Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Seroster, Jul 17, 2017.
Unfortunately I missed one or two pages somehow. I'm not sure how!
(A page is missing here)
"The one item of maj interest which was not previously appreciated is that considerably more actual fighting has had to be undertaken than was thought would be necessary."
All very interesting--thanks for posting it
One detects their manual was a little unrealistic!
It is a reflection of the limitations of the British approach to recce. Unlike the Germans who assumed that recce would need to fight, and organised their units as an all arms force, British recce relied on guile, as the report described "a series of officers patrols."
This doctrine is still recognizable. The modern armoured recce is rather similar to that of WW2 equipped with light AFVs. Formation reconnaissance regiment - Wikipedia In 1980s medium recce did practice the command of battlegroups including armoured squadron and/or infantry company for tasks with an expectation of fighting for time or information.
The desire for something which could provide indirect fire reminded me that some British units did use American-made M3 Gun Motor Carriage half-tracks in this role. Dennis Oliver's "British Armour In Sicily and Italy" mentions that 1st King's Dragoon Guards and 12th Royal Lancers.
(THE BRITISH ARMY IN ITALY 1944 (NA 14653) for a picture)
There are some relevant case studies in Armoured Operations in Italy May 1944-January 1945 HQ AF Italy 1945.
The action on the river Conca by "an Armoured Car Squadron acting as a flank guard" had a heavy troop of two half track mounted 75mm guns(?) which were used to support an advance.
They also noted that the " Staghound's performance against mines is interesting. An instance is recorded of one exploding a double box mine with a front wheel. The wheel assembly weighing 250 lb was flung 100 yards. Though a little dazed, the crew were able to go on fighting. Such is the confidence of this vehicle to protect its crew from the effect of mines that, if the squadron is in a hurry, a Staghound leads through a suspected minefield with the others in its tracks"
British formations had integral close recce units. Armoured divisions had the tank heavy armoured recce regiment and infantry divisions RAC recce regiments.
The same document also included accounts of the actions at Osimo July 1944 by 7th Hussars with the Polish Corps and the 46th Divisional recce regiment at Cesena Oct 1944. The 7th Hussars was an Armoured Recce Regiment with a higher establishment of Stuart M3 light tanks. The 46 Divisional recce regiment had an anti tank troop of four half track mounted 75mm french guns. These were used mainly in the indirect role spotted by an OP party commanded by a sergeant mounted with a jeep and carrier with a 19 and a 22 set in "pack" form. The unit fored 500-1000 mortar bombs a day and 2000 75mm rounds ina seven day battle.
Thanks very much for that, Sheldrake! I take it you're referring to an army report in the first line?
I still wouldn't have wanted to be in that Staghound.
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