National Archives catalogue number WO 171/5136.

 

Abbreviation

170015 B

194462

2 i/c

AA

A/Adjt

a/c

Adjt

Admin
AFV

AGRA

Airldg

a/m

Amb

Amn

Arty

A/Tk

Bde

BHQ

BLA

Bn

Br

Brhead

Bty

Cav

Cdn

CO

Col

Comd

Coy

CP

Def

Det

Div

DR

DZ

Ech

Elt

Est

Fd

Fwd

Govt

Gp

Gr

HE

Hy

I

I/513

Indep

Infm

IO

Junct

L

LAD

LO

MMG

MO

MT

Offr

O Gp

OM

OR

Pl

Posn

PW

Pz

QM

RA

RAP

RCT

Rd

Regt
REME

RHU

Rly
RS

RV

S

SA

SAA

SAS

SG

SP

Sqn

Str

Tk

Tp

Tpt

Veh

X rds

17th April, 0015 hrs

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Anti-Aircraft

Acting Adjutant
Aircraft

Adjutant

Administration
Armoured Fighting Vehicle

Army Group Royal Artillery

Airlanding

Aforementioned

Ambulance

Ammunition

Artillery

Anti-Tank

Brigade

Battalion Headquarters

British Liberation Army

Battalion

Bridge

Bridgehead

Battery

Cavalry

Canadian

Commanding Officer

Column

Commander

Company

Command Post

Defensive

Detachment

Division / Divisional

Despatch Rider

Drop Zone

Echelon

Element

Estimate

Field

Forward

Government

Group

Grenadier

High Explosive

Heavy

Intelligence

1st Battalion, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Independent

Information

Intelligence Officer

Junction

Lowland

Light Aid Detachment

Liaison Officer

Medium Machine Gun

Medical Officer

Motor Transport

Officer

Orders Group
Order of March

Other Ranks
Platoon

Position

Prisoner of War

Panzer

Quartermaster

Royal Artillery

Regimental Aid Post

Regimental Combat Team

Road

Regiment

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Reinforcement Holding Unit

Railway

Royal Scots

Rendezvous

Scottish

Small Arms

Small Arms Ammunition

Special Air Service

Scots Guards

Self-Propelled

Squadron

Strength

Tank

Troop

Transport

Vehicle

Crossroads

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.-Col. N. Crookenden

 

6th March 1945

Place: Field

 

Bn returns from leave.

 

7th March 1945

0900 - Coys sort out kit and general admin.

 

1400 - Visit by Maj-Gen. BOLS.

 

8th March 1945

0830 - "A" Coy and "B" Coy of Fovant range.  Snipers on Bulford range.

 

9th March 1945

Training jump.  Preparatory jump for next operation.

 

10th March 1945

0830 - "C" Coy on Bulford B range.

 

11th March 1945

1100 - Church parade.

 

12th March 1945

Corps Comd. visited Bn.

 

13th March 1945

MMG and A/Tk. training jump.

 

14th March 1945

Preparation for operation VARSITY.

 

15th March 1945

Preparation for operation VARSITY.

 

16th March 1945

Preparation for operation VARSITY.

 

17th March 1945

CO visited units of 17th US Airborne Division.

 

18th March 1945

Church parade.

 

19th March 1945

"I" Section move to MUSHROOM FARM transit camp.

 

20th March 1945

Final briefings for operation VARSITY.

 

21st March 1945

Final briefings for operation VARSITY.

 

22nd March 1945

Final briefings for operation VARSITY.

 

23rd March 1945

Final briefings for operation VARSITY.

 

24th March 1945

0245 - Reveille.

 

0330 - Breakfast.

 

0445 - Embussed.

 

0625 - Emplaned.

 

0700 - Take off.

 

0959 - Bn gp passed over the RHINE.  Below could be seen the smoke of battle as the 15 (S) Div fought their way forward and in front the bursting of flak near the 8th Bn gp.

 

1003 - Bn dropped into Germany.  Weather ideal, there being little wind and beautiful sunshine.  The flak was not excessive although a lot of air bursts could be seen.

 

1020 - Three aircraft hit by AA and two of them on fire.  One aircraft crash-landed with the starboard engine in flames.

 

1030 - Glider element landed on DZ.  Flak had now increased and DZ was being well covered as Boche AA tried to hit gliders.

 

1035 - One glider seen to crash land into wood which was being held by 8th Bn near our RV.  Lt. ENGLAND, IO of 8th Bn, was killed by this glider.

 

1055 - Reports from coys showed at least 85% of Bn present at RV.

 

1100 - Bn moved off from RV with "A" Coy in the lead to complete phase I of the operation.  No opposition was encountered by 22 PWs surrendered.  Bn passed close to one glider which had crash-landed, and four occupants were still alive but appeared to be very severely injured.

 

1200 - "A" Coy reported DICK occupied without incident.

 

1230 - "C" Coy with Lt. BLAIR's pl in front moved to HARRY.  A small scale action took place which resulted in 86 PWs being taken for the loss of one Sgt killed and four O.Rs wounded.

 

1245 - Cpl. ROUND, "B" Coy, knocked out one SP gun with a gammon bomb near Bn HQ.

 

1300 - Lt. GORDON LEE's pl leading "B" Coy exploited to SE corner of wood and by 1330 hrs were consolidated in this area.

 

1330 to 1600 - Numerous PWs were now arriving in Bn cage and the total has risen to 5 Offrs and 288 O.Rs.

 

1300 to 1700 - Lt. POND carried out contact patrol with I/513 RCT of 17th US Div.

 

25th March 1945

During the night there was heavy AA fire from the direction of brs across the RHINE and sound of enemy a/c passing overhead.

 

0610 - "C" Coy passed through Bn HQ on route to WILFRED.

 

0410 - SP A/Tk. Bty arrived in Bn location.

 

0830 - Two American flyers shot down over Bde sector arrived at Bn HQ.

 

0900 - Contact patrol of 513 Regt. arrived at Bn HQ. II/513.  Report original objectives seized and consolidated.

 

0905 - Sherman tanks of 15 (S) Recce passed through Bn sector.

 

0910 to 0930 - 15 (S) Recce gp passing through.

 

0946 - Aerial battles in progress over Bn sector.  Two FW 190s shot down.

 

0950 - Casualties from 5th Para Bde and 6th Airlanding Bde being evacuated to behead over the RHINE.

 

0958 - American Offrs of 17th US Div visit Bn HQ.

 

1007 - Few missing personnel arrive at Bn HQ.  Most of them were 2 i/c's aircraft from which they had dropped some 3000 yds away from the RV and had made their way to Division and thence to Bn HQ.

 

1010 to 1130 - Continuous vehicular traffic going east.

 

1140 - Div Comd passes Bn HQ.

 

1150 to 1230 - More continuous vehicular traffic eastwards.

 

1300 - "C" Coy forward pl under Lt. MILLER being withdrawn to within Coy posns.  8th Bn taking over posn.

 

1315 - Considerable enemy activity overhead.

 

1317 - Lt. CATTERNACH reported to CO that it was possible to cross DZ.

 

1432 - Hy. gunfire heard south of area.

 

1805 - A convoy of PWs estimated at 2,000 pass through Bn HQ.  These had been taken by 5th Para Bde and 6th Airldg.

 

1830 to 2200 - Continuous sound of AA and arty fire.

 

26th March 1945

0200 - Elts of 52 (L) Div pass through Bn area.

 

0300 - 3 AGRA passing through.

 

0515 - Stand to.

 

0615 - Stand down.

 

0815 - Own Arty still engaging targets.

 

0945 - Warning order to move to new location.  One pl of "C" Coy left to fill in crater in road on main Div Axis.

 

1100 - Bn moves by march route to wood 194462 from 162464.

 

1205 - Bn arrives at new location where we dig in 2ft and rest.

 

1340 - Sqn of tanks seen moving 200 yds to the west.

 

1515 - Bn moves off by march route.

 

1800 - Bn passed through Cdns.

 

2200 - Bn arrives at village of LADDER to find Americans in possession and one house which had harboured a sniper burning fiercely.

 

2230 - CO and Coy Comds patrol ISSEL and find no sign of enemy but brs have been blown.

 

2315 - Bn rests for the night in and around a farm yard after crossing the ISSEL without opposition.

 

27th March 1945

0405 - Bn left for new location - KLOSTER LUKTERHEIM.

 

0635 - Bn reached about area having moved across country and on tracks covered by low lying mist clouds.

 

0640 - Automatic fire on fwd Coy ("B" Coy) which deployed and went into the attack.  CO ordered mortars to be prepared to give support but this was not necessary.

 

0715 - Bn occupied area and put 5 officers and 179 ORs in the bag.

 

0945 - Enemy tanks reported in area and Bn stands to.

 

1140 - Own Arty support Bn by shelling area location of enemy tracked vehs.

 

1144 - Indep. tk Bde attached to 17th US Div reported in Bn areas.

 

1155 - Additional American troops move up.

 

1250 - Airborne recce join Bn in its present location.

 

1300 to 1900 - American units passing through.

 

28th March 1945

0400 - One det of A/Tk pl brought in 6 PWs who had been hiding in a house near Bn posns.

 

0730 - CO attends Bde "O" Gp.

 

0830 - "O" Gp of Coy Comds under 2 i/c.

 

0915 - Bn moves off by march route - Order of march:- "C" Coy, "A" Coy, "B" Coy and HQ Coy.

 

1410 - 8th Bn reported clearing OSTRICH.

 

1915 to1925 - Small scale attack by "C" and "A" Coys on enemy vehicles and mobile Oerlikon guns.  Three vehicles and one 20mm Oerlikon gun knocked out.  40 PWs taken.

 

2110 - Bn reached objective which was a wood east of LEMPECK, situated near one of the German escape roads from that town, which was the 8th Bn's objective.

 

2300 - Small party of Boche withdrawing from RHADE area which was bypassed by the 9th Bn, attacked BHQ posn but surrendered on meeting opposition.  20 PWs taken, two of whom were officer/cadets.  During the night a further 13 PWs surrendered.

 

29th March 1945

0710 - Visit by Brig. J.S. HILL, DSO, MC.

 

0900 - 42 PWs who had surrendered during the night were escorted back to Bde.  Total PWs now taken - 10 Officers and 509 ORs.

 

1730 - CO attends Bde "O" Gp.

 

1800 - Bn prepares to move by MT to COESFIELD area.

 

30th March 1945

0755 - Bn embussed for move to GREVEN area and Bde objective of seizing a bridge across the EMS river.

 

0935 - Bn halted in area of 580685.  Slight opposition encountered by leading Bn who were moving one coy on tanks.

 

1055 - Bn moved in.

 

1110 - Held up one mile SE of COESFIELD.

 

1625 - Bn reached BILLERBECK.

 

1700 - COTTESMORE reached.

 

2215 - Bn debussed two miles short of river EMS in GREVEN area.

 

2220 to 0150 - Large amn dump burning fiercely with occasional loud explosions, one of which was the loudest ever heard in the area and was responsible for a lot of damage to be seen later in GREVEN.

 

31st March 1945

0150 - "B" Coy recce bridge over river EMS.  The bridge, originally reported held by the Cdns, proved to be a secondary bridge some 400 yds away from the main bridge.

 

0205 - Br blown by enemy and after some Panzerfaust fire from opposite bank, Bn withdrew for the night to the railway station area.

 

0345 - "A" Coy recce a small footbridge over the river which was found to be intact.

 

0544 - Two pls of "A" Coy over the river and the rest of the Bn prepare to follow up.

 

0630 - "C" Coy pass over the bridge and reinforce "A" Coy.  Automatic and rifle fire was coming from the town and from the left.  Lt. McGUFFIE was hit on the bridge and expired later on the enemy bank.

 

0635 - Capt. TAVENER wounded in the shoulder.

 

0710 - Town occupied and "A", "B", and "C" Coys all in posn around the centre of the town.

 

0730 - Bn settles down to dig in around GREVEN area.  One Offr. and seven ORs taken prisoner.  Bn PW total since D-Day is now 11 Offrs and 572 ORs.

 

0912 to 1100 - SP gun firing and registering hits on church tower with HE.

 

1005 - Own Arty engaged SP gun area.

 

1200 - COs "O" Gp.

 

1315 - Bn march off to seize river crossing over DORTMUND-EMS canal.

 

1330 to 1500 - Bde column held up by four SP guns firing air bursts.

 

1815 - Bn arrives at DORTMUND-EMS canal to find all bridges blown and settles down for the night, waiting for engrs to make bridge passable, in SCHMEDEHAUSEN area.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.-Col. N. Crookenden

 

1st April 1945

0515 - Enemy SP gun active.

 

0700 - Enemy 88mm joins SP gun in shelling Bn area.  Seven airbursts over "B" Coy area and Bn HQ.

 

0905 - "C" Coy moves off over canal bridge through 8th Bn.

 

1000 - Report "C" Coy successfully across bridge and moving down bank towards posn where remainder of Bn are waiting to cross.

 

1035 to 1045 - SAA fire on enemy side of canal.

 

1045 - Light signals: red white white.

 

1100 - "B" Coy across canal to reinforce "C" Coy.

 

1135 - Bn reported 500 yards in from canal and digging-in in a defensive posn.

 

1140 to 1200 - Enemy SP guns active over Bn area.

 

1300 - Bn improves defensive posn. and ferries amn across bridge for MMG pl.  Mortars left on opposite bank.

 

2nd April 1945

0200 - Bn adopts BDST.

 

0400 - Recce officer of 5th Para Bde arrived at Bn HQ accompanied by three PWs.  The PWs had told him he stated that 80 Boche were preparing a defensive posn five kilometres further inland.  This was thought improbable.

 

0715 - Enemy aircraft flying very low passed over the bridge without attacking engrs working party.

 

0925 - Tks of 6th Airlanding Bde cross DORTMUND-EMS canal and move through "A" Coy posn.

 

1515 - Bn HQ moved out of wood into nearby farm.

 

1930 - Bailey bridge over canal attacked by four unidentified aircraft.  This was probably the result of the early morning recce.  The aircraft were heavily engaged by AA fire.

 

2030 - "B" Echelon arrived in Bn area and packs were given out to the men.  Bn prepares to move during the night.

 

3rd April 1945

0615 - CO's "O" Gp.

 

1015 - Order to move received by Bde.  Move by MT.

 

1355 - Bn picks up sqn of tanks at LENGERICH.  "C" Coy debussed and mounted on these tanks then formed spearhead of the Bn.

 

1520 - After uneventful journey Bn halted at rd block.

 

1530 - Rd block cleared by and of tanks.

 

1540 - Leading Cromwell hit four times by Panzerfaust.  No casualties or damage was reported.

 

1615 - One pl of "C" Coy debusses from tanks to clear up small pocket of enemy resistance.

 

1640 - Slight opposition met in GEORGS MARIEN HOTTE.  Numerous enforced labour personnel seen who were overjoyed at being liberated.  Town seemed to have escaped bombing by RAF notwithstanding large power station.

 

1945 - Bn gp arrives in WISSENGEN.  A total of 32 PWs had been collected on route.

 

4th April 1945

0855 - After a very quiet night Bn embussed for drive to LUBECKE.  Bde order of march:- 8th, 9th, 1st Cdn.  8th Bn had one coy mounted on tks.  Route:- WISSENGEN - RABBER - LUBECKE.

 

1200 - Bn passed through LUBECKE and Bde objective now MINDEN.

 

1240 - 8th Bn passed through 9th Bn much to our astonishment as we though the tks were in front and not behind.

 

1355 - Reported bridge at 5616 captured and enemy guard of est str 30 either killed or captured.

 

1600 - Bn reached outskirts of MINDEN at BOLHORST.  A report from forward Bn stated that two SP guns and one tank had been seen in MINDEN.

 

1800 - Bn debussed preparatory to staying night just outside MINDEN.

 

1830 - Two US Officers of the 17th US Div which had been operating on the Bn right flank arrived at Bn HQ.  One officer stated that their Div arty had been trained on the Bde Col as we approached MINDEN.

 

1900 - Two US Officers accompanied by Major drove into MINDEN under cover of white flag with ultimatum, "surrender or town will be shelled out of existence."  During the night 8th Bn entered town without opposition.

 

5th April 1945

0200 - "C" Coy patrol brought in two PWs - identified as German REME personnel.  No information obtained about German defences.

 

1000 - 'Coy Comds' conference re admin and promotions within the Bn.

 

1005 - Lt. POND, MC and one det. A/Tk. pl carried out recce of crossings over canal.  This was necessitated by the fact that 3 Para Bde were operating in an American area and a move northwards towards PETERSHAGEN was imminent.

 

1400 to 1530 - Bn moves by march route through to area of STEMMER.  Order of march:- Recce party under IO, "A" Coy, "B" Coy, "C" Coy, HQ Coy, BHQ.  Tpt moving under QM.  Slight opposition in the shape of sniping encountered in MINDEN.

 

1430 - IO and one DR keep control in centre of MINDEN.  This was necessary as the civilians were looting all the shops in the centre of the town and were very much out of hand.

 

1530 - Bn arrives in STEMMER area and went into def. rest posns.

 

6th April 1945

Bn rests in STEMMER area through the day.  Men drew large packs, bathed and changed underclothes.

 

7th April 1945

1000 - Bn "O" Gp.  6th Airborne Div moving to line of river LEINE.  Order of march within Bde :- One sqn tks, Cdns, 9th, 8th, Bde HQ, 25th Field Regt, RA and B Ech.  Route:- KUTEN HAUSEN, TODTEN HAUSEN, rd junct. 822162 and bridge 8318.

 

1200 - Hot meal for whole Bn and haversack rations of biscuits and chocolate.

 

1300 - Bn left STAMMER by march route.

 

1405 - Bn passed through TODTEN HAUSEN.

 

1515 - Bn crossed swift moving WESER by means of pontoon bridge.  Escort of typhoons overhead.

 

1930 - Bn route changed.

 

2330 - Bn arrived in BAD REDBURG having marched 24 miles.  Seven PWs taken during the night.

 

8th April 1945

0815 - Bn continues advance by march route.  Men's feet in very good condition considering tiring march yesterday.

 

1330 - Enemy tanks reported to be in WUNSTORF.

 

1430 - Bn HQ set up in WUNSTORF.

 

1500 - Warning order to be prepared to move immediately.  Men very tired but no complaints as the possibility of meeting enemy opposition seemed preferable to rest.

 

1530 - Tks of US 4th Cav Gp seen entering WUNSTORF.

 

1600 - Bn order to stand down and prepare to stay in billets overnight in WUNSTORF.

 

1800 - CO's "O" Gp.

 

2215 to 2330 - Enemy SP gun active.  No casualties reported but some damage done to "C" Coy HQ billet.  22 PWs taken during the day.

 

9th April 1945

0630 - Reveille.

 

0730 - Breakfast.

 

0830 - Five PWs taken.  Identified as 128 Bn of 4 Flak Division.

 

0800 to 1700 - Bn rests.

 

1850 - "O" Gp.  Warning order Bn moving next day to area of LUTHE.

 

1830 - Order to all coys "no movement outside billeting area at night."

 

2030 to 2200 - ENSA show "Stars in Battledress".  400 seats allotted to Bn.  22 PWs surrendered during the day.

 

10th April 1945

0730 - "O" Gp.  Bn moving to area BISSENDORF.

 

0900 - Bn embusses.  "A" Coy moving on tanks.

 

0955 - Bn moves off "A" Coy leading.

 

1020 - Bn passed through enemy airfield on which 13 serviceable aircraft had been captured the night before.

 

1030 - Bn passed through NEUSTADT which was held by 7th Para Bn.

 

1106 - SCHARREL reached.  13th Bn were holding this village.

 

1127 - Bn debussed at METEL and prepares to move remainder of distance to BISSENDORF by march route.

 

1145 - Bn sets off by march route - distance 12 miles.

 

1415 - BRELINGEN reached.  1st Cdns moved into billets in this area.

 

1515 - MELLENDORF reached.  8th Bn move into billets.

 

1615 - Bn reached BISSENDORF.  Billets found.

 

11th April 1945

Bn rests.  CSMI HARROLD takes over CSM of "B" Coy as CSM MOAT had been evacuated from RAP owing to shrapnel wound.

 

12th April 1945

During the day Bn rests and all coys bring admin up to date.

 

1000 to 1230 - "I" Section search woods in area of BISSENDORF for suspected members of the WEREWOLF organisation reported hiding there.

 

1100 - Confirmed that C/Sgt. DAVIES, previously reported missing believed killed in action, is now a PW.  Lt. SLADE and Sgt. ORR received congratulation on having reached a "mention in despatches".

 

2030 - Bn HQ stood to on look out for enemy aircraft which usually flew low over Bn area at this hour.  30 PWs taken.

 

13th April 1945

Through the day all coys concentrated on admin.

 

1100 to 1145 - Mortar pl try out enemy mobile mortar.  Mortar was in action in 3½ mins.  Slight mishaps marred the demonstration such as:- (1) Slipping of sights in clamp and (2) First bomb misfired.  CO having watched this demonstration decided not to use this mortar as (1) Rate of fire was only 50% of 3 in mortars, (2) Bomb fragmentation little better than a 36 grenade, and (3) amn supply difficulty.

 

1150 - Lt. POND demonstrated Panzerfaust.

 

1210 - SS man suspected as member of WEREWOLVES arrested and sent to Bde.

 

1800 - Officers pistol competition.  Capt. TAVENER, notwithstanding wound in shoulder, carried off easily the first prize.

 

1830 - News of death of Pte WIGG, batman to 2 i/c received.  Pte WIGG was wounded on D Day at Rear Div HQ.  8 PWs taken.

 

14th April 1945

1035 - Bn move by march route to CELLE.  Distance : 17 miles.  Order of march:- 9th Bn, 8th Bn, 1st Cdns.  Bn marched for first time without haversacks.

 

1345 - Halt for 45 minutes.  March had been very pleasant, weather perfect with slight cooling breeze.

 

1430 - Bn moved off to complete march.  The next seven miles was not to be so pleasant as the preceding 10 miles.  This time the Bn had to march on roads over which there was a continuous stream of traffic creating huge columns of dust.

 

1630 - Bn arrives in CELLE which appeared to have suffered a great deal either from bombing or shelling.

 

2100 - The finding of 83 German parachutes reported to Bde.

 

1900 - The MO had to use a local anaesthetic for the first time since D Day to dress wounds.  One PW taken.

 

15th April 1945

0745 - 2 i/c Coys leave to go on recce for new locations.

 

0755 - Lt. REID leaves for Bde to secure infm re proposed move.

 

0830 - "O" Gp.  Bn moving by MT.  Order of march :- 9th Bn, 8th Bn, 1st Cdns, 224 Fd Amb, 25 Fd Regt. RA.  Route:- CELLE - ESCHEDE - HAMBROCK.

 

1500 - Uniform of SS Obergruppenfuhrer RAUTER, one time head of the police in Holland, publicly destroyed.

 

1610 - Warning order to move - half an hour's notice.

 

1630 - Bn leaves for new location.

 

2000 - Bn arrives in ESCHEDE.

 

2030 - Bn area strafed by unidentified a/c.  Major DYER and Lt. SLADE awarded the CROIX DE GUERRE for gallantry on D Day and the days following.

 

16th April 1945

0530 - Reveille.

 

0820 - Embussed.

 

0845 - Bn moves off in MT.

 

1105 to 1155 - Bn halted.  Adjt returns from CO with infm that UELZEN is held by the enemy and that this town is now one of the objectives of the 15 (S) Div.  Bde objectives are now:- 9th Bn... WRESTED, 1st Cdn... NETTEDKAMP, 8th Bn... LEHMKE.

 

1300 - Bn had midday meal on the side of the road.  Most of the men seize the opportunity of having some sleep.

 

1645 - Bn arrives in WRESTED.

 

2200 - "O" Gp.  Bn moving at 170015 B to seize and hold RÄTZLINGEN in order to cut the escape route from UELZEN.  Route:- STEDERDORF - ESTERHOLZ - LEHMKE - HANSTED - X rds 987885 - X rds 997905.

 

17th April 1945

0015 - Bn moves off.  Order of march:- Advance guard, "A" Coy, rd recce party, BHQ, "B" Coy, HQ Coy, A.Tk. pl, "C" Coy and A Ech.

 

0520 - "A" Coy followed by "B" Coy attack wooded feature overlooking objective.  Casualties inflicted on enemy - 12 killed and one MG 34 destroyed.  Four PWs were also taken.  Own casualties - nil.

 

0605 - "B" Coy passed through "A" Coy and entered village of RÄTZLINGEN.

 

0610 to 0630 - Street fighting in village.  Own casualties:- Two killed and five wounded.  Enemy 20mm half track destroyed.

 

0630 - Cdn tks entered village.  Leading tks attacked by German party str. 10.  These Germans, contrary to the usual type of Boche met recently, actually fought very well.  They allowed the leading tk to approach within 40 yards before attacking with panzerfausts, which did little damage.

 

0635 - CO, IO and PIAT det engaged this party with rifle and sten fire and they were silenced with the aid of the leading tanks' six-pounder.

 

0650 - Brig. J.S. HILL, DSO, MC infms CO that he has been awarded an immediate DSO.

 

0700 - Organised resistance ceased.  Total of PWs is 57.

 

0900 - Cdns pass through to attack RIESTEDT.

 

0940 - MMG pl sent to help out Cdns.

 

0945 - Bn area handed over to 8th Bn.

 

0950 - Further eight PW taken.

 

1110 - Warning order to prepare to move by march route at 1145.  Order of march:- "B" Coy, "C" Coy, BHQ, "A" Coy.

 

1210 - Conference with tk pl comds and coy comds re plans for advance on MASENDORF.

 

1300 - Leading coys - "B" and "C" Coys - cross start line in open formation each supported by one pl of tks.

 

1400 - MASENDORF occupied without opposition.

 

1510 - CO gives out information that Indep. Para Coy are taking over MASENDORF and that the 9th Para Bn are now directed at MOLZEN.  "C" Coy is to remain in MASENDORF and hold roads leading into the town from NE, NW and SW with A.Tk. pl support.  Order of march:- "B" Coy mounted on one tp of tks, "A" Coy, HQ Coy, A.Tk pl and one tp.

 

1530 - One officer on recce from UELZEN taken prisoner.  Infm received from him is that UELZEN is held by two and a half regts.  One Pz. Gr, one Pz Jäger Bn and two coys of tks.  Six ORs also taken prisoner.

 

1545 - Bn moves to MOLZEN by march route.

 

1605 - MOLZEN entered without opposition.

 

1700 - PWs evacuated to Bde.

 

1835 - Major L. HASTINGS, BBC, visited Bn HQ.

 

2045 - Lt. Adnaw's pl saw one large truck hauling two trailers appear from bridge underneath railway.  They were immediately engaged by SA fire and occupants were captured.  Truck and trailers were driven into Bn lines.  PWs totalled 10.

 

2050 - 40 seater bus lead by one civilian car was seen approaching village from the direction of Uelzen.  The vehicles were allowed to drive almost into pln posn. before they opened fire.  An offr in the civilian car was killed and the others in the bus (20 in all) surrendered.  One offr and 20 OR PWs were evacuated to Bde.  Total PWs for night 16/17 and 17 April now 2 Offrs and 115 ORs.  During the night a 24 hr patrol of the 8th Bn to rly-x rds area brought in 75 PWs.

 

2145 - Three British escaped PWs arrived in Bn area.  They had been in captivity since DUNKIRK.

 

18th April 1945

0530 - Reveille.

 

0700 - Stand to.

 

1430 - One Offr and 7 NCOs all Luftwaffe personnel surrendered to Lt. Adnaws pl.

 

1455 - C Coy patrol under Lt. BUTTERFIELD reports in posn, to shoot up German convoys on rd from UELZEN to LUENEBURG.

 

1530 - One offr and 75 PWs marched off to Bde.

 

1430 - B Coy patrol digging in and 11 PWs taken.

 

1620 - B Coy patrol ordered not to send but also warned that contacting patrols from 15 (S) Div might appear in their area.

 

1630 - SAS attached to 15 (S) Div sweep into Bn HQ and hand over 26 PWs.

 

1715 - CO orders C Coy patrol to occupy EMMENDORF.

 

1730 - 18 PWs attempting to escape from ÜLZEN in direction of LÜNEBORG arrive at Bn HQ.  These are main column of party, Marines and Luftwaffe, all being employed as infantry.  Average age - 18 years.

 

1830 - A Coy of 8th RS - 15th (S) Div arrived in Bn area to recce Billets.

 

1900 - A batch of PWs marched off to Bde.

 

2100 - 11 PWs surrender to IO at Bn HQ.

 

2105 - One enemy aircraft attacks Bn area.  Five bombs dropped.  Casualties - three civilians killed and two wounded.  Own casualties - one gunner attached was wounded.

 

2130 - Barn set on fire by bomb splinters, bursts into flames.  Provost Sgt. attacks fire with buckets of water but finds it impossible to get fire under control.

 

2400 - Barn still burning.

 

19th April 1945

0940 - Arrest of Herr MEIER, suspected chief of Nazi party in ÜLZEN.

 

1115 - "O" Gp.

 

0955 - 2 i/c and coys reps.  Warning order that Bn may move to STOCKEN 9794.  Route by transport:- MOLZEN - RIESTEDT - STOCKEN.

 

1015 - CO's "O" Gp.  Bn move to and occupy village of STOCKEN.  Order of move:- C Coy, Bn HQ, A Coy, B Coy, HQ Coy, A and B Ech, F ach and scout car.

 

2100 - Two PWs arrive at Bn HQ.  Identified one as member of a construction Coy and other of the Luftwaffe.

 

20th April 1945

0900 - CO's "O" Gp.  Bn move to NATELN 0390, and occupy village.  Order of march:- B Coy, Bn HQ, C Coy, HQ Coy, A Coy, A/Tk guns and A and B Ech.  Route:- STOCKEN - JARLITZ 9992 - ROSCHE - NATELN.  Timings: form up by 1020, cross starting point at 1030.  Defensive rest billets - no parapets.  Wireless opened at 0930.

 

1030 - Left STOCKEN.

 

1215 - Arrived at NATELN after very pleasant walk.  Men's feet obviously in good condition.

 

1230 - Bn settles down in rest billets.  Slit trenches dug and alarm posts rehearsed.

 

2040 - Loud explosion heard to the north.  Appeared like bomb of heavy calibre.  Plane was not seen.

 

2055 - Sound of aircraft in the distance.

 

2100 - Stand to.

 

2200 - Padre reports Bde and 8th Bn was bombed with few casualties, killed and injured 16.  One unidentified aircraft passes over Bn posn.

 

21st April 1945

1200 - Warning order to coys: "Prepare to move" in one hour's notice from 1300 hrs.

 

1515 - Movement order issued.  Parade 1615.  Move off at 1630.

 

1630 - Brig. S.J. Hill, DSO, MC arrives and informs CO that all timings are put back one hour.

 

1810 - Transport arrives.

 

1820 - Bn parades and embusses.

 

1840 - Bn moves off.

 

2015 - Bn arrives in new location - BEVERBECK.

 

2030 - Bn digs in and occupies defensive rest billets.

 

22nd April 1945

all day - Bn spends all day on admin, baths, drawing and checking of equipment.

 

23rd April 1945

0645 - Stand to.  0700 Stand down.

 

0930 - CO inspects HQ coy.

 

1400 - Mortar pln fires 50 bombs from 802055 on to area 7905.

 

24th April 1945

0645 - Stand to.  0700 Stand down.

 

0930 - CO inspects rifle Coys.

 

1400 - Mortar pln fired 25 bombs on to area 7905 and 25 were directed at a pylon at 780059.  Out of 50 bombs fired by A/Tk pl. at a saloon car only 6 bombs missed the target.

 

25th April 1945

0645 - Stand to.  0700 Stand down.

 

1145 - CO inspects Admin and M.T. Section.

 

1015 - Mortar pl. fired 50 bombs from 793066 on to area 7905.

 

1400 - MMG shoot.

 

1800 - Bn HQ beat MMGs at football by 4 goals to 2.

 

26th April 1945

0900 - Bde competition - Mortar and MMG shoot.

 

2030 - Officers' discussion.  All Bn Offrs attended and were addressed by CO, 2 i/c and the A/Adjt.  The CO talked of the rise and constitutions of the Nazi party.  The 2 i/c discussed the problems to be faced by the future army of occupation and the A/Adjt, assisted by the "I" Section demonstrated various tricks which might be used by Werewolves and other resistance movements in Germany.

 

27th April 1945

1800 - Results of the MMG and Mortar competition held yesterday were published.  The Bn teams won both events, scoring as follows: MMG (out of a possible 100) 84; Mortars (out of a possible 50) 50, beating their opponents by 7 points in each event.  The Bde Comd sent his congratulations to 9th Para Bn on winning both competitions.

 

1815 - Bn HQ v. Admin pl. soccer results, one goal each.

 

28th April 1945

0645 - Stand to.  0700 Stand down.

 

1800 - CO's "O" Gp. infm own troops: One Commando and one Bn, 15 (S) Div will cross at 0200 hrs next day at LAUENBURG and move east to bridges over canal.  A Class 9 bridge at LAUENBURG is to be completed by D+1 and a class 40 bridge for the 2nd Bde 15 (S) Div, who are exploiting to the north, by D+2.  One Bde 15 (S) Div, moving west of Commandos, will cross at 0300 hrs on 30/4/45.  6th Airborne Div will cross bridge at LAUENBURG and go for high ground due east in order to protect the flank for the Americans while they force a crossing further south.  Objectives of 6th Airlanding Bde area NOSTORF and SCHWANHEIDE.  Detailed orders for the crossing to be given at new location: NEETZE 9322.  Order of march:- 9th Bn, 8th Bn, 1st Cdns.  S.P. BIENENBÜTTEL.  Dress: B.O. less haverscaks, steel helmets carried.  Distance - 15 miles.  Bn O.M.  Bn HQ, C Coy, B Coy, A Coy.

 

29th April 1945

0545 - Reveille.

 

0645 - Breakfast.

 

0800 - Bn moves to NEETZE by march route.

 

0930 - Bn reaches BIENENBÜTTEL.

 

1130 - 30 mins halt.

 

1600 - 2 i/c and IO leave location with a pl. of B Coy under Lt. Adnaws and one Piat det. to recce HORST and high ground area 9636.

 

2100 - Patrol arrives at canal bridge 899349 east of LAUENBURG.  CO's "O" Gp Order of move to objective: 9th Bn, 8th Bn, CP, 1st Cdns.

 

2215 - Patrol sets out.

 

2330 - Patrol arrives at HORST (Firm Base).

 

2400 -  Sgt. and one OR recced wood - 9335.  Patrol reports enemy encountered in HORST and in wood - strength unknown.

 

30th April 1945

0630 - IO returns to this HQ.

 

0800 - Bn at one hour's notice to move.

 

1100 - Bn moves to new location.

 

1300 - Lt. Adnaws sends one section to LANZE where 60 enemy surrendered totalling 63 ORs.

 

1715 - Bn crosses bridge (Class 9) over the ELBE.

 

1800 - CO's "O" Gp.  Bn reform for attack on HORST.  Enemy, strength unknown, holding HORST were invited to surrender but O/Lt. Comd. refused until he received permission from his Bn Comd.

 

1830 - Bn advances on HORST.  Order of march:- Lt. Adnaws pl. A Coy, C Coy, B Coy.

 

1905 - HORST surrendered.  9 Officers and 62 ORs taken.

 

1915 - Bn moves through HORST to clear wooded area west of village.

 

1930 - 800 yards past HORST enemy encountered in wood.  Lt. Slade, A Coy, deploys one section left and two to the right of the road clearing the wood.  20 enemy estimated killed and 16 Officers and 32 ORs taken prisoner.

 

1945 - Enemy FW 190's attacking bridge.

 

1950 - Divisional Comd visits Bn area.

 

2000 - Bn, advancing through wood towards objective, reaches road junction 960362.

 

2100 - A Coy clear west edge of wood and RV, with rest of the Bn.  CO decides to advance across country.  Order of march:- A Coy, B Coy, C Coy.

 

2200 - IO and Bren Gp left to hold rd junction and await A Ech, then move into area of objective at cross rd 971362, reported to be held by B Coy.

 

2330 - Capt. Robinson reported that 30 PWs surrendered to A Ech at 2145 hrs.  Wood clear and high ground reached.  OC A Coy took Regt. HQ of 392 Regt. and Regt. Comd and his staff.  Total PWs captured:- 20 Officers and 265 ORs.

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.-Col. N. Crookenden

 

1st May 1945

0345 - A Ech arrives at Bn HQ.

 

0820 - Bde Comd visits Bn area.

 

0945 - C Coy moves to new location.

 

1230 - A Bn of the 6th Airlanding Bde reports 6 AFV's on their front.  (Area ZWEESDORF)

 

1830 - Bn warning order:- Be ready to move at 0100 hours.

 

2000 - CO's "O" Group.  Infm own troops:- 11th Armoured at 8855 drawing towards LUBECK, Americans are level with us on left flank.  3rd Para Bde are directed at WITTENBURG and North East, probably SCHWERIN.  Order of March:- R.S. Greys (Sherman Tanks), 1st Cdns, CP, Bty Fd Arty, 8th Bn, 9th Bn.  Move by M.T. 10,000 British prisoners of war in area north of WITTENBURG being directed on to LAUENBURG.  Order of March:- "R" Group, "O" Group, Bn HQ, C Coy, B Coy, A Coy, HQ Coy and A Ech.  Route:- BOIZENBURG, ZAHRENSDORF, (0437), BENGERSDORF (0740), rd junc 113427, CAMIN (1545) WULF SKULIL (1745), LEHSEN, WITTENBURG.

 

2215 - Three deserters arrive at this HQ.

 

2nd May 1945

0300 - Reveille.

 

0440 - Bn embusses.

 

0720 - Bn passes through ZAHRENSDORF.

 

0925 - Bn passes through WITTENBURG, Div Comd was directing traffic at 212518.

 

1135 - Russians reported about 5 kilometres away (Bn prepares recognition signals).  Continual stream of PWs including women, lorries and about 50 horses passing back along the road.

 

1205 - More German transport passes including a 105mm gun.

 

1230 - Passed through KASELOW.  Own a/c in action.

 

1240 - More Germans being escorted by liberated French PWs.

 

1420 - Rd junc 448930 - Bn "O" Gp go forward to recce Bn posn.  The garrison at WISMAR surrendered.  Streams of PWs coming in.  [Battalion?] covered 65 miles.

 

1440 - Bn takes up def. posn. in area south of town.  Bn HQ at 455955.

 

1905 - Two Russians with Cdns visit Bn HQ.  One officer and one OR.

 

2100 - CO leaves to visit Russians.

 

2340 - CO returns from visit to Russians.

 

3rd May 1945

0700 - Reveille.

 

0900 - Bn guard mounted on private and Commercial Bank, WISMAR.

 

1000 - Bn requisitioned fishing boats from WISMAR harbour and brought in over 1000 lbs of fish from the bay.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

4th May 1945

0140 - A civilian later identified as KARL PRASSER, 10 KRAMER STRASSE, WISMAR, owner and occupier of a shoe shop of that address, approached A Coy sentry post outside the MECKLENBURGER & SPARKASSE Bank, and fired at one of the sentries wounding him in the neck.  The second replied with two shots from his sten killing the civilian outright.  Among his personal belongings was a powder suspected to be a potent poison.  The man was believed to be mentally unbalanced following the firing and looting of his shop by refugees earlier on.  During the day the body was displayed as a warning to the rest of the town's civilian population.

 

1400 - CO and other officers went sailing in WISMAR bay.

 

1420 - Div Comd passes through Bn area.

 

1430 - Bn guard mounted on town's meat store.

 

1545 - Pte WELLIN C Coy drowned in WISMAR bay when his boat capsized.  CO issued orders only swimmers wearing gym shoes allowed to go sailing.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

5th May 1945

0700 - Reveille.

 

1200 - Two Russian officers visited B Coy and stayed to lunch.

 

1500 - Bn town patrols started and civilian check points were opened.  Lt. LEE, B Coy, was guard comd.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

6th May 1945

0700 - Reveille.

 

1100 - Service of thanksgiving for the 6th Airborne Div was held in the NIKOLAIKIRCHE at WISMAR.  Gen RIDGEWAY, Comd of the American 18th Corps, and Maj-Gen. BOLS, Comd of the 6th Airborne Div, were present.

 

1400 - Brigadier BELLAMY, 6th Airlanding Bde, came to lunch and went sailing with the CO in WISMAR bay.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

7th May 1945

1000 - Military govt. announced the opening of food shops in the town.  To prevent disorder the Bn supplied one officer and 40 ORs.  Lt. BROWN, B Coy, was guard Comd.

 

1200 - Field-Marshal MONTGOMERY and Marshal ROKOSSOVSKY, met in WISMAR.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

8th May 1945

0001 - German Army surrenders unconditionally.

 

1000 - Ceremonial guard mounting on the town square at WISMAR.  Guards will rotate between 8th, 9th and 1st Cdns.  A and C Coys under Major PARRY represented the Bn at the first parade.

 

1500 - WISMAR's power station was switched on to enable the Bn the hear the Prime Minister's announcement of the unconditional surrender of Germany.  Bn celebrated VE Day with a half holiday.

 

1900 - Several Russian officers arrived at Bn HQ on a visit.

 

2100 - The King's broadcast.

 

9th May 1945

All day sports, i.e. swimming, boating and sailing.

 

2030 - Stand to.

 

2045 - Stand down.

 

10th May 1945

1000 - Ceremonial guard mounting on banks.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

11th May 1945

1000 - Major-Gen. Bols took salute in victory parade including S.G. tanks and Bns.

 

1420 - 2000 French ex-PW re-patriated marched through WISMAR.

 

2000 - Bde Concert Party attended by Maj.-Gen. Bols at the Theater-Lichtspiele.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

12th May 1945

Bn bath parade.

 

1400 - Concert party at Theater-Lichtspiele.

 

2000 - As above.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

13th May 1945

0115 - Three rifle shots heard in direction of A Coy area.  Sentry fired at man who refused to answer the challenge.

 

1000 - Church parade.

 

1130 - An American LO Col. Harris, visits Bn HQ.

 

2015 - A 12 year old German boy severely injured whilst playing with a German egg grenade.  Taken to RAP.  Bn had half holiday in the afternoon.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

14th May 1945

1000 - HQ Coy took part in ceremonial guard mounting at town hall.

 

1330 - Inspection of eleven requisitioned vehicles by Brigadier Hill who complimented MT Section on their maintenance and turn out.

 

1930 - Advance party of 5th Essex (5th Div) arrived at Bn HQ.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

15th May 1945

0430 - Div boating party left Wismar with Lt. Simpson (8th Bn) acting as navigator, for Copenhagen.

 

1000 - C Coy mounted ceremonial guard on the square.  HQ Coy provided guard for meat store.

 

2100 - Three explosions heard in easterly direction.

 

2115 - Stand to.

 

2130 - Stand down.

 

16th May 1945

1000 - General Court Martial held at Town Hall for Capt. Tomlinson and Lt. Harpley.

 

1415 - Non-volunteers for parachuting left the Bn and remainder of reinforcements (34) were taken on Bn strength.

 

1330 - CO left for Div HQ to see General Dempsey.

 

17th May 1945

0630 - RQMS, cook sgt and one sgt per Coy left for Luneburg.

 

1400 - IO left for Ostend in charge of sea party.

 

1030 - "O" Grp taken by 2 i/c re move tomorrow:- Bde Order of March:- 8th, 9th, 1st Cdns, 224 Fd Amb, L.A.D.  Bn Order of March:- A, B, C, HQ, Vech party.  Dress:- FSMO, berets will be worn, big packs carried.  Move by M.T.  Roll Call:- 2000 hrs 2115 hrs and 2215 hrs.  2000 hrs curfew.

 

1500 - CO inspects billets.

 

18th May 1945

0630 - Reveille.

 

1000 - Embuss.

 

1130 - Bn passes through GADEBUSCH, occupied by an American unit.

 

1500 - Bn crosses ELBE at GRUENHOF.

 

1530 - Bn column passes through LUNEBURG.

 

1615 - Bn debusses and prepares to spend the night in the wood after hot meal.

 

1900 - Lecture by CO on demobilisation.

 

19th May 1945

0900 - IO and sea party left Bn area.

 

1130 - Bn embuss.

 

1215 - LUNEBURG.

 

1310 - VELGEN.

 

1740 - Bn halted beside airfield as planes allotted to Bn were given over to American ex-PW repatriated.  Bn prepared bivouac for the night.

 

20th May 1945

0630 - Reveille.

 

1040 - Bn parades in sticks.

 

1100 - Bn emplaned.

 

1140 - Take off.

 

1320 - Bn group landed at Brussels to refuel but were unable to take off again owing to bad weather conditions over England.  Flight cancelled.

 

1515 - C Coy with remainder of 7th Bn, were eventually taken back by RAF Halifaxes.

 

1530 - Rest of the Bn embussed and were taken to an RHU outside Brussels for the night.

 

1735 - C Coy planes, however, turned back in face of a heavy thunderstorm and later rejoined the Bn at the RHU.

 

21st May 1945

0030 - Warning order to move received.

 

0200 - Reveille.

 

0400 - Parade postponed indefinitely.

 

1000 - Bn parade in sticks.

 

1040 - Bn embussed.

 

1120 - Bn debussed at airfield.  Aircraft took off for NETHERAVON individually.

 

1530 - Last a/c touched down at NETHERAVON.

 

22nd May 1945

Road party arrives at LOUVAIN.  Bde Comd visits Bn.

 

23rd May 1945

Road party arrived OSTEND.

 

24th May 1945

Road party arrived at CALAIS from OSTEND.  Bn, less Python and A&S group (1-26), personnel proceed on 28 days leave.  Remainder received 10 days leave.

 

25th May 1945

Road party leaves CALAIS and arrives DOVER.

 

26th May 1945

0100 - Road party arrives BULFORD.

 

27th May 1945

Bn on leave.

 

 

STATEMENT REFERENCE SHOOTING INCIDENT on Night of 3/4th May 1945 at WISMAR

 

At 2359 hrs 3rd May 1945 Pte May and Pte Morris of "A" Coy., 9 Para Bn., were posted outside the MELKENBERGER & SPARKASSE BANKS.  A fire was being put out in the vicinity and considerable confusion and noise ensued.  At 0140 hrs 4 May 1945 a civilian approached the post from DANKWARTSTRASSE side of the Square.  Pte May challenged him.  The civilian halted and fired one shot at Pte May, wounding him in the neck.  Pte Morris, who was approximately 35 yards away heard the shot and Pte May shouting "He has got me in the throat.  Thats the man."  Pte Morris fired two single shots from his sten gun hitting the civilian twice in the face and killing him outright.  The Guard Commander, Sgt Webb of "A" Coy., reported the matter to me at approximately 0200 hrs.  Pte May was taken to the R.A.P. and was found to be suffering from a flesh wound only.

 

Lieut D.D. Graham

Duty Officer, Bn H.Q.

4th May 1945

B.L.A.

 

 

STATEMENT BY GUARD COMMANDER

 

At about 0140 hours on the morning 4/5/45 a civilian advanced on one of my sentry's position.  The sentry halted same civilian and civilian stopped and fired a revolver at him.  The bullet wounded the guard in the neck.  My second sentry, hearing the shot, fired two rounds in the direction of the man and later found him to be dead, with his revolver lying about two yards from him.  The guard was stood to and the matter reported to the officer.

 

(Signed) M. Webb (Sgt).

A Coy Guard Commander.

 

1st Sentry - Pte May (wounded)

2nd Sentry - Pte Morris

 

 

Report on investigation of shooting incident outside Savings Bank on night 3/4 May 45.

 

(1).  Identity of deceased confirmed as:- KARL PRASSE, 10, KRÄMER STRASSE. owner and occupier of a shoe shop at the a/m address.

 

(2).  Character of deceased as given by Wilhelm Daebell, bank director, and Herr Roese, who lived in adjoining house and both of whom knew him well, was:-

    (a) Quiet retiring nature

    (b) Cheery disposition

    (c) Anti-Nazi

 

(3).  Investigation showed that at approx 040100 hours loud banging noises were heard in No.10 and a little later a refugee woman living with Prasse was seen to leave the house and then flames were seen to come from the ground floor.  (The whereabouts of this woman cannot be traced).

 

(4).  A possible explanation for Prasses's actions may be that depressed by the looting of his shop, followed by the fire, he had wandered about the streets temporarily out of his mind.

 

Intelligence Officer,

9th Parachute Bn.

 

Enclosures:-

    (1). Statement by Guard Commander.

    (2). Personal belongings of deceased, including one powder suspected to be a potent poison.

    (3). Pistol with which he shot sentry.