Reconnaissance corps arnhem

The Reconnaissance Corps, or simply Recce Corps, was a corps of the British Army, formed during the Second World War whose units provided the mobile spearhead of infantry divisions. It was formed from infantry brigade reconnaissance groups on 14 January All the brigade reconnaissance groups of each infantry corps were formed into reconnaissance battalions, each usually bearing the number of its relevant division.

For example, the 43rd Battalion, Reconnaissance Corps based on the 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment was the divisional reconnaissance battalion of the 43rd Wessex Division. Initially, coming from infantry units, reconnaissance units used the infantry designations of battalions, companies and platoons.

However, from 6 Junethe Corps changed to the cavalry descriptions of regiments, squadrons and troops. The Corps became part of the Royal Armoured Corps RAC instill maintaining its own cap badge with two lightning strikes supporting an upright spear. With the end of the war, this number of reconnaissance units was not needed and the Reconnaissance Corps was disbanded in August Reconnaissance duties reverted to regular armoured units of the RAC.

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10th SS Panzer Division at the Arnhem Battles I

Philip Reinders, Missing soldiers in the netherlands C Le Regiment de la Chaudiere R. C Le Regiment de Maisonneuve R. C Nottinghamshire Yeomanry R. Captain10th Parachute Battalion Jeavons, W.

Sergeant Glider Pilot Regiment Knapper. Reconnaissance Corps. Privacyverklaring Sitemap. Inloggen Uitloggen Bewerken.Throughout most of its existence the regiment was part of the 43rd Wessex Infantry Division.

The regiment was formed as 48th Reconnaissance Battalion on 14 October by the redesignation of the 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regimenta Territorial Army TA infantry battalion that had fought with 48th South Midland Infantry Division in Battle of France and Dunkirk evacuation and then acted as the divisional recce battalion since July The following month it was transferred to the 43rd Wessex Infantry Division and renumbered accordingly in January The first casualty of WWII suffered by the 43rd Wessex Reconnaissance was Leslie George Allen on 19 June now interred at Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol who suffered a gunshot wound to the back of his head whilst out on patrol on a small boat off the coast of Dover.

By the time of D-Day in Juneall reconnaissance or "recce" regiments were organised into a headquarters squadron and three reconnaissance squadrons.

HQ Squadron included a troop of eight 6-pounder anti-tank guns and a troop of six 3-inch mortars. The recce squadrons each had three scout troops equipped with Humber Armoured Cars[7] Humber Light Reconnaissance Cars [8] and Bren carriersand an assault troop of riflemen in M3 Half-tracks. The total establishment was 41 officers and other ranks. High seas and enemy shelling prevented unloading for three days and it was decided to move T72 to Juno Beach for disembarkation.

As the ship started engines at The mine exploded under the keel, splitting the ship in two, and the after part, packed with men of 43 Recce, sank rapidly. Worse still, a 3-tonner ammunition lorry caught fire, and oil floating on the water was set alight.

reconnaissance corps arnhem

The Regimental War Diary records that 'Great gallantry was displayed by all troops in the two aft holds' and lists men of the regiment lost and about others evacuated wounded. In addition, 25 of the ship's crew including Army gunners died in the disaster, which represented the biggest single loss of life off the invasion beaches. In the days following the sinking, the survivors were formed into a composite squadron and most of 43 Recce's vehicles were landed from the beached fore part of the "Derrycunihy".

B Sqn arrived from England, together with the first reinforcements. Throughout 3 August 43 Recce lay up under constant fire from 88 mm gunsawaiting its first chance to intervene in the campaign. The opportunity came the following morning, but as soon as B squadron moved out up the steep hill with the infantry of 5th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry DCLIa patrol of Hawker Typhoons'seeing the armoured cars and the infantry intermingled saw fit to intervene'.

After passing the crest, two troops turned left along the road through the woods to Ondefontaine. The village proved to be still occupied by the enemy in strength, and a brisk action took place, the armoured cars and the DCLI carrier platoon being engaged by machine-guns, a Panzer IV and two Panther tanks. B Sqn's other troop had turned the other way and probed a long way forward, meeting C Sqn, which had passed through several villages until it caught up with the enemy late in the day at Montcharivel, where leading elements of 15th Scottish Division had also gained contact.

A firefight and mortaring went on all night. Starting from St Jean le Blanc, the armoured cars and half-tracks probed south, seizing bridges, lifting mines, driving through strongly-held villages firing their Besa machine gunsclashing with German self-propelled guns and taking prisoners.

Finding the opposition in that direction stiffening, Lane Fox swung the axis of advance eastwards. At one point the leading squadron found themselves in the middle of a battle between 50th Northumbrian Division and the enemy: 'taking no notice of disorganized German infantry, they pressed on to St Pierre la Vielle. On the far side they finally came upon the enemy digging in tanks.

After this most successful day, the squadron withdrew into harbour at dusk'. It crossed the Noireau on 15 August by a broken railway bridge and by wading, whereupon the engineers set to work to build a bridge. Next morning 43rd Recce and the Sherman tanks of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry went across to continue the pursuit of the broken enemy, who were soon caught in the Falaise pocket.

US troops had already reached the west bank of the Seine, so the convoys of recce parties, assault troops and bridging material moving eastwards had to be carefully coordinated to cross with US convoys repositioning to the south.

The first convoy, Group One, consisted of nearly vehicles of th Brigade and supporting units, led by 43rd Recce except A Sqn which was leading Group Two. The road was blocked and the bridge destroyed but US Army Engineers by-passed the roadblock and, working all night under the protection of 43 Recce, the RE built a Bailey bridge.

At daybreak on 25 August, B and C Sqns of 43 Recce were the first to cross the partially complete bridge, and drove flat out for Vernon, B Sqn reaching it that afternoon, the first British troops to arrive.The high-level command decision provides evidence that the OKW did not anticipate any large-scale Allied airborne operations in Holland.

Harmel personally met with the chief of the main SS office in order to speed the refreshment of the 10th SS. Referring to the orders that his division received from the OB of the Army Group and II SS Panzer Corps, he discussed the need for additional speedy replacements of personnel and materiel.

In particular, the commander emphasized the speedy allocation of the 1st Battalion, 10th SS Panzer Regiment, to the division. The main SS office concurred with the extensive request for support and ordered the immediate activation of 1, replacements to the division.

In the afternoon on 17 September, a telegraph arrived with orders for Harmel to return to his unit. The 2nd Battery consisted of only fifty-two men they were ninety-four at full strengthand four towed mm howitzers lFH 18 that were recovered earlier at the rail yard at Cambrai. The battery prime movers, former field kitchen vehicles, were brought out of the encirclement of Falaise. The cook, when necessary, served as a cannonier or telephone operator, depending on the situation.

The battery communications equipment consisted of two field telephones, no radios, and only a few rolls of wire. Approximately eighty rounds of ammunition were available. The 2nd Battery assumed positions along the Dutch and Belgian border, east of the small village of Schaft and about 5 km south of Valkenswaard. The terrain consisted primarily of fields, mixed with high broom and juniper. The limber position was about meters to the west, and the vehicles were concealed in the village of Schaft.

The battery attempted to establish contact with an infantry unit, located 2 km south of the battery position along the northern bank of a canal near a secondary village. No activity suggested the infantry unit was not in position, although their task was to cover the southern road leading to Valkeswaard.

On Sunday 17 September, after hours, men from the 2nd Battery prepared a birthday cake for the battery commander. As Godau marveled over the decorated cake, the sound of approaching aircraft engines broke up the party and forced them back to the battery positions. Overhead, dozens of Allied aircraft towed transport gliders to the north and low-altitude fighter aircraft fired into the village of Schaft. After two additional fighters flew over the battery without firing a shot, the commotion ended as fast as it began.

However, after several minutes, activity on the road sprang to life. A Sherman tank appeared moving at high speed to the north. Eight hundred meters! The cannoniers lowered the barrels and traversed the guns, but only two batteries in the right-side platoon could engage.He saw action in North Africa and Italy before being evacuated back to England with pneumonia in early Once fully recovered, he volunteered as a wireless operator with 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron.

In this gripping memoir, Des vividly describes both the intense action and his emotions following the drop. At first there was an unreal sense of calm but this was soon to evaporate. In the intense action that followed, Des was ambushed twice and badly wounded. Fortunate to survive, he became a POW. Sadly, but inevitably, new first-hand accounts by Second World War veterans are becoming increasingly rare.

reconnaissance corps arnhem

Some readers may find its brutal honesty disturbing but war has never been for the faint-hearted. Conditions were perfect if they continued over Holland as they were over England, but there was no early take off planned. This meant that take-off for the glider—borne troops had to be earlier than ours as they would be travelling more slowly. I recall the time of take-off was around We were told our flight would last approximately three and a half hours.

The planes towing the gliders were slower so the time difference allowed the air armada to rendezvous and arrive at the same time. I also remember an officer I think, coming around and handing out cups of tea laced with rum or brandy. Most of us drank it but I thought it tasted bloody awful, a waste of good tea or rum or brandy whichever way the individual saw it.

We filed onto our plane at last, twenty to a plane. It was a beautiful day, as I had suggested earlier. Perfect flying weather in fact, so some of the imaginative wondered if the Luftwaffe would turn up to hamper our progress. The Allies now had an almost complete mastery of the air, but we knew that some German fighter planes were still about. Take-off went without a hitch as far as we could see with our limited view of the proceedings from the small windows of the Dakota. It was an almost physical impossibility, with all our gear on, to twist around and look out of the windows, but one or two wrestled themselves to their feet when we had stopped climbing and excitedly described the views that no one who was there will ever forget.

As far as the eye could see there were planes and gliders all travelling on a dead straight course over the North Sea. Weaving in and out, up and down, were the fighters; there seemed to be hundreds of them. Down below we could see that the sea was dotted with rescue craft, emphasizing our control of the water as well as the air.

Somehow Sunday seemed to be a strange day for such a trip but most of us felt a great elation now that we were finally committed to an operation. This one would not abort now! We were all raring to go, superbly fit and full of the feeling that we were invincible. The enemy was on the run and we had been told that, if successful, this operation would end the War by Christmas. Many were going into action for the first time; little did any of us know how well these inexperienced lads would acquit themselves in the days to come.

The fighters dipped and dived, took them on and silenced them. Revelling in our complete superiority of the skies, again we felt that nothing could stop us now.The books mentioned on this page are split into three groups of books: A few general accounts, unit histories and personal accounts.

As we are sure you are aware many books have been written about Arnhem and it would be impossible to list them all but the advisory panel have suggested books that are worth reading and factually accurate which cannot be said for all books printed on the battle! There have been many many 'general accounts' published over the years ranging from the excellent to the very poor. This list is in the view of the advisory panel some of the better options and if a newcomer to the battle a good place to start.

A few comments have been added where appropriate:. Probably the best general history ever of the battle. Written for the 50th anniversary and the author was able to speak with around veterans. A Bridge too Far by Cornelus Ryan. Coverage of the entire operation and Ryan had the benefit of speaking with a number of veterans.

Although there are a few crucial errors in it such as the 'non-arrival' of the Recce Squadron jeeps at Arnhem it is nevertheless a good account. An expensive work but worth it. Includes more photographs taken in than any other book. Included as the only general German view of Market Garden.

43rd (Wessex) Reconnaissance Regiment

A photgraphic study of the German soldier figting in and around Arnhem, but also includes the corridor. This is:. The first two books mentioned cover the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment, the third the 1st Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery while the fourth is a general account of all four Royal Artillery units at Arnhem.

Travel by Dark by Graeme Warrack — the Assistant Director of Medical Services — account based on his diary and the story of his escape. I was a Stranger by John Hackett — commander of the 4th Parachute Brigade but regretfully does not cover his actions during the battle but the story of his escape. However, the advisory panel are happy to suggest sources where available for these units.

A book covering the work of the director, why the film was made and subtitled 'Arnhem, Hurst and Conflict on film by David Truesdale and Allan Esler Smith. This book covers the work of the director Brian Desmond Hurst and why the film was made and how and where it was made. If any member is aware of any other suitable books to include in this list please contact the Fellowship book panel via info arnhemfellowship.

Door onze site te bezoeken, ga je akkoord met ons privacybeleid met betrekking tot cookies, trackingstatistieken, enz. Lees meer. Accepteren X. Recommended Books. General Accounts There have been many many 'general accounts' published over the years ranging from the excellent to the very poor. Lees meer Accepteren X.About Me. It was formed from infantry brigade reconnaissance groups on 14 January All the brigade reconnaissance groups of each infantry corps were formed into reconnaissance battalions, each usually bearing the number of its relevant division.

Initially, coming from infantry units, reconnaissance units used the infantry designation of battalions, companies and platoon. However, from 6 Junethe Corps changed to the cavalry descriptions of regiments, squadrons and troops. The Corps became part of the Royal Armoured Corps in With the end of the war, this number of reconnaissance units was not needed and the Reconnaissance Corps was disbanded in August In November of that same year, it became a glider-borne force and was once again renamed, this time as the 1st Air Landing Reconnaissance Company.

One of the first commanding officers of the company was Major Otway, the man who was later to lead the attack on the Merville battery on D-Day.

reconnaissance corps arnhem

It was Gough who built it up into the fighting force of distinction and quality with it subsequently became. The journey to North Africa was uneventful and on 26th May the ship docked in the port of Oran, Algeria. On 9 September the Squadron arrived in the harbour of Taranto, Italy.

The Troops of the Squadron were ordered to patrol the area and there were some minor skirmishes with both Italian and German forces. On 27 september the Squadron captured Foggia aerodrome.

In the official report of the 1st Airborne Division the squadron is mentioned for their excellent work. On 30 september the Squadron moved to Bari.

They disembarked on 10 December in Liverpool. After a period of training and getting ready for several cancelled operations the Squadron received orders for Operation Market Garden. Major Gough was told that he and his men would rush to Arnhem bridge as fast as possible, to take it before the arrival of the Parachute Battalions.

Gough was fully aware that the role he had been assigned was not the one that his unit was trained for and he argued that the three Recce Troops should advance in front of the three Parachute Battalions as they advanced from the dropzone into Arnhem, but this proposal was rejected by Brigadier Lathbury, commander of 1st Parachute Brigade. Gough also requested the use of three Hamilcar gliders to transport a Troop of Tetrarch tanks from the 6th Airborne Armoured Reonnaissance Regiment to Arnhem, but this request was also turned down.

Despite his doubts about the assigned role Gough was optimistic. I can't remember being the least concerned. There were supposed to be only a few old grey Germans there and some ancient tanks and guns. A pushover, I thought, and I'm sure everyone felt basically the same'. Four of the gliders of the Squadron crashed into the trees.

10th SS Panzer Division at the Arnhem Battles I

At the rendez-vous it turned out that 28 out of 31 jeeps earmarked for the rush to the bridge were ready to go. At The initial route for the Squadron was quite straightforward, they were to drive along the track on the southern side of the railway line as far as the Wolfheze railway crossing, then cross over and pick up another track than ran alongside th railway line on the northern side.

This would take them into the northern suburbs of Oosterbeek where they would pick up another road that led into Arnhem. No long after they crossed the railway line in Wolfheze the first two jeeps of C Troop's 8 Section were fired upon with machineguns and mortars.

He had spread his men out in a defensive line along what he thought was the most probable line of the British advance. The Reserve Platoon was detached from the rest and positioned in the woodland to the north of the railway. At orders were received from Divisional HQ to disengage and return to the landing- and dropzone. In the meantime, at approximately After arriving at HQ it turned out General Urquhart was not there and Gough had to drive towards Arnhem to catch up with him.

Together with 10 men Gough drove to Arnhem in 2 jeeps. They managed to reach the bridge at Arnhem and were there for the rest of the battle.We advanced from there to Mt. Here I remember seeing a Military Policeman stood on a road junction steadfastly directing the advancing convoys of Army vehicles, enveloped in clouds of red dust, and under constant bombardment from enemy shells.

It was here too that we were paused for a few hours, and on investigating the familiar smell of death nearby, we found a German soldier lying in a covered slit trench. His face was a huge ball of maggots. We managed to get hold of some chloride of lime and scattered this all over him. I still remember the disgusting sight of the maggots flowing from his face like a living stream. September The American Army had now fully broken out of their less defended sector of the front, almost all the German tank forces having been thrown against the pivot point of Caen.

This allowed them to partly encircle the German army from the South and a simultaneous pincer movement by our troops from the North entrapped thousands of enemy troops who were trying to flee through the only gap left at a village called Falaise.

This now became a killing field, with all the Allied gun-fire and the concentrated attacks by our rocket-firing dive-bombers Typhoons being rained down on the fleeing Germans. Thousands of the enemy were killed and, as we passed through the devastated area in pursuit of those who had managed to escape, I remember seeing bodies piled on top of bodies to a height of several feet.

Now the advance was in full flow. Our Regiment was put in as the spear-head of the advance which we did at rate of 60 miles in one day, and passing through towns whose names had been made familiar to me from stories of the First World War, which took place here thirty years earlier. Places which had been fought over for months, even years. We passed them by in a few days. Often the advance was slowed by the enthusiasm of the local populace of the small towns and villages as we passed through.

They were overjoyed to see Allied troops after years of oppression. Sometimes we were temporarily halted by the French Resistance who had cornered German troops in woods etc. We had to refer them to our follow-up troops as speed of advance was paramount.

reconnaissance corps arnhem

The Germans tried to slow down our progress in any number of ways, such as mines across the roads, or even sods strewn on the roads to simulate mines. On one occasion when my Armoured Car was leading the advance along a narrow road lined with trees, I suddenly noticed a thin wire which had been tied across the road at head height between two trees.

We managed to stop in time to investigate it and found that one end was fastened to the trigger of a Panzerfaust aimed at the centre of the wire and loaded with a rocket grenade. We were the first troops to cross the border into Belgium and at that point we were relieved by the Guards Armoured Division who passed through us and took up the spear-head. We were then used to protect the Northern flank of the narrow corridor which was being made through Belgium, and to prevent the escape of the remnants of the 9th.

German Army which had been cut off between the corridor and the Northern coast. We were positioned thinly along all the bridges which crossed the Escaut Canal. At each bridge was positionedtypically, one Anti-tank gun, a section of Assault troops and one Armoured car.

Although the actual coverage probably differed from bridge to bridge. As night fell we heard the noise of gun-fire at the next bridge further down the canal, and stood ready for action when the fire had abated. It wasn't very long before we heard the noise of approaching German tanks and other vehicles.

The first vehicles moved towards the bridge and we opened fire with all we had.

1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron

The vehicles withdrew away from the canal and we didn't hear from them again. We later learned that the gun-fire that we had heard from the next bridge had a little story-line to it. It is the practice of Anti-tank gun-crews to remove part of the firing mechanism of their gun and conceal it, when they are not on stand-to, so that in the eventuality of being infiltrated by surprise, the enemy would be unable to use the gun.

This had been the case here, when suddenly they had been awakened by the look-out who had heard the approaching Germans.


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