Crusader OOB

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dor1941
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by dor1941 » 29 Aug 2011 11:08

I want to expand on the information provided regarding the Tobruk Garrison in Operation Crusader.

The following data was drawn primarily from these sources:
The Sidi Rezegh Battles 1941, J.A.I. Agar-Hamilton and L.C.F. Turner, 1957 (S.A. Official History)
The Relief of Tobruk, W.E. Murphy, 1961 (N.Z. Official History)
Tobruk-The Great Siege Reassessed, F. Harrison, 1996
website-Polish Brigade at Tobruk, P. Jaroszczak, 1999

70th Division (Tobruk Fortress): Major-General R. MacK. Scobie
(the 9th Australian Division was withdrawn from the Fortress and replaced by British and Polish brigades-and additional artillery and tanks-between August 19 and October 25, 1941)
1st R.H.A. Field Regiment (A/E and B/O Batteries each with eight 25-pdrs)
104th R.H.A. Field Regiment (349 and 414 Batteries each with eight 25-pdrs)
107th R.H.A. Field Regiment (425 and 426 Batteries each with eight 25-pdrs)
144th Field Regiment R.A. (389 Battery-1 troop Italian 100/17 how, 2 troops 18-pdrs; 390 Battery-1 troop each of Italian 100/17 how, 4.5" guns and 60-pdrs)
17th Coast Regiment R.A. (206 and 503 Batteries with captured Italian guns)
149th Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. (four batteries of 2-pdrs)
(numerous captured Italian field -"Bush Artillery"-and anti-tank guns were manned by improvised crews and deployed throughout the Fortress)
11th Field Squadron R.E. and 2nd and 54th Field Companies R.E.
1st Bn, The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (machine-gun battalion)
Czechoslovak Battalion No. 11 East

4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade: Brigadier J.S. Muirhead
13th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 40mm Bofors and captured Italian guns)
14th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 40mm Bofors and captured Italian guns)
51st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 3.7" HAA and captured Italian guns)

32nd Army Tank Brigade: Brigadier A.C. Willison
Headquarters (a few cruiser and light tanks)
1st Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 28 Cr. Mk.I, II and IVA, and 21 Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
4th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 50 Inf. Mk. II Matilda and a few Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
D Squadron 7th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (19 Inf. Mk. II Matilda and a few Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
C Squadron 1st King's Dragoon Guards (Marmon-Harrington armoured cars)
(AH & T report 32 cruiser and 69 "I" tanks, with 25 lights-a total of 126 in the brigade)

14th Infantry Brigade: Brigadier B.H. Chappel
2nd Bn, The Black Watch (The Royal Highland Regiment)
1st Bn, The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
2nd Bn, The York and Lancaster Regiment
2 companies 2/15th Australian Battalion
Anti-tank company

16th Infantry Brigade: Brigadier C.E.N. Lomax
2nd Bn, The King's Own Regiment
2nd Bn, The Leicestershire Regiment
2nd Bn, The Queen's Royal Regiment
2/13th Australian Battalion
Anti-tank company

23rd Infantry Brigade: Brigadier C.H.V. Cox
1st Bn, The Essex Regiment
4th Bn, The Border Regiment
1st Bn, The Durham Light Infantry
Anti-Tank company

Samodzielna Brygade Strzelcow Karpackich (SBSK): mjr. gen. S. Kopanski
(Carpathian Independent Rifle Brigade)
1 Batalion Strzelcow
2 Batalion Strzelcow
3 Batalion Strzelcow
Pulk Ulanow Karpackich (Lancers serving as an infantry battalion)
Karpacki Pulk Artylerii (Carpathian Artillery Regiment-mixed 'battalions' of 25-pdrs, 4.5" how and captured Italian guns)
2 kompania PP (anti-tank) and 1 kompania KM (machine-guns)

Who can add any details to this list?

David R

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David W
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by David W » 29 Aug 2011 11:40

David.

Good information (as ever).

Possible typo in 104 RHA. Should be 339 Bty not 349.

Were there other Polish units? I thought perhaps the two Engineer Companies, and the Legion of Polish Officers (approx 2 companies infantry).

Best wishes,

David W

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Oasis
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Oasis » 29 Aug 2011 14:21

dor1941 wrote: Samodzielna Brygade Strzelcow Karpackich (SBSK): mjr. gen. S. Kopanski
(Carpathian Independent Rifle Brigade)
1 Batalion Strzelcow
2 Batalion Strzelcow
3 Batalion Strzelcow
Pulk Ulanow Karpackich (Lancers serving as an infantry battalion)
Karpacki Pulk Artylerii (Carpathian Artillery Regiment-mixed 'battalions' of 25-pdrs, 4.5" how and captured Italian guns)
2 kompania PP (anti-tank) and 1 kompania KM (machine-guns)

Who can add any details to this list?

David R
I have for the SBSK:
one Rgt on three inf btns (I.II.III.)
Pul. Kawalerii (Polish Cavalry Rgt) two pltns
1st polish artill. Rgt (25 pdrs)
2 coys AT guns
1 coy engineers
2/13 Australian infantry (20th Bde/9th Australian I.D.) 4 pltns
plus
11 Czech Battalion (Klapalek).

Toni

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Oasis
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Oasis » 29 Aug 2011 14:27

correct
11 Czech attached to 70 div. together with two Coys 2/15 Australian infantry (2/13 attached to SBSK)

Toni

dor1941
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by dor1941 » 29 Aug 2011 23:09

David
Possible typo in 104 RHA. Should be 339 Bty not 349.
You're correct-my error. Thanks.

Toni

Yes, I expected some Polish engineers to be present with their brigade, but didn't see any reference to them in my translated copy of the very interesting Polish website mentioned. The Czech and Australian battalions appeared to be only temporary attachments to Kopanski's Brigade, but one of the maps indicates the Czechs occupied a sector of the perimeter for a period with the Poles and opposed by D.f. Brescia. The Poles claim to have aggressively patrolled their front with Brescia-were you ever able to find some details about Brescia's defenses?

David R

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Urmel
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Urmel » 30 Aug 2011 11:27

dor1941 wrote:32nd Army Tank Brigade: Brigadier A.C. Willison
Headquarters (a few cruiser and light tanks)
1st Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 28 Cr. Mk.I, II and IVA, and 21 Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
4th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 50 Inf. Mk. II Matilda and a few Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
D Squadron 7th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (19 Inf. Mk. II Matilda and a few Lt. Mk. VIB tanks)
C Squadron 1st King's Dragoon Guards (Marmon-Harrington armoured cars)
(AH & T report 32 cruiser and 69 "I" tanks, with 25 lights-a total of 126 in the brigade)
This link reports 28 cruisers in total for the garrison, but it's not quite clear.

This link has 67 'I' tanks.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

dor1941
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by dor1941 » 30 Aug 2011 13:43

JBond

Thanks for your good work interpreting the 1st RTR War Diary.

The numbers of tanks I used came from Murphy's The Relief of Tobruk: 1st RTR on p. 93, 4th RTR and D/7th RTR on p. 92. I suspected the figures did not represent 'runners', and Murphy doesn't footnote/cite a source for them.

I found it interesting that Frank Harrison (Tobruk-The Great Siege Reassessed, who was a Signalman at Willison's headquarters-32nd ATB-at the time) mentioned on p. 163 that the strength of the Brigade on October 19th was 69 "I" tanks, 6 A9's, 9 A10's, 13 A13's, 34 light tanks, 29 armoured cars and 6 scout cars. So the number of 69 "I" tanks may be an older number indeed.

David R

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Andy H
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Andy H » 30 Aug 2011 14:16

Hi

Not sure if the following is of any help.
Has a good map showing the Black Watch and the 32nds proposed breakout from Tobruk
The Tank Brigade (32nd Army TB) had the following tanks:
4th Battalion Royal Tanks - "A" Squadron 16 "I" Tanks and 1 Light; "B" Squadron 16 "I" Tanks and 1 Light; C Squadron 15 "I" Tanks and 1 Light; BHQ Squadron 4 "I" Tanks and 3 Light.
1st Battalion Royal Tanks - 50 mixed thin-skinned Tanks (light Mark VI, A9, A10, A13)
7th Battalion Royal Tanks - 70 "I" Tanks

"C" Squadron of the Kings Dragoon Guards had 30 armoured cars.
http://www.blackwatch.50megs.com/tobruk.html

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Andy H

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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Urmel » 30 Aug 2011 14:58

I dug again. WD 'D' Sqdn. 7 RTR conclusively states 17 'I' tanks. For 21 Nov. 4 RTR states 51 'I' tanks (4/16/16/15), 6 Lt. tanks. Presumably one broken down, so total number of 'I' tanks would have been 69.

The link Andy provided is wrong because it states the whole of 7 RTR was present, while in reality only one squadron was. Probably an error when transcribing '17' it became '70'.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Oasis » 30 Aug 2011 18:30

Toni
Yes, I expected some Polish engineers to be present with their brigade, but didn't see any reference to them in my translated copy of the very interesting Polish website mentioned. The Czech and Australian battalions appeared to be only temporary attachments to Kopanski's Brigade, but one of the maps indicates the Czechs occupied a sector of the perimeter for a period with the Poles and opposed by D.f. Brescia. The Poles claim to have aggressively patrolled their front with Brescia-were you ever able to find some details about Brescia's defenses?

David R
Hi David,
Yes, Polish were aggressive.
For Brescia defenses I found only some maps but not so accurate as I'd like them... :(

Ciao

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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Urmel » 31 Aug 2011 12:02

dor1941 wrote:4th Anti-Aircraft Brigade: Brigadier J.S. Muirhead
13th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 40mm Bofors and captured Italian guns)
14th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 40mm Bofors and captured Italian guns)
51st Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (batteries of 3.7" HAA and captured Italian guns)

Who can add any details to this list?

David R
5 LAA Bty. RA with initially 18 20mm Breda guns under command 14 LAA Rgt. On 19 October 4 Bredas were exchanged for four Bredas.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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Andy H
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Andy H » 31 Aug 2011 13:17

JBond wrote:I dug again. WD 'D' Sqdn. 7 RTR conclusively states 17 'I' tanks. For 21 Nov. 4 RTR states 51 'I' tanks (4/16/16/15), 6 Lt. tanks. Presumably one broken down, so total number of 'I' tanks would have been 69.

The link Andy provided is wrong because it states the whole of 7 RTR was present, while in reality only one squadron was. Probably an error when transcribing '17' it became '70'.
Hi

Yes aware of the obvious mistake concerning 7RTR but was posting it mainly for the Sqn breakdown which I thought may have been of some use.

Regards

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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by Urmel » 31 Aug 2011 13:53

The breakdown seems to be based on WDs, so that is very useful.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

dor1941
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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by dor1941 » 03 Sep 2011 04:07

The 30th Corps in Crusader, primarily from The Sidi Rezegh Battles 1941, the S.A. Official History, with additional information in italics:

30th CORPS: Lieutenant-General C.W.M. Norrie
Brigadier General Staff: Brigadier J.L.C. Napier
G2 (Op): Major R.M.P. Carver (later Field Marshal, Chief of Defence Staff MOD-1970s)
Advanced Headquarters (8 Lt. M.3 Stuart Tanks)

Corps Troops
1 troop 122nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, R.A.
2 Troops 1st S.A. Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

7th Armoured Division: Major General W.H.E. Gott
G.S.O. 1: Colonel G.W. Richards
Advanced Headquarters (7 Cr. Mk. II and 2 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader tanks)
1st The King's Dragoon Guards (3 squadrons Marmon-Herrington Mk. 2 armoured cars, less C sqn in Tobruk)
11th Hussars (3 squadrons Humber Mk. 2 armoured cars)
4th S.A. Armoured Car Regiment (3 squadrons M-H armoured cars)
[Troops of anti-tank and anti-aircraft artillery]

7th Armoured Brigade: Brigadier G.M.O. Davy
Headquarters (8 Cr. Mk. II [A10] and IVA [A13] and 2 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader [A15] tanks)
7th The Queen's Own Hussars (3 squadrons with 21 Cr. Mk. II, 16 Cr. Mk. IVA and 20 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader tanks)
2nd Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 52 Cr. Mk. II and Cr. Mk. IVA tanks)
6th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 49 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader tanks)
2 batteries 4th R.H.A. Field Regiment (16 25-pdrs)
1 troop 102nd Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. (2-pdrs)
1 battery (less 2 troops) 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (40mm Bofors)
A Company 2nd Rifle Brigade

22nd Armoured Brigade: Brigadier J. Scott-Cockburn
Headquarters (8 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader tanks)
3rd County of London Yeomanry (3 squadrons with 51 Cr. Mk VI Crusader tanks)
4th County of London Yeomanry (3 squadrons with 48 Cr. Mk. VI Crusader tanks)
2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (3 squadrons with 51 Cr. Mk VI Crusader tanks)
C Battery 4th R.H.A. Field Regiment (8 25-pdrs)
1 troop 102 Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. (2-pdrs)
1 battery (less 2 troops) 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (Bofors)
B Company 1st King's Royal Rifle Corps

7th Support Group : Brigadier J.C. Campbell
60th Field Regiment R.A. (2 batteries each with 12 25-pdrs)
203rd Battery 51st Field Regiment R.A. (12 25-pdrs)
3rd R.H.A. Anti-Tank Regiment (3 batteries with 36 2-pdrs)
12th Battery and Troop 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (Bofors)
4th Field Squadron R.E.
1st Bn, The King's Royal Rifle Corps (less B Company)
2nd Bn, The Rifle Brigade (less A Company)

The 4th Armoured Brigade was not initially part of 7th Armoured Division in Crusader and was given a special role to act as a connecting link between 30th and 13th Corps, but this role quickly evaporated once the D.A.K. seized the initiative with their faster tempo of operations and set the tune for 30th Corps.

4th Armoured Brigade Group: Brigadier A.H. Gatehouse
Headquarters (10 Lt. M.3 Stuart tanks)
8th The King's Royal Irish Hussars (3 squadrons with 51 Lt. M.3 Stuart tanks)
3rd Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 52 Lt. M.3 Stuart tanks)
5th Bn, The Royal Tank Regiment (3 squadrons with 52 Lt. M.3 Stuart tanks)
2nd R.H.A. Field Regiment (3 batteries with 24 25-pdrs)
102nd Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. (3 batteries with 36 2-pdrs) (less 1 battery)
122nd Battery 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (Bofors) (less troop)
2nd Bn, The Scots Guards

More later.

David R

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Re: Crusader OOB

Post by dor1941 » 03 Sep 2011 06:34

The remainder of 30th Corps:

22nd Guards Brigade: Brigadier J.C.O. Marriott
C Squadron 6th S.A. Armoured Car Regiment (M-H armoured cars)
51st Field Regiment R.A. (2 batteries with 24 25-pdrs) (less 203rd Battery)
73rd Anti-Tank Regiment (4 batteries with 48 2-pdrs and 16 75mm/18-pdrs) (less C Battery)
1 battery (less 2 troops) 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment R.A. (Bofors)
3rd Bn, The Coldstream Guards
9th Bn, The Rifle Brigade
12th Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Army Troops under command of 22nd Guards Brigade) (to protect the FMC's)

1st South African Division: Major-General G.E. Brink
G.S.O. 1: Colonel S. Joubert
3rd S.A. Reconnaissance Battalion (3 companies of M-H armoured cars)
3rd S.A. Field Regiment (T.H.A.) (3 batteries with 24 25-pdrs)
7th S.A. Field Regiment (3 batteries with 24 25-pdrs)
7th Medium Regiment R.A. (25th/26th and 27th/28th Batteries with 16 4.5" guns)
1st S.A. Anti-Tank Regiment (4 batteries with 48 2-pdrs and 16 75mm/18-pdrs)
1st S.A. Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (36 Bofors) (less 6 troops)
Regiment President Steyn (machine-gun battalion) (less 1st and 3rd Companies)

1st S.A. Infantry Brigade: Brigadier D.H. Pienaar
1st Bn, The Royal Natal Carbineers
1st Bn, The Transvaal Scottish
1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles
1st Company Regiment President Steyn

5th S.A. Infantry Brigade: Brigadier B.F. Armstrong
1st Bn, The S.A. Irish
2nd Bn, The Regiment Botha
3rd Bn, The Transvaal Scottish
3rd Company Regiment President Steyn

The third brigade of this division-2nd S.A. Infantry Brigade-was left behind as the garrison of the Fortress of Mersa Matruh during Crusader. The 1st and 5th S.A. Brigades were fully motorized for their role in 30th Corps and were not dependent on extra reserve motor transport companies for a 'lift' like the New Zealand and 4th Indian Divisions.

Additions and corrections welcome.

David

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