Help with War Diary Abbreviations

Discussion in 'Unit History' started by Owen, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron


    Absolutely not. It was something we used to cry when attending TEWTs that were dull and uninspiring.


  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    TEWTS, These are not often used as tactical training at higher formation levels , They are to test and train chain of command appointments. The exercise commander will have communication to commanders of guns, signals, armour,transport.medical etc - the full orbat. He will plan, give out orders and using communications get the command teams working without being out in the field. The ex can be paused and suggestions made. A post ex wash up will show up any weak areas.

    Sand table models something that all commanders from section up will be acquainted with. from a prepared model showing the features that are on a map or photo. To an area on the ground using twigs, grass, string etc to mark out an area so that soldiers moving into an area are aware of what the ground will look like, a commander can show where he wants an attack to go in where his fire support will be and where he will reform after going through the objective. There are of course many scenarios.

    Wills, your explanation reminded me of 'Black Adder Goes Forth' when Captain Darling presents a 'sand table' to General Melchet showing the ground gained from the last offensive:

    Melchet: " very good darling, and what is the scale involved here?"

    Darling: "Ummmm one to one sir".

    Melchet: " So this is the actual ground we have gained over the last two days then Darling?"

    Darling: " I'm afraid so sir, yes."

    Mechet (making a sound that only Stephen Fry can do) "Neeeeaaarrrgghhh"

    Great stuff.:)
  3. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  4. jamesmurrow

    jamesmurrow Senior Member

    Hi James

    Tactical Exercise Without Troops

    Thanks Diane, could not quite figure the 'W.T.' part of it, and thanks to others for your help with other abbreviation.
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Just re-reading the very late i.e. just post war in Europe entries in the SRY war diary and came across this:

    26th May 1944

    Consolidated returns of VP and DP camps returned to Brigade.

    On first looking at it I think I would have read this as "Vulnerable Persons" perhaps, as in camps of vulnerable persons.

    So it's interesting to see that an "Official abbreviation for VP is 'Vulnerable point' "

    ​At least it would not appear to be a "V" for "D" typo though. Since both are used together.

    Shame they didn't write "Consolidated returns of DP camps and VP's returned to Brigade." ;)

    On the 23rd May for example they had:


    Commander 8th Armd Bde. visited T targets 14.15 hrs. Many incidents with Poles and Russian DP, such as pilfering of clothes and food, stealing bicycles and attempted rape.

    And I think that they were trying to protect vulnerable people in the local population as well, i.e. locals who weren't actually displaced but were vulnerable to those that were. (such as those having to live rough through being bombed out, or just alone in the countryside somewhere) - temporarily brought together for local mutual protection?


    Sqn Ldrs conference 10.00 hrs. It was decided to start blancoing belts. ‘T’ staff increased. Recce of DP camps continued, many small camps discovered.


    2 additional night guards of T targets in HANNOVER alloted to the regiment.

    'fraid I'm now wondering what "T targets" were ;) and "blancoing belts" ??? (probably sorted by just a simple google though :P )

    They had this to say at the end of the month of May though:


    Commander 30 corps addressed 8th Armd Bde., giving a description of the campaign from D-day and explaining the reasons for the imposition of the rules against fraternisation which would only be for a limited period. The corps commander made special reference to the change of name of the regiment from Sherwood Rangers to the Notts Yeomanry but said that as far as he was concerned he had known regiment as Sherwood Rangers from Alamein and would so to call them.

    So... Commander 30 corps addressed 8th Armd Bde., giving a description of the campaign from D-day and explaining the reasons for the imposition of the rules against fraternisation which would only be for a limited period.

    (So presumably after that they were allowed to fraternise freely as much as they liked) ;)

    And I'd always assumed that both names "Sherwood Rangers" and "Notts Yeomanry" were fairly freely used. Though they actually started out as the Notts Yeomanry, it seems a bit of a tug of war ensued and they seemed to pogo between them depending on diktats from above. I think my vote though would probably go with the SRY though I have no idea now why I prefer it to "the Notts Yeomanry" - just more used to it now I guess :)
  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Possibly 'T Targets' is rather like 'D Day' in that the 'T' might mean 'Target'.

    Various T Forces formed spearheads to quickly reach and secure importment sites in Germany of scientific and industrial importance that the Allies didn't want destroyed, damaged or looted.

    The T Forces later reported that the biggest threat to these important sites more likely came from Displaced Placed persons looting or vandalising them rather than from German sabotage.

    Regular troops would soon take over guard duties while the Target Forces advanced to their next objective.

  7. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Closed Account

    Hi and can anyone throw some light on the regular abbreviations used in War Diaries for exemple:
    NTR and NES? I suppose the first is Nothing to Report but the second one?
    Another - evacuated beyond RAP
    Or FDL - Forward Defence Line?
    Or Sejang 12 and a half M.S. Ukhrul Road? I don't have a half sign I'm afraid. Would that mean twelve and a hlf Miles South?
    3.7 Hows. D.F.
    and lastly
    Cry (McKinnon)
    Many thanks in advance, Murdo
  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I can manage some.

    NTR = Nothing To Report (as you say).

    NES = No Enemy Sighted.

    Evacuated beyond (the) Regimental Aid Post (So seriously injured).

    FDL = Forward Defensive/Defence Lines.

    3.7-inch Howitzer, D.F. = Direct Fire.

    QF 3.7-inch mountain howitzer - Wikipedia
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Sometimes and probably in this case it is often better to see the abbreviation in its context, also its possible it has been read incorrectly - so uploading the document is better for all concerned, especially it seems with your last question

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  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Without seeing the entry I would suggest MS = milestone.
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  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Agree MS = Milestone. Often features in Malaya War Diaries/Reports - perhaps milestones were more common there.
    HQ 144 LAA Bty at MS 32 on the Simpang Rengam-Johore Bahru Road with 4 x 40 mm.

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  12. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Closed Account

    Hi TD and didn't see these replies until Owen told is the War Diary of 2 Suffolks and the Cry McKinnon happened on the 8th - see attachement

    Attached Files:

  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I think you are mis reading that

    It is written

    "during the attack the cry (McKinnon) was heard"

    so its a verbal loud sound - it either relates to a code word meaning perhaps the enemy are coming from a certain direction, its someone interpretation of the sound the Japanese make during a charge, albeit this is generally thought to be Banzai, or it could be that there is someone called McKinnon in the platoon and its a warning to them.
    Another possible was that sometimes the Japanese would 'find' personnel items from soldiers then use that name to fool the defenders into letting them inside the wire

    Perhaps you will never know what the writer had in his head when he wrote that 70 odd years ago

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  14. Murdo Duncan

    Murdo Duncan Closed Account

    Hi TD and of course we'll never know, I agree, but I suspect it was your third possibility..... I wonder why would the 2 Suffolks would have a Scottish name as a code? Generally I think that these War Diaries are full of information but then again, sometimes vague and not precise enough. Did companies have them too at their level or only at Bn level? Thanks as always, Murdo
  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Re: #47 above DF = Defensive Fire normally a pre planned Fire Plan called for via an SOS or agreed Code word.
    Direct Fire was normally GF Gun Fire from the OP's own Troop.
    I once attended a lecture regarding TEWT's which was wound up by the Lecturers assistant with:
    "Gentlemen, now you are well informed regarding the value of the TEWT there will be a further discussion next week regarding the JEWT:
    Jungle Exercise Without Trees".
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  16. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    My experience of a TEWT is different to that above and ties in with that found in letters from officers in WW2 that I have transcribed.
    They took place outside typically on a vantage point where the instructor would describe an imaginary scenario.
    The students would then respond by describing their solution to the problem proposed using given resources on the terrain in view.
    i.e Imagine we are a patrol of platoon strength on this hill. In front is a wide plain to the left of which is a long shallow wadi (depression) in the centre of which is an enemy patrol position of section strength dug in, defended with small arms including two machine guns.
    Explain how you would make use of the terrain and your resources to hand to attack and take their position.
    This provides the trainers with the opportunity to put the students on the spot one by one, to make rapid tactical decisions as they might find themselves doing in action. They might be required to judge distance to be covered, the speed at which they can move and the range at which they could provide fire support to the attacking force and any tactics that might assist in the completion of the task at hand. The technique can in fact be used for training anyone of leadership rank without committing resources other than the students to hand.
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  17. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I've just started reading "The Scottish Lion on Patrol" and just passed a section on TEWT which are similar to your experience UT, taking officers out into the country then challenging them with "your taking fire from that ridge, have casualties, are low on ammunition what would you do now?" etc and let them talk through their thoughts on how to react
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