2 (Canadian) AGRA, 2 Canadian Armoured Brigade May 1945

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Bluebell Minor, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    As we have stated elsewhere on this site Historic Steve and I are involved in a private project to try and create a basic ORBAT/LOCSTAT for the British Occupation Zone of Germany for the period VE Day (8th May 1945) onwards.

    I am lead for the Northern Coastal areas and naturally want to include the significant Canadian Army presence from VE Day to May 1946.

    Over the past four years I have collected a fair amount of relevant information. My primary source are the appropriate War Diaries held in the National Archives at Kew. This is complimented by Regimental and Formation Histories held in the Military Library in Aldershot, the Internet (but I have learnt to be cautious of some the information posted) and equally importantly contact with Canadian Veterans Organisations and individuals who have generously shared information

    I am having particular difficulty with two Canadian formations who remained in Germany for only 2/3 weeks after VE Day. The Canadian Government had insisted that there would be no repetition of 1918 when it was two years before some Canadian servicemen finally returned home from WW1. In 1945 there was a strict limitation in both time and numbers on the Canadian contribution to the future BAOR.

    The Formations are

    2 (Canadian) AGRA
    Comprising a Headquarters, 1 Heavy Regiment RCA, 3 Medium Regiment RCA, 4 Medium Regiment RCA, 7 Medium Regiment RCA and 19 Field Regiment RCA

    The HQ 2 AGRA War Diaries indicated that in the last weeks of the War the individual Regiments had been deployed forward to provide additional firepower under command of the advancing Divisions and that the HQ was in the small town of Meppen carrying out adminiistrative not operational tasks
    Only the whereabouts of 7 Medium Regiment RCA, in the Emden area (in support of 3 Canadian Infantry Division) and 19 Field Regiment RCA in the Oldenburg area (in support either 2 Infantry or 4 Armoured Division?)are mentioned.

    2 Armoured Brigade
    Headquarters
    VE Day In tented acommodation in the Bad Zwischehahn area (and plagued by flies)
    9 May Aschendorf
    18 May Holland with entire Brigade.

    6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)
    VE Day?
    9th May Papenburg

    10th Armoured Regiment (Fort Gary Horse)
    Oldenburg throughout the period

    27th Armoured Regiment (Sherbroke Fusiliers
    Whereabouts unknown

    I would be most grateful for any information on the locations of the RHQs in this period from the clearly very knowledgeable Members of this splendid site (for obvious reasons in view of the span of my project I am having to ignore subunit (Battery/Squadron) locations).
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    According the the 1st Hussars Regimental History, "VE Day found the Regiment harbored in a wood at Estervegen south of the Kusten Canal."

    I believe I have contact information for a Canadian historian that has a copy of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment regimental history. Send me a PM and I will provide his email.

    I checked out the RCA Regimental history and there is no mention of the locations of the 2nd AGRA on VE day.
     
  3. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Bluebell Minor,
    Forum member Rob Dickers might have the info regarding 2nd Canadian AGRA. Suggest you send him a PM.

    Randy
     
    Rob Dickers likes this.
  4. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Hi Bluebell Minor & cheers Randy

    Re 2Cdn AGRA Locations as of 8th May 1945

    First, you are missing 10th Medium Regt RA, who had been a 2CdnAGRA Regt since Dec 44 & left them on 3rd Jun 45.
    Also the 1st Heavy Regt is RA not RCA.

    As you know HQ AGRA was to the North of Meppen (V6964) & out of action. The location of the Regt's you don't have are as follows:

    3rd Medium Regt RCA - Wiefelstede (2517)

    4th Medium Regt RCA - Hemsen (V692602)

    10th Medium Regt RA - Oldenburg (3303), with 3Bty of the 1st Heavy Regt, under command.

    1st Heavy Regt RA (two Bty's) - Bunde ( one Hvy Bty had stayed out of action with the AGRA at Nth Meppen)

    As i'm sure you know, on the 10th May 45, the AGRA & Regts moved back to Holland to locations Goor and Markelo. The 19th Cdn Field Regt RCA did not arrive at the location untill the 15th May 45.

    Good luck with the project.
    Best
    Rob
     
  5. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Rob Dickers to the rescue!

    Great stuff.
     
  6. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Hi Bluebell Minor & cheers Randy

    Re 2Cdn AGRA Locations as of 8th May 1945

    First, you are missing 10th Medium Regt RA, who had been a 2CdnAGRA Regt since Dec 44 & left them on 3rd Jun 45.
    Also the 1st Heavy Regt is RA not RCA.

    As you know HQ AGRA was to the North of Meppen (V6964) & out of action. The location of the Regt's you don't have are as follows:

    3rd Medium Regt RCA - Wiefelstede (2517)

    4th Medium Regt RCA - Hemsen (V692602)

    10th Medium Regt RA - Oldenburg (3303), with 3Bty of the 1st Heavy Regt, under command.

    1st Heavy Regt RA (two Bty's) - Bunde ( one Hvy Bty had stayed out of action with the AGRA at Nth Meppen)

    As i'm sure you know, on the 10th May 45, the AGRA & Regts moved back to Holland to locations Goor and Markelo. The 19th Cdn Field Regt RCA did not arrive at the location untill the 15th May 45.

    Good luck with the project.
    Best
    Rob

    Thanks Rob for confirming 1st Heavy Regt RA have tracked them around Germany from May 45 to Sep 47 renamed 27th Heavy Regt Apr 47 and served in all the Corps Districts
    Best regards
    Steve
     
  7. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    Gentlemen

    Thank your for your authoritive input,I will amend my my notes accordingly (17th DYRCH has scored a bull's eye with his latest comment)

    dryan67. Your comments regarding the 1st Hussars compliment my information on their subsequent moves. Looking at Google Earth the wood at Estervegen is still there There was a Concentration Camp in the area whch was subsequently used to hold captured members of the SS with the CAOF providing the Guard Force

    Rob Thank you very much for this detail. I will have to double check my notes with the 2AGRA War Diary entries on my next visit to Kew. Had some problems finding Bunde (clearly not the town north of Herford very familiar to later BAOR warriors), it is a tiny village off the south banks of the Ems Estuary. Was 1 Heavy Regiment being used to support the 7 Canadian Infantry Brigade/ 3 Canadian Infantry Division final assault on the port and Naval Base of Emden? Clearly 19 Field Regiment RCAs' arrival with the AGRA enabled the two British Gunner Regiments to be released to join BAOR proper to undertake occupation duties in the British Zone of Germany.

    Again my grateful thanks to all concerned for the information provided
     
  8. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Was 1 Heavy Regiment being used to support the 7 Canadian Infantry Brigade/ 3 Canadian Infantry Division final assault on the port and Naval Base of Emden?


    Bluebell
    The 1st Heavy Regt RA's two btys at Bunde were in action for the following:

    5 Bty (155mm): To destroy with AOP Oservation, enemy gun emplacements on both sides of the Ems Estuary & support the 5th Cdn Armd Div in mopping up.

    16 Bty(155mm): To engage on distructive shoots on active enemy bty's in the Emden area for 3rd Cdn Div and 4th Cdn Armd Div advancing beond Leer.

    The 1st Heavy Regt's Bty's at Bunde also had under command:
    6 Bty (155mm) of the 51st Heavy Regt RA
    241 S/Hvy Bty of the 61st Super Heavy Regt RA

    Best
    Rob
     
  9. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    Firstly an apology. It was not 7 but 9 (Highland) Brigade of the Canadian 3rd Division who advanced along the northern bank of the River Ems to capture the port and naval base of Emden.

    Thanks to suggestions and introductions made by members of this site I now have the details of 2 Armoured Brigades moves between VE Day (8 May) and their move back to Holland. They are

    Headquarters
    VE Day Bad Zwischenahn
    9 May Asendorf
    19th May Holland (with entire Brigade)

    6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)
    VE Day Estervegen
    9th May Papenburg

    10th Armoured Regiment (Fort Gary Horse)
    Oldenburg throughout

    27th Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers)
    VE Day Leer
    9th May Aurich

    Again my grateful thanks for the information provided ( I could be back, in the meantime will remain on radio listening watch)
     
  10. Bill F

    Bill F Member

    Hi Rob only just spotted this one....my dad was there 5 bty...so, yep that was him then :0)
     
    Rob Dickers likes this.

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