Operation Blazing May 1942

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by norbert yeah, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. norbert yeah

    norbert yeah New Member

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    A spur off from my rekindled research into the various airmen lost around the Channel Islands has been the discovery of the plans for Operation Blazing. This was a plan hatched by the British high command to land a force of 3,000 troops on the most northerly Channel Island of Alderney in May 1942.

    The initial plan was to re-take and hold the Island indefinitely, as the plan was considered further this was reduced to 24 hours.

    From the plans it appears that the AOC RAF Bomber and Fighter Command had deep reservations about the whole project, and this maybe why it was shelved.

    In the initial proposal of 16th April 1942, the object given was :-


    To take the island of Alderney by assault and hold it.

    The advantages of holding the island were :-

    (A) A small craft base for cutting the enemy coastal convoy route
    (B) An advance RDF station to extend the Fighter Command Coverage
    (C) An emergency landing ground
    (D) A diversion which may cause withdrawal of enemy air forces from other fronts, including the withdrawal of bombers from Norway
    (E) A diversion which may cause the withdrawal of military forces from other fronts
    (F) An opportunity for bringing enemy air forces to battle under reasonably favourable circumstances
    (G) A spring board for further combined operations.

    The force required for this operation were

    Naval

    6 Hunt Class Destroyers
    5 Infantry Assault Ships (4 LSC 36 ALC)
    8 MGB’s
    4 Shore based ALC
    18 TLC
    30 ‘R’ Craft
    4 Schuyts

    Military
    Four Infantry Battalions
    One Parachute Battalion
    One Commando and two troops
    One Squadron and one or two troops of army tanks
    Thirteen Bren Carriers
    One Light Battery
    One Field Company RE
    One MG Company
    Signal, RAMC, and RASC detachments
    Ten Pioneer Sections
    Three Light AA Batteries
    Four Bulldozers
    Some transport to follow

    RAF

    330 bomber sorties, including 4 squadrons for low level bombing

    40 Parachute Dropping Aircraft
    8 Smoke Aircraft
    Fighter Wing for the protection to returning aircraft
    Fighter Wings for cover over shipping in the harbour
    Fighter Wings to cover the withdrawal of the shipping on D1
    Four Intruder sorties against enemy aerodromes on the night of the assault
    One anti-flak Squadron
    One close support Fighter Squadron
    Fighter Sweep t anticipate the first enemy reaction
    Offensive sweeps to met the air situation with develops
    One close support Fighter Squadron at call
    RAF Servicing Commando

    After a further deliberation on the 5th May 1942 the AOC reduced the operation to a large scale raid, to take and hold the island for 24 hours, or may be longer if the situation and enemy reactions allowed. The anticipated Parachute drop was abandoned.

    The force required for this operation were

    Naval

    6 Hunt Class Destroyers
    5 Infantry Assault Ships (5 LSC 33 ALC and 2 MLC)
    8 MGB’s
    17 TLC
    30 ‘R’ Craft
    I Hospital Carrier

    Military
    6 Troops S,S. Brigade (550 All Ranks)
    14 Churchill Army tanks
    Thirteen Bren Carriers
    4 3.7 Howitzers
    One Field Company RE
    I troop (4 Guns) Bofors AA
    I field ambulance
    RC of Signals
    Services
    Total Military Force 3,000 all ranks
    RAF

    200 to 250 Medium and Heavy Bomber Aircraft
    24 Blenheim Bombers – 500lb HE and 250 lb Smoke
    14 Smoke Laying (Army Co-Operation) Blenheims
    18 Long Range Coastal Fighters
    8 Spitfire Wings (24 Squadrons)
    12 Intruder Fighter Aircraft
    24 Night Fighters.

    The 1st Guards Brigade was put on notice to move to the Isle of Wight for training, but in the end the whole operation was abandoned in favour of Dieppe.

    I wonder what the outcome and the enemy reaction would have been if the British had retaken Alderney, compared to the other Channel Islands it was/is strategically places to command much of the Channel, and cut off the coastal supplier routes to Western France, as well as most of the Cherbourg peninsular

    If I get chance and if anyone is interested I’ll transcribe the Outline Plan and seperate phase of the operation tomorrow night.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thats quite interesting.

    Please post more.
     
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