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(Login bisondecals) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 220.127.116.11
I have two photos of british Weasels in Holland, but I need help with their AoS's.
First photo from the Walcheren landings. Seems to be white 93 on a two coloured background. Anyone know the colours or the unit?
Second photo from inside Holland, the Polar Bear from 49th West Riding, but the AoS are not visible. Anyone know what it could have been?
(Login Dave_Block) Missing-Lynx members 18.104.22.168
Hard to say for the 49th
December 14 2011, 6:32 PM
without having access to the War Establishment tables to see who weasels were allocated to. There weren't too many about so my 'swag' is Signals or RASC unless some senior bod at RHQ took a fancy to it. Nice find btw, I've only seen them with 79th Armd flashes til now.
for the rest I'm not sure because 46 (RM) Cdo is said to have sailed for the UK on 7 October 1944 to join 1 SS Bde, and it's not clear whether it became part of 1 SS Bde or was merely attached to it while formally still within 4 SS Bde. So the rest of the AoS may be :
94? .......... 46 (RM) Cdo
94 or 95?... 47 (RM) Cdo
95 or 96?... 48 (RM) Cdo
The Weasel marked '1' 'A Troop' with AoS 93 is most probably veh No.1, A Tp, 41 (RM) Cdo, therefore just landed from LCT 979 (LTIN 11), which is somewhere out of shot on the right of the picture, but whose ramp and bows are visible on the right of Britsh Pathe still 1969_09_075 (port of LCT 839).
The other photo, showing a Weasel with AoS 91, was shot aboard LCT 789 (LTIN 17) which carried troops from "Cdo HQ, No.4 (Belge) Troop less one Section, and 1 Offr and 14 ORs of No.5 (Norge) Troop", both Troops part of 10 (IA) Cdo. So I believe "Cdo HQ" designates "HQ 4 SS Bde" and the Weasel with AoS 91 we see is from Bde HQ.
Are you aware of the sequence of stills (BP 1969_09_094-104) showing a number of Weasels with their markings, including No.1 A Tp with its WD number visible?
(Login bisondecals) Missing-Lynx members 22.214.171.124
Many thanks-now something more...
December 15 2011, 10:16 AM
Great information. I must buy those books by Mr Fletcher.
I looking at the Pathe sequence you mention and a LVT-4 (#3C)is passing by in the background. Possible from 26 ASRE, 5 ARRE.
I was looking at the unreadable name on the aft, and after some photoshoping I have this; ADAMANI. Plausible? A town in Nigeria.
This LVT4 3C ADAMANT is indeed from 26 Amphibious Aslt Sqn RE, and landed second from LCT 839 (LTIN 16), followed by LVT2 3F (also visible on the photos/stills) from the same Sqn and LCT, probably between 1040 and 1050 on 1 Nov.
LCT 839 carried 16 troops of 41 (RM) Cdo and 78 troops of "No.5 Troop less 1 Offr and 14 ORs", 10 (IA) Cdo.
remove "truck" from email address
This message has been edited by Michel_Sabarly from IP address 126.96.36.199 on Dec 15, 2011 12:51 PM
Michael Gurnsey (Login DRMPG) Missing-Lynx members 188.8.131.52
4 Special Service Brigade AoS
December 15 2011, 4:33 PM
While I agree with much of what Michel says, I think his response may contain 2 errors. I corresponded with David Fletcher on this subject back in late 2008. He quoted "British Military Markings, 1939-1945" by Peter Hodges (I don't have this book so I can't confirm this). He stated that the the AoS of 4 SS Bde was '100' and the 4 Cdos were '92', '93', '95' & '96'. Now that throws a spanner in the works. No mention of '91' or '94'. I don't know the time period that this covers but as we were discussing the landings at Westkapelle I assumed that it was Nov 44. If anyone has a copy of this book it would be good to confirm that the quote is correct for that period.
The 4 Cdos that took part in the Westkapelle landings were 10 (IA), 41 (RM), 47 (RM) & 48 (RM). Presumably those are the 4 referred to above. I don't know if this is the correct order within the Bde but it seems reasonable.
I think Michel may also be misinterpreting the Loading Table in relation to LCT 789. "10 (IA) Cdo (No 4 Troop) + Cdo HQ" are grouped together, as are the number of men and vehicles. I think the clear implication of this is that "Cdo HQ" refers to 10(IA)Cdo (i.e. Lt Col Peter Laycock, Major Franks, etc.) rather than Bde HQ. Based on the same logic, HQ 41 Cdo was carried by LCT 979, although I have strong evidence to suggest that the Col was actually aboard LCT 532 (personal interview of the CO, Sub Lt Tony Bain). Just to add to the confusion, I can't find any mention of the HQ units for either 47 or 48 Cdos in the Loading Tables. Based purely on numbers of troops, it appears likely that HQ 48 Cdo might be aboard LCT 1133. 47 Cdo is more problematic but there is evidence to sugest that the Col was aboard LCT 892.
Tac HQ 4 SS Bde and HQ 4 SS Bde are both clearly identified in the Loading Table, the former being carried in LCT 812 and the latter in LCTs 976, 944, 528 & 1020.
If the AoS for HQ 4 SS Bde was '100', then I would suggest that the AoS '91' probably belongs to 10 (IA) Cdo. This fits with the that particular Weasel being aboard LCT 789, however,there is the little matter of '91' not being mentioned in Hodges book. It would seem reasonable that '93' is assigned to 41 Cdo, but it is unclear to me what AoS's were assigned to 47 & 48 Cdos.
Michel, perhaps we need to trawl through photos from Westkapelle to find more markings that might solve this riddle.
I now agree that "Cdo HQ" must mean just that, the HQ of 10 (IA) Cdo, and not Bde HQ as I first thought. I've also found other sources mentioning AoS 100 for 4 SS Bde HQ. It results that '91' is the AoS for 10(IA) Cdo, as no other Cdo unit is listed in LCT 789.
In August 1943 the RM Office had expected 4 Commando Bde to include 45, 46 and 47 RM Cdos, but formed in UK September 1943, CO Brig B. W. Leicester with 10 (InterAllied) Cdo, 41 RM Cdo, 46 RM Cdo and 47 RM Cdo with HQ staff from 101 RM Bde. Raised 48 RM Commando on approval dated 1 February 1944. The Brigade HQ was in France and NW Europe from June 1944 until the winter of 1945. while at Ostend in October its HQ was the planning authority for the Walcheren landings and at this time 46 RM Cdo was replaced by 4 (Army) Cdo. During the winter of 19445 this HQ had responsibilities from time to time for sectors of the Allied line in Holland but Commandos were sometimes detached to other commands, as when 41 RM Cdo and 48 RM Cdo were under command of 116 RM Brigade, the remainder of the Brigade under its HQ formed a mobile reserve of 41 RM Cdo, 46 RM Cdo and elements of 10(IA) Cdo, located southwest of Rotterdam. On 22 April the last of its raids was made by units under command. In late May 1945 the Brigade moved to Minden (Germany), where it was reinforced by drafts from 1 Commando Brigade in preparation for service in the Far East, but returned to the UK and was disbanded in December 1945."
So, according to this source (and others), for the Walcheren landings 4 SS Bde was made of:
10 (IA) Cdo
41 (RM) Cdo
4 Cdo (replacing 46 (RM) Cdo)
47 (RM) Cdo
48 (RM) Cdo
Additionally, I found a photo showing a 3-ton lorry of 47 (RM) Cdo with a distinct '96' AoS in a "light over dark" square, presumably Red over Black, captioned "Germany 1945". I believe this photo comes from the 47 Royal Marine Commando Association website:
If AoS didn't change between Walcheren and the time the photo was shot, we have one answer here. This also fits with Dick Taylor's statement (cited by Kevin above) that "93 was 4 SS Bde Commando Bn 4", if we assume that "Bn" means "Cdo", and having 46 (RM) Cdo (or its replacement No. 4 Cdo) as "Bn 3".
By the way, a transcription of the Operations report of 47 Cdo in the Walcheren landings used to be available on this same 47 Cdo website, but the link is now broken. I've signalled it to the webmaster, because this Report provides much detailed information on the vehicles loads etc.
The above leave 41 (RM) Cdo and 48 (RM) Cdo as candidates for AoS '93'. My guess would be 41 (RM) Cdo, but the landing time of 48 (RM) Cdo craft remains to be checked before this can be ascertained.
AoS - Unit
100 - 4 SS Bde HQ
91 - 10 (IA) Cdo
93 - 41 or 48 (RM) Cdo ?
96 - 47 (RM) Cdo
Now if we combine this with David Fletcher's statement (and also matching Dick Taylor's) that "the AoS of 4 SS Bde was '100' and the 4 Cdos were '92', '93', '95' & '96'" cited by Michael above, we could have:
AoS - Unit
100 - 4 SS Bde HQ
91 - 10 (IA) Cdo
92 - No.4 Cdo/46 (RM) Cdo or 48 (RM) Cdo ?
93 - 41 (RM) Cdo ?
94 - not 4 SS Bde ? 46 (RM) Cdo ?
95 - No.4 Cdo/46 (RM) Cdo or 48 (RM) Cdo ?
96 - 47 (RM) Cdo
which still leaves lots of question marks
Since 1 SS Bde had '81' for AoS, it may be that Commandos were allocated their AoS according to their respective seniority ranking. The answer may thus lie in the convoluted history of the formation of the Commando units. Need to dig deeper... Unless Shane Lovell finds another gem of his with the listing of AoS for all Commando units!
Now waiting for the next spanner in the works
remove "truck" from email address
This message has been edited by Michel_Sabarly from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Dec 16, 2011 8:24 AM This message has been edited by Michel_Sabarly from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Dec 16, 2011 5:34 AM
Good news! The link to the 47 (RM) Cdo Operations report on Walcheren is now restored, thanks to the diligence of the webmaster:
(Click on "History", then on "47 Royal Marine Commando", then on "The Assault on Walcheren - 1 November 1944", finally on "here" at the very bottom right of the page)
Now back to Arm of Service numbers.
Here are two great photos kindly provided by Marc de Bolster, webmaster of the 47 Royal Marine Commando Association. Here's what Marc writes about them:
"The photo showing the Guy Truck was taken in Hameln (Germany) in 1945, showing men of 47 RM Commando and the number 96 as marking on the truck. This photo is courtesy of veterans CQMS C.J. Harris (HQ-Troop) and Cpl. E. Staphnill (HQ-Troop). They both told me 96 was for 47 RM Commando, and explicitly said 48 RM Commando had a different number, opposed to the information given in the book by Jean Bouchery. In my opinion the veterans know best, because they were there at the time. They told me it was a rectangle or square sign, red on top and black below, with a white number 96 painted on it.
"From left to right: Mne. Arthur Welch (RME), Mne. D.J. Danny Lambert (HQ & Q Troop), Cpl. K. Tug Wilson (RASC), Mne. W.H. Bill Hogbin (HQ Troop)."
"The other photo shows the 47 RM Commando Regimental Aid Post and Chaplains quarters, taken in Kortgene (Holland) in 1945. Here the same sign can be seen on the wall, showing a red and black square with the number 96. The men in the photo are the 47 RM Commando Medical Officer Prof. J.O. Doc Forfar MC surrounded by his Medical staff"
Thanks to this enlightening information by Marc, we now know the following:
91 (seen aboard LCT 789) is the AoS for 10 (IA) Cdo (no other Cdo unit in LCT 789 (LTIN 17))
93 (seen on 'A' Tp Weasel plus others on the North side of the Gap) is the AoS for either 41 Cdo (probably) or 48 (RM) Cdo (possibly, but improbable, since 'A' Tp 48 (RM) Cdo was on board LCT 1133 (LTIN 13) which apparently landed South of the Gap).
96 is the AoS of 47 (RM) Cdo (photo and testimony from 47 (RM) veterans)
Now for the theory, based on the units' respective seniority ranking:
"In August 1943 the RM Office had expected 4 Commando Bde to include 45, 46 and 47 RM Cdos,"
Maybe AoS were allocated at that time as follows:
94 - 45 (RM) Cdo (formed 1 Aug 1943 from 5 RM Bn)
95 - 46 (RM) Cdo (formed 1 Aug 1943 from 9 RM Bn)
96 - 47 (RM) Cdo (formed 1 Aug 1943 from 10 RM Bn)
For these 3 Cdos (but not quite for all (RM) Cdos), we notice that the numbering sequence of the RM Cdos follows that of their originary RM Battalions. I've assumed that the AoS numbers follow the same principle.
"but formed in UK September 1943, CO Brig B. W. Leicester with 10 (InterAllied) Cdo, 41 RM Cdo, 46 RM Cdo and 47 RM Cdo with HQ staff from 101 RM Bde. Raised 48 RM Commando on approval dated 1 February 1944."
In other terms, as compared to the original planned composition, one unit (45 (RM) Cdo) left and three more joined:
10 (IA) Cdo - (formed 2 July 1942)
41 (RM) Cdo - (formed 10 October 1942 from 8 RM bn)
48 (RM) Cdo - (formed 2-13 March 1944 from 7 RM Bn)
We could imagine that 45 (RM) Cdo retained its AoS '94', and that because of the higher seniority in terms of date of formation for 10 (IA) Cdo, and originary RM Bn number for 41 and 48 (RM) Cdos, preceding AoS numbers were allocated to them as follows:
which fits David Fletcher's list of AoS in 4 SS Bde, before 46 (RM) Cdo left on 7 Oct 1944.
The above is the only way I found to explain why the Commando which was formed the latest, and joined last, i.e. 48 (RM) Cdo, would not bear the last AoS number of all. This apparently illogical sequence may be the reason for some books erroneously giving 48 (RM) Cdo the AoS '96'.
Well, I had at least one AoS right in my first post above!