WW2 Armoured Infantry

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by scarletto, Oct 4, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Doing some research on a mates Dad,He was in the 4th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, down as Armoured Infantry (this was 1944 onwards)

    Question is what were armoured infantry in, Bren Gun Carriers? or halftracks, a breakdown of a ww2 armoured infantry Battalion would be appreciated.

    Also does anyone know what campaigns the 4th were involved in, tried the RWF its pretty naff.
  2. The organisation of armoured infantry battalions properly motor battalions was establsihed in early 1944 after a bit of messing around with various organisations.

    Each battalion consisted of a Headquarters Company, a Support Company (which contained three antitank and two machine gun platoons), and three Motor Companies.

    One Motor Battalion was assigned to the Armored Brigade of an Armored Division.

    The individual companies were both half track us m3's I think and carrier based.

    The majority of the support company prime movers for towing 6 pdrs and mounting vickers guns on were carriers a mixture of Lloyd and the traditional bren carrier

    Sorry if this is disjointed but its done at work off the top of my head

    An example I can remember is Guards armoured Division which consisted of 2 brigades one traditional lorried infantry and 5th Guards Armoured Brigade, which comprised Grenadier, Coldstream and Irish Guards in tanks plus 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards as the Motor Battalion.

    Hope that this helps
  3. Cheers Nigel
  4. 4 RWF were in 53rd (Welsh) Division. Until 3/8/44 they were part of 158 Inf Bde and they then moved to 71 Inf Bde. The division was involved in some pretty heavy fighting, although I'm not sure of 4RWF's involvement, but at least its a start:


    25 June - 2 July: The Odon
    4 July - 18 July: Caen
    30 July - 9 August: Mont Pincon
    7 August - 22 August: Falaise
    17 September - 27 September: The Nederrijn


    8 February - 10 March: The Rhineland
    23 March - 1 April: The Rhine
  5. Could they have been mounted in Kangaroos (turretless tanks)?
  6. Weren't those Canadian and used as one off to mount lorried infantry ?
  7. Peter White in his book "With The Jocks" mentioned his Bn, 4KOSB of 52 (Mountain) Division, driving onto the objective in Kangaroos driven by Canadians.
  8. scar, there’s reference to ”Infantry of 53rd (Welsh) Division in a Kangaroo personnel carrier on the outskirts of Ochtrup, 3 April 1945.” and "......employ a Universal carrier to transport German POWs in the town of Verden, 18 April 1945" at Imperial War Museum Photos, e.g.:

    [​IMG] and [​IMG]
    (may need to Right Click and Show Picture if you only get red X boxes displayed - but should work)

    If you click on ‘New Search’ and enter only 53rd in 'Subject' it should throw-up some 45 pics. Not all pics relevant. These only a tiny fraction of what they hold and what they have put up for on-line ordering.

  9. thanks for posting this . Most interesting.

    The guy on the far right, with his arrse hanging off the back of the wagon, is wearing the then "new" steel toby, which my unit was still wearing untill 89. No gaiters or puttees though, from what I can see. (poor screen)?

    I still have mine, and wore it at a railway station the other day to welcome an old mate who had come over from Ireland to visit. This being London, I didn't even get any strange looks. Nobody looks and anybody else here...

    The chap with the bren appears to be wearing a para/airborne lid.Again, high "yank" boots.

    There also appears to be a whispered tete-a-tete going on twixt two Huns. I wonder if they are saying "Jurgen, ven zeir attenschion iss disstrakted by ze kamera, ve vill jump zem, schteal zeir gunz und vin bak zee fazerland"

    Or maybe they are saying "fackin bragging posing chants"

    Or, "where's the next meal comong from?"

    In Italy, which is not what you were asking about, but is roughly related, the whole motorised thing was very fluid. LIR were in and out of wagons, and to get an "on the ground" perspective (from a different regiment), I highly reccommend Alex Bowlby's book, called, cryptically, "The Memoirs of Rifleman Bowlby".

    He was a well educated gentleman-soldier, and speaks of his (regular and conscript) batallion's dismay at having their wagons taken away, only to hear that the 5th(a TA and conscript bn who, according to the book had c0cked up a river engagement IIRC) had inherited "their" wagons.

    Before their tracked vehs were taken away, one of them overturned, killing the driver and a very popular young officer, and they (the battallion) had all been through North Africa together.

    They felt very sore about it.
  10. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Does the wagon on the right not have The Black Watch written on it?
    Matey with the Bren appears to be covering his mucker and no one elseI think the German is trying to light his pipe
    Oh and is there an overloading issue?
    Never a H&S man about when you need one
    Sitting outside the vehicle what sort of example is that to set our new comrades?
  11. Laddo with the Bren is wearing the DR's helmet - he would appear to have been given the Bren so that he could do the ol' 'look Mum - me an' all the Jerries wot I caught'.

    Hansel and Gretel have the look of '.......here we go again! Just wait until next time you Tommy knuts'.
  12. Yeah know what you mean about nobody looking Irish, but somehow I think it’s for different reasons nowadays. One of my favourites was moons ago at the time of Michael Bentine’s ‘Square World’. They dressed as Chinese and crewed a Junk on the Thames during a working day, sailing up and down in front of the Houses of Parliament firing off a cannon at it – and no one did a thing. 8O

    First impression I got of the Bren gunner in the pic is he was wearing a Dispatch Rider’s lid? But equally it does look para – ours or theirs – or even a touch Italian? Toby on the right has no putties or gaiters, but judging from the creasing of his trousers they’re calf-length boots.

    Re Italy, they remodelled Shermans and Priests I believe. No.43 Cdo (RM) were given a few to use at Comacchio in April ’45. Two of the Troops were mounted, one lot got bogged in the sand and the other charged into a strongpoint at dawn which convinced Jerry to pack-in. Some say the Germans claimed they freaked because they though the Kangaroos were some secret weapon. They said it sounded ‘sort of’ like a tank (one had a exhaust snorkel fitted wrongly and was gassing the occupants), while its silhouette was alien. Other than being turretless, it was festooned with Goatleys and inflatables for a river crossing latter, and anything else the Cdos were taking but could avoid carrying personally. Oh yes and men hanging off it, trying to hold on as it charged. Sounds fair. :D


    ps. speech bubbles for the two Jerries in front; “Zas mine bum look big in zis?” – “Zimtzicke, yor bum looks big becos yor bum ist big” :roll:

    pps. reckon Mattel used the Bren gunner to model for Action Man, can’t sit realistically, can’t hold anything realistically :wink:
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Those Kangaroos must have been a pig to climb out off under fire!
  14. You have missed out "January 1945: The Ardennes" The divisional memorial is in Hotton.