RA markings

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Smudge, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Smudge

    Smudge Member

  2. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member


    Its a Tac Sign used to denote the position of a vehicle/sub section in a Regt/Battery. It's a bit confusiong becuase I haev L2 listed as a Light aid Detachment Tac Sign.

    Perhaps someone on here can give a bit more detail.

  3. 26delta

    26delta Senior Member

    I'm even more confused. Are you saying the TAC sign is a number relative to a position on the TO&E? If that's the case, why would three separate batteries all use the same TAC? Additionally, what's the base for the TO&E?
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This pic ?
    Object description
    An Archer 17-pdr self-propelled gun drives off a raft after being ferried across flooded countryside near Kranenburg in Germany, 23 February 1945.
    Creator: Midgley, A. N. (Sergeant), No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Catalogue number: B 14817
  5. 26delta

    26delta Senior Member

    The reason I'm asking about TAC signs is that I'm trying to determine the shoulder insignia for what used to be 63 Battery, 9th Heavy (Coast) Rgt, RNZA. There's no record due to classified documents being destroyed at the close of WW2. My understanding is that the units used their TAC sign as shoulder insignia. This brings me back to my original question. 161 Bty is the number 44 on a red-over-blue square with a green undertab, 162 Bty is the same, except the undertab is yellow and 163 Bty uses a blue undertab. These TAC signs applied in Korea and in Vietnam. So, which command applies?
  6. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    WW2 RA Tac signs refer to the Regiment .
    Btys use separate letters or No's to the side or underneath the Regimental Tac Sign to distinguish them.
  7. Smudge

    Smudge Member

    Hi all

    Owen; yup thats the one. Blue background, red square top left quarter, white letters L2. Whats that mean...if you look at the RA39-45 site they don't even mention the prefix L.

    Rob; is there a list of thsee numbers?


  8. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Rob; is there a list of thsee numbers?

    In short NO!
    There is nothing at the RA Museum Woolwich or the IWM, there may be a defined list somewhere at the NA Kew, but no one has come up with one to my knowledge,(there's a job for someone).
    Derek's RA 39-45 Site is what most people use as you have and some of the 1940 chaps on here are compiling a list of early war Tac's, but these changed a lot, later between Dunkirk and D-Day.
    It's always been a bugbear you just have to scratch about till you find somthing, although the Cdn Arty sites have it off pat regards Tac's for their Regt's.
  9. Smudge

    Smudge Member

    Cheers Rob

    Have you a URL for any of the Canadian sites...the answer may be there the photo is of a Canadian Archer?


  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Need someone to look in this book.
    Canadian Vehicle Markings Volume 2 :
    Untitled Document


    Canadian Vehicle Markings Volume 2: This smaller volume unravels the complex markings used by the Artillery to designate where vehicles and guns belonged. Field artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft markings are covered. Additionally each and every unit has its equipments shown as well as unit and formation markings. The brigades in Germany and Korea are also covered, with the Honest John Surface-to-Surface Missile Battery given special coverage. To round this volume out I have added four pages of coloured drawings clearly illustrating typical markings from carriers to Sextons. The last quarter of the book covers artillery war establishments illustrating exactly how many vehicles were in each unit and where they were located. These black and white vehicle profile drawings are extremely useful to modellers who demand accuaracy in their work. Units covered include: WW2- all field artillery/self propelled artillery/light and heavy anti-aircraft artillery/anti-tank artillery and medium artillery regiments. 1953- field/SP/medium/light anti-aircraft regiments. 1958- the five-battery field regiment and 1962- the surface-to-surface missile battery detailing every vehicle and its markings in colour. Pages have increased from 39 single-sided to 58 two-sided over the old volume. Press cover for sample pages

    Attached Files:

  11. Smudge

    Smudge Member

    Thanks Owen

  12. greenbaron

    greenbaron Member

    Hope I can share some insight into "L2 mystery"...

    At the end of war typical RA or RHA Field regiment structure consisted of three gun batteries, each with 2 troops consisting of four guns with ammo trailers and quads. In SP, there were four SP guns within every troop.
    Batteries were (usually) numbered (1st, 2nd and 3rd) and their tacsign was red quadrant on blue square "travelling" from upper right (1st battery) clockwise to lower left (3rd battery) quadrant.
    Troops were lettered and every troop within the regiment structure had its own unique letter starting with A, B (within 1st battery), C, D (within 2nd battery) and E, F (within 3rd battery).
    There were even guns with their ammo trailers and quads numbered or lettered (why make it simple, right?) and certain exceptions can be found in marking of different arty regiments.

    Antitank regiments had their structure a bit different. That is the case of Archer in question.
    Typical RA or RHA Antitank Regiment consisted of four gun batteries, each with three troops consisting of four guns. It must be mentioned not all of them were SP guns - there were towed guns too.
    That means there were
    1st battery (red upper right qudrant) with A, B and C (lettered) troops each with four (numbered) guns,
    2nd battery (red lower right quadrant) with D, E and F (lettered) troops each with four (numbered) guns,
    3rd battery (red lower left quadrant) with G, H and I (lettered) troops each with four (numbered) guns and
    4th battery (red upper left quadrant) with J, K and L (lettered) troops each with four (numbered) guns.

    That means that Archer sporting white L2 on blue square with red upper left quadrant is 2nd SPG of L troop of 4th battery within ATK regiment.

    When speaking about shoulder patches of arty crews it must be said that they shared formation sign of upper unit they were attached to - I mean of brigade (at least) or division or even upper level. They sported arty cap badge, brigade or division shoulder patch and below that two coloured stripe (red and blue) of arty traditional colours on the sleeves.
    Tac signs were not used as shoulder patches at all during that period, I believe .

    The question 26delta asks deals with pretty postwar period but I believe upper formation should be learned and its shoulder patch will be the answer, too...
  13. Chris C likes this.

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