2/3rd Australian Anti Tank Regiment

Discussion in 'Australian' started by DavidW, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Guys, a few questions regarding 2/3rd Australian Anti Tank Regiment....

    I understand that the 12th Bty arived in North Africa sans guns. I believe that they had them by 5th April 1941, but can anyone pin down exactly when they were issued please?

    Can anyone supply accurate dates of the Regiment's withdrawal from the Western Desert (Sep '41?), and return (Jun '42?) is as accurate as I have at the moment.

    When, and how many 6Pdrs were received in 1942?

    Thanks very much,
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is some information on the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, RAA from David Horner's "Gunners":

    The 9th Australian Division deployed to the Benghazi area in late February 1941. Artillery support was provided by British units already in place. The 9th Division Artillery, under Brigadier Ramsey, consisted of the 2/7th, 2/8th and 2/12th Field Regiments, and the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, but was inadequately equipped for operations. For example, the 2/7th Field Regiment did not receive its training weapons of two 18-pounders and two 4.5-inch howitzers until early February. The only one these to join the division was the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment which in late February, was hastily issued with 47-mm Italian and 37-mm Bofors anti-tank guns and Solothurn anti-tank rifles. The first anti-tank batteries had not reached the division before Rommel's Afrika Korps attack at the end of March.

    At the time of the German offensive the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment was spread across Cyrenaica. The 9th Battery was at Tobruk, while the 12th was still back on the Egyptian Frontier. The headquarters and the 10th and 11th Batteries were allocated to the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade, which was ordered to cover the withdrawal by holding the small town of Mechili, west of Tobruk. The anti-tank gunners were in action over a period of three days until the brigade made an attempt to break out on April 8th. The 11th Battery, with two troops, helped form the rearguard.

    On 14 April Major-General Morshead assumed command of the Toburk Fortress of which 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment was part of. In Tobruk the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment was reformed and four new 2-pounders were issued and the 20th and 24th Anti-Tank Companies were placed under command. It had a key role in stopped the German attack on April 14th.

    Around September 1941 there was some reorganization of the anti-tank regiments with each battery being increased from three to four troops making a 64-gun regiment. To facilitate this the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment absorbed the 20th and 24th Anti-Tank Companies with whom they had served in Tobruk.

    Before Montgomery arrived at Alamein, the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment was re-equipped with 64 6-pounder anti-tank guns passing their 2-pounders to the infantry.

    I will look into seeing about more accurate dates.

    You might want to try and track down 'Silver John', Target Tank: The History of the 2/3rd Australian Anti-Tank Regiment, 9th Division, AIF. Cumberland Newspapers, Parramatta, 1957.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the departure of the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, RAA from Tobruk in September 1941:

    9th Australian Division Operation Instruction No. 11

    The following units of the 9th Australian Division are being relieved by equivalent British Units during the period 18/28 September 1941:

    HQ 24th Infantry Brigade, Signal Section, LAD and det Gd Bn
    2/28th Battalion
    2/43rd Battalion
    24th Aust A/Tk Coy
    2/1st Pioneer Bn
    2/12th Australian Field Regiment, Sig Sec, LAD
    3rd Aust A/Tk Regiment & LAD
    J & M Batteries, 3rd RHA
    2/13th Field Company
    2/3rd Field Ambulance
    One Composite Company AASC

    The Approximate date of departure for the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment is:
    Advance Party (18) - Night 18/19 September
    3rd Anti-Tank Regiment & LAD (Less 9th and 10th Btys & op. rear party (total 270) - Night 21/22 September
    10th Battery 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment (100)(less rear 14) - Night 22/23 September
    9th Battery 3rd Anti-Tank Regiment (120) - Night 26/27 September
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that David.
    Sadly the only copy of Target tank that I can find is £350!!
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The return of the regiment to Egypt is as follows based on the AWM52 files on line at the Australian War Memorial site:

    26th Australian Brigade with 10th Anti-Tank Battery, RAA - 1 July 1942
    24th Australian Brigade with 11th Anti-Tank Battery, RAA (8 6-pounders, 8 2-pounders) - 1 July 1942
    20th Australian Brigade with 9th Anti-Tank Battery, RAA - 3 July 1942
    9th Australian Division HQ with RHQ 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment and 12th Anti-Tank Battery - 1 July 1942

    You really need to spend some time with the AWM War Diaries. The answers to most of your questions can be found there regarding the Australian Army.

  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Correction. It appears from looking at the 9th Div war diaries that 12th Battery never made it into Tobruk, but remained on the Frontier in Egypt during the period the division was at Tobruk. I have not found a date for the re-equipment of the 12th Battery but I assume in was sometime in late March or early April since they were in action on the frontier in April.
  7. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks. That was all really useful.
  8. PsionicFox

    PsionicFox New Member

    New guy here, so sorry for the thread necro, but I'm trying to track down some information about my great grandfather. His name was Raymond Pope, and he was a 9th battery gunner. According to his accounts (which I got from my mother), he was at Mechilli in the rearguard before being captured and spending the rest of his time as a POW until 1945. I'm trying to gather information about this, so anything others could share would be of great help.

  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I assume you mean:

    POPE RAYMOND : Service Number - NX56576 : Date of birth - 06 Feb 1902 : Place of birth - WOLLOHRA NSW : Place of enlistment - PADDINGTON NSW : Next of Kin - POPE GLADYS

    Do you have a copy of his service record? It hasn't been digitised by the NAA
  10. PsionicFox

    PsionicFox New Member

    Yes indeed that is who I mean.

    I don't yet have a copy of his service record. I'm going to request it after my next payday. :)
  11. croker

    croker Member

    Hello all
    Earlier today I "enlisted" at this site, posted to a POW forum similar data to the following regarding my father,
    My father was in 11th Battery, 3rd anti-tank regiment of the 2/3rd Australian Anti-Tank Regiment, 9th Division, AIF and sadly passed away in February 1960, so I did not have a lot of opportunity to know him.

    Briefly my father was captured in Nth Africa at Fort Michelle on 8th April 1941 and, as a POW first of Italians and later Germans was eventually repatriated to UK mid May 1945. The conditions described in his report "ROUGH HISTORY OF MY P.O.W. LIFE" are utterly appalling throughout

    I am unsure if this forum will serve my object, which is to cobble together more information and potentially retrace my father's journey in some manner (I won't be risking the blizzards the bayonets or the starvation, though).

    If there is "anybody out there" who may care to improve my education I would be pleased to hear from you.

    PS my apologies if this entry contravenes a rule or something - at present I know none.

    PPS: I have a significant amount of correspondence developed over the years of his incarceration and various contemporary documents, my intention being to make electronic copies in due course able to be distributed. There is also a copy of Target Tank floating around somewhere, just not sure where at the moment.
    Owen likes this.
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi Alan - can we have his name?
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  14. croker

    croker Member

    Norman George Henderson CROKER (NX59392, 11th Battery, 3rd anti-tank regiment).
    I see, Dave B, the RAAF insignia - I have two uncles (at least) who served - the one (Colin Hervey Cameron) served initially in new Guinea in Beauforts and the other (Alan Douglas Cameron) throughout Europe. I have the latter's log book for the war years as well as the former's photo albums primarily in New Guinea. The Cameron family at the time were in Queensland.
    I probably would not want to "publicly" disclose too much more information at this time as I have no idea how secure this site may be - a reason for not completing other sections of my bio. I hope to get sufficiently comfortable in due course.
  15. Sdruery

    Sdruery New Member

    Could anyone tell me what battery max augustus welch was part of. He was in 2/3 atr. Service no. Nx17026
  16. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi there - have you read his service file at the National Archives of Australia (www.naa.gov.au - enter his service number as the search term and open the digital copy of his file when it appears on the screen)

    Fascinating file - a few disciplinary matters early on then captured by the Germans at El Alamein and spent the next 3 years in PoW camps - there is even his repatriated PoW statement in the file

    But no mention of his battery
  17. Sdruery

    Sdruery New Member

    Yep sure have but as you mentioned there is nothing about the battery. I have been working with the rats of tobruk association to pinpoint him at the seige of tobruk. I am aware the 12th battery was missing but cant work out if he was in that one. Cheers for the help.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: M A Welch
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: NX17026
    Regiment: 3 A/Tk. Rg.
    POW Number: 6535
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 18A
    Camp Location: Wolfsberg (Karnten)
    Section: Australian Imperial Force: Officers and Other Ranks

  19. Lucky Gunner

    Lucky Gunner Adult user

    Hello, my father NX60337 Colin Booth was in same regimental battery as Max Welch. He wrote his name and prewar address in my father's POW notebook at Campo 57. I am working on a book about Campo 57 and welcome any accounts. I have just published book re Campo 106 escapers and includes a nominal roll of 790 Australians held there 1943; Max did not go on to this camp from 57. My book is called Shooting Through:Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian armistice. It sells internationally through online sellers. I can sell directly within Australia. Regarding Target Tank book, I have scanned it for easier reading. For small fee and postage, I can copy onto CD or USB and mail to any interested persons.
  20. Lucky Gunner

    Lucky Gunner Adult user

    Target Tank refers to the 12 battery as being the 'Lucky 12th' as it was not caught up (to be cautious, that should mean most of its men) before the 26/27 July 1942 Ruin Ridge battle. The book lists the men captured at that date. It also lists the men captured from other batteries at Mechili 8/4/1941.
    I have just published book re Campo 106 escapers and includes a nominal roll of 790 Australians held there 1943; Max did not go on to this camp from 57. My book is called Shooting Through:Campo 106 escaped POWs after the Italian armistice. It sells internationally through online sellers. I can sell directly within Australia. Regarding Target Tank book, I have scanned it for easier reading. For small fee and postage, I can copy onto CD or USB and mail to any interested persons.

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