Manx Regiment

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15th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Active 1 July 1938 – 10 March 1955
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg Territorial Army
Type Artillery
Role Light Anti-Aircraft
Size Regiment
Peacetime HQ Douglas, Isle of Man
Engagements The Blitz
North Africa
East Africa
Battle of Crete
Battle of Alamein
Tunisia
Italy
Normandy
North West Europe

The Manx Regiment – the 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery – was raised in 1938 as a Territorial Army unit of the British Army. It recruited on the Isle of Man and was attached to 53rd Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade in Anti-Aircraft Command at the outbreak of World War II. The regiment was posted to the Middle East in November 1940 where it served with various formations before joining the 7th Armoured Division in August 1942. It served with the division through the North African, Italian and North West European campaigns. Post-war, it was reformed as the 515th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment before being reduced to a staff troop in 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division in 1955.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade,[a] RA (TA) was formed with two batteries on 1 July 1938 at Douglas, Isle of Man. In December 1938 the batteries were numbered as 41st and 42nd and on 1 January 1939 the brigade was redesignated as a regiment. On 26 August 1939 a third battery – 129th – was regimented to bring the unit up to full strength.[2]

World War II[edit]

At the outbreak of World War II, the regiment was assigned to 53rd Light Anti-Aircraft Brigade, 4th Anti-Aircraft Division in Anti-Aircraft Command.[3][4] The regiment was mobilised shortly before the outbreak of the war and sailed from the Isle of Man to Liverpool to take up air defence of the River Mersey during the Liverpool Blitz.

In November 1940 the Regiment was sent to Egypt, with 41st Battery being deployed to the Sudan,[5] 129th Battery with 11 Bofors guns to Crete (where it was to be overrun by German forces in 1941)[6][7] and 42nd Battery remaining in Egypt. In August 1942 the regiment joined the 7th Armoured Division (the Desert Rats),[8] and fought with it at the Battle of El Alamein.[9][10]

The Regiment continued with 7th Armoured Division until the end of the war, in the invasion of Italy and returning with it to the UK in January 1944 in time for training for the invasion of Normandy (D Day) on 6 June 1944. Thereafter it saw action in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and finally in the Hamburg area.[8][9]

Postwar[edit]

After World War II the Regiment was placed in suspended animation, and reformed in the Territorial Army as 515th (Isle of Man) LAA Regiment. When Anti-Aircraft Command was disbanded in 1955, the regiment was reduced to a staff troop in 42nd (East Lancashire) Infantry Division.[4][11]

Museum[edit]

Until 2005 the Old Comrades of the Regiment ran a museum at Tromode, but their exhibits are now displayed at the Manx Aviation and Military Museum at Castletown.[11][12]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The basic organic unit of the Royal Artillery was, and is, the Battery.[1] When grouped together they formed brigades, in the same way that infantry battalions or cavalry regiments were grouped together in brigades. Artillery brigades were redesignated as regiments in 1938.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Royal Artillery". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Frederick 1978, p. 822
  3. ^ "British Anti-Aircraft Command, TA on 3 September 1939". Patriot Files. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "4th Anti-Aircraft Division (1939)" (PDF). British Military History. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Joslen 2003, p. 480
  6. ^ Joslen 2003, p. 481
  7. ^ Rothwell, Steve. "Creforce (HQ British Troops in Crete) - 20th May 1941". British & Commonwealth Orders of Battle. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Joslen 2003, p. 19
  9. ^ a b Barton, Derek. "15 (Isle of Man) Light AA Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Joslen 2003, p. 569
  11. ^ a b "474 - 519 Regiments 1947-67". British Army units from 1945 on. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Museum of the Manx Regiment". Manx Aviation Preservation Society. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Frederick, J.B.M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978. Wakefield, Yorkshire: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-009-X. 
  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) [1st. Pub. HMSO:1960]. Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-843424-74-6. 

External links[edit]