British halftracks in Normandy

Any British Army experts out there !
I am wondering whether any units in the 15th Scottish Inf. Div. had halftracks in their establishment ? The only British unit in Normandy during the Epsom/Hill112 battles I know for a fact had them was the 8th Rifle Brigade.
TIA fellas,
J

You mean in Normandy ?

Looks like at least they had some in later stages

Stuart light tanks pass half-tracks and other vehicles of 15th (Scottish) Division during the advance to the River Elbe, Germany, 13 April 1945

Here we see a column of troops from the 15th Scottish Division waiting for sappers to build a bridge across a crater in the road, at some point during the advance to the Elbe

EDIT : I guess they had some in Normandy as well :

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060019679

H.P.

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Cool ! Thanks for the intel. I should have known Frenchie would have something. And yes, I meant Normandy during Epsom/Hill 112.
J

Another option : 131st (Lowland – City of Glasgow) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060019636

H.P.

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Hi Jerry,

Technically the constituent 9 Infantry Battalions within 15th Scottish did not have half-tracks on their establishment; loads of trucks, carriers, jeeps, motorcycles but no half-tracks. That said, it is more than likely that the 3 x Brigade HQs could have used half-tracks as part of their HQ Signals component or in a command role. It may also be possible that the Divisional HQ and the Divisional REME elements had halftracks, which is what we might be seeing in the first picture (with the Stuarts). That could also be the case in the second picture – where quite frankly they could belong to any unit.

The first film clip shows half-track ambulances bearing the number “51” which would indicate to me that they’re the 3 medic half-tracks of an armoured regiment (of an armoured division) or the 27th Independent Armoured Brigade, but not of 15th Scottish.

The second clip does indeed show a half-track with the number “42” which would bear out the Artillery identification for a Field Regiment (towed 25 Pdrs) within 15th Scottish. Where that particular vehicle fits in I have no idea as normally a field regiment would not have any on its establishment.

So, I deduce that 15th Scottish did not have any half-tracks in what we’d call today the APC role.

8th Battalion (of) The Rifle Brigade was the motor battalion of 11th Armoured Division so was indeed mounted in some 36 half-tracks.

I have to wrap this up by saying “never say never” and I’m more than happy to be proved wrong. The establishment of vehicles, especially in wartime was, I’m sure, a moveable feast, although I suspect was fairly rigid at unit level, not least due to spares etc.

Thank you sir.
From what I gather from other sources the British may have utilized the tracks the way the Canadians did. That is to say as “armoured trucks” to deliver supplies or to evac wounded,etc. Command node vehicles would also come into play.
This may make my upcoming dio easier for me. Something like a track dropping off some compo meals to a section ? Since it looks like the only combat use of the tracks in Normandy was in the 11th Armoured.
J

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All the armoured divisions in Normandy - that is Guards, 7th and 11th - had an integral “Motor Battalion” which utilised half-tracks; two of the Independent Armoured Brigades - 4th and 8th, also had a Motor Battalion within their organisation, so there’s a fair bit of choice there.

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OK mate thanks. Great intel to have. Now I will have to wedge a logical scenario into my build. I really wanted to keep it with “ma boys” the 15th div but hey…ya gotta adapt and overcome.
J

Well, without teaching you to suck eggs Jerry, no one unit operated entirely on its own; there’s nothing to stop you depicting say, a half-track from an Independent Armoured Brigade in support of the Infantry Divisions - which is, after all, what they were for. Now, I don’t know if the respective independent brigades with integral Motor Battalions ever operated alongside 15th Scottish - I’ll leave that to you or others to find out(!) but the units involved were (ie the half-track users in the Brigades mentioned earlier):

4 Armd Bde - 2nd Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC).

8 Armd Bde - 12 Bn KRRC.

As I understand it the Normandy battlefield was often a very congested one so really I feel you could depict almost any combination; I recall on the exercises I was involved in, in Germany in the 70s and 80s, we were always bumping up against someone else’s unit, and that was just participating in a CPX not a formation fun-fest.

If I can help further let me know – not least if you choose to depict the KRRC – loads of pitfalls for the uniforms there – and I’m not too sure I can pin them down(!)

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Thanks again mate. I am leaning towards a track with canvas top dropping off compo boxes to troops digging in at a hedge. I have a pic showing that, albeit from the 8Bn Rifle Regt.
So I suppose my “stretch” would be a non descript track from higher HQ of something dropping off the rations to the dear old boys.
Easier all around on myself.
My story could be the track is from 11th Armoured detailed to drop rations to a Scots unit that the 11th leapfrogged ahead of heading to Hill112. That would fit in a tidy fashion.
Rest assured whatever I come up with somebody somewhere will ignore the hard work and mention the one marking I got wrong ! LoL Never fails.
J

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The phrase “formation fun fest” in relation to Normandy really made me smile - thank you

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An M5 half-track came up for sale on eBay in the UK recently for £60k and I thought about your diorama plan when I saw it.

According to my wife though, it wouldn’t make a suitable replacement to my Citroen no matter how bad our road surfaces are!

Consider the intimidation factor on the highway though ! Hahahaha
J

It’s still for sale and the price has dropped!

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Jerry,

I don’t think all is lost; why not – but forgive me if I appear to be running your schedule – depict the 8 RB in any case? Uniform details would involve a bit of research but in extremis, I only live around an hour’s drive away from the Rifles Museum at Winchester, so any stumbling blocks could be put to rest quite easily if we, together, can’t identify what we need to do.

Essentially, all rank badges were in black on rifle green; the shoulder titles too were in the same format. If you chose 11 Armd Div’s Motor Battalion – ie 8RB then the Div flash would be worn. I’m not too sure about the infantry precedence stripes in scarlet, or otherwise. Hmmm. The vehicle markings are relatively straightforward, so you could, could, portray a section half-track indeed dropping off rations or whatever, to a section dug-in. If it were the Motor Battalion say, from 11 Armd as suggested, then the vehicle markings would be the inevitable Div badges, a bridge plate and a white on red “54”. What’s not to like?

However, I do recognise, just in case one thinks otherwise, this is your project, so forgive me!

I think that is pretty much what I’ll do. I am prolly confusing the work I’m involved with now showing the Scottish attacking near Hill112 with the next dio coming up. It will work out that way.
I already have 7 new figures done for the fierce mens’ attack.
J

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