L of Comm
Army Group Royal Artillery
Commander Royal Artillery
Guards Armoured (Division)
Headquarters Royal Artillery
Light Aid Detachment
Line of Communication
Operation / Observation Post (if upper case)
Prisoner of War
Royal Army Service Corps
Rounds per gun
Month and year: September 1944
Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. G.L. Fitzgerald
14th September 1944
0001 - L.O. from HQ RA Gds Armed Div with DF task tables.
0115 - On request from L.O. with HQ 55 Fd Regt a programme of HF on the road north of bridges to WALKENSWAARD was fired up to 0600 hrs. A number of targets, including some CB bombards, were engaged on orders from Ops and HQRA.
1500 - Visit from new Comd 5 AGRA (Brig Yates) who informed that HQ 5 AGRA and 121 Med Regt were still back at VERSON helping with tpt and with PWs.
1650 - Orders to bring down HF for next 24 hrs on main and side roads to the north.
1830 - CO to conference at HQRA.
15th September 1944
Several HF tasks undertaken during morning.
2000 - Lt. R. Leach returned to England in order to take part in forthcoming air ops, as LO with 82 US Airborne Div. Lt. Richards, 101 US Airborne Div, joined as LO. Lt. Landrum, 82 US Airborne Div, joined as LO.
16th September 1944
1730 - CO to conference at HQRA. Orders received [O.O. Appx E6, OP Gp Notes D3] for Op "Garden" - plan for breakout from br head and continuance of advance supported by airlanding ops by 101 US, 82 US and 1 Br Airborne Divisions.
17th September 1944
1335 - Airborne operations in progress. H Hour for fire plan now definitely 1435 hours.
1825 - Orders to prepare to move, object being to move up to cover WALKENSWAARD tomorrow morning.
1900 - Move on to road, recce parties having left at 1830. Move in darkness through desultory enemy shelling of cross roads near canal bridges to gun positions near OVERPELT, RHQ being established at 377945 at 2030 hrs.
18th September 1944
From about 0200 hrs until 0300 there was continuous heavy shelling and mortaring in areas between regt position and canal with considerable SA fire. Since the locn had been occupied at short notice in darkness most personnel were quite ignorant of the local terrain and could only wait near vehs and guns for what seemed an impending attack. RHQ office was moved into a nearby house which at least gave shelter from the heavy rain now falling. One CPOA was killed by a stray bullet in spite of the fact that he was in a dug-in CP.
0300 - Enemy activity died down and an intercepted message revealed that patrols had been active but had not penetrated our lines.
0605 - Orders to prepare to move, HQRA being already on the move.
0730 - Move onto road with head halted at point where Div HQ join it. Advised them of some delay as plan had been altered and 32 Bde were now preceding Div HQ. One section from 251 Bty moved earlier with 153 Fd Regt supporting 5 Gds Armed Bde.
1800 - Having waited all day, partly on roads, and on enquiring discovering that move unlikely tonight, regt moved to a leaguer area at 348920 further away from canal crossings. During this move, completed in darkness, enemy a/c raided canal br and crossroads area, dropping many HE and anti-personnel bombs. Cas to RASC Pln attached were 1 killed and 4 wounded and 6 x 3 ton trucks damaged (mostly tyres). LAD and RASC personnel worked all night on these vehicles which were all put bck on the road by first light.
19th September 1944
0030 - Orders to contact 15/19 Hussars and to move up CL behind them at 0600 hrs.
0630 - Move up road and over canal by 0800 hrs. Order of march now changed again and regt to tie in in rear of 32 Gds Bde, Welsh Gp. CO moved up road to contact CRA.
1920 - Minimum recce parties were ordered fwd - to RV at 707542. Main body to follow to RV.
20th September 1944
0100 - Regt arrived in area MALDEN and RHQ established at 694568, 250 Bty being deployed and 251 Bty leaguered.
0725 - Engaged enemy gun posns, being ranged by OP from 55 Fd Regt through HQRA.
0845 - CO ordered 250 Bty to change ZL to 360 degrees and 351 Bty to recce suitable area for deployment.
1000 - CO to conference with CRA.
1225 - HF tasks engaged up to 1400 hrs.
1300 - 251 Bty deployed.
1415 - Orders for fire plan to cover assault crossing of R Waal in order to secure northern end of bridge - combined with attack on southern end. This was shot at 1445. OP Officer was ordered to make the crossing to give support, but on arrival on north bank the situation was so well in hand that he was not required and returned to OP veh (which could not cross) on southern bank.
1600 - CRA advised that R/T comms had been established with 1st Airborne Div. CCRA ordered one section to move up to river bank in order to be able to give support to 1sst Airborne Div. Remainder of regt to deploy in "Sport Park" in NIJMEGEN.
1815 - 2 i/c reported difficulties, en route for recce for fwd section, from snipers. Trying alternatives. One Tp 275 HAA Bty u/comd and deployed in ground role area 686605.
Place: Nijmegen 689602
RHQ moved, after btys and detached section, and established by 2045 in "Heide Park" 689602. B Ech and RASC Pln also moved fwd.
2245 - OP officer on river bank reported contact with valuable source of information through Dutch underground organisation. This came from a factory whose telephone comms were still available to other patriots covering a wide area of enemy occupied country. Later 30 Corps established an L.O. with R/T comms at the factory.
21st September 1944
0015 - Fwd section began HF on behalf of 1st Airborne Div - believed to be the first sp given to this hard pressed division by 30 Corps artillery.
0025 - 251 Bty fired on what was believed to be the HQ of German 6 Para Div (Note:- This target is across the German border and is understood to be the first on German soil to be engaged by 2nd Army or any British regiment). L.O. attached from 1st Airborne Division and L.O.attached form 101 US Airborne Division left to join Gds Armoured Div and 101 US Airborne Div respectively. L.O.(Br. Lt R. Leach) who landed with 82 US Airborne Officer returned to regt.
1010 - LAA Tp attached left to fwd posn in defence of Bridges.
1340 - Capt. Seaford AOP Offr from B Flt 662 Sqn reported - having been allocated to regt. Netted on Regt net.
1540 - A Tp, 250 Bty moved to fwd posn near river bank. Sect of B Tp pulled out from fwd posn and joined 153 Fd Regt in sp of Gp from 32 Gds Bde and proceeded south down L of Comm to dislodge enemy now sitting astride it between VEGHEL and UDEN.
1615 - Tp of 275 HAA Bty left to assume anti-shipping role on river bank, a waterborne attack on the bridges being considered a possibility.
1800 - Section from 251 Bty which had moved up with 55 Fd Regt returned.
2208 - CRA Gds Armd Div advised that he required C.O. to take over the "Hunt" Arty Gp (devised to support - primarily in CB role- 82 US Airborne Div), C.O. to meet CRA early morning 22nd. (Note:- This gp taken over by Br Col Fanshawe instead).
22nd September 1944
HF fire on two fronts, ie north and East up to 0130 hrs.
0555 - Ordered to turn all guns north to support attack.
0740 - Attack postponed, 251 Bty to continue to give sp in South.
2230 - DF tasks received on 1st Airborne Div front and also Gds Armed Div and 82 US Airborne Div.
23rd September 1944
Extensive HF tasks fired from midnight to 0530 hrs. Regt continued to give support on whole front, involving arcs of fire of about 300 degrees, calls for fire being received from many sources, ie, two Ops with 82 US Airborne Div, one OP with 55 Fd Regt, an L.O. with HQ 5 Gds Bde, in addition to HQRA Gds Armd Div. A further OP deployed in the UDEN area with the detached section supporting 32 Gds Bde. During the night HF engaged on 82 US Airborne Div front.
24th September 1944
1600 - Engaged fire plan in support 50 Inf Div attack on BEMMEL. (NB. This attack made by two bns of 130 Bde under comd 5 Bde, Gds Armd Div).
1700 - L.O. to HQRA 82 US Airborne Div for CB.
2150 - L.O. (from 94 Fd Regt) joined regt as rep from 43 Infantry Division HQRA, as comms link to RA Gds Armd.
25th September 1944
0325 - Fire plan received for 124 Fd Regt, and shot at 0700 in sp of attack by 5 E Yorks, 69 Inf Bde.
2100 - Fire plan of total 20 rpg spread over 2 ˝ hours engaged in sp of 43 Inf Div…
26th September 1944
1252 - Part of RASC Pln returned with petrol and amn. This party found the main CL had been cut and return route not available. In view of the urgent requirement of their loads, however, the NCO i/c attached the party to a Recce Gp and came through on by-roads.
1658- Shot on fire plan in sp of attack in the direction of HAALDEREM by 6 Green Howards (69 Inf Bde).
Situation at 2200 hours daily
Near Overpelt 377945.
Under comd Gds Armd Div.
16 x 5.5" guns (8 sections of 2 guns each)
plus 6 Bofors of E Tp, 326 Bty, 94 LAA Regt, RA.
One Tp, 4 Survey Regt.
One RASC Pln.
Notes on CO's conference, 1430 hrs, 16 Sept 44.
DIEPPE Harbour now working.
LE HAVRE expected to function shortly
BOULOGNE captured today.
CALAIS and ANTWERP expected to fall shortly.
In the meantime, L of C tpt designed to work over 150 miles is having to function over 400 miles but the situation is improving rapidly with the securing of the Channel Ports.
D Day, 17 September, subject to weather suitable for airborne operations.
2nd Army Plan:- On right, 8 Corps to work up to EINDHOVEN. On left, 12 Corps to work up to TILBURG. Centre, 30 Corps to go right through.
30 Corps:- To advance from canal to cross the R Rhine extension at GRAVE, NIJMEGEN and ARNHEM and on to the ZUIDER ZEE and then to face EAST with br hds over the R.LISSEL. This will cut off about 100,000 enemy tps of all arms in coastal area.
US 1 Army:- Forms the right claw of pincer movement to RUHR area.
30 Corps Plan
Gds Armd Div. (84 Med Regt u/c) - to reach high ground APELDOORN-ZUIDER ZEE and establish all round defences.
8 Armd Bde: to follow up and secure L of C.
43 Inf Div: to SE of Gds Armd Div incl. APELDOORN with br hds over R.LISSEL.
50(N) Inf Div: to establish br hd over R.LISSEL at DUISBERG.
52 AirLanding Div: to ferry in later.
RA Gds Armd Div Op Order Dated 16 Sep 44.