43 Division Archers, Haselünne 10 April 1945

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Chris C, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    A fellow on twitter shared a still from this video of 43 Division in Haselünne on 10 April 1945. I love seeing any new footage of Archers because there aren't that many of them so I got the reference from him, and I thought I'd share the video and what I could observe.

    CAPTURE OF THE TOWN OF HASELÜNNE, GERMANY, BY BRITISH 43RD DIVISION [Allocated Title]
    at 1:54 and following

    archers.jpg

    Since this is 43 Division I knew the regiment was 59th (Duke of Connaught’s Hampshire) Anti-Tank Regiment. There is just the briefest mention of this day in the war diary, "0800: 236 Bty crossed HASE river at HASELUNNE". Other batterys and the RHQ passed through the next day, while 236 Battery stayed to guard 214 Brigade's A echelon.

    It was interesting looking at the vehicles and the various bits of stowage. The three Archers were preceded by what I presume was the Battery Commander's Valentine. All of them had an ammunition box (?) in the right rear corner in line with the permanent stowage boxes of the vehicle, and I think all of them had jerricans leaning against the smoke projectors on the rear of their Archers. The Archer had a built-in immobile water container but since it couldn't be moved it was annoying to refill.

    Oh, and I think all 3 Archers are from the first 300 produced as it looks like they all have the spotlight on the right side of the vehicle. Apparently that was left off for later vehicles. In the screenshot you can see that just to the right of the gunner's head.

    One of the Archers has an odd inscription on it I have no clue about.
    F179
    S

    I thought I'd noticed something interesting about one of the visible serial numbers but on checking again I was wrong.

    PS also nice to see a soldier writing (a letter home?) at 0:23
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Oh, someone on a modeling forum has identified the ammunition box as probably a C.224, used for 4.5" and 5.5" charges, amongst other things. I suppose there must have been an enormous amount of these sorts of boxes available which were no longer needed.
     
  3. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    Just managed to make out census number on last Archer S279745

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
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  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Agreed! I had thought it was part of the first delivery of Archers to NWE but on rechecking that was completely wrong.

    I have a spreadsheet of Archer serials - where I've seen each - but I don't know if it would be of interest to you.
     
  5. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    Yes if you wouldn't mind, email it to me and I will cross check it and send you what I have.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
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