Guards Armoured Division

#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

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

"Cuckoo"



And another


 
#6
rickshaw-major said:
TBS - why has the captured Panther got a US Army star on it?
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...
 
#7
OllieReeder said:
rickshaw-major said:
TBS - why has the captured Panther got a US Army star on it?
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...
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?
 
#8
rickshaw-major said:
OllieReeder said:
rickshaw-major said:
TBS - why has the captured Panther got a US Army star on it?
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...
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?
All Allied vehicles in North-West Europe, whether US, Brit, Canadian etc, were meant to use the white star insignia.
 
#9
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.
 
#10
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?
 
#11
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.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#13
hackle said:
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.
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
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#14
My Late Gt Uncle was a Sgt with Canadian Gren Gds at Nijmegen, in a Firefly I seem to recall him saying!
 
#15
WaltOnTheMildSide said:
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...
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.
 
#16
The Allied Star was adopted as a universal recognition symbol in 1943. As has been mentioned, it was not commonly painted on the sides of British AFVs in action, but it was not totally unknown and was very commonly seen while in the UK. It was always painted on the upper surfaces (which was when the ring was added to give it extra visibility). In Burma from 1944 onwards, British/Indian tanks were covered in HUGE stars, because about the only thing that could harm them was their own tanks, as well as Allied air support!

Canadian and Polish tanks seem to have had a higher incidence of stars painted on the sides (if photographic evidence is anything to go by), but Canadian orders dictated that one of the five points should be pointing forwards (everyone else painted them 'resting' on two points).

British light AFVs and softskins almost always had stars painted on the sides, while recce often painted them on the front as well, due to the regular occurrence of being shot up while returning to their own lines.
 
#17
My two uncles joined the Coldstream guards in 1930 and served until the late 40`s.At Dunkirk they fought as infantry but later they were armoured,does anyone know if all the Guards regiments were armoured or did some fight in their more traditional role as infantry.?
 
#18
mortars2cg said:
My two uncles joined the Coldstream guards in 1930 and served until the late 40`s.At Dunkirk they fought as infantry but later they were armoured,does anyone know if all the Guards regiments were armoured or did some fight in their more traditional role as infantry.?[/quote

Wiki is your friend:
The Guards Armoured Division was a Second World War British Army formation.

The Guards Armoured Division was formed on 17 June 1941. The division remained in the United Kingdom, training, until 26 June 1944, when it landed in Normandy as part of VIII Corps. Its first major engagement was Operation Goodwood, the attack by three armoured divisions towards Bourguebus Ridge in an attempt to break out of the Normandy beachhead. That was followed by Operation Bluecoat, the advance east of Caen as the Falaise pocket formed. Transferred to XXX Corps, the division liberated Brussels. It led the XXX Corps attack in Operation Market Garden, the ground forces' advance to relieve airborne troops aiming to seize the bridges up to Arnhem, capturing Nijmegen bridge in conjunction with American paratroopers. During the battle of the Bulge, it was sent to the Meuse as a reserve in case the Germans broke through the American lines. It endured hard fighting in Operation Veritable, the advance towards the Rhine through the Reichswald, and again in the advance through Germany. The division existed until 12 June 1945, when it was reorganised as an infantry division, the Guards Division.

:)
 
#19
Also, as the Regiments had more than two battalions they coud have been split up, at least one Guards Battalion had a "ski" battalion, fighting in cold places. Wil try and dig out the history later if i remember (and stay clear of wine today).
 
#20
mortars2cg said:
My two uncles joined the Coldstream guards in 1930 and served until the late 40`s.At Dunkirk they fought as infantry but later they were armoured,does anyone know if all the Guards regiments were armoured or did some fight in their more traditional role as infantry.?
Were they in the 1st Battalion?

Take a look at this wiki page, and you'll see that not even all the Guards battalions in the Guards Armoured Division were armoured.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guards_Armoured_Division

Not all Guards battalions were in the Guards Armoured Division either. There were units from all five Guards regiments in North Africa and Italy for example.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads