64th Anti- Tank Regiment Photo

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Simon A, May 31, 2019.

  1. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    This is a photograph of my Uncle Len’s Troop. A note on the back says it was taken in Ferndhorf, Austria in August 1945. I have a copy of his Service record which shows he was with the 64th Ant-Tank Regiment during this period.

    I would be grateful if someone could explain the sign on top of the gun. I presume this is “F” Troop but what is the number 46? Is this the Battery number? I intend to go through the war diaries in more detail but a quick look last night showed no reference to Battery number 46 with the 64th A/T Regt.

    Also, I know this is probably a stupid question but is that a tank or a Self-Propelled gun behind and what is the difference between the two.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    46 was the vehicle sign. Every Anti-Tank Regiment in a division, in this case 78th (Battle-Axe) Infantry Division, had a 46 in Red/Blue to indicate that it was the Royal Artillery Anti-Tank Regiment of the infantry division. The vehicle is as self-propelled anti-tank gun, probably an M-10 or Archer. There are vehicle experts who can tell you more accurately on the forum.
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  3. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    64 AT Regt RA was the anti tank regiment of 78 Div virtually throughout the life of that division. 46 (on a red/blue horizontally divided square) was the number allocated to indicate the anti tank regiment of any Infantry Division (from some time in 1944 onward), and would have been applied to all the vehicles of the regiment to show which unit they came from (together with the 'Battleaxe' sign of the 78 Div to indicate which division they belonged to).
    The vehicle in the background of the pic is an M10 SP 3 inch antitank gun. Tanks are invariably designed to be able to be operated closed down, and have thicker armour than SP guns which are generally only armoured sufficiently to protect the occupants from small arms fire and shell splinters. M10 had an open topped turret (as most but not all SPs did).
    To indicate the Battery, the RA used a somewhat complicated system of red and blue squares with code letters and numbers thereon.
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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sorry I deleted the duplicate thread with photo & can't restore it.
  5. jmcq

    jmcq Junior Member

    Ahhh !
    So that's why I cant see the photo, thought I was missing something somewhere
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    OK. Was able to edit it into post #1.

    As said by others 46 denotes divisional antitank regt.
    Nice colourful chart here explains that.
    Infantry Division Vehicle Markings
  7. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    Apologies for this.

    Attached Files:

  8. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    Thanks very much for this and apologies for the early post duplication.

    Can his battery be identified from the picture? Does anyone have any pointers as to other possible areas of research regarding his life with the regiment?

  9. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    M10 = Tank Destroyer in old money.
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    With regards to batteries and troops - as you know each troop in a battery was identified with a letter. This letter was unique within the regiment. So for instance, the first battery in a regiment might have troops 'A', 'B', and 'C', and the second battery might (but not always) have 'D', 'E', F'. It might potentially be 'E', 'F', and 'G'... there are a few odd cases. But there would not be two troops in the regiment labeled 'F'.

    If you had the war diary for 64th Anti-Tank Regiment, depending on the level of recorded detail, there might very well be information to be able to deduce which battery 'F' was in. It's likely to be the second battery - and those tended to be organized numerically. Whether there are actually separate records for that battery is another question... if the battery's war diary survives it might very well be included in the archives file for the regimental war diary. There might be information in the regimental WD about 'F' troop or about that battery, but potentially not.
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  11. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    Thanks Chris.
    I do have copies of the war diary but haven't gone through them in any detail. With the new information regarding the photo I now have something to bear in mind as I go through them.

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  12. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Here is the full deployment history of 64 AT Regt RA. The batteries are shown too

    I suspect that F Troop was in 254 Bty RA.

    Can you post his Service Record so that we can see where he has been during his time in the Army?



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  13. Simon A

    Simon A Active Member

    Thanks Frank, The photo was taken in August 1945 so by your chart he was probably in 255 Battery. Have just had another look at his service record and his Field Conduct sheet is signed by the commanding Officer of 255 Battery which I hadn’t noticed before. See attached for his Service Record. Would be grateful if anyone can establish his Battery from the 57th, 300, 227 and 149th Anti -Tank Regiments.

    Attached Files:

  14. greenie48

    greenie48 New Member

    Just read your post. The battery was 255. My father sadly now passed away was in F troop and is in your photo as the officer in the middle. I was fortunate to be able to talk to him about his experiences and did research into some of the battles using Unit Diaries etc. In fact for the Battle of Termoli I was able to run through the events and timeline with him. He of course only knew what happened around him not the overall situation and they then moved on to the next defensive position.
  15. Owen Phillips

    Owen Phillips New Member

    Hi, i have the identical picture postcard sent by my grandfather to my nan dated 11/09/1945 saying they were in Taranto.
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  16. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Excellent use of the troop iron evident in the trousers of the gunner, middle row, standing, extreme left. Very smart.
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  17. Owen Phillips

    Owen Phillips New Member

    Thats my grandad - George William Phillips
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  18. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Bingo! That’s excellent Owen. You can be very proud of him with his splendid turnout!

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