23rd Long Range Penetration Brigade

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Fitzgeraldr, May 25, 2014.

  1. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    Can anyone help with information regards the 23rd L.R.P. Brigade specifically the 44 or 56 columns, as this was the brigade my Grandfather served in. I believe they were involved in action during the Kohima/Imphal battles around April 1944. does anyone have any more details on the men and any recollections of those that served?


    Thanks

    Richard
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Richard

    I couldn't find a war diary of such but did find two files that may be of interest at the National Archives:

    WO 203/4212 Long Range Penetration Groups: operations to fly in two Brigades with a view to setting a block on Japanese line of communication in Burma Jan-March 1944

    AIR 8/1276 North Burma: flying-in of long-range penetration Brigades Feb to April 1944
     
  3. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    Thanks for this will check them out, I believe that the units that were flown in were the 77 & 111 Columns and the 23rd Brigade went in by train and foot... it seems very difficult to get much real information about specific units everything seems to be generic :(
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Drew5233 likes this.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Never thought to look for actual HQ Brigade files - I thought it was a special unit or is that Kew naming the file incorrectly?
     
  6. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    I do not think the Essex were part of the HQ Brigade they formed 23rd Brigade 44 & 56 Columns which i think were field units. I have put a request into the NA to try to get a print out of the war diaries
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just as a quick heads up. Kew charge around £1.00 per page and I charge 10p :D

    Let me know how much they quote and I should be able to give you a rough guide on how much I'd charge.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    do you know how many pages it is?
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    War Diaries vary greatly in thickness. Most of the SEAC war diaries tend to be a bit thinner than the European ones but you never know how many pages there are until the file is ordered and copied. If they send you a quote for £300 for one file for example you should be able to reckon that there is roughly 300 pages in it.
     
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    23rd Infantry Brigade were one of the 6 Chindit Brigades in 1944. They were never used in Burma, Slim pinched them off Wingate and they performed Chindit like duties in the rear of the invading Japanese at Kohima. Very arduous fighting indeed.
     
  11. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I think you are right Richard, but these are the only diaries for the Brigade that I have found at Kew. As you say, the Essex diaries are where to go next.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Do remember their £300 is to my £30 ;)
     
  14. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    I'm thinking this sounds more reasonable
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Let me know what they say and we'll have a better idea with what's what :)
     
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  17. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    Now that would definitely be interesting, as that was one of the main actions that 23rd Brigade were involved in.
     
  18. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Some command files are inches thick...
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Don't frighten Richard away HC. ;)
     
  20. Fitzgeraldr

    Fitzgeraldr Active Member

    I have received the movement orders for 23rd Inf Brigade dated 20 March 1944, it would seem that they had been based at Shahgarh, in Madhya Pradesh in Northern India, they embark the train at Saugor Station and the journey to the fwd area took 6 days with a further 7 days in reserve.
     

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