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Author Topic: WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.  (Read 7227 times)

Offline Hammers

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« on: November 13, 2007, 03:37:51 PM »
I today received a full set of Regiment Games Naval Landing Party. Sculpted by the talented Mr. Faron Betchley they are very nice, especially the NCOs, dramatically posed with flareguns and Webleys. Now, I do have a certain Pulp scenario in mind for them but I wonder if there is a actual, historical event which I could use them for. Did the RN take part in the landings at Madagastar, for instance? Plynkes? Helen? You both seem to know this sort of stuff by heart. Mind, they are not Marines but actual seamen with small arms. I'd prefer landing incidents but baording would be interesting to.

A second question: Andrew Mollo's "The Armed Forces of WWII" gives you a good overview but in the case of the RN he omits to state the colour of their uniforms in actual words and I do not completely trust the colourplates. The RN uniform is black, not marine, correct? With officers in peaked caps and monkey jackets? And NCO and Seamen in blue square rig and flared trousers? The everyday working suite is apparently a blue boiler suit.

I read somewhere the only the RN used that Bergman submachine knockoff, "Lancaster" something...

Online Plynkes

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 04:04:24 PM »
That's tricky. In World War Two it would normally the Marines, Army or Navy Commandos getting into those kind of shoreline shennanigans. The Royal Marines fought in Madagascar, not sure about Naval landing parties. Sailors fighting ashore was more common in the Great War, serving at Gallipoli, in Antwerp and in the Oostend and Zeebrugge anti-U-Boat raids, for example.

There would obviously have been sailors at St. Nazaire (to drive the boats and ship), but most of the shore fighting was down to the Commandos. I'll have a think, wrack my brains and see if I can come up with anything.

Lanchester is the SMG, and yes, it is a direct copy of the German one, and only the Navy used it. Pity those figures have Tommy Guns instead.

I was always under the impression that RN uniforms are very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, dark blue. But I may be wrong. If you prefer you could always do them in tropical whites.

I have some of these figures, and I am planning to use them for the Great War. They appear to be almost pefect for that if you discard the Bren Gunners and Tommy Guns, as they seem to be wearing 08 Pattern webbing. I just wish they did some with Lewis Guns! Not sure if Jack Tars ever got tin hats in the Great War, but they are close enough for me, and I can always modify the headgear on some of them.
With Cat-Like Tread
Upon our prey we steal...

Offline Hammers

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 05:00:38 PM »
Thanks, Plynkes. I see. Old Bligthy has a long tradition of marine soldiers so I guess most ships over a certain size had a set of them. But now I am thinking about Graaf Spee. Didn't the British Navy land to pick up some Germans there?

Quote from: "Plynkes"
I just wish they did some with Lewis Guns! Not sure if Jack Tars ever got tin hats in the Great War, but they are close enough for me, and I can always modify the headgear on some of them.


I could help you out converting them. I am a somewhat dab hand at that sort of thing and got the right tools for the task. The difficult thing is generally the hands and grips but I think if you use the Bren gunners for it it would be alright.

Online Plynkes

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 05:01:54 PM »
Just had one thought (but I'm still mulling over the original question, don't worry). You could reverse the situation and make those chaps the defenders, Eagle has Landed it, as it were.

Maybe they are the defenders of an isolated shore installation in the Scottish Islands, and a German force has come to pinch a centimetric radar set, as their spies tell them one is there?

Or perhaps a daring commando raid launched from a U-Boat to kidnap/rescue the Duke of Windsor (formerly His Majesty King Edward VIII) from his Bahamas backwater home? (where it was hoped he couldn't do any more harm). He was suspected of being pro-Nazi, and so might be a handy person for Hitler to have around. It's up to the Jolly Jack tars to stop this fiendish plot.

Or maybe an April Fool's Day joke by the Kriegsmarine? Churchill is to inspect the fleet at Scapa Flow, and the naughty Germans are planning to sneak into the base and replace his supply of cigars with the novelty exploding kind.


Edited for poor spelling and grammar.

Online Plynkes

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 05:03:24 PM »
I had the same idea with the Bren gunners. Tried it out and made a bit of a mess of the one I experimented with.

I guess I am not a dab hand at that sort of thing.

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 06:54:17 PM »
Don't recall anything about landing parties to do with the Graf Spee. She was scuttled outside Montevideo harbour, and the crew went across to Buenos Aires and then were interned there for the duration.

Online Plynkes

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 07:19:49 PM »
Funny you should mention Madagascar. After a bit of chaos and confusion in early raids and landings, for the Diego Suarez landings the Royal Navy formed  special beach parties, responsible for the following:

"Landing in or ahead of the first wave to clear the beaches, to mark limits of the beachhead, consolidate the beachhead, clearing personnel and equipment from the beachhead expeditiously, helping moor landing craft correctly, removing mines and underwater obstructions, taping the safe passage routes off the beaches for the wounded, informing subsequent waves of important intelligence about the defences and strengths of the enemy and advising how to exploit the enemies weakness, setting up important ammunition and supply dumps, also supporting a wide variety of troops with any initial advance inland, supervising enemy prisoners of war, being available to tackle any task and act as a rearguard during any withdrawals." (S.H. Kipling)

This proved a successful experiment, and led to the forming of the Royal Navy (or "Beachead") Commandos who took over this role from the Spring of 1942. I'm not quite sure what their uniform was, but I imagine it would have been like that of the other commandos, i.e. battledress, rather than a navy-style get-up.

The RN Commandos went on to serve in many raids and landings throughout the war.

That's all a bit annoying for someone who wants to use these figures. They were, after all, based on an old war film rather than an actual incident, though.  :(

I'm sure we can come up with some minor incidents or scenario ideas, though. Be not downhearted!

Offline xeoran

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 09:44:12 PM »
Two easy (but fictional) scenarios:
1. Naval wallahs are busted out of Prison camp/wash up on shore after ship sunk and take the fight to dastardly Jerry.
2. Intelligence says that airplane the lads shot down yesterday in the Pacific/Iceland/Htusui-Tongo land had some beastly top ranker for the Axis chappies. Find and capture with extreme moustachiness.

The Lanchester is a direct copy of the Bergmann with some bits added.

I know this for a fact, on Singapore several sailors were left behind and did some fighting. I know that because my Grandfather met two of them when he was escaping. Sadly they couldn't swim (!) and so unlike him couldn't row out to the jolly boat that got grandad to the Dutch East Indies. Not sure if it stretched to a whole platoon but you never know...
"'Reality,' sa molesworth 2, 'is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder.'"- Nigel Molesworth

Offline janner

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Re: WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 10:00:25 PM »
Quote from: "hammershield"


A second question: Andrew Mollo's "The Armed Forces of WWII" gives you a good overview but in the case of the RN he omits to state the colour of their uniforms in actual words and I do not completely trust the colourplates. The RN uniform is black, not marine, correct? With officers in peaked caps and monkey jackets? And NCO and Seamen in blue square rig and flared trousers? The everyday working suite is apparently a blue boiler suit.


Matey,

They were "Navy Blue" which is a dark blue - the boiler suit would be much lighter.

Odd website to refer to but check out the recruiting poster:

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dheb/2300/Europe/UK/UK/RNB.htm

Regards,

Offline Helen

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 05:00:10 AM »
Hi Peder, Et Al

Sorry I've not been able to respond earlier, but I hope the following links may assist you in seeking desired scenarios.

Oh and at the end I've placed an article I found on the Axis Forum and my thanks to the author on this as it has Swedish in it plus "The Eagles Have Landed" in the story.

CODE NAMES USED IN WORLD WAR 2 ASSOCIATED WITH NAVAL ACTIVITIES

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Ops-CodeNamesAlpha.htm

"COCKLESHELL HEROES": BRITISH SMALL BOAT OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR

http://www.specialoperations.com/History/WWII/Cockleshell.htm

There was a landing on Castelorizo island (part of the Dodecanese group) just off the Turkish coast where the Allies hoped to install a MTB base and whilst the landing party did well (supported by a number of insect class gunboats) and a after some well aimed naval gun fire a number of Italians surrended, however the landing party lacked heavy weapons and so the plan was aborted (another excellent operation gone to pushka based on poor planning). Now it doesn't mention who were the landing force, but the British and Empire forces were quite busy elsewhere so its seems pausible that an operation like this could be a naval affair. Besides there are some lovely Italian figures out there :)

Raiding a  fish oil factory in German hands near Hammerfest Norway

http://www.historycentral.com/Navy/destroyer/Evansdd78.html

THE ROYAL NAVAL COMMANDOS


http://www.combinedops.com/RN%20Commando.htm

The one below is interesting and there are a number of scenarios contained within the story of HMS Glasgow


Royal Navy: HMS Glasgow

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/08/a8653908.shtml

The Story of Commander Christopher Dreyer

Commander Christopher Dreyer, who has died 85, was one of the young men in small fast boats praised by Winston Churchill for their fighting zeal and professional skill during the Second World War.

In 1940, aged 21 and newly promoted to lieutenant, Dreyer was the Senior Officer of the 3rd MTB Flotilla when he found himself ordered to "nip over to Dunkirk and see what you can do".

Having arrived there, he towed small boats out of the shallow water and carried dispatches from Captain William Tennant, the Senior Naval Officer ashore, saying that much more could be achieved.

Almost the only factor working in the British favour was the weather, but over the next few days a flotilla of nearly 1,000 ships rescued more than 300,000 British and Allied troops. Dreyer lost count of the number of trips he made between England and Dunkirk.

After the sinking of the destroyer Keith, flagship of Rear-Admiral William Wake Walker, Dreyer's MTB became probably the smallest warship to wear an admiral's flag in action; Wake Walker was amused to see the crew improvise a tea towel daubed with red paint as his flag.

On one occasion, Dreyer counted 35 dive-bombers queuing up to attack him. Eventually the entrance to the harbour was so filled with wrecks that there was no point in him twisting and turning his MTB and he could only go flat out, trusting to luck.

By the time he had made his last trip, to the rattle of small arms fire and shots from a German battery, nine days of continuous action had left him feeling "fairly exhausted".

In October 1942, as a German convoy with a strong escort passed up the Channel, Dreyer conceived the bold plan of lying in wait with his flotilla of MTBs on the shoreward side. But as he crept in towards Cap Gris Nez, his boat was hit and disabled. Before he could scuttle his ship by firing a Very pistol into the petrol-filled engine-room, he was blown skywards.

Dreyer was soon hauled unconscious aboard a Carley float, which was being swept towards France despite furious efforts to paddle; after an hour; however, Dreyer and his companions were picked up by one of his own flotilla.

During Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, Dreyer commanded the 24th MTB Flotilla, and was lying in ambush in the Messina Straits in the darkness on July 12/13 1943 when he saw a U-boat pass ahead of him, too close for Dreyer to fire his torpedoes. He was about to give chase when he saw another U-boat following close behind. Going rapidly astern, Dreyer fired a torpedo at scarcely 100 yards, blowing it up.

Follow-up attacks badly damaged the first U-boat, which was forced to return to port, and the same night a squadron of German E-boats was also intercepted and mauled, thus preventing any attack on the amphibious landings. Dreyer apologised to his Commander-in-Chief: "Two U-boats engaged in position. Regret only one sunk."

Before being invalided home with a recurring illness, Dreyer had the satisfaction of escorting the surrendered Italian fleet into Malta, Admiral Cunningham signalling the Admiralty: "Be pleased to inform their Lordships that the Italian battle fleet now lies at anchor under the guns of the fortress of Malta." While still a lieutenant, Dreyer had won a Distinguished Service Order and two Distinguished Service Crosses.

Christopher William Stuart Dreyer was born on June 18 1918, the son of Major-General John Dreyer, RA, who had worked with his brother, Admiral Sir Frederic Dreyer on gunnery improvements after Jutland; he was also a cousin of Admiral Sir Desmond Dreyer (whose obituary was published on May 21). Christopher's elder brother John became Captain RN; a sister became a Wren.

As a boy, Christopher remembered watching the Schneider Trophy air races while picnicking on top of a fort in the Solent; he entered the Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1932.

After passing out, Dreyer spent several years in command of fast motorboats, then became operations officer to Captain Coastal Forces in the Channel, and worked with Peter Scott, the naturalist, on the planning of the invasion of France.

Later he helped to develop the technique whereby MTBs were directed by radar control, like fighter aircraft, on to their targets.

In 1945 Dreyer was torpedo officer of the cruiser Norfolk in the East Indies, where the future Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fieldhouse, was one of his junior officers.

Lent to the Royal Swedish Navy in 1951-52 to advise on MTB operations, Dreyer was awarded the Swedish Order of the Sword. But he was again taken ill, and invalided from the service in 1953 while senior officer of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal.

Commander Peter Du Cane, of Vosper, had built his first command, MTB 102, as a private venture. It later carried Churchill and General Eisenhower as they reviewed the D-Day invasion fleet, and also starred in the film The Eagle Has Landed; it is probably the only surviving Royal Navy boat to have taken part in the Dunkirk evacuation.

While Dreyer was still in hospital recovering from Mediterranean fever (chronic brucellosis, which he had originally caught as a midshipman eating ice creams in Malta), Du Cane invited him to join Vosper, where he became sales director. He later became chairman of Vosper Thornycroft Far East.

In retirement, Dreyer lived in Berkshire where, until emphysema prevented him, he enjoyed the physical labour of farming. He also raised funds for the Samaritans, and was president of the Coastal Forces Veterans' Association. Dreyer attended several Little Ships reunions, always claiming his place in MTB 102 with his pipe and the words, "This is my bunk". Once, in Belgium, he swapped stories with a soldier he had rescued at Dunkirk whose regiment had also suffered at Waterloo; to settle a point of history, Dreyer insisted that they take a taxi to the battlefield.

Dreyer, who died on June 24, married Olivia Page in 1940; she survives him with their five daughters and a son.

In short Peder I hope this maybe of assistance to you what I've outlined above, but my best thought would be a weather/wireless station in some artic region defended by who ever :)

TMP Link:

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=110026

Regiment Games

http://regimentgames.com/
Best wishes,
Helen
Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well (V van Gogh)

Offline TadPortly

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2007, 10:22:15 AM »
Firstly you should remember that most port operations would have had a RN Naval Party present - therefore you can expect armed RN personnel operating port facilities either in the UK or overseas (and we still do). Examples in WW II were Calais, Dunkirk, Crete, Tobruk.

RN Landing Parties were certainly used at Dunkirk:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/65/a1071965.shtml

A Naval boarding party from HMS Cossack boarded the Altmark to free British merchant seamen (reportedly the last time the Cutlass was used in combat).  Certainly other ships were boarded during the course of the war.

This incident may be of interest as it shows RN personnel ashore trying to save their torpedoboats from the Japanese:

http://www.hamstat.demon.co.uk/HongKong/index_hk.htm

Also although post war a Google search shows that Cdr "Percy" Gick RN
was assigned Commander-in-Chief, Hong Kong [HMS Tamar] (landing-party and anti-piracy duties) from 30.08.1945 to 04.1946.
They were all drawn to the Keep; the soldiers who brought death; the father and daughter fighting for life; the people who have always feared it; and the one man who knows its secret....

Offline Hammers

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WWII Naval Landing Party, uses for.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2007, 11:13:59 AM »
Many thanks fellows. And many thanks Helen. Now, a raid on a fish oil facture, that's the stuff for wargaming!

 

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