'marching parties'

Discussion in 'General' started by Tracy Harris, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Tracy Harris

    Tracy Harris Member

    Possibly - probably - a silly question, as it doesn't seem to have been asked before, and the magic of google brings up nothing, but what were the 'marching parties' so often referred to in D-Day Landing Tables, for various elements of service? Was a 'marching party' a standard number of men? Does it just mean that they had to travel on Shanks's Pony?
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen 'marching party' specifically, but I've noticed that war diarists seemed to like to use the term 'party' for any grouping of men. The group size could be hundreds or just a handful. When an artillery regiment made a long-distance move it was split into the 'road party' with the vehicles while the bulk of personnel travelled by train and made up the 'rail party'. There are frequent mentions of the 'OP party' and the 'FOO party'. All of these groups could vary in number, 'party' was just a convenient way of referring to them.

    My guess would be that a 'marching party' was the portion of personnel from a unit or sub-unit that has been assigned to move by foot rather than being carried in or on any sort of vehicle.
  4. Tracy Harris

    Tracy Harris Member

  5. Tracy Harris

    Tracy Harris Member

  6. Tracy Harris

    Tracy Harris Member

    That's what I was figuring. I was trying to work out how many men on board an LST e.g. 15 marching parties of IWT engineers and 9 marching parties of Pioneers but hard to be accurate - I guess these men were pretty much 'dogsbodies'.
  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    I think that most units had insufficient transport to carry all their personnel, so were split into Vehicle and Marching parties for movement. For movement by sea to Normandy, for example, the vehicle party would go by one or more ship/craft suitable for carrying vehicles (eg an LST) whilst the marching party would go by a personnel carrier (eg an LSI). On the far shore, the different parties would concentrate in an assembly area and shake down into their operational organisation.



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