B Battery Royal Horse Artillery

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B Battery Royal Horse Artillery
Active 1 February 1793 to the present
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Artillery
Part of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
Equipment AS-90

B Battery, Royal Horse Artillery is a Close Support Battery of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. It is currently based in Assaye Barracks in Tidworth

Current Role[edit]

Battery Structure and Equipment[edit]

B Battery has four troops named after famous battles they participated in:

  • El Tamar Troop is the Targeting Troop and it is equipped with three Warrior OPVs, a Warrior BCV and a 432 FPC.
  • Corunna Troop is the Logistics Troop containing the BQMS and MT departments which are responsible for all the wheeled vehicles both in and out of camp and for all re-supply in the field.
  • Downmans Troop is equipped with three AS-90s, a Command Post FV 432 and a Gun Line Section Commander's FV 432.
  • Sahagun Troop is also equipped with three AS-90s, a Command Post FV 432 and a Gun Line Section Commander's FV 432.

Unit Trades[edit]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

On 1 February 1793, Napoleon declared war on England. On the same day King George III formed by Royal Warrant. A Troop (now The Chestnut Troop) and B Troop (now B Bty) were formed at Woolwich and equipped with 4 x 6 Pounder smooth bore muzzle loading guns

1800s[edit]

  • 1798 - Irish Rebellion of 1798 - Battle of New Ross (1798) and Battle of Vinegar Hill.
  • 1808Peninsula warBattle of Sahagún, In his diary, 2nd Captain Richard Bogue has the following entry for 21 December : "Marched with the 10th (Light Dragoons/Hussars) and 4 guns at one o'clock this morning, a deep snow on the ground. Reached Sahagun, where we knew the French had a position, by half past six, when we found they had news of our approach, & were drawn up (700 cavalry) ready to receive us. The 15th (Light) Dragoons (Hussars) met them first & 400 of them charged them. We came up at the time they were dispersing and assisted in taking them". The remaining two guns followed Lord Paget and the 15th Hussars with the brigade's forage carts. The Battery also fought at The Battle of Benavente on 29 December, when Bogue also records what happened after the 600 French Dragoons of the Imperial Guard had been driven back across the river : "On their forming on the other side of the river I had the pleasure of firing several rounds at them (the first guns fired in Spain) as well as (Captain) Downman & (Lieutenant) Lempriere, when they made off leaving their killed & wounded". (This indicates that each of these officers was commanding a Division of two pieces within the six of the Troop.)
  • 1809 - Peninsula war – The Battle of Lugo and during the Battle of Corunna it took no part in the main action; it only fired a few rounds at long range earlier in the day, and were relieved by Foot Artillery.
  • 1855Crimean War – During the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) B Troop Royal Horse Artillery were re-formed on 1 May 1855, and landed in the Crimea one month later. Its task was to form the ammunition column in support of the light Division.
  • 1900China – During the Boxer Rebellion the Battery was the only Horse Artillery unit there. It did not encounter much resistance. It was, however, forced to travel hundreds of miles over almost impassable terrain.

World War One[edit]

  • 1915 – Right section of B Battery was the first Horse Artillery unit ashore at the Gallipoli landings in April 1915. During the battle, the Battery fired more ammunition from their 18-pounder guns than any other and, when the Allied forces pulled out, B Battery was the final Battery to leave the Peninsular.
  • 1916 – The Battery was almost continually in action during the Somme Offensive.
  • 1917 – The Battery moved to support the Allied offensives at Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Cambrai (1917) and the Battle of the Lys. During these years, the Battery experienced gas and aerial bombardment for the first time and it was B and L Batteries who saved the day at the Battle of Cambrai (1917) on 20 November 1917 when they stood by their guns until the German infantry were only 40 yards (37 m) away.
  • 1918 – The Battery fought at the Battle of Passchendaele at Outtersteene and Ypres. They also fought at Gheluvelt and the River Scheldt.

World War Two[edit]

  • 1939 - In Lille (France), the Battery were now equipped with the 25-pounder gun, towed by the Morris Quad. In June 1940, with the 51st (Highland) Division, it suffered severe losses in the delaying action at St Valery which did much to make possible the evacuation at Dunkirk.
  • 1940 – After reforming in England, B Battery departed for the Middle East, as part of the Desert Rats. It fought at all the major battles. During the Siege of Tobruk the Battery was in constant action; there was not a day that the Battery did not fire their guns. Of the seven awards for gallantry during the siege, five were won by members of the Battery, including a Military Cross. The Battery also fought at Derna, Bir El Igela, El Adem, Elvet El Tamar, Deir El Abram, and the First Battle of El Alamein, Alam el Halfa and the Second Battle of El Alamein. It was at Alam el Halfa that the battery supported 133 Infantry Brigade firing over open sights at the tanks of 21. Panzer Division, knocking out or damaging some 30 German tanks.
  • 1942 to 1945 – The Battery then retrained on the 105mm Priest and were involved in the Battles for the Gothic Line and River Po in Italy.

Cold War[edit]

Recent and current conflicts[edit]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Main article: Operation Banner

Persian Gulf War[edit]

Main article: Operation Granby

The Battery went into suspended animation, as 1 RHA provided augmentees to 40 Regt RA. A composite Battery called A/B/E Battery RHA was formed from the remainder of the Regiment, converted to the M109 self-propelled gun in readiness for deployment as Battle Casualty Replacements (BCRs), but did not deploy.

On its return from the Persian Gulf, B Battery was reformed and moved to Assaye Barracks in Tidworth, where it is still located and equipped with the AS-90 self-propelled gun.

Balkan Wars[edit]

Operation TELIC in Iraq[edit]

Main article: Operation TELIC
  • 2004 – B Battery deployed with 1 RHA to Basra in Iraq on Telic 4.
  • 2007 - B Battery deployed with 1 RHA to Basra in Iraq on Telic 10, and was responsible for security in the town of Az Zubayr in Basra Province.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]