War Diaries for 'CC' Battery, 5th RHA 1940 to 1944

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Gerboa, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Should anyone find them useful the War Diaries of 'CC' Battery, 5th Field Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, from October 1940 to May 1944, are available on the web.


    Alas those for June 1944 onwards are missing, so should anyone have any information on them please contact me.

    Attached Files:

  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    If it is 5 RHA and missing it must have been lost on Markhams' Q Truck at Villers Bocage.... ;)

    A 15 cwt vehicle with almost as great a capacity as the than the Atlantic Conveyor

    But seriously....

    I'd like to find the Arty HQ 7 Armd Div and Arty 30 Corps War Diaries for June and July. Not in the National Archives or Firepower.

  3. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Likewise I would love to get hold of K Battery's Diaries, but from what I know they are still with the Battery and not released to the National Archives or Firepower yet.

    Las time I was at the NA I did find CC Bty, May 1944 in the dairies for G Bty, so it is possible more misfiling could have occurred to some extent.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Without checking I'm sure have a 1940 K Battery war diary and I think it was within 5 RHAs war diary. I wrote a article on here a few years ago on Hondeghem.
  5. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Hi Drew5233,

    Many thanks for this information. I have only seen the 5 RHA Regtl diaries personally at the National Archives, for 1943 and 1944 and they only contain the Regtl ones, but have not yet seen any early ones as yet, though I did buy some late 1942 when the NA did a copying service and there was nothing in them either. So later on it looks like they were detached.

    I did correspond with a Belgium historian who was researching the liberation of his town and he managed to obtain copies from the Battery direct. If you do have any of these diaries and can send me a copy, I would be most grateful.
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I am not sure that is true. I am sure I have read the 1940 entries. At some point I have been in correspondence with Drew5233 or his alter ego on another board. I haven't seen their War diary for Normandy. The 7 bArmd Div units records are patchy. It ,may have been carelessness or an attempt to hide an attitude to radio procedures and fire discipline tas individualistic as their dress code ;)
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Give me a shout if you want any war diaries copying. At 10p per page and at least 10 times cheaper than TNA.

  8. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    The online WD of CC Bty contained this rather interesting snippet. In the month before D-Day the RHA was experimenting with new techniques to improve performance in the field, but I am guessing that this intense barrage technique was not used in the Battle for Normandy or afterwards.

    War Diaries of CC Battery, Royal Horse Artillery: 1944 "May 1944 Commanding Officer: Major. T. J. Cooke M.C. R.H.A.
    Afterwards a Regimental concentration was fired by a new quick method, in which one gun from the Regiment registered and then the remaining 23 guns drove in track to track were lined up on the same switch and range fired and then drove away again. The total time taken for the whole thing was 13 minutes and the concentration at the target was very impressive. Afterwards the Bty carried out Course shooting and returned to camp at 1700 hrs"
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....



    I was too busy making a clever remark to take careful note of your question. (Unless I am having a senior moment and have already responded)

    I have a copy of the CC Battery war diaries from June-Aug 1944 on my computer. They were copied in 2012 from the Firepower archives. What would you like to know?
  10. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Hi, basically I am researching my late fathers Battery and trying to put as much as I can on web, as being a Wartime Battery it had a short lived history. If you look at my website I have been fortunate enough to be send lots of photos from other veterans relatives.

    It would be great if you could confirm if you do have them. I found the May 1944 diaries buried in G (Mercer's Troop) when I visited the National Archives in 2013, but to date the rest allude me. It is interesting that if these are CC Bty's diaries that Firepower had them and not the NA?

    Please let me know if you do have them? Also can you remember did Firepower have any more after August 1944?
  11. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Will have a look at G (Mercer's Troop) diaries for the same period and see what they say, about this method, of calibration.
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I have copies of G Battery from Dec 43 - Aug 1944. I am currently only interested in data to the end of Aug 44, but may need to capture more before the Firepower Archive closes. My copies are very faint.

    IMHO the registration method was an interesting exercise gimmick, but irrelevant to operations in NW Europe. It demonstrated that the principles of a crash action could be applied to Regiment as well as a battery.

    It might have been a useful way to make a quick shoot following the deployment of a pistol gun. However, in Normandy with batteries on theatre survey, with properly circulated registration and met data, a regiment in dispersed gun positions ought to have been able to bring down accurate fire on a Mike Target well within ten minutes.

    To me, this is evidence that 7 Armd Div's artillerymen had not shaken the desert sand out of their shoes.

  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Wouldn't it have had more to do with their original 'forlorn hope' role before everything settled down? It's no odder than 5 AGRA practising anti-tank shoots!
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    5 AGRA anti tan k practice was a reasonable contingency plan in the event that tyhe Germans managed as good a response to Normandy as they had at Salerno and Anzio.
  15. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Hi Sheldrake,

    Do I assume no luck with the diaries for CC Bty for June to August 1944?


    PS Have all G Bty Diaries for Jan to Nov 1944, but alas Dec is missing. Also have most of the 5 RHA diaries but some months are missing from the files at the NA.
  16. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    If one thinks about it, it was good to practice A/Tk shooting, as I can confirm from my late father who was at Villiers-Bocage and the Battle of the Brigade Box, 5 RHA (or at least CC Bty) did engage Pz Grenadiers, Half-tracks and Tanks over open sights with HE and AP rounds.
  17. Gerboa

    Gerboa Gerboa Desert Rat History

    Have been looking at 5 RHA diaries for April 1944 and it states that

    7th April 1944:
    The Regiment spent the day on Standford battle area. A new method of engaging regimental targets was tried out. When the batteries of the regiment were well spread out and not on a common grid, the ranging battery puts two HABs over the tgt after it has registered it. The remaining guns of the regiment lay on the HAB thus greatly getting their switch and the range as the A/S are taken off the map. This method proved surprising accurate and practical. The remainder of the day was spent in Bty course shooting.

    By then 5 RHA was an SPG unit and not tied to fixed gun positions, so as each battery followed its designated tank regiment, this would allow a quick response to any targets that needed more that just a single batteries guns. In Italy there are records of several 'Murders' being fired by the whole regiment when it was a towed unit and this allowed them to do the same as SPGs following close behind the tanks, from ever changing locations.
  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Hmm yes. I DO have copies of the CC battery and G batteyr war diaries for this period. What doi you need to know?
  19. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Yeah well. That was an idea prevalent about how SP Field Guns should work as the "close support" battery. Fine in an encounter battle or in the pursuit. it didn't quite work like that for much of the Normandy campaign. In theory this was the plan for supporting the armoured brigades in the latter phases of Op Goodwood. One battery per regiment was woefully inadequate given the number of positions that needed to be neutralised.
  20. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's probably a brave statement to make given the Rats' reputation, but experienced gunners would (should?) have already been competent to work by the book with theatre grids, meteor, etc., as required for much of the Normandy Campaign. Their intended role, however, was to force an encounter battle 'off the grid', so I see their party tricks as reasonable contingencies for a party where crash actions were highly likely. The next war they were preparing for was one of giant Jock columns, not mini-Alameins.

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