D day mystery units.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My dear old mate and late friend Derek, landed on Gold, as part of the airstrip RE.
    He was driving a large truck laden with as much petrol as it could carry. When he landed the beach master told him to wait .He said... i"f I do I will sink into the sand" But wait he did . Sunk into the sand and had to have a pull out all the time sitting in a truck loaded with petrol;...Mortars and shells flying about...Not best pleased.
    Sapper
     
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Rob,

    I have read the first 15 pages most carefully. Although a large part is almost identical to the Cabinet Office report it is interesting what snippets get included in the one and not the other.

    I like the fact that the German artillery was ranging on the small balloons carried by most LCT and LCI. Obvious really. So they were cut adrift. There must have been dozens of them. Quite a sight.

    Also that the 6 X 4 bridging vehicles got stuck. There's another surprise.

    Thanks again. Anything you think I have which would interest you please ask. Bear in mind that I have very poor technical skills.

    Mike
     
  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Although no one has suggested a meaning for BAN it has been suggested that the Nucleus BAN Section is the advanced party for the headquarters of Beach Naval Officer in Charge.

    Each of the three beaches did have a Beach Naval Officer in Charge (there were also Naval Officers in Charge at ports and at sea). He worked closely with Headquarters Beach Sub Area.

    Each of the three beaches also has 37 or 38 men, 6 handcarts and 2 motorcycles described as Nucleus BAN Section. Hard evidence would be nice.
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Although no one has suggested a meaning for BAN it has been suggested that the Nucleus BAN Section is the advanced party for the headquarters of Beach Naval Officer in Charge.

    Each of the three beaches did have a Beach Naval Officer in Charge (there were also Naval Officers in Charge at ports and at sea). He worked closely with Headquarters Beach Sub Area.

    Each of the three beaches also has 37 or 38 men, 6 handcarts and 2 motorcycles described as Nucleus BAN Section. Hard evidence would be nice.

    OOps. I don't know how I did that twice. Sorry.
     
  5. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    More relating to the lock gates at Oisterham - from "Cracking Hitlers Atlantic Wall" by Richard C Anderson Jnr - where he quotes fron the war diary of 1st troop, 79th Squadron, 5th Assualt Regiment RE:
    [After comleting their gapping tasks on Queen Red beach]...Trp rallied. Tp was ordered forward to hold lock gates at Ouisterham which it did untill releived by 2 Bns of Beach Gp the following morning. Tp returned to Sqn rally.
    The book goes on to further quote [from the same sourceand referring to 79 Sqn]:
    At 1500 hrs CO 4 Commando reports to Sqn Ldr that lock gates and bridge at Ouiserhm held by enemy ......Sqn asks for inf(antry) and gets none. Sqn with 10 AVREs moves off at 15.30 Enemy is surprised and west bank taken ........Locks ad remainder of bridge inspected for charges and made safe. Four AVREs move off at 2200 to support 2 RUR at Benouville. Remainder held lock gates until relieved by inf the following morning.
    Looks like there was quite a lot of attention paid to these gates
    Noel
     
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  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Very interesting Noel. I imagine the enemy were surprised to be attacked by ten AVREs firing Dustbins. Or did the crews dismount? Sixty crew would be a useful force.

    One more naval unit.
    A list of Royal Navy shore parties shows that Naval Parties 1609 to 1614 were L/T Sections 1 to 6. The Landing Tables for Sword show:

    2 Amphibious Jeeps with 3 crew each, from L/T Section.

    What was a L/T Section?
     
  7. Hello all,

    Fascinating thread! It has already answered several questions I had about some puzzling abbreviations in the Landing Tables. I'm afraid I won't be of much help, but let's try and add my small stone:
    One more naval unit.
    A list of Royal Navy shore parties shows that Naval Parties 1609 to 1614 were L/T Sections 1 to 6. The Landing Tables for Sword show:

    2 Amphibious Jeeps with 3 crew each, from L/T Section.

    What was a L/T Section?
    L/T stands for Line Telegraphy.

    The Report on staff officers' courses held at Combined Training Centre, Largs, 30 Jul 43-18 Mar 44, Appendix 'J.11' Communications in Combined Operations, Part I. Naval, describes the many components involved, including (See Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library, Part 5, page 203 (43 of 47)):

    -quote
    15. Line Telecommunication and Duplex VH/F.

    Army responsibility to provide L/T communications
    for the Navy but assistance will be given by the
    Navy in certain instances.

    The following services will be provided :-

    (a) Long distance telephone and teleprinter.
    (b) Local telephone.
    (c) Local and inter-port duplex VH/F.
    (d) Cross-channel duplex VH/F.
    -unquote

    There is one more entry of "L/T Sec" in the Landing Tables for Sword (LTIN 407):eek:ne 3 cwt lorry with 7 crew

    About the other "mystery Units":
    Although no one has suggested a meaning for BAN it has been suggested that the Nucleus BAN Section is the advanced party for the headquarters of Beach Naval Officer in Charge.

    Each of the three beaches did have a Beach Naval Officer in Charge (there were also Naval Officers in Charge at ports and at sea). He worked closely with Headquarters Beach Sub Area.

    Each of the three beaches also has 37 or 38 men, 6 handcarts and 2 motorcycles described as Nucleus BAN Section. Hard evidence would be nice.
    There's also (LTIN 382):VH/F Simplex (BAN) - one lorry 30 cwt with 6 crew

    I would venture, without the slightest piece of evidence, that BAN could stand for Beach Area Net (or Network):huh:??
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Welcome to the Forum and thank you very much. Your contribution helps put several things into place. I think I have a good idea of the layout of RN communications on the beach, but it has taken some time, and help from several forum members and obscure websites.

    I also think I have identified all the units and abbreviations for D Day on Sword except:

    5 men from 21 Army Group Movement Control Pool. Includes Assistant Military Landing Officer for liaison with SOFC (?) 6 Beach Group.

    1 3ton 6 X 4 Coles Crane with 3 crew from 12 CDB (?).

    Mike.
     
  9. Thank you for your kind welcome.
    SOFC = Senior Officer Ferry Craft

    From the invaluable Combined Operations Staff Notebook, 1945, Part I e 19:

    -quote

    130. Senior officer ferry craft--This officer is responsible for:-
    (a) During the preparatory phase
    (i) Planning, under the direction of SOAG, on brigade
    level, the naval aspect of the loading of ships and
    craft taking part in the assault.
    (ii) Planning, under the direction of NOBU, the ferry
    service to meet the needs of the build-up planning,
    normally on a beach group front.


    (b ) During the assault phase-When assaulting on a two
    battalion front, controlling inshore the naval responsibilities
    concerning the assault on a battalion front as delegated
    by D/SOAG vide paragraph 120 (a) (i) above.

    (c ) During the post-assault and build-up phase-Exercising
    operational control afloat of the ferry service under the
    direction of SOBG, normally on a beach group front, so
    as to implement the build-up requirements laid down by
    NOBU in conjunction with the beach brigade com-
    mander. In the event of the two beach groups being
    contiguous, one SOFC may control the ferry service
    afloat on a beach brigade front.


    -unquote

    The complete Notebook can be found here:
    Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library

    Michel
     
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  10. Apart from the still evasive meaning of 'BAN', I am still not quite sure of having read and/or interpreted correctly the following abbreviations (all in Sword Landing Table 1st Tide):

    LTIN 332 - 3 Br Inf Div Sigs - Tactical Reconnaissance and ABC = Airborne Cigar (???) [a transmitter which jammed German fighter control frequencies, but usually operated in an aircraft]
    Advanced Base Communications?
    Artillery Batteries Communications?

    LTIN 338 & 366: BRASCO = Brigade RASC Officer?

    LTIN 367 - HQ 27 Armd Bde - SLO (?) and 2IC HQ Sqn
    My copy is unclear. Is it actually SLO? If so, what would that stand for? Senior/Staff/Squadron/Supply Liaison/Landing Officer?

    LTIN 399 - Det 106 Br Coy - IS (?) unit for 185 Inf Bde
    Also unclear whether it's really IS. If so, it should mean Internal Security, which is absurd for a Bridge Company...

    1 3ton 6 X 4 Coles Crane with 3 crew from 12 CDB (?).


    Mike, are you sure it's '12 CDB'? If not, can you post a scan of the part in question? I couldn't find a thing on such a unit.
     
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Michel,

    Thanks for your post 69. I should have guessed that SOFC was naval. All the other mysteries were.

    I will look at the abbreviations in your post 70 and reply later. I don't work at your speed and are very low tech. Others may have answered by then of course.

    Mike.
     
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Michel,

    I have the following.
    SLO. Senior Liaison Officer. An armoured brigade has a Captain Senior Liaison Officer and 3 Subaltern Liaison Officers. Usually SLO for Division HQ and a LO for each infantry brigade.

    BRASCO. Brigade RASC Officer as you surmise.

    IS unit. In fact LS unit. A landing stage unit for the FBE bridge.

    I have assumed that ABC is Battery Commander since it is with a Field Regiment RA. Battery Commander and Battery Leader are commonly used. However I may have been hasty.

    OOPS.
    Working from my own transcription and having awful handwriting, plus wandering attention, I have indeed misread 12 CDB. This is almost certainly
    12 OBD which does make sense. This vehicle is landing with units of 6 Beach Group to which 12 OBD belongs.

    Mike
     
  13. Mike,

    Thanks a lot for clarifying SLO and LS, and confirming BRASCO.

    Regarding 12 CDB/OBD, if the Unit Serial is 35645, then it's definitely 12 OBD (see LTIN 579 & 584).

    As for ABC, I don't think it means " 'A' Battery Commander ", because the craft carrying the other batteries do not have anything like that. Or could it be "Assistant Battery Commander"?

    But it is part of 3 Br Inf Div Sigs, not 7 Fd Regt RA. Additionally, it appears (only once in the whole Landing Table First Tide) together with Tactical Reconnaissance as "Tac R and ABC" and should thus (probably) be something/someone retated to Air. But what??

    Any RAF specialists here?
     
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Michel,

    I think you are on the right track with Tac R and ABC. The various 3 Div Signals vehicles and personnel carried on the field artillery LCTs are in fact an integral part of the artillery units. Divisional signals provide communications to and within the field regiment.

    The trailer/handcart associated with the Tac R in the tables could well be the No 22 set/RAF 1143 set equipment more usually carried in a 15cwt Bedford MW FFW. I have pictures of it as a ground station and as a trailer/handcart set. Its purpose is to receive Tac R reports from aircraft, and hourly Tac R broadcasts, and automatically retransmit them to artillery units. Is Broadcast all one word.

    I will look further.

    Mike
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Still looking. I have found no other reference to ABC in orders, reports etc.

    Looking at all the Landing Tables plus 3 Division Operational Orders I see the pattern. Orders say that HQ 3 Division Signals and HQ CRA Signals will land with 185 Brigade and set up communications ready for the Divisional HQ and CRA to land from Headquarters Ship. These signals detachments will land with equipment in handcarts. They will remain in operation throughout the first tide and be replaced by half track vehicles landing on the second tide. Eventually they will in turn be replaced by Command Vehicles and Wireless vehicles landing on the third and fourth tides. Perhaps we can find a clue there. I have not got that far yet.

    For those who may be able to help the landing tables show the following.

    Landing from LCTs carrying SP artillery about H+195 minutes.
    8 men with 2 airborne trailers. Security Office and Signal office.
    4 men with one airborne trailer. Tac R and ABC.
    4 men with one airborne trailer. Cipher Office.

    Already landed from LCTs carrying 185 Brigade about H+185 minutes are
    Jeeps and handcarts for Tac HQ CRA.
    Men and handcarts for Reserve Corps WT, Reserve Division A wave, Reserve Division B wave and Reserve Lateral Remote Controls. (It would be nice if this was A, B, and C but I don't think it is.)

    Tac R was very limited on D Day. The 22/1143 stations were not in use and all Tac R reported back to the UK which forwarded reports for transmission every two hours on the hour from H+1. The division had two receivers for this purpose. One was on the Headquarters Ship, presumably this is the other.

    There was also a single broadcast frequency which all three beaches shared. Each Assault Division HQ Ship could transmit twice an hour for a maximum of 10 minutes. Sword could transmit at 20 minutes and 50 minutes past the hour. Presumably Juno and Gold had the other slots. The broadcast was intended to give special naval information, special army information, movements of friendly aircraft over the beaches, general sitreps and time signals. It could also act as a back up if all normal communications failed. It was a voice frequency and all in range could listen. It is thought that it was particularly used for broadcasting code words to mark the end/beginning of phases of the operation. Is this ABC?

    Mike.
     
  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    It has been suggested that 'ABC' is 'American, British, Canadian'. This abbreviation has been used in other contexts. It is also suggested that this was indeed a broadcast frequency on which messages could be received by anyone within range. Presumably this would be either the frequency described above, or a similar one.

    Mike
     
  17. It has been suggested that 'ABC' is 'American, British, Canadian'.
    This interpretation is appealing. Hope we can have a confirmation some day.

    There remains 'BAN Section' which could mean 'Beach Area Naval Section'?

    Michel
     
  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    'Z' Company Pioneer Corps.

    While analysing the various Pioneer Corps Units employed on Sword Beach I realised that this one is odd. There are numerous Pioneer units, many with special roles:
    53 Company for work on beach exits
    292 Company for work in Sector Store Dumps
    303 Company for medical labour
    267 Company to assist with Rhino Ferry operations
    112 Company to operate Smoke Generators.

    All other companies are numbered. What is special about 'Z' Company Pioneer Corps?
     
  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    It now seems unlikely that 'ABC' is the force broadcasts mentioned above. Hidden away in the appendices of 3 Division orders is the information that the broadcast receivers were BP 412 and 'It is a staff, not signals, responsibility to man these receivers'. The 'Tac R and ABC' are signals.

    I have found out a lot about D Day signals while looking for this. Very complicated. Not only duplicated nets but the nets change every couple of hours.

    One question raised by Michel on a private message was 'Can the AVREs and Flails in Breaching Teams communicate with each other' (I assume they can). And can the Breaching Teams communicate with other armour on the beach (I assume they can not). Any one know for certain.
     
  20. One question raised by Michel on a private message was 'Can the AVREs and Flails in Breaching Teams communicate with each other' (I assume they can).

    I've been looking for evidence of direct wireless communication between AVsRE and Crabs, but found only the following so far:

    From The Creully CLub Newsletter No.33 February 2010
    [underlining by me and my comments between square braquets]:

    "Focus on Feedback
    Simon Jenkins – Extract from ‘Lieutenant B M S Hobas [sic, Hoban] – Troop Leader 1st Troop Westminster Dragoons’ – “…..The familiar juddering thud as the LCT [Serial 2424] ran aground at La Riviere, the familiar rattle of the chains as the ramp was lowered. From then on things seemed to happen fast. We were soon down into the water, appreciating the fact that our waterproofing seemed to have been efficient. Two AVREs from our LCT charged ahead up the beach until in quick succession they simply exploded. Everything stopped of a sudden; then got going again in response to the Canadian tones on the wireless of Major Tim Thompstone RE, our breaching squadron commander ['Z' Breaching Squadron, KING RED beach], saying “Get up the bloody beach, all of you”. Luckily Captain Roger Bell on my left, spotted where the fire was coming from, an 88mm in a huge concrete pillbox, and managed to engage, firing through the slot in the pillbox. After his fifth round the gun fell silent."

    So it would seem that at least the flail troop leaders could receive orders from the Breaching Sqn commander by wireless.

    Further evidence on tank-to-tank communication, anyone?
     

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