Infantry Battalion

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  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    INFANTRY BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS and INFANTRY BATTALION

    Infantry battalions were the backbone of the army and there were seldom enough of them.
    The organisation of the battalion is given in some detail and this applied in general to most
    units of any arm.

    HEADQUARTERS OF AN INFANTRY BRIGADE 1944

    HQ Infantry Brigade in an Infantry Division. War Establishment II/141/2. January 1944.
    HQ Infantry Brigade in an Armoured Division. War Establishment II/141/2. January 1944.
    Infantry Brigade Headquarters Defence Platoon. War Establishment II/148/1. November 1943
    Infantry Brigade Headquarters Defence Platoon. War Establishment II/148/2. April 1945

    The roles and responsibilities of the key personnel at Brigade Headquarters are given below. These apply to most brigade headquarters.

    Brigadier – Officer Commanding the Brigade.

    Brigade Major – a General Staff officer responsible for-
    1. All staff work at Brigade Headquarters. He could allocate this to the officers available as circumstances required and without necessarily remaining within their specialisms.
    2. Implementing the Brigadiers orders and plans.
    3. Issuing operational orders and instructions.
    4. Transmitting information to divisional headquarters and to flanking units
    5. Training
    6. Writing reports

    GSO3 – General Staff Officer Grade 3. The Brigade Majors deputy and responsible for
    1. Operations, under the orders of the Brigade Major
    2. Moves by road
    3. Distribution of maps.
    4. Supervision of the acknowledgements register. This was a diary of all messages received.
    5. Codes and ciphers
    6. Writing the War Diary and Situation Reports

    Staff captain – responsible for the supply and personnel aspects of the brigade. He was assisted by the Company Serjeant Major, the Company Quartermaster Serjeant and the Ordnance Warrant Officer. His responsibilities included
    1. All personnel matters
    2. Recording of casualties.
    3. Discipline with the headquarters personnel and area.
    4. Sanitation.
    5. Prisoners of War.
    6. Police.
    7. Billeting headquarters staff and of the battalions.
    8. Supplies, including food, petrol, ammunition, water and equipment for the brigade.
    9. Issuing the administrative section of operational orders.
    10. Traffic control in the Brigade area and on the move.
    11. The selection and layout of the Brigade Headquarters.
    12. Control of transport. This included Brigade Headquarters transport and the B echelon vehicles not needed by battalions.

    Captain, intelligence and gas duties. Not a staff officer. Assists with intelligence work together with the intelligence personnel below. By early 1945 gas duties were no longer listed as one of his duties.
    Intelligence serjeant
    Intelligence corporal
    Intelligence private
    Responsibilities included
    1. Identification of enemy units
    2. Monitoring enemy dispositions, movements and field works.
    3. Collating information on, and making deductions as to, enemy intentions.
    4. Studying reports from higher formations.
    5. Studying the topography of the surrounding area and its implications for movement.
    6. Distribution and recording of information obtained.
    7. Arranging for the disposal of Prisoners of War (!) and captured documents.
    8. Supplying maps and aerial photographs to units.
    9. Supervising security measures within the brigade.
    10. Maintaining the Brigade Gas Map.
    11. Being prepared to brief the Brigadier at any time.
    12. Interpretation and distribution of information from air photographs.
    13. Co ordinating patrol activity by units.
    14. Co ordinating the intelligence work of subordinate units.

    Captain Liaison Officer
    2 X Subaltern Liaison Officer
    Formerly called Motor Contact Liaison Officers to indicate their mobile nature. These were responsible for liaison with battalions, flank formations and division headquarters. They needed to be conversant with the Brigadiers intentions and with the disposition of units. They also delivered messages on outward journeys and reported back to intelligence and signals with regard to the position of units headquarters etc on return.

    Signals Officer. A Royal Signals officer from the divisional signals. He was responsible for
    1. The command, administration and technical efficiency of the Brigade Signal Section.
    2. Taking a turn as duty officer at Brigade Headquarters.
    3. Advising the Brigadier and Staff on signals matters and preparing the signals section of operational orders.
    4. Liaising with the Brigade Major and the Intelligence Officer regarding signals plans.
    5. Advising and assisting unit signals officers.
    6. Siting of divisional wireless sets, RAF sets and communications of other signal units and personnel at Brigade Headquarters including RAF personnel with VHF sets for tactical reconnaissance reports and army personnel communicating with the RAF with regard to bomber support.

    Captain Transport Officer. Responsible for the transport of the brigade. He was responsible particularly for
    1. Commanding the B echelons of the brigade. This included the transport of the headquarters plus the B echelons of the infantry battalions and the b echelons of any attached units. This could amount to a considerable fleet.
    2. The defence of the B echelon area using the personnel and weapons of the B echelons plus a portion of the defence platoon if available.
    3. The records and routine maintenance of all the motor transport in the brigade
    4. Monitoring the use of petrol in the brigade.
    5. The reconnaissance and lay out of the site for the B echelon.
    The Transport officer was assisted by the transport serjeant.

    Chief Clerk. The chief clerk was a staff serjeant responsible for the brigade office and clerks. His responsibilities included
    1. Organising and supervising clerical duties in brigade headquarters.
    2. Checking, correcting and numbering all despatches, orders and messages.
    3. Ensuring that all incoming messages were correctly and promptly delivered.
    4. Ensuring that all waste paper and carbons were burned.

    Camp Commandant. Plans and arranges the layout of the headquarters area and is responsible for the day to day administration of the camp area. He was also responsible for local defence and command of the defence platoon.

    Company Quartermaster Serjeant. He assisted the Staff Captain with stores and supplies. In particular he was responsible for
    1. Drawing and accounting for stores and equipment
    2. Accounting for and repairing brigade headquarters property.
    3. Supervising the Other Ranks messing arrangements.
    4. Ordering rations.
    5. Maintaining payrolls.

    Plus the following from the Services.

    RASC. To advise on supply and transport. The brigade has no supply function of its own.
    Captain
    corporal clerk
    batman driver
    motorcyclist

    REME
    Captain EME 3rd class. To advise on the maintenance of vehicles, weapons and equipment.
    WOII clerk
    WOII armourer
    serjeant armourer
    corporal fitter
    fitter armourer

    RAPC
    Paymaster. Responsible for the pay for all brigade personnel and for assisting battalion personnel with accounts.
    serjeant pay clerk


    The Brigade was essentially a tactical headquarters. The above headquarters was but a skeleton to which were added many other detachments.

    Apart from the three infantry battalions of the brigade there would normally be some or all of the following under command or in support. These would have their own headquarters either integrated with brigade headquarters or in close communication with it.

    Royal Signals Brigade Section.
    This provided communications for the Brigade Headquarters and down to battalions. When other units were attached they brought their own signals detachments which operated under the control of the Signal Officer. One of the Royal Signals vehicles was a Lorry Command Vehicle which provided a command post for the Brigade staff.

    Brigade Workshop REME. This provided repair facilities beyond what could be provided by Light Aid Detachments.

    Field Park Section RAOC. This worked closely with the workshop and provided spare parts. It also carried reserve of equipment, clothing and stores.

    Field Ambulance RAMC. This provided a dressing station, advanced dressing stations and ambulance to collect wounded from Regimental Aid Posts.

    Field Regiment RA. These tended to support the same brigade for considerable periods of time. The Commanding Officer of the Field Regiment had his own headquarters at Brigade Headquarters, usually accompanied the Brigadier on visits and became an unofficial Brigade Second in command.

    Anti Tank Battery RA. This was generally attached to the brigade and was distributed along the brigade front and throughout the brigade area. Towed anti tank guns were generally integrated into the front line defences while the self propelled guns were held back to defend the rear area, to provide a reserve for countering an enemy breakthrough and to help consolidate ground captured in an attack.

    Brigade Company RASC. This company carried all the supplies, rations, petrol and ammunition for the brigade. This unit was later abolished and the Divisional RASC operated more flexibly, although still delivering the same items.

    Field Company RE. This unit was usually attached in order to lay and clear mines, to carry out demolitions and to cross obstacles. It was backed by the resources of the Divisional Field Park which had specialists plus bulldozers and Bailey bridging.

    Tank Regiment. Tank regiments or armoured regiments were routinely attached to infantry brigades and it became common for an armoured brigade or tank brigade to be attached to infantry divisions thus providing a regiment per infantry brigade.

    Machine Gun Company. Machine gun companies were generally integrated into brigades and relied on them for supplies and communication. The companies relied on their own battalion headquarters for administration and maintenance.

    Air Liaison. Usually an RAF liaison officer with a small detachment of mixed RAF and army personnel was attached to brigade headquarters to liaise with close support and reconnaissance aircraft.





    HEADQUARTERS OF AN INFANTRY BRIGADE IN AN INFANTRY DIVISION
    War Establishment II/141/2. January 1944.

    Brigadier, Commander

    Staff
    Brigade Major
    Captain, GSO3
    Staff Captain
    Captain Liaison Officer
    2 X Lieutenant Liaison Officer
    serjeant clerk
    corporal clerk
    2 X clerk

    Services
    Captain RASC
    corporal clerk RASC
    batman driver RASC
    orderly RASC
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer RAOC
    Captain REME
    Warrant Officer Armourer REME
    2 X serjeant armourer REME
    Warrant Officer tyre repair plant operator REME
    corporal vehicle mechanic REME
    2 X vehicle mechanic REME

    Miscellaneous
    Captain, Intelligence and Gas Duties
    Captain, Transport
    Subaltern, Camp Commandant
    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    transport serjeant
    intelligence serjeant
    intelligence corporal
    intelligence lance corporal
    corporal driver IC
    lance corporal driver IC
    4 X private driver IC
    10 X orderly
    2 X batman
    12 X batman driver
    sanitary dutyman

    Attached
    3 X chaplain
    corporal cook ACC
    cook, officers mess ACC
    2 X cook ACC

    Vehicles
    4 X motorcycle
    3 X car 2seater 4 X 2
    3 X car 4 seater
    6 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    1 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt Water
    1 X 15cwt Office
    1 X 15cwt personnel
    3 X lorry 3ton 4 X 4 GS

    By 1945 the 15cwt Office was replaced by a 3ton 4 X 4 Office

    Total weapons
    14 X pistol
    21 X Sten gun
    4 X Bren lmg
    37 X rifle

    By 1945 10 X rifle were deleted and 5 X Sten gun added


    Organisation
    The Command Group.
    This contained only the personnel and vehicles required to command and control an action.

    Lorry Command Vehicle LP 1 (Royal Signals)
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No19 and Wireless set No 19 HP
    Carries Bren lmg
    This vehicle is for forward control and rear link to Main Division.
    In action the Brigadier, Brigade Major and GSO3 have seats in this vehicle.

    Lorry Command Vehicle LP 2 (Royal Signals)
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wirele set No19 and Wireless set No19HP
    This vehicle is for service control and rear link to Rear Division.
    In action the Staff Captain has a seat in this vehicle.

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 4 (Royal Signals)
    operator, driver operator
    Carries Wireless set No 19 and No 19 HP
    This vehicle is for brigade commander’s reconnaissance

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Brigadier, Brigade Major, batman, driver IC
    Carries Wireless set No 22 from Divisional Signals
    This vehicle can be used as the normal out of action transport for the Brigadier, and as the Brigadiers office or sleeping vehicle.

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Captain liaison officer, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern liaison officer, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern liaison officer, batman driver

    Staff Group.
    This group may be further back than the command group and was responsible for implementing the brigadiers decisions and co ordinating the plan.
    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Staff Captain, batman, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    GSO3, batman driver
    15cwt truck GS
    Intelligence Officer, intelligence serjeant, intelligence coporal, intelligence lance corporal, batman
    driver
    Carries Bren lmg

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Transport Officer, batman driver
    Motorcycle 1
    transport serjeant
    Motorcycle 2
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Captain RASC, corporal clerk RASC, batman driver RASC
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly RASC

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Captain REME, batman driver

    15cwt Office
    staff serjeant clerk, clerk, batman driver
    15cwt personnel
    Company Serjeant Major, corporal clerk, orderly, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg

    The Administrative Group.

    Motorcycle 4
    Camp Commandant

    15cwt water truck
    sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    The driver IC is trained in water duties

    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    clerk, driver IC
    Carries petrol
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    company quartermaster serjeant, corporal cook ACC, 3 X cook ACC, 3 X orderly, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations
    Carries Bren lmg
    The driver IC is trained in water duties
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    operator REME, WO armourer REME, serjeant armourer REME, armourer REME, corporal vehicle
    mechanic REME, vehicle mechanic REME, driver IC

    Note:
    Six orderlies are attached to Divisional Signals and are carried in the transport of that unit.



    INFANTRY BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS DEFENCE PLATOON
    War Establishment II/148/1. November 1943
    War Establishment II/148/2. April 1945

    This unit was responsible for the defence of the Brigade Headquarters area. It was commanded by the Camp Commandant.

    serjeant
    3 X corporal
    18 X rifleman
    3 X driver IC
    driver mechanic
    motorcyclist
    2 X cook ACC

    Headquarters
    Motorcycle
    motorcyclist
    15cwt truck GS
    serjeant, 2 X cook, driver mechanic
    Carries baggage and supplies

    section
    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC

    section
    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC

    section
    15cwt truck GS
    corporal, 6 X private, driver IC




    INFANTRY BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS IN AN ARMOURED DIVISION

    Brigadier, Commander

    Staff
    Brigade Major

    Major, Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General
    Captain, GSO3
    Staff Captain
    Captain Liaison Officer
    2 X Lieutenant Liaison Officer
    serjeant clerk
    2 X corporal clerk
    2 X clerk

    Services
    Captain RASC
    corporal clerk RASC
    batman driver RASC
    orderly RASC
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer RAOC
    Captain REME
    Warrant Officer Armourer REME
    2 X serjeant armourer REME
    Warrant Officer tyre repair plant operator REME
    corporal vehicle mechanic REME
    2 X vehicle mechanic REME

    Miscellaneous
    Captain, Intelligence and Gas Duties
    Captain, Transport
    Subaltern, Camp Commandant
    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    transport serjeant
    intelligence serjeant
    intelligence corporal
    intelligence lance corporal
    corporal driver IC
    lance corporal driver IC
    3 X private driver IC
    3 X driver operator
    10 X orderly
    2 X batman
    10 X batman driver
    sanitary dutyman

    Attached
    3 X chaplain
    corporal cook ACC
    cook, officers mess ACC
    2 X cook ACC

    Vehicles
    4 X motorcycle
    3 X car 2seater 4 X 2
    3 X car 4 seater
    3 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    1 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt Water
    1 X 15cwt Office
    1 X 15cwt personnel
    3 X lorry 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    3 X scout car
    By 1945 the 15cwt Office was replaced by a 3ton 4 X 4 Office

    Total weapons
    14 X pistol
    21 X Sten gun
    4 X Bren lmg
    37 X rifle

    By 1945 10 X rifle were deleted and 5 X Sten gun added


    ORGANISATION
    Armoured Command Vehicle LP 1
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Bren lmg
    Carries Wireless set No19 and Wireless set No19HP
    This vehicle is for forward control and rear link to Main Division.
    In action the Brigadier, Brigade Major and GSO3 have seats in this vehicle.

    Armoured Command Vehicle LP 2
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No19 and Wireless set No19 HP
    This vehicle is for service control and rear link to Rear Division.
    In action the Staff Captain has a seat in this vehicle.

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 4 (Royal Signals)
    lance corporal operator, driver operator
    Carries Wireless set No 19 and No 19 HP
    This vehicle is for brigade commander’s reconnaissance

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Brigadier, Brigade Major, batman, driver IC
    Carries Wireless set No 22 from Divisional Signals
    This vehicle can be used as the normal out of action transport for the Brigadier

    Scout Car
    Captain liaison officer, driver operator
    Scout Car
    Subaltern liaison officer, driver operator
    Scout Car
    Subaltern liaison officer, driver operator

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    GSO3, batman driver
    15cwt truck GS
    Intelligence Officer, intelligence serjeant, intelligence coporal, intelligencelance corporal, batman driver
    Carries Bren lmg

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Major Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Staff Captain, corporal clerk, batman
    driver

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Transport Officer, batman driver
    Motorcycle 1
    transport serjeant

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD).
    Captain RASC, corporal clerk RASC, batman driver RASC
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly RASC

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Captain REME, batman driver

    Motorcycle 2
    Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer

    15cwt Office
    staff serjeant clerk, clerk, batman driver
    15cwt personnel
    Company Serjeant Major, corporal clerk, orderly, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg
    Motorcycle 4
    Camp Commandant
    15cwt water truck
    sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    The driver IC is trained in water duties
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    clerk, driver IC
    Carries petrol
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    company quartermaster serjeant, corporal cook ACC, 3 X cook ACC, 3 X orderly, batman, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations
    Carries Bren lmg
    The driver IC is trained in water duties
    3ton lorry 4 X 4 GS
    operator REME, Warrant Officer armourer REME, serjeant armourer REME, armourer REME, corporal
    vehicle mechanic REME, vehicle mechanic REME, driver IC

    Note: Six orderlies are attached to Divisional Signals and are carried in the transport of that unit.





    INFANTRY BATTALION
    War Establishment II/233/2. April 1943.
    War Establishment II/233/3. November 1944

    Personnel
    These two lists are taken from the relevant War Establishments and are included here to show how little the standard infantry battalion changed over 18 months.

    Total personnel April 1943 Total personnel November 1944
    1 X Lieutenant colonel .................................1 X Lieutenant colonel
    7 X Major ...................................................5 X Major
    7 X Captain ................................................10 X Captain
    19 X Subaltern ............................................18 X Subaltern
    1 X Quartermaster .......................................1 X Quartermaster

    1 X Regimental Serjeant Major .......................1 X Regimental Serjeant Major
    1 X Regimental QM Serjeant ..........................1 X Regimental QM Serjeant
    6 X Company Serjeant Major ..........................6 X Company Serjeant Major

    6 X company quartermaster serjeant ...............6 X company quartermaster serjeant
    1 X intelligence serjeant ...............................1 X intelligence serjeant
    1 X orderly room serjeant clerk .......................1 X orderly room serjeant clerk
    1 X provost serjeant .....................................1 X provost serjeant
    1 X pioneer serjeant .....................................1 X pioneer serjeant
    1 X medical serjeant .....................................1 X medical serjeant
    1 X sniper serjeant .......................................1 X sniper serjeant
    1 X transport serjeant ...................................1 X transport serjeant
    1 X serjeant technical storeman ......................1 X serjeant technical storeman
    26 X serjeant ...............................................26 X serjeant

    70 X corporal ...............................................69 X corporal
    668 X private ...............................................670 X private

    Total 821 Total 821

    This applied to all infantry battalions except
    Guards battalions had two extra Warrant Officers for drill.
    Scots and Irish battalions had five pipers on establishment.

    In addition the following personnel were additionally trained as shown.
    - All personnel in the pioneer platoon were trained in anti gas duties and decontamination.
    - The drivers of lorries carrying water tins and the driver of the 15cwt water truck were trained in water duties.
    - The driver of the petrol lorry was trained in petrol duties
    - Drivers of trucks in the signal platoon were trained as signallers
    - Two drivers in the administrative platoon and one driver in each rifle company were trained as equipment repairers.
    - Storemen in the support company and in the rifle companies were trained in armourers duties by the serjeant armourer
    REME.
    - One man in each company was trained in the repair of boots by the shoemaker RAOC.
    The last two categories could be paid the appropriate craftsman’s rates of pay on the days they were employed on the specialist duties.

    Total vehicles
    33 X bicycle
    26 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    11 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    25 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt office
    1 X 15cwt water
    2 X armoured 15cwt
    13 X 3ton 4 X 4
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 with winch
    12 X Loyd carrier
    19 X Universal carrier
    7 X Carrier 3” mortar
    6 X 10cwt trailer.

    This organisation applied to the following
    3 Division
    8 Brigade 9 Brigade 185 Brigade
    1 Suffolk 2 Lincolnshire 2 Warwickshire
    2 East Yorkshire 1 K O Scottish Borderers 1 Norfolk
    1 South Lancashire 2 Royal Ulster Rifles 2 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

    5 Division
    13 Brigade 15 Brigade 17 Brigade
    2 Cameronians 1 Green Howards 2 Royal Scots Fusiliers
    2 Wiltshire 1 Kings Own Yorkshire L.I 2 Northamptonshire
    5 Essex 1 York and Lancaster 6 Seaforth Highlanders

    15 (Scottish) Division
    44 Brigade 46 Brigade 227 Brigade
    8 Royal Scots 2 Glasgow Highlanders 10 Highland Light Infantry
    6 Kings Own Scottish Borderers 7 Seaforth Highlanders 2 Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders
    6 Royal Scots Fusiliers 9 Cameronians 2 Gordon Highlanders

    43 (Wessex) Division
    129 Brigade 130 Brigade 214 Brigade
    4 Somerset Light Infantry 7 Hampshire 5 Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
    4 Wiltshire 4 Dorset 7 Somerset Light Infantry
    5 Wiltshire 5 Dorset 1 Worcestershire

    49 (West Riding) Division
    70 Brigade (to 8.44) 146 Brigade 147 Brigade
    10 Durham Light Infantry 4 Lincolnshire 6 Duke of Wellington (to 7.44) then 1 Leicestershire
    11 Durham Light Infantry 1/4 Kings Own Yorkshire L.I 7 Duke of Wellingtons
    1 Tyneside Scottish Hallamshire 11 Royal Scots Fusiliers

    56 Brigade (8.44)
    2 South Wales Borderers (to 4.45)
    2 Gloucester
    2 Essex
    7 Royal Welsh Fusiliers (4.45)

    50 (Northumbrian Division
    69 Brigade 151 Brigade 231 Brigade
    5 East Yorkshire 6 Durham Light Infantry 2 Devonshire
    6 Green Howards 8 Durham Light Infantry 1 Dorset
    7 Green Howards 9 Durham Light Infantry 1 Hampshire

    51 (Highland) Division
    152 Brigade 153 Brigade 154 Brigade
    2 Seaforth Highlanders 5 Black Watch 7 Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders
    5 Seaforth Highlanders 1 Gordon highlanders 1 Black Watch
    5 Cameron Highlanders 5/7 Gordon Highlanders 7 Black Watch

    52 (Lowland) Division
    155 Brigade 156 Brigade 157 Brigade
    7/9 Royal Scots 4/5 Royal Scots Fusiliers 5 Highland Light Infantry
    4 K O Scottish Borderers 6 Cameronians 6 Highland Light Infantry
    5 K O Scottish Borderers 7 Cameronians 1 Glasgow Highlanders

    53 Welsh Division
    71 Brigade 158 Brigade 160 Brigade
    1 East Lancashire 4 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 4 Welsh Regiment
    1 Highland Light Infantry 6 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1/5 Welsh Regiment
    1 Ox and Bucks LI 7 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 2 Monmouthshire

    59 (Staffordshire) Division
    176 Brigade 177 Brigade 197 Brigade
    7 South Staffordshire 5 South Staffordshire 2/5 Lancashire
    6 North Staffordshire 1/6 South Staffordshire 5 East Lancashire
    7 Norfolk 2/6 South Staffordshire 1/7 Warwickshire


    Battalion Headquarters
    When on the move or deployed for action there was not a clear cut distinction between Battalion Headquarters and the Headquarters Company. Some of the Battalion Headquarters personnel will be located at rear headquarters and some of the Headquarters Company’s transport is used by Battalion Headquarters. Signals vehicles are fully integrated into the headquarters.

    In action the Commanding Officer formed a small tactical headquarters containing only the personnel who were required for the task of command. His three operational officers, adjutant, signals officer and intelligence officer assisted in manning the command post. Although each of these officers had their own special responsibilities they were each capable of manning the command post and of operating flexibly and inter changeably. One of them was always on duty.

    The adjutant was the battalion staff officer. His operational functions were
    to record the Commanding Officers verbal orders and to confirm them in writing
    to implement the Commanding Officers orders, plans and policies
    to organise the battalion office.
    In this he was assisted by the serjeant clerk and two clerks.
    When the Commanding Officer attended order groups at brigade headquarters, or held his own order groups the adjutant would usually attend. The adjutant would also usually accompany the Commanding Officer on visits.

    The Intelligence Officer was responsible for
    collating information from divisional headquarters and from the forward units and patrols
    maintaining the situation map
    monitoring messages and reports
    briefing the Commanding Officer on intelligence matters
    He was assisted by an intelligence serjeant, intelligence corporal and five intelligence privates.

    The Signals Officer was responsible for
    arranging communications from battalion headquarters to the companies, and to rear headquarters
    logging outgoing and incoming signals.
    The Signals Officer would normally maintain his own list of units and their position. This was updated from signals personnel but also from the adjutant and any visitors.

    The Second in Command was not normally at the tactical headquarters. In action he assumed responsibility for all administrative matters thus leaving the Commanding Officer to concentrate on operational matters. He was responsible for the rear headquarters which held all the battalion elements which were not actively engaged in an operation. This included the transport, supply and maintenance elements. In this he was assisted by the Quartermaster and the Transport Officer. The second in Command however had to be fully conversant with the tactical plan so that he could direct sub units to the correct place and so that he could assume command if the Commanding Officer became a casualty.

    The Regimental Serjeant Major was responsible for the control of the headquarters personnel and for the layout of the headquarters area. He arranged for the defence of the headquarters area, posted sentries and was responsible for the distribution of reserve ammunition. He also assisted with the distribution of food to forward units. The Regimental Serjeant Major was also responsible for the regimental police.

    Officers were cared for by batmen. Field Officers (Commanding Officer and Majors) were entitled to a batman of their own. Junior officers either shared a batman or had a batman driver. The Regimental Serjeant Major also rated a batman driver.

    Medical personnel were listed as part of Regimental Headquarters. A Regimental Aid Post was set up to the rear and its position made known to all personnel. Here would be a Medical Officer from the Royal Army Medical Corp. He would be a fully qualified doctor a held the rank of captain. The Medical Officer was assisted by a medical serjeant who was trained in emergency treatment and carried a medical hamper with dressings and drugs. There was also a Medical Officers orderly who was provided by the battalion and acted as driver and general non medical assistant. Working to the Aid Post were the stretcher bearers who were trained in first aid. They were allocated to companies as required. All stretcher bearers could be armed with a Sten gun for self defence. In peace time the battalion band doubled as stretcher bearers.
    Medical Officer
    medical officers orderly/driver
    medical serjeant
    corporal stretcher bearer
    19 X stretcher bearers.

    In action the battalion chaplain would usually be at the Aid Post where he would assist with record keeping as well as giving comfort. The chaplain had a batman driver.

    From November 1944 the battalion snipers had been concentrated at Battalion Headquarters. Previously they had been attached to Company Headquarters. This was probably as a result of the experience in Normandy. Snipers were not only skilled marksmen but were also trained in intelligence gathering.
    sniper serjeant
    corporal sniper
    2 X lance corporal sniper
    4 X sniper.

    ORGANISATION
    Battalion Headquarters
    Motorcycle 1
    intelligence serjeant
    Motorcycle 2
    provost serjeant
    Motorcycle 3
    regimental policeman
    Motorcycle 4
    regimental policeman
    Motorcycle 5
    regimental policeman

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    Major second in command, batman driver

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4
    Lieutenant Colonel (Commanding Officer), Adjutant, batman, driver IC
    This vehicle used as Commanding Officers Office, Command Post and sleeping accommodation.

    15cwt GS truck
    Intelligence Officer, Regimental Serjeant Major, batman driver
    Carries Intelligence equipment
    15cwt GS truck
    medical serjeant, 2 X stretcher bearer, driver IC
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel
    Medical Officer, medical officer’s orderly driver
    This vehicle was fitted with side tents.
    15cwt office truck
    serjeant clerk, 2 X clerk, batman, driver IC

    Carrier Universal
    driver mechanic
    Carries Bren lmg and ammunition.
    For the use of the Commanding Officer for reconnaissance and visiting

    There were 6 X bicycle for the use of intelligence corporal and intelligence privates

    The following personnel had no permanent place in the battalion transport and normally marched.
    serjeant sniper
    7 X sniper
    18 X stretcher bearer



    Headquarters Company
    Headquarters
    15cwt truck GS
    Captain, Company Serjeant Major, clerk, storeman, batman driver

    The company quartermaster serjeant travelled in the transport of the administrative platoon

    Administrative platoon.
    This provided supply and maintenance for the battalion.

    The subaltern was the Transport Officer and commanded the administrative platoon. The Quartermaster might be senior to the subaltern but he was not a line officer. Normally he would be promoted from the ranks, having long service and been Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant. He was responsible for stores and supplies. He knew every official and unofficial way of getting the battalions entitlement to equipment and stores.

    Motorcycle 1
    Transport Officer
    Motorcycle 2
    transport serjeant

    Jeep
    Quartermaster, clerk, batman driver
    Tows 10cwt trailer

    15cwt GS truck
    sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    Carries reserve ammunition
    Tows 10cwt trailer
    15cwt water truck
    sanitary dutyman, driver IC

    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 1
    2 X sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    Carries reserve ammunition
    Carries PIAT
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 2
    equipment repairer, shoemaker RAOC, driver IC
    Carries reserve ammunition
    Carries PIAT
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 3
    batman, 3 X cook, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations for Headquarters and Officers Mess.
    Carries Bren gun
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from Headquarters Company headquarters
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 4
    3 X cook, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations for Support Company
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from Support Company
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 5
    2 X cook, driver IC
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from A Company
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 6
    2 X cook, driver IC
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from B Company
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 7
    2 X cook, driver IC
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from C Company
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 8
    2 X cook, driver IC
    Carries company quartermaster serjeant from D Company
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 9
    clerk (MT duties), vehicle mechanic, driver IC
    Carries petrol
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 10
    Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant, postman, storeman, serjeant armourer REME, driver IC
    Carries QM stores
    Carries Bren gun
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 11
    butchery dutyman, cook, driver IC
    Tows a water trailer.
    3ton 4 X 4 lorry GS 12
    driver IC (acts as storeman for anti gas stores)
    Carries anti gas stores

    3ton 4 X 4 with winch
    serjeant technical storeman, 2 X technical storeman, serjeant vehicle mechanic REME, vehicle mechanic REME, vehicle mechanic acting as driver IC



    Signals platoon
    The signals platoon was responsible for communication from battalion headquarters to companies. Communications from brigade to infantry battalion was provided by Royal Signals. Communications within companies was provided by company personnel.

    Headquarters
    Motorcycle
    signal serjeant
    15cwt truck GS
    Subaltern, batman driver,
    Carries a PIAT

    Wireless section
    15cwt truck GS
    corporal signaller, 3 X signaller, driver IC

    15 X signallers do not have a permanent place on unit transport and normally march.

    Line section
    Motorcycle
    signaller orderly
    Motorcycle
    signaller orderly
    Motorcycle
    signaller orderly
    5cwt car 4 X 4 (jeep)
    signaller orderly acting as driver IC
    Tows 10cwt trailer

    15cwt truck 4 X 4 personnel
    2 X corporal signaller, 2 X signaller, storeman, driver IC

    There were also three signaller orderlies on bicycles

    Orderlies were messengers. They performed a similar task to despatch riders but only within the battalion. Despatch rider was a Royal Signals trade and thus paid more. The seven signaller orderlies used four motor cycles and three bicycles. Bicycles were for use in the headquarters area and were carried on a 15cwt for longer moves. Bicycle riders carried a rifle. Motor cycle orderlies carried Sten guns. The signals serjeant also had a bicycle and was armed with a Sten gun.

    The 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured was a White Scout car carrying wireless sets. It would normally be at Battalion Headquarters and be used by the Signal Officer and working as the battalion signals office. This vehicle was driven by a driver IC.

    The signallers were not concentrated at headquarters but dispersed to companies as well. Each telephone link from battalion headquarters to the six company headquarters was manned at both ends by signallers from the signals platoon. Signallers at the company end of the line were semi permanently attached to the company. Linesmen from headquarters were responsible for mending breaks in the line. These were fairly frequent since they were not only exposed to damage from shell and mortar fire but unless the line was carefully placed tracked vehicles would carry them away.



    Support Company
    The support company was introduced in the 1943 War establishment to command and administer the growing number of specialist platoons. In action the various sections were dispersed as the tactical situation required. They were then not under the command of the support company although it remained responsible for administration and supply.

    Company headquarters
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Major, batman driver

    15cwt truck GS
    Company Serjeant Major, clerk, orderly, storeman, driver IC
    The company quartermaster serjeant was carried in the transport of the administrative platoon.

    Anti tank platoon
    Headquarters
    Carrier Universal
    Captain, driver mechanic

    Motorcycle 1
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle 2
    captains orderly

    15cwt truck GS 1
    platoon serjeant, storeman, batman driver.
    Carries stores and 6pdr ammunition
    15cwt truck GS 2
    vehicle mechanic, fitter REME, driver batman
    Carries fitters stores and 6pdr ammunition

    Section 1
    Detachment 1
    Loyd carrier 1
    serjeant, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 2
    corporal, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Detachment 2
    Loyd carrier 3
    corporal, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 4
    gun number, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Section 2
    Detachment 1
    Loyd carrier 1
    serjeant, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 2
    corporal, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Detachment 2
    Loyd carrier 3
    corporal, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 4
    gun number, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Section 3
    Detachment 1
    Loyd carrier 1
    serjeant, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 2
    corporal, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Detachment 2
    Loyd carrier 3
    corporal, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Carries 2” mortar
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier 4
    gun number, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields
    Carries Bren gun and No2 cooker
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Officers were armed with pistols, motorcycle orderlies and batmen were armed with Sten guns and others with rifles.


    Mortar platoon.
    Headquarters
    Carrier, Universal
    Subaltern, vehicle mechanic REME, rangetaker, driver mechanic
    Carried Wireless set 18 and Wireless set 38.

    Motorcycle 1
    serjeant
    Motorcycle 2
    orderly
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly

    15cwt truck GS 1
    corporal, batman driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)
    Carries PIAT
    15cwt truck GS 2
    private, driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)
    Carries PIAT
    15cwt truck GS 3
    private, driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)
    Carries PIAT

    3ton lorry GS (from headquarters company)
    driver
    Carries 324 rounds of 3” mortar ammunition.

    Section 1
    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 2
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 3 x private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 3
    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 3 x private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 4
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 3 x private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 5
    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 3 x private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 6
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 3 x private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38

    Carrier platoon
    Headquarters
    Carrier, Universal
    Captain, batman, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No18 and Wireless set no 38
    Carries a Bren lmg

    15cwt truck GS 1
    Subaltern, storeman, batman driver
    Carries ammunition, blankets and greatcoats
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    15cwt truck GS 2
    vehicle mechanic REME, driver IC
    Carries stores

    Motorcycle
    platoon serjeant
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Officers carry revolvers, batmen and motorcyclists carry a Sten gun, others carry rifles.

    Section 1
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal 1
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carries a Bren lmg, a PIAT and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 2
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg, a 2” mortar and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 3
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg and a No2 cooker

    Section 2
    Motorcycle
    Orderly

    Carrier, Universal 1
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carries a Bren lmg, a PIAT and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 2
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg, a 2” mortar and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 3
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg and a No2 cooker

    Section 3
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal 1
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carries a Bren lmg, a PIAT and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 2
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg, a 2” mortar and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 3
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg and a No2 cooker

    Section 4
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal 1
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carries a Bren lmg, a PIAT and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 2
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg, a 2” mortar and No2 cooker
    Carrier, Universal 3
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a Bren lmg and a No2 cooker

    Each carrier carries 3 X rifle, 1 X Sten gun, 1 X Bren gun


    Pioneer platoon
    Headquarters
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern, 2 X pioneer, batman driver
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    Assault section 1
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    corporal, 2 X pioneer, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    Assault section 2
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    corporal2 X pioneer, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer


    Note: at some point during the campaign it was realised that the pioneer platoon jeeps were overcrowded and 5 X motorcycle were added-
    - One for the headquarters which could be used by the subaltern for reconnaissance or liaison. It was used by a pioneer when the subaltern used the jeep.
    - Two for each assault section. One was for the section corporal and one for a pioneer. A section then was

    Motorcycle
    corporal
    Motorcycle
    pioneer

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    pioneer, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    Tradesmans section
    3ton 4 X 4 GS
    serjeant, bricklayer, 6 X carpenter and joiner, mason, driver IC
    Carries pioneer tools and stores


    Rifle company
    Not all personnel of a rifle company have a place in a vehicle so personnel are listed separately.
    Major, company commander
    Captain, second in command
    Company serjeant major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    corporal clerk
    driver mechanic
    2 X batman driver
    2 X driver IC
    3 X orderly
    1 X storeman
    2 X sniper until November 1944 when they went to battalion headquarters

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Major, driver IC

    Carrier, Universal
    driver mechanic
    Carried wireless set No 18 and could carry a Wireless set No 38
    Carried 3 X PIAT, a Bren lmg and a 2” mortar

    15cwt GS truck 1
    storeman, driver IC
    15cwt GS truck 2
    company serjeant major, corporal driver IC
    15cwt GS truck 3
    clerk, driver IC
    There were three bicycles for use by the orderly and two batmen.


    Officers carried revolvers, warrant officers, staff serjeants and batmen carried Sten guns, others carried rifles.

    The company quartermaster serjeant is carried in the transport of the administrative platoon.

    Rifle platoon.
    Headquarters
    Second Lieutenant armed with a revolver
    serjeant with a Sten gun
    platoon commanders batman with a Wireless set No 38 and a rifle
    platoon commanders orderly with a rifle. He also had a bicycle.
    2” mortar group consisting of
    lance corporal. Mortar group leader with rifle
    mortar No1 with 2” mortar
    mortar No2 with rifle
    Mortar group leader and No2 carried 12 mortar bombs. No1 carried 6 mortar bombs.

    Rifle section
    The section of ten men was the basic unit of infantry.
    corporal. Section commander with a Sten gun
    Rifle group of six men armed with rifles.
    Bren group of three men
    lance corporal, Bren group leader with rifle
    bren No1 with Bren gun
    bren No2 with rifle


    Operations.
    War Establishments generally laid down an organisation for movement which included a list of vehicles and the personnel that they carried. This is the organisation shown on the pages above. However Training Manuals included an organisation for manoeuvre which arranged vehicles and personnel in the order in which they would be arranged for operations. For the infantry this included
    ‘R’ Group or Reconnaissance Group
    ‘O’ Group or Orders Group
    ‘F’ Group or Fighting Group
    ‘T’ Group or Transport Group.
    These may vary for different operations.

    When deploying for action the following procedure was generally followed.

    The Brigadier commanding the infantry brigade would have been to division headquarters to receive his orders and then returned to his own headquarters. He would then set out on a reconnaissance of his front. He would be accompanied by
    Brigade Intelligence Officer
    Brigade Signal Officer
    A wireless equipped signals vehicle to maintain contact with his headquarters
    Despatch riders.
    He may also have been accompanied by battalion commanders and other unit commanders.

    While the brigadier was receiving his orders the battalion commanders and the commanders of any attached units would have been called to brigade headquarters. They would either accompany the Brigadier on his reconnaissance or await orders at headquarters.

    The battalion commander would usually take his intelligence officer to brigade headquarters to attend the Order Group. They would take a signal vehicle and motorcyclists to maintain communications. The battalion adjutant would remain at battalion headquarters. The battalion commander might also take his company commanders to brigade headquarters. This was then the battalion Reconnaissance Group. While this small body was going on ahead the main body of the battalion required for the coming action would be approaching the assembly area. This was the battalion F Group. Any transport not required for the action was sent back to join the battalion rear headquarters and this was the T Group.

    On return to the battalion area the commanding officer would summon his own R Group and O group. This would consist of those officers who had attended the brigade R and O Groups plus the adjutant and any commanders of subordinate units. Company commanders would be taken to view the ground to be attacked or held plus the positions of flanking and supporting units. They would then be given information and orders at battalion headquarters.

    At this time the F Groups were either approaching or were already at the assembly point under company second in commands.

    After the Commanding Officers order group officers would disperse to their various duties.
    The Adjutant and Signal Officer would choose the site for a command post and establish communications.
    The Second in Command would be arranging the rear headquarters and transport group.
    The Regimental Serjeant Major would be arranging the headquarters area, setting up local defence and arranging ammunition supply.
    Company commanders would be holding R Groups and O Groups for their platoon commanders
    The Medical Officer would be setting up a Regimental Aid post

    By now the rifle companies should be moving to the start line and the support company should be setting up their weapons. If there is an armoured unit in support the infantry and armour should at their various levels be arranging signals etc.

    All of this will take some time. A properly prepared action might require 48 hours planning and preparation.

    The Sniper
    The sniper was introduced into the War establishment of the infantry battalion in 1943. Originally there were two per rifle company but after the Normandy campaign they were concentrated at battalion headquarters.

    Snipers would be assigned to a sector of the battalion front and would then be very much free to decide on their exact positions. Usually leaving before dawn they would select a good position in which to spend the day, there being little chance to return to their own lines before dusk. Ideally they would select a position from where they could see a section of the enemy line while remaining in good cover. They would also select a number of alternate positions since once they had revealed their presence by firing they could expect machine gun and mortar fire in reply.

    The primary function of the sniper was to keep the enemy on edge, never knowing when they might be observed and fired at. The preferred targets were officers or NCOs and communications personnel, but anyone foolish enough to show himself was fair game.

    Snipers used two types of rifle in 21 Army Group. The most accurate was the older Rifle No1 MkIII SMLE. However in the interests of standardisation most rifles were the sniper version of the Rifle No4 (T). The rifle was fitted with a No32 MkI telescopic sight. Sniper rifles were carefully selected and provided with a breech cover and a felt valise to protect it from the elements and accidental damage. A special sling was also fitted to the rifle to enable it to be braced for aiming and firing.

    Snipers used the standard ammunition pouches containing the following
    50 X .303” SAA rounds of ammunition selected by the sniper.
    5 X tracer bullets
    5 X armour piercing bullets
    2 X No36 grenades

    Other equipment included
    A pair of No2 MkII binoculars in a carrying case
    A compass with carrying case
    A watch
    A camouflage net
    The sniper could also have a camouflaged Denison smock as worn by paratroops.

    In addition to sniping the sniper was a valuable source of intelligence. With his ability to get close to enemy positions, and to observe them with binoculars and telescopic sights, each man would have a detailed knowledge of the sector of the front, and could readily spot any changes. On return the sniper was debriefed by the intelligence officer.

    Of course the sniper could be almost as unpopular with his own soldiers as he was with the enemy. A persistent sniper would almost certainly bring down mortar fire which would bring down artillery fire which would bring down counter battery fire and generally make life difficult.


    Infantry Weapons.
    Many different figures are given for range of these weapons. Generally it is more useful to know the effective range rather than the maximum range so that is given here.

    .303” Rifle No4 Mk1. This was a bolt action rifle with a ten round magazine loaded with five round clips. This rifle largely replaced the older Rifle No1 MkIII in 21 Army Group. Effective range was some 250 yards although the maximum range was many times that.
    .303” Rifle No1 MkIII. Some rear area troops were issued with the older weapon. Snipers often preferred this rifle as it had adjustable rear sights which could be set for range. The adjustable rear sight was deleted from the newer rifle since infantrymen no longer fired rifles over long ranges. In fact they hardly ever used aimed rifle fire at all.
    .303” Rifle No4 (T). This was Rifle No4 modified for use by snipers.
    Bayonet No4 MkII. This was a short, 20cm, spike bayonet introduced to fit Rifle No4 MkI. It could also be fitted to the end of the entrenching tool and used as a mine probe.
    .38” Revolver No2 MkI (Enfield) or MkIV (Webley) This was issued to officers, warrant officers and motorcyclists. The Webley replaced the Enfield from 1942 but both were still in use. The revolver cylinder carried six rounds. Effective range was 30yards.
    9mm Sten sub machine gun. This was issued in MkI or MkII forms for infantry units. Paratroops had a different version. This was issued to NCOs, drivers and others not needing a rifle. Stretcher bearers could carry one for self defence. A 32 round magazine was used and it could fire at the rate of 550 rounds a minute. Effective range was 100 yards.
    .303” Bren light machine gun. Again this was available as MkI or MkII. It was the standard section support weapon and was also issued to company and battalion headquarters for defence. Effective range was a useful 500 yards. It could fire single shots, or bursts at the rate of 650 rounds per minute. A curved 30 round magazine was used, although usually only 28 round were loaded.
    PIAT or Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank. This fired anti tank rockets to an effective range of 100 yards when used against armour. At that range it could penetrate most armour then in service. For use against bunkers etc the effective range was 300 yards. This was usually a one man weapon.
    2” mortar. The platoon weapon which could fire high explosive or smoke. This small mortar had a crew of two. The gunner carried the mortar and a Sten gun while the No2 carried ammunition and and a rifle. The practical range was 500 yards and 4 rounds a minute could be fired. It was most often used to lay smoke. A smoke bomb could give two minutes of smoke and depending on the wind could give an effective smoke screen 50 yards long.
    3” mortar. A very mobile weapon with a high rate of fire. The range could be varied from 100 yards to 2,500 yards and a sustained rate of 5 rounds per minute could be fired. The mortar came in three pieces, each a man load. The tube, the tripod and the baseplate.
    No36 grenade. This was the ‘traditional’ Mills Bomb. It was a fragmentation grenade which sent steel fragments in all directions when it exploded. It was fused by pulling out the safety pin and releasing the lever. The fuse was timed for four seconds.
    No 69 grenade. This was a high explosive grenade in a bakelite casing. The safety cap was removed and the grenade thrown. A weighted streamer unrolled as the grenade flew through the air and this primed the grenade which then exploded on impact.
    No 77 grenade. This was a smoke grenade similar in operation to the No 69 grenade.

    Wireless
    Wireless set No18 was a manpack short range set for communication between battalion headquarters and company headquarters. It was carried by on man and operated by another. It was often carried in a vehicle but could be readily dismounted. The set was carried in a case containing a receiver, a transmitter and a dry battery. The case had metal flaps and a canvas hood. An aerial up to 11 foot could be assembled from one foot lengths carried on the side of the case. Obviously an eleven foot aerial would be difficult to manage when moving on foot, and in general the shortest effective aerial was used since they attracted snipers.

    Range was
    With 11 foot rod aerial 10 miles using Morse 5 mile using voice
    With 6 foot aerial 4 to 10 miles using Morse 2 to 5 miles using voice
    With ground aerial 2 to 6 miles using Morse 1 to 3 miles using voice

    Wireless set No 38 was a manpack short range set for communication between company headquarters and platoons. It was also used for infantry to tank liaison. This was a small set carried on the chest of the operator. A dry battery was carried in a standard small haversack on the back. A throat microphone and earphones were provided. Controls on top of the set could easily be seen and used by the operator.

    Range was
    With 4 foot rod aerial half a mile, voice only
    With 12 foot rod aerial 2 miles, voice only

    Weight – complete set including batteries and accessories 22 lb.


    Markings.
    Infantry vehicles were not well marked when compared with some other units. All vehicles carried a divisional sign on the nearside front and rear and an arm of service sign on the offside front and rear.

    The arm of service sign carried the code number of the battalion. The arm of service sign was a 9” square which was coloured
    Red for the senior brigade
    Green for the second brigade
    Brown for the junior brigade.

    Numbers were
    Senior brigade
    Senior battalion 55
    Second battalion 56
    Junior battalion 57

    Second brigade
    Senior battalion 60
    Second battalion 61
    Junior battalion 62

    Junior brigade
    Senior battalion 67
    Second battalion 68
    Junior battalion 69

    Apart from the above markings vehicles carried white stars. On the top surface these were in a circle. If possible they were painted on the cab roof or bonnet. Carriers carried them on a removable metal plate or canvas disc over the spare wheel. Stars without circles were carried on the vehicle sides or cab doors.

    Some units marked vehicles with letters or words which identified them to orderlies etc. ‘Ammunition’, ‘Petrol’ and ‘LAD’ were often carried front and rear to identify these vehicles.

    Bridge plates were carried on the vehicle front offside and census numbers were carried on the sides or doors.



    INFANTRY BATTALION IN AN ARMOURED DIVISION.
    War Establishment II/233/2. APRIL 1943.
    War Establishment II/233/3. November 1944.

    Lorried Infantry battalions formed the infantry brigade of an armoured division. Initially they were organised and equipped as any other infantry battalion but were carried on long moves by their own RASC troop carrying platoon. Gradually the tactics of the lorried infantry battalion diverged as they worked more closely with the armoured regiments of the division. This in turn led to small but significant changes in the equipment. At battalion headquarters and company headquarters there were armoured 15cwts, either White 4 X 4 or halftracks. These gave some armoured protection but more important they gave greater cross country mobility so that the infantry headquarters could keep up with those of the armoured regiment and squadron with which they were working.

    The need to work closely with armoured units made it essential that infantry headquarters could communicate with armour headquarters. To do this the lorried infantry used a large number of Wireless sets No19 as used in the armoured regiments. The infantry company still used the Wireless set No38 for communication with platoons.

    Changes in vehicles and wireless sets meant that there had to be changes in the trades that infantry drivers and operators had in the lorried infantry battalion.

    Eventually many of the changes introduced in the lorried infantry influenced the standard infantry battalion which also had more armoured 15cwts and worked more closely with armour from the independent brigades.

    An infantry battalion in an armoured division was basically the same as that in the infantry division. However there were small but significant differences

    The infantry battalion of an armoured division was trained to co operate closely with the armoured regiments of the division. Originally close protection of the armour was the task of the motor battalion which was a part of the armoured brigade. The lorried infantry were needed largely to secure and hold the start line for attacks, and to occupy and hold ground captured by the armour. However, much closer working became the norm. New methods were developed and the mixed battle group of an armoured regiment and an infantry battalion plus a motor company, artillery, engineers and services became usual. Since the infantry would be working closely with the armour some of its command and communications vehicles and equipment were brought into line. This meant using armoured 15cwts, either White 4 X 4 or halftracks in command and signals roles, replacing bicycles with motorbikes and using Wireless set No19 for communications down to company level.

    The detail differences between the ‘normal’ infantry battalion and the lorried infantry battalion are listed as follows.

    Vehicles
    - The six bicycles of the intelligence section were replaced by motorcycles.
    - One 15cwt GS at battalion headquarters was replaced by an armoured 15cwt. Officially a White 4 X 4 but eventually a halftrack.
    - The battalion headquarters Universal carrier was replaced by a Humber scout car which gave the CO greater battlefield mobility.
    - One 15cwt GS from the signal platoon was replaced by an armoured 15cwt, either a White 4 X 4 or a halftrack.
    - The 15cwt GS at Support Company headquarters was replaced by an armoured 15cwt.
    - One armoured 15cwt was added to each company headquarters.
    - The three bicycles at company headquarters were replaced by one motorcycle.

    Later
    - One halftrack ambulance was provided for the Medical Officer
    - One halftrack was provided for the pioneer platoon.

    Personnel
    - One driver IC was added to each company headquarters to drive the armoured 15cwt.
    - The driver mechanic for the Universal carrier was replaced by a driver operator.
    - The signal platoon deleted 2 X driver IC, 3 X signaller orderlies and 13 X signaller. These were replaced by 18 X driver operator. These were trained in the use of the Wireless set No 19 which replaced the telephones and infantry Wireless sets No 18.

    Communications.
    Communication within the battalion was by No 19 set down to companies and the carrier platoon. This was the wireless set used by the armoured regiment so the infantry battalion headquarters could be netted in to it. Within companies the infantry Wireless set No38 was still used.

    The battalion was made mobile by attaching an RASC platoon which had
    1 X jeep
    2 X 15cwt
    21 X 3ton 4 X 4 Bedford QLT troop carriers.

    Infantry platoons still had a bicycle and there were brackets on the rear of the QLT to carry it.


    Total vehicles
    12 X bicycle
    36 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    11 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    23 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt office
    1 X 15cwt water
    10 X armoured 15cwt
    13 X 3ton 4 X 4
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 with winch
    12 X Loyd carrier
    18 X Universal carrier
    7 X Carrier 3” mortar
    1 X Humber Scout car
    6 X 10cwt trailer.

    Total personnel November 1944
    1 X Lieutenant colonel
    5 X Major
    10 X Captain
    18 X Subaltern
    1 X Quartermaster

    1 X Regimental Serjeant Major
    1 X Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant
    6 X Company Serjeant Major

    6 X company quartermaster serjeant
    1 X intelligence serjeant
    1 X orderly room serjeant clerk
    1 X provost serjeant
    1 X pioneer serjeant
    1 X medical serjeant
    1 X sniper serjeant
    1 X transport serjeant
    1 X serjeant technical storeman
    26 X serjeant

    69 X corporal
    674 X private

    Total 825

    This applied to all lorried infantry battalions except
    Guards battalions had two extra Warrant Officers for drill.

    The above organisation applied to the following

    32 Guards Brigade – Guards Armoured Division
    5 Coldstream Guards
    1 Welsh Guards
    3 Irish guards (to 2.45)
    2 Scots Guards ( 2.45)

    131 Brigade – 7 Armoured Division
    1/5 Queens
    1/6 Queens (to 12.44)
    1/7 Queens (to 12.44)
    2 Devonshire (12.44)
    9 Durham Light Infantry (12.44)

    159 Brigade – 11 Armoured Division
    4 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry
    3 Monmouthshire (to 4.45)
    1 Herefordshire
    1 Cheshire (4.45)

    Organisation
    The battalion headquarters of an infantry battalion in an armoured division was designed to allow the Commanding Officer to form a small command group which could be placed near the headquarters of an armoured regiment with which the battalion might be working. It was designed to be able to function on the move whereas the normal infantry battalion headquarters was static. The heart of the command group was the two armoured 15cwt trucks which might be White 4 X 4 or halftracks. One would have the situation map and be manned by the adjutant, intelligence officer and signal officer as available. The Commanding officer would be briefed here on the current situation. The second armoured 15cwt was the signal truck and could be used as a command vehicle with either of the operators or any headquarters officer being able to speak and listen on either of the two sets contained in a Wireless set No 19. Nearby there would also be a Royal Signals armoured 15cwt with a rear link set to brigade Headquarters. The Commanding Officer had the Humber 4 X 4 car as his transport for long journeys and for use as an office or sleeping vehicle. When away from the headquarters he could use the jeep or scout car as appropriate.

    The office truck, 15cwt GS and regimental police would normally form a separate headquarters group

    Battalion Headquarters

    15cwt GS truck
    Intelligence Officer, Regimental Serjeant Major, batman driver
    Carries Intelligence equipment
    15cwt GS truck
    medical serjeant, 2 X stretcher bearer, driver IC
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel
    Medical Officer, medical officer’s orderly driver
    This vehicle was fitted with side tents.
    15cwt office truck
    serjeant clerk, 2 X clerk, batman, driver IC

    Carrier, Universal
    driver mechanic
    Carries Bren lmg and ammunition.
    For the use of the Commanding Officer for reconnaissance and visiting

    Car 4 seater 4 X 4
    Lieutenant Colonel (Commanding Officer), Adjutant, batman, driver IC
    This vehicle used as Commanding Officers Office, Commanding Post and
    sleeping accommodation.
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep).
    Major second in command, batman driver

    Humber Scout car.
    driver operator
    Wireless set No 19

    15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured truck.
    driver IC, 2 X signaller
    Carried Wireless set No 19
    15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck
    Intelligence Officer, driver IC

    Motorcycle 1
    intelligence serjeant
    Motorcycle 2
    intelligence corporal
    Motorcycle 3
    intelligence private
    Motorcycle 4
    intelligence private
    Motorcycle 5
    intelligence private
    Motorcycle 6
    intelligence private
    Motorcycle 7
    intelligence private

    15cwt office truck.
    Adjutant, serjeant clerk, 2 X clerk, driver IC

    Motorcycle 8
    provost serjeant
    Motorcycle 9
    regimental policeman
    Motorcycle 10
    regimental policeman
    Motorcycle 11
    regimental policeman

    15cwt GS.
    Regimental Serjeant Major, batman driver
    15cwt armoured halftrack
    Medical Officer, medical orderly, driver batman.

    Not battalion headquarters vehicles but always to be found with those above were
    15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured truck (from the signals platoon)
    Signals Officer, 2 X driver operator
    15cwt Wireless House. (from the Royal Signals brigade section)
    This may have been an armoured 15cwt.



    Support Company
    Company headquarters
    Major
    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    6 X private

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Major, batman driver

    15cwt Armoured truck
    Company Serjeant Major, company quartermaster serjeant, clerk, 3 X private,
    driver IC

    Anti tank platoon
    Captain
    Subaltern
    4 X serjeant
    6 X corporal
    41 X private

    platoon headquarters
    Carrier, Universal
    Captain, driver mechanic

    Motorcycle
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle
    captains orderly

    15cwt truck GS
    platoon serjeant, storeman, driver batman.
    Carries stores and 6pdr ammunition
    15cwt truck GS
    2 X fitters REME, driver batman
    Carries fitters stores and 6pdr ammunition


    Section 1
    detachment 1 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly

    detachment 2 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Section 2
    detachment 1 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly


    detachment 2 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly

    Section 3
    detachment 1 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly

    detachment 2 Loyd carrier
    NCO, 3 X gun numbers, driver mechanic
    Carries 24 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in 4 boxes
    Tows 6pdr Anti tank gun
    Loyd carrier
    NCO, driver mechanic
    Carries 30 rounds of 6pdr ammunition in boxes plus gun shields and Bren gun

    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Officers were armed with pistols, motorcycle orderlies and batmen were armed with Sten guns and others with rifles.


    Mortar platoon.
    Subaltern
    4 X serjeant
    5 X corporal
    32 X private

    platoon headquarters
    Carrier, Universal
    Subaltern, fitter REME, rangetaker, driver mechanic
    Carried Wireless set 19 and Wireless set 38.

    Motorcycle
    serjeant
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    15cwt
    corporal, batman, driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)
    15cwt
    corporal, private, driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)
    15cwt
    corporal, private, driver
    Carries 72 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries 2 X Wireless set No 38 (spare)

    3ton lorry GS (from headquarters company)
    driver
    Carries 324 rounds of 3” mortar ammunition.


    Section 1 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 2 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 3 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 4 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 5 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38
    Section 6 Carrier, Universal 3” Mortar
    NCO, 3 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries 3” mortar and 66 round of 3” mortar ammunition
    Carries Wireless set No38


    Carrier platoon
    Captain
    Subaltern
    5 X serjeant
    9 X corporal
    46 X private

    platoon headquarters
    Carrier, Universal
    Captain, batman, signaller, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No19 and Wireless set no 38.

    15cwt truck
    Subaltern, driver batman, storeman
    Carries ammunition, blankets and greatcoats
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    15cwt truck
    fitter REME, driver
    Carries stores

    Motorcycle
    platoon serjeant
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Motorcycle
    orderly
    Officers carry evolvers, batmen and motorcyclists carry a Sten gun, others carry rifles.

    section 1 Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a PIAT

    section 2 Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a PIAT

    section 3 Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a PIAT

    section 4 Motorcycle
    orderly

    Carrier, Universal
    serjeant, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No 38
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carrier, Universal
    corporal, 2 X private, driver mechanic
    Carries a PIAT

    Each carrier carries 3 x rifle, 1 X Sten gun, 1 X Bren gun

    Pioneer platoon
    Subaltern
    pioneer serjeant
    2 X corporal
    bricklayer
    6 X carpenter and joiner
    mason
    batman driver
    3 X driver IC
    8 X pioneer

    platoon headquarters
    Motorcycle
    pioneer serjeant

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Subaltern, driver batman
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    assault section 1
    Motorcycle
    corporal
    Motorcycle
    pioneer

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    2 X pioneer, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    assault section 2
    Motorcycle
    corporal
    Motorcycle
    pioneer

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep)
    2 X pioneer, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    tradesmans section
    15cwt halftrack.
    bricklayer, 6 X carpenter and joiner, mason, driver IC


    Rifle company.
    The company commander has an armoured 15cwt so that he can place his headquarters near to that of the armoured squadron with which he might be working. The platoons travel in 3ton troop carrying lorries but debus from them well before reaching any fighting. The platoons fight as normal infantry once they have arrived.

    Major, company commander
    Captain, second in command
    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    corporal clerk
    driver mechanic
    2 X batman driver
    3 X driver IC
    3 X orderly
    1 X storeman
    2 X sniper until November 1944 when they went to battalion headquarters

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Major, batman driver

    Carrier, Universal
    Captain, company serjeant major, driver mechanic
    Carried wireless set No 19 and could carry a Wireless set No 38

    15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck
    driver IC plus driver operators from the signals platoon.
    Carried a Wireless set No19

    15cwt GS truck 1
    company quartermaster serjeant, corporal clerk, batman driver
    15cwt GS truck 2
    orderly, storeman, driver IC
    15cwt GS truck 3
    2 X orderly, driver IC

    3ton 4 X 4 QLT troop carrier (from RASC troop carrier platoon)
    driver IC RASC
    Carried company headquarters personnel who did not have a place elsewhere.

    The three 15cwt also carried baggage, ammunition and stores plus three PIAT and one Bren gun.


    Rifle platoon.
    3ton 4 X 4 QLT troop carrier (from RASC troop carrier platoon)
    driver IC RASC
    Carried the entire platoon of 36 men plus the officer
    Carried a bicycle on the rear.


    Tactics
    The tactics of the Lorried Infantry Battalion were much as for the normal infantry battalion. However since the Lorried Infantry Battalion operated closely with the armoured regiments in an armoured division they were often required to mount attacks at short notice. When they were part of a mixed column it was often the task of the infantry carriers to protect the flanks of the armoured squadrons and the Lorried Infantry were expected to debus in order to clear away obstacles, defended roadblocks, anti tank guns and even infantrymen with hand held anti tank rocket launchers.

    It became common practise for a lorried infantry battalion to work with a particular armoured regiment and they came to understand each other well. It was still necessary to plan operations with all the care of the normal infantry assault. The Commanding Officers of both the lorried infantry battalion and the armoured regiment would spend much time together discussing and planning, as would their subordinate company and squadron commanders.

    The armoured regiment would provide a Liaison Officer in a scout car with a wireless set to enable close cooperation both before and during an action.

    At lower levels much time would be needed to
    - ensure that the most junior officers met their opposite numbers and understood each others capabilities and limitations.
    - net the infantry wireless sets to the tanks Wireless set No48.
    - ensure that the infantry recognised ‘their’ tanks and understood the call signs painted on them.
    - agree a system of signals in case the wireless net failed, which was not unusual. Many tanks eventually had a telephone box on the rear so that the infantry commander could talk to the tank commander. This required the infantry man to stand up and converse calmly on a fire swept battlefield. Most preferred to establish a system of hand signals, Very flare signals or coloured smoke from mortars or grenades.

    A well planned attack could take 48 hours of planning at regiment/battalion level even when the plans had been finalised at division and brigade level. The assault at short notice would take place within this larger plan.

    Markings.
    Lorried infantry were not usually colourfully marked. The infantry brigade was the second brigade and carried the appropriate green arm of service square. Numbers, in white, were painted on the green square
    - brigade headquarters carried the number 60 in white on the green square
    - the senior battalion carried the number 61 in white on the green square
    - the second battalion carried the number 62 in white on the green square
    - the junior battalion carried the number 63 in white on the green square


    The Bedford QLT of the troop carrying company carried a combined arm of service marking which had the infantry battalion square carried over the RASC red/green square carrying the number 82 in white.

    All vehicles normally carried white recognition stars. Trucks and lorries carried a star in a circle on the cab roof or bonnet as an air recognition sign. Carriers lacked a suitable surface and so usually had the star painted on a metal or canvas disc and this was displayed where space allowed. On top of the spare wheel in front of the drivers position was popular. White stars were also usually carried on cab doors or body sides.

    The following shows the markings carried by individual battalions at the beginning of the campaign. When battalions were relieved and replaced in the brigade it might mean altering the numbers to reflect any changes in seniority. Most regiments, or at least their Commanding Officers, would be particular about this since the order of seniority was important to tradition and morale.

    32 Guards Brigade – Guards Armoured Division
    5 Coldstream Guards 61 on green square
    1 Welsh Guards 62 on green square
    3 Irish guards 63 on green square

    131 Brigade – 7 Armoured Division
    1/5 Queens 61 on green square
    1/6 Queens 62 on green square
    1/7 Queens 63 on green square

    159 Brigade – 11 Armoured Division
    4 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry 61 on green square
    3 Monmouthshire 62 on green square
    1 Herefordshire 63 on green square
     
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