Overview of armoured vehicle delivery? Forward Delivery Squadrons, etc

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Chris C, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Does anyone know of an overview (or can provide one) of the various unit types that would be involved in getting an armoured vehicle to a unit in the field?

    I have been looking at things from the end - looking at the WD of some tank delivery squadrons which I gather were RAC. and from those I know they received or obtained vehicles from vehicle parks and might hand them over to tank troops workshops (REME) to make them "fit".

    How many other pieces were there? Did the tank transporter companies deliver the vehicles to the vehicle parks? Who operated the vehicle parks?
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Thank you CL1, that is very helpful :) I should have said I was interested in activities in NWE/Italy and your first link provided some very useful information!
  4. Chris, for the NWE Campaign, the initial organization paired a Delivery Squadron with each army, corps, division, and brigade. Each was initially stocked with a selection of the tanks and crews (from its units LOB and Reinforcement personnel) appropriate to the formation it started with. The initial organizations (??? I have yet to identify) were:

    Second British Army - 256 Army Delivery Squadron (ADS)
    1 Corps - 259 Corps Delivery Squadron (CDS)
    30 Corps - 254 CDS
    8 Corps - 257 CDS
    12 Corps - 258 CDS
    First Canadian Army - E Troop, 25 Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment (CADR)
    2 Canadian Corps - F Troop, 25 CADR
    Guards Armoured Division - ??? Forward Delivery Squadron (FDS)
    1 Polish Armoured Division - ??? FDS
    7 Armoured Division - ??? FDS
    11 Armoured Division - 270 FDS
    4 Canadian Armoured Division - ??? Troop, 25 CADR
    2 Canadian Armoured Brigade - C Troop, 25 CADR
    4 Armoured Brigade - 270 FDS
    8 Armoured Brigade - ??? FDS
    6 Guards Tank Brigade - ??? FDS
    27 Armoured Brigade - 266 FDS
    30 Armoured Brigade - ??? FDS
    31 Tank Brigade - ??? FDS
    33 Armoured Brigade - ??? FDS
    34 Tank Brigade - ??? FDS

    Any additional insight always appreciated.

    Chris C likes this.
  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks, that is very useful!

    Regarding the Poles - in one Canadian archive file with E and F squadron details and some of 259 Corps Delivery Squadron, there are references to "Polish Fwd Del Sqn", e.g. War diaries : T-12738 - Héritage

    Wikipedia also lists some of the other troops of 25 CADR. D Squadron for 4CAD, for instance. (I see more references to D, E, etc as Squadrons rather than Troops)
    31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins) - Wikipedia

    You don't happen to know the numbers of the Army and Corps Delivery Squadrons in Italy, do you? (I am most anxious to look at records for Italy at Bovington (if present there) in March, if it will help me assess how many Archers were actually delivered to the Italian theatre.)
  6. And the same to you. A few others I just found:

    7AD - 263 FDS
    8AB - 265 FDS

    Still searching for others.
  7. GdsAD - 268 FDS
  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    30 Armd Bde: 264 Special Delivery Sqn
    Richard Anderson likes this.
  9. Hello Rich, is that you? Finally you join ww2talk! Welcome then! :D

    A couple more matches:
    6 Gds Tk Bde - 261 Fwd Del Sqn
    33 Armd Bde - 262 Fwd Del Sqn
    34 Tk Bde - 267 Fwd Del Sqn
    79 Armd Div - 269 Fwd Del Sqn
    1 Polish Armd Div - 1 Tk Replacement Sqn

    The typo on your list for 4 Armd Bde should read:
    4 Armd Bde - 271 Fwd Del Sqn
    and I have E & F Sqn 25 Cdn Armd Del Regt allocated the opposite way, i.e.:
    1 Cdn Army - F Sqn 25 Cdn Armd Del Regt
    2 Cdn Corps - E Sqn 25 Cdn Armd Del Regt

    Finally, a word of caution: "FDS" is the official abbreviation for Field Dressing Station. The abbreviation for Forward Delivery Squadron should be "Fwd Del Sqn".

    Juha likes this.
  10. Hello Michel! I've lurked on and off for a while, but just recently registered.

    Thanks! Added to the list.

    Not sure where the mix-up is with 4 Armd Bde though? I got those originally by reconstructing from the various RAC "Letters" and other documents in WO 205/636, 637, and 638 and WO 171/153. Ditto with the Canadians? Since I am mostly focused on the Normandy Campaign and much of my data sources run out in August 1944, I wonder if some of the units were later shifted about?

    That was me being lazy...I saw a couple of references to them as FDS in secondary sources and didn't bother to go back and check.

  11. Ooops! Never mind, I see I duplicated 270 Fwd Del Sqn in both 4th Armd Bde and 11 Armd Div. Still not sure with the Canadians though?
  12. I mean that you wrote:
    whereas it should be the reverse as follows:
    First Cdn Army - F Sqn 25 CADR
    2 Cdn Corps - E Sqn 25 CADR

    See for example F Sqn War Diary entry for 29 Dec 43 (Exercise "LULU"):
    This sqn acting as Army Delivery Sqn theoretically receiving tanks from RH and personnel from Base Reinforcement Depot and passing both to "E" Sqn acting as Corps Delivery Sqn.

    Source: War diaries : T-12749 - Héritage

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  13. Oh, sorry Michel, I did not mean I did not understand you, I meant I wasn't sure how I got them backwards. :D
  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher


    Just to pose a new question and re-pose another --

    1) It's my understanding from a different WD that 256 Army Delivery Squadron was disbanded in October 1944. Does anyone know why?

    2) Does anyone know the numbers of Army/Corps Delivery Squadrons that were active in Italy?
  15. 2) Some Del Sqns in Italy:

    253 Fwd Del Sqn
    272 Fwd Del Sqn – 21 Tk Bde
    274 Armd Del Sqn
    275 Armd Del Sqn
    276 Armd Del Sqn
    277 Fwd Del Sqn
    278 Fwd Del Sqn – 2 Armd Bde
    279 Armd Del Sqn
    A Sqn 25 CADR – 1 Cdn Armd Bde
    B Sqn 25 CADR aka B Cdn Armd Del Sqn – 1 Cdn Armd Bde
    G Sqn 25 CADR aka G Cdn Fwd Del Sqn – 5 Cdn Armd Div
    H Sqn 25 CADR aka H Cdn Corps Del Sqn – 1 Cdn Corps
    New Zealand Fwd Del Sqn
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  16. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  17. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher


    I found this chart in "Lessons of the Campaign in N.W. Europe 1944-1945, 2 Armoured Replacement Group" in the Tank Museum archives today. Not sure if this is all already familiar.

    Attached Files:

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  18. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Also, 1 Armoured Replacement Group in Italy in October 1944:

    1 Armoured Rft Reg’t
    1 and 200 Armd Dely Regt’s
    273, 274, 275, 276, 279 Armd Dly Sqns
    250, 253, 272, 277, 278, 309 Fwd Dly Sqns
    S.A., N.Z., Pol Fwd Dly Sqns
    B Cdn Corps Dly Sqn
    A and B Cdn Fwd Dly Sqn
    1 Armd Replacement Gp (RA Tp) RA
    1051 Tk Bn (ITALIAN)
    Juha and Richard Anderson like this.

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