and the monitor ROBERTS. On 9 September, however:
not much heavy support was called for, and the Mauritius fired 46 rounds, the Orion 22, and the Roberts 10.


Regards

Tom

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Re: 46 and 56 British Infantry Division at Salerno

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 23 Dec 2020 11:21

Looking further ahead in 167 Bde's war diary, I came across the following list of the naval fire support made available to the bde (WO169/8966):
BIGOT – AVALANCHE MOST SECRET
APPENDIX A to 167 Bde OO No. 1.
NAVAL SUPPORT PLAN.

1. HM Ships and Craft Available.

The following have been allotted to 167 (Lon) Inf Bde.

1 Cruiser
1 Destroyer
3 LCGs (No. 3 Gp)
1 Hedgerow
1 LCR
2 LCSs (one to be shared with 169 Bde which has prior claim)
1 LCA fitted with two 3” mortars.
1 LCF
The 3" mortar support is interesting. They were to fire on the final stages of the run in to GREEN beach (the right hand sector) from H - 10 to H + 10, and then disembark on arrival at the beach and await the arrival of the rest of their bn (7 Oxf Bucks).
Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2020 21:56
I suspect the LCS would be an LCS (S)(1), which were just MG armed at this time?
Not sure to be honest Rich, I'll see what I can dig up.

Edited to add: yes, the LCS are probably these or perhaps the Mk II with an enclosed superstructure:
LCS (M) (1).JPG
I'll post up the orders from this appendix later.

Regards

Tom
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