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

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

Post by Marcus » 02 Feb 2015 21:57

Two posts containing little but comments about other members were removed. Drop such remarks and get back on topic.

/Marcus

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

Post by Knouterer » 03 Feb 2015 09:26

Apart from "comments about other members" my post was meant to express my dismay at the continued inability and/or unwillingness of our esteemed moderators to do something about the kind of spamming - i.e. excessive and needless re-re-re-quoting of other posters - which we see on the previous page, and which sadly enough has already made a number of threads in AHF completely unreadable.

Other forums have rules against such behaviour, and enforce them.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

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

Post by Knouterer » 03 Feb 2015 10:58

And just for the record: at the very beginning of this thread, over 3 years ago, the "original poster" wrote:

"Earlier tonight I began chasing down details of the Royal Engineers' Chemical Warfare companies....and especially how many of them existed as of September 1940 - the main Sealion invasion window - and in turn by the end of the year."

Since he hasn't made much headway, I tried to help him along a bit over the past couple of days with relevant first-hand info.

Needless to say, I wasn't expecting any thanks - but this ...

My next post would have been about the situation at the end of September, but let's just forget it.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Gooner1
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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 04 Feb 2015 18:32

Knouterer wrote: My next post would have been about the situation at the end of September, but let's just forget it.
Hey, I'm still interested! :milsmile:
Around this time, Maclaren, probably inspired by the experiments of 58th Coy, submitted a proposal for a new type of unit: an A/T Section, R.E. (63 men with 1 x 8 cwt truck, 11 x 15 cwt trucks, 11 motorcycles). In his words:

“1. An A/T Section R.E. will be a small mobile unit. It will be highly trained to carry out a standard operation very quickly (say, half an hour).
2. The task of the section will be to stop enemy A.F.V. columns in defiles and to destroy a proportion of the enemy vehicles. They would best be operated by Inf. Bde. Groups.
3. The standard operation will consist of:
a) To bring the leading enemy tanks to a halt at a chosen place in a defile by means of a mine field, flame devices, bangalore torpedoes, or obstacles.
b) To isolate the leading enemy tanks in the defile by blowing a crater behind them.
c) To destroy the isolated tanks by high explosive charges fired from projectors.”
There is some merit in this proposal I think. Under command of a Brigade, any suitable defiles should, presumably, have been identified and some sort of defence involving obstacles, road-denial charges etc already positioned.
With trucks at a premium I don't know if their contribution with projectors would be a priority though .. they certainly would not be getting any tommy-guns :D

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

Post by phylo_roadking » 04 Feb 2015 20:39

There is some merit in this proposal I think. Under command of a Brigade, any suitable defiles should, presumably, have been identified and some sort of defence involving obstacles, road-denial charges etc already positioned.

Think about it though...

If said "defiles" are so obvious and unavoidable in the terrain/road network.....then any British troops in front of the "A/T Section R.E., busy laying its minefield/obstacles - will ALSO be at the wrong end of the defile.

It's not as if an A/T Section R.E. would be working in front of the British front line...they're certainly NOT trained for that; they'll be setting up these glorified ambushes in front of the Germans, yes - but what about any British forces between them and the advancing Germans (as the A/T Section R.E. wires and digs furiously) that need to withdraw/retreat via said defiles? 8O

What happens when they retreat and find their way blocked by obstacles and/or minefields that weren't there that morning when they got any map updates? Or run into said minefields before anyone can warn them? 8O
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David W
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Re: Chemical Warfare Coys, R.E. post-Dunkirk 1940

Post by David W » 06 Feb 2015 08:27

I am interested in their role in the Alamein battle of October 1942.

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