3 RTR B Squadron

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Frank Flattery, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris, one of the few things that stick out in my mind reading about the Allied push through NW Europe is how undervalued the Canadian contribution was and still is. It's about time that was readdressed! And yes, the Comet is cute! (although have you noticed it has the 'box' shape of a Tiger, and not the safer sloping glacis plate of the T34 or Panther?)
     
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  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    Hi Frank,

    Yes, as I understand it, British tank designers felt they couldn't mount the Besa machine gun in the hull within a slope, and they didn't want to drop that feature of the tank, so that meant that vertical plate was necessary. (Firefly had been somewhat less well protected in the hedgerows of Normandy because when the turret was turned, the front of the tank was unprotected from for instance an unexpected infantryman with a panzerfaust.) I think I'm remembering that from Philip Knight's book on the technical history of the Comet.

    Terry Copp has written a couple of very good books about Canadian operations in Northwest Europe (Fields of Fire and Cinderella Army) but I don't know how widely read they are outside of Canada.

    Cheers!
     
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  3. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    The Climpsons! I messaged her last night and I think she’s joining this group to look at these 3RTR pics.
    Alex.
     
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  4. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    A
    Looks like the Charlie is me (to quote Gryptpype-Thynne of Goons fame)!! It would appear that I see Charlie everywhere, but now looking carefully, I see that in the Bad Segeberg photo, it's someone else (see scan). I guess knowing they were good buddies I just assumed that anybody 'slightly' resembling him was Charlie. Now that would explain why in that photo there are only four crew members..... I think it's time I paid the opticians another visit...
     

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  5. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Time for more photos...and a request. In Bill Close's book, he mentions that they liberated a POW camp in the Lauenberg area, where one of the regiment's sergeants, Socker Hearth, was being held. Anyone know the name of the camp?
     

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  6. GraemeRowland

    GraemeRowland Member

    Hi Frank, I have a copy of the 3 RTR war diary which I got from the Tank Museum for 15 quid. I am researching my uncle, 3768768 Sgt Dennis Henry Rowland MM 3 RTR who was killed in action 7 APR 43 at the Battle of Wadi Akarit - I am visiting his memorial in Tunisia in ten days time. He joined 3 RTR in 21 JUN 1941 from the base depot and prior to Base Depot he was in 7 RTR. I have applied for his service record but it takes a long time to appear! Graeme
     
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  7. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Hi Graeme, thanks for posting. Most of what I've posted here probably won't be of much interest to you as far as your research goes, as it occurs much later, D-Day onwards, but please feel free to participate!
    I've been thinking about ordering a copy of the war diary, do you have a full scan, or the transcripted version? The reason I'm asking is that on a previous post SDP mentioned that the transcripted version doesn't go into much detail, whereas the original diary does. I saw on the Bovingdon tank museum site that they charge £15 for a copy (I got a copy of my grandfather's tracer card from them, £5), but I wasn't sure whether or not it was just the transcript (I guess it is).
    Good luck with your research!
     
  8. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Just to clarify. The transcripted War Diary available from Bovington includes all the main Diary text but none of the Appendices.
     
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  9. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Aahh, ok, I was under the impression that it was abbreviated, as you said in a previous post: "According to a copy I have of the Bovington transcript of the 3RTR War Diary, a B Squadron tank was hit by a 'bazooka' on 1st May 1945. There are no other details. I'll check a scanned copy of the War Diary when I get a chance - this is clearly a better approach as it includes various details re losses that aren't present in the transcript version". I'm not familiar with what exactly appears in the diaries , so do details of casualties, etc appear in the Appendices, whereas the main diary entry just records the event? Please forgive me if I'm a bit green in all this!
     
  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    The full version includes the Appendices which themselves contain a variety of information including daily casualty numbers and all sorts of other bits and pieces - much of them of only passing interest and not necessarily accurate - but also including some nuggets such as Battle reports. I've never physically seen the full Diary - only scans - so don't know what would be contained in the full file held at the National Archive at Kew. I'm not sure whether Drew has a full scanned copy.
     
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  11. Sharon Climpson

    Sharon Climpson New Member

     
  12. Sharon Climpson

    Sharon Climpson New Member

    My Father was also 3rd RTR C Squadron Recce Troup . 11th Armoured Division 29th Armoured Brigade. His name is Fred Preston. He signed up in February 1942 and at the end of the war he was sent to Bergen Belsen to help clear up. He was eventually demobbed in September 1946 He rarely spoke of his time during the war. He was gunner/radio operator throughout his time. I have quite a few of Dads photos. He’s still with us albeit with severe dementia and failing health. But ironically he can still recall his army number x
     

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  13. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Welcom to the forum, I'm sure the photos will be greatly appreciated! To be honest, I'm not surprised he doesn't speak much of that time, having to clean up Belsen must have been a terrible experience. Even now I doubt people are fully aware of the horror. My grandfather never spoke about it, other than saying he 'was there'.
     
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  14. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Sharon

    Welcome to the Forum

    Steve Pannell aka SDP
     
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  15. Sharon Climpson

    Sharon Climpson New Member

    Thanks Steve just found out about this webpage x
     
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  16. GraemeRowland

    GraemeRowland Member

    Hi Frank, the 3 RTR war diary from the Tank Museum has some gaps and does not have any attachements. I have printed off the first 100 pages of a total of 175 to cover the period I need, up until MAY 43. As one reads through it, whoever is writing it changes and the detail changes with the different writers. There is less detail towards the end of the period I printed off!! Graeme
     
  17. GraemeRowland

    GraemeRowland Member

    Hi Sharon, When I was with 3 RTR in 1960, I went to Belsen and it was before it had been sanitized and turned into a "tourist attraction". It had been roughly destroyed but you could see the fire blackened ovens where they burnt bodies and there were sunken areas where large quantities of bodies had been buried. I also worked in the railway sidings ammo bashing where the cobbles were worn smooth by the passing of many feet on there way to the concentration camp. Graeme
     
  18. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I think I shall request a copy, always handy to have.
     
  19. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Some more pics from Bad Segeberg... this time of German army ''on its way to the cage''. Granddad wrote, "notice absence of motor transport - either on foot or horse".
    Image quality isn't very good, I'm afraid, original photos are small.
     

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  20. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Speaking of ''the cage'', still trying to find out the location of the POW camp near Lauenburg, on the Elbe. Anyone have any ideas? Also, came across this story on the BBc web site:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The March
    Could have something to do with it? My aunt told us once that granddad had told her about an incident after liberating a camp...she seemed to think it was Belsen, although I vaguely recall him telling me about a POW camp. What happened was that, having liberated the camp and on seeing the terrible condition of the prisoners/inmates, the squadron got so enraged that things could get so, without the local population doing anything about it, that they went to the local town, told everyone to abandon their houses, and they flattened the place with shellfire. Has anyone heard of this?
     

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