National Archives catalogue number WO 171/4814.

 

Abbreviation

020200

198472

2IC

A

AA

AB

A/Capt
Accn

Adjt

Adm

Adv

AGRA

A/L

Amn

Appt

A&Q

Armd

Arty

A Tk

Att

Authy

BC

Bde

Bn

Br

Bty

CAGRA
CB

Cdn

Cdo

C-in-C

Cl

CO

C of E

Coln

Comd

Conc

Coy

CPO

CRA

Det

DF

DP

Ech

Eqpt

Est

Ex

Fd

Fwd

Gds

Gp

GPO

H

HAA

HE

HF

HQRA

Incl

Inf
Infm

Instr

L

LAA

LO

Lt

M

Maint

Med

Mil Gov

MO

Mov
OC

Offr

Op

OR

Posn

Pt

PW

PW(X)

RA

RAChD

RASC

Rd

RE

Regt

Rep

RHQ

RHU

Rpg

S

Sec

Sig

Sitrep

SP

Sqn

Sup

Sups

Svy

Tac

Tgt

Tk

Tp

Tpt

Veh

wef
Wrls

2nd [April], 0200 hrs

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Army

Anti-Aircraft

Airborne

Acting Captain

Accommodation

Adjutant

Administration

Advance

Army Group Royal Artillery

Airlanding

Ammunition

Appointment

Adjutant & Quartermaster Branch

Armoured

Artillery

Anti-Tank

Attached

Authority

Battery Commander

Brigade

Battalion

Bridge

Battery

Commander Army Group Royal Artillery

Counter-Battery

Canadian

Commando

Commander in Chief

Class

Commanding Officer

Church of England

Column

Command

Concentration

Company

Command Post Officer

Commander Royal Artillery

Detachment

Defensive Fire

Displaced Person

Echelon

Equipment

Establish

Exercise

Field

Forward

Guards

Group

Gun Position Officer

Highland

Heavy Anti-Aircraft

High Explosive

Harassing Fire

Headquarters Royal Artillery

Including

Infantry

Information / Informed

Instruction

Lowland

Light Anti-Aircraft

Liaison Officer

Light

Mike

Maintenance

Medium / Medical

Military Government

Medical Officer

Movement

Officer Commanding

Officer

Operation / Observation Post (if upper case)

Other Ranks

Position

Point

Prisoner of War

Ex-Prisoner of War

Royal Artillery

Royal Army Chaplain's Department

Royal Army Service Corps

Road

Royal Engineers

Regiment

Representative

Regimental Headquarters

Reinforcement Holding Unit

Rounds per Gun

Scottish

Section

Signals

Situation Report

Starting Point / Support (if lower case)

Squadron

Support

Supplies

Survey

Tactical

Target

Tank

Troop

Transport

Vehicle

With Effect
Wireless

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col K.R. Brazier-Creagh DSO RA

 

1st March 1945

Place: 77752665

 

Fired on a few HF tasks.  Lt GR STRUDWICK RA (245559) posted in (returned from Gunnery Refresher Course, LARKHILL).  Rev JR JONES RAChD (225399) att as C of E Padre from 8 AGRA.  3 OR posted in under PICKFORD I (PICKFORDS SCHEME).

 

2nd March 1945

No firing allowed except on direct call from tps adv on other side of R MAAS.  W/Lt DLR AUTON RA (90 HAA Regt) ceased to be att.  2 OR posted to 45 RHU - PICKFORD I (PICKFORDS SCHEME).

 

3rd March 1945

1910 - Received orders to STAND DOWN.  Guns out of action.  Reps withdrawn.  LO with 52 (L) Div returned to Unit.

 

4th March 1945

Regt placed under comd 8 AGRA.  Church Service at each bty location.  Maj HFW FOX RA (62877) posted in from HQ 8 CORPS & assumed appt of 2IC.  3 Offrs from 63 A Tk Regt RA ceased to be att.

 

5th March 1945

Warning order - regt to move to AGRA conc area - PANNINGEN - BLERICK - BAARLO.  Lt GE SHARDLOW RA (LAA) att from 31 RHU.

 

6th March 1945

8 AGRA Wireless Ex.

 

7th March 1945

Regt moved to new area.  Not in action.  RHQ est BAARLO 8525 0475.  Dutch Interpreter (Sjt NAAYKENS JH) att to regt.

 

8th March 1945

Nothing to report.

 

9th March 1945

8 AGRA Wireless Ex.

 

10th March 1945

One OR posted to 45 RHU under PICKFORDS SCHEME (PICKFORD I).

 

11th March 1945

Regt 'H' Net Wireless Ex.  Church Services at each bty location.

 

12th March 1945

0930 - BCs Conference.  8 AGRA Wireless Ex.

 

13th March 1945

CO & 2IC to Conference at 8 AGRA - Op "PLUNDER".

 

14th March 1945

H parties recce of new area begun.  'A' Gp moved fwd.

 

15th March 1945

Nothing to report.

 

16th March 1945

Amn dumping programme started for new area.  Dumping by night only.

 

17th March 1945

2 guns of 58 Bty calibrated at LOMMEL Ranges.

 

18th March 1945

Regt moved by night to 8 AGRA Con Area.

 

19th March 1945

Adm Instr No.1 issued.  Amn dumped for Op PLUNDER - 400 rpg.

 

20th March 1945

Regt moved fwd to battle positions for Op PLUNDER.  RHQ established 13473778.

 

2230 - CO attended final coordinating conference at HQRA 12 Corps.

 

21st March 1945

Maj JF MURPHY att to Regt pending becoming CO.  CO gave final orders for Op PLUNDER at conference for BCs.  Capt AG GRIFFITHS RA (76067) left regt to join Air OP course.  Lt FJ ELLIS RA (140411) promoted to Capt.

 

22nd March 1945

Guns put into action and gun pits dug.

 

23rd March 1945

Commenced firing on Op PLUNDER at 2130 hrs.

 

2317 - 51 (H) Div and 1 Cdo Bde reported to be across the RHINE.

 

24th March 1945

0030 - Fired in support of Op TORCHLIGHT.  Adm Instr No.2 issued.

 

0525 - Cdo's reported on objective.  Firmly established in WESSEL.  30 (US) Div on right reported to have 3 Bns across RHINE at 22362231.  Fired on "CLIMAX" and "CARPET".

 

1000 - Airborne landings commenced.  Regt ceased fire.

 

1405 - Airborne Tps reported to have gained all objectives.

 

25th March 1945

Lt Col KR BRAZIER CREAGH DSO RA posted to G 21 Army Gp.  Lt Col JF MURPHY RA assumed comd.

 

0800 - CO's and 2IC's parties reported to Marshalling Area and crossed the RHINE (in buffaloes) at 1100 hrs.  CO's party joined 6 AB Div.

 

26th March 1945

0300 - Regt crossed RHINE (First Fd Regt to go over) in support of 6 AB Div.  Crossing made by class 40 Pontoon bridge at XANTEN.

 

0500 - RHQ established at 198472.  Successful day all objectives taken by 6 AB Div and large numbers of PW captured.  Regt fired several targets and fire plan in support.

 

27th March 1945

0800 - Regt moved fwd to area in support of 5 Para Bde W of BRUNEN 2748.

 

1030 - RHQ established 263462.  All attacks going well, Airborne tps moving fwd rapidly with little opposition.

 

1755 - Regt moved fwd to area MARIENTHAL 3048.  RHQ established 305485.  Own tps held up at 355494.  Regt prepared to engage fire plan LONDON which was not required.

 

28th March 1945

Fired several Regt concentrations, own tps started going ahead early.

 

0800 - Adv party, 12/25 Bty and 58 Bty moved fwd.  RHQ and 31 Bty remained in action.

 

1230 - Regt moved fwd towards ERLE 4050.  RHQ established 38105020.  Adv still going well, large numbers PW taken.

 

1930 - Regt moved fwd to 44325050.  Capt HM LANG RA (71053) wounded while supporting No.2 Sqn Grenadier Gds who were working with 5 Para Bde.

 

29th March 1945

Regt supporting advance of 6 Air Landing Bde on axis LEMBECK - COESFELD - GREVEN.

 

1400 - Regt moved fwd RHQ established 531578.

 

1717 - Regt moved fwd RHQ established 554654.

 

30th March 1945

Advance continued but Regt after moving fwd three miles spent all day waiting on rd.  Moved into factory at 588713 for the night while bridge was being repaired.  Large numbers of PW were taken by own tps during day.

 

31st March 1945

0345 - Night move.  Regt after waiting three hrs crossed SP at 0345 hrs.

 

1130 - RHQ established 849849.

 

1640 - Regt again moved fwd and RHQ established 888898.  In action supporting crossing of the EMS.  The Regt was now over 60 miles in a straight line beyond where it crossed the RHINE 5 days ago and had been in action and on the move continuously day and night.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col J.F. Murphy RA

 

1st April 1945

Adv continued.  Regt moved fwd still under comd 6 AB Div.

 

0855 - RHQ est at 923893.  Supported crossing of DORTMUND-EMS Canal and subsequent local enlargement of bridgehead by 5 Para Bde.

 

1740 - Regt again moved fwd.  RHQ est 96628945.  Orders received for Regt to move fwd again after 020200 hrs with one rep 61 Med Regt under comd.

 

2nd April 1945

0700 - Regt moved off, but was held up for some time by collapse of small br 9890.  Maj COCK & 12/25 bty OP party got into the middle of an enemy gun area in the woods when trying to join up with THE DEVONS.  After calling for an 'U' Tgt on the enemy guns, the party escaped EAST and joined up with the Bn.

 

1030 - RHQ est 02849511.  6 AB Div continued adv against only slight opposition until reaching LENGERICH.  There was stiff opposition from a GERMAN NCO's School and a strong pt 500x from THE DEVONS' area was harassed all night.  Lt RB PRITCHARD (143059) posted in from 146 Med Regt and promoted A/Capt.

 

3rd April 1945

Regt moved fwd in sp of 3 Para Bde, but shortly after starting, 12/25 and 58 btys were called into action area 070977.

 

1210 - RHQ est. 114008.  12/25 and 58 btys were moved fwd one at a time.  Adv continued successfully.

 

1815 - RHQ est. 179006.

 

2015 - 2IC met CO and received orders to harbour the regt with 3 Para Bde at WISSINGEN 3307 with a view to continuing the adv next morning.

 

2200 - Regt moved fwd through difficult wooded country, defiles and sharp hills.  Recce parties went on ahead.  Main body commenced to move at 2230 hrs.  4 guns of B Tp, the whole of RHQ and part of 58 Bty took wrong rd to OSNABRUCK and ran into enemy pocket of resistance.  One veh was "bazookad" and 2 quads of 58 bty machine gunned.  31 bty, A Tp 12/25, 5 guns 58 bty and the Med tp arrived in the harbour area during the night.

 

4th April 1945

The RHQ party continued to hold "defended" locality at 223060 until 1600 hrs.  Casualties 3 killed, 2 wounded.  2 Quads and limbers burned.  OSNABRUCK was then cleared and the party commenced to rejoin regt.  The regt harboured night at 320070 and moved fwd during day to 783094.  The 16 guns and Med tp continued to adv with 3 Para Bde and about 1500 hrs 31 bty did a "crash action" to shoot up 3 German tks and 1 SP Gun near MINDEN.  The other 8 guns and Med tp came into action in area 7411.

 

5th April 1945

0830 - Regt moved fwd to 790110 and RHQ and the remaining guns joined up.  At 1600 hrs regt started to move to area 760146.  Intention was to rest 48 hrs with 3 Para Bde.  Nothing to report.  Lt FN HUGGINS (276986) posted to 53 A/L Lt Regt RA.

 

6th April 1945

Regt moved fwd to sup br-head.

 

1500 - RHQ est. 80501723.  A few Regt Tgts were fired.  A few enemy tks were encountered by fwd tps.  Authy received for posting T/Maj MG MCCOMAS to regt wef 26 Mar 45.  Retains T/Maj on posting.

 

7th April 1945

Regt moved fwd as part of 3 Para Bde coln, to area WIEDENSAHL - Harbour Area.

 

2145 - Regt est. 943215.  Regt had come over 70 miles in a direct line in the past week - 130 miles direct since crossing the RHINE 2 weeks ago.  6 Fd Regt arrived during the week to sup 5 Para Bde.  With 53 Lt Regt sup 6 A/L Bde, we were left sup 3 Para Bde and avoided the changing from one Bde to another which had been such a tiring and troublesome feature of the past two weeks.

 

8th April 1945

Regt moved fwd with 3 Bde to area GROBEMHEIDERN.

 

1500 - RHQ est 12953030.

 

9th April 1945

Remained in action but no firing.

 

10th April 1945

6 AB Div were ordered to enlarge brhead over R LEINE preparatory to 15 (S) passing through.  Regt adv with 3 BDE to area BRELINGEN 3241.

 

1600 - RHQ est. 32154130.  DF Tasks in sup of 3 Para Bde were prepared.  These were first for some time as either roving parties of AMERICAN or RECCE units made it quite unsafe on previous occasions.

 

11th April 1945

15 (S) DIV commenced passing thro' 6 AB DIV.

 

1245 - 50% of guns were taken out of action.

 

1600 - Regt reverted to comd 8 AGRA.  Recce parties were sent fwd to follow up 131 FD in case Regt required to sup 15 (S) Div.

 

12th April 1945

15 (S) DIV adv during day, but Regt was not required to help them.  Warning order received Regt to move tomorrow to area 5546.

 

13th April 1945

Regt moved fwd to "hide" on aerodrome at 556471.  Commenced at 0600 hrs and moved by btys at quarter hourly intervals.  RHQ est 55654708.  CAGRA paid short visit and said that Regt probably would not move again before 15 Apr.

 

14th April 1945

Enemy inf and tks believed to be in woods 6446.  Regt deployed in area of aerodrome to sup 5 PARA BDE who were to clear woods.  OPs were sent out but "stand down" was given at 1200 hrs.

 

1530 - Regt came under comd 6 AB DIV and got in touch again with 3 PARA BDE.  This week's adv was 44 miles (174 miles direct from the RHINE in the 3 weeks) but was much less tiring than the first two weeks and some of it was merely "following up".  T/Maj DF OSWALD MC (710016) awarded CROIX DE GUERRE with GILT STAR.  1149194 L/Bdr WILLIS EJ awarded CROIX DE GUERRE with BRONZE STAR.

 

15th April 1945

0130 - Warning order received for Regt to be prepared to move fwd with 3 BDE at 0930 hrs.

 

0800 - Recce parties left for BDE HQ.

 

1100 - Regt placed under one hr's notice to move.  After waiting most of the day orders to move were received at 1815 hrs, the coln started at 1845 hrs, and arrived at 2030 hrs in harbour area for the night.

 

2040 - RHQ est 717617 (SHARNHORST).

 

2330 - Orders received to continue fwd move with 3 Bde at 0905 hrs following day.

 

16th April 1945

0905 - Regt moved fwd with 3 BDE coln and deployed in new area at 1300 hrs.

 

1300 - RHQ est 92087866 (HAMBORG).  OPs were sited in Regt area for local protection.  The situation was that 6 A/L Bde were moving to occupy the villages of HANSTAD 9788, KAHLSTORP 9885, LEMKE 9585, while 8 BN of 3 BDE had the task of clearing an enemy pocket at WIEREN 9680.  25 FD was to act as sup arty to 6 A/L BDE (and a wireless set was put on the 53 LT REGT net) while 58 bty was to sup 8 BN.  An O Smoke Screen was fired, controlled by 53 LT REGT, and a Regt Tgt was engaged.

 

1940 - Recce parties were ordered fwd by CRA to recce area 9483 and Regt warned to be ready to move.

 

2005 - Regt was laid on a small Fire Plan when ordered to move fwd.  The Fire Plan was finally cancelled and the Regt less 58 bty moved fwd to 9484 ESTERHOLY to sup 3 BDE.  58 BTY remained in posn to continue to sup 8 BN.

 

2245 - HQ est 94008400.

 

17th April 1945

3 BDE had the task of est a firm base across the rds leading EAST from VELZEN while 15 (S) DIV were preparing to attack the town from the SOUTH.  25 FD sup BDE with first call on 6 FD REGT and one BTY of 61 MED REGT.  Reps from 6 FD & 61 MED joined RHQ.

 

0600 - At 0600, 58 bty, who had been left behind sup 8 BN, were ordered fwd to area HANSTAD.  RATLINGEN was taken by 9 PARA BN by a dawn attack following a 10 mile night march.  RIESTEDT was taken by I CDN PARA BN, who had made a 7 mile night march and assisted in the capture of RATLINGEN.  Fire plan LION was fired in sup of the attack on RIESTEDT which began at 0900.  It consisted of 5 mins Rate normal on the village by 25 FD REGT and 5 mins normal from two tps of 61 MED REGT each firing on to villages about one mile to the flank - JAARLITZ 9993 and STOCKEN 9794.  LION was fired a second time and a M tgt against enemy in the open was taken on by BC 12/25 Bty.

 

0900 - Attack on RIESTEDT starts.

 

0930 - RIESTEDT was captured at 0930 with very few casualties although the ground was very open and the village was defended by at least 150 GERMANS.  RHQ and the remaining two btys of 25 FD REGT were immediately moved fwd into previously prepared posns near 58 BTY at HANSTEDT.  The attack on MASENDORF by 9 BN started at 1300 hrs.  8 PARA BN had come up in buses from WIEREN (captured by them the previous night) and relieved 9 BN in RATZLINGEN.  Fire Plan HORSE was laid on for sup of this attack.  It was similar to LION and consisted of 5 mins rate slow by 6 and 25 FD REGTS on MASENDORF and 5 mins normal from Bty 61 MED on a village of OITZEN 9795 (one mile to the EAST).  HORSE was "on call".  It was called for when the attack was about 1000x short of the village and stopped by BC 31 Bty who was with 1 CDN PARA BN, after about 2 mins as there appeared to be little opposition and the inf were getting close.  The 4th BDE objective of the day, the village of MULZEN, was immediately attacked by a fighting patrol of 9 BN accompanied by Capt ELLIS 31 Bty.  There was practically no opposition.  The day's work, so far, had been one of the most interesting the regt had taken part in.  The ops were designed to and succeeded in encircling the town  of UELZEN about 4 miles to the WEST, and linking up with 11 ARMD DIV who completed its encirclement on the NORTH leaving 15 (S) DIV the task of clearing the town.  The BDE was now disposed in 4 villages forming the arc of a circle.  The right flank, on the outside of the circle was entirely exposed.  The BN localities were protected by some 25 DFs.

 

1600 - CRA gave orders for one Bty to move fwd to area RIESTEDT with the tasks of (a) shooting backwards into UELZEN (on a bearing of approx 220 as opposed to a bg of 360, one which most of the day's work had been done), and of (b) harassing movement out of UELZEN farther NORTH.  12/25 Bty moved and were in action at 1725 hrs.

 

18th April 1945

6 A/L Bde were ordered to move EAST starting at 0200 hrs and capture the villages TAYENDORF 0591, KATZIEN 0393 and ROSCHE 0292.  Regt was instr to be prepared to sup the adv and at 1000 hrs Zero Line was changed from 360 to 45.  12/25 bty was no longer required in its harassing role and while remaining in its same location was now turned round to fire EAST.  All objectives were taken.  Several U Tgts and M Tgts were fired during the day.  One OR wounded and evacuated.

848883 W/WO II (BSM) COCKEL RF )

1082524 Gnr DIGGLE E                         ) Awarded MM for Gallantry.

1140134 Gnr MANLEY E                      )

 

19th April 1945

0800 - Orders received to sup 5 DIV RECCE REGT as well as 3 PARA BDE.  12/25 given the job.  5 DIV RECCE was instr to clear the area S of a line from 9207 to 0401.

 

1400 - Regt at two hrs notice to move.

 

1600 - Recce parties left to recce harbour area NE of LUNEBURG (30 miles away).

 

1850 - Regt ceased to be under comd 6 AB DIV and moved off following 61 MED REGT to new area arriving 1030 hrs.  RHQ est at 81652420.  It was not known under whose comd Regt had been placed nor what its role was to be.  Regt was concentrated and not in action.  Total adv for the week - 36 miles NORTH EAST (210 miles direct from THE RHINE) followed by 25 miles due NORTH.  T/Maj HFW FOX (62877) (2IC Regt) to be additional member of Fifth Class of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

 

20th April 1945

Regt resting in harbour.  No orders or infm as to future intentions could be obtained.  Regt was placed under comd 8 AGRA.  12 OR posted in from X (IV) List (previously att to Unit).

 

21st April 1945

General maintenance and cleaning.

 

22nd April 1945

CO made informal inspections of 12/25 Bty.  Religious Services were held during the morning at each Bty.

 

23rd April 1945

CO visited 31 Bty, RHQ Tp and Sig Sec.  Regt Board composed of 2IC and 3 BCs audited Bty Funds.

 

2230 - Orders were received for dumping programme to be carried out.  400 rpg to be dumped.  Probable Regt Area was given as squares 8429 - 8329.  Task given as supporting an assault of River ELBE (Op ENTERPRISE).

 

24th April 1945

Regt carried on with general maintenance.  CO visited 58 Bty.  Recce parties and Svy Party went fwd to battle posn.  CPOs, GPOs, & Nos 1 shown Gun Area by night.  The approach to the area was in full view for a mile from the high ground on the Right Bank of the river.  The actual posn was behind a wood which just concealed it from the enemy.  100 rpg were dumped during night.

 

2200 - CO and 2IC visited another area almost on the river bank in which the regt would have to move during the battle and after the immediate bridgehead had been secured.

 

25th April 1945

200 rpg dumped after dark.

 

26th April 1945

1100 - Regt placed at one hr's notice to move to under comd 15 (S) Div.  It was considered that there was very little enemy resistance to be encountered on the other side of the ELBE and there was a possibility that 15 (S) Div would attempt a crossing tonight.

 

1250 - Warning order cancelled.  Probable time of move night 27/28.  100 rpg HE and 67 rpg SMOKE were dumped during the night.

 

27th April 1945

Regt completed maint and made ready for move fwd.

 

28th April 1945

0200 - Regt moved fwd to battle positions about 3000x from the R ELBE.  All sub-units were in posn by 0500 hrs.  RHQ est at 8374 2985.  All mov was restricted to minimum during daylight since much of the area and all the approaches thereto were under direct observation from the far bank of the river.

 

1100 - Fire plan for "Op ENTERPRISE" was received and issued to btys.

 

2350 - Engaged one AA Hostile Bty for 20 mins rate very slow with 5% Cap On and 10% Airburst as part of CB programme COSSACK.

 

29th April 1945

0050 - Commenced firing on Fire Plan "Op ENTERPRISE" and completed task 0300 hrs.

 

0400 - 1st phase of the op was completed successfully.  44 BDE and 1 CDO BDE found little opposition and took all their objectives.  Apart from the Fire Plan the Regt was asked to fire on 3 tgts only - 2 hostile mortars and 1 AA gun.  Total amn expenditure from commencement of op - 4374 Rds HE.  During the morning the remaining two bdes went across the river and phase II was completed with little opposition.  At 1800 hrs the Regt commenced to move fwd and went into prepared posns on the outskirts of ARTLENBURG.

 

1100 - Op order received at 8 AGRA and shown to CO putting the regt under comd 11 Armd Div for op VOLCANO (the adv from the bridgehead of 11 Armd Div and 5 Inf Div to LUBECK).

 

1500 - CO visited HQRA 11 Armd Div.  Order received cancelling 25 Fd Regt's share in VOLCANO and putting the regt under comd 6 AB DIV.

 

1700 - CO attended conference at HQ 6 AB DIV and received the outline plan for the adv to WISMAR.

 

1935 - RHQ est 8330 3395 and a line was laid to TAC HQ of 181 FD REGT.  Most of phase III was completed that evening.  Regt was given DF Tasks to be fired on orders of 181 FD REGT TAC HQ.  Quiet night.

 

30th April 1945

During the day the bridgehead continued to expand and the Regt was eventually put out of Range.  15 (S) DIV passed across the river but the Regt was ordered to remain in present location until it came under comd 6 AB DIV at 0600 hrs the following morning.

 

1000 - CO gave verbal orders to BCs re general plan of 6 AB DIV's adv to WISMAR (on the BALTIC).  6 AB DIV forming part of 18 US CORPS consisting of Brit 6 AB DIV, 82 US AIRBORNE DIV, 8 US INF DIV and 7 US ARMD DIV.

 

1215 - Class 40 bridge of ARTLENBURG completed.

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt Col J.F. Murphy RA

 

1st May 1945

0600 - Regt placed under comd 6 AIRBORNE DIV.

 

1300 - Commenced to move fwd across ELBE to 6 AIRBORNE DIV area.  The coln was held up at the entrance to Cl 9 Br at LAUENBURG 8734 and did not cross the br until 1500 hrs.

 

1540 - RHQ est near BOIZENBURG 00863550.  Orders were received for following day's adv towards WISMAR.  It was anticipated that 6 AIRBORNE DIV would secure WITTENBURG 2151 and ZARRENTEN 1055 by the end of the morning and would pause there until the following day.  The adv was to be on a two Bde front, with Right 3 Para Bde and Left 5 Para Bde.  25 FD REGT in support and under comd (for mov) of 3 Bde.  748 Bn of 472 US FA Gp was also to be in support of 3 Bde and was to send two reps to 25 FD REGT.  CO and party est TAC HQ at HQ 3 PARA BDE.

 

2nd May 1945

0500 - Adv started.  8 US Inf Div moving on Right of rd and 6 AIRBORNE on Left for the first 5 miles when routes divided.  3 PARA BDE Order of March was:- Sqn Royal Scots Greys carrying a coy of I Cdn Para Bn - Tac Bde HQ - Remainder I Cdn Para Bn (in lorries) - 12/25 Bty, - 8 Para Bn (in lorries) - 9 Para Bn (in lorries) - Main Bde HQ - 25 Fd Regt less one bty - 3 Para Sqn RE - 'B' Ech.  Practically no opposition and no GERMANs seen.

 

0800 - Entered WITTENBERG (the day's objective).  A little shooting and many prisoners were taken.  Div Comd arrived and immediately gave permission to continue adv which restarted about 0900.

 

1030 - About 10 miles beyond WITTENBERG at least 1,000 GERMANS with tpt were found in a wood running along the edge of the rd for over a mile.  It was nearly an hr before they were chased out on to the rd.  Meanwhile the tks re-fuelled.  Rumours, which proved to be untrue, started flying around that the RUSSIANS were 7 miles down the rd and even in the next village.  Preparations were made at Tac Bde HQ to receive RUSSIANS and CO 2 brought up suitable alcoholic supplies.

 

1130 - Adv continued.  Streams of GERMANS everywhere.  No shooting.  We just drove straight through them.

 

1230 - Reached GADEBUSCH about 15 miles ahead of 5 PARA BDE who were due to cross our axis and move to the North end of the SCHWERIN SEA.  3 PARA BRIG persuaded the DIV COMD to allow 3 BDE to go on and said that 5 BDE would be held up, when they arrived, until we were through.  Dazed and demoralized GERMANS were now encountered in thousands.

 

1345 - Leading tks entered WISMAR on the BALTIC.  CO ordered CO2 to deploy regt as close up to the Western edge of WISMAR as possible.  Zero Line 90 but minimum of one Bty to be able to fire South and one West.

 

1400 - 2IC and Svy Offr carried out recce in WISMAR and on Western outskirts of the town.  During the course of this recce, they drove into one Flak Bty posn with its guns fully manned, but it surrendered complete and one Bdr was left in charge.  Numerous GERMAN colns withdrawing from the town and from the Inf bks were met, but no shots were fired, although they were fully armed.  Posn for one bty was found in the town, but the other two had been deployed on the SW outskirts, as there was some small arms firing in the dock area.

 

1445 - 12/25 Bty in action.

 

1600 - 31 Bty and 58 Bty in action.  RHQ est at 451938.

 

1915 - 31 Bty and 58 Bty were ordered to move into action in dock area which had then been cleared up, as present posns were too far outside defended perimeter of town.

 

2030 - RUSSIAN BRIG with 3 Staff Offrs of unknown rank arrived at 3 PARA BDE.

 

2100 - 31 Bty and 58 Bty in action in very good posns in dock area with practically 360 zones of fire and well placed to engage any units of the GERMAN NAVY.

 

2130 - 6 AIRBORNE DIV COMD arrived at 3 PARA BDE HQ and was followed shortly after by the RUSSIAN GENERAL.  It was agreed that 6 AIRBORNE DIV tps should stay where they were and the RUSSIANS agreed not to approach nearer than one kilometre to this line and to withdraw any of their tps who were already over it.

 

2245 - RUSSIAN delegation departed.

 

3rd May 1945

Day spent cleaning up guns and vehs with a certain amount of boating and yachting on the BALTIC.

 

2100 - News of GERMAN SURRENDER in ITALY and AUSTRIA received.

 

4th May 1945

1400 - 6 parties each of 1 NCO and 3 Men required immediately for patrolling the streets.

 

2045 - Wireless message received from RA 6 AIRBORNE announced that all GERMAN TPS in NW GERMANY, HOLLAND and DENMARK had surrendered wef 050800.

 

2215 - Ordered by RA 6 AIRBORNE to CEASE FIRE and close down wrls.

 

2320 - Trace showing area of responsibility for policing and controlling local civilian and military population received.

 

5th May 1945

0900 - CO gave orders to BCs re policing our area of responsibility.

 

1100 - Orders received to leave comd of 6 AIRBORNE and move to join 8 AGRA area W of LUBECK.

 

1130 - All policing dets withdrawn.

 

1300 - Regt commenced moving to new area.

 

1900 - RHQ est SW of LUBECK at 8708 8600.  Regt was expected to remain in present location for about two days after which it was to occupy an area SW of the line NEUMUNSTER - RENDSBURG as part of Op 'ECLIPSE'.

 

6th May 1945

1030 - CO visited HQ 8 AGRA to gain infm about future intentions.

 

1415 - BCs attended conference at RHQ and were given details of new areas and responsibilities therein.

 

2340 - Orders received for Recce parties (self-contained for 3 days) to move following day to RV with CAGRA at NEUMUNSTER 1200 hrs.

 

7th May 1945

0830 - 'H' Net opened.

 

0900 - Recce parties moved off from RHQ.  Parties consisted of 'Situation Recce' party, which incl OC and Rear Link to AGRA and had the object of assessing commitments in the area, and "Accn Recce Party" to fix locations of RHQ and Btys in conjunction with the "Situation Recce Party".

 

0930 - Wrls message from AGRA cancelled Recce and Party was ordered to return.  The move had apparently been cancelled by 8 CORPS, and the reason given was that the GERMANS in control of new area had not yet been infm by 21 A GP of today's occupation by BRITISH TPS.  Recce parties probably leave following day.

 

8th May 1945

1200 - Recce parties as detailed previous day moved fwd and made a rapid svy of the Regt Area.

 

1600 - Orders received for main body to move to new area on following day.

 

9th May 1945

0700 - Regt moved off to new area.  Dis P at NEUMUNSTER and Sub-units were met by guides from the Recce party who led them to Bty areas.

 

1100 - RHQ was est at 2600 2164 STAFSTEDT

 

1130 - 12/25 was est at BOKEN.

 

1200 - 31 was est at RENDSBURG.  58 was est at NINDORF.  Area allotted to Regt and sub-allotted to Btys is shown in trace J3.

 

1800 - 31 Bty assumed control of the southern end of RENDSBURG Br.

 

10th May 1945

The day was spent in investigating the area and a start was made in estimating the number of GERMAN forces PW(X) and DP in the area.  The local GERMAN COMD - Oberstleutnant Von Delden - reported to this HQ and was instr as to his duties in controlling all the GERMAN ARMY forces within the area.  His HQ was est at BARGSTEDT 3320.  T/Maj HK COOK RA (66024) BC 12/25 Bty - posted to 4 RHA to fill vacancy of 2IC.  T/Maj RNJ SHORTEN RA (64511) posted in from X(IV) List (att 63 Med Regt) to fill vacancy as BC 12/25 Bty.  4 OR posted in.

 

11th May 1945

During the day the area was further investigated and the dispositions and locations of GERMAN Forces PW(X) and DPs became fairly clearly known, and a certain amount of eqpt and a few installations were discovered.  There was a Hospital and a Hospital Train in the area, both of which were likely to cause some difficulties in the way of feeding, med supplies, etc.  The MO investigated the two latter.  Standing Orders were issued for the KAISER WILHELM Canal Br.  W/Lt EA WILLIAMS RA (293088) - posted to X (VIII)(a) List and proceeded to UK under PICKFORDS SCHEME.

 

12th May 1945

The SE and the SW boundaries of the Regt Area were altered and the villages of ARPSDORF, EHNDORF, WASBECK and PADENSTEDT passed to the control of 53 HY REGT RA.  The villages of GRAVEL and VAAS BUTTEL passed to control of 63 MED REGT RA.

 

13th May 1945

More GERMAN tps and sups were identified.

 

1200 - KIEL Canal Br at RENDSBURG was handed over to 77 MED REGT RA.

 

14th May 1945

More stores were discovered during the day, and a RUSSIAN PW(X) Camp was found.

 

15th May 1945

146 MED REGT moved into area and est one bty at WESTARRONFELD 2433 and SCHULP 2331.  146 had no area to control, but were to undertake the control of all mov of PW(X) and DPs within the AGRA area.

 

16th May 1945

GERMAN Forces within 8 AGRA Area commenced to move to OLDENBURG area under control of 146 MED REGT RA.  GERMANS within regt area not due to move until the following day.  Several more large stores of eqpt were unearthed incld a store of ship parts for the GNEISNAU, SCHARNHORST and PRINCE EUGEN.

 

17th May 1945

A part of the GERMAN Forces in the Regt area were moved off to OLDENBURG in motor tpt.  The tps now remaining in the Area were those belonging to Fd Marshall BUSCH'S Staff and Oberstleutnant VON DELDEN'S Staff, and in addition, LUFTWAFFE tps and NAVAL forces.

 

18th May 1945

The Horse-drawn part of the GERMAN Forces were moved off to OLDENBURG.  A svy was made of the remaining forces in the area and their dispositions and identifications accurately est.  T/Capt BJ DENINGTON RA (220906) Adjt - posted tp HQ 21 A GP to fill appt as GSO II SD.  Retained T/Capt on posting.  W/Lt SE GRINSTEAD RA (271463) A/Adjt - Promoted A/Capt and appointed Adjt.

 

19th May 1945

THANKSGIVING SERVICES were held at each BTY by the PADRE of 63 MED REGT RA.  German small arms and amn collected within the area were moved to a dump at HOHENWESTEDT under control of 63 MED REGT.  22 OR despatched to UK via 45 RHU under PICKFORDS II Scheme.

 

20th May 1945

CAGRA carried out surprise inspection of 58 BTY.  Adv parties, of an estimated gp of some 2,000 GERMAN forces moving into area, arrived.

 

21st May 1945

Supplied tpt to move 200 of the remaining PWX from 77 MED area and PASSAU 72/35.  GERMAN forces of a large supply unit began to move into area.  T/Maj DF OSWALD MC RA (71016) - posted to 146 MED REGT RA to fill Capt vacancy.  167491 T/Capt JH FINCH RA - posted in from 146 MED REGT RA, promoted A/Maj to fill vacancy as BC 58 Bty.  W/Lt AJ MATHESON RA (165463) 12/25 Bty - promoted A/Capt wef 11 Mar 45.  31 OR posted to unit under PICKFORDS II.

 

22nd May 1945

PWX FRENCH, unofficially began to move out of area, and unauthorised RUSSIAN Officials were causing unrest by telling RUSSIANS that they might move also.  This was quickly brought under control.

 

1430 - CO visited 31 Bty.  12/25 Bty moved from existing location to INNIEN 34/12, as GERMANS had been evacuated.

 

23rd May 1945

1030 - CO visited 12/25 at their new location.  Large quantities of arms (4500) transported by Regt to RENDSBURG during day.  20 Dvrs att to 116 Arty Coy RASC to help replace vehs taken from them for harvesting requirements.  Curfew relaxed to 0500 hrs daily.  1414222 W/S/Sjt (Art) REED OG - awarded C-in-C's Certificate for GALLANTRY.

 

24th May 1945

1230 - Lt Gen EH BARKER CB CBE DSO MC (Comd 8 Corps) visited unit with Brig AP CAMPBELL DSO to discuss with CO state of affairs within Regt Area and welfare of men.  Stated that the next leave roster would be controlled solely by COs.  All FRENCH, BELGIAN PWX evacuated from area to LUBECK.  Large Service Corps unit finally est in area INNIEN 34/12.

 

25th May 1945

All FRENCH, DUTCH and BELGIAN DPs evacuated to LUNEBURG under AGRA arrangements.  Oberstleutnant Von Delden infm CO of a party of 80 stragglers to be removed to OLDENBURG.  These proved to be 140 strong and were evacuated under control of Lt AD SWEET 12/25 Bty at 1000 hrs.  CO and 2IC visited 31 Bty to inspect Canal patrolling activities, special night patrols also was detailed to check on alleged night crossings.  Two females arrested on canal bank and handed over to Mil Gov Prison.

 

26th May 1945

All YUGO-SLAVS and CZECH DPs and PWX evacuated from area to 219 MIL GOV - NEUMUNSTER before 1100 hrs.  Status of ITALIAN PWX finally established and they may not work for us in return for their rations.  Daily Sitrep att.

 

27th May 1945

3 GERMANS arrested for concealing arms.  All dealt with and handed over to Mil Gov.

 

28th May 1945

19 GERMAN vehs in various stages of repair were towed from NINDORF to LENTFUHRDEN 4287 under the direction of ASM HEATHORN.  Mobile Cinema arrived for sole use of regt for 4 days.

 

29th May 1945

Remaining 6 large GERMAN omnibuses removed with aid from 146 MED to LENTFUHRDEN during the day.  Complaint of RUSSIAN behaviour at SCHWABE 293310 investigated and found false.

 

30th May 1945

1200 - CAGRA (Brig AP CAMPBELL DSO RA) visited with Brig. of (A&Q) visiting 12/25 Bty.

 

1430 - CAGRA (Brig AP CAMPBELL DSO RA) visited with Brig. of (A&Q) visiting 31 Bty.  Visit quite successful.  8 lorry loads of GERMAN eqpt removed to RENDSBURG.  5 ORs posted in under PICKFORDS III.

 

31st May 1945

CRA 5 DIV visited 8 AGRA & 25 Fd Regt during morning with a view to future events.  Rd blocks instituted on RENDSBURG - NEUMUNSTER rd to collect GERMAN SOLDIERS.  20 ORs att to 116 Arty Coy RASC returned to regt today.