1944 Nov - War Diary :

6 AIRBORNE DIVISIONAL EXERCISE

EXERCISE "EVE"
591 (Antrim) Parachute Sqn. R.E.
19 Nov 44
Operational Orders No.1
Ref Maps OS 1inch to 1 mile Sheet 105
1/25,000 sheet 47/20 NE and 50/20 NW


INFORMATION
1.
Enemy Information concerning enemy is contained in 6 Airborne Initial Summary No.11 at Appendix A and traces A and B (Troop Commanders only)

2. Own Troops
(a) Airborne Corps consisting os 1 and 6 Airborne Divisions is to secure general line Drayton 9214-Milton 9312-Sutton Courtenay 9413-Hill Farm 9612-Down Hill 9811-Sinodum Hills 0112-Brightwell Barrow 0211

(b) Consurrently with the airborne landings 70 Division will make assault crossings of the River Thames betwee bridges at Culham 9514-Clifton Cut 9814

(c) Prior to airborne landings and river assault crossing there will be artillery preparation and air attack by bombers.

(d) 1 Airborne Division will seize and hold a bridgehead which will include Sinodum Hills 0112-Brightwell Barrow 0211

(e) 3 Parachute Brigade is landing on Drop Zone "B" at 'H' hour +12 minutes with the task of securing and holding the area Long Wittenham 9913-Down Hill 9911 and in particular to source FDLs [forward defense locations] at road junctions 983123 and 000119.

(f) 6 Airlanding Brigade Group is landing on Landing Zone "W"with the task of seizing and holding the area Drayton 9214-Milton 9312. FDLs will include Milton.

(g) 5 Parachute Brigade Group consisting of:
Brigade Head Quarters
7 Parachute Battalion with in support one section No.1 Troop
18 Parachute Battalion with in support one section No.1 Troop
13 Parachute Battalion with in support one section No.1 Troop
591 Parachute Squadron RE less No.1 Troop
2 Sections of No.2 FOU
FOO party 53 Airlanding Light Regiment
225 Parachute Field Ambulance


3. INTENTION
591 Parachute Squadron will:
(a) Assist 5 Parachute Brigade Group in seizing and holding a bridgehead Sutton Courtenay-Appleford
(b) Assist in development of routes and anti-tank defences within the Divisional Area.


4.METHOD
The operation will be carried out in five phases:
Phase I
The flight and drop on drop zone

Phase II
Rallying and establishment of firm bases

Phase III
Assistance to Brigade in assault on Sutton Courtenay 9413 and Appleford 9713

Phase IV
The opening up of the lateral route Sutton Courtneay ?Little Wittenham and route Sutton Courtenay-Wilton-South to railway bridge

Phase V
Bridge demolitions on line of Wilts and Berks canal.


5. For the first three phases one section of 12 men from No.1 Troop will be in support and uner command of each Battalion of Brigade Group. These sections will Engineer assistance as detailed under Phase III.

PHASE I
6. See Form "A" and Appendix B (Stick Commanders only)

PHASE II
7. On landing firm bases will be established as follows:-
Locations -see Trace "P" attached
Troops to localities:-
"X" locality: 7 Parachute Battalion with in support one section 591 Para Sqn RE
                 591 Para qn RE less one troop
                 225 Para Field Ambulance less one section and 1 surgical team
                 4 Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery less two troops
"Y" locality: HeadQuarters 5 Parachute Brigade
                13 Parachute Battalion with in support one section 591 Para Sqn RE
                One Troop 4 Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery Royal Artillery


8. Rendezvous
On landing troops will collect all available container loads and move at once to localities. Squadron less one troop will rendezvous in "X" locality at track junction 947127

9. Rallying recognition aids
(a) 5 Corps Artillery will fire coloured smokes on following points to assist in rallying:-

Colour

Point of Origin

GREEN

Buildings 967128

BLUE

Track Junction 953124

(b)Unit recognition aids:-

Unit

Visual Aid

Sound Aid

7 Parachute Battalion

Yellow Celanese Triangles

Bugle

12 Parachute Battalion

Blue Bunting

Siren whistles

13 Parachute Battalion

Red Bunting

Hunting Horn


Other units will use as aids the signs and sounds of the battalions in whose areas they are alloted.
Those arriving first at Squadron Rendezvous will display yellow celanese triangles to guide in remainder.

PHASE III
10.The assault on Sutton Courtenay will be carried out on the axis of the main road South to North
1st objective line 'Preston' to be secured by 13 Para Battalion
2nd objective line 'Taunton' to be secured by 7 Para Battalion
11. Division Limit of Exploitation
To conform with the assault of 70 Division across River Thames, no troops of 6 Airborne Division will cross line of road Drayton-Sutton Courtenay-Appleford-track to Long Wittenham until the assault crossing is reported successful

12.The assault on Appleford will be carried out by 12 Parachute Battalion on orders from Brigade Command on the ground.

13.Engineer Support
Section with each battalion will assist in clearing routes for battalions of mines and obstructions in clearing fields of fire and in helping to establish road blocks at all South Approaches to Sutton Courtneay and Appleford. Roads will NOT be cratered. Trees will be blown where practicable and local material used.

14.Reports
Lieutenant Cox will report by runner to Squadron Headquarters on 'Preston' together with strength and availability of section.
Lieutenant Merrell will report by runner on 'Taunton' and if NOT fully committed will start clearance of road West from road junction 947137 extent of clearance West depending on enemy situation and infantry support available.

15. No.2 Troop
Will remain concentration area Orchard 945128 until battalion firm bases established. On receipt of Preston No.2 Troop will send to recce parties of two NCOs and 2 sappers to recce 13 Battalion firm base area.
Recce will be for
(a)Removal of obstacles and booby traps
(b)Engineer stores

On receipt of 'Taunton' No.2 Troop will send similar parties to 7 Battalion area with similar tasks. Remainder of No.2 Troop will remain in Squadron area available for labour and further recce in the two battalion areas.

PHASE IV
16. 1st Priority
No.3 Troop will remain concentration area orchard 945128 and on recipt Taunton will proceed immediately to road junction 947137. Two sections will take over clearance of road. West limit of clearance will be road junction 941139 or until contact made with party from 249 Field Company Re working East.
2 sections will start clearance of road East to Appleford as situation permits.
Road Clearance may involve mines and the removal of anti-Tank obstacles of the concrete block variety.
Road only will be cleared in first instance and clearly marked. Route to take jeeps and 17 pounders. As men become available from tasks in support 12 Para Battalion at Appleford, Lieutenant de Watteville will originate route clearance party working West from Appleford at Railway Bridge 969136.
Clearance as in Paragraph 17. On contact with No.3 Troop party clearance will be further completed from Appleford South to include 970128.

17. 2nd Priority
Clearance of road from including Road junction point 169 9514-Sutton Courtenay-Milton 9312 to include railway bridge 927115 to take initially Class 9 vehicles-eventually to be Class 40 route (as labour available)

18.Special Tasks
Probable preparation of bridges over Old Canal from including Road Bridge 8812 to include bridge 927163 on orders from Divisional Headquarters only.

19. Engineer Recconaissance
(i) Normal Engineer Recce
(ii) Airstrip recce within 5 Brigade area
ADMINISTRATION
20. Stores and Explosives
(a) Container and Kitbag loads are shown at "Appendix C" [see below]
(b) The load shown at "Appendix D" will come in with Brigade gliders and be with Sqn Headquarters
(c) 2 Jeeps and 2 trailers 10 cwt loaded as shown at "Appendix E" will report Squadron Headquarters probably about 'H' +3hrs
(d) R.E. stores will be jettisoned-dropped on D day. They will be collected as situation permits by units and formed in unit dumps. 2I/C will hold list of jettisoned RE stores.
(e) Mines, sandbags, sludge pumps and explosive will come in on 6 Airlanding Brigade Drop Zone. Dump will be established Drayton under C.R.E. [Commander Royal Engineers] Control. 2 I/C will hold list of stores.
21.Mechanical Equipment
Two D4 bulldozers are available on application to C.R.E. on completion of tasks with 53 Light Airlanding Regiment Royal Artillery.

21. Water Supply
Two Stella trailers will be placed over Thames but not before D plus 2
Squadron is responsible for recce of site area Sutton Courtenay

22. Sups
Two x 24 hrs rations will be carried by all ranks

23. Ammunition
Ammunition Point opens area Appleford NOT before 'H' +4 hours. Ammunition demands to Brigade Headquarters.

24. Transport
Brigade transport area-area track juncion 946131

25. Medical
Locations:-

Drop Zone Casualty Clearing Point "A"

House. 946127

Drop Zone Casualty Clearing Point "B"

House. 967128

Advanced Dressing Station

Area Appleford (9713)

Main Dressing Station

Sutton Courtenay Ho.943133


26. 225 Parachute Field Ambulance will clear casulties from Drop Zone to Casualty Clearing Points.

27. Section Royal Army Medical Corps under command 12 Parachute Battalion will establish Advanced Dressing Station area Appleford (9713)

28. 225 Parachute Field Ambulance will establish Main Dressing Station at Sutton Courtenay (house 943133) as soon as Brigade second objective is reached.

INTERCOMMUNICATION
29.
Squadron Headquarters -Orchard 945128

30. Brigade Headquarters will be located as follows:-
PHASE II Ditch and Hedge corner 955125 in firm base Y
On conclusion of PHASE III Brigade Headquarters will move into Sutton Courtneay Village Hall 9413
31. Headquarters Royal Engineers-Abbey 9413

32. Wireless Transmission-68 set troop net
                                   68 set link C.R.E.

33. Frequencies and Code Signs-will be issued at transit camp

34. Passwords

Commencing At

Ending At

Challenge

Answer

1200 hrs 19 Nov

1200 hrs 20 Nov

HAM

EGGS

1200 hrs 20 Nov

1200 hrs 21 Nov

BEER

SKITTLES

.

AJ Jack
Major RE
Commanding 591 (Antrim) Parachute Squadron R.E.

Distribution

Copy no.1

OC

2

2 I/C

3-12

Officers

13

SSM

14

C.R.E.

15

5 Parachute Brigade

16-17

War Diary

18-20

Spare





"Appendix C"

Plane No.

Troop

Kitbags

Containers

For All three planes

1

Mine detector

1

1Trolley,

120 lbs 808 (plastic explosives)

Mine detector

2

1 Trolley ,

40 lbs 808,

4 Pole charges

A Pack

TT Pack

3

Felling Axe,

 40 lbs 808,

hand axe,

matches,

Sledge [hammer],

saw,

6 beehives (explosives)

TT Pack

4

T Pack

5

77 and 79

2

PIAT small pack

1

1 Trolley

120 lbs 808

1 saw

Harness -bombs small pack

2

1 Trolley

40 lbs 808

4 Pole charges

A Pack

BT Pack

3

60 lbs 808

A Pack

TT Pack

4 Beehives

Harness

6 bombs small pack

4

2 T Packs

Felling axe

4 Beehives

Sledge [hammer]

Lashings

Mine detector

5

68 set (wireless radio set)

78 and 80

2

TT Pack

Small pack

1

1 Trolley,

120 lbs 808s

1 saw

A Pack

Small pack

2

1 Trolley

40 lbs 808

6 Beehives

Mine detector

3

2 TT Packs

A Pack

4 Pole charges,

Level FS

3

Mine detector

4

3 BT Packs

2 T Packs

4 Beehives

Lashings

TT Pack

5

PIAT,

small pack

1

68 set (wireless radio set)

Harness,

6 bombs

2

68 set (wireless radio set)

PIAT,

small pack

3

Trolley

Recce Boat

Gap Measuring Cable

Harness,

6 bombs

4

Haversacks Surgical 2

Axe felling

Level FS

Saw

4 Beehives

2 x 100ft tape

Harness

6 Bombs

5




"Appendix D"

BRIGADE & TRAILER LOAD

Item

No.

Weight (lbs)

68 Set (wireless radio)

1

45

Axes felling

3

15

Hammers Sledge

3

42

Axes Pick

6

42

Shovels

12

50

Bicycles Folding

2

62

Mine Detectors No.4 (in transit case)

2

112

Flame Throwers

2

120

Signs blank

15

20

Paint & Brushes

8

808 (explosives)

100

Total

616lbs




"Appendix E"

JEEP & TRAILER LOADS

Jeep and trailer No.1

Item

No.

Weight (lbs)

808 (explosives)

100

Bicycles Folding

2

62

Axes Felling

1

5

Hammers Sledge

1

14

General Wades (explosives)

10

320

Blank Signs

40

50

Recce Boat

1

40

Trolleys folding

2

144

Stretchers

2

30

Blankets

20

80

Axes hand

2

 

20

Saws

2

Hammers

2

Nails Assorted

10

Lashings

2

16

Paint Kit

1

10

Office Box

50

Total

951 lbs



Jeep and Trailer No.2
As for Jeep No.1, but boxes O & J in place of office box
                                  Total 951 lbs







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