Which Heavy artillery on Manipur Road Assam in April 1943?

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by zahonado, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    My father's diary frequently mentioned the Heavies nearby. I am wondering which they would be and also the relationship to the LAA unit he was in - are they part of the same organisation? they seem to do training lectures concerts etc together. Anyone know? If there are any diaries or personal memories I would be interested. Thanks
  2. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    There was no heavy artillery in Assam in 1943; he must be referring to Heavy Anti-aircraft Artillery. 9 AA Bde was in Assam, with 66 and 67 HAA Regts under command. This was a mixed brigade and had LAA regts u/c too; 69, 78 & 118 LAA Regts. I do not include IA units, only RA.
    66 HAA Regt was actually based at Manipur Road for a time in 1943, as was 78 LAA Regt. Manipur Road probably refers to the place, otherwise known as Dimapur, rather than the road itself.
  3. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    THanks Charpoy Chindit. Dad was in 69...see the war diary in my blog. Can you explain what the difference is between the Heavy artillery andHeavy AAplease. Does one have tanks and the other? And Light AA?. He talks about Manipur Road and Dimapur separately...So what would a mixed brigade be for? Pretty clueless about this army stuff!
  4. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Anti-aircraft artillery was primarily designed to shoot down enemy aircraft, although it had other uses. For our purposes, Burma and India WWII, it came in regiments of two gun sizes, light anti-aircraft, usually 40mm Bofors guns, and heavy anti-aircraft, usually 3.7” guns. An ideal anti-aircraft defence would consist of both types, and anti-aircraft brigades, where they existed, usually had regiments of each.
    Heavy artillery, in a mobile role, was something completely different, being designed to attack enemy ground forces. It was sparingly used in Burma and India compared to other theatres. Indeed I don’t think any heavy regiments or batteries made it to Burma. Just to really confuse you; some heavy guns, 7.2” Howitzers, were used in Burma, but they were manned by members of HAA Regts!
    None of these units would have had any tanks.
    The names Dimapur and Manipur Road tended to be used interchangeably. Dimapur was the railway station for Manipur, although it is not in Manipur itself, but in Assam. The road ran from Dimapur to Imphal, the capital of Manipur state. Dimapur was a massive base for the frontline troops in the Indo-Burmese border areas south and east of Imphal and the road was their major supply line.
  5. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    THank you CC ...still really confused about batteries troops detachments etc and all the different numbers used ...206, 185 etc and how big they all were But thanks for the info about the guns...later on as a gunner attached to the Lancashire Fusiliers I think Dad mentions the Bofors being unpacked as part of column 20. But what amazes me is just what a big army it was and keeping it fed let alone getting it geared up for action, must have been very difficult even when not in the front line.
  6. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    In artillery the basic structure was:

    The gun and its detachment (never 'crew') is a sub-sectiom
    Two guns constitute a Section.
    Two sections constitute a troop
    Two troops constitute a battery
    Two or three batteries consitute a regiment.

    This applies to field and medium regiments and heavy AA.

    HAA and some LAA were organised in AA Brigades, and in UK AA Bdes were organsied into AA Divisions and AA Divisions in AA Corps.

    In Western theatres after autumn 1942 Medium, Heavy and a few Field artillery regiments were organsied into AGRAs (Army Group RA). Most field regiments were under divisional command as were most anti-tank regiments and some LAA regts.

    Coast artillery was totally different.
    Survey regiments were obviously different (they had no guns)
    LAA and Anti-tank regts had more troops in a battery and sometimes 4 btys in a regt
    Searhlight regts were different
    Heavy regts (ie with large calibre field guns) had only 4 guns per bty (2 sections)
    Super Heavy normally had only 2 guns per bty.

    If you want to understand field and anti-tank organisation see http://nigelef.tripod.com/RAorg.htm and http://nigelef.tripod.com/anti-tank.htm AA were somewhat similar to anti-tank since both were direct fire.
  7. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that explanation, mapshooter it is becoming a little clearer. It explains the various numbers....He was in a LAA regiment ? No 69 battery 206 I think!
  8. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Actually that is 206 LAA Battery of LAA 69 Regiment. 69 LAA Battery was in 21 LAA Regt, and was surrendered in the NEI.
  9. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    Yea I think that is what I meant CC but thanks anyway.... NEI?!
  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    NEI = Netherlands East Indies, a Dutch colony. We call it Indonesia today. A mixed British contingent (Blackforce) fought there against the Japanese on Java and was eventually captured.

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