2nd Army HQ Defence Platoons Normandy

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by grayden, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. grayden

    grayden Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Still researching my uncles war service and have come across an entry in his records which says ' Attd, HQ, 2nd Army Def. Pl.' which I believe stands for Attached to HQ 2nd Army Defence Platoon which was drawn from the 50th Northumbrian Division and in Jim's case the 5th East Yorks . The date is 4th July 1944 and I know that it was General Miles Dempsey's HQ which I think was at Cruelly.
    Does anyone know if War Diaries or records were produced by HQ or the Platoons? I have searched National Archives to no avail.
    Thanks,

    Graham
     
  2. Aixman

    Aixman WE addict

    Graham

    The only fitting war establishment I found was III/131/2 "An Army or Corps Headquarters Defence Company" which of course had several platoons. So you might find the war diaries by searching for an Army Headquarters Defence Company.

    Aixman
     
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  3. grayden

    grayden Member

    Thanks Aixman,

    Initial search gave lists of awards to servicemen. I will keep trying with different permutations.
    Thanks again,

    Graham
     
  4. grayden

    grayden Member

    No can't find anything under that heading. Are the first three digits '1's or 'L's lower case?

    Regards

    Graham
     
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Graham,

    This is what Aixman was referring to.

    ARMY HEADQUARTERS DEFENCE COMPANY
    War Establishment III/131/2.
    The Major commanding the Defence Company may also deploy headquarters personnel for defence if required.

    Motorcycle 1
    Company Serjeant Major
    Motorcycle 2
    transport serjeant
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly
    Motorcycle 4
    orderly

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep)
    Major, batman driver
    Carries a Bren lmg

    15cwt GS 1
    Captain, clerk, batman driver
    Carries office equipment
    15cwt GS 2
    storeman technical, vehicle mechanic REME, driver mechanic
    Carries MT stores and ammunition

    3ton 4 X 4 GS lorry 1
    corporal cook, 3 X cook, sanitary dutyman, driver IC
    Carries cooking sets and rations.
    Carries water in tins
    Tows a water trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS lorry 2
    company quartermaster serjeant, storeman, driver IC
    Carries stores
    3ton 4 X 4 GS lorry 3
    corporal armourer REME, 2 X vehicle mechanic REME, driver mechanic
    Carries 20mm ammunition and spares

    20mm AA Platoon
    Motorcycle 1
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle 2
    orderly
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly

    15cwt GS
    serjeant, batman driver
    Carries office equipment

    15cwt AA 1
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 2
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 3
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 4
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    20mm AA Platoon
    Motorcycle 1
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle 2
    orderly
    Motorcycle 3
    orderly

    15cwt GS
    serjeant, batman driver
    Carries office equipment

    15cwt AA 1
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 2
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 3
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition
    15cwt AA 4
    serjeant, 2 X gun numbers, driver IC
    Carries 20mm AA gun
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a trailer containing 20mm ammunition


    Ground Defence Platoon
    Motorcycle
    Orderly

    15cwt GS
    Subaltern, driver IC
    Carries baggage and stores

    3ton 4 X 4 troop carrying lorry
    serjeant, 3 X corporal, 21 X riflemen, driver IC
    Carries 3 X Bren lmg and 3 X PIAT
    Forms three sections, each with eight men including a corporal plus a Bren gun. PIATS are available for distribution as required.

    Ground Defence Platoon
    Motorcycle
    orderly

    15cwt GS
    Subaltern, driver IC
    Carries baggage and stores

    3ton 4 X 4 troop carrying lorry
    serjeant, 3 X corporal, 21 X riflemen, driver IC
    Carries 3 X Bren lmg and 3 X PIAT
    Forms three sections, each with eight men including a corporal plus a Bren gun. PIATS are available for distribution as required.

    Armoured Car Troop RAC

    Armoured Car 1
    Subaltern, gunner mechanic, gunner operator, driver operator, driver mechanic
    Armoured Car 2
    serjeant, gunner mechanic, gunner operator, driver operator, driver mechanic
    Armoured Car 3
    corporal driver operator, 2 X gunner mechanic, gunner operator,
    driver mechanic

    Mike
     
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  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    And yes 2 Army Headquarters was at Creully. Must have been a bit crowded.

    The town was chosen by General Dempsey for his 2 Army Main Headquarters, with his Tactical Headquarters moving to wherever was nearest the fighting. General Montgomery also established his 21 Army Group Main Headquarters here. With these two major headquarters came their associated RAF Headquarters. 2 TAF Headquarters was located near 21 Army Group Headquarters and 83 Group Headquarters near 2 Army Headquarters.

    Mike.
     
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  7. grayden

    grayden Member

    Thanks Mike,

    Is there diaries for the HQ platoons?

    I would like to know the HQ locations and the daily routines and actions if possible for the duration of overlord.

    Graham
     
  8. grayden

    grayden Member

    Hi Mike,


    I have beenon thr Trux site and seen the War Establishment table references

    WO 24 948 July, August, September
    WO 24 949 October, November, December

    Do youknow What they show?

    Graham
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    All I could find was this diary:

    WO 171/15 2 Army HQ Defence Company 1944 July- Dec

    No idea on content or how many pages - I never knew they existed until tonight :)
     
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I have never seen a War Diary for a HQ Defence unit. If it has appendices it could be very interesting. Anyway it will list all the sites it occupied. The War Diaries for major Headquarters are big and deal with much weightier matters that defence units.

    Mike
     
  11. grayden

    grayden Member

    Hi Andy hope you are well have not been around for a while due to other things.
    Thats very interesting set of documents 151 july to september looks good too, I will try to find out how many sheets there are but it looks thick to me! Just wonder if it will cover 2nd army diaries within 21st army group it may do.
    Thanks again,

    Graham
     
  12. grayden

    grayden Member

    I you may be right Mike guess we won't know until we take a look.

    Thanks,

    Graham
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There's a separate diary for 2 Army HQ
     
  14. grayden

    grayden Member

    There's a separate diary for 2 Army HQ

    Hi Andy

    Thought there might be, have you the reference by chance?

    Thanks

    Graham
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's not the defence platoon file, it will be a General Staff file - It will be around a 1,000 pages and most of them will be admin related pages like Operational Orders etc.
     
  16. grayden

    grayden Member

    Hi Andy hope you are well.

    Still trying to find war diaries for the above. The reference you gave me I misinterpreted for WO 171/52 Army HQ Defence Company when I now realise it should have been WO 171/15 2 Army HQ etc. Anyway found it today but it says on the TNA reference that its July to December 1943 and not 1944. Do you know if this incorrect? I didnt think they were in France then.

    I really need to find where the Tactical HQ moved to and what they were involved in.

    Hope you can help,
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO 171 is the NW Europe campaign files and like you say there were no allies in France etc until D-Day so I suspect/ very confident the year is a typo. Starting in July would fit in with the HQ deploying to France after Normandy beaches were secure etc.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  18. grayden

    grayden Member

    Thanks very much Andy I do appreciate your help.
    As you say they couldn't have been there in 43 as they didn't get there until post D-Day so must be typo. That's another trip to the TNA maybe next week.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  19. grayden

    grayden Member

    Checked out the file WO 171/15 at the TNA and it is defintely 1943. It covers the period in England, Oxford and later at Purbrook near Portsmouth before DDay.

    Graham
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    How odd it's not filled in WO 166. :unsure:
     

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