[Artillery Research Question]1st Battle of Longstop

Discussion in 'General' started by Phaethon, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    As part of my research, over the past year I've been slowly peicing together the (1st) Battle for longstop 22nd-25th Dec 1942. Now I'm not sure I can get any more information then I already have... but there is one thing nagging me that some of you shell heads may be able to help me with.

    During the 1st Guards Bde Attack Longstop, the atttack was supported by the 14/16 (Med) battery (25 pndrs) and the 36 F.A. Bn (heavies) and the 32 F.A. Bn. However the 14/16 diary for December is missing from TNA (WO 175/368), and their parent unit they were temporrarally attached to has nothing useful.

    My question is: Unfamilair as I am with artillery, who were the 36 and 32 F.A. Bn, were they an american unit? If not, did an artillery Bn keep a war diary? Because I can't seem to find one at TNA.

    Secondly, is TNA the only place for artillery diaries? or is there an equivilent to the guards regimental headquarters who might have a copy of the 14/16th's diary?
     
  2. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Phaeton,

    You could try e-mailing the Firepower Museum at Woolwich, as they also hold copies of British War Diaries for Royal Artillery units. I don't think they have any others.

    research 'at' firepower.org.uk

    Cheers - Rob
     
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Field Artillery Battalion is US-speak for Field Regiment, so it's off to NARA for their unit journals. Good luck!

    It might also be worth looking at the Field Artillery Journal. As Longstop would have been amongst their first actions, it may have featured in an article.

    As for 14/16 Bty, was the parent unit you checked 4 Med Regt (their regiment)? If not, it might be worth a look.
     
  4. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    Field Artillery Battalion is US-speak for Field Regiment, so it's off to NARA for their unit journals. Good luck!

    It might also be worth looking at the Field Artillery Journal. As Longstop would have been amongst their first actions, it may have featured in an article.

    As for 14/16 Bty, was the parent unit you checked 4 Med Regt (their regiment)? If not, it might be worth a look.


    Thanks; thats what I thought... I had a hunch they were US Units. But I'm buggered if Im going to NARA again; their system is a mockery of anything that is archivallry decent and good in this world.

    Funnily enough I checked the 4th Med Regt before I checked the 14/16th on a hunch. On the front cover it says that it contains some of the diaries for thw 14/16th not in the 14/16 folder... but it doesn't, not really, instead it has a rear HQ section.

    If you can believe it, the 14/16 diaries go Nov, Jan, feb.... no December and yet again on the front it says that the 4th med regt has some of the diaries. But of course it doesn't.

    I hadn't thought about the field artillery journal, that could turn out to be a good source. Is there any other artillery journals I should look at (apart from the guards/coldstream) or would that be it?
     
  5. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    "An error occurred attempting to communicate with an HTTP or SOCKS gateway. The gateway may be temporarily unavailable, or there could be a network problem."


    Oh dear. Looks like the Field artillery journal is down and its search engine up the creek. I hope the site is well maintained and comes back up soon, I had a nasty experience with a US military database that was never repaired.
     
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Not your day, is it?

    For some reason, though, the FAJ is also available 'by article'. A bit of site-specific googling gives this list of goodies that can still be got. No guarantee there is anything on interest in there...
     
  7. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    Not your day, is it?

    For some reason, though, the FAJ is also available 'by article'. A bit of site-specific googling gives this list of goodies that can still be got. No guarantee there is anything on interest in there...

    Cheers, I'll have a look at that now. Do you know id there are there regiment specific journals in the royal artillery, akin to the guards, or just one big rag bag journal for all. (Not being an artillery man)?
     
  8. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

  9. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    A nice peice on the American heavy 155's.
    Individual Battery diaries were usualy only kept when they were attached away from the Regt (4th Med) 25pdrs?.
    As there is nothing in the Regt diaries and they were under 1AGRA at the time you could try their's.
    Rob

    Tunisia & N Africa 1942-1943 5 Corps Troops 1AGRA
    Italy 1943-5 - Army Troops att 1 AGRA, 1 Cdn Corps & 2 Polish Corps
     
  10. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    A nice peice on the American heavy 155's.
    Individual Battery diaries were usualy only kept when they were attached away from the Regt (4th Med) 25pdrs?.
    As there is nothing in the Regt diaries and they were under 1AGRA at the time you could try their's.
    Rob

    Tunisia & N Africa 1942-1943 5 Corps Troops 1AGRA
    Italy 1943-5 - Army Troops att 1 AGRA, 1 Cdn Corps & 2 Polish Corps

    Sorry mate, what's 1AGRA? I should point out I have the artillery war diaries of the 4th Med Regt, 78th Div, and 1st Army (neither of which contain what I am after), but can't find any 1AGRA in WO 175.

    The 14/16th was most definitely independent for a lot of Dec so I would have expected a war diary.
     
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  12. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    WO 175/296 is intriguingly titled 1 Gp. H.Q. under Royal Artillery. There is also WO 175/29 as RA under Force 110. if that helps...
     
  13. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    AGRA= Army Group Royal Artillery
    1st Army Group Royal Artillery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If that translates kew-wise to the R.A. WO files for the 1st army then I almost certaintly have them. I'm wondering if 5 Svy. Regt. `Y' Tp. might have anything... I'm grasping at staws now.

    I've sent an email off to the RA address posted earlier but got a generic email back saying how busy they are... still you never know. Anyone know of any books or journals on the 4th med or 138th regiment?

    Artillery units don't seem well catered for as infantry regiments for obvious reasons, but this being the battle of longstop... and involving the majority of the 78th div for the first time, and the americans, I'd expect something. But no, the only british person (I have the american accounts) who wrote about the 78th div artillery in Tunisia seems to have been spike milligan.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    But no, the only british person (I have the american accounts) who wrote about the 78th div artillery in Tunisia seems to have been spike milligan

    And our very own Ron G in 49 LAA Regt.
    :)
     
  15. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    WO 175/296 is intriguingly titled 1 Gp. H.Q. under Royal Artillery. There is also WO 175/29 as RA under Force 110. if that helps...

    I had a look at that, and was going to go for it until I saw that it was Jan 1943 onwards, Longstop being in Dec 1942. 110 force was an option, but that was the name of the ambhibious invasion force assembled in 1941/42 for invading the spanish and Portugese islands, Alderny and raiding the french coast. Although it became the 1st army, I think the name just stuck around in england for a while longer after all the troops and commander (alexander) left, so it will be detailing the home front.

    And our very own Ron G in 49 LAA Regt.
    :)

    True, I keep forgetting about that.
     
  16. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    As part of my research, over the past year I've been slowly peicing together the (1st) Battle for longstop 22nd-25th Dec 1942. Now I'm not sure I can get any more information then I already have... but there is one thing nagging me that some of you shell heads may be able to help me with.

    During the 1st Guards Bde Attack Longstop, the atttack was supported by the 14/16 (Med) battery (25 pndrs) and the 36 F.A. Bn (heavies) and the 32 F.A. Bn. However the 14/16 diary for December is missing from TNA (WO 175/368), and their parent unit they were temporrarally attached to has nothing useful.

    My question is: Unfamilair as I am with artillery, who were the 36 and 32 F.A. Bn, were they an american unit? If not, did an artillery Bn keep a war diary? Because I can't seem to find one at TNA.

    Secondly, is TNA the only place for artillery diaries? or is there an equivilent to the guards regimental headquarters who might have a copy of the 14/16th's diary?

    I'm not the US Field Artillery expert but some checking of the US Army Order of Battle for WWII shows the 32d Field Artillery Battalion was part of the 1st Infantry Division. From previous looks at this battle, I vaguely recall that they were paired with the 18th Infantry (Regiment) to form the 18th Regimental Combat Team.

    I found a 36th Field Artillery Regiment (155 Gun)(Motorized) that arrived in North Africa on 8 DEC 42. I did not know that there were any Field Artillery Regiments in the US Army in WWII, so that's how much I know.

    There was also 36th Field Artillery Battalion that arrived in Italy on 5 MAR 44. I suspect they were formed from the 36th Field Artillery Regiment.

    I'm so surprised how little information is on the web for the 1st Infantry Division in WWII. I found a First Division Museum (probably at Ft Riley KS) website and will check around a bit.
     
  17. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Anyone know of any books or journals on the 4th med or 138th regiment?


    Philip Reinders on here I think has the history book of the 4th Med Regt .
    Rob

    59th (4th W.Lancs) Medium Regt RA 1939-1945-Hamburg 1945.
     
  18. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    I found a 36th Field Artillery Regiment (155 Gun)(Motorized) that arrived in North Africa on 8 DEC 42.

    That will be the long toms from the article I found.

    I'm so surprised how little information is on the web for the 1st Infantry Division in WWII. I found a First Division Museum (probably at Ft Riley KS) website and will check around a bit.

    I should also point our that I have a copy of "Proud Americans men of the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion in action, World War II"

    Its not so much the americans that I am interested in here. Its the british artillery for the first phase of the battle, of which the key was the 14/16 medium battery. I actually have a few US accounts of the battle... but nothing from the british artillery.
     
  19. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Junior Member

    Phaeton,

    I wrote an account of this battery back in the early 1990s, as part of an unpublished history of its successor, 22 (Gibraltar 1779-83) Battery RA. Copies are held by FirePower in Larkhill, and in London at the National Army Museum, Imperial War Museum and National Maritime Museum.

    I only wrote a couple of paragraphs on the first Longstop battle, but references to gun movements, including on New Year's day, suggest I may have had access to the December 1942 war diary. If so, and it is not at Kew, then I imagine I saw it at the RAI (then at Woolwich).

    Best wishes.

    Andrew.
     
  20. Takrouna1943

    Takrouna1943 Member

    Hi Phaethon, i know you are not a fan of NARA, but if it helps I'm going there next Sunday for a few days. It's my first visit and if you know the file numbers I'll copy them if you want me to.
     

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