25th Light A.A Regiment (R.A)

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by DavidW, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Guys,

    Can you help me with the Batteries and movements of the 25th Light A.A Regiment in 1941 and 1942 please.

    Many thanks,

    David.
     
  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello David,

    The 25th LAA embarked from the UK on 16 December 1940, landing at Suez on 12 February 1941 and moving to El Tahag camp.

    Shortly thereafter the 225th Bty was sent to Malta where it remained for more than two years. The 81st and 82nd Bty's were sent to Port Said.

    The 81st and 82nd Bty's moved to the Western Desert, 30 miles to the south of Sidi Barrani in September 1941 and not far from area known as Oxford Circus. It was joined here by the 274th Bty on 11 September 1941; 274th Bty had previously been 'A' Bty, 102nd (Northumberland Hussars) Light AA and Anti-Tank Regiment, RA.

    It moved into Libya, crossing the border nr Fort Maddalena in November 1941, one troop of the 81st Bty being detached to act as escort in the diversionary attack on the Jalo Oasis – 200 miles to the south west.

    During the armoured conflicts at Sidi Rezegh all three Btys were deployed to the south protecting fighter landing grounds, but were rushed forward to El Adem when the Axis forces retreated (eventually) to El Agheila.

    The 82nd and 274th Btys joined the 1st Armoured Division at El Hasseiat on 19 January 1942, whilst the 81st Bty remained with 12th AA Brigade at Antelat.

    Around the 21 January 1942, the Regiment was ordered north to Saunnu only to find the Axis forces already in possession of the wadi. Six guns of the 82nd Bty then covered the withdrawal from Msus. The rest of the Regiment withdrew via Mechili to Gazala.

    On 25 April 1942 the 25th LAA joined 50th (Northumbrian) Division (on a permanent basis) stationed in the Gazala line; 81st Bty with 150th Infantry Brigade, 82nd Bty with 69th Infantry Brigade and 274th Bty with 151st Infantry Brigade; albeit one troop of 82nd Bty was with the 1st Army Tank Brigade.

    The 81st Bty was overrun and lost along with all of the 150th Infantry Brigade and attached divisional troops on 1 June 1942 during the Gazala battles. Some of the Regiment was involved in the Cauldron battles and ‘all’ of those remaining in the break out from the Gazala line on 14 June 1942, eventually assembling at Bir Thalata a few days later.

    There followed a withdrawal of the 8th Army from Buq Buq to first Mersa Matruh on the 19 June 1942, with 274 Bty (with two troops of 82nd Bty) forming part of a rear-guard centred on the 69th Infantry Brigade and then to El Alamein. The remnants of the Regiment gathered at Mareopolis at the end of June 1942, albeit some odds and sods were located with the Indians at Deir el Shein in the Alamein line. The Regiment suffered almost 400 casualties during the retreat.

    A composite 82nd Bty (being two troops of 82nd Bty and one troop of 274th Bty) were in action again on 15 July 1942, assisting the 69th Infantry Brigade in an attack on the El Taqa plateau on 21 July 1942 and in an attack on Axis forces opposite the South African Division on 27 July 1942.

    The 82nd Bty supported 151st Infantry Brigade and the 274th Bty was divided between and supported the New Zealand and South African Divisions in a defensive action on 31 August 1942.

    The Regiment later moved into XIII Corps area to assist the training and protection of the green 51st (Highland) Division.

    In October 1942 the Regiment were trained in the art of static defence by 18th AA Brigade and then were resting until 16 December 1942.

    On the 10 November 1942 the 138th Bty joined the Regiment, as replacement for the 81st Bty.

    The Regiment re-joined Fifty Div on the 16 December 1942 at El Adem and moved with it to Agedabia-Benghazi area on 31 December 1942.

    Source: ‘The 25th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. 1939-1946”

    I also have the history of the 274th Bty and will see if there is additional helpful information therein; but probably not tonight.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  3. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    It moved into Libya, crossing the border nr Fort Maddalena in November 1941, one troop of the 81st Bty being detached to act as escort in the diversionary attack on the Jalo Oasis – 200 miles to the south west.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    Hi Steve

    What's your source for this? I have not found anything on a troop from 25 L.A.A. and/or 81 Battery. L.A.A. was provided by 6 L.A.A. Battery during the raid on Gialo.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Andreas,

    The source is the regimental history: ‘The 25th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. 1939-1946” (as stated). The only way to verify the veracity of the statement would probably be via the 81st Bty or 25th LAA's War Diary for this period; do you have these?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  5. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve. When did the 34th Lt AA Reg join the 50th Division?
    Hi Andreas.
     
  6. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Hello Andreas,

    The source is the regimental history: ‘The 25th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. 1939-1946” (as stated). The only way to verify the veracity of the statement would probably be via the 81st Bty or 25th LAA's War Diary for this period; do you have these?

    Best,

    Steve.

    No I don't, but I have pretty much everything about the raid on Gialo that exists at Kew, and then some, and no mention of 81 Battery in it.

    What is possible is that they either arrived at Gialo in December, or they were protecting L.G.125, 1/3rd of the way to Gialo. But I'd be extremely surprised to find them participate in the raid itself.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  7. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello David,

    The 34th LAA Regt was only with Fifty Div for the duration (approximately) of the Second Battle of El Alamein - 18 October to 6 November 1942.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  8. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Andreas,

    The precise wording in the regimental history is:

    "One troop of 81st. Battery was detached to act as escort in the diversionary attack on the Jalo oasis..."

    It doesn't say they were involved in the attack just that they acted as escort. I read that as meaning that they provided a defensive screen for the attacking troops. The pertinent section starts with "In November...".

    Mike Leonard may be able to offer further insights, albeit his Grandad served in 82nd Bty. Why don't you PM him; you never know he may even have obtained War Diaries since we last exchanged messages.

    In the meantime, I'll see what else I can find that may assist.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  9. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve
     
  10. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Hello Andreas,

    The precise wording in the regimental history is:

    "One troop of 81st. Battery was detached to act as escort in the diversionary attack on the Jalo oasis..."

    It doesn't say they were involved in the attack just that they acted as escort. I read that as meaning that they provided a defensive screen for the attacking troops. The pertinent section starts with "In November...".

    Mike Leonard may be able to offer further insights, albeit his Grandad served in 82nd Bty. Why don't you PM him; you never know he may even have obtained War Diaries since we last exchanged messages.

    In the meantime, I'll see what else I can find that may assist.

    Best,

    Steve.

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for that, will do that. To clarify from my side, I have no record of any involvement of elements of 81 Battery with the Jalo raid, that includes preparation in Giarabub with Oases Force, or indeed the approach march to Jalo with E Force, the raid by 7 S.A. Recce preceding it, or the attack on Jalo.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Andreas,

    It's certainly a mystery, but I believe they must have been involved with the Jalo raid in some capacity; otherwise why mention it in a regimental history?!

    I could not find anything in 'The Garrision' about the raid, but the pertinent War Diaries appear to be:

    1) WO 169/326 - 25th LAA Regt; and
    2) WO 169/334 - 81st Bty.

    -Source: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/research-material/29605-national-archives-catalogue-excel-2.html

    I hope Mike Leonard can assist, but if he hasn't got relevant details/War Diaries and you decide to obtain the latter, give me a shout.

    NB. Mike is not a regular visitor to the forum so it may be a shortwhile before you recieve a response from him.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  12. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Not to worry, I will try to look them up myself otherwise when I go next.

    My educated guess would be that they were doing airfield protection at L.G.125 or Giarabub.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  13. Taffy25LAA

    Taffy25LAA New Member

    My maternal Grandfather served with 82 Bty, 25th LAA Regt., and embarked with them in December 1940.

    Could anyone shed some light on what happened to the Regiment after 1942, please?

    Thank you.


    Paul
     
  14. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum Paul, good luck with your research. Just a thought do you have his service records? If not......


    https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

    David
     
  15. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hi Paul

    Not really my area of expertise at all, but from what I can gather, 25 LAA Regiment were part of the British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and took part in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, then into North West Europe in 1944. Only wiki I know but take a look here at the orders of battle


    Edited: apologies but cannot get the link to work

    chap here served with 25 LAA
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/29/a2073629.shtml





    Lesley
     
  16. Taffy25LAA

    Taffy25LAA New Member

    Thanks, David and Lesley!

    We have copies of his service records, and we've been able to work out where he was during 1941 (and, to a lesser extent, 1942.) After that, the entries read:

    10/11/43 25 LAA Embarked for UK and SOS BNAF ('Struck off Strength, British North Africa Force', I'm guessing)

    25 LAA Disembarked UK 5/11/43

    2E21. 1301/44 Embarked UK 1/6/44

    2E21/X409/44 X(IV) Posted to Depot RA & SOS X(IV) *illegible* NWE 17 August

    200/1/44 Depot RA Posted to this Unit in excess of WE (*illegible* attached) from 43 RHU. Attached 'D' Bty (*illegible* - possibly 'Coast') wef same day 17/8/44


    The bits we're having trouble working out are the X(IV) and the last entry ... we think he was with the Regiment at Gold Beach on D-Day.

    I've contacted the RA Museum, and am planning to head along there to look at the Regiment's War Diaries, but if anyone can shed any light on what these entries (might) mean, I'd be extremely grateful!

    Thank you!
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I would go to the National Archives and look at the regiments war diaries there before the RA museum ones.

    I've just realised I have a copy of the 1944 diary. What's your chaps name? The regiment started to land on the 7th June at 2100hrs:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Taffy25LAA

    Taffy25LAA New Member

    My Grandad's name was Edward George Wells - 3957851
     
  19. Mike Leonard

    Mike Leonard Junior Member

    Hi Paul

    I haven't visited the site for some years to life's twists and turns
     
  20. Mike Leonard

    Mike Leonard Junior Member

    Hi Paul

    I haven't been on the site for some years due to life's twists and turns. Just visited for the first time in a long time. I expect you'll already know after all this time that 25th LAA Regt was with 50 Div until it was returned to the u.k. to become a training division. This divisional move was against Churchill's resistance because 50 Div was one of his favourites, but Monty decided they'd done enough. Very high numbers of casualties sustained over a long period. At this point, 25th LAA Regt joined 53 (Welsh) Division and took part in the Battle of the Bulge, The Battle of the Reichswald Forest and the Rhine Crossing. 53 Division reached the Hamburg area at the time of the German surrender, and remained in Germany for a time, involved with policing of the civilian population.

    Mike
     
    Drew5233 likes this.

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