Royal Marines Armoured Support Regiment (2RMAS) Juno, D-Day

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by 0xonian, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. We do know the LTINs for H Tp. They were 2015 for the Right Section (two Centaurs) and 2016 for the Left Section (two Centaurs and one Sherman = 'HUSSAR', which "was hit twice by enemy arty - possibly 88 mm - and all members of the crew wounded" on or near the beach shortly after landing at 0730 on D Day). See: Artillery FOOs embedded with the Infantry on D-Day. However, we do not know whether 'HUNTER' was part of LTIN 2015 or 2016. They were planned to land respectively about 550 and 450 yards West of the JIG GREEN/JIG RED boundary.

    All RMASG Centaurs and Shermans were fitted with deep wading equipment, just like all other AFVs during Operation NEPTUNE. If they do not appear on photos, it simply means the photo was shot after they had already jettisoned it.

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  2. Sotonian

    Sotonian Member

    Thank you Michel. Most useful. I didn't really want a KO'd Sherman: maybe a re-think......................! Although a diorama perhaps beckons with a Centaur covering the Sherman crew abandoning their striken tank.

    Without doubting you in any way, is there conclusive evidence for all Centaurs actually being wading-equipped as distinct from what should have happened? It is opined by some, with some logic, that the late change of role did not allow all 80 Centaurs to be adapted for wading or repainted in time. Re-mobilising them took priority.

    In modelling circles there is also continuing controversy about Centaur colours. Brown SCC2 or Olive Drab SCC15 - or some of each. The very few period colour photos don't help as they appear different on different screens and in different file formats and definitions. Assegai, for example, has been held to be both green and brown. Wading-equipped tanks should have been repainted in SCC15, as Assegai appears to have been. All were undoubtedly factory finished in SCC2 Brown, and many people model them thus. And it was mandated that all tanks deployed for D Day were to be finished in US or UK OD: no brown.

    Does anyone have any insight on colour?
     
  3. Since we do not have photos of each and every D Day Centaur on their LCT or right before or after, I cannot prove that they were all equipped with wading equipment. However, all such existing photos show the deep wading trunks, and again, all fully tracked vehs in Operation NEPTUNE were so equipped, so I think the charge of the proof lies with the "non-wading" side.
    Photograpic evidence aside, no Embarkation Staff Officer worth his salt would ever have dreamt to let any vehicle without its wading gear aboard a landing craft or ship, especially those planned to be the very first to land in the assault. And where would the logic be in finally deciding to land the Centaurs only to see them drown on landing? Here's real logic for you, not idle speculation! ;)

    Controversies about vehicle colours are indeed a favourite pastime in some modelling circles, and usually end up turning in... circles. I do not believe that "Wading-equipped tanks should have been repainted in SCC15", because they were not, and because I do not see why waterproofing a vehicle must imply its being repainted. There are examples of "green" tanks fitted with "brown" wading trunks , and many other examples of, say, D Day British Sherman tanks retaining their original colour as painted back in the US.

    For the same reasons, I also doubt that "it was mandated that all tanks deployed for D Day were to be finished in US or UK OD: no brown." Do you have any evidence for this rather bold statement?

    Back to 'ASSEGAI' and 'ACHILLES', all the various versions of the colour photos do appear to show brown rather than olive drab. You can try and play with the colours to your content, I do not think you will be able to make the colour of the tank anything near olive drab while keeping the red in the red-white-red recognition sign red (I did try, and never succeeded :D).

    For comparison, hera's 'ASSEGAI' in Brown (with some of its wading elements possibly another colour) and an M10 in Olive Drab shot at the same time and location:
    RMASG 1 Bty Centaur IV CS - ASSEGAI T.185096 - Colour e010750628-v8 - MIKAN 4233764 - ASSEGAI.jpg
    RMASG 1 Bty Centaur IV CS - ASSEGAI T.185096 - M10 Colour - e010750631-v8 - MIKAN 4233767.jpg

    Michel
     
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  4. Sotonian

    Sotonian Member

    Thanks again. I've seen that colour comparison before elsewhere and is just about the only period colour comparison we have - notwithstanding the overly blue tint.

    The 2 vehicles pictured will be completely different colours regardless of Assegai's colour as SCC15 was a greener and somewhat darker colour than the US OD which the M10 sports. Both countries lacked access to chrome green pigments so OD was mostly yellow ochre and lamp black whereas SCC15 was mostly yellow ochre and prussian or other blue. SCC15 was frequently referred to unofficially as "dark green", and in Italy was officially called "dark green".

    To my eye on my screen, Assegai is in SCC15, liberally covered with the sealant necessary on the riveted dry-jointed Centaurs. There is very little difference between the colour of the turret front face and the wading box above, and the latter is definitely green (although overly blue like the rest of the 2 photos). SCC2 was a sort of milk chocolate shade, which Assegai is not - even allowing for the blue shift. At least not to my eyes, with or without specs. Vehicles painted in SCC2 and black camo appear to show a greater contrast than we see here between the base colour and the black sealant.

    As for instructions, ACI 533 promulgates the change to SCC15 2 months before D Day. Mike Starmer, whose opinion on British colours is pretty much gospel, does however note that "a few tanks of smaller units remained brown during the invasion period" and concludes that SCC15 was prioritised for front-line units. "Smaller units" could of course include RMASG.

    So I guess there are no firm conclusions as to colour but the wadeproofing does appear to be watertight (pardon the pun). As you say, this could go round in circles for a while without any conclusion so perhaps we had better stop here ....................

    Thank you for your insight, Michel and apologies to all for hijacking the thread temporarily on a technical diversion.
     
  5. Thanks for these precisions. I am well aware of the existence of ACI 533, but I had always understood it as an authorisation to use the new colours, not an obligation, at least until repainting was due or necessary.

    In the case of 'ASSEGAI' I think we might be able to break away from the usual vicious circle of conflicting interpretations of shades and tones, at least if we trust the memory of a veteran, which is not always the correct thing to do :D!

    See this post, as well as the one which follows it, where I posted the photo above plus yet another version of it, after tweaking the light and contrast parameters.

    In this other post by yours truly, one can see two AVsRE, both in Green colour, but the first one (call sign 1D) fitted with Brown wading stacks. 'ASSEGAI' seems to be just the opposite.

    Finally, as for me I definitely will not accept your apologies, because there is not reason to apologize. Your post was clearly on topic, and even if it had not been, wayward digressions from the main topic are one of the great features of this forum and usually lead to brand new discoveries about other topics treated elsewhere in the forum (or not!).

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Michel,

    I thought this extract from the war diary of 34 Tank Troops Workshop REME might be of interest (WO171/2858):

    28 May 1944 Hordswell Camp, Corsham, Wilts.
    Unit moved to Hordswell [??] Camp, Corsham, III/298905 from Bowden Hall, Lacock III/380887.
    No. 2 Det rejoined unit from Concentration Area. Repair to tks for RM Assault Group now completed. 1st Regt, 2nd Regt & 5 Ind. Batty complete (100 tks – 80 Centaurs + 20 Sherman Comd), together with all special modifications.

    The latter phrase indicating, I assume, that all vehicles had been waterproofed.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  7. Sotonian

    Sotonian Member

    Thank you both. As I'm doing the Sherman in the OD finish it would have retained (with wading stacks in SCC15) I think I will take the risk of finishing the Centaur in SCC2 but also with SCC15 wading mods. While we can't definitively say it is correct, it seems we can't definitively say it is incorrect either. And I think we here probably now know more about RMASG than most others.
     
  8. Sotonian

    Sotonian Member

    Hello again.

    There is a list of known names and census numbers of RMASR tanks earlier in this post. It is a short list. Do I presume that those are the only known ones? My original plan to model H Troop vehicles has been somewhat stymied by their Sherman and Left Section Centaurs all being knocked out on the beach within minutes of landing.

    I was thinking of switching to G Troop, who enjoyed more success. I notice that most of the known tank names were those of major warships of the period: destroyers and larger. From a start point of over 230 "G" RN warship names, the number in commission in the period comes down to 19 and the number of likely-sounding names comes down to 7: Gallant, Gurkha, Gladiator, Glorious, Greyhound, Griffin and Glory. Glory and Glorious are probably mutually exclusive as they are too similar/confusing, making 6.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? I suppose that if we don't know what is correct we also don't know what is incorrect.
     
  9. Hello. I'm a newbie here, researching my Uncles history in the war. He never talked about it, his family knew nothing. My uncle was in the first wave I think, and was awarded the MM. See the attached recommendation. Has anyone come across more info on this engagement? I am slowly working thorough the internet. It seems the regiment war diary hasnt been digitised yet. As soon as the archives are open I will be ordering a copy.
    Any info would be appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    You might want to see these shot the next day June 7th. One of the Centaurs is said to have been mined on June 6th

    SCENES IN THE NORMANDY BEACH-HEAD D+1, D+2 (PART 3) [Allocated Title]


    SCENES IN THE NORMANDY BEACH-HEAD D+1, D+2 (PART 7) [Allocated Title]
     
  11. Hello. I am getting more confused about what my Uncle was doing and where. I have no direct info of him other than the medal citation above. From what I can glean -
    • Berniers Sur Mer was captured before 10am on the 8th, so why does his escapade at 8pm help in the capture of the town?
    • The citation says his tank was supporting 48 Commando who didnt land at Berniers but at St Aubin and whats more turned away from Berniers in their attack.
    • Does this mean his escapade was elsewhere, and misallocated?
    • Does this mean he was in Z Troop, who were the only troop to be allocated to support the Canadians AND 48 Commando?
    My mother, her brother, claims he was not wounded, but taken back to Britain after around 3 days to recuperate in a Camp in Scotland.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  12. Also, does anyone know what cap colour and cap badge he would have, and any idea of his uniform? Google doesnt help.. This is the only uniformed picture we have .
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    Perhaps I misread the citation but it seems to say 6th June not 8th. There may have been an error in the citation. It would not be the only one. The action in which the RMASG played an important part was at Lagrune sur Mer to clear the German strongpoint known as WN26. This action took place in the evening of D Day and was in support of No 48 RM Commando. There is a memorial on the sea front.
     
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  14. Thank you!
     
  15. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi,
    The colour of the cap is khaki.

    The badge is either brass or bronze. A black plastic cap badge was also issued from 1943.

    A straight “Royal Marines” title would be worn on the shoulder.

    The blue beret was worn by Marines who were not in Commando units from 1943.

    Attached are a couple of composite photos showing the basic insignia.

    Regards

    Danny
    1  Shoulder  Title  BD.jpg 2  beret badges  R.jpg
     
  16. As Sheldrake said, if the time and date in the citation are correct (i.e. around 2000 hrs on 6 June), then the location given (Bernières) is probably wrong, and is most likely Langrune instead.

    Z Troop was indeed the only troop planned to support 48 Commando, but in the event the three leftmost troops (X, Y and Z Tps) of 4 Bty 2 RM Armd Sp Regt supported them in the evening of 6 Jun and on 7 Jun, so your uncle might have belonged to any one of these three troops.

    Michel
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  17. Much appreciated!
     
  18. I seem to agree, I think. Much appreciated.
     
  19. HGJohn

    HGJohn New Member

     

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