Gunners of 51st Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, fusing 7.2-inch howitzer shells, France, 2 September 1944. (IWM BU9958)

51 (Lowland) Heavy Regiment:1 Battery 2 Battery 4 Battery 6 Battery-155mm and 7.2 inch Guns.

Unit No.187

1 November 1944: Regiment supports 2 Cdn Corps OP INFATUATE. Attack on Walcheren.

 

2 November 1944: Congratulating message from 3 Cdn Inf Div received.

 

3 November 1944:  Regiment warned rejoining 4 AGRA ( 1 Corps) tomorrow. Area Breda.

 

4 November 1944: Regiment deploys under command 4 AGRA area Etten. One section 7.2 inch west of Breda harrasing Moerdijk Bridge.

 

5 November 1944:  Harrasing and CB task North and South of Maas estuary.

 

6 November 1944: 7 shoots by 2 and 6 Battery on hostile batteries, 800 rounds expended.

 

7/8 November 1944: Usual bombards en concentrations. Recce party to aea East and North of Deurne on 7 Nov.

 

11 November 1944: RHQ established at De Rips. 1 and 2 Battery on 11 Armd Div front east of Deurne, and 4 and 6 Battery on 3 Div front between Oploo and Overloon.

 

12/13 November 1944: Btys engaged in preparing positions

 

15/24 November 1944: During this period the Regiment supported the attack of 11 Armoured Division towards river Maas. Little firing took place, and  the majority of what was fired over counter mortar and bounter bty. 1 and 2 bty in South supported 15 (8) Div and 11 Armd Div; 4 and 6 Btys in North supported 3 (Brt) Div. Communications were difficult owing to widely seperated Btys, The effeftive line communications were maintained by the use of metallic circuits, the forward exchanges and the High Power Telephone Set F. NO1 MK II.

 

25 November 1944: Destructive shoot, observed by Air OP, by 4 Battery om enemy strong point Kasteel ?, 50 rounds , 10 rounds observed as direct hits, by AIR OP.

 

26 November 1944: Congratulating message from GOC 52 Div relating to operations in South Beveland and Walcheren received from AGRA.

 

27 November 1944: 4 Battery continued destructive shoot on Kasteel? with AIR op.

 

28/29 November 1944: 1 and 2  Btys out of range. Small CB Programmes by 4 and 6 Btys.

 

30 November 1944: Warning orders. Regiment moves under comd 30 Corps approx 6 Dec.

 

1 December 1944: Regiment moved to Belgium.

 

1/11 January 1945: Regiment continued to support 52 Div and 7 Armd Div by C? Battery, harassing fire and concentration.

 

12 January 1945: GOC 12 Corps suspected 4 heavy Battery on 12 Jan.  4 Hy Bty allotted 43 Div for Counter Mortar tasks.  CO confefrence HQ AGRA regarding operationd BLACKCOCK. 51 Heavy Regt ( less 1 Hy Bty 7.2"How) remain under comd 9 AGRA. 1 Hy Bty under com 13 Med Regt (3 AGRA) in area Sittard, supporting 7 Armd Div. 9 AGRA reps at HQ 7 Armd Div and HQ 43 Div found by 51 Hy Regt. Recce of Regt area near Gangelt to be completed tomorrow. 

 

13 January 1945: Recce of Regt deployment area Gangelt completed.

 

14 January 1945: 1 Heavy Battery moves to gun posn West of Sittard and comes under comd 13 Med Regt for operations.

 

15 January 1945: Counter mortar tasks (4 Hy Bty) and harassing fire.

 

16 January 1945: CB programme operation 'BLACKCOCK' commenced.

 

17 January 1945: Nothing to report.

 

18 January 1945: Tasks (CB & concentrations) phase CROWN in this operation carried out. Destructive shoot on enemy dug in tankt area Breberen carried out  by 4 Bty: observed by B.C.

19 January 1945: Nothing to report.

 

20 January 1945: Regt (less 4 Bty) moves to area Gangelt - 155 mm's able to engage HB's North-East of River Rhur.

 

21 January 1945: 4 Hy Bty moves to area Gangelt and reverts to Regt.

 

22 January 1945: Fire plans in support 43 Div and 52 Div completed by 1 and 4 Btys (7.2"How). 2 & 6 Btys engaged on ??.

23 January 1945: Similar tasks as on 22 January 7.2 Hows engaged on harassing fire duting night.

 

1/3 February 1945: Regiment moved to Loon op Zand. (Noord Brabant) Regt in harbour (excluding 2 Bty under comd 68 Med Regt and supporting Cdns). 1500 hrs - Regt (less 2 Bty) left harbour area.

 

4 February 1945: Regt (less 2 Bty) arrived ares Beers - Btys in hides.

 

5/6 February 1945: Nothing to report.

 

7 February 1945: Btys in action by 2035 hrs.

 

8 February 1945: OP VERITABLE - 30 Corps under comd first Cdn Army commenced. H. Hour 1030 hrs. Regt under comd 4 AGRA SP 30 Corps and in particular 51 (H) Div. Concentrations fired by all Btys by 6 Bty (155 mm). HF tasks at night by 4 Bty.

 

9 February 1945:  Concentrations fired by 6 Bty in sp 15 (S) Div. concs by 1 & 4 Btys in sp 51 (H) Div. HF tasks fired at night by 1 Bty.

 

10 February 1945: Concs fired by 1 & 4 Btys in SP OP. HF tasks fired by 6 Bty during night.

 

11 February 1945: Concs fired by all Btys. Bombards by 6 Bty. Fire plan in SP 51 (H) Div fired at 1600 hrs by 1 & 4 Btys. Rep. ??TS very effective - CRA 51 Div very pleased with effect.

 

12 February 1945: Concs by all Btys and fire plan at 1430 hrs by 1 & 4 Btys fired in SP 51 (H) Div. CB bombards fired by 6 Bty.

 

13 February 1945: 2 small fire plans at 2015 hrs and 2245 hrs by all Btys in support of 51 (H) Div. Fire plan "SPEY" fired by all Btys in support of 32 Gds Bde OP.

 

14 February 1945: Nothing to report.

 

15 February 1945: Regt comes out of action at 0500 hrs and moves to area Ottersum, near Gennep (less 2 Bty). Btys in action by 1115 hrs. Concs fired by 1 & 4 Btys during remainder of day and HF tasks fired throughout night.

 

16 February 1945: 1 and 4 Btys fire in support of 51 Div Operation "Cold" and 52 Div Op during day, conc fired by 6 Bty. fire plans "apple", "banana" "cherry" fired by 1 and 4 Btys in support of 51 Div. Rep reports shooting very effective.

 

17 February 1945: Concs fired throughout the day by 1 and 4 Btys in support of 51 Div, 6 Bty on C.B.

 

18 February 1945: 1 and 4 Btys fire at 15.30hrs in support of 15 Div Operation "Spider attack" on Goch. 6 Bty on C.B. 1 and 4 Btys on counter mortar tasks and small fire plans in support of 51 Div attack from west on Goch at 19.00hrs. Also HF throughout night.

 

19 February 1945: 1 and 4 Btys counter mortar tasks in support of area Ottersum and Gennep. Btys in action by 11.15hrs. concs fired by 1 and 4 Btys during remainder of the day and HF tasks fired througout the night.

 

1 April 1945: Regiment moved to Belgium.

 

2 April 1945: Guns come out of action and Regt to remain present location for probably 48 hrs.

 

3 April 1945: Nothing to report.

 

4 April 1945: Information received that regt will shortly be moveing into action area Bemmel and coming under command 1 Cdn AGRA.

 

5 April 1945: Recce parties move for new area.

 

6 April 1945: Regiment moved to Bemmel. (Gelderland) and comes under command 1 Cdn AGRA, Regiment ready at 18.00hrs

 

7/8 April 1945: Nothing to report.

 

9 April 1945: Vehicle 1 Battery struck a mine, no casualties to personnel, slight damage to vehicle.

 

10 April 1945: 1 Bty moves to new location and are ready at 13.50 hrs.

 

11 April 1945: 4 Bty moves to new location.

 

12 April 1945:  49 Div Operation "Anger" starts at 22.40hrs 1 and 4 Btys support 49 Div in the crossing of the river IJssel and attack on Arnhem with a pre H Hour fire plan, 2 and 6 Btys also support with a short CB programme.

 

13 April 1945: 1 and 4 Btys engage targets at call troughout day and in support of 49 Div. 6 Bty deal with artl shoot in the afternoon on HB. 2 Bty fire for effect on target and 88 rounds were expended.

 

14 April 1945: 1 and 4 Btys on harrasing fire in the morning and again in the afternoon assisted by 6 Bty, 2 and 6 Btys fire counter battery bombards during the evening and during the night, both Btys also engaged on HF tasks in enemy rear areas for period during night.

 

15 April 1945: Shelrep OPs established by 1 and 4 Bty at 08.00hrs. 1 Bty firedHF tasks during morning and moves in the afternoon to area Zetten. Bty ready in action 20.00hrs.

 

16 April 1945: 4 Bty supports 49 Div with fire plan in clearing of the pocket east of Arnhem. and the attack on Velp. 1 Bty on HF in the morning. 6 Btys moves in the evening to new location near 4Bty. Ready for action at 20.00hrs, 2 Btys fires HF programme at 18.30hr and come out of action 21.00hrs ready for possible move on the following day. 6 Bty on HF during the night in the Wageningen area.

 

17 April 1945: 1 Bty moved location aprox 1000yrds to the east in the morning. In the early afternoon 1 Bty took on a part of a factory, believed by the Belgium Bde to contain 15 boche. OP part was established by BC. 10 rounds were fired and 20 in fire for effect, in the latter, 12 direct hits were observed. 1Bty on HF during night.

 

18 April 1945: Regt moves to concentration area South of Otterloo. (Gelderland)

 

19 April 1945: Nothing to report.

 

20 April 1945: 2 Bty moves into acton and is ready at 12.00 hrs. 4 Bty sends a fighting patrol to comb the woods.

 

21 April 1945: 2 Bty on HF throughout to night.

 

22 April 1945: 2 Bty HF during night and fires one bombard.

 

23 April 1945: Accomodation recce parties ave for new area around Meppen. 2 Bty tasks on 2 hostile batteries in afternon with Arty/R and comes out of action afterwards. Regiment last action in Holland.