British involvement in the Bulge

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

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  2. Pieter F

    Pieter F Very Senior Member

    Great effort to start this thread Pieter! I agree with you that there is too less focus on the British efforts during the Battle of the Bulge. In the eyes of the Americans Montgomery behaved like Christ at the temple, which brought a lot of negativity.
    But British forces indeed provided depth to the allied defences, sealing of the river Meuse and so the way to the German objectives.
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    2 Mons exploits in the Ardennes is also covered in Dennis Hoopers 'Not so bloody quiet on the Western Front', excellent stuff so far mate.

    Still not up to the Ardennes in my work as a whole!
     
  4. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Earthican .... I hope you will find some time to illustrate the War Diary with your map.

    I'll take a look at it tomorrow (unless you tired of waiting and started your own maps. ;))

    [that wink looks more like a poke in the eye :p]

    Later,
     
  5. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Was watching the Nazi Hunter programme on Freeviews Yesterday the other day and they were talking about the SAS guys who were executed in the Ardennes. RIP some brave guys...
     
  6. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Here's a map showing the companies of the 2nd Battalion The Monmouthshire Regiment. While the action is rather routine and painfully slow, it is representive of much infantry combat. It must also be a hard pill to swallow to take casualties without a sense of inflicting injury on the enemy. Only the knowledge the enemy was withdrawing, never to return, a consolation--- and to have survived.

    Impressive support by 144 RAC on top of the Bois de Hampteau feature on 4 Jan. Although the map does not show it, the forest is likely cut up by fire-breaks and logging trails.

    I had to guess at the route A Coy took to reach WAHARDAY on 8 Jan.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=42848&stc=1&d=1293895839
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    BTW, the US 84th Infantry and 2d Armored Division were north of R. L'Ourthe and advancing SE.

    Always helpful:

    The 53rd consisted of

    71st Infantry Brigade

    * 1st Battalion, Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    * 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
    * 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers

    158th Infantry Brigade

    * 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
    * 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
    * 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment

    160th Infantry Brigade

    * 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
    * 2nd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment
    * 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment

    Divisional Troops

    * 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Machine-Gun Regiment)
    * 53rd Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps
    * 81st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 83rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 133rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 71st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 244th Field Company, Royal Engineers
    * 282nd Field Company, Royal Engineers
    * 555th Field Company, Royal Engineers
     
  8. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Corps Artillery
    Rob

    5AGRA – XXXCorps.
    In action Nth of NAMUR with;
    52nd Heavy Regt RA
    7th, 64th and 84th Medium Regts RA
    4th, 5th RHA
    109 HAA Regt RA
    27 LAA Regt RA
    73rd A/Tank Regt RA

    4AGRA – X11Corps
    In action Sth of NAMUR with;
    HQ and 2 (unnamed) Field Regts RA

    Reserves on call;
    43rd Division Artillery
    50th Division Artillery
    32 Guards Artillery
     
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  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    BTW, the US 84th Infantry and 2d Armored Division were north of R. L'Ourthe and advancing SE.

    Always helpful:

    The 53rd consisted of

    71st Infantry Brigade

    * 1st Battalion, Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
    * 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
    * 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers

    158th Infantry Brigade

    * 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment
    * 7th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
    * 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment

    160th Infantry Brigade

    * 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers
    * 2nd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment
    * 4th Battalion, Welch Regiment

    Divisional Troops

    * 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment (Machine-Gun Regiment)
    * 53rd Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps
    * 81st Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 83rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 133rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 71st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
    * 244th Field Company, Royal Engineers
    * 282nd Field Company, Royal Engineers
    * 555th Field Company, Royal Engineers

    They also had:
    285 Field Park Coy
    25 LAA Regt
    53rd Welsh Divisional Signals
    53 Welsh Divisional Field Park
    147 Field Ambulance
    202 Field Ambulance
    212 Field Ambulance
    13 Field Dressing Station
    26 Field Dressing Station
    53 Field Hygene Section
    53rd Welsh Divisional Provost Coy
    11th Field Security Section
    in addition, Mobile Dental Units, Inf Brigade Workshops and 11 Light Aid Departments, Cash Office and Postal Unit standing out


    I think 11 FS Section will be most useful there mind, and Dressing/Ambulances for study of casualties etc.
     
  10. levien

    levien Just a member

    Very nice and detailed work. Chapeau!
    But ... there were also men from 6th AB involved in the january fighting. Don't forget them.

    Levien.
     
  11. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    Very condensed account of 6th AB Divn's intial experiences in the Ardennes until beginning of Jan:

    20 Dec - 6th Airborne received orders to move to Belgium
    23rd - Sailed for Europe
    24th - Arrived at transit camp in Ostend
    26th - concentrated in an area between Dinant and Namur
    29th - ordered to advance against the enemy


    The Battle for Bure
    13th Parachute Bn entered Bure against fierce enemy fire, taking a large number of casualties. Then began a series of battles fought from house to house, which eventually led to the Bn establishing itself at the crossroads in the centre of the village. Tiger tanks were then thrown into the mix and the battling continued until the 5th when the Bn with support from 2nd OBLI commanded the whole village. The 13th’s casualties amounted to 7 officers and 182 O/Rs.


    [FONT=&quot]Steve W.
    [/FONT]
     
  12. levien

    levien Just a member

    Thanks Steve.

    Levien.
     
  13. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I wonder if anyone has some further details on the move of the 6th AB Div to Belgium in December 44, the scramble from the barracks in Engeland to Belgium.

    Unfortunately I only have the Bde War Diaries for January 45, when the move had already been completed.
    Some of the posts here might be of help :unsure: http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/general/20625-wanted-battle-bure-accounts.html
     
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  14. Trpr Hughes

    Trpr Hughes Member

    Staged images of 53rd Recce men in the Ardenne.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    I needed to summarize the WD to figure this out. I can't see any way to sensibly plot these movements on one map (not to mention too little detail about exact routes). Best to study the map and summary, then re-read WD. I added yellow triangles for the high ground or hilltops mentioned.

    It seems the SQN's withdrew from their advance positions the nights of 25/26 Dec and 26/27 Dec (as was usual practice for armoured forces if the situation permits).

    22 Dec
    Orders to delay east of the Meuse then withdraw back across (west of) the Meuse
    Later, orders to defend river crossings
    [assume decision to defend from positions previously selected for delay, A SQN at Sorinne, C SQN at Achene and B SQN west of the Meuse]

    23 Dec
    B SQN moved east of the Muese and south of A SQN [to Boiselles?]

    24 Dec
    Contact with enemy advancing from the southeast
    C SQN moved to position north of A SQN [?]
    Mid-day all SQN close back on bridgehead, B at bridge(Dinant), C to the northeast (Loyers), A to the east (Gemechenne)

    25 Dec
    Orders to attack with objective 084887 (Achene), B SQN advance to Sorinne and Foy-Notre-Dame, C SQN advance to Boisselles
    [armour withdraw for evening?]

    26 Dec
    A and B SQN return to Foy-Notre-Dame, C SQN return to Boiselles, later A SQN advance to Celles
    [armour withdraw for evening?]

    27 Dec
    A SQN move to high ground east of Sorinne

    28 Dec
    Move to new area of operations (Finnevaux) south of present positions


    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=43481&stc=1&d=1294863886
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    Hello. This is my first time posting anything so I am not quite sure if this is OK.

    My father was a Staff Sergeant with REME. LAD, attached to 1st.Northamptonshire Yeomanry. During his time in Europe he kept a note book of the places and dates of all the movements of 1.NY. The following are the moves in the Ardennes.

    19th.Dec : Moved from Holland
    25th.Dec : Florennes
    27th.Dec : Namur.
    2nd. Jan. : Namur to Aye,Marche
    4th to 11th Jan. “Op Mullet” - to La Roche
    23rd Jan.: Moved to Ciney and onwards to Kalcar for the Rhine crossing, (replacing
    the Sherman tanks for the Buffaloes

    I have a couple of photos of the LAD recovering tanks in La Roche and one of the 6th Airborne at Aye,Marche, also a copy of Capt. Neville’s detailed account of “Op Mullet”
    If I can manage to upload these onto this thread, if anyone is interested, I will try to.

    Having followed the journey of 1.NY from Normandy to the Rhine crossing myself in 2009 and 2010 I would like to find out how to obtain a copy of 1.NY war diaries and also, if this is separate, the LAD diaries. I found a lot if info from the excellent museum in La Roche regarding 1.NY and 51st.HD very helpful.

    Cheers,
    Ken.
     
  17. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    Not very good photos of :

    6th A.B at Aye,Namur
    Sherman in ditch
    Inverted tank ( can anyone identify?)
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    that's a 51st Div Archer upsidedown
    46 signifying the AT Regt of the Divsion, in this case,
    61st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    Many thanks for the ID. I would assume that this casualty would not be the problem of 1.NY. LAD. The recovery task would be for parent Regt? unless just to move to clear the route?
     
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  20. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    It seems the SQN's withdrew from their advance positions the nights of 25/26 Dec and 26/27 Dec (as was usual practice for armoured forces if the situation permits).


    Initially, they withdrew into a closer perimeter around Dinant. Also, because they had scant infantry protection and the mission was to hold the crossing of the Meuse (Sqns forming leaguers). Later, nights of 25/26 Dec and 26/27 Dec, when the enemy threat had receded, they stayed further east (see below).


    You seem to indicate that C SQN occupied Achene on the 22 and 23 Dec but withdrew each night closer to Dinant. That would add up for the night of 23/24 Dec. Other sources indicate that the lead elements of 2 PzDiv passed through Achene on the early evening 23 Dec (presumably after C SQN withdrew for the night) and halted around Foy at mid-night. Then, perhaps, C SQN returned to Achene in the morning of 24 Dec with the main German forces to the south of the Dinant-Ciney highway. Later on the 24th, C SQN withdraws using a route north of the main highway.

    Do we know if there was any contact around Achene the night of 23/24 Dec?

    Do we know if the night positions for 3 RTR on 22/23 and 23/24 Dec included Sorinne?

    I've read accounts of this battle but never in detail, so there's a number of things about this battle that puzzel me. Hope we get to some of them.
     

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