An RAF Regiment crew mans a 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun near an advanced landing ground in Normandy.

Operation Overlord

Operation Overlord was the operational name for the largest invasion ever of a defended shoreline from the sea.

A 3-inch mortar crew of RAF Regiment bombarding enemy positions

The Battle of Monte Cassino

Both 2771 Squadron and 2788 Squadron RAF Regiment saw heavy fighting at Monte Cassino in an infantry role as part of the 2nd New Zealand Division and 4th British Division respectively. It was here that RAF Regiment Squadrons 3-inch mortars were a highly-valued asset by Commanders.

An RAF Regiment light anti-aircraft gun team man their Bofors 40mm LAA gun in a rain-sodden emplacement in south-east England.

Operation Diver

Intelligence sources had first reported in 1943, of the advanced work the Germans were carrying out on a variety of pilotless and guided weapons to bombard the UK and disrupt any invasion fleet from forming.

Gunners wave as a Spitfire performs a low flyby

The Battle for Meiktila

By December 1944 the XIVth Army was across the Chindwin River and preparing for what the Japanese General Kimura termed “the battle of the Irrawaddy shore” as part of his plan for the defence of Mandalay. Kimura had concentrated the bulk of his forces to defend Mandalay in the belief that it was to be attacked by the whole of the British XIVth Army.

Members of 2742 Squadron pose next to a destroyed German tank in the Ardennes

The Battle of the Ardennes

Detachments of the RAF Regiment were involved in their first defensive battle in Western Europe during the Battle of the Ardennes. Those units present at the time were employed to protect RADAR stations – one of the chief commitments of 85 Group.

Brandenburg Special Forces on the Greek island of Kos

German Special Forces – Brandenburgers

Brandenburgers were the brainchild of Theodore Hippel, a German Commander who had served in the First World War and who had been converted to the concept of small daring units on hit and run raids.

Gunners wave as a Spitfire performs a low flyby

The Regiment in Burma

In November 1942, a Regimental Centre was established at Secunderabad, where the first Field Squadrons and AA Flights for Service in Burma were formed. The training of these units was carried out initially by Army NCOs, and the assault course at Secunderabad gained the reputation for being the most exacting in the Far East.

Map of the German landing sites for the invasion of Kos

Defence of Kos – Regiment Diary

The lads are in good heart and full of fight. Motivation is not a problem with these sterling blokes, they are a credit to themselves and the Service. However, even they are now coming to terms with the prospect of defeat here. The Germans have been quiet for the last few days but have returned with a vengeance today.

A Hawker Hurricane attacks a bridge in Burma

Imphal

At the end of March 1944, No 2944 Field Squadron of the RAF Regiment was stationed near Maungdaw on the Arakan Front giving protection to AMES (Air Ministry Experimental Stations), these were mobile short range Radar Units giving early warning of approaching enemy aircraft to forward ground forces, they were normally positioned between forward Infantry and heavy Artillery.

Otter light reconnaissance cars enter Salonika, Greece

Greece and Yugoslavia

After the early capture of Sicily and the landings in Italy, Allied Forces put further pressure on German resources with the Invasion of Greece and operations in Yugoslavia with the partisans of Tito. A mixed force from the Levant and Italy, Bucket Force, landed on the Peloponnese, with the intention of seizing the airhead at Araxos.