March 22 (Thurs) 1945, Alexandria, Egypt [Part 1]

IWM A130 Royal Marines
Royal Marines with sailors leave a ship in a picket boat to make a landing, 1940. Image copr. IWM A130

Last Monday evening, slipped from the buoys about 1800 and proceeded to sea for exercises, beginning with a night tracking with destroyer [HMS] Active. This did not last long & then we headed for Ras-el-Kanayis [west of Alexandria] area for bombardment exercises, arriving soon after dawn. 5 shoots were carried out on Tuesday, all except the “Air observation, ship control”, being very successful. “Air observation and control” was about the best. A section of about 30 Royal Marines was landed in the forenoon in the whalers towed by the Motor Cutter. 3 Midshipmen went in the boat & “a good time was had by all.” Each shoot was carried out by one turret commencing with a broadside of all three guns. Up to five ranging shots were then fired by a single guns joined in the broadsides of “fire for effect”. Opportunity was taken during these shoots to fall out the crews of the Lower Quarters of the turret after the hoists were loaded, & let them have a “look-see” in the Gun-house while firing was in progress. Reduced charges were used throughout, practice projectiles being used for the shore observed shoots, & HE [high explosives] (fused 230) for the air observations.

Anchored that night in position Ras-el-Kanayis Coastguard Stn 127 °, 15 cables, 8 shackles on waterline.

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