85th Mountain Regiment, RA (East Anglian) (TA)

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Uncle Target, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Taking a break not sure when I will be back

    There seems to be some confusion re this unit and its weapons in WW2.
    Did they contain 338 Romford Battery and did they use the 75 mm pack howitzer in Northern Italy.
    It seems 339 Battery relocated to Colchester as HAA but appears on line as 1st Essex part of 85th East Anglian Div.
    Whichever Batteries were involved it seems they joined an Indian Division in Palestine where they trained in Mountain Warfare on Mountain Guns before going to Italy.
    I am particularly hoping to define the history of 338 Romford Battery in WW2.
  2. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hello Uncle Target,

    A few details (only) from published sources.

    Frederick has only three lines, the first two of which are:

    85th Mountain Regiment, R.A. (East Anglian), T.A.

    18/9/1943 85th Field Regiment, R.A. (East Anglian), T.A. with 337th, 338th and 461st Batteries converted to mountain artillery.
    27/9/1945 H.Q. and Batteries to suspended animation.

    Under Frederick’s entry for the 85th Field Regiment, R.A., it confirms the above.

    Joslen has the 85th Mountain Regiment as Army Troops under 9th Army (Palestine and eastern Mediterranean) on 1st January 1944

    Joslen also shows the 85th Mountain Regiment in Italy as Army Troops on the following dates:

    10th April 1944
    27th October 1944
    13th May 1945.

  3. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    A further detail:

    "The British Armies in World War 2" by David Hughes, David A. Ryan and a certain Steve Rothwell (minor contributor) has the 85th Mountain Regiment, R.A. attached to the 10th Indian Division during February 1945. It is noted that the Regiment, as attached to the Division, was equipped with 16 75mm guns.

  4. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    There was a War Establishment issued for a Mountain Regiment, RA, North Africa, in October 1943. That showed such a Regiment with three Batteries, each of four 3.7-inch howitzers. There is reference to a superseding table in the National Archives indices, but sadly it's annotated as NP, that is 'not printed'. That may have referenced a change in armament to 75-mm pack.

    Another thread also on 85th;

    85th Mountain Regiment, RA, Italy

    I thought there was another thread somewhere discussing the 3.7-in/75-mm pack usage but can't find it.

  5. Scott1975

    Scott1975 Active Member

    In 1924 the Brigade became 85th (East Anglian) Field Brigade, RA (TA) and in the following year 339 (Essex) Battery was re-located to Colchester (Stanwell Street) and redesignated 339 (Essex RHA) Battery in commemoration of its former service. In 1932 there was an exchange of Batteries, with 339 (Essex RHA) Battery transferred and placed under command of 104 Army Fd Bde, RA (TA), being replaced by 213 (Essex) Battery, which was formed at Stratford (Artillery House, The Green), E.15, by the transfer and redesignation of 232 Bty, 58 Medium Bde, RA (TA).

    In November 1938 the Brigade was redesignated 85th (East Anglian) Field Regiment, RA (TA) and plans formulated for the reorganisation into two Batteries. Before this could be effected however, orders were issued in March 1939 for the formation of a duplicate Regiment and thus 213 (Essex) and 340 (Essex) Batteries were withdrawn and transferred to form 134 Fd Regt, RA (TA). The original Regiment was then reorganised as follows;

    • Regimental Headquarters: Stratford (Artillery House, The Green), E.15.
    • 337 (Essex) Field Battery: Stratford (Artillery House, The Green), E.15.
    • 338 (Essex) Field Battery: Headquarters and Troop, Romford (194 South Street), Troop, Grays (40 Brooke Road).

    The Regiment was mobilised under command of HQRA, 54 (East Anglian) Div (TA) and remained with the Division in the United Kingdom until August 1942, during which period 461 Field Battery was raised as a third Battery. The Regiment then moved to Egypt in September 1942, then in January 1943 to Iraq where it came under command of 5 Indian Div. In April 1943 the Regiment became Corps Artillery under command of 21 Indian Corps. In September 1943 the Regiment was withdrawn to Palestine and reorganised into 85th Mountain Regiment, RA (East Anglian) (TA), comprising 337, 338 and 461 Mountain Batteries and forming part of 9 Army Troops Artillery. In March 1944 the Regiment transferred to Italy and joined 8 Army, seeing active service on the Sangro River and Gothic Line.

    Lifted that from somewhere a long time ago, can't remember where.

    Rothy likes this.

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