Sunday, 26 April 2015

Totalise/Totalize Allied Orbat

So with the issues I've had trying to track down certain units using Google I thought it might be useful to have a list of units involved. Both for me (although I do have a book!) and anyone else interested in this period. It might also give regular readers a bit of an idea of the size of this largely overlooked but vitally important operation.

This post will cover the Allies - although I have left out the air force element (84 Composite Group) for now.

First Canadian Army, Order of Battle, 7 August 1944

(Units marked with a * are British and + are Polish. All others are Canadian)

Headquarters, First Canadian Army

Army Troops:-

2 Canadian Armoured Brigade
   - 6 Canadian Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars) (Sherman III)
   - 10 Canadian Armoured Regiment (Fort Garry Horse) (Sherman III)
   - 27 Canadian Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment) (Sherman III)

31 Armoured Brigade*
   - 7th Battalion, the Royal Tank Regiment (Churchills)
   - 9th Battalion, the Royal Tank Regiment (Churchills)

33 Armoured Brigade*
   - 1 Northamptonshire Yeomanry (Sherman I)
   - 144 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Sherman I)
   - 148 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (Sherman I)

25 Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment (Elgin Regiment)

2 Canadian Army Group, Royal Artillery
   - 3 Canadian Medium Regiment (5.5")
   - 4 Canadian Medium Regiment (5.5")
   - 7 Canadian Medium Regiment (5.5")
   - 15 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 1 Heavy Regiment* (7.2")

4 Army Group, Royal Artillery*
   - 150 Field Regiment* (25-pdr)
   - 53 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 65 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 68 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 79 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 51 Heavy Regiment* (7.2")

9 Army Group, Royal Artillery*
   - 9 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 11 Medium Regiment* (5.5")
   - 107 Medium Regiment* (5.5")

74 Anti-Aircraft Brigade* (assigned to defence of 84 Composite Group airfields)

107 Anti-Aircraft Brigade* (not fully deployed for Totalize)
   - 2 Canadian Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
   - 109 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment*
   - 344 Searchlight Battery*
   Still moving to the Continent:
   - 16 Anti-Aircraft Operations Room RCA
   - 108 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment*

661 Air Observation Post Squadron RAF

RCAF Army Headquarters Intercommunications Flight

- 2nd Canadian Corps

Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Corps

Corps Troops:

Canadian Armoured Corps
  - 18 Canadian Armoured Car Regiment (12 Manitoba Dragoons)

Royal Canadian Artillery 
    - 6 Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment (Towed 17 Pounder and SP 3" M10))
    - 2 Canadian Survey Regiment
    - 6 Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (40mm Bofors)
    - Corps Counter Batter Office

Royal Canadian Engineers
    - 29 Canadian Field Company
    - 30 Canadian Field Company
    - 31 Canadian Field Company
    - 8 Canadian Field Park Company

661 Air Observation Post Squadron, RAF*

-- 2nd Canadian Infantry Division

4 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - Royal Regiment of Canada
   - Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
   - Essex Scottish

5 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
   - Le Regiment de Maisonneuve
   - Calgary Highlanders

6 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal
   - Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
   - South Saskatchewan Regiment

Divisional Troops
   - 8 Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment (14 Canadian Hussars)

Royal Canadian Artillery
   - 4 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 5 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 6 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 2 Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment
   - 3 Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

Royal Canadian Engineers
   - 2 Canadian Field Company
   - 7 Canadian Field Company
   - 11 Canadian Field Company
   - 1 Canadian Field Park Company

Tentacle, Air Support Signals Unit

Toronto Scottish (Machine Gun)

-- 3rd Canadian Infantry Division

7 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - Royal Winnipeg Rifles
   - Regina Rifles Regiment
   - 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish Regiment

8 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
   - Le Regiment de la Chaudiere
   - North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment

9 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - The Highland Light Infantry of Canada
   - Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
   - North Nova Scotia Highlanders

Divisional Troops
   - 7 Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment (Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars)

Royal Canadian Artillery
   - 12 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 13 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 14 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 3 Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment (17-pdr, M10, M10C)
   - 4 Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

Royal Canadian Engineers
   - 6 Canadian Field Company
   - 16 Canadian Field Company
   - 18 Canadian Field Company
   - 3 Canadian Field Park Company

Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Machine Gun)

-- 4th Canadian Armoured Division

4 Canadian Armoured Brigade
   - 21 Canadian Armoured Regiment (Governor General's Foot Guards)
   - 22 Canadian Armoured Regiment (Canadian Grenadier Guards)
   - 28 Canadian Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Regiment)
   - Lake Superior Regiment (Motor)

10 Canadian Infantry Brigade
   - Lincoln and Welland Regiment
   - Algonquin Regiment
   - Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's)

Divisional Troops
   - 29 Canadian Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (South Alberta Regiment)

Royal Canadian Artillery
   - 15 Canadian Field Regiment
   - 23 Canadian Field Regiment (Self Propelled)
   - 19 Canadian Army Field Regiment (Self Propelled) - attached from 2 AGRA
   - 5 Canadian Anti-Tank Regiment (M10C)
   - 8 Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment

Royal Canadian Engineers
   - 8 Canadian Field Company
   - 9 Canadian Field Company
   - 6 Canadian Field Park Company

10th Independent Machine Gun Company (The New Brunswick Rangers)

-- 51st Highland Division*

152 Highland Brigade*
   - 2 Seaforth Highlanders*
   - 5 Seaforth Highlanders*
   - 5 Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders*

153 Highland Brigade*
   - 5 Black Watch*
   - 1 Gordon Highlanders*
   - 5/7 Gordon Highlanders*

154 Highland Brigade*
   - 1 Black Watch*
   - 7 Black Watch*
   - 7 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders*

Divisional Troops
   - 2 Derbyshire Yeomanry (Reconnaissance Regiment)*

Royal Artillery
   - 126 Field Regiment*
   - 127 Field Regiment*
   - 128 Field Regiment*
   - 61 Anti-Tank Regiment (17-pdr, 6-pdr)*
   - 40 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment*

Royal Engineers
   - 274 Field Company*
   - 275 Field Company*
   - 276 Field Company*
   - 236 Field Park Company*

1/7 Middlesex Regiment (Machine Gun)*

C Flight, 652 Air Observation Post Squadron, RAF*

-- 1. Dywizji Pancernej (1st Polish Armoured Division)+

No. 4 Laison HQ Armoured*

10. Brygada Kwalerii (10 Armoured Cavalry Brigade)+
   - 1. Pulk Pancerny (1 Armoured Regiment)+
   - 2. Pulk Pancerny (2 Armoured Regiment)+
   - 24. Pulk Ulanow (24 Lancers)+
   - 10.  Pulk Dragonow (10 Dragoons (Motor Battalion))+

3. Brygada Strzelcow (3 Rifles Brigade)+
   - 1. Batalion Strzelcow Podhalanskich (1 Rifles Battalion (Highland))+
   - 8. Batalion Strzelcow (8 Rifles Battalion)+
   - 9. Batalion Strzelcow (9 Rifles Battalion)+
   - Samodzielny Szwadron C.K.M. (1st Polish Armoured Division Machine Gun Company)+

Divisional Troops
   - 10. Pulk Strzelcow Konnych (10 Mounted Rifle Regiment (Reconnaissance Regiment))+

Artyleria Dywizyjna (Divisional Artillery)+
   - 1. Pulk Artylerii Motorowej (1 Motorized Artillery Regiment)+
   - 2. Pulk Artylerii Motorowej (2 Motorized Artillery Regiment)+
   - 1. Pulk Artylerii Przeciwpancernej (1 Anti-Tank Regiment)+
   - 1. Pulk Artylerii Pzerciwlotniczej (1 Anti-Aircraft Regiment)+

Saperzy Sywizyina (Divisional Engineers)+
   - 10. Kompania Saperow (10 Polish Field Company)+
   - 11. Kompania Saperow (11 Polish Field Company)+
   - 1. Pluton Mostowy (1 Bridging Platoon)+
   - 11. Kompania Parhkowa (11 polish Field Park Company)+

-- Attached from 79 Armoured Division*

- 22nd Dragoons (Sherman Crabs)*
- 1st Lothian and Border Horse Yeomanry (Sherman Crabs)*
- 141 Regiment RAC (Crocodiles)*
- 79 and 80 Assualt Squadrons (AVRE)*

- 1st British Corps (Outline only)

-- Corps Troops

- Royal Armoured Corps
   - The Inns of Court Regiment (Armoured Car)*

- Royal Artillery
   - 62 Anti-Tank Regiment*
   - 102 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment*
   - 9 Survey Regiment*

652 Air Observation Post Squadron, RAF (less C Flight)*

-- 6 (Airborne) Division*

3 Parachute Brigade*

5 Parachute Brigade*

6 Airlanding Brigade*

1 Special Service Brigade (attached)*

4 Special Service Brigade (attached)*

-- 49 (West Riding) Division*

70 Brigade*

146 Brigade*

147 Brigade*

Belgian Contingent (approx brigade strength)

Netherlands Contingent (approx brigade strength)

Wow - that's a lot of typing! Details have come from 'No Holding Back' by Brian A. Reid. As you can see, even without the German or Airforce elements listed, this variety of troops gives plenty of opportunity for different forces. Armoured, Infantry, Motorised, Mechanised and Recon lists. Including Armoured Recon, Airborne and Special Service units.

Also represented are Canadians, British, Polish, Belgian and Netherland units... Although the Belgian and Netherland units (along with the rest of 1st British Corps) were on the flanks of the attack so did not participate in the main drive.

Also - a little national pride. I noticed a huge number of 'Highland' regiments, including those in the Canadian Army. Just goes to show how much influence Scotland has had outside just the British Isles. (The fact a 'successful' 300 year 'union' led to so many Scots going abroad and influencing nations such as Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australian is not lost on me.)

Looking at all this, I am tempted to work on a 'Mini Campaign' set of Flames of War army lists - based on the Overlord book but a little more 'correct' for the start of August rather than the start of June '44. Anyone interested in helping?

RAF and German Orbats to follow (at some point)!

Monday, 20 April 2015

The ongoing AoS* conundrums...

*AoS means Arm of Service, which was the small coloured or multi coloured box containing a  number found on British and Commonwealth military vehicles during WW2 - they denoted, in combination with the Divisional badge, the unit the vehicle belonged to.  

I've been away from home this weekend, as A's uncle died last week and the funeral was today. Just a small family event (slightly marred by the person doing the ceremony getting the time wrong and being an hour late... Oops).

Anyway, time away means time spent researching (without being mean, there's not a great deal else to do). With various models being prepped for construction, I thought I should try to research what decals I might need.

Firstly, I was trying to work out what (if any) unit with M10C 'Achilles'  supported the Highland Division during Totalise. I suspect that the answer will be in one of my books back home - but I had hoped Google might provide an answer. It has not. At the moment it looks like I may be painting them up as 5th Canadian Anti Tank Regiment vehicles. Which I think (???) may have a red and blue square with a white 2 on it and a white bar along the top - to represent Corps level troops.

The second unit I've been lightly researching was the AGRA supporting the attack - as the eventual plan is to get some 5.5" guns. Again, I'm not sure of the exact unit and I'm sure the answer will be in 'No Holding Back'.

Also on the research list has been S&S models, who are producing conversion kits for Plastic Soldier Company. This includes ARV kits to make Sherman ARV mk1's (I've done my own) and the German ARV's. But also AVsRE, including Churchill SBG bridge layers and Churchill Fascine layers.

While trying to find what markings to use, I came across this:

It appears to be a period document showing the full components of the 51st Highland Division with their associated AoS markings. A great find with one small mistake. The Arm of Service markings for 154 Brigade are a little mixed up. Every other source I can find confirms my Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were number 69 on a brown background, not 68 as indicated above.

Another thing I need to check is at what point 61st Regiment Anti Tank (the HD's integral AT regiment) got their SP guns and whether they used Achilles or went straight to Archers. I found some great articles on the use of Anti Tank weapons in the Commonwealth forces and the change in policy and growth in preference for SP guns instead of towed 17-pdrs throughout the NWE campaign. The Nachtjager book indicates that the 17-pdr units were disbanded, when actually they were converted to SP units.

So lots of googling, lots of annoyance at websites that have the same generic text, and more idea as to the lack of certain info online. I'll be sure to post my findings here - in case anyone else can point out a mistake or find the info useful.

Now to look into home made decals, because sure as dammit no one will make what I want in 15mm!!!

Edit - Update

In a prime example of why books are better for research...

In the 144RAC/7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlander's column, there were no M10C's. The HD took their own Battalion Anti-Tank platoon with it's 6-pdrs with them.  The nearest M10C's would therefore be from 56 Anti Tank Battery of the 6th Canadian Anti Tank regiment - part of II Canadian Corps allocation of troops (Corps level support). Oddly, the British columns took no towed or SP 17-pdrs with them while the Canadians did.

The Highland Division had, during the initial bombardment, support from 144 25-pdr's (it's own and 4th Canadian Armoured Divisions) as well as 48 Medium guns from 9 AGRA and 36 from 4 AGRA. And the artillery from the flanking divisions... 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

15mm Battlefront Churchill Croc update

After my post on Sunday a number of people commented and told me to mail BF about the poor quality of the casting on the fuel trailers.

I emailed Battlefront Customer Services on Sunday night, got a reply on Monday saying replacements had been posted. I came home today to find a surprisingly large parcel waiting, which contained...

Two new complete packs!

I didn't expect to get two whole new packs, thinking I would just get replacements parts.

So kudos again to BF Customer Services - great communications and very fast delivery. Thanks guys!

Now, what the hell do I do with two extra Churchills?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

15mm Churchill Croc prep and Sherman Firefly Barrel Camoflage

Hi folks,

I've not managed to do any painting for the last few weeks, not having gotten a chance to spray or varnish anything due to the weather or not being home when the weather is nice.

I've started trying to clean up and prep some of the other vehicles on the painting chart, spending hours last night working on the two Churchill Crocs and about 10 minutes this morning cleaning up the two Crusader AA tanks. Yes, the Crocs really are that bad. I'm considering a email to BF customer services due to the pitting on the fuel trailer's:

Trailer 1

Trailer 1

I'm not sure how these are going to look painted, and if there is anything I can do to fix it. It's possible the spray will even the surface out. Otherwise I may have to try and get replacements as these really are not ok - especially Trailer 1.

The other small thing I managed to work on was the barrel camo for my Firefly's. I had used some camo netting on my first Firefly model, but for these ones I went for the more common 'painted' option.

Instead of using white and black I just went for khaki with some ivory mixed in to lighten it. I left the top of the barrel the Russian Uniform Green that they had been, but I am tempted to paint it black as some pictures seem to show that.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

#6MMRPC Final Roundup

So, after that turns out to be around 7 months (oops) of the 6 month Miniature Mountain Reduction Painting Challenge... I thought I should post what I had actually managed to do.

The easiest way to keep track (and show) progress has been using the painting chart idea used by Admiral Drax. So, here is the initial painting chart:

And the more or less final one:

As you can see, not a huge amount of green on the chart. One of the major reasons was the weather over the course of the challenge - winter time in Scotland is not the best time to be trying to varnish anything, and the Army Painter Strong Tone 'dip' I use really needs to be applied outside.

However, I am pretty please with the amount of yellow on the chart. Yellow being assembles, base coated and block painted - ready for the AP dip, highlights, decals and basing.

The miniatures at the 'yellow' stage

4.2" Mortars, platoon Universal Carriers x2 and Loyd Carriers x4

Painted infantry, mortar and gun crews. At the point of painting these represented all the infantry figures I required, however there are still crew figures for the Universal Carrier patrols to do.

D7 Bulldozer, Humber scout cars and Sherman ARV mk1

Ambulance, MP and AA command Jeep - with Sherman I's and Fireflys in the background - the group shot of the Shermans was rather blurry.
Then we have the 'orange' units - in construction/base coated but with no other work:

And finally the few 'Green' models - although these tend to be models that were most advanced when the challenge started:

The left hand truck here still requires decals
I've stolen the roundup idea others have used, posting the original rules and how I got on:

1. No purchasing of new miniatures, EXCEPT if you use a joker card.  Like in a deck of cards, you get two jokers to use on a figure purchase.  Could be a blister pack, an ebay bundle, or a single can't splurge. - Like Dai I am changing this slightly as I work on whole units/platoons at a time and some of these are missing vehicles. However, I aim to complete whole units first before moving on to those that require purchases - If I get that much painted!

- I was doing really really well with this until the last 6 weeks. Due to an error in gift requests at Christmas I ended up with the wrong light tanks models (M3 Stuart 'Honeys' when I actually needed M3a1's). Fixing this mistake has meant 3 purchases. I also bought a box of PSC Loyd Carriers and 6-pdr guns (not even on the painting chart!), 4 more (!!) 25-pdrs because the basing issue and lack of turntable became an itch in my brain that I could not scratch, a mixed batch of vehicle and gun crews from e-bay, a pack of Battlefront 40mm Bofors guns that were cheap on e-bay (to give me a full 6 gun battery), a bucket load of Battlefleet Gothic miniatures (which I wasn't counting as they are models to use in a roleplay game - but technically they are more models for me to paint). All in all, I did well for the first 5 months, but  lost it a little at the end. This one has to be a FAIL for me. 

 2.  Gifts do not count against you. Christmas and or birthdays etc. Also, if you're given gift cards by your hobby illiterate family or friends, you can without penalty use them on anything you want miniatures wise.  I luck out here, as I'll have Christmas and my birthday during this 6 Months.

- I'm lucky when it comes to gifts that my Fiancée normally asks for a list of what I want before Christmas and Birthdays. Added to this I was kindly gifted a dispatch rider from Dai.  

 3.  Paints, terrain (or materials), and other hobby supplies do not apply to the no purchasing rule.

4.  At least one hobby related blog post and/or Instagram update a week.  If you instagram, be sure to hashtag your pic with #6MMRPC - I don't use Instagram

- I initially thought I had failed this, but looking at post numbers I did technically post enough to qualify as one per week. The challenge certainly kept my painting in my mind, and other peoples blog posts inspired me to keep chipping away. My blog activity is something I need to work on. 

 5.  Zombtober will be part of the 6 month challenge so, Zombie related stuff during October is ENCOURAGED. - I won't have any zombie related models. Sorry!

- I went for 'Tanktober' instead, and worked on my Shermans. Although October was a slow month for me due to a house move at the end of September.

All in all I felt the challenge did help me clear some of my backlog, and the painting chart has really helped me keep track of my progress. The community spirit of the event, especially the feedback and support from our Facebook group, was fantastic. Looking at what I have ready to move forward, it already more or less matches what I managed to paint in the whole of the previous year.

While I fell at the end with regards to miniature buying, the challenge did help me keep a lid on my spending habits with regards my WW2 collection. I will take part in the next challenge, but for now I am going to switch from painting my WW2 stuff to painting some Full Thrust ships. Although I will probably end up doing both at the same time.

All in all a busy 6 (or 7) months, that have involved moving house, changing job and getting engaged...
Thanks to all my fellow bloggers and all those that commented and visited the site over the course of the challenge. I encourage those that didn't take part this time to give it a go next time round!