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Remembered Today:

Why were Portuguese artillery men serving with 99th Siege Battery, RGA?


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Fazakerley

Can anyone tell me why Portuguese artillery men of the 5th Battalion, 1st Group, C.A.P., were serving with the 99th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, in late March and early April 1918? I would have thought the language barrier could have been a significant problem, especially under combat conditions. But the Portuguese manned two of the 99th Siege Battery's 6-inch howitzers – they fielded six in total.

 

I'd really appreciate an answer to this one.

 

Thanks!

Edited by Fazakerley
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58 Div Mule

I think the RGA were short of trained gunners but not guns following the March/April 1918 German offensives. Around this time the RM Divisions in the UK (Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth and the Royal Marine Artillery) were stripped of trained gunners to reinforce four batteries of the RGA, 525, 526, 527 and 528. Officers and senior NCO’s found from the RGA. 
 

Given that the divisions had formed 4th Battalion in April (for Zebbrugge ) and we’re about to send men to the RM North Russian Expeditionary Force insufficient reinforcements were available for the Western Front. 1 and 2 Battalions RM were combined to form a single RM Battalion in April 1918.
 

58 DM.

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Fazakerley
5 minutes ago, 58 Div Mule said:

I think the RGA were short of trained gunners but not guns following the March/April 1918 German offensives...

 

That's an interesting idea. Thanks.

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