20 Anti Tank Regiment: 41 Battery 45 Battery 67 Battery 101 Battery- 6 pounders M10 Tank Destroyers

Unit No.

 

20 September 1944: 0800 - SPs arrive RHQ DP & are despatched by CO to Btys. CO & 2IC control Counter Mor ops at Div F & G Tps 67 Bty move fwd to Hamont. 45 Battery I troop under command KOSB area Budel (Brabant). J Tp under comd RUR area Scarendonck. K Tp under comd Lincs area Hamont. BHQ in Hamont. 41 Bty B Tp under cmd 2 KSLI at Kaulille on Escaut Canal. Remainder of bty at Peer.

 

21 September 1944: 0900 - CO visits all btys. 1100 - 2 IC visits all btys. 67 Battery F and G Troop commence move to Weert (Limburg). E Tp rejoined bty, BHQ in Hamont. 41 Bty crossed Escaut Canal at 1515 hrs & deploy along the Hamont-Maarheeze rd to give rt flank protection to 11 Armd Div. 1120 - 101 Bty left Peer at 1100 hrs. New locn wood near Kleine Brogel. 101 Sp Tp deploy at 1800 hrs to protect canal br. 1800 - CO & 2IC visit all btys. CO controls Counter-Mor ops.

 

22 September 1944: 0630 - Recce party RHQ and 101 Bty leaves to recce area Hamont. RHQ & 101 Bty arrve east of Hamont. 1400 - 101 Bty deploy area Hamont in new combined role of A tk v inf. F & G Tps 67 Bty continue to move fwd to Weert & deploy with 1 Suffolk & 1 S Lan R. BHQ & E Tp move to area Budel. Co & 2 IC visits all btys.

 

23 September 1944: 0930 -  RHQ & 101 Bty recce parties leave for new area De Bult. RHQ & 101 Bty arrive 1600 hrs. 101Bty guns protect Div coln. 2 IC directs Sps under comd 41 Bty. 6-prs deploy in Div area. 41 Battery move to Asten and deploy in defence of the town, canal and bridge. 67 Bty BHQ move to Bakewell. E Tp deploy around 8 Br Inf Bde. F & G Tps deploy with 1 S Lan R & Suffolk respectively in area Weert. 45 Battery recce parties, recce harbour area at Someren for battery move to Deurne (Brabant). 1400 - CO visits 41 & 45 Btys.

 

24 September 1944: 1000 - CO visits 101, 45 & 45 Byts with 2IC CO attends 9 Br Inf Bde O Gp & confers with CRA. 101 Bty SPs under comd 45 Bty, 1 SP with 41 Bty. Tp Comd detailed for counter-Mor work under CO. 67 Bty E p in sp Suffolk. 41 Battery B Tp assisted Warwick in a large offensive patrol to clear SW approaches to Asten. All 3 guns engage enemy with HE. A 4 engaged enemy also with HE from its deployed position. 45 Battery SP Tp with KOSB moved at 16.00 hrs to area Liesel.

 

25 September 1944: 0630 - CO goes on Tac R area, Deurne. 0830 - 2IC visits 41 Battery. 0900 - Sp Tp 101 Bty under comd 67 Bty. 120 - 45 Battery deploy with RUR east of Deurne, K Trp deploy with Lincs north of Deurne, I support Trp deploy with KOSB at Liesel, BHQ in Deurne. 67 Bty E Tp move to area Millert. G Trp moves to Nederweert with 1 Coy Suffolk Regiment. CO and 2IC visit 41,45 Battery and I trp at Liesel, also C Trp at Helmond CO watched C Trp comd attempt to deploy his Trp in this freshly liberated town.

 

26 September 1944: 0900 - CO visits 41, 45 & 67 Btys & visits all gun posns 101 Bty. CO ordered a move of three guns to improve protection of RHQ. 67 Battery, RHQ moved to Laar (Brabant). E Tp shot up pill box on bridge then conc in Laar F troop move with 2 E Yorks to Gemert (Brabant), G troop moved to Laar. 2 IC visits 67 Bty at Gemert.

 

27 September 1944: 0700 - 2 IC leaves with No 1 Recce Gp for new area NE of Helmond. 0800 - CO leaves for Helmond. 127 - RHQ and 101 Battery leave for new area Helmond. CO watches rd march discipline of coln en route. 101 Bty 6prs dispersed through Div coln to provide A tk protection for move. I Trp 45 Battery go with Company KOSB, on recce to area Meijel. Trp comd engaged small party of enemy with Crusader guns - results not ascertained. 67 Battery BHQ move to Bakel. E Tp deploys around Bakel with 1 S Lan R. F Tp Nothing to report. G Tp deploys with 1 Suffolk area De Klep.

 

28 September 1944: CO visits Btys & attends CRA's conference at 2045 hrs. CO inspects all guns 101 Bty. 2115 - 45 Battery recieves orders for move to area Bakel-Milheeze. Bde Gp to be clear of Deurne at 0830 hrs following day less covering force to be relieved by Americans. J & K Tps ro remain with this force.

 

29 September 1944: 0800-1000 - Co visits all btys. 1000 - CO visits Div & confers with BMRA. 45 Bty less J & K Tps move as per orders. J & K Tps arrive new locn 1900 hrs. Bty deploys in all-round def of Bde Gp  67 Battery, RHQ and E  Troop move to area Gemert.

 

30 September 1944: 0800 -  CO visits all btys. 1000 - 2 IC visits all btys. 1715 - Adjt attends HQ RA for orders for move. 2000 - 2 IC & No 1 Recce Gp RHQ & Tac & No 1 Recce Gp 101 Bty lave for area Malden (Gelderland). 2045 - CO attends CRA's conference. 45 Battery recieved warning order for to Belgium.

 

1 Oktober 1944: 0800 - CO visits new area. 1330 - RHQ & 101 Bty move off to new locn. The guns of 101 Bty defending the Div coln. 1800 - RHQ moved to area Heumen (Gelderland). 1830 - CO and 2IC visit 8 Corps A Tk Regt and confer with the CO of that regt. 1930 - CO visits HQ RA. 41 Battery moved to Bde conc area Mook - Middelaar near Heumen. At 1610 hrs  4 (Sjt Meakin) fired a rd into Germany. The rd was signed by Col Thatcher, the 2IC, all offrs of 41 Bty and members of B 4 gun det. Is is certain that this rd was the first to be fired into Germany by the Div Arty. 45 Bty recce parties leave for new locn Beers at 0830 hrs. Tp areas being recce by bns. Main body passed SP at 1847 hrs, arriving Beers 2250 hrs. Tps with bns. I with KOSB area St. Hubert. J Troop with RUR at Cuyk, K Troop with Lincs at Haps, 67 Battery moved to area Malden.

 

2 October 1944: 0800 - Co visits Div HQ afterwards visiting btys with 2 IC. 0200 - CO confers with CRA. 41 Bty no change. 67 Bty deployed in sp 8 Bde. 41 Bty no change. 101 Bty nothing to report.

 

3 October 1944: 0900 - CO confers with Co 8 Corps A tk Regt. 1000 - CO visits all btys. 1400 - 2IC visits all btys.

45 Bty. Attack by US paratps on enemy posn across the Maas observed from J Tp fwd guns. 41Bty moved from Bde conc area and deployed in Mook area. A Tp in sp R Warwicks. B Tp in sp KSLI. C Tp in sp R Norfolks.

67 Bty. E Tp deployed in def rly br on Malden - Mook rd. F and G Tps deployed in sp 1 Suffolks in area Mook. 101 Bty Comd accompanied CO around battle area near Mook.

2200 - IO takes trace of regtl gun posns to HQ A tk Sec of 82 US Div. Receives trace of American A tk gun posns in return.

 

4 October 1944: CO visits HQ A-T section of 82 Airborne Div and discusses A-T defence of area Mook. Afterwards visiting 41 and 67 Btys. 1800 - CO holds BC's conference.

41 Bty. Posn unchanged.

101 Bty. Adjt visits gun posns.

67 Bty. Posn unchanged.

45 Bty. CO visits 2 guns deployed in Cuijk.

 

5 October 1944: 0800 - CO visits HQ RA. 1400 - CO confers with CRA on counter Mor plans. 45 Battery, CO with I Tp SPs when SPs enaged a factory chimney used by enemy as OP. 3 SPs fired in all 33 rounds AP at 1200yards, and brought the 200ft high chimney down within 6 minutes. The guns then engaged factory buildings with HE, some 20 rounds fired, The guns were then withdrawn before enemy mortars could find their range. Since this engagement M10 guns are now in great demand by bns for engaments on enemy OPs. 41 Bty B Tp fired 9 rrs at church Middelaar, scoring 9 hits. 101 Bty posn unchanged.

 

6 October 1944: 0600 - Co visits 45 Bty and observes SPs firing. 1800 - CO confers with CRA.  45 Bty At 07.00 hrs SPs of I Tp engraged probably enemy OPs in church tower, range 1500 yrds. 15 rpg reduced tower into resembling a pepper pot lid. Only 1 round missed its mark, 15.00 hrs 3 M10s engaged  2 tgts, one building 900 yrds, 100 rounds AP and HE mixed end demolished the place, a factory 2000 yards, a further 100 rounds partially demolished the building and a large chimney on the right. During the firing one round caused an extremely bright flash and a large column of black smoke to rise from the factory. A German jet propelled plane was a shot down near RHQ at 1500 hrs.

 

7 October 1944: 0900 - BC 67 Bty arrives at ths Q and confers with CO. 1000 - CO visits 67 and 41 Btys with 2 IC. 2000 -  CO and 2 IC witness shelling of 67 Bty rea and br at Heumen by 150mm German gun.

45 Bty. Warning order received for Bde move to area Bisselt (Limburg). Lt Herries to 101 Bty to comd SP Tp. 41 Bty no change. 67 Battery HQ area subjected to enemy shelling from 1930 hrs to 1940 hrs, some 40 shells landed in the area of which at least 10% failed to explode. One 3 ton veh received a direct hit and immediately caught fire. Being loaded with 3inch and SAA it exploded and wounded one sergeant and three gunners. It was not possible with safety to extinguish the flames before the veh exploded. The four casualties were admitted to 8 Br Fd Amb. Capt Brooke-Hart was also hit, but after treatment returned to duty. 101 Bty no change.

 

8 October 1944: 2 IC and recce party leaes for new Div area SE of Mill. 0900 -  CO visits all btys. 67 Bty HQ moved 400yards northwards along the Nijmegen road in order to vacate the area that had become a tgt for enemy shelling. 1600 - 67 Bty concentrated and moved to Wanroy were it remainded concentrated.  45 Bty moved to Bisselt cancelled. 101 Bty Recce parties leave for St Hubert area. 41 Bty no change.

 

9 October 1944: 0918 - RHQ and 101 Bty leave for new location, arriving at 12.00 hrs at De Breugel area. CO inspected coln on route. 101 Bty provided protection for coln. 41 Bty no change. 45 Bty no change. 67 Bty no change.

 

10 October 1944: 0900 - CO visits Corps A tk Regt HQ. Afterwards visiting 41 and 101 Btys. 1400 - CO confers with CRA. 1600 - CO visits 146 A tk Bty which is att this regt under comd of CO. 1800 - CO visits HQ RA. 101 Bty no change. 45 Bty no change. 41 Bty relieved by 43 Div and concentrated in Mill area. 67 Bty Tps moved at 1200 hrs and occupied the following area overnight. G Tp in sp 1 Suffolk Regt area. E Tp in sp 2 E Yorks area. E Tp in sp 1 S Lan R area. Tac HQ moved 1630 hrs.

 

11 October 1944: 0900 - Co visits HQ RA. 1200 - CO receives orders for the attack on Overloon and Venraij at 1200 hrs on 12th. 101, 45 and 41 Btys no change. 67 Bty E ad G Tps in sp 1 Suffolk Regt captured and consolidated for night. F Tp in sp 2 E Yorks Regt captured and consolidated for night Boot Wood. Heavy minefields were encountered by F Tp.

 

12 October 1944: 0900 - CO holds O Gp and explains battle picture. 0930 - 2 IC visits 146 A tk Bty also 67 Bty to report progress of battle to CO who remains back with RHQ (rather unwillingly) to stay in contacgt with CRA. 1200 - LO arrives from 146 Bty. CO receives reports on battle from 2 IC until 1800 hrs when 2 IC returns to RHQ. 2200 - CO attends CRA's O Gp and hears reports of the battle and plans for tomorrow's attack.

67 Bty posn unchanged. Final consolidation and mopping up. Two gunners Burrow and Macrae killed in action. E Tp in support of 1  S Lan R moved to area Peel Kampsveld. 45 Bty moved with Bde to area south of St Anthonis. 101 Bty BC and Capt G arrive RHQ to study war map. 41 Bty moved to Bde conc area Wanroy for Operation Aintree.

 

13 October 1944: 0830 - 2 IC visits HQ RA. 0900 - CO visits Tac Div at Blauwenhoek. 1900 - CO returns fromwatching progress of battle. 2030 - CO attends CRA's O Gp and informed of tomorrow's plan of attack. 45 Bty moved to area South of Heikant  6-pr tps to good hide. I Tp supported attack on Wood SW of Overloon. I Tp deploy on south edge of wood. J Tp suffered 2 cas from mortar fire, one killed, one wounded. J Tp relieved I Tp in RUR area. 67 Bty E Tp in sp 1 S Lan R attacked through 2 E Yorks and concentrated Halfweg. Posns of F and G Tps unchanged. 41 Bty moved to west of Overloon in morning. Guns in action South of Overloon during afternoon.

 

14 October 1944: 0600 - CO and 2IC depart for Tac Div to obtain up-to-date infm on to-day's battle. 1100 - Mov order arrives. 45 Bty I Tp supported Lincs in further push through wood. Main objective to-day by last night despite DF fire. 101 Bty Adm Recce to Oploo 0900 hrs. Move independant of Div 1130 hrs arrive 1300 hrs. BC & Tp Comds recce area. 41 Bty no change. 67 Bty E Tp final consolidation.

 

15 October 1944: RHQ and LAD move with Main Div at 1211. CO inspected coln on rout. 1900 - CO attends CRA's O Gp. 101 Bty guns deployed in def Div.

45 Bty. RUR joined Lincs in fwd woods but it was not practicable to move up 6-pdrs. Large numbers of mines found. J Tp suffered another cas (wounded from a mine splinter). 41 Bty no change.

 

16 October 1944: 0600 - CO observers commencement of to-day's attack. 1200 - 2 IC visits btys. BC 67 Bty arrives to confer with CO.

41 Bty. Bde attack on Venray. Tps concentrated prior to move area Molenbeek. Lt BS Bates slightly wounded and evacuated. 45 Bty 8 Bde carry through and 9 Bde able to pull out I p in harbour in LIncs conc area. 67 Bty E Tp in sp 1 S Lan R conc area. F Tp in Overloon. G Tp in sp 1 Suffolk moved into area in preparation for to-day's attack.

 

17 October 1944: 0830 - CO confers ith CRA. 0900 - CO goes on recce with CO 91 A tkRegt. 1130 - CO visits 41 & 45 Btys also 9 and 185 Bdes. 146 Bty ceases to come under comd this Regt. 1800 - 2 IC visits Btys. CO confers with CO 91 A tk Regt.  2000 - BC newly att 144 Bty brings in trace of his bty gun posns. 45 Bty E Tp deployed to cover western approaches of KOSB area in wood west of Smakt. Shelling and mortarting throughout the day. I and J Tps in harbour  near Lincs area. 41 Bty Tps in action East of Venray. Capt PL Graham commanding A Tp. 67 Bty F Tp in sp 2 E Yorks conc area. G Tp in sp 1 Suffolke area captured ad held area Beek.

 

18 October 1944: 0100 - CO attends CRA's conference. CO visits btys during the day. 101 Bty Comd and SP Tp Comd caontact COrps A tkTp preparatory to O Tp taking over. O Tp moved to posns South of Overloon. 45 and 41 Btys no change. 67 Bty E Tp with 1 S Lan R captured and held Venray. F Tp in sp 2 E Yorks consolidate in area Brabander. G Tp in sp 1 Suffolk consolidate round area.

 

19 October 1944: 0900 - 2 IC visits all btys. CO confers with CRA. This conference being mainly about laying minefd in A tk protection. 2100 - CO confers with CRA at this HQ on laying of minefd. 101 Bty N Tp prepare to move to 67 Bty area. 67 Bty F Tp in sp 2 E Yorks move in def Venray. F Tp in sp 2 E Yorks consolidate in area Brabander. G Tp in sp 1 Suffolk consolidate.  Bde withdrawn into Overloon area. A and C Tps in bty hide south of village. B Tp in sp 1 Koss (9 Bde) and engaged enemy with HE. Lt Scott takes over comd A Tp.

45 Bty. 9 Bde relieve 185 Bde South of Molenbeek. K Tp remains with KSOB in same locn. I and J Tps deployed with RUR round reservoir two miles North of Venray.

 

20 October 1944: 0800 - CO spends day with btys. 2 IC visits btys and sees potential minefd. 2230 - CRA informs CO of GOC 3 Br Inf Divs approval of A tk def. No change in btys.

 

21 October 1944: 0900 - CO and 2 IC visis btys.CO then visited 9 Bde HQ and RUR Bn HQ. 1600 - 2 IC 3 Recce Regt is keeping to CO's request for tk for regt's SP provides tgts for 0800 hrs tomorrow. CO allots this to O Tp. 101 Bty nothing to report. 45 Bty E Tp moved to harbour 1,5 miles South of Overloon. I Tp shot up suspected enemy posn which were 500yrds North of Tp location and was at the request of RUR HE had a devastating effect on the trees but their serial results could not be assured. 67 Bty E Tp engaged farm buildings.

 

22 October 1944: 0700 - CO and 2 IC leave for C Sqn 3 Recce Regt with 2 SPs from O Tp. These engaged tgts East of the Maas. 1100 - CO confers with CRA. 1800 - CO holds O Gp. 101 Bty O Tp engage 2 OPs in 3 Recce area. This engagement was extremely successful. 41 Bty no change. 67 Bty defending Venray. Lt Bromwich posted in from 45 Bty. 45 Bty no change in Tp locns.

 

23 October 1944: 0900 - CO visits btys during day. 2 IC relieves BC 67 Bty for 5 days. 67, 41 and 45 Btys no change.

 

24 October 1944: CO visits 67 and 41 Btys. 1400 - CO confers with CRA. 41 45, 67 and 101 Btys no change.

 

25 October 1944: 0800 - 2 IC visits SA range north of Venray. 0900 - CO visits all btys. 45, 41 and 67 Btys no change.

 

26 October 1944: 1000 - CO walks to 41 and 67 Btys. 1200 - CO directs MO to visit SP Tps and ensure that med kits are complete. 41 Bty Bde took over from 9 bde in area Venray. Bty deployed. A Tp in sp KSLI. B Tp (mob res) in sp R Warwicks. C  Tp in sp R Norfolk. Bty and Bde HQs area Kleindorp (Venray). 45 and 67 btys no change.

 

27 October 1944: 0900 - CO visits 45 and 67 Btys and obtains trace of 9 Bde A tk posns. 1400 - CO visits HQ RA. 67 Bty relived 41 Bty, Tps conc area Heikant.

45 Bty. Lt Bromwich posted to 41 Bty. K Tp moved to RUR area and deployed in I Tp's locality. 41 Bty A Ech move to Kleindorp and join main Bty HQ.

 

28 October 1944: 0900 - CO visits GOC and explains layout of A tk def of Div area. 1400 - Co visits all btys.  41 and 67 btys no change. 45 Bty I Tp moved HQ to Brabander one mile north of Venray. 2 SPs brought back to their locn for maintenance.

 

29 October 1944: CO visits 11 Armd Div A tk Regt (75th) to link up A tk def between the 2 divs. Also to arrange for interposting of surplus NCO's from this regt. 1400 - CO visits all btys. 41 Bty spasmodic shelling of bde area. Lt Bromwich takes on temporary comd C Tp.

 

30 October 1944: CO visits all btys. 1400 - CO confers with CRA. 41, 45, 67 and 101 btys no change.

 

31 October 1944: CO visits all btys. 1600 - CO confers with CRA and later with CRE on layour of mines. 1400 - 2 IC visits 41 Bty. 41 Bty 2 tps engaged enemy post in houses. A4 gun destroyed a house which was too close to own I Tp for fd arty. Sgt Waller manhandled his gun into a road in the dark at 0230 hrs and fired 7 rounds ranging by sound. The house was burned to the ground. B4 gun destroyed a house in which there was a number of Germans. 10rd of 3inch were fired. 45, 67 and 101 btys no change.

 

1 November 1944: 41 and 45 Btys no change. 0900 - CO sees CRA. 1330 - CO confers with CRA. 1400 - 2 IC visits Venray and obtains posn of enemy mines.

 

2 November 1944: CO visits 41 Bty. 1400 - CO attends op Merry. O Tp took part in op Merry. 41, 45  and 67 Btys no change.

 

3 November 1944: Lt DJ Gardiner RA sick and evacuated. CRA and CO inspect 101 Btys guns. O Tp moves to old posn Overloon. 41, 45 and 67 Btys no change.

 

4 November 1944: Lt HT White RA appt IO. Capt WJ Feeney RA A/Adjt 45 BHQ move with Bde to area Nw of Overloon, 2 SPs deployed after dark., 67 Bty relieved 41 Bty. 101 Bty no change. CO inspects Div A tk layout.

 

5 November 1944: 41 Bty B.Tp shot up two houses, both houses heavily damaged, rounds fired 5 AP,17 HE. 1900 - CO to Helmond to watch football match. Other btys no change.

 

6 November 1944: CO and CRA inspect 41 gun posns.1400 - CO visits 8 Bde. 1800 - CO visits CRA regarding A tk layout. 41, 45, and 101 Btys no change.

 

7 November 1944: 1100 - B Tp shot up 2 houses, known to be used by enemy. AP 6 HE 16, results satisfactory. 1400 - CO confers with  JA Howard RA ref  Bde A tk layout. Other Btys nothing to report.

 

8 November 1944: CO visits 67 Bty.

41 Bty Enemy mortars landed in C Tp area. 3 casualties Bdr Shaw, Gnr Jones evac Bdr

Rockenridge, remained on duty.

45, 67 and 101 Btys nothing to report.

 

9 November 1944: 2000 - Capt RLT Cracknell RA visits CO and gives infm ref I Tp shoot tomorrow. CO approves, very sorry he could not be present.

45 Bty Sps (2) engaged church tower, first round hit target. range 1850 yards 50 rounds fired, 96% hits top of spire knocked off. Slight enemy retaliation on conclusion.

One SP exploded on Schu-mine, damage to wireless, 41 Bty C3 gun engaged houses 12rounds HE, 400 round .50 Browning

 

10 November 1944: CO visits HQ 92 LAA Regt RA. 41Bty mortared with delayed action mortars. 2 IC visits 101 Bty. 67 and 45 Bty nothing to report.

 

11 November 1944: 1000 - CO and 2 IC visit 45 Bty to check A tk layout. Maj JA Howard's call in evening and confirms A tk layout co-ordinated. 1400 - CO and 2 IC to St. Anthonis to watch regt football team trial. 1800 - Gin and whisky, plus beer arrives. All btys nothing to report.

 

12 November 1944: 1100 - 2 IC visits 41 Bty. Continuous rain. Nothing to report. 45 Bty reports slight shelling on BHQ and E Tp area.

 

13 November 1944: 1000 - CO visits 101 45, 41 and 67 Btys. 101, 41 and 67 byts nothing to report. 45 Bty slight shelling of Bty area. Fire at 67 BHQ.

 

14 November 1944: 1000 - IO and RSM visits all Btys. CO visits 101 Bty. Maj WH Purchase Rathbone MC RA visits CO. More rain.

 

15 November 1944: 1000 - 2 IC visits 41 Bty. CO visits 101 and 67 Btys. 41 Bty shelled, Driver-Mech Brown wounded and evacuated.

 

16 November 1944: 1000 - CO attends CRA's O Gp. 1500 - BCs conference. V 1 passed over 41 Bty area. Amn dump hit by mortar.

 

17 November 1944: 1000 - 2 IC visits 67 Bty Rear. CO visits 41 and 45 Btys. 45 BC recces Veulen area, Bty at 48hrs notice to be over this area.

 

18 November 1944: 0900 - IO visits G I to give latest A tk layout. 1000 - CO visits 45 Bty re taking over from 11 Armd  Div. 1400 - 2 IC recces new area of 45 Bty. 1500 - CO visits 67 Bty Rear.

 

19 November 1944: 1000 - CO and 2IC visits 45, 67 and 41 Btys. 1600 - 45 Bty move to new area. Maj C.W.Cowley 101 Bty killed.

 

20 November 1944: 0900 - CO, 2IC and Adjudant attend funeral of Maj C.W.Cowley. 1000 - CO and IO visits 45 Bty and inspect gun posns. C Tp 41 Bty deployed South of Leunen. 1200 -

B Tp engaged 4 enemy occuoied houses, one house set on fire. SP Tp 101 Bty took over from SPs 45 Bty, SP Tp 67 Bty took over from 101 Bty.

 

21 November 1944: 0610 - 41 BHQ area shelled. 1000 - CO visits 41,45 and 67 Btys. 2130 - CO visits CRA

 

22 November 1944: 0800 - IO visits 41 and 45 Bty ref SP Tp 41 Bty under comd 45 Bty. 1000 -CO visits 41, 45 and 67 Btys. 1500 - Maj G Downs RA adm hosp. 1515 - B Tp engaged haystacks , believed to be camouflaged enemy trenches. 1715 - CO gives orders re Tac HQ. 2200 - Order for 'Nutcracker' arrives.

 

23 November 1944: 0700 - CO confers with Maj WH Purchase-Rathbone MC RA re 8 Bde. 0720 - CO leaves for Tac HQ. 1600 - CO visits 45 and 67 Btys. 1600 - IO visits 41 Bty. 2000 - CO confers with BC 41 Bty re A tk layout. More rain. Enemy evac posns.

 

24 November 1944: 1000 - CO visits 41, 45 and 67 Btys. 1015 - IO visits 15(S) Div A tk Regt re flank protection. 1415 - IO visits 45 and 41 Btys.

 

25 November 1944: 1000 - BCs conference. 41 Bty conc. 1400 - CO visits Horst to ref A tk layout 15 (S) Div.

 

26 November 1944: 1000 - CO visits Btys. 1400 - Maj JA Howard RA confers with CO.

 

27 November 1944: 1000 - CO visits 45  Bty. J Tp at Meerlo. 1700 - CO attends conference re new area. Btys nothing to report.

 

28 November 1944: 1045 - CO attends Corps Comd's conference and watches attack on Kasteel. 41, 45 and 67 Btys nothing to report. 101 Bty O Tp reverts back to bty.

 

29 November 1944: 0900 - CO visits 67 Bty. 41 Bty moves to new area.

 

30 November 1944: 0900 - CO visits 101 Bty for inspection. 1400 - CO visits 41 Bty re A tk layout. 144 A tk Bty under comd.

 

1 December 1944: 0900 - CO visits 45 Bty re 9 Bde A tk layout. 1200 - RHQ moves to new area St Hubert. 1400 - 101 Bty moves and joins RHQ. 1800 - Lt HPW Mullinger RA died of wounds. 1830 - Maj WH Purchase-Rathbone MC RA visits RHQ re order for move. Capt N Monro RA takes over E Tp. 41 & 45 Btys nothing to report.

 

2 December 1944: 1000 - 67 A tk Bty moves to St. Hubert. 1045 - CO attends Corps Comd's address.1330 - CO attends burial services of Lt HPW Mullinger RA. 1400 - Maj JA Howard RA leaves to take up new appt.

 

3 December 1944: 1000 - CO inspects 41 Bty. 1830 - COs conference. Trg discussed and local courses arranged.

 

4 December 1944: 1000 - CO and Adjt visit Helmond to watch regtl football team versus 1 S Lan . 1200 - CO visit HQ RA.

 

5 December 1944: 1000 - CO visits 101 Bty. Btys nothing to report.

 

6 December 1944: 1000 - Very quiet day. CO inspects 67 Bty.

 

7 December 1944: Trg programmes worked out for regtl courses.

 

8 December 1944: Courses commence - Dvr Ops course, Gnr Mechs course, Layers Class held.

 

9 December 1944: Layers Class fires on min range with RSN.

 

10 December 1944: 101 Bty on min range.

 

11 December 1944: Trg continues. Quiet day.

 

12 December 1944: Trg programme.

 

13 December 1944: CO holds leave conference. Lts Cameron and Mann join regt. Lt.Cameron to 67 Bty and Lt Mann to 45 Bty.

 

14 December 1944: Adjt attends conference HQ RA. Lt Cameron takes over E Tp. 45 Bty on min range.

 

15 December 1944: Orders re move recd. CO recces new area. 45 Bty on min range. Div Concert Party entertains.

 

16 December 1944: 41 Bty receive move orders. Move off at 1045hrs.0950 - 2 IC recces new area with bty reps.

 

17 December 1944: 45 Bty ballot for leave. Offrs assemble RHQ for leave ballot. Lt DA Nissen RA first to go.

 

18 December 1944: RHQ, 67 Bty and 101 Bty moves to new area Bakel.

 

21 December 1944: CO visits Paris. 67 and 101 Bty and RHQ moves to new location Twist. 45 & 67 Bty change over. 67 Bty in Venray area.

 

23 December 1944: BCs send in traces for SPs in Overloon and St. Anthonis.

 

24 December 1944: CO returns from Paris leave.

 

25 December 1944: CO and 2 IC visit all Btys.

 

26 December 1944: 1000 - visits Royals. Btys nothing to report.

 

27 December 1944: CO visits all btys. Preparations for 45 & 41 Btys change over.

 

28 December 1944: CO visits 67 & 101 Btys.

 

29 December 1944: 45 Bty move to new area and conc. 41 Bty move to Horst. IO visits all btys ref A tk layout.

 

30 December 1944: CO visits all btys.

 

1 January 1945: 0930 - Large scale enemy air activity over 8 Brigade area. 67 Bty engaged hostile aircraft with small arms at 0950 hrs. FW190 passed over BHQ flying low. Gnr Hammonds, LDB, who was on the crusaders OP, opened fire with the twin oerlikons.The aircraft was hit and seen to crash. 1000 - CO holds office. 1100 - CO visits all btys returning late.

 

2 January 1945: 1000 - CO visits 41, 45 and 67 btys. 2 SPs of E Tp went to wood in area just north of Wanssum to shoot direct at enemy OPs across river Maas. Owing to bad visibility shoot was cancelled. 1945 - BM of 8 Brigade ordered 67 Bty to support 1 S Lancs in clearing enemy from wood. 2015 - E Tp commands attended O group at 1 S Lancs HQ. SPs followed and RVd in Oostrum.

 

3 January 1945: 0800 - First regimental leave party leaves for UK. 1300 - Lt HT White, RA, posted to 67 Bty. Lt F..ann, RA assumed duty of regimental Intelligence Officer. 0330 -Two SPs went forward in support of platoon. One SP remained on SL with reserve platoon. SPs requested to engage with HE. 23 rounds were fired. 0350 - First objective reached, followed shortly after by second. During advance to both objectives, whole area was subject in heavy DF fire including NBWs and heavy arty. Company forced to withdraw from second objective. SPs made several trips into wood to recover infantry. Comd SP was last to leave and on way back hit an enemy R mine which damaged track and bogeys. Crew bled out and marched back to Bn HQ. Along with crew were Coy comd, 10 infantry, 3 Germans and SP Comd. No casualties to personnel. During operation, role communication by W/T - band SP to forward SPs ad band SP to Bn HQ. Infantry wireless was inable to operate!

 

4 January 1945: 0700 - Damaged SP recovered and withdraw to 67 Bty lines, REs having cleared mines to make recovery possible. 0800 - Received copy of RA 3 Brit, Inf, Div, OP, Instr. No 3 dated 2 Jan 45. Instructions on lifting and neutralization of mines circulated to batteries. CO instructs 101 BC to recce sector held by 3 Recce Regt with a view to co-ordinating A tk plan.

 

5 January 1945:

67 Bty; 0010 - Heavy shelling in area G Tp every 15 minutes.

0250 - Billet occupied by no. 1 detachment sustains direct hit but no casualties.

0315 - Shelling ceased. Believed to be 105 mm.

1000 - Troop Serjeant selects new HQ in new area.

1330 - Troop Comd visits guns. No 3 shelled by 105 mm mortars and NBWs - No casualties. 1500 - Troop Comd visits B. Gnr Williams reports sick at request of MO. The SP of E Tp damaged in the operation of 3 Jan. now repaired and ready for action. Meanwhile the troop prepares for the approaching re-organisation and change-round of equipment. F Troop continue to occupy positions in area Vierlingsbeek. During the night 4/5 Jan an enemy patrol bumps one of the guns and is fired on by 14 MGs of 2 Mx Regt. The enemy retaliate by mortaring the area.

1030 - Bty Capt and BSM visit area.

1100 - Conference with C coy, comd 2 E Yorks. Role of troop in event of infantry attack decided and tasks laid down for guns. Remainder of day devoted to co-ordination and improvement of defences. Sporadic mortaring and nebelwerfing all day.

101 Bty; Day devoted to training and administration. All kits inspected and each troop practises on vandrey range.

1330 - BC leaves for 3 Recce Regt sector to discuss layout in their area.

1630 - BC returns having carried out recce and co-ordination plan. N Troop is in abandon position east of St. Anthonis and will now deploy east of Overloon in the event of a break through by the enemy. Bty Capt returns from Meulenberg where he has taken over 17 pr Valentine Carriers for O Troop who remain there to train with new equipment and carry out range pratice next week.

1200 - Signals re-netted to RHQ when Bty ceased to be under command the Royal Dragoons.

45 Bty; 1500 - Orders received for diversionary tasks for SPs during night. Area recced before sunset around gun NE of Tienraij.

2359 - SPs ready to move up to positions.

RHQ; 0900 - 2 I/C recced location for small arms range near Overloon.

1200 - CO has conference with CO 63 A tk Regt and 101 BC discussing proposed lay-out in 3 Recce Regt sector.

1430 - IO visits Div HQ bringing war maps up to date. At the same time he collects comforts from SCRA and is offered, under the heading of "comforts" a boxing ring which he declines to accept.

1700 - CO is visited by CO of  Recce Regt when the A tk plan is discussed at length and finally decided upon.

 

6 January 1945: 67 Bty; Sporadic shelling in F Troop area all day. New type of enemy equipment reported but no details given.

0530 - Enemy shell Meerlo area and vicinity of G Troop.

0830 - Heavy barrage lasting 30mins from our own guns and mortar brings reply from enemy with sells and NBWs. Firing continues throughout morning.

45 Bty; 0300 - ? and 2 SPs move off and occupy positions at Gun.

0100 - They drive round and round large field creating a diversion as part of Bde deception plan. No enemy fire drawn but later operations of a similar nature by other units succeeded in attracking the desired attention.

1050 - CO pays a visit to confer on impending alleration in forward areas.

1100 - Bde conference when Bty asked to engage 3 enemy OPs on 7 Jan 4.

1400 - BC and I Troop comd visit Bn HQs  and recce suitable positions for conducting shoots. Two civilians brought in from probilited area and ascorted to Bde for interrogation.

RHQ; 0900 - CO goes round batteries co-ordinating gun positions and discussing changes in lay-out consequent upon change in Div front.

1500 - CO visits CRA discussing lay-ut in 3 Recce. Regt area- further discusses problem arising out of ten day conversion of equipment at Meulenberg when permission was granted to curtail the course by one day. The previous arrangement entailed one Troop travelling back here with its new equipment to relieve another troop wo had to travel to Meulenberg the same day.

 

 

7 January 1945: 67 Bty; 1600 - E Troop move to hide in preparation for attack the following morning in support of infantry.

1000 - G Troop move to new area. One gun tower loses its track and DR is left behind to guide it to position.

1100 - Three guns deployed in new area and fourth gun follows an hour later.

45 Bty; Poor visibility prevents SPs from carrying out shoot against OPs as planned. Bde locality now held by two battalions inf and one in reserve.

41 Bty;  B Troop instructed by 185 Bde to act as a deception unit in conjunction with an attack next day by Suffolks on enemy bridgehead. Task allocated was to simulate an attack from SE and E and to draw enemy fire so that CB units could pinpoint enemy guns and mortar positions. B Troop comd proceeds on recce and selects positions.

RHQ; 1000 - Div HQ moves and CO decides to move own HW to area nearer Div HQ. 2 IC carries out veconnaissance  of likely area and selects billets in Weversloo.

RHQ personnel five sten, Bren, rifle, Piat and thrown 36 grenades. Piat is fired at develict Loyd carrier.

1200 - IO prepares trace of Div A Tk lay-out and despatches same to HQ RA.

1500 - CO discusses with IO question of ascertaining extent of A Tk defences on either immediate flank of 3 Brit Div.

1530 - IO instructs 45 Bty to procure trace showing A Tk defences in area 6 RSF and decides to visit the Canadian HQ on left flank.

 

8 January 1945: 67 Bty; 0700 - Tac HQ established a 1 S Lancs Bn HQ.

1400 - E Troop returns to battery location. Conference BC, Troop comd, Troop serjeant and No's 1 of E Troop.

45 Bty; Incessant falling of snow necessitates further postponement of shoots. It has also prevented  all activities other then essential maintenance.

45 Bty; 0455 - B TGroop move off in harbour arriving at 0531hrs when engines are switched off.

0555 - Engines started up and Troop move along track south of wood, proceeding move for several hundred yards and circling in their diversionary role in this area until 0625hrs. The tactics employed by the troop were to re.. the engines while moving in the direction of the enemy and to withdraw as quickly as possible, whenupon the of evation commences again visibility was quite good due to artificial moonlight.

0625 - B Troop withdraws quickly and awaits main attack at 0800 hrs. Meanwhile the effectiveness of B troop's role in is instanced by the ...tual shelling of the area in which they had manoevred. After the main attack had been succesfully put in, the troop is congratuated by 8 and 185 Brigades on an very successful and effectiv operation.

RHQ; 1300 - RHQ (main ) moves to Weversloo.

1425 - RHQ (rear) remain in present location. CO departs for Meulenberg where he will attend the firing of new equipment by 101 Bty.

 

9 January 1945: 67 Bty; Lt A.M. Cameron RA, relinquishes command of E Troop and is succeeded by Lt J.H. Miller RA. E Troop is engaged in preparation still for re-organisation. Lt H.T. White, RA, is recalled from course at 3 Div Training School to assume command of G Troop In Loco Lt G.H Miller RA.

45 Bty; 1130 - I Troop comd recces area from which to engage suspected enemy OPs in farm at Hasselt, some 400 yds from east bank of River Maas.

1350 - Two SPs occupy positions and open fire at 1400 hrs at range of 1200 yards. A direct hit was registered. 30 rounds HE delayed action were fired and 100% hits obtained. Black smoke and debris were seen to rise from the target.

1410 - Target disengaged. No return fire and SPs. Return to harbour area by 1430hrs.

RHQ; 0900 - IO visits 63 A Tk Regt at Someren with trace showing deployment of own regiment and A Tk defence plans on divisional front. At the same time he obtains move details of the proposed deployment of the Corps A Tk Regt.

1600 - CO returns from Meulenberg. 

 

10 January 1945: 67 Bty; E Troop again are occupied with preparation for re-organisation and conversion of equipment. G Troop effect repairs and improvements to billets.

45 Bty; 1030 - BC and I Troop comd. recce positions for shooting up suspected enemy OP in church tower at Lomm and enemy billets in two houses east of Lottum about 200 yds on opposite bank of Maas.

1600 - Two SPs move into position and each gun prepared to engage a target, 15 rounds HE fired at each target were all observed as hits although smoke rendered accurate observation difficult. After the smoke cleared away, a large hole was seen in the church tower and the houses were enveloped in blue smoke and probably on fire. There was no retalation.

1645 - SPs return to harbour area. Remainder of  battery engaged in clearing snow under Bde instructions.

1245 - visit from CO.

RHQ; 1000 - IO visits CRA with trace as requested showing proposed deployment of 101 Bty and Corps A Tk Regt in 3 Recce Regt sector.

1100 - IO visits Canadian HQ on divisional left flank and ascertains the extent of A Tk defences there.

 

11 January 1945: 67 Bty; Movement of E Troop postponed owing to state of roads. Five, reported due to spontaneous combustious breaks out in outhouse adjoining G Troop billet but no damage caused to WD property.

45 Bty; 1000 - Fresh from his successes during the last two days, I Troop comd carries out recce in area south of Broekhuizen for positions from which to engage brewery buildings 500 yds from far bank of River Maas.

1500 - Two SPs in position, one engaging main building and the other a large private house adjoining. Twelve AP and 45HE rounds fired at the targets of which 98% were hits. It is not possible to estimate extent of damages most of the shells fell within the perimeter of the buildings. Towards the end of the shoot, the enemy reply with mortars which fall short of our positions.

1600 - Two parachutes drift down in woods in Bty area but search party find nothing more than empty cannisters attached.

RHQ; 0800 - CO proceeds on UK leave and Majro G. Dawns, RA, assumed comd. 

0900 - Received trace from Div showing enemy DF tasks relating to the observation in Wanssum wood on 8 Jan 45. Perusal of this document shows that the area occupied by G Troop is pinpointed by enemy DF arty task. IO sends copy of trace to 67 Bty for necessary action.

 

12 January 1945: 67 Bty; Owing to thaw and withdrawal of carrier section of 2 E Yorks, A Tk lay-out requires to be re-organised. One gun accordingly is moved to cover in depth the road from Vierlingsbeek to Overloon and the rear of company position is covered with Bren and Piat.

45 Bty; Activities during day confined to clearing roads in area and choffing wood.

0900 - Lt. Thompson, RA, sets out for Meulenberg with money and documents for the leave party of O Troop whom he found to be on the range at Lommel zero-ing and carrying out practice in indirect fire.

In the morning the troops remaining in De Twist spent their time in maintenance and received a lecture on the war situation. The afternoon was devoted to recreational pursuits. Bty Capt (Q) was member of a courtmartial . Great difficulty has been experienced in setting the wireless with RHQ. The set has been taken as far as Venray but still refuses in contact control.

RHQ; 1000 - 2 IC visits forward battery areas with a view to finding place where 6prs can be fired. It is quite an appreciable time since there guns were last fired.

1400 - 2 IC visits HQ RA regarding the possible retention of the regiments SP M10s as a divisional reserve. CRA decides that this course is impracticable and rules that conversion of equipment will take place in accordance with existent arrangement.

 

13 January 1945: 67  Bty; During hours of darkness, low flying aircraft drop propaganda leaflets in F Troop area inviting personnel to desert.

45 Bty; 1400 - One SP collected from 7 Bty to replace one of our own going into workshops.

1830 - Two green verey lights sent up from direction of River Maas and guard stand to Brigade, however, report that lights evacuated from enemy side of river and guard stands down.

RHQ; 0830 - Personnel who did not fire small arms practice on 7 Jan 45 proceed to range under RSM. 2 IC and IO in attendance and fire Bren, Sten and Piat and throw 36 grenades.

 

14 January 1945: 67 Bty; E Troop moves to Meulenberg for re-organisation and conversion course. O Troop 101 Bty came under command this battery as mobile reserve in place of E Troop.

101 Bty; 1100 - Capt Fox of 3 Recce Regt holds a church parade for the battery. BC attends conference at 67 Bty reg local modification proposed for new SPs. Capt Thomas proceeds on leave to UK.
RHQ; 1100 - 2 IC, adjutant, technical adjutant and EME attend BCs conference at 67 Bty ref local modifications on 17 pr Valentine carriers. Agreed that a lid should be fitted to one SP as experimental measure. The question of satisfactory mounting of Bren and Browning guns will be considered later. 19 sets will be employed, reserve batteries to be conserved at Bty HQs as before.

 

15 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - MO evacuates suspected case of diftheria.

1400 - IO brings war maps up to date at Div HQ. He also visits the Army Photographic Interpretation section there and is instructed in the fundamental principles of aerial photography, the problems it presents and the way they are effectively met. 2 IC visits CRA discussing generally the conversion of equipment and particularly by the receipt of 17 prs towed. The possibility of conducting a Tewt regimentally wit the valentine carriers was considered.

45 Bty; 1200 - Two SPs move into position for shoot on suspected enemy HQ south of Arcen. The shoot was part of a timed programme in conjunction with field arty and infantry fire to commence at 1211 hrs. Extremely poor visibility however faced the battalion comd 2 Lincs to postpone the shoot. The guns remained in position until 1300 hrs in the hope that visibility would improve but there was then no sign of the fog clearing and the SPs were ordered back to harbour.

101 Bty; 0900 - Two 6 pr troops carry out a practice on the vandrey range.

1400 - All personnel attend aths parade.

1800 - LO from 3 Recce Regt comes  in see ln of our proposed deployment.

 

16 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - 2 IC visits all deployed guns in the regiment.

2300 - HQ RA intimate by telephone that CRA would like to inspect new equipment tomorrow and 67 Bty are notified that visit will take place at 1500 hrs and are instructed to have a Valentine ready for inspection.

45 Bty; Bty activities confined to clearing of road under brigade allocation.

101 Bty; Troops engaged in training in the morning and P.T. and recreational training in the afternoon. Signals again fail to make contact with RHQ.

 

17 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - 2 IC recces Venray area to find accommodation for rear HQ who are at present situated too far from main HQ.

1500 - CRA visits O Troop inspecting new SP equipment and making valuable recommendations.

45 Bty; A relatively quiet day. Activities confined to choffing wood and improvement of track in battery area. The latter operation was assisted by a bulldozer.

101 Bty; Troop carry out gun drill. Troop comd give lectures on enemy equipment and organisation. Signals have again failed to contact RHQ.

 

18 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - 2 IC continues recce in search of accommodation for RHQ (rear). Likely premises are found but AQMG does not advise occupation

45 Bty; 1400 - Man inoculation carried out by MO. Three parties attend brigade cinema  shows within the area.

2000 - Party from battery lit off flank simulations in forward positions as part of large scale deception plan by KSOB. Wind and rain prevail throughout and enemy refuses to nibble a bait.

101 Bty; Practice 17 pr gun fits dug by M Troop. N Troop occupied with gun drill and target describtion and fire orders.

 

19 January 1945: RHQ; 2 IC spends the day at the divisional Tewt which carried on in in clement weather conditions.

101 Bty; 0900 - BC attends Tewt all day Troop comdr deliver lectures on present state of war fronts based on intelligence summaries issued from Division.

1400 - Complete 115 kt check followed by pay parade.

45 Bty; 0900 - BC attends Tewt all day. Battery mostly rested after visit by MO.

 

20 January 1945: 101 Bty; Morning spent on maintenance and inter.. economy.

45 Bty; Battery carry out essential maintenance.

 

21 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - Visit of Div comd before proceeding round batteries and inspecting forward gun positions.

101 Bty; 1400 - Lecture, followed by questions, given on the new Social Insurance Scheme.

 

22 January 1945: 45 Bty; Small party of Germans reported seen crossing railway track some 1000 yds south of battery locality. Tracks and white smocks discovered. Brigade allocate area for battery in search at first light tomorrow.

101 Bty; Day spent in clearing snow and maintaining fun pits in area St Anthonis. O Troop move to under command of 41 Bty to take the place of B Troop who have proceed in conversion course.

41 Bty; 0745 - B Troop proceed to Meulenberg for conversion of equipment.

1030 - BC carries out recce in area Blitterwijk to conform with forthcoming changes of brigade boundaries.

1100 - Visit from 45 BC to discuss problems arising from re-adjustment of brigade boundaries.

 

23 January 1945: RHQ; CO returns from leave.

41 Bty; 0915 - BC carries out recce in area Wanssum which will be his responibility when brigade boundaries are altered on 25 Jan.

1400 - The LO visits all guns with up-to-date maps of all war fronts. All personnel displayed pronounced enthousiasm and interest.

101 Bty; The day has been spent on troop training comprising gun drill and maintenance. A Cof E service was held in the afternoon.

45 Bty; Bty carry out intensive search in area of Melderslo but no contact made with enemy patrol.

2200 - Enemy patrol some 40 strong reported in brigade area. Bty mount double guards but no movement seen. Through intermittent five heard from direction of River Maas.

 

24 January 1945: RHQ; 0900 - CO visits batteries and brigade HQs. Visit of mobile canteen when personnel purchase cigarettes, braces, soap, etc. Arrangements are made for the canteen to visit all the troops.

41 Bty; 0915 - BC with SP-Troop comd carries out recce in area Blitterswijk for possible targets on enemy side of river

1130 - CO visits tactical HQ discussing new lay-out. Brigade front changes and C Troop deploy in area Blitterswijk. Covered approaches to guns are prepared after dark.

RHQ; 1600 - Warning of extreme frost received from HQ Div when necessary firecautions are taken.

101 Bty; Bty practise fire control, laying and gun drill.

41 Bty; Officer i/c Field Hygiene Section visits battery and inspects cookhouse, latrines, sleeping accommodation, etc.

45 Bty; Day spent on wireless courses, 17 pr gun dril, maintenance, road clearing and wood choffing. Bty accommodations inspected by hygiene officer.

 

25 January 1945: 101 Bty; BC and comdr of 17 pr and SP-troop attend demonstration on ranges at Lommel. MO carries out inspections and vaccinates a number of men.

41 Bty; 0915 - BC visits troops and recces position for A Troop

1130 - CO visits tactical HQ and remains for lunch.

45 Bty; 6 Airborne Div occupy area held by right battalion of 3 Brit Div with resultant re-arrangement of own brigade fronts. Bty deployment remains unchanged.

 

26 January 1945: RHQ; Brigadier of 8 Bde entertained to dinner. MO proceeds on UK leave and relieved by Capt Williams from 9 FDS.

101 Bty; Bt proceed on route march. Capt S.P. Thomas returns from UK leave. Capt P. Bater proceeds on UK leave.

2220 - Preliminary order for regimental concentration and recce of area for same received.

45 Bty; 1000 - CRA and CO inspect area and gun positions and remain to lunch.

1500 - Brigadier meets BC discussing use of a troop in he move forward areas in an infantry role.

 

27 January 1945: RHQ; 0830 - 2 IC with battery representatives proceeds on recce in area of Louvain selecting regimental concentration are and making necessary arrangements.

45 Bty; BC visits Lincolns and K Troop ordered in their support to take over Kasteel as an infantry platoon on battalion left flank on river front. Position to be occupied before dawn tomorrow.

RHQ; 1500 - IO collects comforts from HQ RA including books, socks, games, etc and distributes same to batteries.

0800 - Bty Capt (G) joins regimental recce party and proceeds on recce of area near Louvain. Recce lasts all day and party returns to RHQ at 2300 hrs in a frozen condition but are soon revived after a liquid stimulant has been administered.

1800 - Small party attends cinema show in Helmond.

 

28 January 1945: RHQ; 1400 - CO and 2 IC attend indirect shoot conducted by 67 Bty at target across river Maas. An officer from 76 Field Regt also attended and the OP of this unit at Vierlingsbeek was employed. Communication by 18 set proved impractible and the 19 set of a carrier at the OP was resolved to. The target was a windmill in the vicinity of which enemy movement had been observed. The shoot, the first to be carried out with the new SP equipment, was considered successful allthough the adverse climatic conditions rendered accurate observation difficult.

1600 - Visit by Lt. Col. Havard and Capt Porter from RAMT School when problems were discussed.

101 Bty; 1000 - The mobile cinema, scheduled for 1000 hrs, fails to appear, completing its batwick of successive non-appearances.

41 Bty; 0845 - BC meets CO and brigadier to discuss gun positions in area Blitterswijk.

1100 - War correspondent, Howard Marshall, the renouned  sports commentator, pay a visit.

1700 - C Troop take one gun out of action, the detachment being split up between the other guns to assist in reliefs etc.

45 Bty; 0530 - K Troop move off and occupy positions in infantry role without incident.

 

29 January 1945: RHQ; 1200 - Visit of Lt. Col Linton of the Aircraft Recognition School. CO discusses with him tank recognition and mine-lifting expedients.

101 Bty; 0900 - Troops engaged on .. range and gun drill. The wireless set maintained to RHQ but strength drops to 2 due to heavy interference.

1430 - BC attends a BC's conference at RHQ when training programme over next two weeks is discussed.

45 Bty; 1000 - Two SPs move into position south of Broekhuizen and open fire on the brewery and white house on opposite bank of river Maas, for long a centre of enemy activity. The initial ranger set on the two guns were 1350 and 1550 yds respectively. 56 rounds APC and HE were despatched and though the clouds of snow thrown up made observation difficult, all shots must have scored on so extensive a target. After the engagement the buildings were still standing but looked decidedly the worse for wear.

The two SPs then moved back in another gun position where they we joined by the third SP and, with the assistance of a GPO from 33 Field Regt, their fire was brought to beat on te village of Walbeck. This ws a momentous occasion, being the first time the battery had engaged a target within the Reich itself. In view of the forthcoming conversion of equipment it seemed reasonable to depatch as many shells as possible into Germany rather than cart them back to Belgium. A 'search-and-sweep' shoot was carried out with a mixed bag of ammunition. APC, HE and finally the decoffering rounds descended upon the doubtlers bewildered inhabitants. In all 10 mm rounds were find at an initial range of 8400 yds.

 

30 January 1945: RHQ; 0930 - CO and IO visit batteries all day. Visit paid to F Troop at Vierlingsbeek when CO investigated alarm system and communication between guns and infantry sections. German patrols in this area are nightly occurence and CO makes arrangements for F Troop to be relieved by G Troop tomorrow.

1600 - HQ RA ask for trace showing A Tk defences on either side of 185 Bde area. IO prepares

same and delivers it to IO at HQ RA.

101 Bty; 1100 - Troop instructed in map reading followed by lecture on war situation by Bty Capt (G). O Troop cease to be under comd 41 Bty and are new at the disposal of 45 Bty.

Oil in the carriers was changed back to the thick type because the thin type because too thin when the engine heated.

41 Bty; Careful and prolonged observation has disclosed that a group of houses on the opposite side of the river Maas from C Troop is being used as an enemy OP. This target could not be engaged on a clear day because the C Troop gun best located for the engagement was under direct observation. Accordingly an aiming fort was erected 200 yds in front of the gun and in line with the target 1200 yds distant. The gun waited until a heavy mist appeared in the early hours of 31 Jan and at 0930 hrs the target was engaged. 8 rounds of HE were fired but observation has so far proved impossible.

 

31 January 1945: 45 Bty; 0130 - K Troop, in their infantry role, suffer a casualty when standing down from alarm positions. He failed in halt on being challenged by a Lincs sentry and was wounded in the chest. Though quickly conveyed to the AP and thence to hospital, he lost a lot of blood. A transfusion was given and the latest report was hopeful.

101 Bty; The morning has been devoted to training and the afternoon to recreational pursuits. Rapid thaw has set in and precautions have come into force.

1600 - CO and 2 IC visit the battery. Signal set maintenance with RHQ but only at strength 2 due to heavy interference.

 

1 February 1945: It may be fitting here to include an account of a shoot carried out by two 6 pounders of A Troop against enemy - occupied houses on the other side of river Maas. The operation was carried out on 26 Jan but the report was not available at the time last month's diary went to press. The big problem in the shoot was to get the guns into the previously selected position without being observed by the enemy. As a preliminary it was decided to dispense with the normal gun towers and employ two jeeps, stripped of hoods, windscreens, etc. In profound silence and with the minimum of movement, the two guns went into position at 0720hrs. A heavy mist precluded engagement of the targets there and then. Accordingly the detachments went into hiding in the nearby woods until weather conditions improved at 0900hrs. During the period of watchful waiting, the voices of the enemy were heard from accros the water. Each gun fired 5 rounds AP followed by 15 rounds HE  which nearby all were direct hits. The guns were quickly brought out of action and removed to a safer position by the jeep.

45 Bty; 1200 - CO visits Bty.

1300 - O Troop who are at present taking the place of I Troop at Meulenberg for conversion, stage a small scale exercise with 1 KSOB to familiarise themselves with the tactical handling of the new SP equipment. In general the battery have been employed in road maintenance within the area necessitated by the rapid thaw.

67 Bty; 0400 - Enemy patrols and mortaring in area held by G Troop. Posts were fully manned until 0530hrs. There were no casualties.

 

2 February 1945: RHQ; CO in company with 67 BC visit ranges at Lommel where infantry 6 pounder platoon is firing. On the return journey, CO calls in at Army HQ and discusses further re-organisation.

67 Bty;1500 - 2 IC and Adjutant attend shoot carried out by E Troop against house across river Maas. After a few ranging rounds, 10 rounds GF were ordered, almost all of which scored direct hits. The enemy hit back with some mortar rounds, two of which fell rear the OP. Apart from the deadly accuracy of the shells, the rate of fire itself was extremely commandable. Is speaks for the speed and thoroughness with which the engagement was carried out that the OP party, who closed down and departed immediately on the conclusion of the shoot, could see no trace of the SPs when they passed the actual gun position on their way home a few minutes later. The interested party of civilian spectators who assembled a the commencement of the shoot rapidly dispersed after the first few rounds came down. The operation met with the approval of the local infantry who cheeved the guns as they made their way back. The agitated movement of enemy bodies in the vicinity of the target assured us that they were well surprised.

101 Bty; Day spent in gun and vehicle maintenance. Time was spent in maintenance and draining of roads in the area.

45 Bty; J Troop pull out two guns for maintenance. Six of their men are attached to K Troop who are operating as an infantry platoon on the left of the brigade front. A communique from I Troop at Meulenberg answers us that the conversion is going smoothly and that training on the Valentines is in process.

Throughout the day we have been entertained o a front row view of Typhoons shooting up M columns operating on the roads running paralell to and on the opposite side of river Maas.

 

3 February 1945: RHQ; In view of the possibility of batteries being widely dispersed in the immediate future, it is proposed to keep seperate diaries from now on for each battery based on reports received from time to time and to collect these in the volume at the end of the month.

1200 - CRA visits this HQ discussing with CO question of further re-organisation and possible snags.

1530 - BC's conference held at RHQ. CO intimates that he has made application for the transfer back to this unit of Lt Alford, Bates and Penny who were wounded earlier in this campaign and are at present convalecing in the UK.

CO explains form of possible re-reorganisation and directs that it shall henceforward be referred to as "the plot". The form of this ultimate reorganisation disperses with RA six-pounders all together. One battery would be equipped entirely with 17 pounder Valentine SPs. The remaining three batteries would have one Troop 17 pounder Vanlentine SPs and two Troops of towed 17 pounders. In the event of this reorganisation coming into operation 101 Bty would become the 'all SP' element and all men at present in 6 pounder gun teams who had been trained on the M.10, 3" would be available for transfer to that battery as gun teams. CO discusses method of deployment of regiment or batteries in support of different forms of attack

 

4 February 1945: CO visits reorganisation centre at Meulenberg and finds that no 17 pounders are available for conversion purposes. This rather throngs "the plot" out of gear so far as the towed guns are concerned. Message received from HQ RA, that move to new area is on and recce parties told to stand by.

 

5 February 1945: 1130 - 2 IC sets out on recce in area Bourg Leopold. Regiment is to be concentrated ... 41 Bty who are going to area Maastricht with 185 Bde.

1130 - CO and IO of 52 (L) Division A Tk Regt arrive at our location on recce. Present A Tk lay-out is explained and traces made.

1840 - Message received from HQ RA that "the plot" will remain in abeyance meanwhile.

 

6 February 1945: 0830 - IO visits HQ RA and collects maps of new area.

0900 - G 3 of incoming division arrives at this HQ and carries out recce with the intention of establishing HQ at our location. The rapid thaw has created large craters of impossible mud on the roads and there is an mending stream of stationary traffic from Deurne to Venray. Transport of this unit which went on a mission to Deurne only eight miles distant took, on an average,ten hours over the journey. Div HQ is manoevred in an ocean of creamy mud and transport has access no further than the camp office which is over a mile from the HQ itself.

2310 - Message from BMRA that one recce has done its job and a bottle-factory North of Moll has been selected. A message received from the CRA earlier in the evening intimated that "the plot" in so far as it concerns the SP guns, is on. 101 Bty are immediately notified and instructed to despatch 6 pounder troops to reorganisation centre. 

 

7 February 1945: Preparations for move tomorrow continues allthough the road conditions are still as bad.

 

8 February 1945: 0800 - RHQ leave Weverslo and feed into Div troops column. Despite the bad road conditions, the journey completed in Moll (Belgium) at 1300 hrs.