Friday, February 21, 2020
English women combat arms World War Two [WW2]
Only very vaguely was I aware of this. Anti-aircraft artillery [AAA] batteries as "manned" by Englishwomen during WW2. Yeoman work and done very successfully. Combat arms duty and carried out in an admirable manner without fault.
BUT NOT EXACTLY AS I THOUGHT.
From the wiki entry for ATS:
"Women were barred from serving in battle, but due to shortages of men, ATS members, as well as members of the other women's voluntary services, took over many support tasks, such as radar operators, forming part of the crews of anti-aircraft guns [AAA] and military police."
"The first 'Mixed' Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) battery of the Royal Artillery (435 (Mixed) HAA Battery) was formed on 25 June 1941, and took over an operational gun site in Richmond Park, south-west London, in August. It was the forerunner of hundreds of similar units with the ATS supplying two-thirds of the personnel: at its height in 1943 three-quarters of Anti-Aircraft Command's HAA batteries were mixed. Several Heavy Anti-Aircraft regiments deployed to North West Europe with 21st Army Group in 1944–45 were 'Mixed' regiments."
"MIXED" COMBAT ARMS UNITS. MIXED BY GENDER.
Further, women serving in "mixed" units able to load, aim, service and maintain AAA firing pieces. WOMEN HOWEVER STRANGELY ENOUGH NOT ALLOWED TO FIRE THE GUNS!!
Germany the same situation existed. Women "manning" AAA units but not allowed to fire the guns.