National Archives catalogue number WO 171/4756.

 

Abbreviation

273437

2 ic

A

AA

A/C

Adv

Airfd

A/L

Amn

AP

Arty

Att

Bde

BLA

Bn

Br

Brhead

Bty

Cas

CCS

Cdn

Cl

C of E

Comd

Constr

Coy

CRE

Def

Det

Div

DZ

Engr

Eqpt

Ex

FBE

Fd

Fm

Fwd

Gp

HE

Hosp

Hy

Incl

Infm

Jct

LCT

Ldg

LI

LMG

LO

LST

Maint

MC
Mil

Minefd

MR

MT

OC

Offr

Op

OR

Pde

Pk

Pl

Posn

PT

QM

RASC

Rd

RE

Regt

Rly

R/T

SA

SAA
SEAC

Sec

SP

Sqn

Tfc

Tk

Tlr

Tp

Tpt

Trg

Trl

UXB

Veh
X rds

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Army
Anti-Aircraft

Aircraft

Advance

Airfield

Airlanding

Ammunition

Anti-Personnel

Artillery

Attached

Brigade

British Liberation Army

Battalion

Bridge

Bridgehead

Battery

Casualty

Casualty Clearing Station

Canadian

Class

Church of England

Command / Commander

Construction

Company

Commander Royal Engineers

Defensive

Detachment

Division / Divisional

Drop Zone

Engineer

Equipment

Exercise

Folding Boat Equipment

Field

Farm

Forward

Group
High Explosive

Hospital

Heavy

Including

Information

Junction

Landing Craft Tank

Leading

Light Infantry

Light Machine Gun

Liaison Officer

Landing Ship Tank

Maintenance

Motorcycle

Military

Minefield

Map Reference

Motor Transport

Officer Commanding

Officer

Operation

Other Ranks

Parade

Park

Platoon

Position

Physical Training

Quartermaster

Royal Army Service Corps

Road

Royal Engineers

Regiment

Railway

Radio / Telephony

Small Arms

Small Arms Ammunition

South East Asia Command

Section

Self-Propelled / Support (if lower case)

Squadron

Traffic

Tank

Trailer

Troop

Transport

Training

Trailer

Unexploded Bomb

Vehicle

Crossroads

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Maj JCA Roseveare DSO RE

 

1st March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Sqn started 8 days leave (until 2359 hrs 8 Mar 45), Residues remaining in camp.

 

9th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Reorganisation of Sqn into 2 Tps, 3 Tp to be Holding Tp.

 

10th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

1 Tp zeroing rifles and Brens on range at Barford St Martin (Sheet 122 MR 5050).

 

11th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

HQ and 1 Tp: Practice jump on Div DZ after two postponements.

 

1400 - Take off at Netheravon Airfd.

 

1415 - Drop on Div DZ - No casualties.

 

2 Tp: Zeroing rifles and Brens on range at Barford St Martin.  3 Tp: Preparations for leave.

 

12th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

1 Tp: Kit exchanges.  2 Tp: PT and Infantry Trg.  HQ Tp: Re mobilization and Wireless Course.

 

13th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

1 Tp: PT and Infantry Trg.  2 Tp: Para descent on Div DZ from Dakotas.  Night Ex - Route finding and def posns.  HQ Tp: Para drop on Div DZ from Dakotas.  Remobilization and wireless course.

 

14th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

1 Tp: Weapon Trg and Map Reading.  2 Tp: Elementary demolitions.  HQ Tp: Remobilization and Wireless Course.

 

15th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

1 Tp: Packing Stores.  2 Tp: Classification at Fovant Range.  HQ Tp: Remobilization and Wireless Course.

 

16th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Whole Sqn packing stores and loading on to lorries.

 

17th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Whole Sqn packing stores and loading on to lorries.

 

18th March 1945

Place: Bulford

 

Final loading of stores.

 

19th March 1945

HQ Tp and Veh Party left for Transit Camp.  No 2. Tp left by train for same Transit Camp.  Both parties arrived in evening.  1 Tp: Final packing.

 

20th March 1945

HQ and 2 Tp embarked Tilbury.  No 1 Tp moved to Transit Camp.

 

21st March 1945

HQ and 2 Tp disembarked OSTEND and moved to dispersal area EAST of Brussels at BREE.  2 Tp arrived BREE at midnight.  1 Tp: Briefing for Op "VARSITY".

 

22nd March 1945

HQ Tp and Veh Party arrived BREE.  Lt LAH LACK MC injured in MC accident.  Taken to Weert Mil Hosp.  Repacking of lorries.  Personnel left in BLA rejoined unit with six 3 ton lorries.  1 Tp: Briefing for Op "VARSITY".

 

23rd March 1945

Completed packing of stores.  Tpt allotted as follows:-

 

3 Ton

Jeeps

MCs

LU

1 Tp

4

3

3

-

2 Tp

4

3

3

-

HQ Tp

4

4

4

1

TOTAL

12

10

10

1

 

1 Tp: Containers loaded on to A/C.  2 jeeps and tlrs on to gliders.

 

24th March 1945

HQ and 2 Tp moved to area GELDERN 10 miles WEST of R RHINE.  1 Tp: Take off 0705 hrs.  Drop EAST of RHINE at 1000 hrs.  Both gliders landed successfully.  Capt Fox and 3 ORs wounded, 4 ORs missing.  Rd recce carried out.  One sec att 1 Cdn Para Bn.  Troop dug in at 3 Para Bde HQ.

 

25th March 1945

1 Tp: Rd clearance of mines and obstacles.  Neutralization of charges on br.  3 ORs previously reported missing returned to Tp.  Spr GORDON still missing, believed wounded.  HQ and 2 Tp: Remained in dispersal area at GELDERN.

 

26th March 1945

HQ and 2 Tp moved over RHINE to brhead by FBE br at XANTEN.  1 Tp: Constructed diversion for rd crater.

 

27th March 1945

Whole Sqn joined at LADDER Sheet Q 1 MR 2746.  2 Tp constructed crossing over stream at MR 273437.  1 Tp: Rd maint and re organisation.  Culverted br 308485.  Sqn HQ moved to MR 294464.

 

28th March 1945

Both Tps on br maint in morning.  Whole Sqn moved to RHADE Sheet P 1 MR 4450.

 

29th March 1945

Sqn moved up in sp 6 A/L Bde to area COESFELD 6071.  Obstacles cleared off rds.  Br at 549627 half destroyed.  2 Tp made it useable for one way tfc (cl 40).  Completed demolition of half of br and commenced constr of Bailey Br for two way tfc.

 

30th March 1945

2 Tp completed Br cl 40 60 feet DS by 0400 hrs.  Maint on it during daylight.  1 Tp maintained track diversion round SE of COESFELD 6071 with three D 4 Bulldozers for movement of 3 Para Bde.

 

31st March 1945

Whole Sqn moved to area GREVEN 9188 Sheet P 2.  Area shelled at 1145 hrs.  1 Tp sent out tk hunting det to supposed scene but found no trace of SP guns.  2 Tp: Maintained recce party in GREVEN throughout day.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Maj JCA Roseveare DSO RE

 

1st April 1945

2 Tp located in fm at 930885 attacked enemy tps successfully Cas - 1 Cpl killed, 1 offr and 1 L cpl wounded.  Appx J1.  Sqn HQ moved to fm at 942878 in the afternoon.  At night 1 Tp started to mark and make passable Wheels route for Bde tpt from br at 978892 to main rd at 982907.  2 Tp marked corresponding Tank route.  ME available was: 1 Auto patrol 1 D 6 Bulldozer (both available until completion of br).  Only other material available was brushwood.

 

2nd April 1945

1 Tp continued all the rest of the night and all day maintaining the Wheels Route from Bailey br at 978892 (Sheet P 2) to main rd at 982907.  This route was intended for Bde tpt only but later became a Div Route and broke down.  2 Tp finished marking corresponding Tank route and assisted 1 Tp on Wheels Route.  Chestnut paling and brushwood were used extensively to keep the route open.  Sqn HQ moved to fm at 989886.  During the night one sec from 2 Tp improved Wheels route with an auto patrol from 032897 to 039929.

 

3rd April 1945

Sqn HQ moved to fm at 045927 (Sheet P 2).  1 Tp handed over maintenance of original Wheels route to 591 Para Sqn RE.  Rested in evening.  2 Tp carried on with whole strength on main Div Wheels route from 032897 to 039929 and using two autopatrols passed continuous traffic over the route all through the day and night.

 

4th April 1945

1 Tp put two secs on Wheels route to relieve 2 Tp and were relieved in the afternoon by Corps tps.  2 Tp handed over task to 1 Tp and rested in the afternoon.  Six prisoners were taken in the morning.

 

5th April 1945

Whole Sqn moved to area W of MINDEN at MR 740157 (Sheet N 3) a distance of over 50 miles.  All vehs arrived in convoy without incident.

 

6th April 1945

Sqn rested during the morning.  In the afternoon 2 Tp started to assist 100 Army Fd Coy RE on the approaches to Cl 40 Bailey Pontoon br at PETERSHAGEN MR 846208 (sheet N 3).  This work lasted till 0330 hrs 7 Apr.

 

7th April 1945

1 Tp built 80 yds corduroy rd in 8 hrs over dry bed of WESEL CANAL at PETERSHAGEN.  Recce party was provided to move fwd with 3 Para Bde HQ.  Sqn HQ and 2 Tp moved off in afternoon to support 3 Para Bde.  Halted for the night at WIEDENSAHL 9421 (Sheet N 3).  Spr GORDON, reported missing on 24 Mar, now reported wounded and in a British CCS.

 

8th April 1945

Sqn HQ and 2 Tp moved to MESMERODE 0925 (Sheet N 4) and were joined by No 1 Tp.

 

9th April 1945

Whole Sqn on smartening up and PT.  OC addressed all ranks on fraternisation.  1 and 2 Tps carried out recce over brs over WESER-ELBE CANAL between MRs 995195 (Sheet N3) and 178241 (Sheet N4).

 

10th April 1945

Sqn moved to NEGENBORN 2841 (Sheet N4).  1 Tp moved fwd in sp of 3 Para Bde carrying out rd recce and culverting weak br 3264412.  Withdrew to NEGENBORN at nightfall.  2 Tp carried out engr recce in 3 Para Bde area E of NEGENBORN.

 

11th April 1945

Baths in the morning for Sqn personnel.  All vehs cleaned and 406 inspection carried out.  1 Tp carried out strengthening of weak br at 264412.

 

12th April 1945

Whole Sqn moved back to area WIETERSHEIM on R WESER 8216 (Sheet N3).  In the afternoon and evening 1 and 2 Tps practiced building of half floating and trestle bays of FBE.

 

13th April 1945

1 and 2 Tps constructed 320 ft practice FBE over R WESER at 838182.  COMPOSITION: 3 Trestle Bays - 2 Half floating Bays - 11 Rafts.  CURRENT - 5 knots + : CONSTR COMMENCED - 0830 hrs : FIRST RAFT IN TO BR - 1325 hrs : LAST RAFT IN TO BR - 1730 hrs : BR OPEN TO TFC - 1810 hrs : TOTAL TIME OF ERECTION - 9 hrs 40 mins.  Br was stripped down and laid out on banks starting at 1830 hrs and finished by 2200 hrs.

 

14th April 1945

1 and 2 Tps loaded FBE on to bridging lorries and cleaned eqpt during the morning.  Rested and packed up during the afternoon.

 

15th April 1945

Whole Sqn moved off at 0600 hrs to reach area of CELLE 636577 (Sheet N4) at 1030 hrs.  This is a distance of 75 miles and all vehs arrived without difficulty except one M/C with engine trouble.  1 Tp loaded 4 tippers with rubble.  2 Tp carried out recce with CRE.

 

16th April 1945

Sqn moved up to MR 862790 (Sheet M5).  1 Tp widened br over stream at 878806 by culverting and filling with timber.  2 Tp widened track at MR 878804 and strengthened timber br at 899792 by addition of rd bearers and strutting of old bearers.  Classification increased to Cl 24.

 

17th April 1945

Liaison offr moved with Comd 3 Para Bde on adv from HANSTEDT 9788 to MASENDORF 9494 (Sheet M5).  Detour over weak br at 947944 was recced and marked by LO (Capt JSR SHAVE MC RE).  Whole Sqn moved to wood at 947808.  Two Germany Army deserters were captured in the wood.  2 Tp provided 2 patrols to move with infantry fighting patrols to cut escape rds of German garrison in UELZEN 8989.  Appx J2Appx J3.

 

18th April 1945

Whole Sqn moved to village of RASSAU 988886 (Sheet M5).  Recce patrols were sent out by HQ and 1 Tps to MOLBATH 0089 and SCHLIECHAU 9988.  Appx J4.  No cas were suffered by us.  Total bag during day of enemy was:- KILLED - 1 offr, 1 OR : CAPTURED - 1 offr, 1 sgt, 20 ORs.  2 Tp sent out party to recce suspected minefd in area 005906.  100 T Mi's 42 were found, crated and destroyed.  There was no trace, by enquiry from locals and search of area, of mines having been laid.  This job was stopped after dark.

 

19th April 1945

2 Tp completed search and destruction of mines in area 003905 (Sheet M5).  All empty crates were accounted for.  Remainder of Sqn rested and refitted.

 

20th April 1945

1 Tp provided party of 1 NCO and 25 men for emergency loading at FMC for 48 hrs.  2 football matches, between HQ Tp and 2 Tp and 1 Tp Residue and 2 Tp were held.  All men bathed in the afternoon under 3 Para Bde arrangements.

 

21st April 1945

Football match against 591 Para Sqn RE cancelled owing to hy rain.  Sqn cleaned eqpt for church pde.

 

22nd April 1945

C of E Church pde for whole Div RE in HANSTEDT 9788 (Sheet M5).

 

23rd April 1945

Whole Sqn moved to SEEDORF 8602 (Sheet M5) as Div move into 8 Corps reserve.  Recce of Bailey brs at MUDEN 6078 (Sheet M4) and at 504555 (Sheet N5) were carried out with a view to erecting improvised in their place.  This did not appear feasible in the time available.

 

24th April 1945

Tool inspection and check on eqpt on charge to tps carried out by 2 i.c. and SQMS.  OC recced demolished rly brs at 836093 (sheet M5) and at CELLE 5850 (sheet N4) for opening up of rly from CELLE to LUNEBURG 7920 (sheet M5).  R/T Course started under HQ RE arrangements.  Sqn sent 6 ORs for trg.

 

25th April 1945

1 Tp recced for enemy eqpt and explosive in Div area.  Small quantities were found and destroyed.

 

26th April 1945

1 Tp recced area ROSCHE 0291 - HOHENWEDDRIEN 0993 - KREYNHAGEN 1085 - Gr ELLENBERG 0286 (sheet M5) for mines on tracks.  Small nos of mines were found and destroyed with some enemy eqpt.  Football match against 591 Para Sqn RE.  Sqn won 9 - 5.

 

27th April 1945

2 Tp recced area of MUNSTER 5890 (sheet M4) for explosive.  Very large amn dump, incl all types of shells from 3" to 8", found.  A plan of the dump was also found.  2 Tp also carried out recce of airfd in same area for UXBs.  Several were destroyed.

 

28th April 1945

2 Tp widened br at 440900 (sheet M4) to make it two way cl 40.  Div RE R/T Course ended.

 

29th April 1945

CRE inspected Sqn MT.  Sqn Church Pde.  Mobile Cinema visited Sqn in the evening.  Football match v 591  Lost 2 - 4.  OC crossed R ELBE on foot and recced from LAUENBURG 8834 (sheet L5) to HORST 925350.  20 prisoners were taken and a small rd block found in HORST.  Br at 897350 over ELBE - TRAVE Canal was intact.

 

30th April 1945

3 Bde crossed R ELBE at LAUENBURG by FBE br to swing East across ELBE - TRAVE Canal.  2 Tp moved with 3 Bde column at 0600 hrs.  Recce party crossed br at 1000 hrs, rest of Bde at 1700 hrs.  Sqn HQ and 1 Tp, less 3 hy vehs and tlrs which came under comd 286 Fd Pk Coy RE, moved off at 0900 hrs to HORNDORF (9017 sheet M5).  Arrived at 1100 hrs.  Moved again at 2000 hrs.  Crossed R ELBE at midnight by FBE br and bivouacked at LAUENBURG (885350 sheet L5).

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Maj JCA Roseveare DSO RE

 

1st May 1945

Sqn HQ moved to BOIZENBURG 981352 (sheet L5) in sp 3 Para Bde.  1 Tp carried out recce of br in ZAHRENDORF and filled crater on rd at 047374.  2 Tp cleared rd of destroyed vehs between HORST 9235 and BOIZENBURG 977352 and repaved small crater on the rd.  Recced for Engr stores and serviceable rly engines in BOIZENBURG.  One engine was found in working order and steam was raised.  Sqn hy vehs and tlrs arrived at HQ at 2230 hrs having crossed R ELBE by Cl 40 br.

 

2nd May 1945

2 Tp started repairs on 3 craters on rly line in area 0435 (sheet L5) assisted by the rly engine driven by sqn personnel.  Work was abandoned at midday when a rly br up the line was reported demolished.  1 Tp moved with 3 Para Bde on the adv to WISMAR on the Baltic Sea (4595 sheet K6), a distance of 50 miles in 6 hrs.  Small actions were fought and some recalcitrant enemy were killed by 1 Tps recce party incl the Harbourmaster of WISMAR Docks.  Sqn HQ moved to WISMAR, arriving late at night.  2 Tp strengthened br at BENNIN (0944 sheet L5) to Cl 18.  Bivouacked at PASSOW (2775 sheet L5).  The OC made contact with adv Russian tps.

 

3rd May 1945

2 Tp rejoined the Sqn in WISMAR.  Coastal route from WISMAR to DASSOW (1396) was recced for opposition and serviceability by the OC and a 1 Tp recce party.  The surrender of the airfd and TARNEWITZ was accepted but some planes got away as the party reached the airfd.  The 2 ic liaised with the Russian forces and friendly relations were established.

 

4th May 1945

MT maintenance.  Stores check.  1 Tp cleared WISMAR aerodrome runways.  3 large potholes were repaired by cleaning out and packing with bricks.  Demolition charges were removed from enemy planes.  50 bombs (50 kg without fins) were found in drain holes.  Some were booby trapped with friction igniters and all were lifted out and removed from the runways.  Fuses were also removed from 4 50 Kg and 1 AP container bomb.

 

5th May 1945

1 Tp completed clearance of WISMAR airfd.  15 more bombs were found in drains and removed.  2 Tp practiced Watermanship and Sailing.

 

6th May 1945

1 and 2 Tps commenced destruction of enemy amn, explosives and arms in area SOUTH of line GREVESMUHLEN (2791 sheet K5) and WISMAR (4594 sheet K6).

 

7th May 1945

1 and 2 Tps carried out work as for 6 May.

 

8th May 1945

Victory in Europe announced.  PT.  Conservancy.  Half day off.

 

9th May 1945

1 and 2 Tps carried out work as for 6  and 7 May.

 

10th May 1945

1 and 2 Tp carried out work as for 6 and 7 May.  Also commenced recce of allotted area inside div boundary for rds and engr installations incl WISMAR rly system, docks and airfd.

 

11th May 1945

1 and 2 Tps carried out work as for 6 and 7 May.  Completed recce for rds and engr installations.

 

12th May 1945

Recce of 8 Bn area for electricity supply and water supply.  1 and 2 Tps continued destruction of enemy amn and explosive.  From 7 - 12 May the following was destroyed:-

Explosive

Assorted shells

Panzer fausts

Grenades

Cordite

S.A.A.

Small arms

400 lbs

6000

700

1700

400 lbs

70,000 rounds

300

 

2 Tp provided Bren gps to move with fishing fleet for RASC supply.

 

13th May 1945

1 and 2 Tps continued destruction of enemy eqpt.  1 Tp provided parties to travel with fishing fleet.  Bad weather caused them to return to port.

 

14th May 1945

1 Tp continued destruction of enemy eqpt.  2 Tp started destruction of dump of enemy weapons and amn formed by 3 Para Bde.  Carpenters from 1 and 2 Tps started building a superstructure for an HQ Tp Cooks' tlr and a cabin for the sqn motor boat.

 

15th May 1945

2 Tp completed disposal of 3 Para Bde dump.  1 Tp completed destruction of all arms, amn and explosive in their area.

 

16th May 1945

Sqn started to pack for move back to UK.

 

17th May 1945

Sqn moved to staging area outside LUNEBURG airfd.  Left WISMAR 0830 hrs arrived LUNEBURG 1500 hrs - 80 miles.  Sqn divided into air party of 80 all ranks and veh party of 60.

 

18th May 1945

At 1330 hrs Sqn air party took off from LUNEBURG airfd.  Veh party disposed of surplus amn and explosive.  Captured vehs were returned to Dump.

 

19th May 1945

Veh party moved off from staging area at 1200 hrs and arrived at SULINGEN (W.7254 sheet L53) at 1800 hrs - distance 105 miles.

 

20th May 1945

Veh party left staging area at 0730 hrs, crossed the RHINE at REES at 1730 hrs and reached GOCH at 1915 hrs - distance 174 miles.

 

21st May 1945

Veh party left staging area at 0730 hrs, arrived in LOUVAIN area at 1600 hrs - distance 171 miles.

 

22nd May 1945

Veh party left staging area at 0715 hrs, arrived at OSTEND Transit Camp at 1330 hrs - distance 99 miles.

 

23rd May 1945

Veh party waited in Transit Camp for shipping allotment.  Two three ton Dodges were unloaded for return to 21 A Gp Dump.

 

24th May 1945

Party of 1 offr and 12 ORs with 5 jeeps and tlrs left OSTEND by LST.  Two three ton trucks taken to 21 Army Gp Dump.

 

25th May 1945

Jeep party disembarked at TILBURY Docks and arrived at BULFORD at 1800 hrs.  Remainder of veh party moved to CALAIS and all but 3 ton trucks embarked on LCTs.  Arrived Dover Transit Camp at night.

 

26th May 1945

Rest of veh party, less 3 three ton vehs left DOVER and arrived BULFORD 1600 hrs.

 

27th May 1945

Trucks unloaded of stores and kit.  Warning Rolls prepared and medical inspection held for men eligible for SEAC.  Three 3 ton vehs docked at DOVER at 0330 hrs, arrived BULFORD 1800 hrs.

 

28th May 1945

Veh party went on leave according to qualifications for SEAC.  Rear party remained to clear up stores and re mobilization.

 

AIR PARTY

 

18th May 1945

Air party left LUNEBURG at 1330 hrs by Dakotas and reached BRUSSELS at 1630 hrs.  Took off in Stirling A/C and landed at 1815 hrs at CHILBOTON, nr ANDOVER.  Moved by MT to BULFORD.  Accidental shooting occurred in barrack room after arrival.  No 14429217 Spr QUAIT FV killed.

 

19th May 1945

WOCS handed in to QM Stores.  Air party proceeded on 36 hr pass.

 

21st May 1945

Preparation for leave on the following arrangement:-

1.  Men returning from BLA and eligible for SEAC (A and S Gp 27 and over) - 28 days.

2.  Men not returned from BLA and eligible for SEAC - 14 days.

3.  Men returning from BLA not eligible for SEAC and who remained in BLA prior to Op VARSITY - 14 days.

4.  Men returning from BLA not eligible for SEAC and who returned from BLA prior to Op VARSITY - 9 days.

 

22nd May 1945

Clothing issues for air party.  Final leave arrangements.

 

23rd May 1945

Air party went on leave leaving minimum rear party.

 

 

Appx J(1)

BATTLE NARRATIVE

 

Report on clearing of A.A. Bty. 930884 on morning of 1 Apr. 45.

 

At midnight on Mar 31 my tp harboured at a fm just East of rd jct 928885 occupying a small area only.  At 0300 hrs 1 Apr. I joined them there and regarding the situation as uncertain I doubled the guard.  Sniping developed at 0645 hrs and I ordered Lt TBV Marsh to investigate the area to our East along the line of the rd.  His orders were to use approx half the troop and make full use of fire and movement if any trouble developed.  Observation showed what appeared to be gun posns about 500 yds away.

 

The plan was for Sgt Poole to work two Bren gps and four riflemen down the rd on the right flank while L sgt Doyle worked down the track on the left with the same force.  A fifth Bren gp covered straight down the centre from the fm.  Lt Marsh to follow the right approach with a sec when the LMGs were established and then the whole force to close in.

 

By 0730 this was in operation and after a few long exchanges out came 24 prisoners from the first posns, these came across the fields to our fm.

 

By 0800 Lt Marsh was near the enemy gun posn up with the leading LMG - L cpl Reynolds.  L sgt Doyle now heavily engaged the enemy from the wooded side and they were taken by surprise.  Lt Marsh began to lead his force to storm the posn but was immediately wounded by an LMG at Point B which pinned him down at Point A.

 

I sent out Cpl Turner and his sec to the rd where Sgt Poole directed them to the relief of the leading gp.  As they were moving down Cpl Turner was hit by the same LMG which was then knocked out by L cpl Reynolds and Spr James.  From my posn with the LMG at the fm, although several white flags were now waving, I realised that we were up against a larger force than anticipated so I gave the order to withdraw.  Lt Marsh sent his force back and began crawling back as best as he could himself.

 

During a lull I ordered L cpl Gibson to see what he could do about getting Cpl Turner in whereupon he took his stretcher down the rd on a jeep to Point D where Turner lay and brought him in.  While turning the jeep heavy fire came down on him and he was wounded but drove in complete with Turner who unfortunately died a few minutes later without regaining consciousness.

 

Lt Marsh now came under fire from an LMG at Point C.  This had been taken across from the bty under cover of a white flag.  I set off down the rd with a stretcher party, Sgt Poole and a few men, to bring him in.  By now he had crawled 200 yds up the rd and under cover of our Stens and LMGs we brought him back without loss.

 

At this stage approx 0830 Lt Franklin engaged the help of two tks of the Recce Regt who were back on the Greven rd.  After some HE fire from these tks on the wood to the right out came a further 23 Germans and the battle ended.  I investigate the area of the bty with a sec and the German stretcher party.  One wounded man was picked up and a further two surrendered.

 

The posn proved to be 12 hy A.A. guns dug in with communicating trenches.  These guns had shelled Greven on 31 Mar but the enemy had destroyed them the same evening.  The maj i.c had retreated on a bicycle leaving orders of "No surrender".

 

...................................

 

Total bag:    3 enemy killed

                   48 enemy ORs prisoner and 2 offrs prisoner

Losses:        1 NCO killed

                   1 NCO wounded  ) not seriously.

                   1 Offr wounded     )

 

Signed JSR SHAVE Capt R.E.

Offr i.c. No 2 Tp.

3 Parachute Sqn R.E.

 

 

 

Appx J(2)

 

To : 3 Para Sqn RE

From : No 2 Tp

 

REPORT ON FIGHTING PATROL - NIGHT OF 17/18 APR 45

 

The patrol of the 8th Bn consisted of 1 offr (Capt DUNBAR) and 24 ORs.  The RE detachment consisted of 1 offr and 5 ORs.

 

Set out from MOLZEN (MR 9393) at 2200 hrs.  Proceeded alongside of track to woods (MR 916955) taking several prisoners in the process.  An attempt was made to ambush two halftracks approaching in our direction but these moved off our track before they came into sight (visibility approximately 150 yds).  At point MR 916955 it had been decided to set up all round defence while a small recce party ascertained if (i) br at MR 907960 usable, and (ii) no enemy in small area MR 905961.

 

Very shortly after arriving at this point a horse drawn cart came up the rd.  This was fired on and two prisoners taken, one being wounded in the hand.

 

Surprise having been lost the recce was abandoned and the patrol made straight for the br.  On passing some smouldering remains of a fm house we were fired on by a S.P., about 30 rounds falling close at hand and we were forced to take cover.

 

It was discovered that a burnt out S.P. had fallen through the br blocking the way to all but pedestrians.

 

Slight opposition was encountered - the Brens opened up killing two 'Boche' and seriously wounding two.  These two died later.

 

No enemy was encountered in the village (MR 905961) and all round defensive posn was taken up to SE of X rds MR 904963 covering all rds with PIATs and SAs (180030).  Owing to the open and flat type of ground it was impossible to erect a tree rd block but one made of farming vehs was erected at the NE arm of the X rds.  Unfortunately no vehs of any kind appeared.  At 0330 hrs the patrol withdrew back over the river and taking a roundabout route set up a very small defensive area at MR 908952 due to darkness.

 

At first light two motor vehs, three trailers and a car were seen together with some 'Boche' at about 150 yds distance.  Brens opened up on the vehs and prisoners were taken.

 

We then moved our posn further North at MR 905952 covering the second class rd South of EMMENDORF.  A party of three men was sent to search houses in village commencing the East side of the river.  Prisoners were brought in.

 

During this time an S.P. on the West of the river opened up on the transport which had been shot up previously.

 

As soon as the recce party crossed the river by the timber br to search the far side the S.P. commenced firing at the br and into the village.  More prisoners were brought in.

 

A small battle then started on the West side with Mortars and Vickers.  It was decided to withdraw and return to MOLZEN.  The shot up vehs were destroyed with explosive firstly and all caught fire.  The time was then 0945 hrs.

 

On the return journey patrol came across a 'Boche' convoy (at MR 915950) which had been hit by arty fire during the night.  Approx 5 vehs and 4 "moaning minnies" + trailers were in good condition.  These were all put out of action.

 

The remainder of the return journey was uneventful and patrol arrived back at 1045 hrs.

 

CASUALTIES

OWN     - Nil.

ENEMY - Killed : 2

                 Seriously wounded : 2

                 Captured : 75

 

G.H. FRANKLIN Lt R.E.

RASSAU

1815 hrs

18 Apr 45

 

 

Appx J(3)

 

REPORT ON FIGHTING PATROL - NIGHT 17/18 APR 45

 

The patrol consisted of the Defence Pl of 3 Para Bde HQ and RE detachment of Cpl McDUFF and 3 ORs.

 

The patrol started off at approx 2200 hrs.  Our objective was to reach a X rds (MR 909934) and there make a rd block which would be covered by fire.  This was carried out, the rd block being two large trees across the rd, felled by one spr with a felling axe.

 

Quite a few of the enemy tried to infiltrate through our posn but were despatched by the infantry, 19 were killed, 2 captured.

 

Casualties to own tps - Nil.

 

T McDUFF Cpl.

18 Apr 45

 

 

Appx J(4)

 

To : 3 Para Sqn RE

From : No 1 Tp

 

REPORT ON RECCE OF AREA MOLBATH 0089 AND SCHLIECHAU 0088

 

At approx 1315 hrs No 1876242 Cpl GRAHAM D was ordered to take his sec (No 2 Sec) on a recce of the a/n villages.  They were followed at a distance of 300 yds by 4 ORs on a jeep from Ox and Bucks.

 

500 yds before the village of MOLBATH a burnt out jeep and a dead rifleman of the Ox and Bucks L.I. were discovered.  The jeep party attended to the body of the Rifleman and then returned to base.

 

The recce party then proceeded to the centre of the village.  Whilst searching a house an English speaking civilian volunteered the infm that a party of 5 German soldiers were hiding in a nearby copse.  Just before they left the village the ldg scout (1878255 Spr DICKSON W) was fired at several times.  The shots appeared to come from a factory approx 70 yds away.

 

Cpl GRAHAM then ordered Sprs DICKSON, FORD and BUTLER to close on the building under covering fire from the Bren gp and ascertain the strength of the enemy.  At this moment 12 German soldiers came out of the building with their hands in the air.  They were immediately searched and taken prisoner.

 

The recce party continued down the rd to SCHLIECHAU.

 

About 500 yds down this rd the scout (Spr DICKSON) observed figures moving about in a copse at MR 007887.  Cpl GRAHAM then left three sprs to take care of the prisoners and took the rest of his sec to a point overlooking the wood.  He sent two sprs forward to investigate the movement in the copse (Sprs DICKSON and FORD).  After hearing a few shots fired six German soldiers came out of the wood followed by the two sprs.  Spr FORD states that on entering the wood he observed two German soldiers running along the bottom of a ditch.  He fired several shots at them and one of them dropped.  After a pause he approached the body and while inspecting it six more German soldiers leaped out of the gulley and surrendered to him.  At this time Spr DICKSON closed in and helped him to check the prisoners.  On the way out of the wood a second body of a German soldier was seen.

 

The recce party then continued through SCHLIECHAU and back to base without further interference from the enemy.

 

CASUALTIES

 

Own    : Nil.

Enemy : Killed : 2

             Captured : 1 offr and 17 ORs.

 

J.C. NASH Lt RE

182100 B