The Fighting 43rd Song written post World War Two.
The 43rd Battery of the 12th Field Regiment.
The overtone here is one of triumphant confidence. But in this song, however carelessly and off-handedly expressed, there is always the worry that, after all the calculations and doublechecking of sights, the rounds might land in the wrong place, exposing the infantry to the fire of an undamaged enemy. The worst variation of this is when the rounds “drop short”, and kill your own infantry, not the enemy’s.
Ironically, considering the concern with the artillery making an error, the 12th Field Regiment was one of the unlucky regiments when, in Normandy on August 14, 1944, 33 RAF and 44 RCAF bombers dropped their bomb loads by mistake onto Canadian positions from 1,000 feet. Field guns towed behind trucks often come into action roughly at right angles to the line of fire. The order “Action Left!” or “Action Right!” tells the crew in which way to manhandle the gun after it is unhooked so that it points in the proper direction. The Fighting 43rd is the 43rd Battery, 12th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Limbers are small ammunition wagons towed behind trucks.
1. Have you heard, have you heard, Of the fighting 43rd? As our limbers go rolling along. Shoot ’em high, shoot ’em low, Where the hell did that one go? As our limbers go rolling along.
Hi-Yi-Ye, the Field Artillery, Shout out your number loud and clear-43rd! Have you heard, have you heard, Of the fighting 43rd? As our limbers go rolling along.
2. Over hill, over dale, ‘Till we hit that dusty trail, As our limbers go rolling along. Action Left! Action Right! Who the devil set that sight? As our limbers go rolling along.
Published in ” Songs from the Front & Rear ” Canadian Servicemen’s Songs of the Second Wold War – Antony Hopkins