Published on September 20th, 2013 |
by Grantham Matters
Maj-Gen Dick Gerrard-Wright (1930-2012)
Maj-Gen Dick Gerrard-Wright was a talented officer and natural leader who dealt with exacting postings in Kenya and Northern Ireland.
Richard Eustace John Gerrard-Wright was born on May 9 1930 at Woolsthorpe-By-Belvoir Rectory, the son of the rector and chaplain to the Duke of Rutland.
He was educated at Christ s Hospital before going to RMA Sandhurst.
Commissioned in 1949, he served with the 1st Battalion Royal Lincolnshire Regiment in the Suez Canal Zone and Germany and then in Malaya during the Communist insurgency.
He was mentioned in despatches.
After The Royal Lincolns were amalgamated with the Northamptonshire Regiment to form the 2nd East (later Royal) Anglian Regiment and, after returning to Sandhurst as an instructor, he served with this battalion in Germany.
In 1963, after passing the Staff College examination, he attended the Indian Defence Services Staff College in south India.
Gerrard-Wright then became brigade major of the 70th (East African) Brigade in Kenya.
He sat in on cabinet meetings chaired by Jomo Kenyatta and played an important part in preparing the brigade for its role as the basis for the newly independent Kenya army.
He was appointed MBE.
In 1966 he moved to Malaysia on being appointed brigade major of 28th (Commonwealth) Brigade.
Gerrard-Wright adopted a pet monkey, called Psmith, whom he promoted lance-corporal.
The creature occasionally lost its temper and one day climbed to the top of a tent, where it vented its rage on the occupants by sprinkling them with talcum powder.
Psmith was immediately reduced to the ranks.
In 1970 Gerrard-Wright took command of the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Two operational tours in Northern Ireland at a time of increasing violence established him as a first-rate battalion commander.
At the end of his tour he was appointed OBE and again mentioned in despatches.
A staff appointment at HQ I (British) Corps in Germany was followed by a return to Northern Ireland in command of 39 Infantry Brigade.
He was advanced to CBE in 1977 and attended the Canadian National Defence College, Ontario.
In 1979 Gerrard-Wright returned to HQ 1 (British) Corps as Chief of Staff.
He was promoted major-general the following year upon becoming GOC Eastern District.
After a spell at the MoD as Director TA and Cadets, in 1985 he was appointed CB on retiring from the Army.
The recent Allied offensive had slowed in pace.
As a result the divisional commander of 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division ordered elements forward in an effort to further disrupt the Britsh in his sector.
Commanded by Hans Schlomer, the Kampfgruppe s major combat elements included two Panzer Grenadier battalions at near full strength and a third at reduced strength. All battalions being drawn from the 8th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. Other combat elements included a company of Stug III assault guns from the division s Panzer battalion and a company of Jagdpanzer IVs from the divisional anti-tank company.
Additional formations included specialist AA and artillery elements.
The general area of operations can be seen below, viewed from the south. British forces are approaching from the left centre. In 8th Panzer Grenadier Regiment s sector one battalion is positioned forward and is visible in the middle centre and along the ridge running west to east.
Be sure to click on each image for a more detailed view.
The German commander s staff completed a hasty assessment of the situation which would form the basis of the operation.
The British were believed to be advancing in reinforced brigade strength and expected to deploy additional armoured support.
A number of hills and converging roads suggested the focus of the British advance would be against the centre and right.
The advanced 1st Panzer Grenadier Battalion, comprising a particularly well core of veterans, was to hold a small village and wooded hill each in company strength. A handful of anti-tank guns would bolster the defence. A reserve company held high ground to the battalions rear and acted as a battalion reserve and protection of the otherwise exposed left flank.
The entire battalion s position would form a forward defensive bastion for the kampfgruppe.
As such observers for the division s 105mm artillery battalion and attached werfers supported the battalion.
To the right the 2nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion would advance on foot to pin the expected advancing British battalions frontally. The support allocated to this battalion was minimal with indirect fire weapons being limited to the battalion s own 120mm mortars. Below, the area over which 2nd Battalion would advance over.
The battalion would be slowed by a river running across its axis of advance.
This battalion would be reinforced with Stug and Jagdpanzers as well as additional mobile flak.
Due to the location of the British forces this battalion was forced to enter the operational area from the north-east rather than due east, as originally planned.
Below, another view of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Battalion showing the deployment of Stugs and Jadgpanzers as well as supporting flak weapons.
As the German 3rd Panzer Grenadier Battalion entered the area of operations the British second battalion continued forward towards the German centre.
Reinforced with a number of Vickers HMG s, Churchill tanks and 17pdr anti-tank guns the British centre was strong.
However, the battalion came under an extremely effective werfer strike which meant that a number of platoons went to ground just as the advancing 2nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion engaged them in what was to become a prolonged fire-fight.
Below, several elements are suppressed by the werfers.
Concurrently the 3rd Panzer Battalion attack was developing. The closed terrain however caused issues for both forces. The German armour was unable to concentrate while the British Churchills were forced to retire rather than risk advancing through a narrow gap between a village and wood.
The result was that while German Panzer Grenadiers suffered heavy casualties due to artillery fire the battalion attacks slowly gained ground on the British 3rd battalion on the high ground to their front.
Below, the German 2nd and 3rd Panzer Grenadier Battalions can be advancing on the exposed British centre and left.
On the extreme left a village can be seen.
This formed the right flank of the 1st Panzer Grenadier Battalion.
With the converging German attacks the British battalion zones became mixed. As a result some support stands were unable to deploy effectively. However, after a squadron of Churchill tanks were withdrawn supporting 17pdrs were able to operate more effectively.
Below, British 17pdrs and Churchill tanks.
Meanwhile a prolonged engagement had taken on the German left flank where the veteran 1st Panzer Grenadier Battalion had been attacked by a reinforced British battalion.
Initially the British attack had fallen on a single German company deployed on a wooded hill.
As the battle progressed additional German platoons were moved forward to counter a British flanking movement and then later to press a counter-attack.
Above, the British attack has failed and surviving British platoons have fallen back just prior to the German counter-attack.
German 105mm artillery was critical to breaking up the attacks.
With the British attacks stalled across the Brigade sector and casualties rising alarmingly the British commander had little choice but to order a withdrawal.
The 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division had achieved it s objective.
Now consideration was given to follow-on attacks
The above scenario was developed using the Spearhead Scenario Generation System.
The scenario was an Advance to Contact scenario where both British and German players used their defend lists.
All figures are from Heroics and Ros 6mm ranges.
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June 29, 1944 Operation Epsom With the weather improving over the United Kingdom and Normandy, Hausser s preparations for his counter stroke came under continual harassment from Allied aircraft and artillery fire, delaying the start of the attack to the afternoon. From the number of German reinforcements arriving in VIII Corps sector, and aerial reconnaissance, VIII Corps commander Lieutenant-General Richard O Connor suspected that the Germans were organising a major offensive. XXX Corps was still some way to the north, leaving VIII Corps right flank vulnerable so O Connor postponed the attacks by I Corps and ordered VIII Corps onto the defensive.
Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, commanding the Second Army and privy to ULTRA decrypts of intercepted German signal traffic, knew the counterattack was coming and approved O Connor s precautions. VIII Corps began to reorganise in order to meet the attack. Supply echelons for Hausser s divisions were located in the vrecy Noyers-Bocage Villers-Bocage area and were the focus of RAF fighter-bomber attention throughout the morning and early afternoon; the RAF claimed the destruction of over 200 vehicles.
VIII Corps also launched spoiling moves. At 0800 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, from the 43rd Division, assaulted Mouen. Without armour but with an artillery barrage, by 1100 the battalion had evicted the 1st SS Panzer Division s panzergrenadiers, following which 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry moved up and dug in on the Caen Villers-Bocage road.
The 43rd Division s 129th Brigade swept the woods and orchards around Tourville-sur-Odon before crossing the river north of Baron-sur-Odon and clearing the south bank. Other initiatives were less successful. An attempt by the 15th Division s 44th Brigade to advance towards the Odon and link up with the force holding the Gavrus bridges failed, leaving this position isolated and in the salient the 44th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment failed to capture Hill 113 (49 6 14 N 0 30 45 W), north of vrecy after clashing with 10th SS Panzer and losing 6 tanks.
Trying to strengthen their position, elements of the 11th Armoured Division launched a failed attack to take Esquay-Notre-Dame west of Hill 112 but a combined infantry and tank attack by elements of the 8th Battalion The Rifle Brigade and the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Tank Regiment on the southern slope of the hill succeeded in driving the Germans from the position. Hausser intended II SS Panzer Corps s 9th SS Panzer Division with Kampfgruppe Weidinger protecting its left flank to cut across the British salient north of the Odon, while the 10th SS Panzer Division was to retake Gavrus and Hill 112 south of the river.
9th SS Panzer s attack began at 1400, heavily supported by artillery. The 19th and 20th SS Panzergrenadier Regiments supported by Panthers, Panzer IV s and assault guns attacked Grainville, le Haut du Bosq and le Valtru, aiming for Cheux.
A British company was overrun and tanks and infantry penetrated le Valtru where anti-tank guns knocked out four German tanks within the village and artillery fire forced their supporting infantry to withdraw. Heavy and confused fighting, at times hand-to-hand, took place outside Grainville. Panzergrenadiers captured a tactically important wood but were forced back by a British counterattack.
The panzergrenadiers claimed they also captured Grainville but no British sources support this and by nightfall British infantry were in firm control of the village. At around 1600 the British captured an officer of the 9th SS Panzer Division who was conducting a reconnaissance. He was found to be carrying a map and notebook containing details of new attacks.
Nonetheless at around 1830 the Germans attacked the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division s right flank. One unit was being relieved and in the confusion German tanks and infantry slipped through the British defences, with some units advancing 2 miles (3.2 km) before running into heavy resistance. By 2300, 9th SS Panzer had been stopped.
Additional supporting attacks against the British eastern flank had been planned but the German tank concentrations assembling in the Carpiquet area had been so severely disrupted by RAF fighter-bombers during the afternoon that the attacks never materialised. The 10th SS Panzer Division launched its attack behind schedule at 1430. Following clashes earlier in the day the British were waiting but after five hours of intense combat the Scottish infantry defending Gavrus had been pushed back into a pocket around the bridge north of the village.
An artillery bombardment caused the Germans to withdraw but the British did not reoccupy the village. Moving towards Hill 113, elements of 10th SS Panzer (2nd Grenadier Battalion, Panzergrenadier Regiment 21 and 2nd Battalion, Panzer Regiment 10) ran into British tanks and infantry (44th Battalion The Royal Tank Regiment and 2nd Battalion The King s Royal Rifle Corps) in vrecy, thwarting their attempt to occupy the hill. Dealing with this obstacle took the remainder of the day so the division s attack on Hill 112 was postponed.
The Germans claimed the destruction of 28 tanks while the British record the loss of 12. Believing the German attacks on 29 June indicated more counterattacks for the following day, Dempsey reinforced the Odon bridgehead with a brigade of the 43rd division and pulled in its perimeter. The 159th Infantry Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division was placed under the command of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division, and acceding to O Connor s wishes for additional infantry, Dempsey attached the newly arrived 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division to VIII Corps; the lead brigade arrived near the Epsom start line during the night.
In order to retain possession of Hill 112, Dempsey recognised that he would also need to hold vrecy and Hill 113, which for the moment he did not have the resources.
He ordered the 29th Armoured Brigade to abandon the hill.
Convinced that the most important position to retain was between Rauray and the Odon, after dark Dempsey withdrew the 29th Armoured Brigade north across the river to be in a position to meet the expected German offensive.
Afghanistan National Afghan Army Undertakes “On Ground” Operations
Afghanistan National Afghan Army Undertakes On Ground Operations
Regional Command West QALA-E-NAW, Afghanistan (June 25, 2013) After detailed planning, this week the Afghan National Army 3rd Brigade carried out on ground Operation Almazack 11, in the area of Zabzak Pass . This area is of great importance for the Spanish Contingent, as it is considered an important route in the area.
In general, on ground operations are aimed at bringing the army closer to the population, so that it can gain their confidence and support . In this way, the local population can see the most positive side of their own Army and how it gets involved in their security and daily concerns.
The 3rd Brigade, which is deployed in Badghis Province and is the youngest of the 207 Corp of the ANA, is making significant progress in planning and conducting its own operations with full independence from ISAF forces .
The Spanish contingent takes great pride in seeing these significant advances in a Brigade it has been training and advising since 2011.
The Spanish Military Advisor Team (MAT), from the Albuera Battalion of Light Infantry Regiment Tenerife 49, has been working to ensure that the Brigade would be able to undertake on ground operations on their own in those areas in which the extremism is still active . That goal is being now achieved.
At the end of the operation, they handed out one hundred aid packages in the towns of Gorumbah and Majesde Cubi.
The operation was a resounding success and has validated the Brigade HQ Cell.
A British soldier has been killed in an insider attack at his base in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said.
The soldier, from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed on Sunday while in Patrol Base Shawqat, in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, a spokesman for Task Force Helmand said. His next of kin has been informed. Major Laurence Roche, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: I am very sorry to report the death of a soldier from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was shot by an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform at his base in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
This is incredibly sad news for the battalion and everyone serving in Task Force Helmand. As we mark Remembrance this weekend, our thoughts now turn to the soldier s family and friends whose loss is so much greater than ours . The insider attack takes to 438 the number of UK service members to have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.
The green-on-blue death brings the number of British servicemen killed by Afghan soldiers or police to 12 this year, compared to just one in 2011, three in 2010, and five in 2009. At least 54 international troops have died as a result of such attacks – where Afghans turn their weapons on their coalition colleagues. News of the killing came after the Queen led the nation in honouring the fallen today, as the country fell silent to remember its war dead.
In scenes replicated at memorials across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations, the monarch laid the first wreath at the Cenotaph to commemorate members of the Armed Forces who died fighting in all conflicts since the First World War.
Light Tank Mk VI
The Vickers Mk VI was a British light tank used during World War II1, was the chariot of the most well-known series of British light tanks. The medium was a decent fighter and reconnaissance means, very mobile and fast even off-road, which is widely used in the 30s, with police duties, throughout the British Empire. It was also used during the early years of World War II2, where he proved to be virtually useless.
Their light armor was easily pierced by any type of anti-tank weapons and their weapons (machine gun consists of a single 7.7-or 12.7-mm) was inadequate to the needs of the battlefield.
In France, lack of adequate resources forced the British to use them in combat as well as for their original role, that is, the reconnaissance. The results were disastrous: all Vickers Mk VI sent into combat were either captured or annihilated by German Panzer3. Attempts to transform the self-propelled anti-aircraft Vickers failed, while the Germans turned the wagons caught in the destroyer4.
The Vickers Mk VI had often the opportunity to fight in the battle against the Italian L3/33, who were descended from the same project.
The design of the Vickers was ready when the United Kingdom began its large rearmament program.
The reason for the creation of this wagon was to strengthen the ranks of the Royal Tank5 Regiment and the mechanized cavalry regiments, brigades and divisions (Note: regiments are actually British units to battalion level).
The role was intended for the carriage of exploration and reconnaissance, and then, being armed only with machine guns, was not expected no use against other wagons.
The armament of the Mk VI consisted of two twin Vickers machine guns placed in the turret, one from the other by .50 inches and .303 inches. The tower could be panned by hand crank with a full 360 , while the armament had an elevation range from -10 to 37 . The reserve of ammunition consisted of 200 cartridges for the .50 caliber (12.7 mm) and 2500 for the .303 (7.7mm) carried in the chariot.
In addition to the armament there was also mounted a radio No.
9 W / T in an enlargement at the rear of the turret.
In the latest version Mk VIC armament consisted of a 15mm machine gun instead of 12.7 mm (.50).
The protection of the Mark VI was designed to withstand a bullet with a maximum caliber of 7.7 mm, the maximum thickness of the armor came in while the minimum 14mm to 4mm.
Needless to say thicknesses of the kind would have been useless in a fight against a wagon.
The mobility of the wagon was assigned to a ESTB Meadows six-cylinder water-cooled 88hp that could produce power at 3000 revolutions per minute.
The transmission was through a pre-selector with five forward gears and reverse.
All this allowed for a road speed of 56 km / h with 4.9 tons of weight.
Only 91 specimens of Mk VI were built before the release of the improved version, the Mk VIA. The most significant improvements were suspension and cooling system, even if the location of the pilot and commander have been changed. The tracks have been widened and lengthened, improving comfort without changing the services offered.
The basic version Mk VI had insufficient cooling system, especially in the hottest places on the vast British Empire, while the Mk VIA, they arrived at a proper system, severely tested in Egypt producing good results.
From November 1935 to January 1936 were built 85 examples of Mk VIA.
The wagon version of the AA (anti-aircraft) Mk I was built on the hull of Mk VIA, with four 7.92 mm BESA machine guns.
It was built a small number before switching to the A version Mk II in January 1936.
With corrections in mechanical problems it was decided to equip the Army of Indian tanks. However, even with proper cooling of the engine, the crew compartment was not suitable for the tropical temperatures India. Engine improvements have been made since.
The results were a standard version for use in both the British forces of the Indian ones.
The Mk VIB was the most produced (850 units) and used by British armored forces from April 1937 to January 1940.
The AA Mk II version is built on the hull of Mk VIB and has seen improvements in the turret and sighting systems, compared to the previous version.
Light Tank Mk VIC
In the latest version of the wagon it was decided to change the armament, the Vickers 12.7mm with the 15mm and the BESA .303 with 7.92 mm. For the large caliber 15mm could make fire only in semi-automatic mode. The allocation to the cartridge was changed, with 2700 cartridges for the 7.92 mm and 175 for the 15mm.
The dome of the commander had been removed in favor of a simple tailgate.
The production of copies is reached 130 vehicles from December 1939 to June 1940.
Many were assigned to the British forces stationed in Egypt and took part in the initial stages of the campaign in North Africa. Most of these chariots were the model Mk VIB, even if they remained some models Mk and Mk VIC VIA, the latter with a heavier armament. Most of the Mk VIA have been assigned to Infantry Battalions Tanks (that is supposed to protect the infantry during attacks).
Against the Italians, the only use of the wagon was to survey, even if the desert did not give a chance to the wagon to have a decent mobility.
On 1 March 1941 in Egypt there were 36 Mk VI, Mk 55 VIA, VIB and a 276 Mk Mk Mk VIC VIC plus six others in transit and awaiting departure.
21 Mk VIC were shipped with the convoy Tiger in Egypt, arrived May 12, 1941.
Some specimens were captured by Germany in North Africa and used again against the British.
British Military Vehicles of World War II
from your own site.
- ^ World War II (desertwar.net)
- ^ World War II (desertwar.net)
- ^ Panzer (desertwar.net)
- ^ destroyer (desertwar.net)
- ^ Tank (desertwar.net)
- ^ Tank (desertwar.net)
- ^ Tank (desertwar.net)
- ^ Second World War (desertwar.net)
- ^ British Expeditionary Force (desertwar.net)
- ^ British 7th Armoured Division (desertwar.net)
Prayers and condolences to the family of Lee Rigby.
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce that the soldier killed in yesterday s incident in Woolwich, South East London, is believed to be Drummer Lee Rigby of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London).
Drummer Lee Rigby or Riggers to his friends was born in July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester.
He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre Catterick was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (also known as the Second Fusiliers or 2 RRF ).
His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the battalion was serving as the resident infantry battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion s public duties commitment.
He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalion s time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Division s Beating the Retreat a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums.
In April 2009, Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab.
On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group.
In 2011, Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London.