British involvement in the Bulge

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

  1. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Found this in my files, maybe of some interest.

  2. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Another dig-out
    This may help, it shows 5AGRA's 4 Med Regts + 52 Hvy Regt (4 Bty's), the other 2 Med regts would be from 4AGRA which had Medium Regiments Nos 53, 65, 68 and 79 under command.

  3. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    These are the last 2 Doc's i can find.

  4. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

  5. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    The other two Medium Regts of 4AGRA involved were;
    53 Med Regt RA
    79 (SH) Med Regt RA.
  6. chick42-46

    chick42-46 Senior Member

    Most of the posts in this thread relate to the operations to push the Germans back after the initial phase, when they broke through, was over.

    But there was British involvement right at the start (if relatively minor). It involved RAF ground units and an Air Formation Signals unit (which I think was Royal Signals Corps). The RAF ground units were various mobile radar units, wireless observer units and RAF Regiment rifle and armoured car squadrons.

    This map - Ardennes map small.jpg - comes from a report in AIR 37/1218. Sorry about the poor quality. But if you look carefully you'll see a fair number of famous placenames. The incident involved is mentioned in a couple of books but isn't widely known.

    As well as the report that goes with the map, I now have a number of bits of information about this and plan to post them shortly in a thread of their own (the transcribing is going slower than I'd anticipated). But I thought I'd throw this taster in here for anyone who might be interested.
  7. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    The 79th Scottish Horse was active in the 6th Airborne Div's sector. The Regt of SP Guns was in support of the 5th Para Brigade

    79th (SH) Med Regt RA. SP?

    Interesting to see some early RAF involvement in the action.
    Thanks for posting.
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Thanks for all the work on this thread. Really great and detailed information.

  9. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    5th Camerons war diaries for 7th, 8th, 9th,10th, 11th & 12th January 1945. My Father was sitting in the front of the 'A' Company truck hit by shellfire. Lt Bowen was in the midle between my Father and the Driver, the driver was killed. My father said that the shell, he thought it was a 88mm, cought the truck between the cab and the buck of the truck. My father was blown out of the cab and he managed to pull Bowen out of the cab. He had received a face wound, my Father thought that Bowen had lost an eye.

    Attached Files:

  10. pontoof

    pontoof Junior Member

    I read with interest the account of Lieutenant Eric Spencer of the attempted capture of Waharday. My late father, Acting Major Turnbull appears to have been commanding A company of the 1/5th Battalion, Welch Regiment. He was shot in the leg and wounded in that encounter. This was the second time that he was shot.

    He had previously been shot on 21st July 1944 in Normandy whilst a Captain in the 1/5th . I am trying to ascertain whether he was involved in the fighting at Le Bon Repos and if so, which company was he in.

    Is Lieutenant Eric Spencer still alive? If so, do you think that he would be able to help clarify this matter?
  11. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    The other two Medium Regts of 4AGRA involved were;
    53 Med Regt RA
    79 (SH) Med Regt RA.

    After another huge dig about in my files i can confirm that along with the 53/79 Med Regts.
    4AGRA also had under command for the battle;
    13th Med Regt RA
    59th Med Regt RA
    20&23 Btys 59th Heavy Regt RA
    All attached from 3AGRA and in sup of 6 Para, the 13th Med with 3 Para Bde

  12. prgreycloud

    prgreycloud Junior Member

    This has been posted elsewhere on the site, so apologies if any of you have already seen it!

    My grandfather Charles Wride was awarded the Military Medal in the Ardennes. He was in 18 Platoon, D company, 1st Bn East Lancs Regiment which fought around Bois
    Monseu and assaulted the village of Grimbiemont. He did talk of the atrocious wintry conditions and of men being shot up in the air by tanks and coming down in pieces. Only 3 of the 30 odd men in his platoon were unwounded by the time they were relieved by 51st Highland Divn,

    Below are the citations for my Grandfather and his platoon leader Lt K N Tuffnell who was recommended for the VC but ended up with the DSO:

    289881 Lt Kenneth N Tuffnell
    1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (Parent Regt: Lancashire Fusiliers)
    Recommended for Victoria Cross, subsequently amended to DSO
    Ardennes, Belgium 4-7th January 1945
    On 4 Jan 15 during the attack on Bois Monseu (MR92/3584) Lt. Tuffnell commanded 18 platoon ‘D’ company. As the company advanced up a steep narrow track into the woods an enemy tank opened fire and delayed the advance. Lt Tuffnell immediately started working round the tank in order to by-pass it and was moving on towards the objective when a well-concealed enemy machine gun post opened fire on his platoon at very short range. Without hesitation Lt. Tuffnell at once organised and personally led an attack on the enemy position, which continued to fire at every movement. As this assault went in a second enemy machine gun post opened up some 50 yards away. Again without any delay, Lt Tuffnell led a party straight in against this second position in spite of the heavy fire coming from it. It was captured for the loss of 3 casualties to his platoon. Three Germans were killed and six prisoners were taken.
    Later in the same action, Lt. Tuffnell’s platoon again came under heavy and accurate machine gun fire from a strong and well defended enemy locality. Undeterred, this officer immediately led an attack against it round the left flank. On the way there another enemy machine gun post opened up; this was assaulted by Lt Tuffnell en route and the enemy there were put to flight. The attack against the original enemy post, which was still firing actively, was then resumed. This second assault went in so quickly that the enemy hardly had time to realize they were being attacked before the platoon was on top of them. A further 10 prisoners were taken without casualties to Lt. Tuffnell’s platoon. This officer’s determined leadership and rapid decisions not only enabled his company on this occasion to get forward to its objective but also permitted the battalion to fulfill its task and clear the axis of advance for a further attack by the 7 RWF later the same day.
    During a subsequent attack in this same operation when his company was being attacked by an enemy Mark IV tank, Lt Tuffnell led his depleted PIAT team straight at it down a forward slope with practically no cover and in full view of the tank. The tank continued to fire at him all the time he was advancing towards it. A direct hit was obtained on the tank, causing it quickly to withdraw together with two other tanks which were holding up the advance of the company.
    The main company attack was then resumed but soon after was again held up by an enemy machine gun post supported by a tank on the outskirts of the village of Grimbiemont. Without waiting for orders, Lt Tuffnell once more led his by now very depleted party into the attack against the position. Heavy casualties were incurred and his platoon was reduced to a total of only 3 men by the time he finally succeeded in capturing the objective. Two more Germans were killed in this action and the remainder fled. This action again had a decisive effect on the battle enabling the battalion to get forward to its objective, from which accurate and observed fire was brought to bear on the retreating enemy.
    In all these operations lasting in all some 23 hours, Lt Tuffnell himself was continually under sustained and heavy fire from enemy small arms, mortars and tanks. Lt Tuffnell’s aggressive bearing and magnificent leadership under heavy fire cannot be too highly praised. He is an inspiration to his platoon who will follow him anywhere.

    Recommended for Victoria Cross by
    Lt-Colonel FFE Allen: Commander 1st Bn East Lancs. Regiment
    Brigadier JHO Wilsey: Commander 158 Infantry Brigade
    Major-General RK Ross: Commander 53rd Division
    Major-General GI Thomas: Commander XXX Corps
    Amended to Distinguished Service Order by:
    Lt-General MC Dempsey: Commander Second Army
    Ratified by
    Field Marshall BL Montgomery: Commander 21st Army Group

    Lt K N Tuffnell was Pte Wride's Platroon Commander at the Ardenne.

    3385345 Private Charles Verdun Wride MM
    1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
    158 Infantry Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, XXX Corps, Second Army
    Commendation for Military Medal, Ardennes, Belgium, January 1945
    Public Record Office WO 373/53
    On 7 January 1945 during the battalion attack on Grimbiemont (MR 92/3580) the left forward company of the battalion was held up by three Mark IV tanks in hull-down positions on the forward edge of the wood to the east of the village. No anti-tank weapons were available other than PIATs.
    At this stage, Private Wride advanced across the snow and down a forward slope with very little cover, to within 75 yards of one of the tanks. Owing to the nature of the ground he was obliged to approach it frontally, and in the face of its 88 mm gun which was firing continuously over open sights at the company locality just over his head.
    As soon as he got within range, Private Wride coolly sited his weapon. With his first shot he obtained a direct hit on the tank which jammed its turret and caused it to stop firing and to withdraw. The other two tanks apparently taking their cue from this, also decided to withdraw. This permitted the company to continue the attack.
    Private Wride showed very great personal bravery throughout the whole of this action. Although he was exposed to small arms, artillery and direct fire, he showed not the slightest hesitation in going forward and was a magnificent inspiration to all those who saw him. It was undoubtedly due to his resourcefulness and courage that the advance of the company at this stage was not held up for a considerable period.
    stolpi likes this.
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Your grandfather was a brave man.
  14. neilt

    neilt Junior Member

    I have spent a enthralled morning reading this thread, which is a tribute to those brave men and possibly some women who faced such difficult conditions and ultimately laid their lives down for the benefit of others.

    I have to agree with DAVE55 that Private Charles Verdun Wride MM was a very brave man, as was Lt Kenneth N Tuffnell.

    I think it particularly poignant when we contrast the lightly armed Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi
    today with some of the achievements of the lightly armed allied troops in the Ardennes.
    I am trying to find out if there is a record of my father being treated in a field hospital during the battle of the Bulge in 1944/5.
    He was in HQ 29th Armoured Brigade during the war.
    From my father's account of what happened and his copy of 'Taurus Pursuant a history of the 11th Armoured Division;’ he was shot in the arm whilst trying to escape from advancing German Paratroopers in the Ardennes in 1944/45 and his co-driver was killed.
    I think by elimination, his co-driver was Trooper Aubrey Harvey (7951035), who died on 04.01.1945 at Givet in the Ardennes.
    I have to thank Stolpi’s contribution to another forum on ww2talk to narrowing down the place he was killed:
    ‘In my opinion it is most probable that Trooper Harvey was killed somewhere in the area of Resteigne and Wellin, rather than at Givet. Givet was not near the frontlines on January 4th, and indeed was never really threatened by the German offensive, apart from some nightly bombing raids by German airplanes.’

    Please find attached a copy of the Roll of Honour for the 29th Armoured Brigade. This was stuck inside an autograph book my father possessed and I would like to know where the original is kept?

    Attached Files:

  15. levien

    levien Just a member

    Hotton Cemetery March 26th 2011

    Attached Files:

    stolpi likes this.
  16. levien

    levien Just a member


    Do you also have pictures of the Bure ceremony?


    Attached Files:

  17. levien

    levien Just a member

    Very nice pictures.

    A short post on the Bure battle will be coming up. It will be prepared by another member.

    We do our best. Pity you weren't there yourself.
    I was amazed by the attention of the Belgians.

    Looking forward to the Bure story.

  18. pnjk

    pnjk Member

    On my website there is a section of my Grandads diary from 1st Jan 45 to mid March, he was in 555 field company Royal Engineers part of 53rd Welsh in ardennes at that time. Home - 555 field company royal engineers it gives details of where he was was and when. Please leave comments on the guestbook page because (A) all suggestions greatly appreciated and (B) its looking a little sorry for itself.
    stolpi likes this.
  19. pnjk

    pnjk Member

    Thanks for that.
    I have a copy of Welsh bridges, there is an obituary to Nobby Branch at the back, he was one of my grandads best mates, he is mentioned in his diary and also a picure of him in the photo section.
  20. levien

    levien Just a member

    Perhaps a bit late and possibly mentioned already somewhere else on WW2TALK, but last week the message reached me of the death of Major Jack Watson MC 13th battalion 6th AB Div.


Share This Page