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England 1942 Part 3

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

In June the regiment participated in its first large scale field exercise Ram III in which they were able to demonstrate their skills in map reading, convoy driving, march discipline, harbouring drills. Much of the remainder of the month was spent in very intense tank training in preparation for firing the tanks on the ranges for the first time in July. During this training the number of tanks available never exceeded 17 and for much of the month amounted to fewer than 10 as the new Ram tanks were sent away to the range in Wales in preparation for the firing practice and field training to be conducted in July. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the first Ram tanks sent to England arrived without spare parts or tools. The small number of tanks allotted to the regiment meant that they were in very high demand and as a result required a great deal of maintenance. Here once again the Hussars excelled. Due to the tireless efforts, determination, and ingenuity, of the various squadron technical staff and our Light Aid Detachment (# 54) the Regiment consistently maintained the highest number of operational vehicles in the Brigade. However as with all bureaucracies there was a cost for initiative and ingenuity. The Technical Adjutant Lieutenant Conron was paraded before the Divisional Commander and severely rebuked for “Procuring unauthorized parts through improper channels” It appears that when spare parts were unavailable through the military supply system, he had a local machinist make them. As it turned out this incident did not affect his career too badly as he later went on to command the Regiment.

In July over 300 all ranks traveled to Linney Head on the coast of Wales for a week of gunnery practice and maneuvers. The soldiers were very keen and morale was high as this was their first opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency with their new Ram tanks. Once again, the Hussars did not disappoint posting the top score for the Brigade. While at Linney Head those not on duty spent time enjoying the nearby sand beaches and sightseeing. In addition, our soldiers helped the local farmers cope with the wartime manpower shortages by bringing in hay. The remainder of the summer and fall of 1942 was spent in intensive but basic level tactical training as two years after mobilization there was still a severe shortage of tanks.

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