War Diary - CRA - April 1941

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3 April 1941

Royal Artillery Iceland Force Operation Order No. 6 issued. Copy attached to the War Diary file – for details see below.

9 April 1941

HQ 12 Anti-aircraft Regiment (Lt-Col A.C. Keane Royal Artillery, Commanding) and 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery arrived in Iceland. Located temporarily with Royal Artillery units in Reykjavik area as follows:-

HQ 12 Anti-aircraft Regiment with No 4 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery PIMPLE HILL.

HQ 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery and one Section SKELETON HILL.

One Section HQ 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery with 69 Field Regiment FENTON Street Camp

Half-Section 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery with 273/69 Field Regiment REDESDALE Camp

One and a half Sections 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery at Transit Camp.

10 April 1941

First Leave Party embarked for UK.

12 April 1941

One Section 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery embarked for Akranes and moved by road to HRAFNEYRI.

14 April 1941

Demonstration for Force Tactical School of the organisation of a two-troop Battery and its deployment by 273/69 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Very successful.

143 Field Regiment rehearsal for Force Intelligence Exercise.

17 April 1941

Force Intelligence Exercise, staged mainly for practice of Brigade Intelligence Officers and Brigade Intelligence Sections. 143 Field Regiment with some Infantry assistance represented the enemy, providing one two-Troop Battery, Company and Battalion HQs, recce parties, patrols, and assaulting troops etc – Exercise designed to illustrate enemy’s preparations for the attack including – Artillery registration – ending with the assault. Live Small Arms Ammunition and Artillery Ammunition fired.

A very interesting and realistic exercise. All available Artillery Officers formed O.P. parties on “own” side, reporting to Regimental HQ to exercise Regimental Intelligence Officers.

18 April 1941

143 Field Regiment (one two-Troop Battery) rehearsal for Field Firing Demonstration with 70 Infantry Brigade.

“E” Troop 388/143 Field Regiment established at REDESDALE CAMP. “C” Troop 386/143 Field Regiment established at PACKWAY CAMP. Command changed 18:00 hours, 69 Field Regiment to 143 Field Regiment in support of Western and South Western Sectors. (Note; “E” Troop moved from Borganes to Reykjavik in 26 hours. Much winching and road repair round Hvalfjordur necessary).

21 April 1941

143 Field Regiment Field Firing Demonstration with 70 Infantry Brigade.

Anti-aircraft Operations Room established at CASEMENT CAMP by HQ 12 Anti-aircraft Regiment. Object: early warning and movements of aircraft in future conveyed to all Anti-aircraft units direct by HQ Anti-aircraft Regiment instead of by Control Room Force HQ as previously, thereby saving time.

RHQ 69 Field Regiment and 273 Field Battery embarked for AKUREYRI 15:00 hours. On arrival whole of 69 Field Regiment come under command North East Sector.

22 April 1941

12 Anti-aircraft Regiment established temporarily at WHITE HORSE CAMP, Alafoss, attached to 386 Field Battery 143 Field Regiment.

24 April 1941

Detachment 52 Light Anti-aircraft Battery (one gun) moved to HVAMMSHOFDI. (For protection of Hvalfjordur Naval Anchorage).

26 April 1941

Royal Artillery Iceland (C ) Force Operation Order No 7 issued. (No copy survives in the War Diary file).

One Section 249 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery moved to HVAMMSHOLAR.

29 April 1941

Royal Artillery (C ) Force Operation Order No 8 issued. (No copy survives in the War Diary file).

Section 4 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery at GROTTA practice firing, 26 rounds fired. This was the first Anti-aircraft practice with live shell carried out since arrival in Iceland, in spite of repeated requests.

This long delay due to inability of RAF to produce necessary drogue apparatus and to make a machine (Fairey Battle) available; also to operational demands made on the few Battles available.

Appendices attached to the April 1941 War Diary of the Iceland (C ) Force Commander, Royal Artillery.

Royal Artillery, Iceland Force Operation Order No. 6 – issued 3/4/1941.

The document referenced the 1/50,000 and 1/100,000 scale maps of Iceland.

The initial paragraphs described the planned redistribution of Field Artillery resources – Two Troops of 143 Field Regiment relieving Two Troops of 69 Field Regiment, who then were moving to the North East Sector.

Details were set out of the reliefs of the Batteries including the size and routing of Advance Parties and the subsequent move of the Main Bodies.

Handover arrangements and the change in command were described.

The document then set out the details of Arms and Ammunition to be moved or re-allocated.

The takeover of signal wires already laid was described,

Handling of rations, reserves of coal and coke, accommodation stores, petrol, oil and lubricants and water carts were spelled out.

The final paragraphs concerned the handing over of secured documents, ciphers and maps.

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