1943 Aug - War Diary :

APPENDIX A- TO WAR DIARY AUGUST 1943
591 (ANTRIM) PARA SQN R.E.
EXERCISE "TRAMP"

Ref Maps:-
1 inch to 1 mile Sheet 131
1 inch to 1 mile sheet 141


OBJECTS OF EXERCISE

1. To Practice:
(a) Carriage and dropping of demolition equipment in containers
(b) Use of trolleys
(c) Rapid preparation of a bridge for demolition and firing of token charges
(d) Withdrawal by forced march, after completion of demolition, to previously agreed rendezvous.

NARRATIVE

2.  A British sea-borne force has landed on the Continent and has seized a bridge head SWANAGE 4699-WAREHAM 3508-WOOL 2807-WEST LULWORTH 2501. The Axis of advance of this force is North East. Commander British Force intends to secure his right flank by demolitions along line of River Stour.

3.  6 Airborne Division is arrying out these demolitions. Task allotted to No.1 Troop 591 (Antrim) Para Sqn RE is demolition of Road Bridge 393211. This troop is under command of 7 Para Unit which is providing covering force for demolition party.

4.  Time of main advance from bridge head has been co-ordinated with demolitions. On completion of demolitions, covering parties and demolition party are to withdraw by forced march within bridgehead (10 miles) fighting their way back and causing as much confusion in rear of enemy as possible.

EXERCISE INSTRUCTIONS

5. Troops taking part
Nos 1,2 and 3 Troops of 591 Para Sqn RE. Troops will be dropped independently and each troop will act successively as No.1 Troop of narrative.


6. Allocation of Aircraft

 

Containers

Lift

Aircraft No.

Troop

SA

Demolition Equipment (Explosives)

Trolleys

Colour of Chute

1st

1

No.3 Troop

2

1

1

Black

1st

2

No.3 Troop

2

1

1

Yellow

1st

3

No.3 Troop

2

1

1

Green

2nd

4

No.1 Troop

2

1

1

Red

2nd

5

No.1 Troop

2

1

1

Blue

2nd

6

No.1 Troop

2

1

1

Orange

3rd

7

No.2 Troop

2

1

1

Black

3rd

8

No.2 Troop

2

1

1

Yellow

3rd

9

No.2 Troop

2

1

1

Green




7.TIMINGS

1st Lift

2nd Lift

3rd Lift

Troops depart BULFORD

0730

1000

1230

Troops arrive airfield

0900

1130

1400

Begin loading containers

0930

1145

1430

Draw chutes

1000

1215

1500

Enplaning

1045

1500

1545

Take Off

1100

1315

1600

Drop

1130

1545

1630




8.Airfield
HURN (in Dorset)

9.D.Z. [Drop Zone]
389615-395.38
Direction of run in North West to South East.

10. Loading of Containers
Small Arms Containers:
Small arms.
Small haversack correctly filled.
Spare ammunition

Explosives Containers:
Approx 200 lbs of "808" with necessaries, less detonators which will be carried by jumping personnel.

11. Action on Dropping
(a) Load explosives from comtainer to trolley

(b) Advance tactically to bridge site

(c) Put out covering force (represented by infantry) of men not required for work on demolition.

(d) Make final detailed decision on method of demolition

(e) Place charges (traffic not to be held up). Charges will not be connected for firing.

(f) Lay out cordtex firing circuit on ground adjacent to bridge. Main charges to be represented by 1 or G.C. primers. Cordtex firing circuit will then be detached to represent demolition of bridge.

12. Action on completion of demolition.
Move tactically taking empty trolleys to Pt 209.
470311 (approx 9 miles). Time not to exceed 2 hours.

ADMINISTRATION

13. Dress
Parachuting order


14. Transport
2 i/c will arrange transport as follows:-

Numbers

Containers

Trolleys

(a)    1st Lift to Airfield

30

9

3

(b)   2nd Lift to Airfield

30

9

3

(c)    3rd Lift to Airfield

30

9

3




(d) Recovery Truck at Drop Zone with 2 fatigue men to recover jumping jackets, empty containers and bulk explosive from bridge site.

(e) At rendezvous Pt 209, 470311 to carry troops back to BULFORD.

Approx  time of pick up

Numbers

No. of Trolleys

1st Lift

1500 hrs

30

3

2nd Lift

1715 hrs

30

3

3rd Lift

2000 hrs

30

3




15. Sups
Meals will be as follows

Breakfast

Dinners

Remarks

1st Lift No.3 Troop

0630

1700

Haversack

rations

     "

2nd Lift No.1 Troop

0730

1915

3rd Lift No.2 Troop

0730

1200




16. Medical
Medical Officer and ambulance is being provided at Drop Zone by 224 (Para) Field Ambulance.

17. Safety Officer
OC 3 Para Sqn RE is providing a safety Officer on Drop Zone for Lifts 1 and 2. Smoke Candle will be placed at point where first man is to drop. 591 Para Sqn will provide Safety Officer for Lift 3.

18. Maps
Will be issued at Briefing

19. Packing of Containers
All containers will be packed. C.G. checked with weight equivalent to chute, and filled containers will be marked in accordance with Standing Orders and handed in to S.Q.M.S. store by 1800 hrs 30 Aug 43.

20. Troop Commanders of 591 Para Sqn RE
Briefing by OC at 1700 hrs 29 Aug 43. (As exercise is a simple one as far as airborne part is concerned it is not considered necessary for RAF to attend this briefing). Form G.6 will be issue to Troop Commanders at briefing.

21. NCOs and selected sappers
Under Troop Commanders arrangements on 30 Aug 43

REHEARSAL

22. Troop Commanders will carry out a full rehearsal on 30 Aug 43
to include
Loading of trolleys
Responsibility of Stick Command and No.5 Drop Zone drill
Preparation of token charges.


Dated 23 Aug 1943

PA Wood
Major R.E.
Commanding 591 (Antrim) Parachute Squadron R.E.

Distribution:

Copy No.

Copy No.

OC No.1 Troop

1-2

3 Para Sqn RE

11

OC No.2 Troop

3-4

5 Para Brigade

12

OC No.3 Troop

5-6

ALC NETHERAVON

13

OC

7

ALC

14

2 i/c

8

GSO iii(Air) 6 Airborne Div

15

SSM

9

CRE

16

Transport NCO

10

File

17

Spare

18-19



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