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A few questions about the Normandy Landings

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  • Member since
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A few questions about the Normandy Landings
Posted by SuperNova-SS on Friday, March 29, 2013 10:28 PM

I have a couple questions about the Normandy Landings that I hope can be answered:

1.  So the 1st Infantry on Omaha were issued the Assault Vests and the Gas Masks, were the 4th Infantry on Utah Beach issued these?

2.  What about the 2nd Infantry Division arriving on Omaha on June 7th?

3.  Were the British/Canadians on Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches issued any Special Equipment as well?

And yes, I know these questions sound kind of bizarre, but if any or all of them could be answered, then that would be great!

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Posted by stikpusher on Friday, March 29, 2013 11:18 PM

The 4th ID wore a different uniform for the assault landing, and photos show the with gas masks but none of the vests worn at Omaha Beach.

For the commonwealth units on the British beaches, I do think there was some items of special or new kit used for the assault waves on the 6th. One item new to combat was the Mk. III helmet.

 

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Posted by Cdn Colin on Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:37 AM

I read somewhere that the Canadians (and by association the British) wore special uniforms that were treated for chemical defense, so I would assume that they also carried gas masks.

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Posted by TomZ2 on Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:59 AM

Juno Beach:


FYI:


James Doohan landed on Juno Beach on D-Day as a lieutenant in the 13th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.

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Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:33 PM

Gas attack was a huge concern for the Allied high command with the Normandy landings. All the assault troops, airborne and seaborne, carried a gas mask and work "impregnated" uniforms for the landings. "Impregnated" meant that the standard outer uniform garments had been treated with a waxy substance to make the uniform impermeable to blister agents such as mustard gas. In the case of the 4th ID on Utach Beach, they wore the Green Cotton HBT fatigues as the outer uniform, look at the photo below.

 

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Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:43 PM

Here is another shot of the 4th ID landing on Utah. The arm "brassard" was chemical attack detection paper

 

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Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:48 PM

Then there is this classic image of Rangers from the Ranger force (2nd & 5th Ranger Battalions) in their LCA shortly before departing for France. Their Gas Masks are in the black rubber cases worn on the chest

 

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Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:53 PM

These photos of Commonwealth Troops can give you and idea of their Assault Kit

 

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Posted by ddp59 on Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:14 PM

stikpusher, they are not commonwealth troops but are either canadian or british troops & maybe even free french troops.

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Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:47 PM

Was Canada not part of the British Commonwealth in WWII?

 

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Posted by Cdn Colin on Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:53 PM

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and just about anywhere else that was once part of the empire are Commonwealth.  I think that the Canadians were the only ones who fought as a Canadian Army, instead of part of the British Army.

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Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:03 AM

Cdn Colin

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and just about anywhere else that was once part of the empire are Commonwealth.  I think that the Canadians were the only ones who fought as a Canadian Army, instead of part of the British Army.

That was the context in which I used the word Commonwealth. I would have to go thru my books to see which all specific units were used for the assault landings on the 6th. But IIRC, there were Battalions from various Regiments aside from English and Canadian ones, such as Welsh and Scots. I do recall that the photo of the solitary soldier wading ashore from the LCI was supposedly a Royal Marine Commando, but that the other photo has a less unit specific history. I do believe that the Free French commandos, who were outfitted with British kit as opposed to later Free Frech units (such as French 2nd Armored) who had US uniforms & kit, wore their green beenies rather than tin hats that morning

 

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Posted by ddp59 on Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:20 AM

stikpusher, the commonwealth didn't really come into being until after the war & the scots & welsh are part of britain as is england.

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Posted by Bish on Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:03 PM

ddp59

stikpusher, the commonwealth didn't really come into being until after the war & the scots & welsh are part of britain as is england.

True, but as these countries were now independent of the UK, they were no longer a part of the Empire. The term Commonwealth first appeared in 1884. So the use of the word Commonwealth is correct, and could apply to those nations independent of the UK and those still under our control. And at the end of the day, whether they be Commonwealth or Imperial troops, they all used, as far as i am aware, mainly British kit.

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Posted by Bish on Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:05 PM

Cdn Colin

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and just about anywhere else that was once part of the empire are Commonwealth.  I think that the Canadians were the only ones who fought as a Canadian Army, instead of part of the British Army.

 

I could well be wrong, the British army isn't my strong point, but weren't the Aussies and New Zealander's independant of the British army in WW2, fighting as ANZAC's. I believe this was insisted upon after the disaters of WW1.

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Posted by subfixer on Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:06 PM

From wiki:

Origins

The prime ministers of five members of the Commonwealth at the 1944 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference.

In 1884, while visiting Australia, Lord Rosebery described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".[5] Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911.[6] The Commonwealth developed from the Imperial Conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Christiaan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the all-important Versailles Conference of 1919 by delegates from the dominions as well as Britain.[7][8] The term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.[citation needed]

In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, Britain and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations". These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931. The statute applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, and Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the Government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended, and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland later joined Canada as its tenth province in 1949.[9] Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1942 and 1947 respectively

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Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:18 PM

Actually it was in use

But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth[5] last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.


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N is for NO SURVIVORS...

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  • Member since
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  • From: Austin, TX
Posted by SuperNova-SS on Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:05 PM

I found a color picture of the gear that the 4th Infantry wore during the landing from http://www.theliberator.be/collection2.htm, showing the Gas mask, armband, and the Green Cotton fatigues.

In the Canadian Docu-Drama, "Storming Juno", the Canadians don't appear to be carrying any thing special other than the chemical treated uniforms.  Granted, it's a movie, so you can't expect it to be accurate.  They did have an awesome Sherman in it though.

I can't find many pictures from Gold or Sword though.

Thank you all for our answers.  However I will admit that the Commonwealth Debate was a little annoying. Off Topic

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Posted by stikpusher on Monday, April 01, 2013 11:05 AM

SuperNova-SS

Thank you all for our answers.  However I will admit that the Commonwealth Debate was a little annoying. 

welcome to the world of FSM threads Wink

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

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  • From: Spartanburg, SC
Posted by subfixer on Monday, April 01, 2013 11:17 AM

Yeah, what stikpusher said.

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