Author Topic: Quarterly Historical Report of the 1st Bn Manchester Regiment 1946  (Read 6972 times)

Offline themonsstar

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                                        Quarterly Historical Report of the 1st Bn Manchester Regiment

                                               for the quarter ending 30 September 1946.

1.  Location.  BAOR Germany   Map ref  C8571
2.  Strength.     25 officers    652 ORs    38 permanent attached ORs
3.  Occupation  Roles.

The Bn is split over a very large area and covers approximately  one thousand sq miles.

A.Coy are stationed in the town of Braunlager map Ref C 9851.
B.Coy are stationed in the town of Bad Sachsa map ref C 9536.
D.Coy are stationed in the town of Goslar map ref C 8571,  with Battalion HQ and Coy HQ.
C.Coy are in England as demonstration company at the School of Infantry, Warminster, there is also one platoon of  D company demonstrating 4.2 inch Mortars at Warminster.

The Bn has now been in this area for five months and is kept fully occupied with guards on various factories and VPs, and with patrols which have to cover this enormous area at least one per week.
In addition to these commitments the Bn is responsible for 27 km of the Demarcation Line between the Russian and British zones.  The maintenance of signs and marking boards and never ending task of blocking and re-blocking the tracks leading across the Demarcation Line is a major commitment.
Every effort is being made to reduce the Bn guard commitments to the minimum, civilian police are taking over wherever possible.  The situation should have improved considerably by the end of this year.

Individual training only has been possible due to heavy commitments in our occupational role.  Special emphasis has been laid on rifle shooting and driving as well as maintenance of vehicles.

Bn  Cadres have been, and are being run to train
A.   Potential NCOs.
B.   Drivers i/c.
C.   Driver operators.
All  advantage is being taken of all BAOR and other outside courses, particularly for the training of drivers, mechanics, large numbers of whom go out in the next two months.

Reports from UK suggest that this Bn will eventually be reorganised as an infantry battalion.  It would be of great value to the future training policy.  If some firm date could be given so that application for the different types of courses could be made, it is a waste of time sending officers and Nco’s on long MMG and 4.2 inch mortar courses,  If the Bn is to convert to infantry.

Recreational training facilities are good and 4 football, 1 hockey, 1 rugby grounds have been made in the Goslar area.  A gymnasium is being prepared in one of the hangars and during the winter, it is hoped to play indoor hockey, tennis, basketball and badminton.
An indoor riding school is also under construction, the detached companies each have a football ground and a gymnasium.
All admin difficulties at the moment and during the past three months, arise out of the continual turnover of personnel due to demobilisation.  Understudies are kept in all key departments so far as is possible in view of the heavy commitments.

The Bn is acting as a parent unit to 20 smaller units and detachment in the area which throws quite a lot more work on to the admin department's.

Transport and technical staff are kept busy due to the limited amount of transport and qualified drivers combined with the great distances involved, the average mileage per week for a 15cwt drop is 600 miles and a 3 tonner 400 miles.

5.  Miscellaneous.
The GOC  5th Division Maj Gen PGS Gregson Ellis CB,OBE.  Visited Bn HQ,A,B & D companies on 30th August 1946.  He inspected the accommodation, canteens, cookhouses and stores, he expressed his satisfaction.  The visit was purely a routine inspection of the Bn.

The Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Sir Richard L Mc Creery KCB,KBE,DSO,MC.  Visited the Bn HQ, HQ & D companies, he inspected canteens, cookhouses and welfare amenities, he was present during the ORs weekday meal and expressed his satisfaction at the organisation of the cookhouse and the quality of the food.
21st Oct 1946.

                                     Quarterly Historical Report of the 1st Bn Manchester Regiment
                                             for the quarter ending 31 December 1946.

1.Location.       BAOR Germany  Map ref C 8571.
2.Strength.  28 officers     641 Ors 38 permanent attached Ors
3.Occupation Role.

The Bn is still dispersed over a large area, covering for Kreise in the southern half of the land Brunswick, both A and B companies are detached in the Harz Mountains, C company is still at Warminster in England, demonstrating the characteristics and technical handling of both MMG & Mortar platoon's, D company is in Goslar  with Bn HQ.  

The commitments of the three companies A,B & D have been greatly reduced during the past three months due to the fact the Military Government are responsible for almost all VPs.
Patrolling has been carried out on a fairly large scale, each company performing weekly to long distance patrols by day and shorter but more thorough patrols by night.  The main object of these patrols being to show the flag in the outlying villages which are seldom visited and are completely off the main roads, and by night to prevent crime and check suspicious persons.  The patrolling of the Demarcation Line has continued, but all is quiet and very few incidents have been reported recently.

In view of the fact that the Bn has settled down in a fairly permanent location and that the companies have been relieved of the majority of their guards, training has become number one priority culminating in Bde and Divisional exercises in the summer of 1947.

Great stress has been laid upon individual training in the last period because the reinforcements who have been arriving to replace the demobilised personnel have been only Infantry trained and have had no experience of a MMG Bn.

Cadres have been run to train full rank N.C.Os  as No 1s and as instructors on the MMG, the shortage of instructors was acute at the outset of these cadres, but companies are now in a much stronger position and cadres for other gun numbers are now progressing satisfactorily, each company housing a miniature range and undercover a lot of shooting has been done, training in handling of personal weapons L.M.G. & PIAT has been continued.

Over cadres which have been and are still being run:
a.   Potential N.C.Os
b.   Drivers I/C.
c.   Driver operators

P & RT has played a big part in the life of the Bn, soccer and hockey have been very popular during the last few weeks, A & B companies have been concentrating on marches and runs with a view to getting personal fit enough to cope with the winter as a large part of the patrolling and normally moving about will have to be done on skis.

4.   Administration

No major administrative difficulties have arisen and indents for stores and clothing have been coming through well.  A large amount of special winter clothing has been required for the two detached companies, including boots F.P. which have just arrived, and snow shoes.

Operation Woodpecker, entailing the accommodation of 300 men and large numbers of Q recces before their arrival has at least settled down quietly and no difficulties and now prevalent.  

The fuel allotment to the barracks was found to be quite inadequate, this has now been adjusted.

Transport is still overworked and the lack of REME fitters is acute, as we were informed that no new vehicles will be available before 1950.  It seems rather a short-term policy that men with insufficient experience should be forced to carry out repairs.

5.   Miscellaneous
The Bishop of London visited Goslar on 10th  November 1946 and held a service in the Garrison church in Remembrance of Armistice Day.  The Battalion then moved through the streets of Goslar and the Brigade Commander took the salute.  On the morning of 11th  November.  The Bishop of London visited the barracks.
On Tuesday 12th of November 1946 .  The Corps Commander , Lieutenant-General G.I. Thomas CB,DSO,MC.  Was expected to visit the Bn , including A and B Companies at Braunlager, and Bad Sachsa ,  The weather did not permit him to do so therefore, only  Bn HQ & D coy were visited.
He discussed problems with the Commanding Officer and inspected billets and cookhouses.  This was a routine visit and the Corps Commander expressed his satisfaction.
16th Jan 1947
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