National Archives catalogue number WO 171/5150.

 

Abbreviation

979371

2IC

A & SH

Adm

Adv

AP

Armd

A Tk

Bde

Bn

Br

Brhd

Brhead

Brit

Bty

Cas

Cl

CO

Coldm

Coln

Comd

Conc

Coy

DAA&QMG

Div

Dvr

Ech
Fd

Fwd

Gd

Gds

Gp

H

Hd

HE

HLI

Hvy / Hy

Incl

Inf

Junc

KOSB

Ldr

LF

Locn

Maint

Med

Offr

O Gp

Op

OR

Posn

PW

PWX

RA

RASC

Rd

RE

Reargd

Regt

Res

RF

Rly

RUR

S

SG

SL

SP

Sqn

Strongpt

Tac

Tk

Tp

Veh

X rds

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Administration

Advance

Armour Piercing

Armoured

Anti-Tank

Brigade

Battalion

British

Bridgehead

Bridgehead

British

Battery

Casualties

Class

Commanding Officer

Coldstream

Column

Commander

Concentrate
Company

Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General

Division / Divisional

Driver

Echelon

Field

Forward

Ground

Guards

Group

Highland

Head

High Explosive

Highland Light Infantry

Heavy

Including

Infantry

Junction

King's Own Scottish Borderers

Leader

Left Flank Squadron

Location

Maintenance

Medium

Officer

Orders Group

Operation

Other Ranks

Position

Prisoner of War

Ex-Prisoner of War

Royal Artillery

Royal Army Service Corps

Road

Royal Engineers

Rearguard

Regiment

Reserve

Right Flank Squadron

Railway

Royal Ulster Rifles

Scottish

Scots Guards

Start Line

Self-Propelled / Support (if lower case)

Squadron

Strongpoint

Tactical

Tank

Troop

Vehicle

Crossroads

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. C.I.H. Dunbar

 

1st March 1945

Place: Germany (Ref Maps: 1/25,000 Sheets 4305 4403)

 

About 1700 hrs on 1 Mar CO attended a conference at HQ 9 Inf Bde at which orders were given for a break-out through the strong enemy posn on the line of MUHLEN FLEUTH between WEEZE and KERVENHEIM, followed by an adv to seize BERBERH WOOD 9936 and subsequently WINNEKENDONK.  The plan was for three phases: In phase I 'S' Sqn and 1 KOSB were to break out of the brhead secured the day before by 2 WARWICK at WETTERMANASHOF 9793 and attack behind a barrage to capture the strongly held German posn in the woods and houses about REYSHOF X rds 979371.  Phase II was to consist of LF with 2 RUR in Kangaroos advancing to seize the BERBERH wood.  By this time it was hoped that the enemy grip on KERVENHEIM would be loosened sufficiently to allow RF and 1 LINCOLN to capture WINNEKENDONK before dark.  Since the enemy were known to be paratps and fierce opposition was expected, a barrage was also arranged to cover the adv into WINNEKENDONK.

 

2nd March 1945

The day started well as, in spite of every tk in 'S' Sqn bogging before the stream was reached, the br which had been reported unusable was found to work and 'S' Sqn crossed the SL at 0715 hrs on time.  The enemy had apparently withdrawn in the night and 'S' Sqn's objective was reached by 0900 hrs without difficulty - about 10 PW being captured.  There was a certain amount of delay before Phase II could start owing to the difficulty of getting the Kangaroos up to the RUR, but they eventually crossed the SL at 1230 hrs and by 1400 hrs were firmly in possession of the WEST end of the wood.  Immediately this was certain, 'S' Sqn and the KOSB moved over to capture the EAST end of the wood, and were successful in doing so although they were prevented from exploiting to BRUCH as had been intended, by a vast crater at the far end of the only ride.  So far ground opposition had been slight but shelling and mortaring had been growing steadily heavier and it was obvious that stiffer opposition lay ahead.  LF on the right had had trouble from houses in the BLEICKSHOF area, these they shot up and collected from them about 15 PW.  In the meantime Capt Fember with two Honey tk patrols was told to move down the rd and track on the EAST and WEST ends of the wood and find out what opposition there was in WINNEKENDONK.  The right hand patrol got held up by a very large crater on the rd about 993363 and got bogged getting round it.  The left hand patrol got down to the tip of the wood at 001354, reported the wood clear, but BRUCH held and at that moment one Honey was knocked out by an SP from near the rd junc 997347.  The crew baled out unhurt but were in an exposed posn in the open.  Capt Fember, who had got to cover in the other tk, asked for smoke, which was beautifully placed by a tp of LF, and behind it went out into the open and rescued them.  By now as it was 1600 hrs, Comd 9 Inf Bde decided that he had just time to put in an attack to get WINNEKENDONK.  He held a very quick order gp and 1 LINCOLN, who had only just been released from 185 Bde in KERVENHEIM, was linked up with RF in the LUISHOF 9936 area.  A 15 min recce was carried out and it was decided to attack at 1745 hrs.  This remarkable speed being only possible because of the previously arranged barrage.  The plan was to attack due SOUTH astride the main rd, two tps RF leading, followed by two coys, who were in their turn supported by the remaining two tps.  RF had a very difficult route to the SL, but got there with 30 seconds to spare, and all went fwd behind the barrage.  All went well for the first 400 yds but immediately the leading tps came into the open SOUTH of BRONKSHOF they were met by a hail of AP from the front and flanks, augmented by HE.  All three of the leading tks of the right forward tp and two of the left forward tp were hit by AP, one tk no less than five times, and the FOO's tk which was close behind blew up.  In spite of this and extremely heavy going those who could continued steadily on.  Seeing the plight of his right forward tp the Sqn Ldr ordered the supporting tp forward to engage the SPs and guns firing from the right, which were causing most trouble.  Lt Runcie immediately took his tp right forward into the open, which was the only place he could see from, and engaged to such effect that they knocked out two SPs and one A tk 88.  They also dealt with a number of Spandaus holding up the inf from that flank, thus enabling the inf to get on and into the town.  On the left, although there was some trouble from BRUCH on the left, and the shelling and mortaring was very heavy indeed, the tks and inf got on and into the town, over-running one 88mm and several 50mm whilst doing so.

 

It was by now dark and very close hand to hand fighting took place with the Paratps, of which there was a large number.  Lt Macdonald-Buchanan's tp, though several times Bazooka'd and grenaded, shot the inf right up to the back end of the town and stayed with them there.  One tk fell into a bomb crater and had to be abandoned; its crew returned to the fwd rally on the other tk of the tp - on the way they were bazooka'd and sniped and had hand to hand fights with the Germans.  Fighting went on until 2100 hrs when the situation was got under control and the sqn was able to conc for the night around the LINCOLN HQ, in the houses at 997347.

 

On arrival at the fwd rally, it was discovered that the Slidex card had been left in the abandoned tk.  Lt Macdonald-Buchanan and Gdsn Hunt returned through the enemy infested town and successfully retrieved them.

 

All through the night and the next morning PW continued to be brought in, the final count being 43 enemy dead and close on 250 PW, all from Para Lehr Regt.  They fought fanatically and then suddenly gave up.

 

The strength of the posn was not realised until next day, when, in addition to the two 88's and two SP's knocked out, tracks of at least one more SP could be discerned and six dug-in 50mm A tk guns were also found, besides a large number of Spandaus and inf weapons of all kinds.  Two more 88's were captured at the back of the town.  It appears that one bn Para Lehr and a Fortress Bty had been holding WINNEKENDONK, which was a key posn in the German defence scheme.  Indeed so open was the approach, so strong the A tk screen, and so well dug in the inf that it was impossible to believe, when examining the gd later, that one Inf Bn and a sqn of tks could have captured it against the pick of Germany's infantry; but there is no doubt that the speed with which the attack was launched, the prearranged barrage and the outstandingly magnificent courage and determination of both tks and inf led to a remarkable success.  It is suggested that this may rank as one of the finest small scale tk-inf co-operation battles ever executed and well worthy of more close study.

 

3rd March 1945

By dawn 3 Mar, when LF and the RUR, who had been ordered to capture the big wood SOUTH of WINNEKENDONK, put in their attack, the enemy offered no further opposition, the wood was occupied and the way was clear for the Armd Divs to exploit.  The only other incident of note, on this final day of our share in the adv, occurred when the Corps Comd at 1130 hrs urgently requested a report on whether the brs at 973332 and 002311 would carry Cl 40 tks.  This entailed a six mile patrol into enemy territory.  A patrol comd by Sjt Fraser was sent and by 1245 hrs affirmative information was in the Corps Comd's hands.  The patrol engaged a number of enemy in houses on the way.  Thus ended the 3rd Bn's share in the adv to the Rhine, now only some 10,000 yds away - twenty-four days in the line, during which fifteen actions by a sqn or more were fought, and a total of over 1,500 PW captured by the Bn and the units with which it worked.

 

4th March 1945

LF moved to 013358.  Church services were held.

 

5th March 1945

No move.  Maintenance and rest.

 

6th March 1945

No move.  Maintenance.

 

7th March 1945

No move.  Commanding Officer went to conference at 9 Br Inf Bde HQ at 1330 hrs.

 

8th March 1945

Maintenance.  Bn ceased to be under 9 Br Inf Bde.

 

9th March 1945

Maintenance.

 

10th March 1945

Commanding Officer went to conference at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 1830 hrs.  Billets were recced in KEVELAER 9632.

 

11th March 1945

Bn moved to KEVELAER 9632 at 0900 hrs.  Bn HQ was established at Hotel Kölner Hof.

 

12th March 1945

Maintenance.  Baths.

 

13th March 1945

Drill Parades under sqn arrangements.

 

14th March 1945

Maintenance.  The Commander Second Army, Lt.-Gen. Sir Miles Dempsey, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C., visited the Bn.

 

15th March 1945

Maintenance.  Commanding Officer and squadron leaders left for England for conference with 6th Airborne Division.

 

16th March 1945

Drill and Maintenance.

 

17th March 1945

Inter-Sqn football.

 

18th March 1945

Church Services.  Commanding Officer and squadron leaders returned from England.

 

19th March 1945

Maintenance.

 

20th March 1945

Maintenance.  Commanding Officer attended a conference at HQ 12 Corps.  Officers' dinner with all officers 2nd Bn Scots Guards.

 

21st March 1945

Commanding Officer held an Order Group at 1030 hrs.

 

22nd March 1945

All officers briefed in the plan for the Bn part in the crossing of the Rhine.

 

23rd March 1945

Preparation for the crossing of the Rhine.

 

24th March 1945

Final preparations.

 

25th March 1945

Place: Germany (Ref Maps: 1/25,000 Sheets 4303, 4403, 4304, 4307, 4109, 4010)

 

LF moved at 0900 hrs to marshalling area 003408 and thence to waiting area 105437 and crossed the RHINE on rafts during the night.  Remainder of the Bn moved at 1700 hrs.

 

26th March 1945

LF linked up with 6th Airborne Div at 177472.  They were put in support of 6 Air Landing Bde in an attack onto high ground 2451.  They moved to 216486 but were not used in the attack as opposition was slight and there was doubt as to whether the bridge at 222484 could carry Churchills.  Bn HQ moved to 6 Airborne Div HQ at 189478.  RF and S Sqn moved to 206477.  Commanding Officer and squadron leaders attended Order Groups at HQ 3rd Parachute Bde at 1800 hrs and at 2400 hrs.  Locations for the night were Bn HQ with HQ 3rd Para Bde at 258465.  RF and S Sqn at 230478 and LF at 240485.

 

27th March 1945

The Bn concentrated at 258472 and prepared to cross the stream by a tank bridge at 282458 preparatory to an advance in support of 3rd Para Bde.  While the Bn was crossing, plans were changed.  The Bn returned under command of 6 Gds Armd Bde, was ordered to concentrate at PEDDENBERG 3141 and the Commanding Officer was summoned to an Order Group at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 1200 hrs.  The new plan was as follows.  The 6 Gds Armd Bde Group, consisting of 4 Tk Coldm Gds, 3 Tk SG, 513 Parachute Regt, 3 Br Div Recce Regt, 6 Fd Regt RA and 61 Med Regt RA, was to advance up the axis of the main rd WESEL - MUNSTER.  The details were that the Scots Guards, with under comd 2 Bn 513 Para Regt, were to lead, preceded by 3 Br Div Recce Regt, followed by the Coldm Gds Group; and the advance was scheduled to start at 1430 hrs.  At 1500 hrs the Bn advanced behind the Recce Regt, carrying the infantry on the tanks, in the order S Sqn, Bn HQ, RF, LF.  The Recce Regt soon bumped light enemy opposition in the area 352428.  They were held up and the Bn was ordered to go through.  S Sqn were, however, held up soon after by some SPs and one tank was knocked out.  At this time there was some confusion, as another American formation was advancing on the same axis.  Owing to this confusion, and the fact that it was just getting dark, the Bn was ordered to halt for some hours.  During this halt the Brigadier ordered the Bn to capture DORSTEN and to seize the road and railway bridges over the R. LIPPE 4640, if possible intact.

 

28th March 1945

The infantry were put on every tank as protection against bazookas in the dark and the Bn advanced at 0045 hrs in the order RF, S Sqn, Bn HQ, LF.  A Recce patrol under Capt R.C.G. Pember was leading, responsible for the route.  All went well until a road block was met in SCHERMBECK 3943.  Despite a very thick mist Capt Pember led the Bn across country and found the way back to the main SCHERMBECK - DORSTEN rd.  This was a really amazing achievement.  The ground was extremely boggy and many tanks got bogged.  However, by determined efforts, nearly every tank got through, and by 0300 hrs the Bn was formed up again on the main rd.  At 0345 hrs the advance continued and by 0600 hrs the Bn was in DORSTEN.  The bridges were found blown and there was some shelling in the town.  At this moment, Capt R.C.G. Pember, who had been largely responsible for the success of the advance, was shot by a sniper while out of his tank, and received wounds from which he died.  By 0700 hrs all was quiet and the town was firmly in our hands.  At 1000 hrs LF were ordered to send one troop with some inf to find out whether the bridge at 508412 was still intact.  Considerable opposition was encountered from inf and bazooka men in the woods 508421.  The rest of the sqn was then sent out.  Considerable casualties were inflicted on the enemy but it was found impossible to get through to the bridge.  Therefore, at about 1300 hrs the sqn and the inf coy were withdrawn.

 

29th March 1945

Some enemy 88's were reported in the area between the rivers at 5444.  The inf were ordered to destroy these and S Sqn were to provide fire support by a sqn shoot from 525442.  The inf got on very well, capturing some 500 prisoners, and S Sqn were not required.  The Bn was then ordered to pick up the inf and move to an area just short of DULMEN 674582, where it spent the night.

 

30th March 1945

The Commanding Officer attended an Order Group at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 0800 hrs and held one himself immediately afterwards.  The Bn was ordered to adv through DULMEN, by-pass BULDERN, where 4 Tk Coldm Gds were engaged in heavy fighting, by the left and continue up the axis towards MUNSTER.  The order of march was S Sqn, RF, HQ Sqn, LF.  After meeting and capturing a large number of inf in the woods, S Sqn bumped some SPs and a tank in the area 7267.  The gd was very open and the SPs very well sited, so that further adv was impossible.  RF were sent round the left flank and the SPs withdrew.  RF lost two tanks and the Recce Tp one honey.  The Bn was then ordered to remain firm where it was for the night.  Locations were Bn HQ and LF 724656.  RF 729663.  S Sqn 724679.  The Commanding Officer went to an Order Group at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 2100 hrs.

 

31st March 1945

During the night an inf patrol found that NOTTULN 7370 was unoccupied.  The Bn was ordered to move in there at 0600 hrs.  The Commanding Officer went to an Order Group at 1300 hrs and held one himself immediately afterwards.  Bn was ordered to advance to area of ROXEL 8673.  It was decided to by-pass the high ground about 7871.  The order of march was LF, RF, Bn HQ, S Sqn.  Fairly light opposition and some shelling was encountered and by dark the Bn had reached BOESENSELL 8267.  There it was halted to reform for a night march.  At 2359 hrs orders were received that the Bn would not move any further during the night.  So the night was spent in BOESENSELL.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. C.I.H. Dunbar

 

1st April 1945

Place: Germany

 

The bn rested during the morning.  At 1400 hrs the Comd Offr went to an Order Gp at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde and held one on his return at 1630 hrs.  The bn moved at 1715 hrs to the area 856724 where further Order Gps were held.  The plan for the next op was briefly as follows: The objective was to gain a brhd over the river AA and capture the built up area on the high ground at 887787.  The attack was to be an inf one by 2 Bn 513 Parachute Regt in two phases.  Phase 1 was the capture of all the ground short of the river and Phase 2 the gaining of the actual brhd itself.  Phase 1 was to start at 2100 hrs and Phase 2 as soon as possible after Phase 1.  To sp this attack RF and 'S' sqn were to fire a pepperpot onto the area NORTH of the objective, from posns EAST of ROXEL about 873729.  LF was to cross the river if the br at 881730 was intact and join the inf on their objective.  RF and 'S' sqn moved into posn at approx 2200 hrs but fired very little.  The inf gained their brhead after a stiff fight, but the br at 881730 was blown and the ground near it was quite unsuitable for a Churchill Bridgelayer.  LF was ordered therefore to give what sp they could from the near bank.

 

2nd April 1945

The Comd Offr decided that he must get tks up to sp the inf on their objective as soon as possible after first light.  Therefore, 'S' Sqn was ordered to move round by the NORTH, cross the river AA by the br at 853757 and by a flank march join up with the inf on the objective.  They moved off at 0600 hrs.  All went well until the coln bumped into an enemy strongpt at 873749.  Major Farrell managed to find a route which was partially defiladed from the strongpt and led his sqn by it.  Unfortunately the last few vehs were seen by the enemy and engaged.  Of these two Churchill and one Stuart were knocked out and the remainder managed to withdraw.  The sqn then brushed aside some further minor opposition and joined up with the inf at approx 1000 hrs.  This was a fine achievement in view of the fact that the strongpt, when captured later, was found to consist of nine 88mm guns, several flak guns, three tks and 200 inf.  At 1300 hrs the Comd Offr went to a conference with 194 Parachute Regt and, on his return, ordered the bn, less 'S' Sqn, to concentrate at NIENBERGE 880780.  Immediately on arrival there RF and LF had to move on and join their bns for the attack on MUNSTER: Astride the main rd NIENBERGE - MUNSTER.  RF and their bn of 194 Parachute Regt was to attack on the RIGHT of the rd and LF with theirs on the LEFT.  The attack went in at 1600 hrs and though quite a lot of opposition from inf and flak guns was encountered, by dark both gps were firmly established in the City itself.  A large number of prisoners were taken.  Locns for the night were:- Bn HQ 891775: RF 918746: LF 923748: While 'S' Sqn remained with the 2 Bn 513 Parachute Regt at 888788.

 

3rd April 1945

'S' Sqn with 2 Bn 513 Para Regt moved into the City to link up with the remainder of the force.  This they did without incident, though a considerable number of prisoners were collected in the process.  The remainder of the bn incl 'A' and 'B' Echs moved into billets in the outskirts of the City at 915755.

 

4th April 1945

Rest and maint.  Lt-Col Miller and Maj Edwards of 2 Bn 513 Para Regt came to dinner at Bn HQ.

 

5th April 1945

Rest and maint.  Adv party left to recce new area.

 

6th April 1945

Bn moved to HAGEN 167001 and came under comd of 227 (H) Bde.

 

7th April 1945

Bn moved to area of SAPELICH.  Locns were Bn HQ 765263: RF 762255: 'S' Sqn 760289: LF 768285.

 

8th April 1945

No move.  Church 1700 hrs.  The Bde Comd, Bde Maj and DAA&QMG 227 (H) Bde came to dinner at Bn HQ.

 

9th April 1945

No move.  Maint.

 

10th April 1945

Bn moved in the afternoon to area of WUNSTORF.  Bn HQ was established beside HQ 227 (H) Bde at 150723, RF with 10 HLI at 153270 and 'S' Sqn and LF with 2 GORDONS at 169280.  The Comd Offr went to an Order Gp at HQ 227 (H) Bde at 2000 hrs.  The plan for the next days ops was briefly as follows:- 227 (H) Bde Gp was to adv, pass through 15 (S) Div Recce Regt, who were known to be in FUHRBERG 4343, and capture CELLE 5850.  The order of march was to be 2 GORDONS with LF and 'S' Sqn (for movement only), Tac HQ 227 (H) Bde with Bn HQ, 10 HLI with RF and 2 A & SH.

 

11th April 1945

Bn moved off at 0715 hrs.  Slight trouble was caused by a blown br at 263425 which necessitated a diversion, but all went well until the hd of the coln reached 483462 where the br was blown and the woods on either side of the rd were held by inf with bazookas.  A brhd was gained by the inf and a Churchill br was laid over the crater.  LF passed over and continued slowly up the rd with 2 GORDONS mopping up the woods on either side.  The RE filled in the crater, the Churchill br was lifted and then the rest of the Bde Gp passed over.  LF and 2 GORDONS continued to make progress until dark but were slowed down by the thick woods and another crater at 524473.  When it got dark the rest of the coln drew off the rd in the area 5146.  2 GORDONS and LF were ordered to gain a brhd over the canal at 553482 and then the 10 HLI and RF were to pass through and gain a brhd over the R ALLER in the town itself.

 

12th April 1945

2 GORDONS and LF penetrated into the town by 0100 hrs and at that time 10 HLI and RF were passed through.  10 HLI found the centre of the town unoccupied and RF followed them in.  The main brs of the R ALLER were blown and 10 HLI made a brhd leaving RF on the near bank.  The Recce Tp with a platoon of 2 GORDONS on their tks were then ordered to investigate the brs at 621484.  After a brilliant adv, killing some Germans on the way, they charged over these and captured them intact.  A new plan was made.  RF was then ordered to go round by these brs and join up with 10 HLI and 2 GORDONS were to move over and secure a local brhd in the area of these brs with LF concentrated on the near bank.  Finally 2 A & SH and 'S' Sqn were to move round by this route and seize the high ground in the area of GRASSEN 6254.  As one of the rear RF tks passed over it, the second br collapsed.  Further the leading part of RF was held up as the br at 622500 would not carry a tk and the bridgelayer had not crossed the other br before it collapsed.  However, 2 A & SH left 'S' Sqn behind and advanced to their objective without opposition.  By 1600 hrs the Bailey br at 621484 was completed.  The Bridgelayer then went across and was laid at 622500.  The route was now passable and RF and 'S' Sqn moved forward and joined up with 10 HLI and 2 A & SH respectively.  At 2000 hrs Bn HQ with HQ 227 (H) Bde moved across the main br in the town which had been rebuilt by the RE and established for the night in the Northern part of the town.  They were followed by 2 GORDONS and LF.  Just prior to this move the Comd Offr went to an Order Gp at HQ 227 (H) Bde.  The plan for the following day was to adv up the main rd and capture UELZEN 8989.  The order of march was to be 10 HLI and RF, Tac HQ 227 (H) Bde and Bn HQ, 2 A & SH and 'S' Sqn and 2 GORDONS and LF.

 

13th April 1945

The Bde Gp moved off at 0845 hrs.  The rd was cratered at 666605, but a way round was found, the br at 708646 was only partially blown and passable, and so the coln was not seriously held up until it met a crater in the rd at 751674.  The Churchill br was laid and RF passed across.  However, after brushing aside a light reargd which contained one SP, they met another crater at 770685 which was very large and quite impassable.  Further, as the REs were starting to work on it a time bomb, of which there were a number buried, in the sides of the rd, went off killing some and wounding others there incl Lt A Gordon, whose tk was within 3 yds of it.  It was now clear, owing to the presence of more time bombs, that the clearance of this part of the centre line was beyond the RE resources of the Bde.  A deviation was attempted, but another crater was found at 784701.  The whole Bde Gp was therefore halted in a large ride in the woods at 772708, in which the 800 vehs of the Bde Gp were collected, refuelled and reorganized.  At this time the Brig decided to continue the adv to UELZEN at 0030 hrs on the axis ROSSERINGEN 8076 - SUDERBURG 8281 - HOLXEN 8483 - HOLDENSTEDT 8783 - UELZEN.  The order of march was to remain the same.

 

14th April 1945

RF, lead by Lt J. Macdonald-Buchanan, led the adv and their success in finding the way along country lanes on a very dark night was an outstanding achievement of map reading.  The coln moved very fast through the villages past the German sentries who were too astonished to take any action.  Just before dawn the hd of the coln was at the rd and rly crossing 889870.  At this moment the Germans woke up and opened up with a very large number of flak guns.  Immediately 10 HLI and RF were involved in very heavy confused fighting.  The Brig halted the rest of the coln at HOLDENSTEDT.  Very hvy fighting continued for some hrs but 10 HLI and RF, backed up by 2 A & SH and 'S' Sqn who were sent up to help them, managed, not only to hold their ground but even slightly improved their posns.  They had achieved very considerable tactical surprise and had taken a very large number of guns and prisoners.  Opposition, however, continued to be very hy indeed.  Meanwhile, in the rear areas, many Germans who had been passed by the coln during the night, gave themselves up.  During these few hrs some 600 prisoners were taken in the main fighting and a further 300 in the rear areas.  This, in itself, shows the great success of the night march and the extent of the surprise gained.  By 1300 hrs 10 HLI had been ordered to hold firm in their posns and 2 A & SH were firm on the line of the stream about 895874.  During the afternoon LF relieved RF in sp of 10 HLI and RF were brought back to rest near HOLDENSTEDT.  Meanwhile the plans for the night attack on UELZEN were made.  These were as follows:- At 2300 hrs 2 A & SH were to cross and seize the high ground on the RIGHT about 900878, then 10 HLI and RF were to capture the suburb of VEERSEN and 2 GORDONS with LF were to adv down the axis of the main rd into the town itself and capture the brs of the river.  Finally, if a br was intact, 'S' Sqn was to pass over and link up with 2 A & SH.  In sp of the attack 'S' Sqn was to fire a pepperpot onto the wooded area on the LEFT about 8890 from 2 - Z - 45.

 

15th April 1945

The attack by 2 A & SH on the RIGHT was completely successful with very little opposition but the main attack met very hy opposition from SPs and inf with spandaus and bazookas.  10 HLI and RF made a little progress into VEERSEN but 2 GORDONS and LF on their RIGHT were badly held up and LF lost their leading two tks to bazookas, Lt Barne the tp ldr being badly wounded.  At first light RF with 10 HLI were involved in more very hy close quarter fighting in VEERSEN and LF were concentrated at the rd and rly crossing 889870 with one tp fwd in the houses with the leading coy of 2 GORDONS.  Meanwhile 'S' Sqn had been brought back to take up a defensive posn on the RIGHT flank of HOLDENSTEDT following the news of the German counter attack on NETTLEKAMP 9179 and STADENSEN 8979.  During the day RF continued to have very hvy close quarter fighting.  They lost only one tk but the majority of their crews were fighting on foot as the area was too enclosed to use tks.  A large number of Germans were killed and one SP destroyed.  RF cas were 2 offrs wounded, 1 OR killed and approx 10 wounded.  By this time the whole Bde Gp was extremely tired and orders were given for its relief.  2 GORDONS and LF less one tp, came out at 2200 hrs, but RF and one tp LF were not relieved till 0500 hrs the next morning, having been advancing and fighting for 72 hrs without a single respite.

 

16th April 1945

RF were relieved at 0500 hrs.  Locations were then:- Bn HQ and RF 876840: 'S' Sqn 879848 : LF 887834.  The bn rested all day.

 

17th April 1945

Rest and Maintenance.  The Comd Offr went to an Order Gp at HQ 227 (H) Bde at 1800 hrs.

 

18th April 1945

After several false alarms of a move the bn eventually did not move.

 

19th April 1945

Bn moved off with 227 (H) Bde in bn gps at 0900 hrs.  Order of March:- 'S' Sqn and 2 A & SH, one tp LF: Bn HQ and Tac HQ, with one coy 10 HLI, the remainder of LF with 2 GORDONS, RF and 10 HLI.  The objective was to reach four villages on the other side of UELZEN and so form a brhead for a further attack.  'S' Sqn was to go to VOLKSTORF 879158, HQ to VASTORF 879151, LF to GIFKENDORF 882142 and RF to WOLFSTORF 865130, but as these were all reached without any opposition it was decided to stay there for an hr and then to move on again at 1130 hrs.  Bde Gp then reached SCHARNEBECK 8525 where Bn HQ and RF stayed for the night, whilst LF went to RULLSTORF 865249 just outside.

 

20th April 1945

Comd Offr moved off with 227 (H) Bde HQ at 1000 hrs to BRIETLINGEN 807399 and the rest of Bn HQ came up to join him there, in the afternoon.  LF and one tp (No: 2 tp) RF came up at 1900 hrs to sp an attack on ARTLENBURG 8334.  The Attack was put off however until early the following morning.  Remainder of RF and 'S' Sqn stayed where they were.

 

21st April 1945

LF went to position 825329 and did a pepper-pot shoot onto AVENDORF 812358 at 0130 hrs in sp of 10 HLI who were attacking ARTLENBURG with No: 2 Tp of RF in res.  Attack was successful and both towns were captured, thus making 15 (S) Div secure on WEST bank of R ELBE.  2IC and recce offrs then went to ROMSTEDT 953037 to recce billets, but finding them unsuitable permission was obtained for the bn to go to BEVENSEN 9002.  Bn came back in the afternoon and billeted there.  Recce tp were sent to clear the wood 9203, but only found one prisoner.

 

22nd April 1945

Rest and Maintenance.  Church Service in BEVENSEN Church 1100 hrs.

 

23rd April 1945

Rest and Maintenance.

 

24th April 1945

Rest and Maintenance.

 

25th April 1945

Rest and Maintenance.  Comd Offr 4 Tk Bn Gren Gds came to dinner.

 

26th April 1945

Lecture to Bn 1100 hrs by Brig W.D.C. Greenacre, DSO, MVO.  Holiday.

 

27th April 1945

Comd Offr and Sqn ldrs went to conference with 17 Bde 5 Brit Inf Div.

 

28th April 1945

Comd Offr held conference for sqn ldrs at 0930 hrs at 'S' Sqn.

 

29th April 1945

Church Service 1000 hrs.

 

30th April 1945

Comd Offr went to Order Gp with sqn ldr of 'S' Sqn and LF at 17 Bde HQ at 1700 hrs, where plan to break out of brhead over the R ELBE and capture LUBECK was elaborated.

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. C.I.H. Dunbar

 

1st May 1945

Place: Germany

 

Bn waited all day for move-ment orders which eventually came to the effect that bn was to move at 0300 hrs next day with HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde.

 

2nd May 1945

Bn moved off at 0300 hrs and after waiting for four hours in LUNEBURG because of traffic jams arrived at SIEBENEICHEN 915499 at 2100 hrs, having crossed R ELBE at ARTLENBURG 8834 at 1600 hrs and after spending 17 hrs on the rd.  Bn stayed there as they were no longer needed since LUBECK and entire German Army in area had surrendered.

 

3rd May 1945

Comd Offr went to HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 0900 hrs.  2IC and sqn recce offrs went to look for billets in Gr SARAU 982791, but were recalled.

 

4th May 1945

Comd Offr went to HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde at 9000 hrs.  Bn waited for orders to move to occupation area.

 

5th May 1945

Armistice signed 0800 hrs with all German forces in NW GERMANY, HOLLAND AND DENMARK.  Comd Offr went to conference at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde to discuss occupational duties and role of bn.

 

6th May 1945

Comd Offr held 'O' Gp at 0930 hrs on Op "Eclipse".  Church service held in SIEBENEICHEN Church at 1100 hrs.

 

7th May 1945

Maint and preparing for move.

 

8th May 1945

2IC and sqn recce offrs went to area of occupation to recce billets.  Recce Tp went as protection. VE Day.

 

9th May 1945

Bn moved off 0830 hrs to area of occupation.  Bn HQ went to LUTJENBURG 8637, RF to PANKER 8541, 'S' Sqn to KLETKAMP 8932 and LF to SCHONWEIDE 7929, where they moved into billets which had been found for them.

 

10th May 1945

Settling in.  Major WSI Whitelaw, MC., was put in charge of all civil administration.  Bn visited by Brig W.D.C. Greenacre, DSO, MVO, in afternoon.

 

11th May 1945

Comd Offr read out messages from H.M. THE KING, Gen Eisenhower and Field Marshal Sir B.L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO.  Recce tp went to rd junc 785355 at BELLIN on bn boundary to meet 15,000 German PW and escort them across bn territory.

 

12th May 1945

PW all handed over by 2030 hrs.  Bn warned of new move.  Half Holiday.

 

13th May 1945

Brigade Church Service held in PLON 1100 hrs.  Comd Offr went to conference at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde 1700 hrs.  Holiday.

 

14th May 1945

Bn continued with maint and adm.  Billets recced in new area.

 

15th May 1945

Maint and adm.

 

16th May 1945

All Russians in area collected and sent to camp at BELLIN 7835.  RF moved to NEHETEN 743145.

 

17th May 1945

All other foreign workers and PWX collected and sent away.

 

18th May 1945

Bn, less RF and LF, moved off with tracks leading at 1030 hrs, followed by wheels at 1430 hrs to new area.  LF stayed where they were, but rest of bn area was turned into PW cage.  Bn HQ went to ASCHEBERG 7020 and 'S' Sqn to DEPENAU 637213.  Bn visited at RF sqn HQ by Lt-Gen E.H. Barker, CB: CBE: DSO: MC Comd 8 Corps, at 1530 hrs.

 

19th May 1945

Settling in.

 

20th May 1945

Whole area searched for any stragglers from Wehrmacht.  All French and Belgians in area collected and sent away.

 

21st May 1945

Spring Drills in morning.  Maint afternoon.

 

22nd May 1945

Rain stopped drill.  All Russians collected.

 

23rd May 1945

Spring Drills.  Half Holiday.  Comd Offr left 1000 hrs for Regimental conference in LONDON.  33 tk dvrs left for 229 Coy RASC.

 

24th May 1945

Spring Drills.

 

25th May 1945

Spring Drills.

 

26th May 1945

Comd Offr (Maj WSI Whitelaw, MC) inspected 'S' and HQ sqns on parade and then inspected their billets.  Half Holiday.  Comd Offr went to a conference at HQ 6 Gds Armd Bde and held one for sqn ldrs on his return.

 

27th May 1945

Church under sqn arrangements.  All Dutch collected and sent away.

 

28th May 1945

Spring Drills cancelled owing to news of impending move and removal of tks.

 

29th May 1945

Maint.

 

30th May 1945

Maint.  Half Holiday.

 

31st May 1945

Maint.