3 RTR B Squadron

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

  1. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    No King Tigers on 24L front in Normandy but there were Tiger 1's. Plenty of MkIV knocked out at that time but I think it was only Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry who claimed a Tiger or two near Fontenay le Pesnel and Rauray. Most tanks in the Tilly - Fontenay - Tessel - Rauray area were MkIV and Panthers.
     
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  2. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    The more I think about it, the more likely it seems it was much earlier, most probably in Normandy. He said that they got a nasty shock when they saw the gun barrels, by the time they got to Ardennes, they would have had plenty of experience of them.....once I start digging into his time with 24 Lancers I may bring this up again...thanks Steve!
     
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    If you want to 'dip your toe in the water' re 24th Lancers, search the site for threads relating to Tilly sur Seulles, Fontenay le Pesnel, Parc de Boislonde, Tessel Wood and Rauray. There's a huge amount to read!
     
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  4. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Thanks, yes, I've already been having a look at the 24 Lancers threads, my next project!!

    First, however, let's see if anyone can shed some light on the last of my quests.....(Actually, I'm surprised no-one has brought this up already, or maybe they're just being diplomatic!!). The sharp-eyed amongst you (and there are a lot of you!) will have noticed that in the pictures taken at Poperinge, my grandfather is a corporal (as is Charlie). However, in the photo taken with Cherub & crew in Bad Segeberg some months later, his stripes have disappeared! To be honest, I hadn't even realised until Mum told me something her sister told her some time ago... Apparently, either during a battle or while advancing, the tank broke down and they got lost, so instead of trying to find the rest of the squadron, they decided to stay at a rather nice farm house that happened to be close by, and wait for the squadron to find them. Which they did. And they weren't too happy about it either, which resulted in bollockings and demotions all round.
    Nothing in the war diary mentioning this, does anyone have any further info??!!
    No doubt it will appear in his service record, but I have to wait till at least April to see it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    As you've already guessed, you will need the Service Record to confirm the details. If correct, they got off lightly - could have been a Courts Marshall as that sounds only one step from Desertion etc. You might even find more detail than you are expecting in the Service Record as lots of such 'issues' were left until the end of the War - interesting!
     
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  6. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    From my now very distant memory of military law they wouldn't have been tried by court martial for desertion as that required evidence of an intention not to return, which was not the case here. Busting them sounds about right and was probably within the CO's powers of punishment.
     
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  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    Well this isn't exactly information but it's interesting: I think that Peter Elstob took this incident and turned it into part of his novel Warriors for the Working Day. Only in the book (if I'm remembering it is that book) the tank breaks down near to a noblewoman's house rather than just a nice farm house.
     
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  8. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    That would make a lot of sense as Peter Elstob was himself 3RTR and many of the incidents in Warriors for the Working Day are based on real life events. Elstob was Troop Sergeant in 1 Troop A Squadron - and he was also my late father's Tank Commander. Small World
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  9. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Another book on the wish list!!!! What started as a 'research-hobby' is starting to get a bit expensive!!!!!! By the way, the IWM is publishing a new edition on 20th April this year, if anyone's interested ( I certainly am!) Thanks for the info, who'd have thought it of the ol' devil, naughty Granddad inspiring a book!!! Cheers all!!
     
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  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Copies of WFWD are invariably available on eBay for just a few pounds. The book is inspired by Elstob's own experiences - it's actually semiautobiographical - and the characters are conflations, nevertheless the incidents are, as stated previously, based on real events. I can see aspects of my late father in the character Taffy, Taffy being the Comet driver and guess what - dad was Elstobs Driver. Get a copy and have a good read - it's the gung ho version of what happened, sort of!
     
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  11. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Elstob's 'Hitler's Last Offensive' has just arrived, already a quarter of the way through (almost). Another request, does anyone have any more of these pics (a better-quality version of the second especially) of 3RTR Comets? I've seen various here and there of the column making its way through the ruins. My grandfather used to have a couple of them, they got lost over the years, and I remember him pointing himself out in one of the pics, I can't remember now in which one. And does anyone know the name of the town?
    Cheers
     

    Attached Files:

  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I believe it's Wesel but I might have misremembered. Adam Hermitage's dad is a member of the crew in the second tank - he might have more details. He posts on Facebook but not here to best of my knowledge.

    Edit: just checked Facebook and Adam's dad was also B Squadron.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  13. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    IF, and it's a big IF, I remember rightly, Cherub was the third tank along, either that or the second, but I'm fairly sure it was the third. Adam wouldn't know crew names by any chance? I must get a facebook account, must be the only person who hasn't got one!
     
  14. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Steve, I'm sure you've already seen this, but just in case:
    BAIV- The War and Peace - War and Peace Magazine
    Came across it while googling Wesel.
    Nice!
     
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  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I'll ask him on your behalf.
     
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  16. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Yes, seen it. One of many articles but still good to see Reg, Fred and dad with his tank. Incidentally, the River Aller rafts, the Tiger and so on are all in Warriors for the Working Day in obviously a gung ho novelised version. Also remember 'Celerity' was not just dad's tank, it was Peter Elstobs tank.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  17. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Just been having (yet another! - they're quite addictive!) look at the war diaries, and I don't see any reference to their passing through Weser.
    According to IWM, the photos were taken on 30th March (I am assuming Recd. means Reconnaissance division, and not received!)
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45
    The war diary says that on that day the route was (according to diary entry for 29th)
    Route – HOLTWICK –
    OSTERWICK – GARFIELD – LAER 7384 – ALTENBURG 8183 – GRAVEN 9188 –
    SAERBECK 9293 – DOR rly sta 970039.

    And for 30th:
    0630; Move on R route.
    1600; Arrive HORSTMAR.

    So they must have been taken somewhere along that route....
    (of course, maybe Recd. does mean received, so I've been pouring over maps, routes, old photos, etc, for nothing!!!! Mind you, it's fun, and more interesting than doing the washing-up!)
     
  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Can't go into details now: need to be travelling. I've mapped the precise route of 1 Troop A Squadron as described in detail in Langdons book and will share when I get back in a couple of days or so.
     
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  19. Frank Flattery

    Frank Flattery Well-Known Member

    Ok, I've just re-read Bill Close's book, and he mentions their going through Wesel to bridge the Rhine...
    Have a good journey!
     
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  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Again, my compilation of Langdons book details. I've not checked it against the War Diary so would be interesting to note any differences. This covers the period from leaving Aerschott to arriving at Horstmar. I would love to have been a 'fly on the wall' on 30th March 1945.

    IMG_4983.PNG
     
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