Discussion in 'Australian' started by DavidW, May 1, 2017.
Apologies if I have asked before.
Were either present in North Africa at all?
They were the Divisional machine gun battalions of 6th and 7th infantry divisions I believe.
Bit of background history here on AWM website
>> 2/1st MG Bn <<
>> 2/3rd MG Bn <<
There has been a discussion on this topic with the Axis forum.
It may shed some light for you.
British Machine Gun Bn organisation in North Africa • Axis History Forum
2/1st Machine-Gun Battalion
13 November 1939
Mount Olympus, Servia Pass, Greece 1941, Crete, Middle East 1941, Borneo, Balikipan, Milford Highway, South-West Pacific 1945
The battalion served under command of 6th Infantry Division from October 1939 until late 1944. It left Australia on 8 May 1940 as part of 18th Infantry Brigade Group and arrived in the United Kingdom on 17 June 1940. It left England on 15 November 1940 and arrived at Alexandria on 31 December 1940. It joined the division after the desert campaign and moved with it to Greece on 7/8 April 1941. It left Greece on 26/27 April 1941 and moved to Palestine. One company fought on Crete in Retimo sector. It was called 2/1st Machine-Gun Company. The battalion moved to Syria in October 1941 from Palestine and left for Australia in March 1942. It served under 7th Infantry Division in the Balikipan Landings on 1 July 1945. The battalion was disbanded in January 1946.
2/2nd Machine-Gun Battalion
1 May 1940
Defence of Alamein Line, Ruweisat Ridge, Sanyet el Miteirya, El Alamein, North Africa 1941-42, Lae-Nadzab, Finschhafen, Sattleberg, Borneo, Brunei, Labuan, South-West Pacific 1943-45
One company of the battalion was raised at Northam, WA in July 1940 but transferred to the 2/3rd Machine-Gun Battalion in September 1940. The battalion served under command of 7th Infantry Division from June 1940 until May 1941, when it transferred to 1st South African Infantry Division. It then came under command of 9th Infantry Division in November 1941 until the end of the war. It arrived in Egypt in December 1940? from Australia and moved to Palestine. It moved to Mersa Matruh in April 1941 and returned to Palestine in September? 1941. It moved to Syria on 11-18 January 1942 and back to the western desert in late June 1942. It returned to Palestine from on 30 November-9 December 1942 and departed for Australia on 24-31 January 1943. It left Australia for Milne Bay, New Guinea on 26 July-12 August 1943. It landed at Lae, New Guinea on 4 September 1943 and returned to Australia in late February 1944. D Company landed at Tarakan Island on 1 May 1945 under command of 26th Infantry Brigade Group, while the rest of the battalion landed at Brunei Bay, Borneo on 10 June 1945. The battalion was disbanded in March 1946.
2/3rd Machine-Gun Battalion
1 July 1940
Sidon, Jezzine, Damour, Jebel Mazar, Syria 1941, Java 1942, Nambut Ridge, Anumb River, But Dagua, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, South-West Pacific 1944-45
The battalion served under command of 9th Infantry Division from July 1940. It was joined by a company of 2/2nd Machine-Gun Battalion from West Australia in September 1940. It joined the battalion in Adelaide in November 1940.
The battalion left for the Middle East in April 1941 and joined 7th Infantry Division on arrival in Palestine. It served in Syria from 8 June 1941 with the division and left Syria on 1 February 1942 for Java, where it arrived on 15 February 1942. It was captured there in March 1942 and reformed in Victoria in May 1942. After reforming, the battalion moved to Queensland, where it remained until it moved to Aitape, New Guinea with the 6th Division in November 1944.
After arrival at Aitape, the battalion sent two companies to serve under 19th Australian Brigade, when it took over at Babiang. In February 1945, one company served under 16th Brigade protecting Dogreto Bay. 16th Brigade took over operations in the advance to Wewak on 6 January 1945 and the battalion (less two companies) came under command. At the end of February it was still under the brigade in the mountain sector. It then relieved 2/3rd Infantry Battalion to clear the enemy forward to Anumb and maintain posts at Walons, Aboama and Malin. The battalion held the line of the Danmap River from the coast southwards. It had been converted to an infantry battalion when it took over from 2/3rd Infantry Battalion. The battalion was given the task of capturing Arahemi in operations from 2-12 March 1945 under 16th Brigade. After the battalion was posted to Dagua on 13 March. Later in March it was ordered to Marabus to clear the jungle area from there. 19th Brigade took over the front from 16th Brigade on 1 May and the battalion remained under command of 19th Brigade. One Company (still organized as infantry) and one M-G platoon of the battalion landed under ‘Farida Force’ on the coast east of Wewak on 11 May. On landing the company moved to the Wewak Road-Forok Creek junction. One company of the battalion then relieved 2/10th Commando Squadron in the Mandi area. The battalion was given the task of protecting the Brandi plantation and Mandi on 3 June when it took over from 2/6th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment and the take-over was completed by 13 June. When 8th Australian Infantry Brigade arrived at Wewak in early July 1945 short a battalion, the battalion came under command of the brigade for the rest of the war in the infantry role. The battalion was disbanded in January 1946.
1/19 RNSWR magazine has a bio on one of the officers of 2/1 MG Bn and a brief bio of the unit. Check out pages 29-31 of the pdf attachment (55,57,59 on the page itself) http://www.rnswr.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/FRONTLINE-SEP-2016.pdf
Separate names with a comma.