Operation Husky; 32 and 33 Beach Bricks - help please

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Brian Smith, May 22, 2013.

  1. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    I am once again asking for help.

    Any additional information available on the make up and deployment of 32 and 33 Beach Bricks would be most welcome.

    My understanding is that

    32 Brick was created around 2nd Battalion The Highland Light Infantry and landed on beaches 45 and 46.

    33 Brick was created around 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and landed on beach 44. They sailed from Port Said on 30 June and landed on 10 July.

    I have seen in the war diary for RASC 404 Coy that a number of units passed through their HQ in Tahag for special training and that a number if troops were sent from 404 Coy to Givet Olga for training with the above Battalions - it is the involvement of these troops which most interests me but any information would be helpful and provide further leads.

    The troops returned to 404 Coy in mid August.

    Thank you Brian
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The 1 A&SH history has a chapter on 33 Beach Brick and gives the following orbat:

    68 & 69 Coys, Frontier Force Rifles
    166 Bty, 55 HAA Regt RA
    754 Army Fd Coy RE
    3, 4 & 6 Pls, 404 GT Coy RASC plus wksp
    11 Detail Issue DDepot
    641 Indep Provost Coy
    35 LAA Bty
    41, 42 & 43 Tps, RA
    4 Beach Signal Sec, R Sigs

    Unidentified sub-units included:
    A medical section, RAMC
    An RAF contingent.
    A repair and recovery detachment, REME.
    A Signal Section, RN.

    1 A&SH itself formed a fifth 'working' coy titled No.53 Coy.
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    No such detail in the HLI history; it even refers to No.2 Beach Brick!
  4. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    Hi idler, thank you for the quick replies, the 3 pls 404 coy is the one mentioned in my Dad's service record so that is brilliant and answers one more point for me - with 33 and the 1A&SH.

    The war diary for the RASC 404 Coy mentions leaving for special training with the 2 and 3 bricks with the A&SH and HLI so maybe earlier references to 32 and 33?

    Cheeky I know but I don't suppose there is mention in the chapter on 33 brick in A&SH history about movement from Port Said to Sicily and any time line for the Brick for\from 10 July?

    As a further point do maps exist showing the various beaches\landing sites with their numbers and were they all named as in the Normandy landings?

    Many thanks for your time in providing your answers above. Brian
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  6. Alanst500

    Alanst500 Senior Member

    Forgive my ignorance but the only brick I know are used for houses and walls, what are brick beaches?

  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    There are a couple of pages on the embarkation, voyage and landing, but only 10 July is covered in any sort of detail before 1 A&SH were relieved and wnt off to join 51 Highland Div on 28 July.

    There are a couple of maps but they only show George Beach's location on Sicily and the layout of the beach area.
  8. Brian Smith

    Brian Smith Junior Member

    Owen\Idler many thanks for this the picture is building.<br /><br />Alanst500 - many here know far more than me but this extract may give a flavour. Brian<br /><br />Beach Maintenance<br />The development and employment of the Beach Organisation eventually became the responsibility of the Army concerning its own beach maintenance, and the provision of the organisation to carry out the task. But mention will be made here of the R.M. Beach Unit, which was formed in 1941 for use in support of the R.M. Brigade, and the part played by the Royal Marines in the formation and operation of Beach Bricks for operations in Sicily and Italy in 1943.<br />The 7th Battalion Royal Marines, which left U.K. for South Africa in late 1942, was ordered to the Middle East in December, 1942. On arrival, the Commanding Officer was required to draw up a draft organisation for a Beach Brick within five days.<br />This was done. The battalion remained at Kabrit from 1st January, 1943, until embarking for Sicily in July, 1943. During this time, in conjunction with the C.T.C., Kabrit and G.H.Q. Middle East, in Cairo, the Beach Brick Organisation was evolved and Bricks were formed and trained. Briefly the Bricks consisted of a nucleus battalion, to which specialised units (an A.A. Regiment, Signals, R.E., R.A.S.C., R.A.O.C., R.A.M.C., a R.N. Beach Commando) were added, making up a total strength of about 2,600. A defence company with carrier-borne mortars was provided by the nucleus battalion, but the essence of the idea was that all Brick personnel were prepared to fight, the rifle companies of the nucleus battalion providing the hard core of this defensive potential.<br />7 R.M. trained itself and its attached units for this role, and produced teams of instructors to assist in the training, in Egypt and Palestine, of the four infantry battalions chosen to fulfil a similar role.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  10. Alanst500

    Alanst500 Senior Member

    Brian thank you for that very informative and detailed description, I will look at bricks in a different light from now on.


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