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HISTORY OF THE [6th GA]

The history of the 6th Guards Armoured Realism unit

The 6th Guards Armoured community was formed in late 2017, with the view to have a less formal and rigorous approach to the Realism community. Formed by Major S. Bertrand, it started off in Darkest Hour, and then switched over to Squad44 when it was released. The unit was fairly small from Chapter One up to Chapter Three. Numbers were usually around 30 to 40 members all-round. With the shift to Squad44, the unit introduced two combat elements: 153 Coldstream Guards and 154 Scots Guards. 

In April 2020, the unit saw a big boom in its members, thanks to the release of Chapter Three and the free weekends. 

September 2020 was the start of the EU Ladder Tournament Season 2. 6thGA participated for the second time, and for the first time as a stand-alone unit (S1 was a mix of RIP and 6thGA). Having won all but the last battle, 6thGA finished 4th in the overall standings.

In December 2020, the unit was subjected to a major shift. The unit's founder, Maj. S. Bertrand stepped down from operational level and transferred command to Capt. J. Harper. In addition, a third element was added: 152 Grenadier Guards. 

March 2021 brought another major reorganization of the unit. The 154 Scots Guards were reorganized so that all three elements now consist of two infantry squadrons and one armoured squadron. In addition, 2/Lieut. M. Anderson resigned from his command position, to pursue exciting new avenues in real life, to which he has had great success! He remains a Guardsman to this day, and we will all be eternally thankful for his ardent and steadfast support to the 6th Guards. Without him, the unit wouldn't be what it is today.

May 2021 saw the deactivation of the legendary 154 - Scots Guards. Due to dropping player numbers on Squad44, recruitment has stalled to a certain level. As a result, 154 - Scots Guards had insufficient active members in order to be considered battle-effective. The remaining active members of the 154 - Scots Guards were divided to the 152 and 153. 2/Lieut. S. Scott, former commander of the 154, took the open commission as commander of the 153 - Coldstream Guards

September 2021 gave us the first two unit meetups since 2019. Due to COVID restrictions, two separate meetups were held; The UK-meetup in Leeds and the EU-meetup in Hamburg.

November 2021 saw the start of Operation Market Garden campaign, organized by the AEF. 6th Guards Armoured is taking active part in this ongoing campaign, portraying XXX Corps in their mission to link all bridges and cross the Rhine.

Winter 2021 and Spring 2022 is where the unit also became affected by the decreasing player base of Squad44. As the game was, and still is, lacking consistent quality updates, it became ever more challenging to maintain a solid member base. However, the unit is privileged to have a very dedicated and loyal group of members. New recruits were however sparse.

July 2022 brought a change in the command structure due to the departure of 2/Lieut. J. MacBean. One of the unit's most veteran and valued members, and the CO of the 152 - Grenadier Guards. He will be deeply missed in the unit, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors. CSM. J. Eldar has been commissioned as Second Lieutenant and has taken command of the 152 - Grenadier Guards.
In addition, C/Sgt. T. Moore resigned from active command duty and transferred to 151/HQ Brigade HQ in a supportive role.

September 2022 marked the third, and first post-COVID, meetup of the unit. With most restrictions eased, the unit was able to arrange its first big international meetup in Arnhem. The location was an obvious choice due to the roots of our unit and its history. The meetup was attended by 22 members, ranging from more than seven countries.

January 2023 saw the end of Operation Market Garden. After a campaign that spanned 490 days, it resulted in a loss for XXX Corps. Having captured all the set objectives, the bridge at Nijmegen turned out a bridge too far. After much bloody fighting, XXX Corps failed to open the road across the Rhine. This was the only objective our unit failed to achieve. Finishing the campaign with a fighting score of 14 wins and three losses. A total of 26 sectors were captured, and only one was lost to the enemy counterattacks.

March 2023 brought quite a few changes to the unit, and its future. First of all, J. Williams was promoted earlier this year to Company Sergeant Major (WO2) and has been transferred to 153/HQ Coldstream Guards. Because of this promotion, 153/A Coldstream Guards was left without a Squadron Leader. As a result, A. Seb was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned as the new SL. In addition, M. Schaessens was promoted to the prestigious rank of Colour Sergeant for the 153 Coldstream Guards, for his long and meritorious services to the unit. Finally, T. Moore rejoined the active roster and was assigned to 151/HQ Brigade HQ as Staff Sergeant. Sadly the unit also lost one of it's most dedicated NCO's, L/Sgt. V. Nuffel. The unit wishes to thank Nuffel for all his hard work and dedication, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

6th Guards Armoured Realism unit today
 

Today, the [6th GA] has 67 full members. We are an international unit, with members from over 29 different countries. With a stringent focus on building a community over dedication to any one game, we have members aplenty who have served for more than 2 or 3 years in this unit. We are thankful every day for those who log on every other day and make this unit the fantastic place it is. We are immensely proud of what we have built here, and hope that after reading this, you can be a part of it too!

The 6th Guards Armoured maintains close relations with several other units within Squad44. Most notably the 193rd Glider Regiment, Partisans, The O.S.S., Infantry Regiment 9 and the 505th PIR.

The original Sixth Guards Armoured

Our unit is based on the historical 6th Guards Armoured Brigade. A British unit, it was formed in 1941 from the Guards Regiments. The personnel came from the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards. Although these regiments were originally infantry, they were redesignated and trained as an armoured unit. 

Originally each infantry division was meant to have a tank brigade under its command. The 6th Guards were meant to be subordinated to the 15th Scottish Division. However, this quickly changed and the Brigades became independent formations.

By the time the 6th Guards became battle-ready, they were equipped with Churchill tanks. Before the landing in Normandy, the Guards changed all 6 Pdr. guns with 75mm guns in their workshop. Field Marshall Montgomery was opposed to the change, as he wanted all tanks to be equipped with 6 Pdr. guns. After political debate, and personal interference from Prime Minister Churchill, the Guards were allowed to have the 75mm guns and were subsequently landed at Juno and Gold beach on 6 June 1944.

Operation Bluecoat

The 6th Guards participated in operation Bluecoat. Initially, the objective was Hill 309 to be captured by US troops. However, due to heavy German resistance, the US troops were pinned down and their flanks were exposed. The 6th Guards were rushed in, unprepared and without accurate intel. The tanks were sent to the front during the night, but due to the poor preparation, almost all tanks got lost.


The next morning, scouts and search parties were sent out and all tanks were recovered. After reaching the front, the Grenadier Guards attacked Sept-Vents and the surrounding forests. Five Churchills were lost to enemy mines, and  many officers were killed by mortar fire. Despite the losses, the Grenadier Guards managed to press on the attack. Eventually the assault was halted again.

At the same time, the Scots Guards were halted in their push by heavy mortar fire and the difficult terrain.  The Coldstream Guards managed to keep the momentum and pushed on passed the Grenadier and Scots Guards, capturing Hill 309 despite facing enemy armour. Shortly after, the Scots Guards captured Hill 229. Blowing a 4km deep hole in the German lines, they counterattacked by Jagdpanthers and forced to retreat to Hill 229. Losing eleven Churchills, the
Scots Guards managed to hold Hill 229 and disabled two Jagdpanthers.

 

Both hills were counterattacked twice by the German 21st Panzer Divisions but failed. After German deserters were interrogated by the Guards, it became clear a third counterattack was imminent. All available artillery support was directed to the revealed enemy positions, and a deadly accurate barrage was fired. The result was the destruction of multiple Tiger 1 tanks, and total chaos amongst the German infantry. The German Command cancelled the third counterattack and ordered a retreat.

Final years of  WW2

The Guards were taken off the lines after operation Bluecoat and were refitted with new tanks and replacements. The Guards fought in Holland and Germany. The 6th Guards participated in operation Veritable, where they were the first unit who managed to breach the Siegfried line with their tanks and captured the first German town, called Cleve. They continued their push into West-Germany, eventually reaching the Baltic Sea at Lubeck and captured a German U-boat.

At the end of WW2, the 6th Guards held their final parade in June. The brigade was disbanded and its personnel joined the ranks of the Guards Division.

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