Author Topic: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)  (Read 198 times)

Offline philipsearching

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9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« on: Friday 14 September 18 12:48 BST (UK) »
Driver T/271084 George ESSEN, (a pre-war lorry driver), 1539 Artillery Platoon RASC was with 9 AGRA in 1945.  I know the life story of the man, I know where 1539 Artillery Platoon and 9 AGRA were in 1945, but I'm trying to get a sense of what George's duties would have been.

As far as I understand it, the RAOC supplied the ordnance and the RA used it.  Would an RASC driver have transported shells in a lorry (from munitions dump to artillery units)?

George died in the Netherlands an accidental explosion on 25 or 28 April 1945, so I am thinking he was probably in close proximity to some heavy munitions, but I don't want to write "he was probably transporting munitions" if the RASC didn't do that!

Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for any help.
Philip
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Online Regorian

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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #1 on: Friday 14 September 18 14:00 BST (UK) »
Those AGRA's (Army Group's Royal Artillery) were mighty powerful formations. I think the organisation was as far as RASC, HQ MT Company, Composite Platoon, Workshops Platoon, Driver relief increment, Transport (Artillery). Your man was most likely ammunition re-supply. 
Griffiths Llandogo, Mitcheltroy, Mon. and Whitchurch Here (Also Edwards),  18th C., Griffiths FoD 19th Century.

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Offline philipsearching

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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #2 on: Friday 14 September 18 14:42 BST (UK) »
Those AGRA's (Army Group's Royal Artillery) were mighty powerful formations. I think the organisation was as far as RASC, HQ MT Company, Composite Platoon, Workshops Platoon, Driver relief increment, Transport (Artillery). Your man was most likely ammunition re-supply.

Excellent - thank you.

I didn't want to blunder by saying RASC transported munitions if they didn't.

Philip
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Online MaxD

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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #3 on: Friday 14 September 18 15:00 BST (UK) »
The complete ORBAT of the RASC attached to an AGRA detailed by Regorian is shown graphically at:
http://www.niehorster.org/017_britain/44_org/GHQ_arty/AGRA-rasc.html

MaxD
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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #4 on: Friday 14 September 18 15:06 BST (UK) »
Best to wait for other contributions. It may have been RASC personnel who manned the tractor units towing guns.

9 AGRA seemed to have had, 9, 10, 11, 107 and 146 Medium Regts RA (5.5"), 59 Heavy (Newfoundland) Regt. RA (155mm and 7.2") and 3 Super Heavy Regt RA. These may have been 240mm guns.

This seems to be a very strong one, usually they were a mix of 25Pdr, 5,5" and 7.2" regiments. Spike Milligan was in a 7.2" regiment. Neddie Seagoon may have been.

I have been on the receiving end of an AGRA, albeit only in a WWII wargame NW Europe, 10th scale divisions. That was quite enough.   
Griffiths Llandogo, Mitcheltroy, Mon. and Whitchurch Here (Also Edwards),  18th C., Griffiths FoD 19th Century.

Online MaxD

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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #5 on: Friday 14 September 18 15:57 BST (UK) »
The ORBATs of none of the AGRA units include RASC drivers. 

From the ORBAT of a Field regiment  (the supply system was similar in the heavies):
Ammunition supply was ensured by having the following.

each tractor carried 24 rounds plus 8 anti tank rounds for use in emergency
each limber, two per gun, carried 32 round of ready use ammunition. One limber parked alongside the gun and was the primary source of ammunition.
when empty the limber was replaced by the spare and towed away for refilling.
the ammunition lorries carried a total of 480 rounds which were used to replenish the limbers. At this point the ammunition was removed from boxes and placed in ready use trays. Each tray held two shells and two charges.
When empty the ammunition lorry was replenished by a lorry from the ammunition platoon RASC. This operated under divisional headquarters but was permanently assigned to ammunition supply.


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Offline philipsearching

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COMPLETED 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #6 on: Friday 14 September 18 17:31 BST (UK) »
............When empty the ammunition lorry was replenished by a lorry from the ammunition platoon RASC. This operated under divisional headquarters but was permanently assigned to ammunition supply.

MaxD

MaxD - many thanks for your reply and the link in your previous post.  The level of detail is superb, (and confusing, but it doesn't take much to confuse me  ???

Without getting into too much detail of the ORBAT (is this Order of Battle?), or the precise roles each unit played at each stage in the process, the answer to my question as to whether the RASC played a part in the supply chain of munitions seems to be a definite "Yes".

So the death of George ESSEN in an accidental explosion might have been connected with his duties rather than "being in the wrong place at the wrong time".  I may never know the full details of the event but for my purposes (a mini-biography for a name on a War Memorial) I now have all I need.

My thanks again to Regorian and MaxD

Philip
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Online MaxD

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Re: 9 Army Group Royal Artillery (RASC involvement)
« Reply #7 on: Friday 14 September 18 17:43 BST (UK) »
Order of Battle is right Philip.

The company war diary would probably have details.  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4446461 (probably not worth the expense though in your context)

MaxD
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