Salerno - Where did No. 5 beach group land ?

Discussion in 'Italy' started by mac657, Sep 16, 2023.

  1. mac657

    mac657 Junior Member

    Does anybody know which beach No. 5 Beach group landed on at Salerno ?

    My Gt- grandad landed as part of the above group with 280 bty, 87th HAA regt, RA.

    In James Holland's 'The Savage Storm' he identifies the British beaches as Red, White and Green but as yet there is nothing more specific.

    Any help narrowing it down would be greatly appreciated.

  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    According to information on Wikipedia, No. 5 Beach Group was not at Salerno, but Sword for the D-Day landing. Beach groups - Wikipedia

    I am going to hazard a guess and suggest it may have been No. 3 Beach Group. A map showing it's location here: Salerno WW2 Map
  3. mac657

    mac657 Junior Member

    That's interesting , thanks very much for that pointer.

    I received the info from someone else but it does mention 279 bty of the same regiment in no. 3 beach group which would tally.

    I'll do some more digging around that.

    BFBSM likes this.
  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Mac, the other thing is, in all the books I have on Salerno there is no White beach. There are landings at Uncle, with a red and green beach, at Sugar, with amber and green beaches, and Rodger, also with amber and green beaches. I shall organise a copy of one of the maps shortly.
  5. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    This map is from the book Operation Avalanche (cover included in case you need more info).

    This one is from the UK Official History

    I hope this helps with your research.
    4jonboy likes this.
  6. mac657

    mac657 Junior Member

    Thank you, I really appreciate your help and the book recommendation.

    It looks like I can really start to pin it down from your info.

    I'm travelling today so will have a proper look tonight or tomorrow.

    BFBSM likes this.
  7. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I may be able to help with more, just give me a “yell” if you think I can.
  8. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    No. 3 Beach Group was initially supporting 167 Brigade which would mean Roger Beach.

    No. 21 Beach Group supported 169 Brigade landing on Uncle and Sugar.

    Was the battery an integral part of No. 3 Beach Group (like 252 Bty, 80 HAA Regt was part of No. 21 Beach Group) or did it land through No. 3 Beach Group? I do have all the Avalanche landing tables and a quick skim through 167 Bde doesn't show the unit.

    The quickest way is to look at the WDs of the battery - Royal Artillery: 279 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery (RA HAA) | The National Archives.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2023
  10. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member



    So the above seems to confirm that 279/87 HAA Bty were an integral part of 3 Beach Group, arriving on LSTs 161 and 166. I believe these were planned to land on Roger Green beach.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2023
    Thistle746 and dbf like this.
  11. mac657

    mac657 Junior Member

    Thanks all, a bit if a head scratcher !

    Gary, I'm not sure where 280 bty fitted into the ORBAT. I've attached the initial reply that I received elsewhere on this site.

    Interesting that you've located 279 bty and not 280 though. I wonder where the rest of the regiment was ? I guess they could have filtered through the beaches at a later date . I checked The Official history last night and no mention in there either.

    I've seen mention (on Wikipedia) of 12 AA bde which is at the top of the document you posted which I'mled to believe initially subsumed the regiment as a whole for later operations elsewhere .

    You're absolutely right, the WDs will confirm either way. Doing that is easier said than done but i think I'll have to make the effort and solve it once an for all 20220215_172806.jpg .
  12. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I'll be down in Kew on Saturday, if I have time I'll take a look.
  13. mac657

    mac657 Junior Member

    That is very decent of you to offer Gary.

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