a MKIII 3.7inch gun of 11th Battery in action

2 Canadian Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment: 1 Battery 8 Battery 11 Battery: 3.7 Inch 4.5 inch

Unit No.260

 

20 February 1945: Recce parties went forward via Antwerpen, Turnhout, Eindhoven to Mill where they found billets for the night. The Regiment had been placed under command of 3 AGRA, under 30 Corps. Gun positions were chosen in and about Vortum, the area was limited and the two troops of each Battery were close together. RHQ CP was close behind, and all waggon lines, orginally in the open fields later moved into the streets of Boxmeer. The Regimental convoy came up the following day. The first rounds were fired into Germany at 14.50hrs.From then until the morning of the 27th February firing was heavy and considerably. The 1st battery alone fired 4638 rounds and the other two Btys each about the same amount.

 

27 February 1945: Regimental Recce parties crossed the Maas at Gennep and entered Germany.

 

28 February 1945: 11.30hrs all 24 guns were in action in a straight line between Goch and Asperden. F groups only came up, and the remainder stayed in comparative comfort in Boxmeer.

 

3 March 1945: Regiment concentrated in area near Terborg (Gelderland). The Recce parties had been startled to see waving and cheering, throngs lining the streets of the small villages through which they drove, and wondered what sort of  people were the Germans, until they realised that they had crossed the Dutch frontier and were once again in Holland. The days in Terborg were spent in cleaning, equipment, brush up lectures in gunnery, and trying to get acuainted with the dial-sights. The Dutch people, liberated only a few days before, were very friendly, but that they had suffered for five years was brought home to the Regiment by one Dutch woman, who placed a pan near 11 Bty billets with beside it a sign: "please will you the bread what you over, do here in".

 

6 April 1945: 1 Battery was placed under command 10 Medium Regiment to give fire support, at 14.00hrs Major Byers with his Recce parties speeded off towards Vorden (Gelderland). For gun positions were found just in time to bring the guns straight through the RC, the Battery area was down a small side road. with CPs in rooms kindly provided by the local inhabitants. The ground was soft and a great deal of winching was needed. The attack went in on Zupthen early the next morning, but the Bty was only called upon to fire 182 rds, a report from an OP stated that this fire had been extremely effective, with airbursts at roof-top level causng many casualties.

 

8 April 1945: The 1 Battery moved again still under 10 Medium Regiment, to support 3 Division attack on Deventer, from positions a mile North of Bathmen. This deployment was the easiest on record, and shooting was fairly regular, mostly counter-mortar and HF tasks.

 

11 April 1945: Deventer was entered on 11th April, on which the remainder of the Regiment came up from Terborg and went into action near 1 Battery. The Regiment was called to fire an extensive counter flak and counter battery programme of 2645 rounds.

 

13 April 1945: The guns were put on wheels, the Radar troop was moved from Cleve to Albergen (Drente)

 

16 April 1945: Regiment moved into Germany.

 

14 May 1945: Regiment moved to Harskamp, here until 26th June, we lived in great comfort in a regular army camp, complete with regimental cinema and dance hall. The Regiment had entrusted to its care a large PW camp containing nearly 4000 German soldiers and Dutch SS Troops.Soon as the Germans were segregated and returned to the Fatherland, but guard duties over the rest required one complete Bty on the camp, one in reserve on ten minutes call, while the third Bty had a day off. On 26th June the Dutch Army took over Harskamp, and the Regiment moved to bivouac by Soesterberg Airfield under canvas.