Guards Armoured Division

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tartan_Terrier, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. I've been browsing on Flickr and found a very interesting set of photos many of which are of the Guards Armoured Division in Nijmegen.

    This photo is labelled as most likely being of one of the infantry battalions in the division, but I've no idea which one.

    Take a look and tell me what you think:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30041312@N03/3104090272/in/set-72157612718780005/

    The vehicle closest to the camera is marked with the number 53. Does this mean it's from 53 Field Regiment RA?

    Edit: Just found a very interesting site. It seems the 53 means that it belongs to the junior armoured regiment in an armoured brigade (in this case the 5th Guards Armoured Brigade)

    http://www.fireandfury.com/britinfo/divmarkings.pdf
     
  2. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Captured Panther used by 4th Battalion of 6th Coldstream Guards Tank Brigade, North-West Europe, 1944/45),

    "Cuckoo"

    [​IMG]

    And another


    [​IMG]
     
  3. TBS - why has the captured Panther got a US Army star on it?
     
  4. I presume in lieu of a easily discerned and recognised national marking for UK AFVs; a roundel or red/white/blue flash, even of large size, might have been felt to a) lack sufficient contrast to be seen readily and b) not be readily understood by Yanks. I have to say that if I was riding in as attractive a target as a Pzkpfw V, I would not have been too **** about my markings - anything that keeps a Typhoon or P-47 off my back would get my vote...
     
  5. A badly worded question - I grasped that part :D What I really meant to ask was - was this marking an Allied agreement on the use of captured en vehs or was it a local arrangement?
     
  6. All Allied vehicles in North-West Europe, whether US, Brit, Canadian etc, were meant to use the white star insignia.
     
  7. May be wrong, but I was under the impression that the star and roundel was technically an agreed Allied anti-fratricide measure similar to invasion stripes on aircraft, although in photographs it is more common to see it on the sides of US AFV's than on British. Perhaps more commonly seen on tops of our vehicles, not usually seen in photographs? In any case I agree, seems eminently sensible to employ on a captured enemy AFV.
     
  8. In NW Europe (and before IIRC) the allied ground-air recognition symbol was the white star. The Yanks also used it for ground-ground as well but we didn't as a rule. The roundel and red/white flash were long gone.

    In the case of Cuckoo, I suspect the local decision was made that a clear ground-ground symbol was a necessity to reduce the chance of fratricide.

    As far as air-to-ground goes, the air forces were quite capable of not noticing white stars or yellow panels; I don't suppose vehicle recognition came into the equation. Weren't turret roofs completely painted white for GOODWOOD in an attempt to improve recognition?
     
  9. Just out of curiosity those helmets on the tank look like the canadian pattern which we later adopted as standard, though I thought at a later date. Anyone confirm.

    I'll just get me anorak.
     
  10. I think they are standard AFV crewmen's helmets - they don't look flared enough to be the MkIII (IIRC) helmet.

    I'll get my tanksuit...
     
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The Septics hadn't met much German armour when they went into Normandy. We had.

    Before they went ashore, our more experienced crews painted out most of the white stars in circles on glacis plate, hull sides and turret sides which made perfect aiming marks for German gunners, leaving only the one on the engine decks(which might be covered with stowed kit anyway, in which case a flag might be carried) to keep the P47s (mainly - to this day, who here would feel comfortable about being in an AFV when a US strike aircraft is looking for targets?) and Typhoons off their backs
     
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    My Late Gt Uncle was a Sgt with Canadian Gren Gds at Nijmegen, in a Firefly I seem to recall him saying!
     
  13. I agree, they look like normal RAC helmets to me, which used the same shell as the parachutists' helmet.

    The MkIII helmet was not specifically Canadian, though it was issued to the 3rd Cdn Div for D-Day. However some British troops had also been issued them at this time, though the old helmet remained in service past the end of the war , as it did with some Canadian units.