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Operation Colour Scheme - Mobilisation of the NFS to cover the build up to D Day

Article about: I have just completed the scanning of an album produced by the Chief Fire Officer of Fire force 31 ( the name given to the area covering East Sussex and some of West Sussex, Surrey and Kent)

  1. #1

    Default Operation Colour Scheme - Mobilisation of the NFS to cover the build up to D Day

    I have just completed the scanning of an album produced by the Chief Fire Officer of Fire force 31 ( the name given to the area covering East Sussex and some of West Sussex, Surrey and Kent)

    It is a large document consisting of about 150 pages containing a lot of information relating mainly to the period between late 1943 - Early 1944.

    Within it however there are a lot of photo's taken in Brighton and the surrounding areas showing this preparation and the work carried out to support the services.

    I realise that this is primarilly a Military forum so I will concentrate on those pics with a military flavour and post them over a period of time.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by rob1713; 12-27-2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Remove 1 of the duplicate pictures

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    Upon the creation of the National Fire Service in 1941, 1450 seperate Fire Brigades were amalgamated into a single service.
    The country was split into 12 Regions and each region contained seperate Fire forces.

    In 1943 planning was taking place to increase the Fire cover in those parts of the country where the build up to D Day meant that there was a huge increase in sites that needed to be protected. These included logistical supply sites, harbours linked to the invasion, airfields and troop concentrations. The codename for this plan was 'Colour Scheme'

    With the German bombing offensive now at a relatively low level, it was decided that Firefighting equipment and personnel cold be moved from the areas less at risk to increase the cover at coastal areas.
    The map below shows how the different regions were affected, Fire Force 31 area is the red hatched area in Region 12.

    a) Areas shaded Blue - Areas to be reinforced to above their maximum strength
    b) Areas shaded Green - Areas to be reinforced up to their maximum strength
    c) Areas shaded Brown - Areas from which personnel and equipment will be drawn to provide for a) & b)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    One of the first areas that was addressed was the provision of additional firefighting resources at the harbours that were vital to the invasion plan. In Fire force 31's area this included Rye, Newhaven and Shoreham.
    In the early part of the war there was just 1 fireboat based at Shoreham. There were insufficient purpose built Fireboats available elsehere to move into the area to provide the additional cover.

    A joint meeting was held between the Fire Services and the Royal Navy where it was decided that these additional craft would be provided by converting Landing craft that were then being built in large numbers.
    These Vehicle landing craft (LCV's) were converted by the fitting of 2 fire pumps and other minor conversions. They were referred to as NAB's (Naval Auxiliary boats).
    2 Were delivered to Rye Harbour, 2 to Newhaven and 2 to Shoreham.

    The Total of fireboats at the time of the invasion was as follows.
    Rye -
    2 x NAB's
    Newhaven -
    2 x inland water fire boats, 'Wavecrest' and 'Alderman'
    1 x Moderate seagoing fireboat 'Cockawee'
    2 x NAB's
    Shoreham -
    1 x seagoing fire boat 'Mullion'
    1 x Moderate seagoing fire boat 'Katja'
    2 x NAB's


    NAB at work in Rye harbour
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    Conversion to LCV to provide pump and equipment stowage
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    NAB at sea Rye
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    Crew accomodation vans at Rye
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    Newhaven fireboat in harbour
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    Fireboats Katja and Mullion in Shoreham harbour
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    Indeed an interesting facet of the "Home Front" in the UK and one I have not seen before during my years of reading about both Wars and related matters. Enjoyed the thread and the quality images. The name of the record, "Operation Colour Scheme" is unusual. Thanks for sharing. Rod

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    From about April 1944 the build up of troops and materiel within Sussex was so extensive that temporary fire stations were established within the larger troop concentration areas.
    The Firemen who crewed these pumps lived in the same conditions as the troops and were subject to the same security arrangements.

    The pictures below show what life was like inside one of these camps just prior to D Day in May 1944, at the Coneyboro estate just oustide of Lewes

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6

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    Very interesting thread, thanks for posting!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  7. #7

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    Very interesting album and I have thought that a home front section might be a good idea in the Western Allies section.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    The NFS were also responsble for supplying and equipping firepoints on the main convoy routes throughout their area.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Training the troops in firefighting techniques

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    Assisting in the task of waterproofing the vehicles due to go ashore on D Day.

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  9. #9

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    Quote by Jerry B View Post
    Very interesting album and I have thought that a home front section might be a good idea in the Western Allies section.
    I agree, as I wasnt sure which section to post this in.

  10. #10

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    Very nice. Thanks for sharing them.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

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