Mapping of British Troop Movements & War Diaries in North West Europe. Interested?

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Quis Separabit, Jun 3, 2022.

  1. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Are you interested in seeing an interactive day by day account of British troop movements in Normandy after D-Day?

    Would you be interested in seeing how each unit was positioned in relation to other Allied and Axis troops?

    Would you like to see your favourite British unit mapped on a day by day basis alongside the relevant War Diary for each day?


    Having mapped and transcribed War Diaries for the vast majority of Canadian units across North West Europe, Project '44 have now mapped 12 British units and linked to their War Diaries - see list below - and are now offering sponsors and/or volunteers the opportunity to help map and transcribe War Diaries for other British units to ensure the British forces are fully represented and commemorated.

    I have spent the past few months helping to map and transcribe details for the 9th British Infantry Brigade (part of 3rd British Infantry Division) during the Normandy Campaign and another contributor has helped to map and transcribe the entire British 15th Infantry Division for the duration of the North West Europe campaign but they are now looking for other enthusiasts who would like to see their favoured unit represented so they can fill in the gaps.

    As well as mapping units and linking to the relvant War Diary entry for any given day, the Project '44 website also provides:
    • overlay of current satellite imagery
    • overlay of GSGS Map from the period
    • overlay of aerial photographs from the period
    • the opportunity to add relevant geo-located images
    that helps to give a more interactive feel for the environment and circumstances of the campaign. Once mapped, all sorts of other effects are possible, such as Time Lapse imagery of the Battle of Normandy...

    If you would like to see your favourite unit mapped and transcribed, whether at Battalion, Brigade or Divisional level, then PM more for further details of what is involved to make it happen!

    Quis Separabit

    Satellite Imagery Overlay

    GSGS Map Overlay

    1940s Aerial Photograph Overlay



    9th British Infantry Brigade - Normandy Campaign ✔
    • 2nd Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles
    • 1st Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers
    • 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment

    BRITISH 15TH INFANTRY DIVISION - Entire North West Europe Campaign

    44th Lowland Brigade

    • 8th Bn, The Royal Scots
    • 6th Bn, The Royal Scots Fusiliers
    • 6th Bn, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers

    46th (Highland) Brigade

    • 9th Bn, The Cameronians
    • 2nd Bn, The Glasgow Highlanders
    • 7th Bn, The Seaforth Highlanders

    227th (Highland) Brigade

    • 10th Bn, The Highland Light Infantry
    • 2nd Bn, The Gordon Highlanders
    • 2nd Bn, The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
  2. Lee1983

    Lee1983 Well-Known Member

    Hi, I would be interested in your help with my grandfathers regiments movements during ww2.

  3. Nick the Noodle

    Nick the Noodle Active Member

    Yes :).
  4. Lee1983

    Lee1983 Well-Known Member

    If you start a conversation with me, I can provide more information
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Your Grandad was in Italy.
    This thread is about Normandy.
  6. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Hi Lee
    The Project '44 team are currently focussing on Normandy and North West Europe although they have already done a lot of work on mapping Canadian units in the Italian campaign over the past few years.
    Which unit was your Grandad in and where did he serve?
    I can then check whether this fits in with anything else they are planning in the future.
    Quis Separabit
  7. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Can you confirm which unit or units you are interested so that any units of interest can be collated and ideally grouped together for a combined brigade/division level project.


    Quis Separabit
  8. Lee1983

    Lee1983 Well-Known Member



  9. Nick the Noodle

    Nick the Noodle Active Member

    It's just a general interest, nothing specific.
  10. Bala

    Bala Member

    I am very interested in your project, very worth while.

    Will you be covering 49 Infantry Division - The Div that followed 50 Inf Div. I am interested in the Hallamshire Bn in 146 Inf Bde. My father was Adjutant, until a bullet hit his spine and ended his army career.

    I am not sure how to attach anything. I have produced a map of the locations of 49 Div units in Norfolk prior to D-Day and in the concentration area after landing in Normandy. I have other 49 Div data that may be of interest.

    EA  Dispositions 1.jpg Concentration area, Normandy.JPG
  11. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Hi Bala / Lee1983

    Thanks for your feedback, the Project44 guys are currently considering their next phase projects and, having mapped all of the Canadian units, I know they are keen to start filling the "gaps" with the British units.

    By way of background information, to get a project going they will need the "sponsor" to:
    • hold/obtain digital copies of the relevant War Diary "Summary of Events and Information" pages
    • the War Diaries will then need to be scanned to obtain an initial digital transcription of the content using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software (e.g. Google OCR - assistance can be provided where necessary)
    • the War Diary will then be used to try and identify where a unit was at the end of each day (using place name or co-ordinates) so that can be plotted on their mapping software
    • meanwhile the "sponsor" will be asked to proof the digital transcription against the original copy to ensure is as accurate as possible
    • at the same time suitable images can be identified for appropriate location specific imagery to be geo-tagged on the map
    • over a period of months status updates can be held (via email and/or online video calls as required) to monitor progress
    • the finished product will then be made available on a Test Server for final review before being promoted LIve and updated alongside the other units that have already been mapped....
    In my own case for 9th British Infantry Brigade, I already had the War Diaries for a couple of the units and obtained missing ones from Drew5233 on this forum who has a vast collection and/or can potentially obtain a copy on one of his trips to the National Archive.

    I then subscribed to their site which also gives access to a wide range of other patron only benefits (they are enthusiasts doing this alongside their day jobs and a relatively small monthly subscription goes towards their hosting/running costs etc).

    6 months later and the British 9th Infantry Brigade units (2 RUR; 1 KOSB; 2 Lincs and Brigade Headquarters) has now been mapped for the Normandy Campaign for posterity and the remainder of the campaign to the end of the war will be mapped over the coming months.

    The exercise has also helped me to become a lot more familiar with where my Dad's units were located (2 RUR - attached to Brigade HQ) as well as an appreciation of the geography and their position and actions alongside and amongst other Allied and Axis units.

    The mapping project does require a significant level of time, effort and resource to complete and so does require a degree of commitment from the "sponsor" but as someone who has been through the process I am very pleased with the outcome and look forward to completing the 9th British Infantry Brigade movements through to the end of the war in Bremen.

    Assuming this is still of interest (and I haven't scared you off!) then let me know and I will pass details on to the Project44 guys so you can proceed from there.


    Quis Separabit
  12. Bala

    Bala Member

    I am an 84 year old pensioner and wonder about the cost of gathering the data. How many war diaries will need to be purchased?
    146 Brigade had three Battalions - The Hallamshire Bn, 4 Bn Lincolnshire Regt., 1/4 KOYLI.
    There were three Brigades in 49 Division (146. 147. & 70 until replaced by 56 Brigade)
    Does the mapping project only cover the battles in France?
  13. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    Hi Bala (and anyone else with an interest)

    As you will appreciate there are potentially hundreds of units that can be mapped for an extended period of time.

    In order to eat the elephant one chunk at a time the team's current focus is planned to be on the British Second Army in Normandy (i.e. 3 months from June to August) with subsequent NE Europe campaign periods to follow after that.

    The British Second Army alone comprises more than a dozen Divisions and more than 150 units so they have a big elephant to devour!

    This is why they require assistance from "Sponsors" who can help to do the groundwork and provide details that can then be mapped on to their system.

    In terms of the War Diaries themselves, the hope is that there are enthusiasts/sponsors out there who already have copies of the relevant unit's War Diary who generally speaking will have obtained them themeselves from the National Archives or from those that offer a copying service including Drew5233 on this forum amongst others. The going rate seems to be about 10p per page if it has already been copied and purely as a guesstimate 3 months for June-August would probably be 50-60 pages i.e. £5-£6 per unit (or the price of a London pint!).

    The Project44 Team have previously completed Canadian units movements and are now in the process of prioritising and planning the roll out of British Second Army units but priority will most likely go to anyone who can commit to providing details and assisting with the groundwork for mapping a particular Division or Corps and in particular:
    • British 3rd Infantry Division (mapping & transcription complete for 9 Brigade)
    • 6th Airborne Division
    • 15th Scottish Division (mapping & transcription complete)
    • 49th (West Riding) Division
    • 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division
    • 51st (Highland) Division
    • 53rd (Welsh) Division
    • 129th Infantry Brigade
    • 59th (Staffordshire) Division
    • Guards Armoured Division
    • 7th Armoured Division
    • 11th Armoured Division
    • 79th Armoured Division
    As above, if anyone is interested in helping the Project44 team to bring this to fruition, whether by providing War Diaries and/or helping with transcribing and/or proofing transcriptions to help fill in the blanks on the British front then any feedback welcome.

    I can confirm that from my own involvement to date it is a very fulfilling and rewarding project to see come to fruition........

    Quis Separabit

  14. Pember

    Pember Junior Member

    Looking ahead to the next chapter, beyond the breakout from Normandy, thought you might be interested in this map of the movements of 155th Infantry Brigade, 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division, evidently produced by the division at the end of the war...

    Attached Files:

    L. Allen, Chris C and Quis Separabit like this.
  15. Shazbaz

    Shazbaz Member

    I can't help with this project as what I know would fit on the back of a stamp but I think it's a fantastic project
  16. Quis Separabit

    Quis Separabit Junior Member

    August 2023 Update
    8th British Infantry Brigade units have now also been added to the mapping for Normandy during June-August 1944 including trancription of War Diary for:
    • 8 Infantry Brigade Head Quarters
    • 1 South Lancashire Regiment
    • 1 Suffolk Regiment
    • 2 East Yorkshire Regiment
    Plenty more units to be mapped and War Diaries transcribed for anyone interested in assisting, ideally before the 80th Anniversay....

    Project '44


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