Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
Carl Schwamberger
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Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Feb 2021 18:02

Searched this section for this subject and found about zero. What I'm looking for are sources describing what the amphib training in the Brit Commonwealth was in 1941/1942 & what units may have been trained? I've operated to this point on the assumption Montbattens Combined ops group had responsibility for this. Where might I look for information.

Thanks

...and as always thumbnail sketches are appreciated.

EwenS
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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by EwenS » 10 Feb 2021 21:38

You will find some material here
https://www.combinedops.com/index.htm

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Feb 2021 03:09

Thank. That has some useful information. Will take some time to sift though it. Seems to take triple of quadruple the time to search on line docs as it does paper docs.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Andy H » 18 Feb 2021 20:50

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Feb 2021 18:02
Searched this section for this subject and found about zero. What I'm looking for are sources describing what the amphib training in the Brit Commonwealth was in 1941/1942 & what units may have been trained? I've operated to this point on the assumption Montbattens Combined ops group had responsibility for this. Where might I look for information.

Thanks

...and as always thumbnail sketches are appreciated.
Hi Carl

Are you talking of those units outside of say the Royal Marines and Army Commando's?

Regards

Andy H

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Feb 2021 01:41

Both.

To Spell it Out
I've turned up a number of references to plans for amphib operations 1940 to 1942. The Brit side of the Norwegian campaign is one. Operation GYMNAST & TORCH are a couple more. I've found descriptions of actual operations planned by the Brits for entering France in 1942. With all that going on there had to be some training going on outside raiding forces.

I'm referring to units outside of those storming a beach as well. 90% of a amphib op is other than crossing the beach. Things like loading ships correctly, deploying the several flotillas of war and cargo ships along the littoral during the different phases of the operation is another important part. Sequencing logistics, command and control al all levels. It all combines into one of he most complex military operation possible.

Operation TORCH was not executed off the cuff & Im curious about the planning and training of the Brit ground and Naval units during the preceding years.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Feb 2021 02:26

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2021 01:41
Both.

To Spell it Out
I've turned up a number of references to plans for amphib operations 1940 to 1942. The Brit side of the Norwegian campaign is one. Operation GYMNAST & TORCH are a couple more. I've found descriptions of actual operations planned by the Brits for entering France in 1942. With all that going on there had to be some training going on outside raiding forces.

I'm referring to units outside of those storming a beach as well. 90% of a amphib op is other than crossing the beach. Things like loading ships correctly, deploying the several flotillas of war and cargo ships along the littoral during the different phases of the operation is another important part. Sequencing logistics, command and control al all levels. It all combines into one of he most complex military operation possible.

Operation TORCH was not executed off the cuff & Im curious about the planning and training of the Brit ground and Naval units during the preceding years.
There is quite a bit easily available for the Americans on line. Just search for "Note on the Training of an Amphibious Division" at CARL. The only good summary I can think of online for the Commonwealth is Report No 42, Historical Section (G.S.), [Canadian] Army Headquarters, "The Preliminary Planning for Operation "OVERLORD": Some Aspects of the Preparations for an Allied Re-entry to North-West Europe, 1940-1944, June 1951. which actually goes into early amphibious planning by the British. It is probably most valuable though for leads to additional sources at Kew.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Feb 2021 02:29

Richard Anderson wrote:
19 Feb 2021 02:26
... The only good summary I can think of online for the Commonwealth is Report No 42, Historical Section (G.S.), [Canadian] Army Headquarters, "The Preliminary Planning for Operation "OVERLORD": Some Aspects of the Preparations for an Allied Re-entry to North-West Europe, 1940-1944, June 1951. which actually goes into early amphibious planning by the British. It is probably most valuable though for leads to additional sources at Kew.
Thanks. I'm well set for sources on the US development. I'll put that document/s on the long list.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Andy H » 20 Feb 2021 16:45

Hi Carl

This lists some units from 1941 onward under the heading Trainee Intakes.

https://www.combinedops.com/Training%20No1%20CTC.htm

Other establishments and people are mentioned that with further research may yield more information.

Just a quick peek into the OoB for Operation Ironclad sees a few units trained at the above facility, partook in the invasion.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... und_forces

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Andy H

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Feb 2021 04:20

Thanks Andy

Been reading the Combined Op site of the first link.

The second link shows least a couple brigades with some training. & some naval elements as well.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Aber » 25 Feb 2021 13:10

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Feb 2021 04:20
Thanks Andy

Been reading the Combined Op site of the first link.
Don't forget "lessons learned" from Norway - I'm sure I've seen comments about loading order / splitting units etc

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/U ... ay-15.html

And Operation Ironclad - link to London Gazette

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/iss ... pplement/1

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Feb 2021 16:06

Whatever occurred earlier, but November 1942 the Brits could do the amphib thing with at least one corps. So, something had been going on, other than training for raids. Then there are those larger scale invasion plans of the Brits that are seldom mentioned. Those don't seem to have been expecting to use untrained regiments, brigades, or corps.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Aber » 25 Feb 2021 18:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
25 Feb 2021 16:06
Whatever occurred earlier, but November 1942 the Brits could do the amphib thing with at least one corps. So, something had been going on, other than training for raids. Then there are those larger scale invasion plans of the Brits that are seldom mentioned. Those don't seem to have been expecting to use untrained regiments, brigades, or corps.
See
https://www.combinedops.com/Training%20No1%20CTC.htm

It has a partial list of regiments trained
[1941] April - Royal Engineers.

May - Special Services (Commandos).

Jun - Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders; Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Jul - East Lancashire Regiment; Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Aug - Royal Artillery; Royal Scots Fusiliers; Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Canadian Troops; Royal West Kent Regiment; Royal East Kent Regiment.

Sep - Royal Army Service Corps.

Oct - Royal Pioneer Corps; Royal West Kent Regiment.

Nov - London Fusiliers.

Dec - Roy al West Kent Regiment; The Black Watch.

[1942] Jan - Royal Surry Regiment; Northamptonshire Regiment.

Feb - Lancashire Fusiliers.

Mar - East Surrey Regiment; Bedfordshire Regiment; Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

Apr - East Surrey Regiment; Royal Pioneer Corps; Royal Artillery.

May - South Lanarkshire Regiment; East Yorkshire Regiment; Suffolk Regiment.

Jun - King's Own Scottish Borderers; Royal Ulster Rifles; Lincolnshire Regiment.

Jul - King's Shropshire Light Infantry; Sherwood Foresters; Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

Aug - Duke of Wellington's Regiment; American Troops.

Sep - American Troops.

Oct - Royal West Kent Regiment; Black Watch; Royal Army Service Corp; Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.

Nov - Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; Black Watch; Royal Marines.

Dec - Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; Royal Regiment (North Lancashire); Canadian Troops.
If you compare with say:
29th Infantry Brigade (independent) arrived via amphibious landing near Diego-Suarez on 5 May 1942
2nd South Lancashire Regiment
2nd East Lancashire Regiment
1st Royal Scots Fusiliers
2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers
It looks like the brigade went through amphibious training in the summer of 1941.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 25 Feb 2021 19:46

Found this:

"The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 1920 - 1950"
p.162
The move to Inverary was made on August 15 and 16 [1941] by rail to Gourock and thence by sea. 36th Brigade was now part of Amphibious Force 110, which was forming under Lieutenant-General Sir Harold Alexander and which was joined by the 1st Battalion some eight months later. For the first week the 6th Battalion and the 5th Buffs carried out training in assault-landings from the Ettrick, while Brigade Headquarters and the 7th Battalion lived in Duke's Camp. These two parties then changed over. During the next month the whole brigade practised assault-landings in co-operation with Royal Marines, Artillery and tanks.
Regards

Tom

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Feb 2021 11:19

Outside the timescale of the OP, there was a pre-war combined arms amphibious exercise that is quite relevant. This was the first combined arms operation since Gallipoli.

The exercise was mounted by 3rd British Division' in July 1938. The aim of the exercise was to investigate the technical and tactical aspects of an approach from seaward, the landing of a force on an enemy coast, the provision and distribution of fire from ships in company supporting the landing force and the co-operation of aircraft. The joint navy, army and air commander was brigadier B L Montgomery in command of a nominal Eastland Army Corps of two divisions represented by three battalions from the 9th Infantry Brigade - the 1st KOSB, 2nd Lincolns and 2nd East Yorkshire Regiment. The naval force was the battleship HMS Revenge, the cruisers HMS Sheffield and Southampton and the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. The transports were the Lancashire and Clan Macalister. The troops were landed on Slapton Sands by naval cutters and whalers and in transports lifeboats between 1.30 and 4 AM. Tanks guns and lorries were landed using a special flat bottomed craft. (This was all reported in the Times)
Montgomery's biographer added that the weather worsened during the day. Out of concern for being trapped on a lee shorenavy sailed away without recovering the troops form the beach. GOC Southern Command was Wavell who was unimpressed and described it as a "pitiful exposition of our complete neglect of landing operations... There was one so called landing craft, an experimental one made many years before and dug out of some scrap heap for this exercise in which I rather think it sank. For the rest the troops landed in open rowing boats as they had done for the last 200 years and more."This is all from the first volume of Hamilton's biography of Montgomery: Monty - The making of a General

Arguably the land commander and some troops had practiced an amphibious assault six years before D Day June 1944.

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Re: Amphib Training 1941 - 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 Feb 2021 14:43

Sheldrake wrote:
26 Feb 2021 11:19
Outside the timescale of the OP, there was a pre-war combined arms amphibious exercise that is quite relevant. This was the first combined arms operation since Gallipoli.
There was a cross beach operation intended to depart of one of the Ypres attacks. Cant recall the name right now. The operation was canceled due to the failure of the attack near Ypres, but it was prepared & rehearsed.
Sheldrake wrote:
26 Feb 2021 11:19
...
Arguably the land commander and some troops had practiced an amphibious assault six years before D Day June 1944.
For centuries the English were doing littoral warfare as common operations and did it well. Then in the early 20th Century that ability evaporates. 300+ years of tradition forgotten. We see them painfully relearning even the basics. We see the US Army in similar neglect, forgetting their 19th Century experiences. Fortunately the USN kept its eye on that ball, despite negligible funds for development.

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