National Archives catalogue number WO 171/5138.
























Map Reference


Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment



Battalion Headquarters





Drop Zone

Forming Up Place

Grenadier Guards


Light Machine Gun

Map Reference

Operation Order


Prisoner of War


Troop Carrying Vehicle




Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col P.J. Luard


1st March 1945

Place: Larkhill


Mobilisation, Training and Administration continues.


11th March 1945

Place: Larkhill


Briefing of Commanding Officers for OPERATION VARSITY.


12th March 1945

Place: Larkhill


Draft OO No.1. OPERATION VARSITY received from 5 Para Bde.


14th March 1945

Place: Larkhill


Admin Instr No.1. OPERATION VARSITY received from 5 Para Bde.


17th March 1945

Place: Larkhill


OO OP VARSITY received from 5 Para Bde.  Advance Party left for SHUDY CAMPS Transit Camp.


19th March 1945

Place: Larkhill


Unit arrived in transit camp (SHUDY CAMPS).


20th March 1945

Place: Shudy Camps


Battalion briefing for OPERATION VARSITY commenced.


23rd March 1945

Place: Shudy Camps


Final preparations for OPERATION VARSITY completed.  Unit stood by to take off at first light.


24th March 1945

Place: Shudy Camps


0630 - Unit took off in 33 DAKOTAS and 2 HORSAS from WHETHERSFIELD airfield and BOREHAM airfield respectively.


1010 - H hour.  5 Para Bde landed successfully on DZ 'B' area 1850 and formed up as per attached trace.  Opposition encountered was slight and the majority of casualties suffered by Unit was due to rather heavy enemy AA fire and airbursts brought down on DZ.  In view of bad visibility the majority of the Unit landed slightly EAST of actual DZ thereby causing a certain amount of delay in forming up.  One HORSA Glider containing one Mortar section failed to arrive and is considered lost.


1500 - 'A' Company out post counter attacked, strength one company.  35 enemy killed and attack beaten off.  By last light situation was quiet and apart from spasmodic shelling enemy made no attempt to counter attack during the night.  Total PW captured during day 353.


25th March 1945

Place: Hamminkeln


0340 - 'A' Company outpost under fire from S.P. gun.


1500 - Enemy strong point near 'A' Coy outpost mopped up by 'B' Coy.


1510 - Advance guard of 15(S) Div moved through Battalion area, using our positions as FUP for their advance NORTH, to be resumed at last light.


26th March 1945

Place: Hamminkeln


1400 - Unit advanced to area 233483 without incident.  Total PW taken on move 30, mostly deserters.


27th March 1945

Place: Area 233483


1045 - Advance resumed with ERLE 398503 being objective of 5 Para Bde.  Order of march 7th Bn - 12th Bn - 13th Bn.  Route BRUNEN 4827 - X Tracks 279486, STEERGERMANT.


1400 - Advance temporarily halted owing to bridge River ISSEL at 304483 and 306486 being blown.


2300 - 7th Bn encountered heavy opposition from light 20 mm AA guns and were delayed in their advance at MR 309484.  Consequently 13th Bn were ordered to outflank enemy positions and to seize and hold SOUTH WESTERN outskirts of ERLE.


28th March 1945

Place: Erle


0240 - This was successfully completed and Unit took up positions.  Remainder of day was spent resting.


0845 - Advance resumed objective COESFELD 5969.  Route ERLE 398503 - RHADA 443506 - HOFE 447523 - MR 457527 - 508597 - 515598 - Road junction 552675.  Unit halted at 590696 and received orders to pass through 12th Bn who had led the advance up to then and to secure and hold bridge and road area 590714 supported by two troops of CHURCHILLS of 4 Bn GRENS.


1910 - Objective taken.


2000 - 'C' Coy counter attacked by fire from 596719.  PW reported enemy strength approximately 70 men in that area.


30th March 1945

Place: Coesfeld 5971


0200 - 7th Bn cleared area 596719 taking approx 70 PW.


1000 - Advance resumed with objective GREVEN.  In view of delays caused by 'bad going' a halt was made at MR 642708 at 1900 hrs and orders received to resume the advance next day at first light.


31st March 1945

0845 - Move continued without opposition to road junction 874886 where Unit suffered slight casualties from enemy air bursts at 1010 hrs.


Place: 874886


1230 - A.A.R.R. reported that 3 Para Bde were in possession of GREVEN and preparing to continue advance.


1300 - Unit was ordered to move into GREVEN on foot as bridges were blown, and to secure and hold the WESTERN side of GREVEN, which was completed by 1500 hrs.  Throughout the afternoon enemy airbursts came down over the Bde area.



Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col P.J. Luard


1st April 1945

Place: Greven 9088


Bn rested and prepared for further advance.


2nd April 1945

Place: Greven 9088


0915 - S.P. MR 908883 crossed and advance continued in T.C.V. with the objective of road to OSNABRUCK and high ground EAST of LENGERICH 082965.


1000 - Owing to congestion of bridge of DORTMUND EMS CANAL 978892 Unit halted area 937885.


1645 - Canal crossed and outskirts of LENGERICH 0896 reached.


1815 - Advance continued on foot with 12th Bn leading.


2000 - 12th Bn held up by enemy pocket of resistance in area 1099.  Several S.P. guns fired at point blank range along axis of road.


2130 - 12th Bn liquidated resistance and knocked out one S.P. gun.


2200 - Advance resumed with objective High Ground dominating OSNABRUCK extending from MR 146035 - 179023.


2300 - Enemy LMG fire caused two casualties.  At the same time 12th Bn came up against serious opposition on high ground 1201.  They were given the task to mop up the area by first light and this Unit consolidated in area 123011 with orders to resume advance at 0200 hrs.  Patrols detailed to secure the flanks captured 8 PW and wounded the enemy NCO.


3rd April 1945

Place: MR 123011


0200 - Advance resumed with 12th Para Bn leading.


0430 - Leading troops met strong resistance at MR 151041 and this Unit received orders to lie up till 0830 hrs by which time enemy resistance was to be liquidated by 12 Para Bn.  13th Para Bn was to pass through 12th Para Bn and lead the advance supported by C Squadron 4 GRENS and 1 troop of S.P. anti-tanks.


0830 - Advance continued with 'C' Coy on left and 'B' Coy on right of road and 'A' Coy in position.  One troop of CHURCHILLS supported each forward Coy and one troop and S.P. anti-tank remained in position.  The terrain was well suited for defence and 'B' Coy soon came up against strong dug-in positions in the hilly and wooded features.  After a determined attack by 'B' Coy the enemy was over-run and 70 PW including a Lt.Col. were taken.


1100 - A further strong enemy pocket of resistance was encountered on the left of the road in area of railway line MR     .  For the loss of 6 men 'C' Coy captured and killed 48 enemy.


1540 - 'B' Coy reached the outskirts of OSNABRUCK followed by 'C' and 'A' Coys and BHQ.  An enemy counter attack by LMG fire was disposed of by fire from AP anti tanks.  Enemy sniping continued throughout the rest of the day and was successfully dealt with by the Scout Platoon who killed 8 enemy snipers.  The success of the day was mainly due to the vigorous attacks put in by the forward Coys and the excellent support given by 4 GRENS.  Total PW taken 143.


Place: Osnabruck 1808


1800 - Unit consolidated on high ground MR 184082.


4th April 1945

Place: Osnabruck 1808


Day spent resting and mopping up snipers.  120 PW, mostly deserters passed through Bn cage.


5th April 1945

Place: Osnabruck 1808


0700 - Unit received orders to advance to FRIEDEWALDE 765185 as part of intention of 6 Airborne Div to seize crossing over R. WESER in the area PETERSHAGEN 854208.


1300 - Advance continued in T.C.Vs.


1500 -  During move unit was placed under command of 6 Air Landing Bde with orders to give close protection to R.E. at bridging site 835183.  Bn harboured awaiting further orders.


6th April 1945

Place: Osnabruck 1808


0015 - Orders were received to advance to HARRIEN 795195.  'B' Coy and 'C' Coy had the task of defending bridge at 835183 and 'A' Coy the supply routes leading to bridge.  Enemy did not attempt to interfere and confined himself to a limited amount of air activity.


Place: Harrien 795195


0700 - Bridge at 835183 completed Bn concentrated at HARRIEN 7919.


1400 - 'A' Coy cleared wood 8019.  No enemy found.  23 PW surrendered during the day.


7th April 1945

Place: Harrien 7919


0700 - Bn received orders to advance towards R. LEINE.  Objective of 5 Para Bde being crossing over R. LEINE at 1832 and WUNSDORF Airfield 1531.  Bde order of march 12th Bn, 13th Bn, 7th Bn.


0935 - Leading troops were held up in area 8862 causing a delay of two hours.


1145 - 12th Bn were again engaged in area 9023.  Advance continued after resistance had been brushed aside at 1230 hrs.


1400 - Bn was ordered to make detour via X tracks 972282.  Area was held by approximately 50 enemy belonging to a flak battery.  They were dispersed by 'C' Coy, wounding and capturing 5.


1500 - ALTENHAGEN 0927 was reached at 1500 hrs and the Bn was ordered to seize GROSBENHEIDEN 1230.


1515 - Advance resumed on foot.


1600 - STEINHUDE 1029 was reached by forward Coys.  Slight enemy resistance was soon broken up.


1700 - Bn reached 131300 the only enemy resistance consisting of AA guns firing airbursts from WUNSDORF airfield at 163304.  'A' platoon of 'C' Coy captured enemy gun position intact, killing 3 and wounding 4.  They took 30 PW at 117282.


1830 - 'C' Coy then cleared WUNSDORF Airfield and made contact with 7th Para Bn in area 1530.


1900 - Advance to POGGENHAGEN 1732 continued without incident.


1930 - 'C' Coy were left at WUNSDORF Airfield to give close protection to 4 GRENS harbouring in that area.


2359 - Total PW taken during day 344.


8th April 1945

Place: Poggenhagen 1732


0900 - 'B' Coy remained at POGGENHAGEN whilst remainder of Unit moved back to WUNSDORF Airfield for rest.


9th April 1945

Place: Poggenhagen 1732


1500 - 'A' Coy moved to SCHARPEL 240385, 'C' Coy to BRINK 220350.  Forward BHQ to BRINK 220350 to strength defence of River crossing LEINE 1832 and to keep clear flank of 11th Armoured Div.


2200 - 'A' and 'C' Coys took up positions as planned.  6 PW taken.  'B' Coy remained at WUNSDORF.


10th April 1945

Place: Wunsdorf 1330


1300 - 'A' and 'C' Coys returned to WUNSDORF Airfield.


13th April 1945

Place: Celle 5950


1415 - Bn received orders to move to CELLE 5950 and arrived at 1935 hrs without incident.


16th April 1945

Place: Stadensen 9070


1500 - After resting at CELLE 5950 for more than three days Unit moved to STADENSEN 9070.


17th April 1945

Place: Wieren 9680


0630 - Move continued to WIEREN 9680 without incident.


1500 - Village of KONAV 0081 still held an unknown number of enemy and was mortared by Unit Mortar Platoon.  Some movement was seen as bombs landed.


2100 - Recce patrol to KONAU 0081 saw approximately 60 enemy but failed to make contact.


18th April 1945

Place: Stadensen 9070


1000 - Fighting patrol strength one platoon, supported by one troop of armoured cars went to KONAV and found it clear of enemy, who had withdrawn during the night.


Place: Kahlstorf 9885


1645 - Unit moved to KAHLSRORF 9885.


21st April 1945

Place: Ostedt 0183


1300 - Bn moved to OSTEDT 0183 without incident.


23rd April 1945

Place: Ostedt 0183


1700 - Draft Orders for OPERATION ENTERPRISE received from 5 Para Bde.  5 Para Bde to come under comd 15(S) Div for purpose of crossing of River ELBE.


25th April 1945

Place: Ostedt 0183


Planning for OPERATION ENTERPRISE continued.


0900 - Advance party for OPERATION ENTERPRISE left for RHEINE Airfield.


26th April 1945

Place: Ostedt 0183


1300 - OPERATION ENTERPRISE cancelled.  Unit received orders to stand by to move to WETTENBOSTEL 7000.


27th April 1945

Place: Wettenbostel 7000


1330 - 'B' and 'C' Coy took up positions in WETTENBOSTEL 709007 and 'A' Coy in HOLTHUSEN 715985.


29th April 1945

Place: Wettenbostel 7000


Warning ordered received to prepare to cross River ELBE for purpose of exploiting LAVENBERG Bridge head established by 15(S) Div.  6 Airborne Div to come under command of 18 US Corps for that operation.


30th April 1945

Place: Wettenbostel 7000


Unit moved to SUTTORF 938208 as intermediate concentration area, prior to crossing of River ELBE.