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 Post subject: Guards in North Africa
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 18:24 pm 
Hi all,

I'm looking for some info on Grenadier and Scots Guards' headgears during the North Africa Campaign.
here we go:
2nd Battalion Scots Guards was an infantry regiment of the Desert Rats (7th Armoured division), I have no clue if they were motorised or not.

The 3rd, 5th & 6th Battalions Grenadier Guards took part in the Eighth Army's famous advance to Tunisia, taking part in the battle of Mareth, where the 6th Battalion, the first to meet the enemy after the evacuation of Dunkirk, suffered heavy casualties but won the respect of friend and foe alike. The 3rd and 5th Battalions shared in the invasion of North Africa; all three Battalions were engaged in the invasion of Italy and the Italian campaign, the 5th Battalion forming part of the force that landed at Anzio.

I need to know what the 2nd batt Scots guards and the 3 Grenadier Guards battalions wore as headdress. I assume it is not the black one as they were not Armoured units but infantry. Now it can be either the Khaki beret or the GS cap. Do you have info on that please?

I thank any of you who can help me about figuring this out. It will be my last inquiry before completing my North Africa Guards impressions.

Phil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 19:48 pm 
And anyone knows about the div patches worn by the Grenadier Guards during their time in North Africa??


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 Post subject: Guards North Africa
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 21:21 pm 
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gerboise wrote:
And anyone knows about the div patches worn by the Grenadier Guards during their time in North Africa??


Is this any help.

78th Division
The 78th Division was formed in the UK in the summer of 1942 and arrived in North Africa in November. The division saw action before the end of 1942, and after the close of the African campaign landed in Sicily on the 26th of July 1943. The Division moved to Italy in September, where it served until August 1944.

Composition November 1942 - August 1944 Major Battles
1 Infantry Brigade (Guards)
(until 15 Mar 43) 3rd Grenadier Guards
2nd Coldstream Guards

8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
(25 Dec 42 - 16 Feb 43)
3rd Welsh Guards
(from 3 Mar 43)
38 (Irish) Infantry Brigade
(from 15 Mar 43) 2nd London Irish Rifles
1st Royal Irish Fusiliers
6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
(to 5 Aug 44)
2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
(from 26 Jul 44)
11 Infantry Brigade 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers
1st East Surrey Regiment
5th Northamptonshire Regiment
36 Infantry Brigade 6th Royal West Kent Regiment
5th Buffs
8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
(21 Aug 42 - 25 Dec 42)
(16 Feb 43 - 27 Feb 43)
(and from 24 Mar 43 )

1 Dec 42 - 10 Dec 42 Tebourba Gap
7 Apr 43 - 15 Apr 43 Oued Zarga
23 Apr 43 - 30 Apr 43 Medjez Plain
5 May 43 - 12 May 43 Tunis
20 Jul 43 - 2 Aug 43 Adrano
19 Nov 43 - 3 Dec 43 The Sangro
18 May 44 - 30 May 44 Liri Valley


1st Division
1st Division was a Regular division at the outbreak of war; the Division served in France and Belgium from September 1939 to June of 1940. A long period of reorganization and training followed, and the Division sailed to North Africa at the end of February 1943, arriving in the theatre in March. After the German surrender in May, the Division moved to garrison Pantelleria briefly in June, then moved back to Africa where it sat out the Sicily campaign. The Division once again landed in Italy in December 1943, where it served until January 1945, when it moved to Palestine.

Composition Feb 1943 - November 1943 Major Battles
2 Infantry Brigade 1st Loyal Regiment
2nd North Staffordshire Regiment
6th Gordon Highlanders
3 Infantry Brigade 1st Duke of Wellington's Regiment
2nd Sherwood Foresters
1st King's Own Shropshire Light Infantry
24 Infantry Brigade 1st Scots Guards
1st Irish Guards
5h Grenadier Guards

23 Apr 43 - 30 Apr 43 Medjez Plain
5 May 43 - 12 May 43 Tunis
22 Jan 44 - 22 May 44 Anzio
22 May 44 - 4 Jun 44 Rome

Follow this link http://www.shinycapstar.com/secondww.htm

RSM

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 21:21 pm 
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I am sure I have seen piccys with SD cap worn with "standard 8th Army kit". Cant remember what rank was, but definately NCO/guardsman. Could have been early part of campaign. Hope Im not muddying waters.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 21:55 pm 
About the SD cap, the Guards wore them but not on the field.
Here are some more info about 8th army Order of Battle. The guards battalions were first present in the 22nd Guards Brigade. This unit was formed from the Mersa Matruh Garrison and the H.Q. of the 29th Infantry Brigade on 2 September 1940 and renamed as the 22nd Guards Brigade on 20 March 1941. It was converted to the 200th Guards Brigade (14 January 1942) and then finally the 201st Guards Motor Brigade (25 May 1942).

This Guards Brigade saw extensive service in the North African Campaign. It was forced to surrender on 20 June 1942 when Tobruk was captured by German and Italian forces. It was reformed as the 201st Guards Motor Brigade in Egypt on 14 August 1942. It was eventually sent back to the United Kingdom where it became a training unit for all Guards Regiments.

22nd Guards Brigade comprised:
3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
2nd Battalion, Scots Guards
6th Battalion, Grenadier Guards (7 Oct.1942-17 Nov.1944)
1st Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment (14 June-22 June 1942)
9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (14 Jan. 1942-4 June 1942)
1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry

Now a mystery remains about the Grenadier Guards. The 3rd and 5th Battalions shared in the invasion of North Africa; all three Battalions were engaged in the invasion of Italy and the Italian campaign, the 5th Battalion forming part of the force that landed at Anzio.

The Guards were dispatched among several divisions.
56th (London) Division, 201 Guards Infantry Brigade (23 Jul 43 - 17 Oct 43):
2nd Scots Guards
3rd Coldstream Guards
6th Grenadier Guards

78th Division, 1 Infantry Brigade (Guards) (until 15 Mar 43):
3rd Grenadier Guards
2nd Coldstream Guards
8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (25 Dec 42 - 16 Feb 43)
3rd Welsh Guards (from 3 Mar 43)

From 24.3.43 - 29.5.44, 1 Infantry Brigade (Guards) becomes part of the 6th Armoured Division:
3 Grenadier Guards
2 Coldstream Guards
3 Welch Guards

1st Division, 24th infantry division (from feb 43 ):
5th Battalion grenadier Guards
1st Scots Guards
1st irish Guards

That's all I've found tonight.


Last edited by 2LBH on Fri Aug 17, 2007 14:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:50 am 
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gerboise wrote:
And anyone knows about the div patches worn by the Grenadier Guards during their time in North Africa??


I dont beleieve they would have worn any at that time.

Although i could be wrong.

I would, if wearing battledress, go with just guards titles and colored service stripe maybe, if that, and your service cap with badge.

If KD then i would wear nothing just a cap badge. or if a more away form the frontline look then the SD cap with KD may look good and be suitable.
(i.e. wandering around Cairo look)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:15 am 
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I have seen photos of Guards wearing the SD caps with those 'anti-gas eye goggles' worn on the caps, the ones like Rommel used to wear to keep sand/dust out of their eyes. These were with KD kit mind, mix of shirts and pullovers, shorts and trousers.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:18 am 
if they were wearing the Service Dress cap by that time, does someone know when they changed for the beret??


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:08 am 
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If an infantry Battalion they would have never worn a 'beret' unless an officer or member of a Motorised Infantry Battalion of an Armoured unit. They received the G.S. hat from late 43 onwards, before that all I've seen in SD caps, though according to the Brian Davis book F.S caps were also authorised. Cap comforters seem to have been very popular with Guards Regiments in n. Africa and Italy for field use.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:17 am 
Except for the 6th Battalion Grenadier Guards, all other Battalions (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th) of the Grenadiers (in North Africa, Italy and Europe) had been converted into Motor Battalions (2nd Bat) or had become Armoured (1st, 3rd and 5th). As such, I guess they never wore the GS cap.

Thanx a lot for all your help!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:44 pm 
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Not exactly according to what I have in books, I have for mid-late war:

1st Grenadier Guards, Motor Battalion, 5th Guards Armoured Brigade
2nd Grenadier Guards, Armoured Battalion, 5th Guards Armoured Brigade
both serving in Guards Armoured Div. from establishment

3rd Grenadier Guards, Infantry Battalion, 1st Guards Infantry Brigade
serving with 78th Infantry Div. then 6th Armoured Div. as a regular Infantry Battalion, not a Motor Battalion. The Motor Battalion for 6th Armoured was 10th 'Rifle Brigade' I think.

4th Grenadier Guards, Armoured Battalion, 6th Guards Tank Brigade.

5th Grenadier Guards, Infantry Battalion, 24th Guards Infantry Brigade.
Served with Brigade as part of 1st Infantry Div. and 6th Armoured Div (temproraily and not as Motor Battalion)

6th Grenadier Guards, Motor and Infantry Battalion, spent most of time as latter with 56th Infantry Div.

So for your 3rd Grenadiers Guards n. Africa/Italy it would be as a member of 1st Guards Infantry Brigade, so SD/FS cap up to late 43, SD cap and GS hat after that, cap comforter in the field but no Khaki beret unless your portraying an officer in battledress.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 13:46 pm 
TALLERTHANBETTY wrote:
So for your 3rd Grenadiers Guards n. Africa/Italy it would be as a member of 1st Guards Infantry Brigade, so SD/FS cap up to late 43, SD cap and GS hat after that, cap comforter in the field but no Khaki beret unless your portraying an officer in battledress.


That's what I do, 1st Lt, but will also do a L/Cpl impression so all your infos are very useful!!!
Last question about Officers in KD uniform: Khaki beret too in the field?

Anyway, a huge thanx for all of you for all these details and all your help is very much appreciated!! THANX TO YOU ALL!
I should post pix by the end of the month. Thanx again!


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