Exercise Bumper - UK - Autumn of 1941

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Ramiles, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The Second World War saw probably the largest military manoeuvres ever to take place on British soil.

    Inter-army exercise BUMPER, held in the autumn of 1941, saw 12 divisions and three independent brigades engaged, plus elements of the RAF - more than 250,000 in total.

    Ref. Military Training in the British Army, 1940-1944

    24th L War Diary has...

    26/9/41 to 3/10/41

    The following Officers attended Exercise “Bumper” as Umpires:-

    Lt.Col.M.H.Aird, Major.W.A.C.Anderson, Capts.G,N.T.Morris, J.H.Saggers, D.S.Allhusen, Lt.J.N.Cowley, 2/Lieuts. Sir.R.D.Arbuthnot, K.R.Fehr, M.Lobb, J.N.Little, D.C.Turquand, J.H.Crane, J.E.Smallwood, D.Veller.

    WW2talk search: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?search/5418740/&q="Exercise+Bumper"&o=relevance


    IWM -

    Film (nb. not currently available online)
    BUMPER EXERCISE [Allocated Title]

    BUMPER EXERCISE [Allocated Title]

    DESCRIPTION - Object description
    Anti-invasion "bumper exercise" (tanks), various locations. Some of the units act as the enemy.
    Full description
    1 October. 3rd Division, 5th Corps near Eggington, Bedfordshire. Military Police on motorcycles. Traffic control. Headquarters set up in a farmyard. Anti-aircraft gun and crew. "Enemy" fighters, "enemy" bombers flying overhead. Prisoners of war "cage". Tanks and infantry in action against each other. Use of civilian motor coaches for troop transport. Naval and army officers appear as Polish officers.
    Full description
    2 October. 8th Armoured Division, 23rd Armoured Brigade at Newport Pagnell, Bedfordshire. Prisoners of war in cage. Canadian infantry marching through Newport Pagnell. Captured enemy tanks. Officers looking at maps. Tanks of C Squadron 46 RTR. Enemy reconnaissance plane. Fighters driving off bombers. Matilda tanks in Newport Pagnell.
    Full description
    3-4 October. General troop movements at Olney. 9th Armoured Corps at Gayhurst, Buckinghamshire. Battle shots, General Sandy. 6th Armoured Corps.
    Physical description: 35mm

    Object description: Valentine tanks of 6th Armoured Division in a village during Exercise 'Bumper', 1 October 1941. The white crosses indicate that these are 'enemy' tanks :

    Object description: Parachute troops hold up an 'enemy' Bedford OYD lorry during Exercise 'Bumper', 2 October 1941 :

    Object description: Senior Allied Armies officers discussing operations during 'Exercise Bumper', 2 October 1941. From left to right: two unidentified Polish Army Colonels; General Stanisław Maczek, the future Commander of the 1st Polish Armoured Division; General Alan Brooke, the Commander-in-Chief Home Forces; unidentified Czech Army officer; General Carl Gustav Fleischer, the C-in-C of the Norwegian Armed Forces (obscured); General B.Regulski, the Polish Military Attache in Britain; Jan Sergěj Ingr, the Czech Minister of National Defense.

    Re. Anti-Invasion exercise "Bumper" :
    Sources in British Political History, 1900-1951

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Marked a definite turning point - rather than practising stopping the enemy advancing across rivers the engineers once again began throwing their own bridges across.
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  5. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

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  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Ex Bumper was the Commander Home Forces, General Alan Brooke's big test exercise for Home Forces. His diary says that it was a chance to look at how British Commanders used armoured divisions.
    The chief Umpire was Montgomery. This is from Ex Bumper.
    Ramiles likes this.
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's time to re-read Brooke. I find it difficult to actually like him, but I'm not sure that the conflict would have ended in an Allied victory were it not for his military and political skills.
  8. Wg Cdr Luddite

    Wg Cdr Luddite Well-Known Member

    Interesting that the photo has a naval officer but no one from the RAF.
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That's Ramsey who had dinner with Brooke on the 29th September. He flew and drove around with Brooke on the 30th...No mention of the RAF in Brooke's diaries, but the Junior Service was presumably still not co-operating very much at that stage with the boots on the ground.
  10. P-Squared

    P-Squared Well-Known Member

    The RAF was involved in BUMPER. That photo is of a group of umpires (and observers?) A lack of RAF presence doesn’t mean anything, really.
  11. P-Squared

    P-Squared Well-Known Member

    Wg Cdr Luddite and Ramiles like this.
  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    H14345 - Object description
    Original wartime caption: On the appearance of "hostile" aircraft the machine gunner on a Matilda tank comes into action with his machine gun.


    H14346 - Object description
    Covenanter tanks advance during Exercise 'Bumper', 30 September 1941.


    H14347 - Object description
    Original wartime caption: A "Covenanter" tank going all out across open heath land during the exercise. These new tanks combine high speed with great hardiness and striking power and they are well armoured.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  14. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    23rd Armoured Brigade, who took part in the exercise, nearly got wiped off the face of the earth at Ruwiesat Ridge in July of 42 in an action described by some as a modern day charge of the Light Brigade.

  15. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Army Exercises In Britain

    M/S of the soldiers from the east and south of England marching along, M/S of General Sir Alan Brooke (Alanbrooke) planning the exercise. Various shots as they go on manoeuvres over remote farmland. Various shots of gun carriages driving through a village. Officers watch through binoculars. Various shots as the artillery units fire the big guns. Various shots as a tank drives through a village and across farmland.

    Defence: World War Ii: Army Invasion Test - Biggest Ever Held

    British Army military exercises:
    Bren carriers across fields/ British troops running along country lane/ Army motorcycles across field/ military vehicles pulling field guns along road/ military tanks across field/ Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke talking to officers/ Margesson, Dill and Brooke/ Bren carriers charging through hedge and river / troops firing from behind force / troops wading through river
    Aircraft taking off/ Brooke in cockpit looking out of window
    Gunners at anti-tank gun/ troops firing, from behind hedg/ men throwing "bombs" (grenades) from behind wall - grenades hitting tank/ troops storming railway viaduct/ hand to hand fighting on railway viaduct/ troops in village/ tins of bullybeef (corned beef)/ troops receiving food rations
    News sheets off duplicator/ troops reading newsheets
    Background: British troops (watched by Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke) in military exercises.

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2022
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