1943 Sep - War Diary :

591 ANTRIM PARACHUTE SQUADRON R.E.
EXERCISE "DRAGON"
24 SEP 43


Ref map OS 1 inch to 1 mile Sheet 122

OBJECT

To practice Troop Commanders in planning and carrying out an assault demolition on concrete Anti-Tank obstacles.

NARRATIVE
1. The enemy has been driven back by the British Army Group which has invaded Western Europe (represented by Map Sheet 122). He is making a stand on the previously prepared line SALISBURY-SHERRINGTON 4059-IMBOR 4069-northwards. This line incorporates strong concrete defensive works, and our advance Eastwards has been temporarily held up.

2. Commander Army Group intends to force this line SOUTH of IBER by daylight on 24 Sep 43 and push an armoured force through the gap to seize the important road junction of TILSHEAD 4768.

3. The preliminary breaching of the concrete tank obstacles is the task of 6 Airborne Division. 7 Parachute Battalion with under command one Troop 591 Parachute Squadron RE has been ordered to make three breaches each wide enough for tanks to pass throught the Dragon's Teeth which run from the Southern end of wood 402673 to 402670.


EXERCISE INSTRUCTIONS
4.No. 7 Parachute Battalion will be repulsed by a detachment no.3 Troop 591 Para Sqn. It will be assumed that 7 Para Battalion has overcome local resistance around the Dragon's Teeth and that they will give covering fire and smoke enemy strong points while R.E. detachments carry out the demolition of the Dragon's Teeth. It can not be assumed that 7 Para Battalion will have been able to clear all Anti-personnel or Anti-tank mines on the approaches to the Dragon's Teeth.


An illustration of concrete dragons teeth anti-tank obstacles

DROP ZONE
5. 388693 - 392702
Direction of run in SOUTH to NORTH

APPROACH
6. Approach to obstacles must be west of grid line 40 which is approx line of enemy defensive posts.

TROOPS TAKING PART
7. No.1 Troop - two sections
No.2 Troop-two sctions
No.3 Troop-one section (This section will be under Command OC of 2 Troop from 0730 hrs 23 Sep 43)

ALLOCATION OF AIRCRAFT
8.

Lift

Aircraft Nos.

Troop

SA

Containers Explosives

Etc

Trolleys

Colour of chute

1

1

1

2

2

1

2

3

4

5

2

2

2

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Red

Yellow

Blue

Green

Black



TIMINGS (24 Sep 43)
9.

1st Lift

2nd Lift

Depart Bulford

Arrive Airfield

1230

1430

Begin loading containers

1245

1445

Draw chutes

1315

1515

Eplane

1345

1545

Take off

1400

1600

Drop

1430

1630


AIRFIELD
10. STONEY CROSS 6931

CONTAINER LOADING
11. To be completed by 1000 hrs 23 Sep 43 O.G. to be checked with chute in place.

ACTION ON DROPPING
12. Move tactically to site of demolition.
Breach obstacle in three places (two places for No.1 Troop)

ACTION ON COMPLETION OF DEMOLITION
13.move to road and track junction 413691

NATURE OF OBSTACLES
14. To make each breach in the obstacle it will be necessary to demolish one row of 4 dragons teeth vqarying in height from 2 feet to 5 feet. Large scale oblique plastic high explosive will be issued to Troop Comanders at briefing.

ADMINISTRATION
15.DRESS
Parachute Order

TRANSPORT
16. 2i/c wll arrange as follows:-
(a) For troops containers and trolleys to airfield.
(b) Recovery truck at Drop Zone for juping jackets and containers.
(c) To lift troops back to barracks from road and track junction 413691

SUPS
17.
No.1 Troop = Normal Breakfast, Normal Dinner, Hot meal on return
No.2 Troop = Normal Breakfast, Haversack Dinner, Hot meal on return

MEDICAL
18. Medical Officer and abulance is being provided on drop zone by 225 Para Field Ambulance

SAFETY OFFICER
19. Capt G.F. Davidson

BRIEFING
20. Troop Comanders 0800 hrs 25 Sep 43

NCOs & SAPPERS
21. Under Troop Commanders arrangements.

REHEARSAL
22. Troops will be at Troop Commander's disposal for Synthetic Training, Drop Zone drill and rehearsal from 0700 hrs 23 Sep 43

SPECTATORS
23. Spectators will use following route ONLY:
Road Junction 407690 - corner of copse 394678 where a guide will direct them.

Signed: PA WOOD Major RE 21 Sep 43
Commanding 591 (Antrim) Parachute Squadron RE

Distribution:

OC No.1 Troop

OC No.2 Troop

OC No.3 Troop

OC

2i/c

SSM

Transport NCO

5 Para Brigade@

ALG STONEY CROSS*

ALG NETHRAVON*

GSO iii (Air) 6 Airborne Div@

CRE@

225 Para Fd Amb

File@

Spare

1-2

3-4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17-18

@ with small oblique photo of obstacle./ *=Advanced Landing Ground


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