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"OOB's needed for operations Bluecoat and Martlet..." Topic


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thedrake Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2011 6:39 p.m. PST

Am trying to find info on both German and Commonwealth OOB's for these two operations in Normandy please.
Ideally which divisions,down to battalion level,were involved on each side.
Would like to find out these OOB's for possible Normandy scenarios.
Any help/suggestions/sources is appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

Mobius31 Aug 2011 6:55 p.m. PST

Jagdpanthers vs. Churchills.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member31 Aug 2011 10:01 p.m. PST

Outline orbat for Operation Martlet was 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division in its entirety, plus 8th Armoured Brigade, an Assault Squadron RE and approximately one troop of Crocs from 141 RAC.

On the German side, the main forces encountered were the remnants of Kampfgruppe 'Wuensche' (battlegroup formed around the HQ of Max Wuensche's SS-Panzer-Regiment) and Gerd Bremer's SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 12 – all from 12. SS-Panzer-Division 'Hitlerjuegend'. Wuensche defended La Parc de Boislonde, Fontenay le Pesnel, Rauray and Brettevillette in succession, while Bremer's battalion fought a bitter defensive action on the high ground at Tessel Wood.

Wuensche and Bremer were relieved in place at Brettevillette and Tessel Wood, on roughly 29th June, by Kampfgruppe 'Weidinger', which was formed from the HQ, support companies and one battalion of Otto Weidinger's SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 4 'Der Fuehrer' and a battalion from SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 3 'Deutschland' (all from SS-Panzer-Division 2 'Das Reich').

At the end of June, going into 1st July, II. SS-Panzer-Korps launched a massive counter-attack against the Martlet/Epsom salient. In the Martlet area, at Rauray, a major attack was launched by I. Abteilung, SS-Panzer-Regiment 9, plus elements of SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 25 (all from 9. SS-Panzer-Division 'Hohenstaufen'). These forces put in several major attacks on Rauray, with supporting attacks also being put in by Weidinger in the Bordel valley on their left, but all were beaten off with heavy loss.

Outline orbat for Operation Bluecoat was 43rd (Wessex) Division with 8th Armoured Brigade under command, 15th (Scottish) Division with 6th Guards Tank Brigade under command, 3rd Division, 11th Armoured Division and Guards Armoured Division.

I'll add considerably more detail in a couple of days.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Sep 2011 2:43 a.m. PST

This has the full OOB for the Brits in Bluecoat, plus maps, orders, and Gawd knows what else:

link

Andy P01 Sep 2011 5:51 a.m. PST

I can supply you with a ORBAT for Das reich as of 3rd June 44. Just PM me and will return.

John D Salt Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 7:41 a.m. PST

Actually, Dom, if that document is what I think it is, it deals only with the 15(Scottish) and 6th Guards Armd Bde part of the battle.

All the best,

John.

John D Salt Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 8:23 a.m. PST

While waiting for R Mark Davies to produce the dinkum griff, I shall hastily transcribe this nonsense from a set of nice green file-cards I made up for a battlefield tour of the 15(S) bit of Bluecoat a few years ago:

3 Div [Whistler]
8 Inf Bde
1 Suffolks
2 EY
1 S Lancs
9 Inf Bde
1 Lincs
1 KOSB
2 RUR
185 Inf Bde
2 Warwicks
1 Norfolk
2 KSLI
MG Bn: 2 Mx

30 Corps [Bucknall]:
11 H

8 Armd Bde
4/7 DG
Notts Yeo
13/18 Royal H
12 KRRC

43 (Wessex) Div [Thomas]:
129 Inf Bde
4 Som LI
4 Wilts
5 Wilts
130 Inf Bde
7 Hamps
4 Dorsets
5 Dorsets
214 Inf Bde
7 Som LI
1 Worcs
5 DCLI
MG Bn: 8 Mx

50 (Northumbrian) Div [Graham]
69 Inf Bde
5 EY
6 Green Howards
7 Green Howards
151 Inf Bde
6 DLI
8 DLI
9 DLI
231 Inf Bde
2 Devons
1 Hamps
1 Dorsets
MG Bn: 2 Cheshires

7 Armd Div [Erskine]
8 KRIH
22 Armd Bde
1 RTR
5 RTR
5 Iniskilling DG
1 RB
131 Inf Bde
1/5 Q
1/6 Q
1/7 Q

8 Corps [O'Connor]
2 Household
Inns of Court (from 1 Corps)
1 Lothian & Border (from 79 armd Div)
1 Sqn 141 RAC (from 79 Armd Div)

6 Gds Tk Bde
4 Tk Gren Gds
4 Tk Coldm Gds
3 Tk Scots Gds

15 (Scottish) Div [Macmillan, Barber]
44 (Lowland) Inf Bde
8 RS
6 RSF
6 KOSB
46 (Highland) Inf Bde
9 Cameronians (det to 227 Bde)
2 Glas H
7 Seaforths
227 (Highland) Bde
10 HLI
2 Gordons
2 A&SH
9 Cameronians (att from 46 Bde)
MG Bn: 1 Mx

Guards Armd Div [Adair] (from p.m. 30 Jul)
2 Armd Recce WG
5 Gds Armd Bde
2 Armd Coldm Gds
1 Armd Coldm Gds
2 Armd IG
32 Gds Bde
5 Coldm Gds
3 IG
1 WG

11 Armd Div [Roberts]
2 NY
26 Aslt Sqn RE under comd
29 Armd Bde
23 H
2 FFY (det to 159 Bde)
3 RTR
8 RB
3 Mons (att from 159 Bde)
159 Inf Bde
3 Mons (det to 29 Armd Bde)
4 KSLI
1 Herefords
2 FFY (att from 29 Inf Bde)

Obviously, that is only an outline orbat for the maneouvre arms; arty, engr and loggy things will be there in the usual proportions, and I think there should be a recce corps regiment for each inf div, usually with the same number as the div.

"Pip" Roberts seems to have had some fun organising his div into brigade groups. A couple of cards I have for those show the detailed composition as follows:

29 Armd Bde Gp [Roscoe Harvey]

Advance guard:
3 Mon, with 4 AVRE, 3 Crocodile and RE recce party, in sp 23H and tp 119/75 ATk

Main Body:
8 RB, with 2 tps 119/75 ATk, 1 tp RE under command
3 RTR, with 119/75 Atk bty(-)

159 Inf Bde Gp [Jack Churcher]

Advance guard:
1 Hereford, with 4 AVRE, 3 Crocodile and RE Recce party under comd; In sp, 2 FFY

Main body:
4 KSLI

I used to have a photocopy of the staff college battlefield tour guide and extensive mappage, plus a photocopy of that nice Terence Cuneo painting of the Scots Guards going over a hedge in their Churchills; but the whole lot was borrowed by a principal scientist at DSTL some years ago, and has never yet been returned.

All the best,

John.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 8:35 a.m. PST

Aye, 'Never a lender be' is a good lesson to learn (which I have repeatedly failed to do!).

I don't know if I've got much more detail to add to John's Bluecoat orbat, but I do have some detailed info somewhere on the chaos caused by Adair when he tried to copy Roberts' battlegrouping ideas. I'll have a rummage when I get home.

I added 'Bluecoat' to my annual cadet tour last month, which they seemed to find interesting – especially the scene of the Jagdpanther ambush and the 'Normons' battlefield at La Pavee, where Sidney Bates won his VC.

thedrake Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2011 9:46 p.m. PST

Thanks to everyone for all the great info! This should be a tremendous help.

John D Salt Inactive Member02 Sep 2011 6:05 p.m. PST

Oops -- cockup on my part -- I should also have shown 1 Coldm Gds as the motor bn for Guards Armd Div.

All the best,

John.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member02 Sep 2011 10:08 p.m. PST

Hi John,

That should be 1 Gren Gds. Additionally, the 2 Coldm Gds listed under 5 Gds Bde should be 2 Gren Gds.

John D Salt Inactive Member03 Sep 2011 2:32 a.m. PST

Quite right. I can't read my own handwriting.

Also, this is why one should use the official abbrvns "Gren Gds" and "Coldm Gds" instead of the too-easily-confused "GG" and "CG" written on my cards.

Althougn some people derive amusement from winding up Grenadiers by referring to their regiment as "the GGs".

Apologies for the error, thanks for the correction.

All the best,

John.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member03 Sep 2011 2:39 a.m. PST

Heh, but for some reason they don't seem to get as upset as the Coldstream Guards when you call them 'Coldstreams' and not 'Coldstreamers'.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 3:34 a.m. PST

Sorry for not getting back to this earlier, as promised. The German orbat for the opening defence against 'Bluecoat was:

326. Infanterie-Division (forming the left flank of LXXIV. Korps, defending the Caumont area), comprising:

Grenadier-Regiment 751 (three battalions, though lacking its I. Bataillon. Each battalion had 56 MGs and eight 8cm mortars. The regiment also had a 13. (IG) Kompanie and 14. (PaK) Kompanie)

Grenadier-Regiment 752 (as above, but with all three battalions present)

Grenadier-Regiment 753 (as GR 751)

Fuesilier-Bataillon 326 (organised as per the Grenadier-Bataillonen)

Pionier-Bataillon 326 (three kompanien, organisation unknown)

Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 326 (Also known as StuG-Abteilung 1326. 1. Kompanie had 14x Marder III. 2. Kompanie had 10x StuG III. 3. Kompanie had 12x 2cm FlaK)

The division had a total of 32x Heavy PaK (i.e. 7.5cm PaK 40 or 76.2cm PaK 36(r)), including the Marders and StuGs. This therefore left the three regimental PaK companies with 2 or 3 heavy PaK each. However, they may have been supplemented by medium PaK such as 5cm PaK 38 or lighter pieces. It was also reasonably common to put light FlaK guns into regimental PaK companies.

Artillerie-Regiment 326 (three battalions, curiously missing the 3rd, 7th & 11th Batteries from the numbering sequence. I. Bataillon (1, 2 & 4 Batteries) had 12x Russian 12.2cm howitzers. II. Bataillon (5, 6 & 8 Batteries) had 12x German 10.5cm leFH 16. III. Bataillon (9, 10 & 12 Batteries) had 12x Russian 12.2cm guns.

326. Infanterie-Division, in common with the other 300-series divisions had originally been a static defence division, but had been upgraded with a limited degree of mobility. This is evidenced by the fact that it moved very quickly from the Pas de Calais area to Normandy in late July 1944. The first elements of the division had arrived at the front line on 23rd July and the division was therefore reasonably intact when Operation 'Bluecoat' opened. However, despite being one of the better-equipped infantry divisions in Normandy, it seems to have crumbled very quickly in the face of the British VIII Corps' assault. Perhaps the heavy bombers and artillery were particularly effective in this area?

Following the British breakthrough, LXXIV. Korps sent Schwere-Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 654 (equipped with Jagdpanthers) in to shore up their sector, followed by 21. Panzer-Division.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 3:47 a.m. PST

276. Infanterie-Division was deployed in the Villers-Bocage sector, in the centre of LXXIV. Korps, on the right of 326. Infanterie-Division and on the left of 277. Infanterie-Division. It is known to have been short of manpower, transport and equipment and details are sketchy as to the exact organisation. However, they put up a very stiff fight around Aunay-sur-Odon and Mont Pincon, slowing XXX Corps' advance to a crawl. The division comprised the following:

Grenadier-Regiment 986 (two battalions, possibly with a 13. (IG) Kp and 14. (PaK) Kp in support)

Grenadier-Regiment 987 (as above)

Grenadier-Regiment 988 (as above)

Fuesilier-Bataillon 276 (four companies, organisation not known)

Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 276 (one company, organisation not known)

Pionier-Bataillon 276 (three companies, organisation not known)

Artillerie-Regiment 276 (four battalions, each with three batteries. Equipment not known)

With the insertion of 21. Panzer-Division into the battle, 276. Infanterie-Division received the support of the depleted Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung 503. The Abteilung had initially consisted of two companes (1. & 2.) of Tiger II (Porsche turret type) and one company (3.) of Tiger I. However, the Abteilung's 3. Kompanie (Tiger I) was disbanded on 22nd July due to losses suffered during Operation 'Goodwood' and the remaining Tiger Is were handed over to 2. Kompanie. On 29th July the two remaining companies had a total of 15 operational tanks between them and 7 more in short-term repair.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 4:08 a.m. PST

Feuchtinger's 21. Panzer-Division was sorely depleted by constant operations north, east and south of Caen from D-Day onwards. However, it was one of very few divisions to have received reinforcement drafts (nearly 2,500) and new tanks during the campaign. Nevertheless, the division was a shadow of its former self, with regiments down to battalion strength.

Oppeln's Panzer-Regiment 22 was down to just its I. Abteilung. The II. Abteilung had handed its remaining tanks over to I. Abteilung and had been sent back to Mailly-le-Camp for refitting. This left I. Abteilung, at the start of the battle with 42 Pzkpfw IV in good working order and a further 16 in short-term repair. However, approximately one platoon's worth of these were early models with short 75mm howitzers (which had belonged to 8. Kompanie of II. Abteilung).

However, these were supplemented by the Tigers of Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung 503, mentioned above, though a prportion of these, as already discussed, had been dispatched to assist 276. Infanterie-Division. The Jagdpanthers of Schwere-Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 654 also came under command for a time.

More later.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 5:34 a.m. PST

This was the structure of 21. Panzer-Division at the time of the D-Day landings:

PDF link

However, the division had suffered terrible losses in the eight weeks between D-Day and Bluecoat. Rauch's Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 192 had suffered during the battles north of Caen, while von Luck's Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 125 had been bled white in the battles east of the Orne – first against the 6th Airborne Division, then against 51st (Highland) Division and lastly against Operation 'Goodwood'. StuG-Abteilung 200 had suffered particularly badly during that last great battle.

The kampfgruppe structure may have remained much the same as before, but I simply don't know. All the accounts I've read regarding 21. PD in Bluecoat only discuss regiments and not kampfgruppen.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 6:09 a.m. PST

When the extent of the British breakthrough became apparent, the II. SS-Panzer-Korps, consisting of 9. SS-Panzer-Division 'Hohenstaufen', 10. SS-Panzer-Division 'Frundsberg' and Schwere-SS-Panzer-Abteilung 102, was rushed from the Evrecy area, to block any further British moves south to Vire and the Vire-Conde highway. Hohenstaufen moved first, during the mid-afternoon of 1st August, while the rest of the corps moved later that night. The lead elements of Hohenstaufen clashed with the Guards Armoured Division near St Charles de Percy and Catheolles during the early hours of 2nd August.

Hohenstaufen had suffered casualties during their counter-attacks against Operations 'Martlet', 'Epsom' and 'Jupiter', as well as in their defence against Operation 'Greenline'. These casualties were suffered chiefly by the five motorised battalions of SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiments 19 & 20 and as a consequence, these battalions were amalgamated as a single regiment on 23rd July, designated 'SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 'H'.

The new SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 'H' had three well-equipped motorised battalions, plus five very strong support companies:
13. (sIG) Kompanie: 12x 15cm sIG (armoured Grille or Bison)
14. (FlaK) Kompanie: 12x 2cm FlaK on armoured halftracks
15. (GrW) Kompanie: 12x 12cm mortar
16. (Pionier) Kompanie: partly equipped with SPWs
17. (Leichte) Kompanie: SPW platoon, motorcycle platoon and scout platoon (one source describes this as a 'Headquarters' company)

The III. (SPW) Bataillon of SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 20 hadn't suffered as badly as the others and was attached directly to SS-Panzer-Regiment 9. It seems to have kept its original designation, even though SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 20 no longer existed.

SS-Panzer-Regiment 9 is recorded as having 17x Pzkpfw IV, 31x Panther and 28x StuG III operational and ready for action on 1st August. This had been reduced to 7, 18 and 9 respectively by 3rd August, which gives you some idea of the intensity of combat (though these figures may also include break-downs during the march). The Panthers were massed in the regiment's I. Abteilung, while the Pzkpfw IVs were in the 5. & 6. Kompanien of II. Abteilung and the StuGs were in 7. & 8. Kompanien.

SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 9 was still apparently intact at the start of the battle. It's I. Bataillon had 1. Batterie, with 6x Wespe, 2. Batterie also with 6x Wespe and 3. Batterie, with 6x Hummel. II. Bataillon had three batteries (4-6) each with 4x 10.5cm leFH. III. Bataillon also had three batteries (7-9) with 4x 10.5cm leFH, plus 10. Batterie with 4x 10cm K18.

SS-Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 9 had three companies, the third of which was mounted in SPWs. Probably quite depleted.

Graebner's SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 9 was with Schwere-SS-Panzer-Abteilung 102, forming 'Kampfgruppe Graebner'. Graebner's objective was to block British advances to Vire. I don't have any information on the state of his battalion, but it originally conformed to the usual pattern of one wheeled armoured car company (Sdkfz 232, 233, 222, 221 & 223 no modern 234 types), one halftracked armoured car company (Sdkfz 250/9), one light recce company (Sdkfz 250 SPWs), one medium recce company (Sdkfz 251 SPWs) and one heavy recce company (Sdkfz 251 support variants).

SS-Panzer-FlaK-Abteilung 9 had three batteries of 88mm FlaK and one battery of 37mm FlaK.

Grizzlymc Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 6:48 a.m. PST

Corrrrr – you two must have houses full of paper or servers full of scanned paper!

I am singularly impressed.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 11:07 a.m. PST

Nah, I was in the middle of researching the question when it was asked. 'Frundseberg' and the British to come.

Canuckistan Commander Inactive Member15 Oct 2011 1:03 p.m. PST

276 Inf had 4 artillery battalions: 1, 2, 3, each had 12 105mm Guns and 4 had 12 150 Guns when they entered the theatre. It does not mention whether these are German, Czech or French. Thats from the counter sheet to AH's The Longest Day.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 Oct 2011 4:57 a.m. PST

Cheers CC, that would make sense. I've looked at other regiments with four battalions and they do tend to mass the heavier guns in the 4th bn.

Some extra detail and corrections to my Hohenstaufen notes (bloody memory):

Kampfgruppe 'Meyer' was formed from Otto Meyer's Panzer-Regiment 9, the remnants of III.(SPW)/SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 20, Zollhoefer's SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 'H', part of Graebner's SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 9 and most of the division's artillery. The survivors of 21. Panzer-Division were also placed under Meyer's command.

Kampfgruppe 'Weiss' (not 'Graebner', as mentioned earlier), was formed from Hans Weiss' Schwere-SS-Panzer-Abteilung 102 (with 30x Tiger I) and the rest of Graebner's SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 9, plus elements of the divisional artillery.

A small advanced-guard element, designated Kampfgruppe 'Froehlich' was also formed, consisting of Froelich's own 7. Kompanie/II./SS-Panzer-Regiment 9 (comprising StuG IIIs) and roughly a platoon's worth of infantry stragglers from 326. Infanterie-Division.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 Oct 2011 5:35 a.m. PST

A small element of 12. SS-Panzer-Division 'Hitlerjuegend' was also dispatched from the Falaise area to shore up II. SS-Panzer-Korps in the Vire sector:

Aufklaerungsgruppe 'Olboeter', commanded by Erich Olboeter, was formed from Gaede's 2. Kompanie, I./SS-Panzer-Regiment 12 (13x Panthers), 9. Kompanie of III.(SPW)/SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 26 (infantry in halftracks), 1. Batterie/I./SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 12 (6x Wespe) and six Sdkfz 232 (or possibly 233) armoured cars from SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 12. Olboeter also picked up Heeres-Pionier-Bataillon 600 along the way.

Olboeter's task was to re-open the east-west Vassy to Vire highway, which had been cut by the lead elements of 11th Armoured Divisionon 2nd August. Olboeter's group encountered elements of the Fife & Forfar Yeomanry south of Chendolle on the evenening of 3rd August, though SS-Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 9 were already attacking the roadblock.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 Oct 2011 10:46 a.m. PST

Correction to the above; Hohenstaufen was initially stationed south of Caen, not Evrecy. It was 10. SS-Panzer-Division 'Frundsberg' which was stationed in the Evrecy sector.

The structure of 10. SS-Panzer-Division 'Frundsberg' as of 10th July 1944 can be found here: PDF link

Note that the structure of the division was virtually identical to that of Hohenstaufen, though SS-Panzer-Regiment 10 was lacking its I. Bataillon and did not therefore have any Panthers. Like Hohenstaufen, the II. Bataillon had two companies of Pzkpfw IV and two of StuG III.

However, the division suffered heavy casualties in the battles of Hill 112 and Evrecy (Operations 'Jupiter' and 'Greenline') and the division's panzer-grenadiers were particularly hard-hit.

The division was particularly weak in tanks. It had only 20x Pzkpfw IV and 15x StuG III operational on 31st July. By 2nd August the StuG strength had fallen to 8, though the Panzer strength remained at 20. By 7th August, the battalion's four companies were each down to platoon strength.

When II. SS-Panzer-Korps was pulled out of the line to counter the 'Bluecoat' penetration, Frundsberg was somewhat more difficult to extricate than Hohenstaufen. Otto Paetsch, commanding SS-Panzer-Regiment 10 was therefore ordered to form a kampfgruppe, consisting of his regimental headqurters and II. Bataillon, Brinkmann's SS-Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 10 and Troebinger's SS-Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon 10. Kampfgruppe 'Paetsch's immediate task was to plug the line to the west of Aunay-sur-Odon, on the right of 21. Panzer-Division to shore up the crumbling 276. Infanterie-Division and block the advance of 7th Armoured Division.

Paetsch was later reinforced in the Aunay-sur-Odon sector by SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 21 and elements of the divisional artillery, as well as Werfer-Brigade 8.

On 3rd August, Kampfgruppe Paetsch was pulled once again out of the line. With the British VIII Corps threatening Vire, Paetsch's new task was to hook around the rear of Hohenstaufen, switching from their right flank to their left flank, with the intention of clearing the Vire-Vassy highway and establishing a new defensive line along the Perrier Ridge, centred on Chendolle, just to the north of the road.

Brinkmann's recce battalion was sent to link up with 3. Fallschirmjaeger-Division at Viessoix, just to the east of Vire. Paetsch's main force meanwhile, ran headlong into strong British forces established on the Perrier Ridge.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member16 Oct 2011 11:32 a.m. PST

The last German formation involved in defending against 'Bluecoat' was 3. Fallschirmjaeger-Division, which was the right-hand division of II. Fallschirm-Korps. In theory, it was on the immediate left of 326. Infanterie-Division at Caumont, but a gap had opened up between the two divisions one which was exploited by the 11th Armoured Division.

3. Fallschirmjaeger-Division fell back in the face of the American advance on Vire and ended up defending the town against both American and British attacks. As the British penetration was blunted and contact re-established with friendly units on the right flank, the corps boundary was re-established at Viessoix and 3. FJ-Division then had 10. SS-Panzer-Division 'Frundsberg' (II. SS-Panzer-Korps) on its right flank.

The division initially comprised the following units, however, it had suffered the loss of around 30% of its strength by late July:

Fallschirmjaeger-Regiment 5
Fallschirmjaeger-Regiment 8
Fallschirmjaeger-Regiment 9

Each FJ Regiment in the division had three battalions, with enough MGs for one LMG per section, plus HMGs at company or battalion level. There were enough mortars in each battalion for 2-3 mortars per company (possibly 50mm?) and a platoon of 6-8 81mm mortars at battalion level.

Each FJ Regiment also had:
13. (Schwere) Kompanie with roughly 2x 10cm recoilless rifles.
14. (PaK) Kompanie with 2x 7.5cm PaK 40, plus Panzerschrecke. FJR 8 had 9x 4.2cm (possibly squeezebore?) guns instead of 2x PaK 40.
15. (Pionier) Kompanie

Other divisional assets were:

Fallschirm-Pionier-Bataillon 3 three companies, with a total of 33x MGs and 22x flamethrowers.

Fallschirm-Artillerie-Regiment 3 this unit had only one battaion present, organised into three batteries, each with 4x 10.5cm leFH 18.

Fallschirm-Panzerjaeger-Abteilung 3 three batteries, each with 3x 7.5cm PaK 40, 1x Medium gun (PaK 38?) and 4x light guns (possibly recoilless rifles?)

The division also had Fallschirm-FlaK-Abteilung 2 attached and for a time had Kampfgruppe 'Olboeter' attached from 12. SS-Panzer-Division 'Hitlerjuegend'.

That's it for German formations involved against 'Bluecoat'. There might however, have been the odd corps asset, such as Werfer-Brigaden that I've missed.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2011 2:26 a.m. PST

The British VIII Corps was in the west, centred on Caumount. They were on the extreme right flank of British 2nd Army, with the US 1st Army and V Corps on their right and British XXX Corps on their left.

Spearheading VIII Corps was the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division, detailed by John above, with the Churchill tanks of 6th Guards Tank Brigade under command.

11th Armoured Division and Guards Armoured Division were waiting to exploit the penetration that would be created by 15th (Scottish) Division.

3rd Infantry Division was waiting to move forward to shore up the salient that would be created by the advance of the two armoured divisions.

VIII Corps had various corps troops and attached elements in support:

8th AGRA, with one Field Regiment, four Medum Regiments and a Heavy Regiment, was under command of VIII Corps. At least one other AGRA was also attached from 21st Army Group at times.

91st Anti-Tank Regiment RA Two batteries of M10c SP 17pdr and two batteries of towed 17pdr (Crusader Tractors).

2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (armoured cars).

There were also AVREs and Sherman Crab flails tanks attached from 79th Armoured Division, though I don't know the exact numbers or unit identities – probably a squadron of AVREs and a regiment of Flails, or thereabouts. I don't recall seeing any reference to Crocodiles being present.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2011 2:42 a.m. PST

The British XXX Corps was in the centre of 2nd Army, between Caumount and Tilly-sur-Seulles, with VIII Corps on their right and XII Corps on their left.

Spearheading XXX Corps was the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division, with the Sherman tanks of 8th Armoured Brigade under command.

7th Armoured Division were waiting to exploit the penetration that would be created by 43rd (Wessex) Division.

XXX Corps had various corps troops and attached elements in support:

XXX Corps had an AGRA (I forget which one), with one Field Regiment, four Medum Regiments and a Heavy Regiment, was under command of VIII Corps. Other AGRAs might also have been attached from 21st Army Group at times.

102nd Anti-Tank Regiment RA (Northumberland Hussars) Two batteries of M10c SP 17pdr and two batteries of towed 17pdr (Crusader Tractors).

Inns of Court Regiment (armoured cars).

There were also AVREs and Sherman Crab flails tanks attached from 79th Armoured Division, though I don't know the exact numbers or unit identities probably a squadron of AVREs and a regiment of Flails, or thereabouts. Crocodiles from 141 RAC also seem to have been present.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2011 2:50 a.m. PST

Guards Armoured Division battlegrouping:

As mentioned above, there was a half-hearted attempt by Guards Armoured Division to create battlegroups just before they went into action in Op 'Bluecoat'.

2nd Irish Guards (armoured) and 5th Coldstream Guards (infantry) were ordered to form such a battlegroup, creating much confusion in the process.

3rd Irish Guards (infantry) and 1st Coldstream Guards (armour) were also paired up – again, with much confusion.

The 1st (motor) and 2nd (armoured) Battalions of the Grenadier Guards were also ordered to form a group. This was somewhat simpler, as they belonged to the same brigade and were well used to working with each other.

The 1st Welsh Guards (infantry) and 2nd Welsh Guards (armoured recce) seem to have remained independent for the time being.

After Bluecoat, the battlegrouping system was formalised, with battalions of the same Guards regiment being grouped together and divisional support elements evenly distributed among them.

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