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 Leicester Barracks

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ciphers
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   27/3/2012, 18:00

20 Armd Bde Sig Sqn (1952) had two half tracks, obviously named Certa and Cito (Swift and Sure) Royal Signals motto .. they went like a bat out of hell cross country ..

Len (Ciphers)
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   9/4/2012, 15:11

JPW wrote:
Steve

Thanks for your latest summary

Minor correction to the History of the Husum Barracks (I studied both the diaries of the GREYS and 153 Field Regiment yesterday).

The Greys came north from Lintorf to take over from the 23rd Hussars but stayed less than 6 weeks the Leicestershire Yeomanry then took over.

A probable explanation for the quick turnround was that the GREYS were still at War Establishment complete with Tanks and were part of the Brigade that formed the BAOR Quick Reaction Force. The 23rd Hussars had handed in their tanks and were responsible for IS Duties in the north west corner of the British Zone. 153 Field Regiment had similarly handed in the majority of their 25 pounders/Sextons and were operating in the IS role

Your timeline should be
22 January SCOTS GREYS arrive from Lintfort
31 January 23rd Hussars depart on disbandment
31 March 153 (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA arrive from Brand Barracks Aachen
1 April SCOTS GREYS depart for Luftwaffe Kaserne Munster (future Loddenheide Complex)

JPW, Grimmy and all

There has been much debate over the years regarding Husum and thanks to JPW for your research and Grimmy for his input so here goes for the revised page

http://baor-locations.co.uk/Leicester.aspx

In the German link the reference to "Scottish Airborne" were clearly the Royal Scots Greys!

Best regards
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   10/4/2012, 12:12

Steve

Thanks for the update of the master Husum page but a few minor tweaks are required

Not sure where the German authors got their information from but your/my sources are now pretty authoritive. The phrase Scottische Fallschirmjager refers to 5 (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment who replaced the Gunner Regiment in Spring 1948 (exact date to be confirmed) before moving on to the Hannover area with the rest of the Parachute Brigade in Septemberr1948) The Battalion was renumbered 2 in July as part of the complicated reorganisation to form the longterm structure of the Brigade. (the Greys would have been referred to as a Panzer Regiment (Tank Regiment))

A revised simplified time line for Army units in Husum would be

23rd Hussars May 1945-January 1946 (regiment disbanded)

Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) January 1946-April 1946 Note 1

153 (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA April 1946-December 1946 Note 2

153 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment RA December 1946-May 1947 Note 3

22 Light Aircraft Regiment RA May 1947- Spring 1948 Note 4

5th (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment Spring 1948-September 1948 Note 5

Norwegian Units

2nd Infantry Battalion September 1948-May 1951 Note 6

Air Defence Battery May 1951- April 1953 Note 7

Notes
1 From Lintfort Rhineland under command 31 Armoured Brigade formerly 53 Welsh Division/ 1Corps District as replacement for 29 Armoured Brigade/11 Armoured Division. Command transfered to 4 Armoured Brigade and entire Brigade subsequently moved to Munster area under command Hannover District.
2 Field Regiment disbanded December 1946. Unit title retained in BAOR, Leicestershire Yeomanry reformed in the UK as a TA Armoured Regiment Spring 1947.
3. New unit formed retaining former 153 Regiment titles, role Royal Artillery BAOR Depot and Training Regiment.
4 Following major reorganisation and renumbering of all Royal Artilleryb Regiments worldwide Regiment is renumbered 22 and subordinate Gun Batteries similarly renumbered and allocated appropriate Battery titles. Later that year Regiment reorganises and re equipts to form Anti Aircraft Regiment , subsequently moves to Munster under command Headquarters RA BAOR
5 5 (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment from UK as part of 2 Independent Parachute Brigade. July 1948 Battalion renumbered 2. September 1948 moves to Hannover area under command Hannover District, replaced by elements of Norwegian Tysland Brigade.
6 From Goslar under command Norwegian Tyksland Brigade/ Hannover District to Holtenau Barracks Kiel. Majority of soldiers are Norwegian National Service conscripts serving six month tours (biannual change over-block postings)
7. New unit formed to give integral local Air Defence capability. Under command RHQ Norwegian Field Artillery Regiment (Flensburg)Disbanded April 1953

WORK IN PROGRESS
Work continues to identify the Royal Navy shore establishment based in Husum in the period May- November 1945 (HQ 8 Corps war diaries confirm the existence of a RN presence).

RAF Husum

The statement that the unit consisted of a small radar facility is clearly wrong. The German history clearly indicates that the RAF based operational Fighter Squadrons on the airfield in Summer 1945. Plans were drawn up to refurbish the facilities as the Airhead for 2 Parachute Brigade but were abandoned when the Brigade left Schleswig Holstein for the Hannover area. Details of the RAF 2nd ATAF Defensive RADAR Chain have yet to investigated to confirm any radar site in the Husum area
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   10/4/2012, 19:06

JPW wrote:
Steve

Thanks for the update of the master Husum page but a few minor tweaks are required

Not sure where the German authors got their information from but your/my sources are now pretty authoritive. The phrase Scottische Fallschirmjager refers to 5 (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment who replaced the Gunner Regiment in Spring 1948 (exact date to be confirmed) before moving on to the Hannover area with the rest of the Parachute Brigade in Septemberr1948) The Battalion was renumbered 2 in July as part of the complicated reorganisation to form the longterm structure of the Brigade. (the Greys would have been referred to as a Panzer Regiment (Tank Regiment))

A revised simplified time line for Army units in Husum would be

23rd Hussars May 1945-January 1946 (regiment disbanded)

Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) January 1946-April 1946 Note 1

153 (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA April 1946-December 1946 Note 2

153 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment RA December 1946-May 1947 Note 3

22 Light Aircraft Regiment RA May 1947- Spring 1948 Note 4

5th (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment Spring 1948-September 1948 Note 5

Norwegian Units

2nd Infantry Battalion September 1948-May 1951 Note 6

Air Defence Battery May 1951- April 1953 Note 7

Notes
1 From Lintfort Rhineland under command 31 Armoured Brigade formerly 53 Welsh Division/ 1Corps District as replacement for 29 Armoured Brigade/11 Armoured Division. Command transfered to 4 Armoured Brigade and entire Brigade subsequently moved to Munster area under command Hannover District.
2 Field Regiment disbanded December 1946. Unit title retained in BAOR, Leicestershire Yeomanry reformed in the UK as a TA Armoured Regiment Spring 1947.
3. New unit formed retaining former 153 Regiment titles, role Royal Artillery BAOR Depot and Training Regiment.
4 Following major reorganisation and renumbering of all Royal Artilleryb Regiments worldwide Regiment is renumbered 22 and subordinate Gun Batteries similarly renumbered and allocated appropriate Battery titles. Later that year Regiment reorganises and re equipts to form Anti Aircraft Regiment , subsequently moves to Munster under command Headquarters RA BAOR
5 5 (Scottish) Battalion Parachute Regiment from UK as part of 2 Independent Parachute Brigade. July 1948 Battalion renumbered 2. September 1948 moves to Hannover area under command Hannover District, replaced by elements of Norwegian Tysland Brigade.
6 From Goslar under command Norwegian Tyksland Brigade/ Hannover District to Holtenau Barracks Kiel. Majority of soldiers are Norwegian National Service conscripts serving six month tours (biannual change over-block postings)
7. New unit formed to give integral local Air Defence capability. Under command RHQ Norwegian Field Artillery Regiment (Flensburg)Disbanded April 1953

WORK IN PROGRESS
Work continues to identify the Royal Navy shore establishment based in Husum in the period May- November 1945 (HQ 8 Corps war diaries confirm the existence of a RN presence).

RAF Husum

The statement that the unit consisted of a small radar facility is clearly wrong. The German history clearly indicates that the RAF based operational Fighter Squadrons on the airfield in Summer 1945. Plans were drawn up to refurbish the facilities as the Airhead for 2 Parachute Brigade but were abandoned when the Brigade left Schleswig Holstein for the Hannover area. Details of the RAF 2nd ATAF Defensive RADAR Chain have yet to investigated to confirm any radar site in the Husum area

JPW and all

Many thanks and will update the page BUT

"Die Marine-Kaserne erhielt den Namen „Leicester Barracks“. Dem Husarenregiment folgte 1946 ein schottisches Fallschirmregiment, das seinerseits 1947 von einem englischen Feldregiment abgelöst wurde."

Translated means the "Schottisches Fallschirmregiment" was before "Englischen Feldregiment" by our research meaning 153 (Leicestershire Yeomanry) Field Regiment...

Cheers
Steve - History is Mystery and only as good as those who wrote it down!
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   23/4/2012, 14:37

The following extracts relating to Husum Barracks are taken from 'The Story of the 23rd Hussars' (various authors, published 1946 in Germany). Comments [in square brackets] are my own. Dots indicate omitted text.


"A chill breeze rustled the grass. It was neary dark and stars were beginning to appear in the sky, marking the end of this tremendous day. The distant mutter of gunfire beat upon the air - the first salute to Victory in Europe.

............

Our eyes were diverted northwards to a little town on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. The town was called Husum. There the Colonel was to set up his headquarters as Military Commander of Husum Kreis.

............

There was a cheering piece of news of a large barracks near to the place but as it was known that Brigade Headquarters had designs on this, our hopes were hardly improved.

............

When, therefore, the word to move was given on the 10th [May], the advance party set off determined to beat all comers. Our future for many months might depend on it.

This advance party went twenty-four hours ahead of the Regiment only to find that units of the Seventh Armoured Division had already invaded parts of the town. A little later Brigade Headquarters arrived and confirmed their intention of moving into the barracks. This was a bad moment indeed. But Major Blacker, nihil desperandum, managed to win both the former and the latter, convincing Seventh Armoured that they were outside their area and the Brigadier that he would be better placed in Schleswig!

After that, work could begin in earnest. The immediate problem was, of course, to get the Regiment instaled. They were expected on the morrow and the barracks would have to be cleared by then. The only trouble was that there were still over two thousand men in the barracks and that they were still marching about, mounting guard, with steel helmets and rifles slung as though nothing had happened at all! So the order to clear out, lock, stock and barrel, within twenty-four hours, astonished and alarmed them considerably. But the thing was done, except that locks, stocks and barrels were, of course, left behind and none but the barest personal necessities were moved. We did not intend to sleep on bare boards.

Not all the Squadrons moved into Husum barracks the following day. 'A' Squadron went to Hockensbull wireless station, a modern group of buildings on the north side of Husum, near to the sea. There they stayed until the end of October.

The remainder moved into the Marine School, a brand new barracks and a model of what a barracks should be. There was a large building with mess-rooms, canteens and Sergeants' Messes and a hall, which was converted into a camp cinema. There was a large drill hall which was at first the arms dump and later became a stables and a first class riding school. There were large store rooms, workshops and tradesmen's wings. There was a gymnasium, with every form of modern equipment, and a running track and sports field. There was an unfinished swimming pool, which we soon had completed, a building for a C.R.S. [?], a building for an Education Wing, married quarters to be used as officers' messes, flats to senior officers, ponds for ducks and geese and allotments kept by the squadrons. Finally there was a large power house, the very heart of the whole, the pride and show place. It was not difficult to wallow in comfort and space.

.............

Quite unexpectedly this little road and railway centre provided a focal point for the lives of hundreds of thousands of Germans. The civil population had been overwhelmed by refugees. In the town itself a normal population of twelve thousand had increased to fifty thousand. In the countryside the population had doubled or trebled. Husum itself contained a large German headquarters, the Seekommandant, Nordfriesland, in control of the Naval, Army and Air Force's establishments from the Danish frontier to the Kiel canal to a depth of twenty miles inland. This Headquarters, which fortunately had all the food dumps under its control, was at once confirmed in its authority and a stay-put order to all Wehrmacht personnel was given. Within a few days it transpired (no direct orders were ever received) that all German prisoner-of-war troops were to move to the adjoining peninsular of Eiderstadt (since vacated by the [8th] Rifle Brigade who had occupied it at first). It was to be known henceforth as Concentration Area 'G'.

............

Soon after Christmas two big release groups went away and there was scarcely an original Twenty-third Hussar left. Within a few days an order was received stating that the Regiment was to be broken up by January 30th [1946] and that Kreis Husum was to be handed over to the Greys."
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   23/4/2012, 18:32

Grimmy

Absolutely magnificent!! This dots a lot of i's and crosses some t's

Knew about 7 Armoured Division trying to come outside their alloted area but not the Brigade HQ

A couple of extra points

The Luftwaffen radio station must have been the site of the RAF Radar station of later years mentioned by one earlier contributor.

Secondly have yet to discover which 7 Armoured Division units were responsible for providing the Guard Force for Concentration Area F( an Artillery Brigade under command 15 Scottish Division were responsible for Area G on the eastern shores of the Baltic between Lubeck and Kiel which held 300 thousand German servicemen at its peak)

Many thanks for your latest contribution
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   24/4/2012, 09:47

Grimmy

One supplementary question

Does the history mention the name of the Royal Navy shore establishment which was also in the Husum area from May to November 1945, something like HMS Royal XXXX
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   24/4/2012, 10:00

JPW wrote:
Grimmy
Does the history mention the name of the Royal Navy shore establishment which was also in the Husum area from May to November 1945, something like HMS Royal XXXX

Afraid not, JPW. I also asked Dad about this but he doesn't remember it. Brigade War Diary might throw up some answers, but I don't have access to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   25/4/2012, 17:36

Some more extracts from 23H Regimental History where place names/establishments are mentioned during their stay in Husum:

"After conferences with the Seventh Armoured Division arrangements for transit were made, as over two hundred and fifty thousand prisoners-of-war were expected to pass through from Denmark and the north. The German command was ordered to divide the Kreis into five districts with transit headquarters, camps and billeting areas.

.........

Apart from the control of the passage of German Troops and of the movement of prisoners, the main preoccupation was the disarmament of German troops in area, which included Naval establishments ashore and afloat.

.........

Other problems included the actual control of Luftwaffe personnel under nominal RAF control (camps where Nazi practices continued to be uncovered), the collection of German women and the segregation of the SS.

.........

At first, however, things were very busy. An immense amount of work had to be done on the barracks, though this was mostly done by German SS labour. Tank crews were busy on overhauling their tanks for the first time since entering Germany. Finally, Echelon drivers were stretched to capacity. They will not soon forget those days. Daily they plied to and fro between this camp and that - Camp Seven and Camp Nine, Four and Six - Ostenfeld, Winnert, Wittbek, Schleswig - with their human cargo of Russians and Poles, French and Italians, with loads of wood and stores, fuel and food, straw and clothes - the most primitive necessities for all these thousands whom we had found in such distress.

.........

Two thousand of them [ex POWs] were lying on mouldy straw, on rotting floorboards, under leaking roofs in the former concentration camp at Engleberg, four miles up the Flensburg road.

.........

Fortunately the Kreis contained quite a number of small camps in a fair state of repair. Also we took over two villages - Hogel and Ahrenviol - to accomodate the Russians at first, later the Poles. Hogel was run by the Fifes [2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry] and Ahrenviol by our 'B' Squadron, with whom it soon became a very popular place; clearly the duties and burdens there being offset by nightly native revelries and other amenities.

.........

At the end of May [1945] the French all went off by lorry to Lubeck. After that the Russian repatriation began and by the middle of July the only large groups remaining were the Poles and Balts. The work of looking after these people now also reduced itself as various bodies such as UNRRA egan to move in and take over."

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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   30/4/2012, 11:15

Extract from 23H War Diary:

"At the same time a Naval Party under Commander Thornton, RN from N.O.I.C. Cuxhaven, took over control of Naval matters and during the month [May] the harbour was gradually cleared of all of an extreme variety of naval craft."
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   30/4/2012, 17:17

Very many thanks for this interesting snippet of information which I will certainly follow up

There definitely was a significant RN Headquarters in Cuxhaven (HMS Royal Albert) but my currrent info indicates its principle responsibility was mine clearance in the German waters of the North Sea
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   30/4/2012, 17:29

JPW - just to confirm that the quoted extract relates to Husum.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   30/4/2012, 18:27

Roger, my mistake for not making my input clearer

This confirms there was a RN presence in Husum, the great ongoing challenge is to find the name of the actual Shore Establishment (Army speak-Name of the Barracks)
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   28/5/2012, 11:40

The ferry linking Husum with Fohr Island, 1945:



Men from 23rd Hussars 'on holiday' on Fohr, 1945:

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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   21/2/2013, 11:55

Sad to report that Dad passed away in October 2012. Found this photo of Husum Barracks whilst inhabited by 23rd Hussars (May 1945 - Jan 1946):

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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   21/2/2013, 17:44

Grimmy, sorry you have lost your Dad, many thanks for sharing the photos, when editing is available again will make sure they go on to the Husum page of BAOR-locations.org
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   21/2/2013, 19:25

Grimmy

My sincere condolences on the loss of your father.

I for one will always be grateful to you both for passing on much of the previously unknown history of the British presence in Husum in Summer 1945.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   25/2/2013, 10:36

Thanks for your kind words, men.

It appears Dad was a bigger hoarder than we thought - more and more WW2 stuff is coming to light. If I find anything more connected to Husum (or other locations) I will of course post it here.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   11/9/2014, 13:18

For technical reasons I (grimmy) have had to reappear in a different guise. Got this from a German website:

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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   12/9/2014, 09:43

Grimmy

Thank you for this photo another useful addition to my data bank of Husum Garrison in the immediate post war period.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   12/2/2016, 11:47

More pics of Husum barracks thanks to Phill, son of Alec Greetham (C Sqr, 23rd Hussars) who is shown below:

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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   12/2/2016, 11:51





Len French was a tank driver with C Sqr, 23rd Hussars. In the background is the same fitters half-track that I posted a while ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   12/2/2016, 11:53



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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   12/2/2016, 12:00





The pool was described as 'unfinished' when 23H first arrived.
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PostSubject: Re: Leicester Barracks   1/3/2016, 12:17

Grimmy

Thank you very much for these evocative period photos. Wonder who the young girl shown in the swimming pool was? An example of the ignoring of the non fraternisation rule? Husum was a longway from HQ BAOR or even HQ 29 Armoured Brigade/HQ 11 Armoured Division on the other side of the Schleswig Holstein peninsular.

Static water tanks adapted for use as open air swimming pools were a very familiar sight in the early years of BAOR
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