33rd AB Help OP Totalise

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Thundergrunt, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member

    Hello All

    I am posting this as it was part of another question and was told to post here. I am looking for Information on the Numbering and Naming Convention of the 1st Northants. and their formation at the Start of Totalize. I belive it was Asq then Csq with the Kangaroos and M10SP's and then Bsq. can anyone help me in this I am stuck. I think I found that the low #tanks were the command tanks.

    Thanks Eugene
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Looks very much like your Asq - Csq- and Bsq are merely the Squadrons of the Regiment and do not refer to naming or numbering of each unit

  3. Aeronut

    Aeronut Junior Member

    This may help a little. Its taken from the account of the actions of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch and describes the organisation of the Battalion's transport at the start of Totalize. Its written by the Battalion's CO and therefore is from an infantryman's point of view.

    "At 2145 hours on the 7th Aug, the 1st Battalion Black Watch and the Northamptonshire Yeomanry began to form up in four columns just South of Cormelles with two squadrons of Shermans leading, followed by the Battalion transported on dismantled Priests and White Scout cars, while the remaining squadrons of Shermans brought up the rear. The Commanding Officer and the Commanding Officer of the Yeomanry travelled in Honey and Sherman tanks respectively."
    Owen likes this.
  4. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member

    Mr Canning. Yes sir thanks for the clarification, I now see the error in my question. I am curious as to how the squadrons were named and numbered within the regiment.And thank you for your service sir. I am a veteran of of the last 20years and 2 more till retirment. I'll miss the infantry but its time.

    Aero. That is great info, I am trying to solidify what you have wrote I think it went A sq was lead then Csq with BW in the kangs then Hq As and Has, but cannot find any info on that.
  5. Bluebell21

    Bluebell21 Old Hand

    Hi Eugene,

    The following info from 1.NY War Diary may help:

    Image3.jpg Image4.jpg


    The last report extracted from War Office Report No:57. 30th.Sept/44.

    Juha likes this.
  6. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member

    Blue that is amazing thanks! what i was looking for. Now my last piece is where was the M10's from 33rd BTY 6 ATK Regiment in all that. as they were the ATK Sp's for that formation. Thanks again so much everyine.
  7. Hello everyone,

    My first post here, so be gentle... :mellow:

    My Father-in-law was with 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry throughout the war and B Sqd in particular throughout the NWE campaign, ending up in LVT4 Buffaloes for the Rhine crossing. He was radio op and then tank commander of both 75mm Shermans and 17pdr Fireflies.

    @Thundergrunt - What you are asking about is the "Night March" on the night of 7th August at the beginning of Op Totalise (Phase 1) I can assure you that there were no M10's involved in the columns. This particular part of Totalise has been written about in several books and I also have the oral history from my Father-in-law. Sadly he passed away in 1996 and I wished that I asked him more questions. He was very forthcoming with his anecdotes.

    You will need to access Ken Tout's very fine book "TANK". Page 11 has a schematic of 1.NY column including the troops within the squadrons.
    Anther very good more recent book is Brian Reid's book "NO HOLDING BACK" page 140/141. A very detailed schematic showing 1.NY, Canadian Priest Kangaroo's, 79th Armoured Division's supporting "Funnies", AVREs, Flails and 1st Btn Black Watch lift together with their organic anti-tank platoon of universal carriers and 6pdrs.

    There is a chart which shows all the names and turret numbering convention for 1.NY which can be found in "Military Illustrated" magazine N°69 of 1994 pages 12 to 18.
    I'm currently researching putting WD serial numbers to the tanks of 1.NY which means trawling through photos of 33.AB. One quick tip, is finding where the 51.HD were at a particular battle and 33.AB would not be far away as they were the Armoured support for the Jocks. Of course then you have further filter for 1NY, 144RAC or 1ERY.

    @Bluebell21 - Thanks for those snippets of the War Diary, very interesting. I did ask the NA for a quote of one of the 33AB regiment's war diaries and at £1.30 for one page it came to £267.80 in total plus postage on top. Guess I'll have to go down in person to find the bits I'm after. Just heard that their prices have gone up too!

    Hope this helps. Probably raises more questions than answers!

    Swiper and stolpi like this.
  8. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member


    Thank you for your Reply, But I differ, And have read all of Mr Touts books. But I have the Offical War Diary of the 6th ATk Regiment in NWE and for Totalize, and they were assigned in colum with the 1st Black Watch of 154 BDE 51st div HD in De frocked priests?? with a target of St. Aignan. Along with 33rd AB 1NY.

    From The Diary:

    " Aug 5, 44 33rd BTY placed under 51(H) command for upcoming operation. 33rd BTY will join 51(H) in area south of Cormelles."

    " Aug 7,44 Attack to go in at 2330 hrs. Welding Turret tops to M10's completed today."

    " Aug 8, 44 Op Totalize underway on schedule the three tps and Tac HQ moved up to Div objectives within 154BDE Armd Colums. A tp Supported 1 Black Watch who took St Aigan Cramesil (MR0956) during this action Tp knocked out enemy lorry and towed gun. B Tp supported 7 Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders who took Crasmensil (MR0856). C Tp supported 7 Black Watch who took Garcelles Seqcuville (MR0858) This Tp destroyed one Mk IV tank."

    National Archives of Canada War Diary T-16719 2nd Candian Corps 6th Anti-Tank Regiment August 1944. Vol 14570 Entry 1375.

    PS. This may Help you in your name Hunt. I am looking for C sq of the 1 NY and their numbers.

    well I cannot link or copy and paste to show you it is not letting me. Sorry
    Juha likes this.
  9. Hi Eugene,

    I stand seriously corrected!

    I never knew about the M10's and I certainly can't argue with the 6th Anti-Tank Regt's war diary. Many thanks for that information. What is even more interesting is that they welded tops on to the M10 turrets. Although a constant complaint by the M10 crews, I'd never heard that they actually put tops on the turret. After all, M10s were supposed to be used from ambush positions, at least in British/Canadian usage. Now, pictures of those would be priceless!

    By the way, de-frocked Priests was the term used for M7 Priests with the 105mm gun removed, British humour!

    I shall gather what I have on 1 NY 'C' squadron names/numbers for you, no worries.

    Stefan (never say never)
  10. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member


    That would be Awsome thank you I am a Model builder and builing a semi correct Dio of the Start of totalize. :)) Here is a link for you I hope. Dang it I cannot put a link to you on here Arrrgh.. have a great day Eugene.

    Archive war diary starts her for Aug 44.

    And a huge list of tank names going back to WWI. Hope this is of use to you.

    Attached Files:

    Juha likes this.
  11. Hi Eugene,

    Here we go........

    1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry - 'C' Squadron tank names / numbers - 7th/8th August 1944

    1 Troop
    43 - COTTESBROOK (1 - Troop Commander)
    44 - CULWORTH (1A - Troop Sergeant)
    45 - CATESBY (1B - Troop Corporal)
    46 - CHIPPING WARDEN (1C - Firefly)

    2 Troop
    47 - SULGRAVE (2 - Troop Commander)
    48 - Not known (2A - Troop Sergeant) Could be SPRATTON or STAVERTON ?
    49 - Not known (2B - Troop Corporal) Could be SPRATTON or STAVERTON ?
    50 - STONY STRATFORD (2C - Firefly)

    3 Troop
    51 - HELMDON (3 - Troop Commander) WD No. T232724
    52 - Not Known (3A - Troop Sergeant)
    53 - HELLIDON (3B - Troop Corporal) Sherman 75mm M4 Hybrid
    54 - HANGING HOUGHTON (3C - Firefly) WD No. T148855

    4 Troop
    55 - LILLINGSTONE (4 - Troop Commander)
    56 - LAMPORT (4A - Troop Sergeant)
    57 - LITCHBOROUGH (4B - Troop Corporal)
    58 - LONG BUCKLEY (4C - Firefly)

    HQ Troop
    59 - BUCKINGHAM (Squadron Commander)
    60 - BRACKLEY (Captain)
    61 - BRIXWORTH (Rear Link) WD No. T263281

    That's all I have on C squadron for now as it's still a WIP.

    As you probably know, 1NY had 75mm M4 Shermans and M4 Sherman 1c Hybrids for their Fireflies.
    All 'C' Squadron tank names were named after Northamptonshire villages in the county and all their 17pdr Fireflies has double-barrelled names (except for 2 in 'A' squadron which were the exception in 1NY.

    I've been told that 1NY had a high proportion of M4 Hybrids in the regiment but have little other to go on. No.53 - HELLIDON is a confirmed M4 Hybrid.

    By the time of Belgium and Holland, replacement Shermans weren't marked up the same way, names changed or names were kept but with a different WD No. etc. Turret numbers weren't replaced either or were placed on the hull side as some ERY Shermans I've seen images of in Holland. What colour were they? That's what I'm trying to track down too. All I have so far is Red for senior regiment, Yellow for second senior and supposedly Blue for the junior regiment, but I have no definite proof of that. Maybe some kind soul out there could help here?

    What scale will you use for your diorama? Do you have any information on the turret conversions for the M10's? Is your 6th A/T Regiment war diary in digital form?

    Hope this helps

    Juha and dbf like this.
  12. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member


    That is great. I was debating A sq or C sq. The post above with the diary is what I have.And the attachment is the PDF of a huge number of tank names I got to look for canadian Grenadier guard and Ldsh names.

    My Diorama will be 1/35 scale but not as big as I would like due to space. But I will be a troop from C sq ,2 kangaroos with the Black watch and an M10 at the start line of Totalize.

    I have seen only 2 picture with the M10s with a roof 1 in NWE (i'll have to find in my notes on home computer but I think it was a 6th Canadian Anti Tank regiment) a friend so to me. and the other was in Italy.

    I know a few of 1 NY Fireflys were IC's (non hybrid). A friend of mine his grandfather was 1NY and said they swapped their VC's for IC,and ICH's at request of their mechanics and logistics due to fuel and common parts I belive when they came available.And that his troop was 3 Troop B sq their Firefly was an IC named New Mexico that they swapped out, as well as the rest of their SQ Fireflys and a Headquarters tank from A sq that was a Hybrid and picked up a replacement Stuart. He also said the fighting in St aignan,and cramensil was rough.
    Juha likes this.
  13. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member


    I found it here it is. From my post above. How do you like that tank list. Achilles_tank_destroyer 86th ATK Can 6th ATk.jpg
  14. Eugene,

    Thanks for the photo of the M10 and an Achilles to boot! Bit difficult to make out if there is a 'lid' on the turret though! If there is, the workmanship is extremely neat. Those are Horsa gliders in the background too.

    I was actually replying to your post before the one with the picture and went and lost it all, drat it! Start again......
    Thanks for the link to the Canadian archive war diaries, looks very interesting. I already have the vehicle names v3 PDF, but thanks anyway. Part of my research work results is sending and correcting/updating this list as and when.

    I did some more digging and found an interesting comment here http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/vehicles/spg/selfpropelledguns.htm regarding 56th Anti-Tank Battery of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division employed in Op.TOTALIZE. Scroll down to M10. I imagine that this would have been for the right-hand column as TOTALIZE was a Canadian driven operation. We, of course, are discussing the left-hand column, but it seems that putting a lid on M10s was not as rare as I thought!

    Interesting about your friends' Grandad. Turret 36 - NEW MEXICO was indeed a Sherman IC of 3 Troop. Crew names I have here are Corporal Loton (commander), Trooper Mablethorne (driver), Trooper Becker (radio operator/loader) and Trooper C. Williams (gunner). Ring any bells?

    As you probably know B Squadron used US states for names (except for one, turret 32 - NEW ORLEANS, 2 Troop). A Squadron used Russian town names.
    My father-in-law also told me that St.Aignan de Cramesnil was rough indeed. I've actually walked the ground there and around the village about 5 years ago. I've stood on the spot where Trooper Ekins was in 12 - VELIKYE LUKI.

    I'd also worked out that my father-in-law and my uncle, who was in 1st Polish Armoured Division, were roughly 1000yds apart during the afternoon of 8th August 1944!

    I too am a modeller, but in the one true scale of 1/76th :rolleyes:
    Question : How do you attach files and images here? Until I get used to it, I find this forum is distinctly user unfriendly in trying to copy/paste and putting in attachments etc.

    Many thanks again for the links and photo.

  15. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    56 A/Tk Bty was also part of 6 Cdn A/Tk Regt.
  16. Many thanks Kevin, I didn't know that. Explains 33BTY in the above war diary entries. How or where do you find the batteries within the Regiment please?

  17. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Within 6 A/Tk specifically, or in general?
  18. Thundergrunt

    Thundergrunt Active Member


    Thanks, that is Awsome stuff. Yes 56th was the sister and 2nd SP battery of the 6th ATk Regiment and they supported the 2nd Can INF Div.

    That's is pretty neat about your family tree.

    The 74th and 103rd were the towed 17pdrs. With ram towers which later became troop carriers.

    If you look at the turret line just above the gun you will see its profile then it angles in from that line up, and creates that vision slit across that upper line and then is kinda thick at top and is dark in that slot. The M10's and M10C's no roof would not have that upper part it would be level just a touch above the gun.
    using these pics as a guide you can see there is no angelation above the top plane above the turret line compared to my above pic. Hope this helps.

    Attached Files:

  19. Hi Kevin,

    Just in general, is that possible and for the Canadian army in particular?
    Is there a listing somewhere for example? I would imagine that the batteries within a Regiment may change which may make it difficult.

  20. Eugene,

    Many thanks for the comparison photos of the M10s. I can see the difference clearly now. Quite clever really as you can still see out. I imagine that the "slit" goes all the way around the turret. Pity there's no pics of the flap that was mentioned. Was it full width, hinged at the back, at the front etc?. Any thoughts?


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