Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

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David W
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Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:20 am

Can anyone tell me under which higher command (Corps or Army) the Medium artillery Regiments in North Africa served, in the period July - October 1942?
I know that they may have moved around a bit during that time, and that the answer might well be different for each Regiment.
I am especially intersted in the 7th, 64th, 67th & 68th.
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Thanks. Dave.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by nigelfe » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:26 am

Probably army command but corps or lower control. Medium arty was in short supply so it would likely be centrally commanded and assigned as necessary, this could include being placed under command of lower formations for particular periods or tasks as an alternate to being assigned in support for periods or tasks. Unfortunately most historians seem not to understand artillery C2, even AG 4 Medals memo (WO 212/493) listing all RHA/RA regts' overseas service neatly sidesteps the issue by showing 'allocations' and in effect listing the chain of HQs above it. On a quick look the medium regts seem to have spent 1941 mostly under BTE.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by Andy H » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:31 am

Hi David

Jolsen (pg483)notes that there were no Med units under direct GHQ MEF Command in the period your looking at. He lists the 64th being under GHQ MEF on Dec 1st'41 and the 51st & 76th under there command on Dec 20th'42

He notes on pg485 that on Dec 1st 1941 that the 7th, 67th & 68th were under 8th Army, and also again on June 14th'42. Whilst on Dec 20th 1942 the 7th, 64th & 69th are listed.

On pg486 he notes that the 64th Med came under 9th Army control

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:32 pm

OK, so what markings would the artillery tractors carry? Army or Corps?
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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by Andy H » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:48 pm

David W wrote:OK, so what markings would the artillery tractors carry? Army or Corps?
Hi David

Logic would suggest Army markings rather than Corps, but logic and the military are not always reliable bedmates

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:10 pm

but logic and the military are not always reliable bedmates
:D
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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by nigelfe » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:28 am

From BM 584/45 AG 4 (Medals) (WO212/493) unless otherwise stated
British medium regts in Africa before end 1942.

7 Med Regt (25/26 & 27/28 Btys)
1/12/40 - [less 1 sect] WD Force | BTE
1/12/40 - 1 sect 25/26 Bty 7 Armd Div | BTE
3/3/41 - [less 2 btys] 13 Corps | BTE
3/3/41 - 27/28 Bty Cairo Base Area | BTE
3/3/41 25/26 Bty Cairo Base Area | BTE
4/4/41 - [less 1 tp] 13 Corps | BTE
4/4/41 - 1 tp, 25/26 Bty Cairo Base Area | BTE
31/5/41 - 1 Aust Corps (Greece)
7/10/41 - [less 27/28 Bty] GHQ Tps | BTE
7/10/41 - 27/28 Bty 8 Army
19/8/41 – 12/5/43 - 8 Army

51 Med Regt (215 & 240 Btys)
1/10/42 - GHQ | BTE Area

64 Med Regt (211 & 212 Btys)
1/12/40 – Arrived Cairo (Farndale, Years of Defeat, has regt supporting 6 Aust Div on 3/1/41 and states that Regt less 212 Bty arrived in W Desert 15/1/41 and ordered back to the Delta Area on 6/2/41)
3/3/41 - Cairo Base Area | BTE
6/4/41 [- less 1 bty] 1 Aust Corps (Greece)
31/5/41 - 212 Bty Sudan (Farndale has bty in action in Keren in February)
8/6/41 - 1 Aust Corps (Syria)
7/10/41 - 5 Ind Div | BTE
13/6/42 - GHQ Tps
19/8/42 - 8 Army

67 Med Regt (231 & 232 Btys)
7/10/41 - GHQ Tps
13/6/42 – Lost

68 Med Regt (233 & 234 Btys)
3/3/41 – [less 1 bty] GHQ Tps (Sudan) (Farndale has them in Keren earlier than this and as ‘Corps Tps’ although GOC East Africa seems to have been the corps comd)
3/3/41 – 234 Bty 13 Corps | BTE
31/5/41 – 234 Bty Cairo Base Area | BTE
27/4/41 – [less 1 bty] Matruh Fortress, 7 Aust Div | BTE
7/10/41 - 5 Ind Div | BTE
6/12/41 – 8 Army
13/6/42 – Lost

69 Med Regt (240 & 241 Btys)
19/11/42 – 51 Div | 8 Army

76 Med Regt
19/11/42 – GHQ | BTE Area

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:14 am

Outstanding information!

Thank you. :D
Thanks. Dave.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:16 am

Supplementary question.

When were each of these Medium Regiments first supplied with 5.5" guns?
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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by nigelfe » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:41 am

Good question, and the simple answer is I don't know because although it's something I keep an eye open for I've yet to come across it. I suspect it's a matter of looking at the war diaries.

That said Joslen's annex on the Alamein ORBAT reveals 3 medium regts, 7 & 64 each with one bty 5.5 and 1 bty 4.5, 69 with 2 btys 4.5 and a FF tp with 4 5.5. From this I'd guess they were delivered in about Sep.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by Andy H » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:58 pm

David W wrote:Supplementary question.

When were each of these Medium Regiments first supplied with 5.5" guns?
Previous to a response I gave on the AHF, the first 5.5 were not used till May'42. Obviously they could well have been issued prior, but at least we have a date to work back from

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by David W » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:08 am

Did the 8th Army have any in use during the Gazala battles then?
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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by nigelfe » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:42 am

Andy H wrote:
David W wrote:Supplementary question.

When were each of these Medium Regiments first supplied with 5.5" guns?
Previous to a response I gave on the AHF, the first 5.5 were not used till May'42. Obviously they could well have been issued prior, but at least we have a date to work back from
Which regt and what's the source?

Unfortunately Pemberton says nothing about medium artillery in N Africa in 1941. His first mention quotes what I think is an 8 Army letter dated 24 Jun 42 saying that there was a great shortage of field and medium artillery, of which the latter was now reduced to 8x4.5 and 16x155, given regts in theatre (after the loss of 67 & 68) these were in 7 & 64 Med Regts.

Later he says that at the end of 1941 there were few occasions on which med arty could be used partly because of the short range of 6-in and 155mm How with which several btys were still equipped (Farndale 'Years of Defeat' (which goes to the end of 1941) makes no mention of 155mm). He then says that by May 1942 the situation had improved by the arrival of more 4.5 and the first consignment of 5.5 was 'on the way', but almost immediately these advantages were offset by a serious loss of 4.5 guns from prematures, and all ammo returned to base for inspection.

5.5 issues in UK started summer 1941, a Canadian medium regt reported they were getting them at the rate of 4 guns per regt per month from September.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by Andy H » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:52 pm

Hi nigelfe

The book that I got the information from was Ubique (The Royal Artillery in the Second World War) by Richard Doherty, 2009.

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Re: Medium Artillery Regiments; higher command.

Post by nigelfe » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:59 pm

I read a review of it a few days ago and from that concluded I wouldn't place too much credence on it and it would not add anything much to my knowledge. He has no track record in artillery history.

Based on what Pemberton says (and the review of the book says Pemberton is one of the main sources) then in use in May 42 is an impossibility (so he hasn't read Pemberton too closely!).

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