DD Tanks on the Rhine - regiments?

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Chris C, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi all,

    I saw an earlier thread mentioning 44 RTR and the Staffordshire Yeomanry as units which crossed the Rhine in DDs but the Staff Yeomanry were identified as crossing as Rees.

    At Library and Archives Canada this week I photographed an "unofficial" report on DD tanks at the Rhine by Lt Col G C Reeves. He mentions two regiments but does not identify them by number or name but by coded letter. But I think there is probably enough information to identify both of these now and basically I am just wondering which regiment crossed at Vynen?

    (Is there some confusion about Rees vs Vynen?)

    "Two British regiments were available, which for reasons of security will in this paper be called l Armd Regt RAC and u Armd Regt RAC. (The code used is the same as that employed in AFV (T) 21 Army Group Reports.) u Armd Regt RAC had had this type of tank for a considerable time and one squadron of it, had in fact, gained operational experience at South Beveland.

    l Armed Regt RAC had had only approximately one weeks training. The former was thus available for night work but the latter were to cross in day light or by artificial moonlight, if sufficiently effective, without the use of navigational equipment.

    ...

    15 Scottish Div were to cross the Rhine with two Bdes up, in the area of HAFFEN-MARS. The lefthand Bde was to cross in the area of VYNEN with u Armd Regt RAC in support. The righthand brigade was to cross in the neighbourhood of XANTEN with l Armd Regt RAC in support."

    I am interested to identify these regiments both for sheer inherent interests' sake, and also because it seems possible that references to 'u' and 'l' regiments in the AFV(T) [technical] reports will be these same regiments.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Chris - There were several Rhine Crossing operations within Plunder. In all three Corps crossed the River Rhine. 30 British Corps opposite Rees; the 12 British Corps at Xanten; and south of Wesel the 16 US Corps. One Corps - 18 AB Corps - landed by air near Wesel - Hamminkeln.

    The time schedule of "Operation Plunder" was as follows:

    30 Corps 51st Highland Div (Codename Turnscrew) 23.21:00
    12 Corps 1st Commando Brigade (Codename Widgeon) 23.22:00
    12 Corps 15th Scottish Div (Codename Torchlight) 24.02:00
    16 U.S. Corps 30 Inf Div (Codename Flashpoint) 24.02:00
    16 U.S. Corps 79 Inf Div (Codename Flashpoint) 24.03:00
    18 AB Corps 6th & 17th AB Divs (Codename Varsity) 24.10:00

    The DD-tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry were in support of 30 Corps spearheaded by 51 HD. For their story have a look here: RHINE CROSSING 1945: The Rees bridgehead (30 Corps in operation 'Turnscrew'). 44 RTR were with 12 Corps with 15 Scottish in the lead. The Americans also made use of DD-tanks but it looks like they used smaller numbers - I found that one Company of the 736th US Tank Battalion was equipped with DD's (17 in all) and were in support of 30 US Inf Div.

    I'm very interested in the report you found. Would it be possible to send me a copy?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    Chris C and EdSav like this.
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi Stolpi,

    Certainly I can share the document with you. I'm taking a train right now, with lousy WiFi, but when I am home I can send it to you.
     

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