65 Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery, 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Beefordboy, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    Hi Andy.
    Very interested in this post as I am trying to find out about the 65th anti tank regt attached to the right column of frank force. 50th Northumberland notor infantry Div John
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Andy.
    Very interested in this post as I am trying to find out about the 65th anti tank regt attached to the right column of frank force. 50th Northumberland notor infantry Div John

    Hello and welcome to the forum. I've started a new thread for you to attract the RA chaps.

    I've got the diary. The ref is WO 167/586. Click the link below if you want a copy but it doesn't appear to be overly detailed.

    Post what you know and what you are after and I'll look in a few books.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  3. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    I dont know a lot myself Andy. Got interested when a friend of mine asked me if I knew anything about them as his father served with them and was evacuated at Dunkirk. Started a little research and found it very interesting, the only survivor from the massacre of the Norfolks was a gunner from the unit.It seems that they were engaged in some heavy fighting.Trying to find dates of evacuation, did they come out over the beaches or the mole?
    regards John
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi John,

    I'll have a look at the diary in more detail over the week end if I get time.

    Ref the Norfolks it was on HQ Coy that was captured and massacred at Paradis. There was only two survivors called Pooley and O'Callaghan who later testified at the War Crimes trial of Knochlein.
     
  5. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    I obviously read the wrong info Drew, so many accounts differ . But any info you send will be much appreciated. john
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've still not checked the units war diary properly. I thought I'd check a new book in my collection and it has a few mentions in the index so here's whats mentioned:

    Page 17
    The 65th A/T Regiment (Norfolk Yeomanry) under Lt Col W N Arnold with 257th, 258th, 259th and 360th Batteries, sailed for France on the Ulster Monach on the 9th February 1940 and was to fight in the Arras counter-attack.

    Page 45
    65th Regiment also fought at Arras under 'Polforce'

    At Arras one of the Regiments battery's was part of two columns formed by Gen. Martel, GOC 50 Division.

    Page 52
    Right Column:
    7th Royal Tank Regiment
    8th Durham Light Infantry
    365th Battery, 92nd Field Regiment
    260th Battery, 65th Anti-Tank Regiment.

    H-Hour was to be at 1400 hours 21st May when they were to cross the Arras-Doullens road. First there was a fight by the Right Column to take Duisans, on the western outskirts of Arras, and 260th Anti-Tank Battery and two companies of 8th DLI were left to hold it and a number of prisoners.

    Page 84
    65th Anti-Tank Regiment had heavy losses as it fell back through Popringhe where it amalgamated all that was left of 258th and 260th batteries. It acted as rearguard at Les Moeres leaving Captain J J Barclay forward with four guns at Le Doulen. It finaly got away on the 31st and reformed at Chard and Somerset.

    The Years of Defeat 1939-41 by Farndale
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello John,

    I have 'The Norfolk Yeomanry in Peace and War' (Bastin), which covers the activities of the 65th (Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment in WWII.

    My interest in this regiment is its time with the 50th (Northumbrian) Division...

    If I can possibly be of any assistance please just let me know!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  11. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  12. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    Thanks Andy will print off the info later that stuff is a great help.Hi Steve thanks for the offer, will come back to you if I think of anything else. Thanks to both of you . At nearly 78 I dont think I shall ever get round to all the stuff on this site . Its brilliant thanks to all the people who contribute, John
     
  13. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    Thanks for all the help Andy, and thanks for the offer Steve , This certainlyn is a great site with loads of like minded people all helping each other. Certainly glad I joined. regards John
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    No problem John-Glad to help :)

    Did you click on the link in Post 7?
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    You are welcome, John!

    Nick - Yes, there is comment from page 81 to 85, but I don't know how much refers to 260 Bty - rather than the Blue column as a whole; and I will have to leave until later to write again as the family has just started to arrive. Is there anything specific that you are interested in, or just general commentary?

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nick - Yes, there is comment from page 81 to 85, but I don't know how much refers to 260 Bty

    According to Farndale it was only 260 Bty from 65 AT Regiment that was there. See post 6.
     
  17. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    Yes I did Drew, very interesting. All the pitting by the gunfire reminded me of the inn at Colchester that still has the ( marked in red ) pitting from the civil war. John
     
  18. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Not sure why you posted the above, Andy. I am fully aware that 260 Bty was there... and only they from the 65th Anti-Tank Regiment. :unsure:

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    21st May 1940

    The relief of 69 Brigade was completed during the morning and 4 East Yorks and 4 Green Howards deployed along the River Scarpe. In conjunction with the attack by 151 Brigade on the opposite side of Arras, 4 East Yorks sent one company south of the river and raided the German positions there. 25 Brigade and 74 Field Regiment, in position on the La Bassee canal were withdrawn from the division and placed under Polforce.

    151 Brigade arrived in the Vimy area at dawn and deployed on the ridge either side of the Arras and Vimy road. They had not long taken up these positions when the brigade received the order to attack to the west of Arras with the support of 1 Army Tank Brigade. The brigade was to attack on a two battalion front with each battalion having a battery of artillery an anti-tank battery and a squadron of the reconnaissance battalion, 4 Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, under command, 9 Durham Light Infantry were held in reserve but would follow up the leading battalions. On the right were 8 Durham Light Infantry and 7 Royal Tank Regiment with 365 Battery of 92 Field Regiment and 260 Battery of 65 Anti-Tank Regiment in support were to advance from the ridge via Maroeuil and secure Walrus then turn east to Vailly and finally secure Boisleux Au Mont. The start line for the battalion was the Arras to Doullens road. which was to be crossed at 1400 hrs but the battalion with a long approach march had only reached Maroeuil by this hour and shortly after leaving it they ran into opposition from Duisans. Enemy outposts had to be cleared from the village before the advance to Walrus could start and co-operations with the tanks left a lot to be desired as there was insufficient time to make any detailed plans prior to the attack. The advance proceeded to Walrus which was crowded with enemy vehicles and guns, the tanks made short work of any opposition they encountered and moved on to the next objective but the infantry were tied up in house to house fighting to clear the village and only secured it by 1700 hrs that evening. Not long after numerous enemy tanks were seen forming up for a counter-attack and the battalion went on the defensive with the guns of the anti-tank battery taking up position in the village. After a heavy dive-bombing attack the counter-attack came in and cut off the defenders in the village. Around 20 enemy tanks were knocked out but it was only with the assistance of the tanks from 3 DLM that the infantry were able to withdraw to Maroeil later that night.

    On the left 6 Durham Light Infantry and 4 Royal Tank Regiment with 368 Battery of 92 Field Regiment and 206 Battery of 65 Anti-Tank Regiment in support were to move forward to Anzin St. Aubin and then advance to the start line which they crossed 90 minutes later than planned and immediately had to fight to clear the village of Dainville. The tanks had already passed the village and moved off to the right to avoid the railway cutting so the infantry were further delayed while they cleared the village. Moving on from Dainville the success of the tanks ahead of them in overruning opposition was obvious as many prisoners were rounded up and sent to the rear, Achicourt was taken without difficulty as the tanks had smashed the opposition before the infantry arrived. By 1600 hrs the infantry caught up with the tanks at Beaurains and moved on to take the high ground near the village, here the advance was halted as heavy shell fire was brought down on the battalion and there were signs of a counter-attack being prepared. The battalion withdrew into Beaurains and the remaining tanks withdrew to the far side where they could counter-attack any penetration. In the evening Beaurains was subjected to the heaviest dive-bombing attack yet experienced followed by an assault by enemy tanks and infantry which forced 6 Durham Light Infantry to withdraw to Achicourt covered by the remaining tanks. The attack was called off later that evening and both battalions ordered to withdraw back to their original location on Vimy Ridge to reorganize. Half of 6 Durham Light Infantry never got the order to withdraw to Vimy and made their way north where they were sent first to La Bassee then to Boulogne where they were added to the brigade defending the town and evacuated with them. Although the attack had captured over 300 men of the rifle battalions of 7 Panzer Division and achieved local success it had not disrupted the enemy plans to any great extent but it may had added to the insecurity the Germans had about their flanks.

    The BEF Orbat Vol.5 - Alan Philson
     
  20. Beefordboy

    Beefordboy Junior Member

    Thanks Drew, as the actress said to the bishop every little helps.
     

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