SAS Ops

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by Stevin, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Stevin

    Stevin Member

    I wonder if there is anyone online here who has access to or has knowledge on SAS ops (war diaries, reports, etc.). I am looking into Operations Fabian, Gobbo and especially Keystone.

    I did find files at the NA-site but I won't be going there anytime soon....

    Thanks,

    Stevin
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Steve,

    If they are Africa based I'm sure Kuno will be able to help you amongst others on here.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  3. Stevin

    Stevin Member

    Sorry, The Ops were conducted in Holland in 1944-45. I am especially interested in Keystone. 43 men should have been dropped, but only 17 actually were. I think this happened on 3/4 April 1945. Lasted till 18 April when they joined Archway.

    Resupply missions on the 14th were mostly unsuccessful due to weather. This, plus the fact that the Canadians were now liberating this part of Holland, made them join Op. Archway. They also suffered fatalities (I think three).

    I am looking for docs that show what the ops entailed and what was reported afterwards. Especially looking for reports on their actions.

    Am also looking into the Special Duty (RAF) flights that brought them to Holland and did the resupply flights. Have some info on that as well, but very scant.
     
  4. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi,
    Stevin have`nt got any really detailed stuff but I`ll list a few SAS missions with a brief outline to aid others on the Forum who may be able to help more.

    Archway - 1 and 2 SAS tasked with crossing the Rhine to support the advance of the British 21st Army Group, eventually reached Kiel following numerous engagements with enemy forces. (Germany, March-May 1945)
    Fabian - Six month mission by five men from the Belgian Independent Parachute Company (5 SAS) deployed near Arnhem, Holland to collect intelligence and determine the locations of V2 rocket launch sites. (Sept 1944 - March 1945)
    Gobbo/Portia - Seven men from Belgian Independent Parachute Company (5 SAS) parachuted into the area around Drente to gather intelligence on enemy troop movements and determine the feasibility of the establishment of a covert SAS base. (September 1944 - March 1945)
    Keystone - Jeep-mounted squadron from 2 SAS tasked with interrupting enemy movements south of Ijsselmeer, Holland. (April 1943)
    Apostle - HQ SAS Brigade, 1 and 2 SAS deployed to disarm the 300,000 German soldiers remaining in Norway at the end of WW2. (May-August 1945)
    Begonia - Involved detachments from 2 SAS making contact with (for the purposes of evacuation) former British POWs following the surrender of Italy. (Italy, Sept. 1943)
    Bulbasket - B Squadron, 1 SAS inserted to the Vienne area to interrupt German troop movements and prevent reinforcements from reaching the Normandy landing area (France, 06 June 1944)
    Candytuft - Small detachment from 2 SAS tasked with the destruction of a railway line running from Ancona to Pescara. (east Italian coast, October 1943)
    Canuck - Team from 2 SAS inserted to disrupt enemy communications between the Italian Riviera and northern Italy. (Italy, early 1945)
    Chestnut - Two SAS teams (from 2 SAS) inserted into northern Sicily to support the Allied invasion of the island and tasked with the destruction of roads, communications, and railway lines on the northeast coast. (July 1943)
    Cold Comfort - 13 members of 3 Squadron, 2 SAS dropped north of Verona and tasked with the destruction of the railway line leading to Brenner Pass. (northern Italy, 17 Feb. 1945)
    Defoe - 2 SAS reconnaissance of the Argentan area of Normandy. (France, June - August 1944)
    Driftwood - Part of Operation Maple; two four man teams from 2 SAS were inserted and assigned to destroy a pair of railway lines (Urbino-Fabriano and Ancona-Rimini). (Italy, 1944)
    Dunhill - Five teams from 2 SAS parchuted into eastern Brittany to gather intelligence on enemy troop movements in the area. (northwest France, 3-4 August 1944)
    Gaff - Seven members of 2 SAS parachuted into Ramouillet, France to kill or capture German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel at his headquarters at La Roche Guyon on the Siene. (25 July 1944)
    Gain - D Squadron, 1 SAS parachuted into southwest France to meet up with the Maquis and conduct operations to disrupt enemy communications. (1944)
    Galia - 34 men from 3 Squadron, 2 SAS parachuted into northern Italy to meet up with local resistance fighters, gather intelligence, and conduct operations against the enemy. (December 1944 - February 1945)
    Haft - Seven men from 1 SAS conduct reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations near Le Mans, France. (July - August 1944)
    Haggard - 52 men of B Squadron, 1 SAS (reinforced by 3 SAS) assigned to establish a base south of the Loire River between Nevers and Gien and conduct harrassment operations against the Germans.
    Hardy - 55 men from 2 SAS (with 12 jeeps) parachuted into eastern France to establish a base on the Plateau de Langres, northwest of Dijon and carry out intelligence and harrassment operations. (July - September 1944)
    Houndsworth - A Squadron, 1 SAS parachutes into eastern France to establish a base for support of the Normandy D-Day landings. (June 1944)
    Howard - Conducted by B and C Squadrons, 1 SAS, these units were tasked with providing reconnaissance ahead of the Canadian 4th Armoured Division drive towards northern Germany. (April-May 1945)
    Ibrox - 10 men of 2 SAS to destroy a railway bridge near Tronheim (op cancelled). (Norway, March 1945)
    Jonquil - Attempt by four seaborne parties from B Squadron 2 SAS to retreive Allied prisoners of war at a location on the Italian Adriatic coast. (October 1943)
    Kipling - 107 men and 46 jeeps from C Squadron 1 SAS parachuted into the area west of Auxerre, central France, and tasked with aiding the Allied airborne landings due to take place in the Orleans Gap. (August - Sept. 1944)
    Loyton - 91 men from 2 SAS and a Phantom team parachuted into eastern France to conduct intelligence gathering operations, attack enemy operations, and cooperate with local Maquis resistance fighters. (August - October 1945) Note: Phantom was the name given to F Squadron, GHQ Liason Regiment which was attached as a signal section to the SAS Brigade during WW2.
    Maple - Two groups from 2 SAS ('Thistledown' and 'Driftwood') ordered to cut rail communications north of Rome and along the Italian east coast.(January 1944)
    Marigold - Joint SAS/SBS operation landed by submarine to snatch a prisoner on the island of Sardinia. (30 May 1943)
    Nelson - Code name for a cancelled July 1944 SAS operation in the Orleans Gap, France.
    Pistol - 51 men of 2 SAS dropped into Alsace/Lorraine region of France and tasked with cutting enemy road and rail communications betweem the Rhine River and the Moselle River. (September-October 1944)
    Pomegranate - Small team from 2 SAS assigned with destroying German reconnaissance aircraft on the ground at the airfield at San Egidio. (January 1944)
    Rupert - 58 men from 2 SAS tasked with conducting sabotage operations against railway lines near Verdun in eastern France. (July-Sept. 1944)
    Saxifrage - Four parties from 2 SAS landed by torpedo boat and ordered to destroy the railway line between Ancona and Pescara. (Italy, 1943)
    Sleepy Lad - Several parties from 2 SAS landed by the Royal Navy on the Italian east coast, tasked with the interdiction of German road and rail communications between Ancona and Pescara. (Italy, December 1943)
    Snapdragon - Small operation by 2 SAS on the Italian island of Pantelleria, inserted by submarine. (28 May 1945)
    Speedwell - Two seven-man teams from 2 SAS dropped into the Spezia/Genoa area to conduct long term behind the lines sabotage and other operations. (Sept. 1943 - April 1944)
    Titanic - Seven men from 1 SAS jumped along with dummy parachutists into an area near Normandy, with the intent being to deceive the Germans into believing a major airborne landing was taking place. (6 June 1944)
    Tombola - 50 men from 3 Squadron 2 SAS, local partisans, and 70 escaped Russian soldiers conducted operations against the Germans in the area between Bologna and Spezia. (Italy, March - April 1945)
    Trueform - 102 personnel from 1 and 2 SAS and the Belgian Independent Parachute Company jumped onto 12 separate landing zones northwest of Paris with orders to inflict maximum damage to the retreating German forces. (August 1944)
    Wallace - 60 men from 2 SAS in 23 jeeps (divided into three groups) landed at Rennes, tasked with strengthening SAS bases in the area, later attacked the German HQ in Chatillon. (1944)
    Wolsey - A five man joint SAS/Phantom team parachuted into northeast France and assigned to gather intelligence on enemy positions and movements. Note: Phantom was the name given to F Squadron, GHQ Liason Regiment which was attached as a signal section to the SAS Brigade during WW2. (1944)

    I have not included other operations which were led by French or Belgian SAS
    Regards
    Verrieres
     
  5. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there is anyone online here who has access to or has knowledge on SAS ops (war diaries, reports, etc.). I am looking into Operations Fabian, Gobbo and especially Keystone.

    I did find files at the NA-site but I won't be going there anytime soon....

    Thanks,

    Stevin


    Hi Stevin,
    try browsing The National Archives Catalogue for WO218 which are Special Forces Files. You could get lucky.

    Brian
     
  6. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Try WO218/210 & 218 for Operation Keystone.

    Brian
     
    Stevin and 52nd Airborne like this.
  7. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    Good work Brian!
     
  8. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    I can not see from your profile if you are from the Netherlands or not, but if you are the book Nooit was het Stil, part two would be your best bet, if not I will have a look at it, and see if I can find anything in it.
     
  9. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

  10. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Thanks Paul, then he should have the book himself, but if I find anything it shall post it anyway.
     
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi,

    Can't get that link to work...is the site down, or is it just me?

    D
     
  12. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there is anyone online here who has access to or has knowledge on SAS ops (war diaries, reports, etc.). I am looking into Operations Fabian, Gobbo and especially Keystone.

    I did find files at the NA-site but I won't be going there anytime soon....

    Thanks,

    Stevin

    Perhaps you could get a member who is going to Kew to copy the Files for you.
    Unfortunately I was there earlier this week and will not be returning in the near future.

    Brian
     
  13. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Hi,

    Can't get that link to work...is the site down, or is it just me?

    D
    Nope, can't get it either.
     
    dbf likes this.
  14. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    Stevin
    I will be going to PRO (I just cant get used to TNA!) hopefully in the near future. As SAS are within my sphere of interest so to speak I intend to consult all the references I have found. I have made a note of what you are after and if I get time I will have a look and see what sort of detail they hold! If I can work out how to take the pics (or maybe persuade TomTAS to take em ) I will do so!

    Andy
     
    Stevin likes this.
  15. Stevin

    Stevin Member

    Hi guys and WOW! Just got back from work and have to digest it.

    Yes, I went through the NA site and came up with:

    AIR 37/820 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE: Operations 'Amherst' and 'Keystone' 1945 2TAF/30317/86/Ops IIS/111/4/1
    WO 106/4460 'Amherst' and 'Keystone': special air services operation 1945 July
    WO 218/210 Operation Keystone: report 1945 Feb-Mar PL/15A
    WO 218/218 Operations Amhurst and Keystone: report 1945 Apr SAS 6

    Seems it was the only British SAS op in Holland, the other being conducted by the Belgians and French.

    Philip, I am from Holland and have the En Nooit Was Het Still volumes. I have the info in vol.2 but it is a bit confusing at times.

    As to my site; this is an familiar problem. I self-host which means that several ISP's have blocked access to my site. That is why some of you can't visit the site. I don't do new years resolutions, BUT I do have another domainname and server and intend to (finally) move the site to a "ligit" server in the near future.

    Andy...Wow...many thanks! I appreciate it. Let me know if costs are involved. I very much appreciate it.

    I like to get more into keystone. There is some info out on Amhurst, Fabian and Gobbo, although not much. Op Larkswood also is in need of some attention, but I'd like to start with Keystone.

    Ok, I have to pick up my kids now. More when I come back.

    MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL!!!!
     
  16. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Oke clear, from this site.
     
  17. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Hi,
    Stevin have`nt got any really detailed stuff but I`ll list a few SAS missions with a brief outline to aid others on the Forum who may be able to help more.

    Archway - 1 and 2 SAS tasked with crossing the Rhine to support the advance of the British 21st Army Group, eventually reached Kiel following numerous engagements with enemy forces. (Germany, March-May 1945)
    Fabian - Six month mission by five men from the Belgian Independent Parachute Company (5 SAS) deployed near Arnhem, Holland to collect intelligence and determine the locations of V2 rocket launch sites. (Sept 1944 - March 1945)
    Gobbo/Portia - Seven men from Belgian Independent Parachute Company (5 SAS) parachuted into the area around Drente to gather intelligence on enemy troop movements and determine the feasibility of the establishment of a covert SAS base. (September 1944 - March 1945)
    Keystone - Jeep-mounted squadron from 2 SAS tasked with interrupting enemy movements south of Ijsselmeer, Holland. (April 1943)
    Apostle - HQ SAS Brigade, 1 and 2 SAS deployed to disarm the 300,000 German soldiers remaining in Norway at the end of WW2. (May-August 1945)
    Begonia - Involved detachments from 2 SAS making contact with (for the purposes of evacuation) former British POWs following the surrender of Italy. (Italy, Sept. 1943)
    Bulbasket - B Squadron, 1 SAS inserted to the Vienne area to interrupt German troop movements and prevent reinforcements from reaching the Normandy landing area (France, 06 June 1944)
    Candytuft - Small detachment from 2 SAS tasked with the destruction of a railway line running from Ancona to Pescara. (east Italian coast, October 1943)
    Canuck - Team from 2 SAS inserted to disrupt enemy communications between the Italian Riviera and northern Italy. (Italy, early 1945)
    Chestnut - Two SAS teams (from 2 SAS) inserted into northern Sicily to support the Allied invasion of the island and tasked with the destruction of roads, communications, and railway lines on the northeast coast. (July 1943)
    Cold Comfort - 13 members of 3 Squadron, 2 SAS dropped north of Verona and tasked with the destruction of the railway line leading to Brenner Pass. (northern Italy, 17 Feb. 1945)
    Defoe - 2 SAS reconnaissance of the Argentan area of Normandy. (France, June - August 1944)
    Driftwood - Part of Operation Maple; two four man teams from 2 SAS were inserted and assigned to destroy a pair of railway lines (Urbino-Fabriano and Ancona-Rimini). (Italy, 1944)
    Dunhill - Five teams from 2 SAS parchuted into eastern Brittany to gather intelligence on enemy troop movements in the area. (northwest France, 3-4 August 1944)
    Gaff - Seven members of 2 SAS parachuted into Ramouillet, France to kill or capture German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel at his headquarters at La Roche Guyon on the Siene. (25 July 1944)
    Gain - D Squadron, 1 SAS parachuted into southwest France to meet up with the Maquis and conduct operations to disrupt enemy communications. (1944)
    Galia - 34 men from 3 Squadron, 2 SAS parachuted into northern Italy to meet up with local resistance fighters, gather intelligence, and conduct operations against the enemy. (December 1944 - February 1945)
    Haft - Seven men from 1 SAS conduct reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations near Le Mans, France. (July - August 1944)
    Haggard - 52 men of B Squadron, 1 SAS (reinforced by 3 SAS) assigned to establish a base south of the Loire River between Nevers and Gien and conduct harrassment operations against the Germans.
    Hardy - 55 men from 2 SAS (with 12 jeeps) parachuted into eastern France to establish a base on the Plateau de Langres, northwest of Dijon and carry out intelligence and harrassment operations. (July - September 1944)
    Houndsworth - A Squadron, 1 SAS parachutes into eastern France to establish a base for support of the Normandy D-Day landings. (June 1944)
    Howard - Conducted by B and C Squadrons, 1 SAS, these units were tasked with providing reconnaissance ahead of the Canadian 4th Armoured Division drive towards northern Germany. (April-May 1945)
    Ibrox - 10 men of 2 SAS to destroy a railway bridge near Tronheim (op cancelled). (Norway, March 1945)
    Jonquil - Attempt by four seaborne parties from B Squadron 2 SAS to retreive Allied prisoners of war at a location on the Italian Adriatic coast. (October 1943)
    Kipling - 107 men and 46 jeeps from C Squadron 1 SAS parachuted into the area west of Auxerre, central France, and tasked with aiding the Allied airborne landings due to take place in the Orleans Gap. (August - Sept. 1944)
    Loyton - 91 men from 2 SAS and a Phantom team parachuted into eastern France to conduct intelligence gathering operations, attack enemy operations, and cooperate with local Maquis resistance fighters. (August - October 1945) Note: Phantom was the name given to F Squadron, GHQ Liason Regiment which was attached as a signal section to the SAS Brigade during WW2.
    Maple - Two groups from 2 SAS ('Thistledown' and 'Driftwood') ordered to cut rail communications north of Rome and along the Italian east coast.(January 1944)
    Marigold - Joint SAS/SBS operation landed by submarine to snatch a prisoner on the island of Sardinia. (30 May 1943)
    Nelson - Code name for a cancelled July 1944 SAS operation in the Orleans Gap, France.
    Pistol - 51 men of 2 SAS dropped into Alsace/Lorraine region of France and tasked with cutting enemy road and rail communications betweem the Rhine River and the Moselle River. (September-October 1944)
    Pomegranate - Small team from 2 SAS assigned with destroying German reconnaissance aircraft on the ground at the airfield at San Egidio. (January 1944)
    Rupert - 58 men from 2 SAS tasked with conducting sabotage operations against railway lines near Verdun in eastern France. (July-Sept. 1944)
    Saxifrage - Four parties from 2 SAS landed by torpedo boat and ordered to destroy the railway line between Ancona and Pescara. (Italy, 1943)
    Sleepy Lad - Several parties from 2 SAS landed by the Royal Navy on the Italian east coast, tasked with the interdiction of German road and rail communications between Ancona and Pescara. (Italy, December 1943)
    Snapdragon - Small operation by 2 SAS on the Italian island of Pantelleria, inserted by submarine. (28 May 1945)
    Speedwell - Two seven-man teams from 2 SAS dropped into the Spezia/Genoa area to conduct long term behind the lines sabotage and other operations. (Sept. 1943 - April 1944)
    Titanic - Seven men from 1 SAS jumped along with dummy parachutists into an area near Normandy, with the intent being to deceive the Germans into believing a major airborne landing was taking place. (6 June 1944)
    Tombola - 50 men from 3 Squadron 2 SAS, local partisans, and 70 escaped Russian soldiers conducted operations against the Germans in the area between Bologna and Spezia. (Italy, March - April 1945)
    Trueform - 102 personnel from 1 and 2 SAS and the Belgian Independent Parachute Company jumped onto 12 separate landing zones northwest of Paris with orders to inflict maximum damage to the retreating German forces. (August 1944)
    Wallace - 60 men from 2 SAS in 23 jeeps (divided into three groups) landed at Rennes, tasked with strengthening SAS bases in the area, later attacked the German HQ in Chatillon. (1944)
    Wolsey - A five man joint SAS/Phantom team parachuted into northeast France and assigned to gather intelligence on enemy positions and movements. Note: Phantom was the name given to F Squadron, GHQ Liason Regiment which was attached as a signal section to the SAS Brigade during WW2. (1944)

    I have not included other operations which were led by French or Belgian SAS
    Regards
    Verrieres


    Verrieres, do you by chance have any info on Op Husky on the 10th July 43 (Capo Murro di Porco,Sicily).

    The one SAS casualty of that raid is one of the guys im researching, Bombadier Geoffrey Caton. Enlisted with Royal Artillery, moved to 11 commando, the SAS. I dont think it a coincidence but the same regiments that Paddy Mayne served in.

    Phil
     
  18. TomTAS

    TomTAS Very Senior Member

    Hi Stevin

    I can help need to go to Kew some time soon so will look, I have in fact looked at some SAS dairies already but will check this one out for you. Send me a email telling me what your after.

    Cheers
    Tom
     
    Stevin likes this.
  19. Stevin

    Stevin Member

    Most Excellent, Sir! thank you!
     
  20. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    [/font]

    Verrieres, do you by chance have any info on Op Husky on the 10th July 43 (Capo Murro di Porco,Sicily).

    The one SAS casualty of that raid is one of the guys im researching, Bombadier Geoffrey Caton. Enlisted with Royal Artillery, moved to 11 commando, the SAS. I dont think it a coincidence but the same regiments that Paddy Mayne served in.

    Phil

    Hi,
    I thought at first you were refering to the ill fated Operation Chestnut however I realise now you were seeking something along these lines;-

    Bombardier Geoffrey Caton, Royal Artillery and 1st Special Air Service Regiment (Special Raiding Squadron), killed in action in Sicily 1943, Bombardier Geoffrey Caton was killed in action on 10 July 1943 He was serving with the 1st Special Air Service Regiment, temporarily renamed the Special Raiding Squadron, for the invasion of Sicily. Under the command of Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, the SRS made a raid on a large Italian battery at Capo Murro di Porco, on the southeast coast of Sicily, which had to be destroyed before the main Allied landings could take place. After hitting the beach at 0330hrs on the 10th July the SRS assault teams threw themselves against the cliff and began to claw their way to the summit. They were surprised by the apparent lack of opposition. Most had been expecting a rough ride. Yet the beach was not mined: there was no sudden cutting burst of machine-gun fire; nor the earsplitting explosion of grenades. Once on top of the cliff, the seven-man teams moved in on the battery, silhouetted against the moonlight. The Italian garrison, about 700 strong, was still underground and it was Just a matter of winkling them out. Most were too shell-shocked to put up much of a fight; others were Just too scared to stick their noses above ground. As the assault teams began rounding up prisoners, demolition squads went into action to spike the guns. Heavy fighting continued throughout the night with the SRS attacking command posts, bunkers and barracks. The assaults, often carried out at the point of bayonet, were successful and the enemy positions were destroyed. As dawn broke on 10 July, the SRS men were able to see the scale of their success. For the loss of one man killed, Bombardier Caton, and six injured, they had put six heavy guns out of commission, killed around 100 enemy soldiers and captured some 200-300 more. Indeed, the bag of prisoners became so unmanageable that Paddy Mayne ordered the Italians into a convenient field, stripped them of their belongings and told them to wait for the main invasion force.Sadly Catons medals and other personal effects were auctioned in 1997. (awarded the 1939-45 Star; Italy Star; War Medal, these were all unnamed but sold with named condolence slip together with a photograph of the soldier himself (Bdr. Geoffrey Caton), card box of issue addressed to his Father Next of Kin, and official letter notifying his death in action)

    Hope this is of interest to you.
    Regards
    Verrieres
     

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