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Armor/AFV: AA/AT/Artillery
For discussions about artillery and anti-aircraft or anti-tank guns.
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Op vehicle 7th A/T Regt RA Italy
RonV
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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 07:43 AM UTC
FWIW, this subject rather intrigued me and I wondered if my library might have an answer. Helion Order of Battle 2 British and Commonwealth Armies 1944-45 has the Universal Carrier OP used as troop HQ in M10 equipped anti-tank units. Archer equipped units used the Valentine in this capacity. In some instances, a halftrack might have been substituted and a jeep may also be available.


Ron Volstad
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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 04:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Would the BC's ride retain a functioning main gun for self-defence? He wouldn't need much extra room for map tables etc found in arty OPs, being in the direct-fire game...


From my knowledge, yes, it would retain the main gun. Maybe individual officers reduced the amount of ammo for more kit room, but as far as I have seen, they retained the gun.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 04:12 AM UTC
Would the BC's ride retain a functioning main gun for self-defence? He wouldn't need much extra room for map tables etc found in arty OPs, being in the direct-fire game...
RLlockie
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Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 02:26 AM UTC
The Valentine XI is a battery commanderís wagon, not an OP (whatever the caption says). Some units used Crusader AA tanks for the same purpose.

A second class ride always beats a first class walk.
iamheaminot
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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 05:32 PM UTC
Thanks. LOL I have the Bronco one as well. I do not mind old, cheap, nasty and not very detailed . Wait that is me. He he.
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 04:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Many thanks to one and all.
regardless I do like this pic - for discussion only - labelled as ..Valentine Mk XI OP serving in north-west Europe as the command tank for a battalionof M10 Tank Destroyers...see http://panzerserra.blogspot.com/2018/04/valentine-mk-ii-canal-defense-light-cdl.html



May I suggest getting the Bronco version of the Mk IX or X rather than a very old and dated kit of far lesser detail
Al

I have this kit and the M!0 so it is all go...



So as they say "Game on"


iamheaminot
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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 08:41 AM UTC
Many thanks to one and all.
regardless I do like this pic - for discussion only - labelled as ..Valentine Mk XI OP serving in north-west Europe as the command tank for a battalionof M10 Tank Destroyers...see http://panzerserra.blogspot.com/2018/04/valentine-mk-ii-canal-defense-light-cdl.html



I have this kit and the M!0 so it is all go...



So as they say "Game on"

BootsDMS
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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 06:19 AM UTC
Er, before we go any further are we now all agreed that SP Anti-Tank Regts did not have OP vehicles?

We might be muddying the waters a little here.

AOPs with Fd Regts fine - whether or not they were towed or SP - but NOT with Sp Anti Tank (or even Towed Anti Tank come to that).
RLlockie
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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 04:57 AM UTC
Surely the Sherman OPs in field regts RA were because in armd divs (where they were found) it made sense for the OPs to be in the same type of wagon as that which they were supporting - less for reasons of spares and maintenance than of not standing out as a more interesting target. OP tanks (as opposed to battery commandersí tanks in SP AT regts) also had specialised kit on board and were not easy to refit to gun tank configuration so probably not worthwhile. In 7AD, for example, at least some of the AOPs were Cromwells because most tanks in 22AB were Cromwells, although there were some Sherman OPs too, such as Wellsís one knocked out in Villers Bocage.

I think the AOPs in inf divs tended to be carriers (again, they blended in as well as being more concealable) but Italy did tend to be a bit more flexible as regards variations from the official WE, as it was a lower priority for resources.
ALBOWIE
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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 08:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

But what about the obvious? Why not a Sherman? Commonality of parts and all that?


Part of the reason may be that the towed AT regiments were getting by on Carriers and the SP regiments just got a slight upgrade. That along with there being a stock of deturretted Stuarts available as front line units shifted from M3A3s to M5A1s and the older vehicles became available to other units.

Part of the reason may come from the fact that by later in 1944 the supply of Shermans was getting scarce and they were needed by other units, though that doesn't explain the Sherman OPs in SP Arty units.

Paul



You don't see too many commonwealth M5 or M5A1 in Italy and as the US didn't use the M3A3 that source may be a dry well. The M5A1 in NWE tended to replace the M3A1 still in service first and there were still plenty of those in Italy as well
Al
tankmodeler
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Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 07:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

But what about the obvious? Why not a Sherman? Commonality of parts and all that?


Part of the reason may be that the towed AT regiments were getting by on Carriers and the SP regiments just got a slight upgrade. That along with there being a stock of deturretted Stuarts available as front line units shifted from M3A3s to M5A1s and the older vehicles became available to other units.

Part of the reason may come from the fact that by later in 1944 the supply of Shermans was getting scarce and they were needed by other units, though that doesn't explain the Sherman OPs in SP Arty units.

Paul
iamheaminot
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Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:13 AM UTC
Hence why I thought Sherman and Sexton which I have in the stash.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 - 07:56 AM UTC
I've seen lots of examples of the turretless Stuart tanks of all marks used as command vehicles. They were sometimed sourced from light tank units as they traded up to heavier armor.

But what about the obvious? Why not a Sherman? Commonality of parts and all that?
iamheaminot
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Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 - 07:26 AM UTC
Thanks. Good info
tankmodeler
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Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 - 04:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Further research now tells me that Valentine Op tanks were used in some A/T outfits in France etc c1944. May be a better choice. Plus maybe a Sherman OP to go with a Sexton. Mmmmmm food for thought.


Rod,

These vehicles in AT units were not so much OP (observation post) vehicles as commander's charger, or personal vehicles. Very different in purpose and equipment.

Many OP vehicles had the main gun replaced by a dummy so additional maps, radios and sometimes, an additional crew member could be carried.

Chargers were meant to get the battery commander around safely and, in extremis, provide some protection for the rather vulnerable AT SP guns.

I know that many Archer AT regiments had Valentines for the officers, but I don't think the M10 regiments did.

I have an old Armoured Acorn markings sheet that shows 4 Cdn AT Reg't, using M10 17 pdrs using cut down M3A3 Stuart's for battery commanders and not turreted AFVs. It has a note that these replace the Universal Carriers doing the same job in towed AT regiments.

HTH

Paul
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 10:47 PM UTC
Rod,

It looks like the same Nigel Evans produced this site which I think makes things a little clearer; there appears to be no mention of OP vehicles whatsoever:

http://nigelef.tripod.com/anti-tank.htm

Like Robert, I cannot envisage any need for an OP for an Anti-Tank regiment.

As regards the BC or CO deploying on the battlefield I'm sure a Scout Car/Carrier would have been on the establishment and one of the many organisational/establishment tables at the link indicates just that.

Sextons of course equipped Field Regiments (as opposed to Anti Tank ones but I'm sure I'm in danger of teaching you to suck eggs here).

Depending on what you actually wish to model of course, an OP vehicle would normally be deployed - in action - some distance from the Guns it was directing; good luck with whatever you decide.

Brian
iamheaminot
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 09:09 PM UTC
Further research now tells me that Valentine Op tanks were used in some A/T outfits in France etc c1944. May be a better choice. Plus maybe a Sherman OP to go with a Sexton. Mmmmmm food for thought.
iamheaminot
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 07:43 PM UTC
Not sure so hence the question. I cannot imagine the BC or CO riding around in an M10.

This site has some interesting info
http://ww2talk.com/index.php?media/albums/ra-anti-tank-regiment-reorg-in-italy.1308/

I quote from:
BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2 ARTILLERY METHODS by Nigel F. Evans



OP tanks were first introduced in 1942, by early 1943 batteries in armoured divisions had 2 OP tanks and one armoured OP, in infantry divisions it was the other way around. Army field regiments had no OP tanks but each tank 'battalion' in tank brigades held 2 tanks for OPs.
RLlockie
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 06:52 PM UTC
Did A/T regts use OP vehicles? Given that they would be mostly firing direct at targets they could see, did they need them? I know indirect shoots did take place in Italy by units not designed for them (due to the terrain) but Iím not sure if dedicated OPs were assigned to them. Does the War Establishment show anything in that role?
iamheaminot
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 04:15 PM UTC
Greetings most knowledgeable people.
Anyone have any idea of what vehicle 7th A/T Regt R. A. used as an op vehicle alongside their M10s in Italy?
Info on markings would be a bonus as well.
In anticipation, thank you.