National Archives catalogue number WO 171/5142.


































O Group


Pl / Pln














Map Reference


Armour Piercing





Commanding Officer


Division / Divisional

Displaced Person / Disembarkation Point ?


Forward Defended Locality

Forward Observation Officer

Guards Armoured Division

Glasgow Highlanders

General Officer Commanding



High Explosive




Knocked Out

King's Own Scottish Borderers

King's Shropshire Light Infantry

Light Aid Detachment

Machine Gun

Map Reference

Orders Group

Other Ranks



Prisoner of War


Royal Army Service Corps



Royal Scots

Royal Scottish Fusiliers

Start Line

Self-Propelled / Start Point






Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. A.W.A. Smith D.S.O.


1st March 1945

0900 - On the right No.3 Sqn. supporting 1st Norfolks and on the left No.2 Sqn. supporting 2 KSLI in the attack on Kervenheim 9938 formed up in the FAA 983392.  At the same time No.1 Sqn. moved over the improvised bridge, Lt. Harrison's troop in the lead.  When he had reached the area of Weykermanshof 977389 Lt. Harrison was killed by a sniper, and almost immediately afterwards his tank was hit by an SP and two of his crew were wounded.  As several SPs had been firing at the Sqn. Capt. Hamilton Stubber gave orders for the two leading troops to pull back to the area of the bridge to a more protected position.


1000 - When the attack started the 2 Sqns. with their Inf. made slow progress in the face of very determined opposition.  The Norfolks on the right had particularly heavy casualties, especially among the officers.  There was a strong enemy position in Murmanshof 985383 including SPs which continually harassed the advance from the right flank.  Eventually Lt. Melikoff entered the town, but was immediately bazookad and wounded in the head, and was forced to pull out again.  The Norfolks could make no progress beyond the outskirts of the town owing to the skill of the enemy's defence and the weight of machine gun fire from the area of the schloss.  Sgt. Webster did good work during the afternoon evacuating the wounded on his tank.  The KSLI and No.2 Sqn. were meeting similar opposition and progress was very costly.  Lt. Foucard repeatedly got out of his tank to organise the infantry and to maintain contact completely disregarding the heavy fire that was directed at him.  It was entirely due to the fact that he guided his tanks through treacherous ground that the infantry were afforded maximum support throughout the day.  But still the KSLI were unable to penetrate into the town.  On the left, Lt. Milne had gained some success and was able to reach the main cross roads at the outskirts of the town MR 992384 and provide valuable fire from the flank.  During the day shell fire was very heavy and SPs occasionally put in an appearance.  One hit Capt. Barton's tank and cracked the turret.  He had a very nasty three minutes reversing over the hill crest while one more shot went through the mud shield.


1800 - An SP fired at Capt. Cresswell's scout car when he was standing outside the infantry Bn. HQ.  He was wounded in the foot, Capt Fielding, the technical Adjutant got some dirt in his eyes but fortunately recovered the next day, while Collier, his scout car driver lost his left foot.


1900 - All Sqns. withdrew.  No.1 Sqn. to 957407, No.2 Sqn. to 975404, No.3 Sqn. to 982395, Bn. HQ remained at 971414.


2nd March 1945

0800 - No.2 & 3 Sqns resumed the attack and by 1000 hrs. the capture of Kervenheim was completed.  During the night the enemy had pulled out, urged on by the fact that 53rd. Div. on our right had cleared the ground from which the harassing fire had come the previous day but left behind a number of machine gun positions to delay us.  Again Lt. Foucard with a complete disregard for his own safety, repeatedly went forward on foot to locate accurately the positions of the machine gun posts in order to ensure their destruction.  For his part in the immediate success in the operation during the two days, he was awarded an immediate MC.  When the town was cleared both Sqns. exploited down to the river.  Three abandoned SPs were found.


1500 - 3rd. Scots Gds. and 8th. Bde passed through on their way to Winnekendonk and the Bn. returned to its previous harbours having been promised at least 24 hrs rest.


3rd March 1945

0800 - Bde HQ ordered the Bn. to move immediately to Kervenheim, and one Sqn. would support one Bn. of 185 Bde in Kangaroos to thrust east from Winnekendonk.  Apparently during the night, the Scots Gds. had thrown the enemy out of Winnekendonk and the Div. Commander appreciated that the Germans were now on the run and wanted the success to be exploited with all speed.  The Bn. packed very quickly and moved to Kervenheim.


1100 - O Group at 185 Bde. HQ. 992382.  No.2 Sqn were to support the 2 KSLI who were in Kangaroos and to move with all speed to Kapellen 0431.  H Hour was to be at 1200 hrs.  Route: Kapellen to Winnekendonk 9934. T Junc. 016339 - T Junc. 028328 - Kapellen.


1130 - No.2 Sqn. "married up" with the infantry and began to move south from the town but the chaos on the roads was too great to get through.  Vehicles of all descriptions were jammed head to tail in all directions and it was impossible to pull off the road as the tanks and the Kangaroos got bogged in the soft mud.  The Commanding Officer worked energetically for two hours and by 1400 hrs had cleared a narrow passage through which the advance guard passed.  Once away rapid progress was made until the leading elements reached 022335.  There a bridge over a stream was blown and all the surrounding area was subject to heavy artillery and small arms fire.  Both Capt. Montague Jones and Sgt. Malt were hit, the former only slightly.  A bridge was laid over the stream, and two troops of tanks supported by two companies of infantry in the clearing of Keilermanshof 028328 which was cleared with only slight ground opposition.  Capt. Barton's tank ran over a mine but no one was hurt.  As the infantry were frightened of a counter attack, the tanks were not relieved until midnight, and then only after expressive and strong protests had been made by Major Milbank.  The Sqn. harboured at a farm 021336.  During the night the Warwicks moved through and entered Kapellen.


1800 - Bn. HQ harboured in Winnekendonk 998343, No.3 Sqn harboured in Winnekendonk 9934, No.1 Sqn. at 993363.


4th March 1945

0330 - No.1 Sqn moved through Winnekendonk and pushed on through No.2 Sqn.  After finding a way around an A/Tk. ditch at 03232[?] Kapellen was entered no opposition being met.  Unfortunately an SP on the east side of the town knocked out two of Lt. Brook's tanks as they emerged from the far side.


0900 - No.3 Sqn. moved to 052328 Haus Winkel which was reached at 1100 hrs. and the Sqn "married up" with the 1st. Norfolks.  The plan was to clear the woods to the line of the track running north and south through 065330.  However not much progress was made during the day owing to heavy shell fire.


1600 - No.3 Sqn withdrew to a farm 027337. for the night.


0900 - Bn. HQ moved to 021336.


1500 - The Irish Gds. group of the GAD passed through Bn. HQ.  As they passed through Kapellen No.1 Sqn supported them with fire into the woods 0532.  Harbours for the night were: Bn. HQ at 998343, No.1 Sqn. 025323, No.2 Sqn. at 033323, No.3 Sqn. at 027337.


5th March 1945

No.3 Sqn. supported the KSLI in the continuation of wood-clearing role, one by now all too painfully familiar but this time there was no opposition.  SL was the road 060327.  A Echelon moved to join Bn. HQ.


6th March 1945

The Bn. was warned that it would spend several days in the area.  So ended the part played by the Bn. in operation Veritable.


7th to 15th March 1945

The Bn. remained in the same locations.  Maintenance rest baths and cinemas were the main features.


14th March 1945

Capt. J.F.L. Bayley and Lt. R.C. Carr Gomm returned to the Bn.  The latter has a very attractive scar across his right cheek.


15th March 1945

0930 - All the Bn. wheeled vehicles moved to the area of Veert 0026 in order to come inside the 8 Corps area.  Route. Rd. junc. 043319 - Rd. junc. 048313 - Cross Rds. 011257 - Rd. junc. 006258.  Order of March: No.3 Sqn, No.2, No.1, Bn. HQ.


1430 - Tanks moved to Veert.  Same route.


16th to 26th March 1945

The Bn. prepared for the next phase in the fighting - the drive beyond the Rhine.  During this time there had been two changes at Bn. HQ.  Lt. G.E.S. Woodhouse took over the duties of Signal Officer from Capt. A.M. Palliser who moved to No.1 Sqn. and Lt. M. Page Wood moved to No.2 Sqn., while Capt. G. Montague Jones became Liaison Officer.  The weather was very fine and hot for the whole period and everyone became very sunburnt.  This was a welcome change from the endless days of rain, the resultant mud and it had a very invigorating effect on all concerned.  All day and every day the sky was filled with the vast armadas of aircraft of all descriptions which were carrying out their task of cutting off the future battle area from the rest of Germany, a repetition of their pre-D Day task and one which they fulfilled with equal success.


18th to 20th March 1945

The Commanding Officer and the 3 Tank Sqn. Commanders went to the Rheims area to contact 18 US Airborne Corps and 17 US Airborne Div.  It is to be our role in the forthcoming operation to link up with them as quickly as possible after they have dropped the other side of the Rhine.  The Bn. is to work with 194 Glider Regt. under Col. Pierce.


21st to 22nd March 1945

No.1 Sqn. gave a very excellent concert ending up with a very funny sketch indeed about the activities of B Echelon.


22nd March 1945

Our old Commanding Officer Brigadier N.W. Gwatkin DSO MVO came to dinner.  While the Bn. was at Veert 21st Army Group gave orders that all independent tank Bdes were to be redesignated Armoured Bdes and that Bns. would assume the normal numbery for Armoured Bdes. so that much time was spent in altering all 153 signs on a green background to a 52 on a red background with a "white bar" along the bottom.


24th March 1945

0200 - Operation Varsity. began with successful crossings by the 15th Scottish and 51st. Highland Divs in the area south of Rees, and north of Wesel.  The latter place had previously been captured by the 1st. Commando Bde. only one hour after it had been completely disembowelled by nearly 500 Lancasters.  The airborne armada was a wonderful sight as it passed overhead in the bright sunshine.  This was a wonderful climax to the continual stream of aircraft that had been passing overhead for the past week.


0930 - The Commanding Officer put all Officers and NCOs in the picture about the forthcoming operations, in particular with regard to the part to be played by the Bn.  6th. Gds. Armoured Bde. had been allotted the coveted role of linking up with the airborne forces as soon as possible after a Class 40 bridge had been constructed.  The Scots Gds were to join forces with the British Div. and the Grenadiers and Coldstream with the Americans, thus providing the support of armour against the expected counter attack by 116 Pz. Div.  Even as he was speaking, the 18th US Airborne Corps consisting of the 6th. British Airborne Div and the 17th US Airborne Div were being dropped on the German gun areas in order to knock out all guns and prevent any interference with the bridge-building.


25th March 1945

Place: Veert


1100 - The Rev. P. Wheeldon, DACG 12 Corps, late Padre of the 1st. Bn. took the Church Service.  Close touch was kept with "Pincer advance" (18th Airborne Corps HQ) and the ground tail of "Firefly" (17th. US Airborne Div) for latest news of our friends on the other side.


1500 - The Commanding Officer and the Adjutant were the first two representatives from the Bn. to reach the far bank of the Rhine.  They crossed the river on foot by the Class 40 bridge at Xanten just as it was being completed.  This work had been a triumph for the RE for they had bridged a water obstacled 600 yds, which flowed at a rate of 6 knots in just under 22 hours.


26th March 1945

1500 - Orders were received that the Bn was to cross the Rhine at Wesel that evening.  Route: Geldern 0225 - Issum 0726 - Bridge 215395.


1900 - The wheeled column left Veert, the leading vehicle crossing the Rhine at 2115 hrs.  All the column got across without mishap, although several low flying aircraft made unsuccessful attempts to destroy the bridge.


On 20 days out of 26, some part of the Bn. had been actively employed, the fighting had been some of the most bitter of the whole campaign and yet casualties had been surprisingly light.  It had been victory over the mud and the mines as well as the enemy paratroopers.


Killed, Officers 2, ORs 3

Wounded, Officers 7, ORs 37

Tanks.  K.O.  3 (AP Shot 1, Mine 1, Bazooka 1)

Damaged but repaired.  11 (AP shot 5, Mine 3, Shell fire 3)


27th March 1945

0100 - Wheeled column reached harbour area.  Bn. HQ 278396, No.2 Sqn. 268403, No.1 Sqn. 266403, No.3 Sqn 267397.


0400 - Tank column left Veert.


1015 - Tank column reached harbour area.


0930 - Bde Commander gave out orders stating that the original plan had been completely scrapped for the simple reason that Intelligence could find no enemy on the US Airborne Div front, and that therefore, 6th. Gds. Bde less 4th. Grenadiers who were not yet all over the Rhine would drive with all speed to Munster, working in close conjunction with 513 Para Regt.  Contact would be effected with the paratroopers as soon as possible as they were to be carried on the tanks and the Scots Gds. would lead off early that Afternoon and cover as much ground as possible.


1430 - Bn. moved out of harbour area and halted with its head at 272413 on the main Wesel-Munster road.  There it linked up with 3 Bn. 513 Para Regt. under Lt. Col. Kent.  The guardsmen and the Americans quickly were on the friendliest of terms: chewing gum and boiled sweets were exchanged, and the paratroopers were shown the chief features of the Churchill.


1615 - Bn. moved off down the road behind the 3rd. Scots Gds. Gp. but the latter had not advanced very far before they were held up by some mines and SPs.  As light was rapidly failing the Bn. was ordered to harbour for the night area 317418.  During the night 3rd. Scots Gds. in a lightening dash captured the northern half of Dorsten 4741.


28th March 1945

0800 - The Bn. moved down the road to Dorsten via Altschermbeck 4044.


1300 - The Commanding Officer gave out orders at 464422.  He had just come from a conference at which the Airborne Corps Commander, General Ridgeway, had explained the position.  It was absolutely essential that at least one bridge over the Dortmund-Ems Canal should be captured as soon as possible.  4th. Coldstream Group would push on with all possible speed through the Scots Gds. who were tired out after their night's exertions, with that object in view.  The first phase would be the capture of Haltern 6249 with simultaneous task of trying to capture intact the bridges over the River Lippe near Haltern at 621483, 621481. in order to facilitate lateral communications with the US 9th. Army who were to our southern flank.


1415 - The leading Honey patrol passed through the leading elements of the 3rd. Scots Gds. on the eastern side of Dorsten and advanced rapidly down the road towards Haltern.  Close behind recce troop came Major Tennant's Sqn. with Capt. A.M. Palliser in command of the leading troop.  This troop had no infantry on it.  The Honey patrol pushed on rapidly to Lippramsdorf 5546, but immediately after passing through the village the two leading Honeys were fired at by an 88 concealed in a wood 400 yds away 567470.  Two of the tanks were hit, Sgt. Roberts was killed and the other 7 members of the 2 crews, some wounded, were taken prisoner.  Sgt. Heaton in another tank was badly wounded in the head by a sniper.  When Capt. Palliser's troop caught up, he immediately engaged the German positions but could not advance beyond the cover afforded by the houses.  Meanwhile parties from the sides of the road, area 513434, had been firing at the paratroopers.  The tanks under Lt. Hawkins brought swift retribution by setting fire all the houses in sight, which greatly impressed our American friends.  This caused a slight delay, during which an 88 shell fell on a tank of No.2 Sqn. wounding 5 men of the Bn. and 11 Americans.  No.3 Coy. dealt with some more German infantry on the northern side of the same axis in the same area.  When Major Tennant and the rest of his Sqn came up to the place where the leading troop was held up, he quickly realised that any attempt to make an advance unsupported by fire would be suicidal, as the area was held by several 88s protected by infantry in some force.  Unfortunately the advance had been so swift that the guns were unable to catch up and the FOOs were out of wireless communication so that no fire was forthcoming.  The advance was therefore held up.  The Bn. had in fact come in contact with at least 3 batteries of Flak 88s, which were part of the northern defences of the Ruhr.  They were grouped on both sides of the road by batteries, and were a grave potential menace to the advancing column.  The German gunner officers must have realised that their stay in the locality was to be a short one for they kept up a heavy and continuous fire most of the afternoon and evening, at extremely short range obviously using up ammunition.  Most of this was airburst and fortunately it was extremely inaccurate.


1700 - Capt. Barton was ordered to strike to the left flank, silence the 88 battery on that flank, then cut on to the main Wulfen-Haltern road and advance to Haltern.


1800 - No.2 Sqn. commenced their advance and Sgt. Wheeler in the lead troop by skilfully manoeuvring behind the hill, reached a position which dominated the 88s.  Rapid fire was opened and the crews were forces to abandon their guns. which were then knocked out and destroyed.  Sgt. Wheeler was awarded the MM for this action.  The Sqn. then pushed on down the road towards Haltern.  Just before dusk the rate of enemy fire increased considerably in accordance with the usual custom that we had come across in Holland and which had been practiced by them for so long and so successfully, preparatory to pulling out.  Mindful of this and determined to adhere to one of the principles of war, the maintenance of objective, the Commanding Officer gave orders, for No.1 Sqn. to continue the advance into Haltern as soon as it was dark.  At the same time Bn. HQ moved into Lippramsdorf. 557465. after having spent the whole afternoon and evening at 552461.


2100 - No.1 Sqn. advanced as rapidly as the night conditions would allow and reached Haltern before midnight, where Major Tennant collected his forces in a big square in the centre of the town in order to repel more easily any sneak attack.  Although no Germans were actually seen it was obvious that they had been caught on the hop and noises were heard in the distance of whistles being blown to arouse troops, and shouts as though confusion reigned.  Very rapidly afterwards No.2 Sqn arrived having pushed on rapidly down their axis.  They passed on through No.1 to the south side of the town where the paratroopers made a very gallant attempt to capture the bridges at 621483 and 621481. over the Lippe intact.  Lt. Martin with a small party rushed the first bridge and he succeeded in cutting the wires leading to the demolition charges.  He then discovered that there was another bridge beyond and was just setting foot on it when it was blown up literally in his face.  He fortunately escaped with nothing more than a bad shaking.  The Germans by now were thoroughly aroused and began opening up on fixed lines with several machine guns and there were a series of explosions as the neighbouring bridges went up so both tanks and infantry withdrew to augment Major Tennant's small garrison.


2230 - Rest of the Bn. reached Rd. junc. 608491 and here halted to await further orders.  As the Bn. had advanced so fast and were out of wireless communication with Bde. the Commanding Officer decided to continue the advance as rapidly as possible as it was obvious that the Germans were in a state of great confusion and must not be allowed to recover.


2330 - Bn. O Group at which Capt. Barlow was ordered to pass his Sqn through and lead on with all speed to Dulmen another 8 miles further on.  At the same time Major Pilkington was sent back in a scout car to contact Bde HQ and to inform the Brigadier of the Bn.s movements.  We also heard the Bde. mentioned for the first time on the BBC.


29th March 1945

0100 - The leading half of No.3 Sqn. successfully negotiated their way along the torturous road through the bomb damage and emerged on the correct road with Lt. Stannard's troop in the lead.  The advance was rapid and exciting.  Not very long after leaving Haltern Lt. Stannard found himself driving along behind a very unfamiliar looking Churchill.  On closer examination it turned out to be a Panther whose crew were blissfully ignorant that they had become the spearhead of the British advance!  Slowing down slightly Lt. Stannard and Gdsn. Hullah the gunner, put two rounds of AP shot through the back of the Panther and it immediately caught fire.  Lt. Stannard then knocked out a half track: some enemy transport was also shot up and destroyed.  Capt. Barlow was then given orders to halt and wait until the second half of No.3 Sqn. came up, for it had taken a wrong turning and could not find a way out of Haltern.  The IO went on alone in his scout car to find a way through the northern part of the town.  He was highly alarmed when flashing a torch to pick up any signs he saw, not the comforting yellow and black board, but a German sentry standing outside a gate.  Fortunately the latter must have obtained a very low mark in his selection tests for he was persuaded to part with a rifle, bazooka and two stick grenades and to climb up on to the scout car.  When asked to point out the way to Munster he tried to persuade Capt. Buckland to drive in through the gate outside which he had been standing, so Sgt. Cobham the scout car driver, was instructed to turn round and drive back to the Bn. at once.  The enemy tried to prevent this with a fusilade of rifle fire, but Capt. Buckland got away without anything more serious than a black eye and three or four splinters in the face.


0200 - Capt. Bayley was then instructed to take his troop and deal with the offenders and soon the Besas had started two good fires.  At the same time Col. Kent led a Pl. into the houses.  12 PW were taken.


0230 - The advance was then resumed.  Shortly after leaving the town one of No.2 Sqn. was hit by a bazooka and Gdsn. Smith and Duffin were killed.  Soon after the first light the two bridges just south of Dulmen at 658567 and 665573 had been captured intact and Dulmen itself was reached by 0800 hrs.  Here a scene of complete demolition met the eye.  As it had been a town where two main roads crossed it had been completely obliterated as part of the interdiction programme of the RAF.  Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris had indeed done his work so effectively that it delayed the advance of the 4th Coldstream Group for some twelve hours.  There was no possible way through the town and so the tanks had to be content with supporting infantry by fire from the outskirts.  This was done by Nos 2 & 3 Squadrons while No 1 remained to guard the bridges against any possible sabotage.


0715 - A tank of No 1 Squadron towards the rear of the column was hit by A.P. shot from a flank and Gdsm Large and Holmes were killed and Capt. Hon. B.E. Fielding the Technical Adjutant who was standing just behind the tank wounded.


0800 - Bn. H.Q. took up residence at Hausdulmen 664572.  The Americans had some difficulty in clearing the town as one or two snipers were very troublesome.  Sgt Rye was twice wounded by them.  The last resistance was not overcome until 1200 hrs.  As soon as all possibility of enemy interference had been removed, 2 bulldozers which had been urgently summoned, began shovelling a way through the debris and a route was cleared by 1730 hrs.


2200 - The Commanding Officer gave out new orders.  The advance to Buldern was to commence at 0300 hrs. with No 2 Squadron in the lead.


30th March 1945

0310 - After the usual "marrying up" operation No 2 moved off a few minutes after 0300 hrs and reached the outskirts of Buldern at 0430 hrs. leaving behind them a trail of burning farm houses.  Here the Germans, taking advantage of the days delay caused by the blockage at Dulmen, had organised a good defence and a stiff battle immediately broke out.  When the advance was halted the leading Coy/Sqn group was right among the defenders and could not very well be extricated.  A hand to hand battle therefore resulted and the artillery were unable to give full support as our own troops were right among the enemy.  Violent fighting with fairly heavy casualties in which L/Sgt. Craddock, Lt. Martin U.S. Army and Gdsm. King Medical Orderly particularly distinguished themselves continued throughout the day, and it was not until 1600 hrs. that the village was cleared.


0430 - Bn H.Q. halted at 735631 and remained there all day.  No 1 and 3 Sqdns took up positions on both sides of the road just behind Bn H.Q. to cover the centre line.  A number of prisoners were rounded up during the day from this area.


1530 - General Miley, commanding 17th U.S. Airborne visited Bn H.Q. with the Bde Commander.  It was decided to leave behind Col. Kent's Bn. in Buldern to rest and refit and to bring up at once the 1st Bn. under Major Keise, who would take over the advance.  The fresh Bn. had arrived and "married up" by 1630 hrs.


1700 - The advance on Appelhulsen began with Major C.G. Tennant's Squadron in the lead.  Soon after leaving Buldern Lt. Brand in the leading tank was fired on by snipers from a windmill and by an A/T gun on the right flank both of which he effectively dealt with, but his tank was fired at by what was reported to be a Panther 1000 yards down the road immediately afterwards, the shot unfortunately hitting the turret hatch, killing Lt. Brand instantly.  Undaunted by the knowledge that the Panther was completely immune from penetration by an AP shot from a Churchill at that range the Tp. Cpl. L/Sgt. Jeffreys, immediately pulled his tank out from behind that of Lt. Brand and opened rapid fire on the Panther, causing it to sheer off into the woods.  At about the same time 3 SP guns were seen on the left flank so, while heavy fire was brought down on the area by the medium FOO, Major Tennant, under cover of a thick smoke screen, attempted to work the rest of his Squadron supported by the paratroopers round to the right.  They succeeded in reaching the high ground some 1000 yds ahead but could not proceed further and the advance halted until dusk.


2000 - The C.O. then gave orders for No 3 Squadron to pass through and make a dash for Appelhulsen 7866.  The leading troops showed tremendous dash and determination and, regardless of all dangers, charged at full speed into the outskirts.  Sgt. Corfield's troop, with L/Sgt. T. Lynch in the lead, made a dash round the northern side of the village, and overcoming all opposition, established itself on the North-eastern outskirts.  At the same time Lt. Stannard, with Sgt. Brooker in command of the leading tank, were hotly engaged by the enemy including 2 SPs.  Sgt. Brooker immediately returned fire and, after a sharp fight, knocked out one, and caused the other to beat a hasty retreat in an easterly direction.  Discouraged by the fate of the armoured support the remainder of the enemy quickly made off and the town was occupied.  Lt. Stannard was afterwards awarded the MC and Sgt. Brooker the MM.  The remainder of the Battalion followed in quickly and the centre of the town was seized by 2300 hrs.  Here the Bn. was ordered to halt till further orders.


31st March 1945

2300 to 0200 - A careful search of all houses was made and billets cleared.  It became obvious that again the enemy had been taken completely by surprise as a number of Germans were still asleep when taken prisoner.  From first light onwards a systematic search of all houses in Appelhulsen was carried out and patrols pushed a little way out of town.


1030 - The Bde Commander gave out further orders: the advance was to continue immediately the Bn. had refitted.  At the same time the Scots Guards would advance along a parallel axis a few miles to the north.


1345 - While the Bn. was forming up to move off a number of high velocity shells came over one of which unfortunately, killed one very valuable member of the Bn.  Sgt. Quilter of the Royal Corps of Signals Section.


1415 - The advance continued with No 3 Sqn again in the lead.  Almost immediately small arms fire was encountered from both sides of the road particularly from the North, but Capt. Barlow gave orders for his leading troops to push on past the opposition, which was successfully done with the use of smoke.  After reaching woods area 838692 the leading elements were held up by trees felled across the road and by a crater both of which were covered by small arms fire.  The opposition was quickly driven off by the Americans and the tanks successfully climbed over the trees and negotiated the crater with the help of a bridge-layer.  Shortly after the Sherdozer appeared and pushed the trees off the road and filled in part of the crater, so that tanks could get through it.  At 840695 however another and larger crater was discovered which held up the advance completely.


1500 - The enemy in the woods on the northern side of the road just outside Appelhulsen had been making a considerable nuisance of themselves and machine gun fire was still sweeping across the road, so the Commanding Officer ordered No 2 Sqn Group to clear up this pocket of resistance.  This attack was very successfully carried out by 1 Pl. of US Infantry and 2 Tps of tanks.  The tank gunners, in particular Gdsm Hunt who knocked out a bazooka when it was being aimed at a tank behind him, excelled themselves throughout, and the position which was discovered to be manned by over 200 men armed with machine guns, mortars and bazookas in dugout positions was overrun with only 5 American casualties.  Over 130 prisoners were taken and over 60 dead counted, practically all of them killed by HE fire from the tanks.


1930 - No 1 Sqn carried out a shoot at a wood on the right of the road by the Boesensell cross roads and supported their infantry in the task of clearing it.  During this time another bridge layer had been called for and it arrived at 2230 hrs and was laid into position by L/Sgt. Morris by 2300 hrs.  No 3 Sqn immediately passed over and entered Albachten, meeting no opposition.  The remainder of the Battalion followed as quickly as possible, and everyone was billeted by 0300 hrs. on the 1st April.



Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. A.W.A. Smith D.S.O.


1st April 1945

At first light the American Paratroopers sent out patrols feeling forward and to the flanks.  Each Sqn "shook out" a little.  No.1 going to     .  No.2 going to     .  No.3 going to     .  A quiet morning except for a hurried stand-to at 1130 hrs when a Tiger tank was reported to be counter attacking with about 70 infantry in the wood just east of the village.  Nothing however materialized.  The local priest came and complained that the vicarage had been commandeered and refused to obey orders, so the Commanding Officer had him promptly removed, to be put in the care of the Americans.


1430 - Bde O. Group.  The Bde. Commander gave out further orders.  The advance was to be continued at once, the objective for both Bns being the high ground just west of Munster, where the enemy were expected to put up the stiffest resistance.  Lt. Col. Dunbar stated that he could not complete the re-arming and refuelling of tanks after their previous battle, which had only just been successfully concluded, before dark, so the Bde. Commander agreed to postpone H Hour until darkness fell.  Lt.Col. A.W.A. Smith then represented that a repetition of night driving would undoubtedly fail to secure the surprise that had previously been achieved on preceding nights and that the crews were absolutely exhausted and unfit for further exertions without a good night's rest.  Owing to pressure from above this plea was refused.


1900 - No.2 Sqn. moved out down the road towards Munster but almost immediately the infantry had to begin clearing the woods on each side of the road and it was very difficult to maintain contact; as a result the tanks got a little in front of the infantry.  When the leading troop was just short of the level crossing, the two leading tanks were hit by an 88 firing from the left of the road and at least 2 20mm AA guns began firing down the road.  The leading tank (Sgt. Hudson's) pulled off the road but was again hit and the crew forced to bale out.  The situation was very unpleasant as the remainder of the tanks were on an embanked road, silhouetted against the moon and were an easy target, so Capt. Barton gave orders for the rest of the Sqn to pull back slightly.  Sgt. Hudson then volunteered to return to his tank to endeavour to bring it back.  Taking with him Gdsn. Thompson, despite heavy fire from the light AA guns and the automatic weapons, he crawled back to the tank.  While Gdsn. Thompson got into the Commander's seat to guide the tank Sgt. Hudson drove it back to the road in full view of the enemy, and backed it down the road to safety, expecting any minute to be knocked out by an 88.  About this time Capt. Montague Jones in his scout car did most valuable work in directing the fire of the supporting artillery and was responsible for silencing at least two 88s.  It was now obvious that the tanks could do nothing until it got light so orders were given for them to withdraw back to Albachten.  The Bn. group had again bumped into another AA Battery area, this time defending Munster.


2nd April 1945

0200 - Major Keise's Bn. was now given the task of clearing the woods by night, with Mecklenbeck MR 8970 as the final objective.  This operation was most successfully carried out and by first light the right flank of the enemy who were defending the centre line was turned.  Soon after first light, Capt. Montague Jones, the Bn. Liaison Officer, who was up in Mecklenbeck with the infantry reported that an AA Battery had sent an emissary to say that it was prepared to surrender.  The Dutch Interpreter went up to join him at once and they were conducted to the Battery Commander who stated that he thought a lot more troops would surrender with a little encouragement.  So the scout car proceeded on to Oberstleutnant Ufer's HQ with a German as a guide.  The two Englishmen saw a lot of German troops along the road manning several machine guns.  They all stared rather goggle-eyed at the scout car and the people on top.  On arrival at the German HQ they were presented to Col. Ufer, a thoroughly old-fashioned and correct type of soldier, who was immaculately dressed and who gave the Army and not the Nazi salute.  The usual courtesies were gone through and then Mr. Veenbrink explained that he had come to negotiate the surrender of the garrison in addition to that of the battery.  Col. Ufer replied that he could not allow anyone to surrender.  He had orders to continue fighting direct from Adolf and those orders he must obey.  He was then warned of the consequences of his decision, being informed that we were preparing to use 200 Panzers and 100 guns to reduce the city.  It was noticed that on the mention of the word "Panzers" that the staff officers exchanged anxious glances and some hurried out.  Col. Ufer however still refused and the two emissaries left.  When they reached the German FDLs, an officious looking officer said that they could not be allowed to go back as they had not been blindfolded and had therefore seen all the defences.  They were taken back again to Col. Ufer and after a lot of argument an agreement was reached by which the British side agreed not to launch the attack before 1030 hrs.  As they departed Capt. Montague Jones and Mr. Veenbrink noted with satisfaction that Col. Ufer's staff car was being hurriedly packed as if a rapid flight was contemplated.  On arriving back at the Bn. the Commanding Officer was informed and the truce kept until 1030 hrs.  No time was lost as the final orders for the attack was not given out to individual tanks before 1025 hrs.  Despite Col. Ufer's orders a large proportion of the flak battery surrendered before the attack started and from interrogation it was learnt that Munster was defended by only a few Wehrmacht personnel supported by a few SPs and that the bulk of the opposition (which numbered about 3000) was made up of the ARP services chiefly firemen.


1030 - No.3 Sqn advanced down the road to Munster and entered the outskirts of the city, meeting very little opposition.  Before the city could be cleared it was decided that more infantry were needed so a halt was called while the other two Bns of 513 Para Regt. came up.


1130 - Bn. HQ moved up to a public house at MR 897701 where there was plenty of beer straight out of the tap.


1300 - Bn. Order Group.  The city was to be cleared, 3 Inf. Bns. up, each supported by one tank Sqn.  No.3 going up the main road on the left, No.2 up the centre, and No.1 on the right going up the line of the railway, with the additional task of trying to reach a bridge over the Dortmund-Ems Canal before it was blown.  It was rumoured that there were two Tigers lurking somewhere in the city.


1430 - The attack re-commenced and rapid progress was made, both infantry and the tanks firing at everything that they saw.  There was no sign of the Tigers but two armoured cars and one SP were knocked out.  One or two snipers caused a lot of trouble but the other defenders showed little fight.  There was approximately 3000 Germans defending Munster, of which 1000 were fire guards and ARP wardens in smart new blue uniforms.  Prisoners were pouring in continually, one of the first of which was the rather grumpy captain concerned with the incident with the interpreter that morning which caused great satisfaction.  Three British prisoners appeared and gave a lot of very useful information.  Col. Coutts, the Regimental Commander of 513 Para Regt. received a nasty wound in the arm from a mortar bomb but was quite unperturbed and walked around chewing gum.  By 1900 hrs a line had been cleared running due east from 920733 and 900 prisoners taken and it was decided to advance no further until the next day, when the Scots Guards would also enter from the north-west.  Bn. HQ was at 914718.


3rd April 1945

Place: Munster


0800 - The infantry cleared the rest of the city without tank support being required.  507 Para Regt. moved in to take over the southern area.


1600 - The Bn. moved to a large barracks north west of Munster, area MR 915761.  It was previously carefully checked for booby traps.  It gave all ranks great satisfaction to see as they drove through the city the great destruction wrought by the RAF.  A large quantity of drink was found in the barracks and all portraits of prominent Nazis were given rough treatment to the satisfaction of all.


4th to 5th April 1945

Spent on maintenance of vehicles and in trying to get clean again.  A large brewery was discovered next door to the barracks so all ranks had a taste of beer for the first time since Christmas.  So the great drive to Munster was successfully concluded.  In less than a week the Bn. group had advanced over 50 miles meeting very stiff opposition and obstacles on at least two occasions, finally capturing the capital of Westphalia.  The co-operation between the men of the Bn. and those of the 17th. Airborne Division was of the highest order and the mutual feeling of respect could not have been greater.  The Americans fought with a dash that had to be seen to be appreciated.  Whatever the odds against them (on one occasion five Paratroopers took on 60 Germans) they took on any task with the greatest enthusiasm and loved getting to close quarters with those "filthy Krauts".  The phrase by which they will always be remembered is "Come on, boys, let's go".  Capt. A.K. Barlow was awarded the Military Cross and Capt. Barton the US Silver Star in recognition of the great skill dash and determination they had shown throughout this advance which had been such an unqualified success and which undoubtedly hastened the final collapse of the Wehrmacht.  During the advance the Bn. group took 2000 prisoners and killed several hundred Germans, whereas the Coldstream had suffered only the following casualties.







Missing (Believed Killed).






   Damaged but still battle-worthy




1 Officer, 2 Other Ranks.

4 Other Ranks

7 Other Ranks

4 Officers (of which 2 remained at duty), 22 Other Ranks.


1   A.P. Shot.

2   Bazooka.

3   A.P. Shot


1   88

1   88


5th April 1945

1700 - The Bn. warned that it would move the next day to the area of Minden, coming under command of 46 (H) Bde.


6th April 1945

1015 - O Group at 46 Bde. HQ Nordwalde 8287.  The plan was as follows: the infantry and the tanks would push on with all speed to a concentration area about 5 miles NW of Minden, clearing as it advanced centre lines for all the soft vehicles.  All the Inf. Carrier Plns. were brigaded under Major A.M. Gilmow to form a carrier screen out in front.


1030 - The leading tank passed the S.P. MR 880780 and moved via Cross Roads MR 813832, Cross Roads MR 795862 to Nordwalde MR 8287.  The wheeled vehicles followed directly behind the tanks.  Here the Bn formed part of 46 Bde column.  The two routes were as follows:- Wheels Greven 9188, - Ladbergen 0093 - Lengerich 0899 - Natrup 1202 - Hagen 1600 - Osede 2201 - Rd. junc 269007 - Bissendorf 2904 - Wissengen 3207 - Schledehausen 3409 - Wehren 3915 - Lubbecke 6012 - Rd. junc. 623129 - Kellen 6418 - Rd. junc. 712147 - D.P. 762177.  Tracks Rd. junc. 975895 - Rd. junc. 028868 - Cross Rds. 040930 - Rd. junc. 062972 - Lengerich 0898 - Cross Rds. 126014 - Hagen 1600 - Osede 2201 - Kloster Osede 2600 - Bissendorf 2904 - Wissengen 3207 - Osterkappeln 3316 - Bohnte 3919 - Rd. junc. 484214 - Cross rds. 602175 - Kellen 6418 - Rd. junc 712147 - D.P. 762177.


The move was one of the worst that the Bn. has ever done.  Halts and delays were frequent and all serials got further and further behind schedule, with a result that tempers became more and more frayed.  To crown everything there was a delay of four hours over the bridge over the Dortmund-Ems Canal owing to the appalling congestion of traffic from the 15th. Scottish 6th. Airborne and 11th. Armoured Divs, who were all trying to move along the same axis.  The gilded Staff Officer who had made a hash of his march table came in for a lot of caustic criticism.  As a result of this, long after dark, the Bn. was only passing Osede, just over halfway and everyone was thoroughly tired out and fed up.  The Commanding Officer therefore gave orders to harbour for the night.


7th April 1945

0700 - Move resumed.


1300 - Wheeled column reached harbour area which was in the village of Stemmer MR 7716.


1600 - The column reached Stemmer.  There were remarkably few breakdowns on the journey, a tribute to the high standard of maintenance.


8th to 10th April 1945

Complete overhaul of tanks.  A lot of Hock was acquired from a large dump.


10th April 1945

1830 - Bn. moved complete to the area of Bierde MR 8920 Route: Cross Rds. 797159 - Rd. junc. 822168 - Petershagen - Bridge 8420 - Lahde 8520 - Cross Rds. 846198 - Rd. junc. 886200.


2100 - All vehicles were in harbour area.


2000 - 46 Bde. O Group.  The following day the Bde would advance to contact the enemy with the town of Celle as the objective.  4th. Coldstream Gds. would be in the lead carrying 9th. Cameronians on their tanks.


11th April 1945

0700 - The vanguard consisting of No.1 Sqn carrying A Company, 9th. Cameronians passed the start point MR 951221 followed shortly by the Bde R Group with the remainder of the Bn. and the 9th. Cameronians behind them.  Route for advance: Bde. S.P. - Cross Rds. 952235 - Rd. junc. 987272 - Rd. junc. 998250 - Rd. junc. 020259 - Cross Rds. 043234 - Cross Rds. 058235 - Cross Rds. 117258 - Rd. junc. 136245 - Rd. junc. 165266 - Rd. junc. 178310 - Rd. junc. 190303 - Rd. junc. 216306 - Cross Rds. 224310 - Rd. junc. 280319 - Rd. junc. 292338 - Rd. junc. 287367 - Bissendorf 3738 - Gr. Burgwedel 4435 - Thonse 4735 - Ramlingen 5337 - Rd. junc. 559389 - Celle.


During the morning the advance proceeded steadily and without mishap and a good deal of ground was covered.  There was not a sign of the enemy anywhere.  During the early afternoon however the first serious holdup occurred: it was discovered by Recce troop patrols that the bridges between Bissendorf and Grosse Burgwedel at 380381, 383380 and 396380 were not more than Class 12 and would collapse if made to bear the weight of a number of Churchills.  Valuable time was wasted while a detour was reconnoitred to the south.  The route taken was Cross rds. 352381 - Cross Rds. 367305 - Rd. junc. 442330 - Grosse Burgwedel 4435.  As a result the leading elements did not reach Grosse Burgwedel until 1600 hrs.  They pushed on through Thonse 4735 and Engensen 4935 to Ramlingen 5337 which was reached at 1700 hrs.  Here the 15th. Scottish Recce reported that two scout cars had been knocked out in the woods 1000 yds to the east of the village and they were held up and a properly laid on attack was required to dislodge the enemy.  Brigadier Villiers then ordered the 9th. Cameronians supported by No.1 Sqn to clear the wood as soon as possible.  The 25 Pdrs. arrived up and began shelling the area while Bn. HQ moved into Ramlingen.


1945 - The attack began.  Owing to the increasing darkness and the density of the trees it became more and more difficult for the tanks and the infantry to maintain contact.  The two leading tanks got slightly in advance of their accompanying infantry and they were bazookad.  Lt. J. Currie's (Scots Gds) tank was hit by seven bazookas and set on fire.  Every time he tried to bale out he was fired on by German infantry who were very close to the tank.  In the end the flames forced him to jump out and he was shot through the head and killed instantly.  Gdsn. Harrison was also killed but the remainder of the crew got away somehow.  Sgt. Sharpe's tank was also hit by bazookas and he was seriously wounded.  He managed to lie low in a ditch where he was found by a search party some time later and evacuated successfully in company with Gdsn. Coverley.  As the tanks were absolutely helpless in the darkness, they withdrew to Ramlingen where they were joined for the night by No.2 Sqn.  No.3 Sqn and A Echelon remained in a wood MR 4835.


12th April 1945

Before dawn the 9th. Cameronians finished mopping up the wooded area.  From PW it was learned that the position was manned by over 50 Officer cadets who were very pro-Hitler and had fought bitterly.  Our casualties had proved how very troublesome bazooka teams, who fight with determination and under favourable conditions, can make themselves.


0700 - No.2 Sqn with the 7th Seaforths moved up to the level crossing 559389.  There they were completely held up as a bridge 567389 had been blown.  Despite all efforts by the Recce troop and Major Milbank no way could be discovered as the country was very marshy, so the Bn. remained static until 1600 hrs.  Orders were then received that, as 227 Bde. supported by the Scots Gds. had captured Celle, the Bn. would move into the town from the west.


1600 - Bn. left Ramlingen.  Route to Celle: Grosse Burgwedel 4435 - Fuhrberg 4342 - Rd. junc. 570497.


2100 - Bn. billeted in Celle.  Area MR 587495.  Captain Buckland, the Int. Officer, who reached Celle sometime before the Bn., saw the very grim spectacle of the concentration camp there.  This was a minor edition of Belsen and contained people who had had their thumbs screwed off, who had been scalped, and others who had been so starved that they were too weak to move.  The stench was quite appalling and made the onlooker nearly sick.  It was noted with satisfaction that all the prominent citizens of Celle were present and were being made to help in the evacuation of the inmates to the hospital.


2100 - 46 Bde. O Group.  Brigadier Villiers stated that 227 Bde had successfully forced a crossing of the River Aller and that a Class 40 bridge would be completed by dawn the next day.  227 Bde and 3 Scots Gds. would advance with all speed down the main road to Uelzen.  The head of 46 Bde would cross the bridge at 0730 hrs. and would move on both sides of the main road to Uelzen, searching out and destroying any enemy.  (For operation order containing routes see Appendix attached).


13th April 1945

0730 - No.3 Sqn. in support of 2 Glasgow Highlanders crossed the bridge.


0845 - No.2 Sqn. in support of 7 Seaforths, crossed the bridge.


0930 - Bde. R Group crossed the bridge.


1010 - No.1 Sqn. with 9th Cameronians crossed the bridge.  On the southern flank No.3 Sqn. with No.11 Troop, (Lt. A. Melikoff) in the lead "married up" with the infantry and moved off.  Owing to the difficulty with the bridges the original route was altered and the group went via Cross rds. 620539 - Rd. junc. 652540 - then direct to Rd. junc. 697565.  Shortly before entering Höfer a delay occurred as the bridge was not sufficiently strong to take the Churchills and a ford through the stream had to be discovered.  The Sqn. group then moved south to Beedenbostel. MR 7052.


1330 - Beedenbostel entered.  No sign of the enemy was seen.  Some DPs on interrogation stated that several German tanks and some infantry had passed through the village in an easterly direction the previous day.


1500 - Steinhorst 8058 entered, after moving through Lüttern 7355 and Eldingen 7657.  There some enemy infantry were reported in the woods to the north and northwest, so a general mopping up operation was carried out, a few prisoners being taken.


1900 - Sqn. group moved north to Raderloh 8062 and there spent the night.  No.1 Sqn who were in reserve had a peaceful move to Scharnhorst 7161.  Moving via Höfer 7056 - Habighorst 6859, and spent the night there.  On the northern flank No.2 Sqn. with their infantry pushed on rapidly meeting no opposition.  They halted for lunch at Starkshorn 6666.


1400 - The advance continued straight through the woods towards Unterluss 729740.  A large German arsenal hidden in the middle of the forest was passed.  As the leading troop approached the Rd. junc. 719737 they were fired at.  A very fierce fight then ensued for they had bumped into a number of SS men armed with a plentiful supply of bazookas.  A large number of the Germans were killed and a few more, including one giant of a man, who lay still and feigned death; one of these then threw a grenade at the search parties so no quarter was given.  Yard by yard an entrance into Unterluss was forced.  Lt. Foucard's and Lt. P. Buxton's tanks were bazookad, the latter being knocked out and the driver wounded.  L/Sgt. Gillat in the rear tank facing west saw a busload of German infantry coming towards him down the road.  He tried to shoot them up but could not obtain enough depression on his gun.  Agonising seconds passed while the tank did a neutral turn so that he could get more depression over the side.  When this was done he made no mistake with his aim.  A number of Pw were taken during the day's fighting.  The night was spent in Unterluss but it was a sleepless one, as a counter attack was expected particularly from the area Lutterloh 670370 where there was a large party of the enemy which had been by-passed.  Yet one more DP camp was liberated here.  Bn. HQ moved straight up the main axis to Enschede 6862 where the night was spent.  The local Burgomeister reported the location of a dump of mines which he stated he had been ordered to lay, but had purposely failed to carry out his orders.  Owing to the great range wireless communication throughout the latter half of the day was very bad and touch with Nos 2 & 3 Sqns completely lost.


14th April 1945

No.3 Sqn. with Lt. A. Bell's troop in the lead advanced speedily to Lüsche 8262 where they found a PW camp and liberated the prisoners, amongst whom were two Coldstreamers, captured in Italy, and a Scots Guardsman.  It was then reported that there were some more enemy in the woods area 8364 so a further woodclearing operation was carried out, and the woods were set on fire but nothing was seen of any SS.  The tanks and infantry reformed at Sprakensehle 8666.  They then wheeled right and entered Boddenstedt 8285 where they spent the night.  Meanwhile progress along the main centre line had been held up by demolitions and the threat of being blown sky-high by a delayed action 500 lb. bomb was always present.  Indeed one of these went up with a terrific explosion about half mile away from Bn. HQ, which spent most of the day in a field area 752674.  At last, shortly before dusk, permission was obtained to move by a track through the forest via Hosseringen to Räber, 7978.  After an appalling journey the last vehicles reached the night's resting place just after midnight.  During the day Lt.Col. J. Sparrow arrived at Bn. HQ.  He had come to spend a week with the Bn. as an official observer from the War Office with the additional object of getting "local colour" for the Regimental History.


1415 - The tanks and infantry reformed at Sprakensehl 8666 and then moved NE to Bokel 9871 meeting no opposition: there a number of Germans surrendered without a fight.  The advance then continued via Nienwohlde 9076 to Stadesen 9079 which was entered without a fight at 1930 hrs. amid cheers from the assembled population.  Little did they know what a scene of carnage would be turned into before they would see the light of another day.  15th. Scottish Recce pushed on into Nettelkamp 9179.


0700 - No.1 moved off from Scharnhorst and spent the entire day clearing woods but meeting no opposition whatsoever.  One or two stray PW were collected.  The centre line ran via Endeholz 7461, Marwede 7563, Blickwedel 8266, Hagen 8367 where another PW camp was liberated, Sprakensehl 8666 to Bokel 9871, where they were joined by A echelon and all spent the night there.


0730 - No.2 Sqn left Unterluss only too gladly and moved via Cross Rds. 738734 through Hosseringen 8076, Oldendorf 8281, Graulingen 8082, to Bahnsen 8084 where a short action took place.  Some AP shots whistled overhead from an unlocated SP.


15th April 1945

0630 - Orders were received to continue the advance, so the Commanding Officer sent out Recce troop patrols to all Sqns. ordering them to close on Holdenstedt 8784 for further orders.  L/Sgt. Gregg the NCO of the patrol which went to No.3 Sqn. in Stadensen, was surprised to find, instead of a Sqn having breakfast and doing first parade preparatory to moving on, one engaged in a really fierce battle.  It was only later that the outside world learnt that this village had been the scene of a really bloody battle, in which an attempt by Pz. Div. Clausewitz to swoop in behind the advanced troops and to cut up the British supply columns had been repelled with heavy losses.  Apparently at 0100 hrs. the defenders of Stadensen had been aroused by the sound of a considerable amount of firing from the direction of Nettelkamp.  This however soon died down completely and lulled by the silence into a sense of false security, they went to sleep again.  Shortly after 0200 hrs. everybody was rudely awoken by the sound of firing actually in Stadesen and the tank crews, on moving to their vehicles, found that a number of German SPs and half tracks and Pz Grenadiers were already in the centre of the town!  Apparently they had hoodwinked the men of the outpost Company into thinking that they were British armoured vehicles and had completely overrun them.  For the next four hours confusion reigned supreme as no one had any clear idea as to who was friend and who was foe.  Sgt. Brooker's tank fortunately a Mk.VII was hit six times by AP shot and the track broken the turret jammed and the 75mm holed, otherwise all other tanks extricated themselves successfully from their leaguer and set out to take on targets.  Unfortunately Lt. P. Stannard while running to his tank was shot up by German infantry and killed instantly.  The tanks fired off a terrific amount of ammunition but in the darkness no one could accurately assess the result and it was only when dawn broke at about 0600 hrs that matters became rather clearer.  Sgt. Lynch with his gunner Gdsn. Odey quickly knocked out an SP, Sgt. Smith and gunner Gdsn. Wildman dispatched a second while Sgt. Duxbury with his gunner Gdsn. Flavell, and Sgt. Woodford with Gdsn. Porter, finished off a halftrack each, the latter pair also knocking out a third SP.  Lt Somerset's tank broke down and he changed places with Sgt. Lynch and engaged another SP, but his new tank was hit in the turret and he and Gdsn. Odey were killed.  The field gunners, firing their 25 Pdrs over open sights and the M10s also joined in the fray.  The Germans realised by now that they could not hope to break through and began to pull out.  Their tracked vehicles, however, did not get far.  One by one they were knocked out, the infantry, including the Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. Baker claiming their share with their 6 Pdrs and PIATs.  One SP knocked out 3 SPs before it ran over a steep bank, turned over and caught fire.  The enemy that were still in the houses were blown out by HE fire.  By 0815 hrs. the village had been cleared, although mopping up operations continued throughout the rest of the day.  When the final count was held 12 out of the 13 SPs which had begun the attack were found scattered in and around the village knocked out.  Honours were even No.3 Sqn 190 Fd. Regt., 2 GH and the SP Tp each claiming three in addition 7 halftracks were counted, of which No.3 Sqn. got 2.  At least 50 enemy dead were counted and 100 PW were rounded up.  Our own casualties were however relatively severe.  No.3 Sqn had had 2 tanks knocked out and 1 petrol 3-tonner burnt out.  2 Officer and 1 OR had been killed and 3 ORs, Sgt. Smart, Gdsn. Elliott and Oxenbury, wounded.  The Sp. Tp. had lost 2 M10s and 1 more was a non-runner.  The 2 GH had lost most of their carriers, the Bn. Command vehicle, practically all transport in addition to more than 60 casualties, and more than 60 missing.  The Pl. of sappers attached to the infantry had a number of casualties and their transport was completely wiped out.  The village was practically a burnt out shell and the civilian casualties were high.


0930 - Brigadier Villiers, the Commanding Officer and the I.O. visited the garrison at about 0900 hrs. they were all in great heart and, while licking their wounds, were rapidly reorganising for the future.


1600 - A Bn. of the 6th. Airborne Div supported by a Sqn of the 4th Grenadier Gds. took over and No.3 Sqn moved at dusk to a harbour about 3000 yds south of Uelzen.


1930 - 3 Sqn. moved to harbour area 880856.  Route: Cross Rds. 875761 - Cross Rds. 857767 - and then up main axis.


0430 - No.1 Sqn. with their infantry were ordered up to the assistance of the defenders of Stadensen but, by the time they had reached Nienwohlde, the situation had been restored so the tanks and the infantry were ordered to put in an attack on Kallenbrock 9178.


1200 - Kallenbrock captured.


1430 - An attack was put in by No.1 Sqn and 9th. Cams. on Nettelkamp 9179.  This again was thoroughly successful and, despite a certain amount of enemy opposition, the hamlet was captured by 1600 hrs.  Here a number of 15th. Scottish Recce and a few 2 GH personnel were rescued from captivity and several more reported there after hiding in the woods all day.  About 16 German halftracks were also discovered abandoned or destroyed in Nettelkamp, ample evidence of the way in which the previous night's counter attack had been completely routed.


1930 - After a lengthy reconnaissance had been made to find a bridge over the water obstacle strong enough to take a Sqn of Churchills, No.1 Sqn moved to Suderberg 8381 via Stadensen cross Rds. 875761 - Cross Rds. 857766 - Cross Rds. 867804.  There they spent the night.


0800 - No.2 Sqn moved to Holdenstedt 8783 where an O Group was held.  They were ordered to capture Niendorf 7085 in company with the KOSB.


1200 - Niendorf captured without a fight.  So the group was ordered to advance to the next village, Haligdorf 9186 forthwith.


1500 - Haligdorf captured after a certain amount of difficulty had been experienced in crossing the river.  A certain amount of opposition was met, especially artillery fire.  Lt. P. Buxton was wounded in the leg by splinters from 20mm Oerlikon shells.  There they remained for the night, while the infantry pushed on and took Hambrock 9087.  Bn. HQ moved up into Suderberg for the night.


16th April 1945

0715 - No.1 Sqn. moved from Suderberg via Holdenstedt to a wood area 917854 where they made preparations for a Sqn shoot at Grosse Leidern 9388 that afternoon.  It was to be a softening up bombardment before the infantry and tanks attacked that night.  The shoot was conducted by 75s and 95s and was most successful.  Several Allied PWs were in Grosse Leidern during the shoot who, when they were rescued that night bore witness to the gunners efficiency, saying that it was the most frightening time that they had had in their life and that the Germans had rushed around the village screaming.


17th April 1945

No.2 & 3 Sqns remained in the same locations refitting.  Bn. HQ moved up to Holdenstedt 874837.  A Echelon and LAD moved from Bokel to Suderberg.


0200 - No.1 Sqn and 8 RS attacked and captured Grosse Liedern.  Operation completed by 0300 hrs.


1000 - One troop of No.3 Sqn. conducted a shoot in Veersen 8988 a suburb of Uelzen and left most of the houses burning well.  No.2 Sqn moved over from Haligdorf to the same area and the afternoon was spent by both Sqns and their affiliated Bns. in reconnaissance and O Groups.


1400 - No.1 Sqn moved to Hambrock to help repel a counter attack against the KOSB.


1900 - No.3 Sqn. 9th. Cameronians put in an attack to clear the built up areas up to the outskirts of Uelzen itself.  Lt. Bell's troop had a very successful shoot and a large number of German infantry were counted for.  Four officers and 100 ORs taken PW.  After the objective had been reached No.3 Sqn. withdrew to their previous harbour for the night.  It did not amuse anyone very much to hear over the wireless that Uelzen had been captured.


18th April 1945

Before dawn Uelzen was pounded by heavy artillery barrage and Typhoons fired rockets and dropped bombs on suspected strong points in order to soften up the enemy's resistance.


0700 - Final assault on Uelzen commenced with Nos. 2 & 3 Sqns each supporting a Bn. of the 46 Bde.  At the same time a Bn. of the 44 Bde. cleared an area east of the river.  Here opposition was very slight and No.1 was not called up to help.  All day the battle went on with frequent duels between tanks and SPs.  Progress was steady as block by block the houses were cleared in close quarter fighting.  Just before the town was finally cleared at 1730 hrs. the enemy SPs tried to escape to the north.  3 SPs, chased from the area being mopped up by No.3 Sqn passed in quick succession across No.2 Sqn. front.  Sgt. Gough MM and his gunner, Gdsn. Lockley, accounted for two but unfortunately the gun jammed before the third could be engaged.  The medical Officer, Capt. F.J. Hebbert went with L/C Scoble to Uelzen hospital and successfully evacuated a number of wounded PW from 15th. Scottish Div some of whom had been captured 72 hours previously at Stadensen.


1830 - The tanks were released and pulled back into Veersen for the night.  No.1 Sqn. remained in Hambrock.


0900 - Bn. HQ moved up to 983879.  Lt.Col. Sparrow said goodbye to us at Veersen, professing to have had an enjoyable and interesting time.  As he was always covered in dust from excursions in scout cars we think that he was only being polite.


19th April 1945

1400 - The Bn. complete moved from Uelzen.  Route: Cross Rds. 875018 - Bevensen 9002.  Final harbour areas were: No.1 Sqn. 948009, No.2. Sqn. 936009, No.3 Sqn. 939007.  Bn. HQ was at Gollern, 950023.


1830 - O Group at 46 Bde. HQ at 915019. at which plans were made for the final advance to the Elbe, to hold a line from Bleckede 0025 to Hittbergen 9031.


20th April 1945

0715 - The leading group consisted of 9th. Cameronians and No.1 Sqn formed up by the T Junction 920048.


0745 - The leading group moved off.  Progress was very rapid and first Altenmedingen 9207 and then Dahlenburg 0114 were entered and passed.  However just south of Bleckede Forest 019196 the enemy put up a fight and the advance was constantly being held up for short periods by bazooka teams.


1045 - Brigadier Villiers and the Commanding Officer called forward No.3 Sqn. and the 7th. Seaforths to Dahlenberg 0114 and at 1045 hrs. the group was ordered to move at once to Neetze 9322 via Cross Rds. 907172, Reinstorf 8919, Holzen 9019, and Wendhausen 8920.  The Recce troop would provide a screen out in front.


1330 - Neetze occupied.  2 troops pushed on to Garze 9727 and Karze 9628 which were occupied without a fight.  15th. Scottish Recce then reported some enemy in a mill 983269. and the tanks dealt with them.  They were then fired on from the direction of Bleckede and withdrew to Neetze.


1245 - On arrival at Dahlenberg No.2 Sqn and the 2 GH were sent by yet another route to Breetze 9822.  The tanks dropped their infantry on their objective without meeting any opposition but as reward for their efforts they discovered an enormous ordnance depot there at which some prisoners were taken.  Throughout the afternoon the High Command had been unable to decide where the Bn. would harbour for the night.  Eventually at 1800 hrs. orders were given to withdraw right back to Altenmedingen.  The last vehicles did not get in before 2200 hrs.  Final harbour areas were: No.1 Sqn. 942083, No.2 Sqn. 935080, No.3 Sqn. 920078, Bn. HQ, 923079.


21st April 1945

The day was spent in settling in and in maintenance and rest.  Parties were sent to out to search the neighbouring woods but found nothing.  News was received that Lieuts. G.F. Anson and M. Woodall had been awarded the Military Cross.


22nd April 1945

Baths and a cinema for all.


23rd April 1945

St. Georges Day.  Parade Service.  Whole holiday.  So ended what was to be the penultimate phase of the war.  The last water obstacle of any importance had been reached and again enormous dividends had been reaped with the loss of:-






Killed   3

Wounded   1

Killed   2

Wounded   13

Knocked out   Bazooka   1

Damaged   AP Shot   2

Damaged   Bazooka   2


25th April 1945

It was announced that No.2659663 Sgt. Lowe had been awarded the George Medal.


26th April 1945

1430 - O Group at HQ 15th Scottish Div 851256, presided over by the B.G.S. 8 Corps giving details of priorities over the Elbe bridges in forthcoming operation Enterprise.


1715 - The Bde. Commander lectured the Bn. on the subject of non-fraternisation, at the same time congratulating the Bn. on its past achievements and reminding all that the high standard of prowess both in the field and off must be maintained by all.  He presented L/Sgt. Keeton, Gdsn. Bateson, Lawrence, Millard, and Frudd with Commander in Chiefs Certificates.


27th April 1945

1400 - O Group at 15th. Scottish Div HQ the plan for the assault over the Elbe was as follows:- 15th Scottish Div. - it was to be our old friends 3rd. assault crossing of a major water obstacle - the Seine and the Rhine being the other rivers - with the 1st. Commando Bde. under command, would create a bridgehead off the north bank of the Elbe, including the town of Lauenburg within its eastern limits.  As soon as a Class 40 bridge had been built, 4th. Coldstream Gds. would cross to give armoured support for the enlargement of the bridgehead.  As soon as practicable 11th. Armoured Div would concentrate on the northern bank and strike with all speed to Lubeck and the Baltic, while 5th Inf. Div., with under command 4th. Grenadiers and 3rd. Scots Gds, would follow up to the east and hold the line of the Elbe-Trave Canal.  At the same time 6th. Airborne Div. would make a dash NE to Wismar and Schwerin.


29th April 1945

1000 - Bn. moved complete to Adendorf 8024 which it reached at 1200 hrs.  For order of march route, see Appendix A attached.  There it was joined by a composite Pl. of 229 Company RASC under Lt. Davidson, which carried second line petrol and ammunition in case it was required before the supply problems had been sorted out the other side of the river.


1500 - The Commanding Officer briefed all Troop Commanders.  The order for crossing the Elbe was to be Nos. 1, 2, & 3 Sqns followed by A Echelon complete.  B Echelon would follow sometime later.  It was not certain what time the bridge would be open for traffic as the enemy was interfering with building operations both by shell fire from railway guns and by fairly frequent attacks by jet-propelled aircraft.  In fact, once, the enemy flying in weather that the RAF would call too bad for operations succeeded in hitting the bridge and destroying part of it, otherwise operation Enterprise was proceeding very satisfactorily with very light casualties.  15th. Scottish Div was sent the following telegram: "Many congratulations on doing the hat trick", which was much appreciated.


30th April 1945

1000 - Major Pilkington took a small Recce party across the Class 9 bridge, to find a suitable concentration area.


1045 - Orders were received to leave the concentration area at 1200 hrs. and to move down to the bridge site at Artlenburg, as the bridge would be open soon after 1300 hrs. and the Bn. was to have the honour of being the first unit across.


1200 - Tanks left Adendorf.


1330 - Leading troop, No.1 Sqn. crossed the Class 40 bridge 836347.  After climbing the steep hill the far side of the river and reaching the shattered [word missing] of Schnakenbek 8248. the Sqn waited there a short time before being called forward to join 44 Bde in Gülzow 8342.  On arrival there plans were made for an immediate advance to Schwarzenbek 8248.  In spite of numerous reports of the presence of several SPs on the left flank, the advance and entry into the town were unopposed.  No.1 remained there for the night, having advanced ten miles without having to fire a shot.  At about 2300 hrs. everyone in Schwarzenbek had a very nasty moment.  The noise of a large number of tracked vehicles approaching rapidly could be heard and no one could find out if they were friendly or some SS Pz. Div. moving up to counter attack.  Soon after however, the leading armoured Regt. of the 11th. Armoured Div. swept through the town and the minds of all were set at rest.  As soon as No.2 Sqn had crossed the river, they were ordered to proceed at once in a north-westerly direction to Grünhof 8038 and there come under the command of 227 Bde.


1700 - After a brief Order Group the Sqn. advanced to Hamwarde 7843 likewise finding no one there, except for SAS troops who were well ensconced.  The [night?] was spent there without incident.  No.3 Sqn after concentrating at 834362 waited until 1600 hrs. before they were called forward to Tesperhude 802383 where they spent the night.  The enemy railway guns had been spasmodically shelling the bridge area the whole day.  After HQ A Echelon had just crossed the bridge, a salvo of shells crashed down at the northern end right beside Sgt. Webster's tank which had broken down there.  Owing to the noise of the engines no one heard the shells coming and everyone was standing out in the open.  Sgt. Webster, Gdsn. Morris, Woodhouse, Clarke, Witt, and Wood were killed outright or died shortly after, and Sgt. Green. the acting MQMS, was wounded.  The technical Adjutant Capt. Montague Jones had a very lucky escape.  Fortunately the Padre the Rev. A.P. Tremlett, happened to be near in his medical half track, and did noble work giving first aid to the wounded, although several times rudely disturbed by the arrival of more shells.  Shortly afterwards, 2 HQ 3-tonners, 1 petrol and 1 ammunition, were hit by shells, and we were treated to the most terrific firework display.  Apart from the one 3-tonner lost at Stadensen, they were the first soft vehicles to be lost by the Bn.


1500 - Bn. HQ parked itself in some houses area 839359 but immediately found itself in a direct line between the bridge site and the guns and were therefore at the receiving end of several "shorts".  As quickly as possible permission was obtained to move further north to Krukow 8239 and the new location was reached by 1630 hrs.  That evening we watched one or two German fighters shot down by intercepting Spitfires as they tried their evening attack on the bridge.



Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. A.W.A. Smith D.S.O.


1st May 1945

No.1 Sqn remained in Schwarzenbek MR 824488 all day doing maintenance.  The advanced elements of 11th. Armd. Div. moved through during the day.


1100 - No.2 Sqn moved to Worth MR 7744 which they entered unopposed.  All telephone lines were still in perfect order and animated conversations were carried on with unknown Germans in Hamburg and its suburbs.  No.3 Sqn remained in Teaperhude MR 306380.


0900 - Bn. HQ Tac HQ moved north to Kollow MR 812442.


0400 - B Echelon crossed the Elbe and arrived at Krutow MR 8239 about breakfast time.  During the afternoon GOC 15 Scottish Div. gave out orders for the advance to clear and hold the high ground to the west so as to protect the left flank of 11 Armd Div.  All three Inf. Bdes would be employed.  On the north 44 Bde. with No.1 Sqn. were to clear the Sachsen Wald north of the railway line.  In the centre 46 Bde. with No.3 Sqn were to push down the main Schwarzenbeck-Hamburg road through Dassendorf MR 7547 to Aumuhle MR 7151.  In the south 227 Bde. with No.2 Sqn would secure the high ground in the area of Fahrendorf MR 7146.


2nd May 1945

All three attacks started early.  To the north No.1 Sqn and 6 RSF advanced about 3 miles down the road to Grande MR 7657 clearing the woods as they went before being held up by trees felled across the road and two craters MR 786526 and 783529.  A detour MR 788523 - 799526 - 787547 - 781538 was immediately made around the northern flank and the northern edge of the wood was reached by 1500 hrs.  About 24 prisoners were taken, most of them policemen and four being youths of 15-17 years of age.  One of these was still a piping treble.  The Sqn remained on the northern edge of the woods until 1400 hrs, while 8 RS came up and took over from 6 RSF, preparatory to continuing the advance.  During this pause the enemy shelled the area but did no damage and merely killed some of the policemen and the four small boys.


1400 - The advance continued.  One half Sqn under Major Tennant advanced to Friedrichsruh MR 7351 where Major Tennant had a brief talk with the Princess von Bismark, a Swede.  She was very pleased to see us, surprisingly so, since their Schloss as a result of Intelligence reports that Himmler was there was burnt out by Rocket-firing Tempests.  In actual fact it was a Red Cross Centre! The half Sqn then joined the other half under Capt. J. Hamilton-Stubber which had advanced to Rothenbek MR 7555 where they spent the night.  Meanwhile No.3 Sqn with 9 Cameronians had moved down the road to Dassendorf 7547 Sgt. Woodwards Troop being in the lead.  On approaching the outskirts of the village the leading Infantry were held up by machine guns and completely pinned to the ground.  Sgt. Woodward contacted the Pl. Commander on foot and assisted in the evacuation of the wounded.  He then directed the fire of his troop against the MG positions and knocked them out.  By his action he restored what threatened to be an ugly situation and was later awarded an MM.  After part of the village had been set on fire by the Besas the remainder of the garrison fled, a number being taken prisoner including an U-Boat officer who had been given command of a platoon!  After a pause for reorganisation the advance continued another 300 yds until a road block was encountered.  After a short battle the enemy quickly gave in and the 25 PW were made to clear their own roadblock.  The Sqn then advanced north to Aumuhle MR 7151. via Kroppelshagen MR 7147, where they remained for the night.


0700 - No.2 Sqn started their days activities.  It worked in two halves: one worked along the road to Bergedorf under Captain J. G. H. Barton, with Lt. P. Revell Smith in command of the leading troop.


1000 - An envoy from Field-Marshal Busch came down the road with a white flag and asked for an interview with Field-Marshal Montgomery about surrender terms for Army Group North-West.  They were naturally afforded all facilities: In fact for once our men were most polite to Germans and they were allowed to proceed at once.  The word quickly spread and the battles in that area during the rest of the day were somewhat naturally conducted in a different atmosphere.  After one battle a German Haupt Feldwebel, under the direction of Lt. Revell Smith supervised the removal of a road block that he had defended a few minutes previously.  The night was spent at MR 691447.  The other half of the Sqn worked under Major Milbank with 2 Inf. Bns. of 227 Bde.  Their first operation was the capture of Hohenhorn MR 7445. which was stiffly defended by some Marines, who were however ousted after much of the town had been damaged, much to the chagrin of Bn. HQ who arrived just after the battle was over intending to spend a comfortable night there.  The Sqn with Lt. Brookes in the lead then proceeded through the wood to the west of Hohenhorn while the infantry beat through the trees on either side of the track.  A few Germans were met but seemed only too keen to surrender.  Enemy snipers proved very troublesome at Fahrendorf MR 7146 and bazooka teams were very active, Lt. T. Buxton's tank being hit.  The village was only captured after fairly stubborn fighting.  On turning on to the main road Lt. Brookes saw an 88 not far away down the road and knocked it out before it could fire at him.  Shortly afterwards he engaged a second gun and drove off the crew.  The night was spent in some houses about a mile west of Kroppelshagen.


3rd May 1945

During the early hours a Pz officer attempted to drive past No.2 Sqn. harbour but was apprehended.  He was very angry when he was informed that he was a prisoner.  His vehicle was an excellently equipped office truck.  The 3 Inf. Bdes. moved north-west without tank support to seize and hold the high ground area MR 6560 - 7060 - 6566 - 7266.  In the afternoon No.1 Sqn. moved to Rausdorf. MR 720581.  No.2 Sqn. moved to Witzhave. MR 729555.  No.3 Sqn. moved to Trittau. MR 770605.  Bn. HQ & A and B Echelons moved to 775595.


4th to 6th May 1945

Maintenance and rest for tanks and men.


5th May 1945

It was announced on the 5th. that all Germans Land Sea and Air Forces in North-West Europe had surrendered unconditionally.  After the events of the last few days this scarcely came as a surprise, and in fact, it was really a complete anti-climax.  As a result the Bn. celebrated the cessation of hostilities in a very sober and in a rather reflective manner.


6th May 1945

1100 - The Commanding Officer gave out the orders for the triumphal march of all Bn. vehicles around Kiel the following day.  The object of the march was to impress the German Navy and the people of Kiel with a display of smartness and of armoured might.


7th May 1945

Place: Eiderstede


0800 - Leading vehicles moved off from harbour areas.  The Bn. moved to Eiderstede MR. 5122 a distance of about 70 miles, in two separate columns, the wheeled column first and then the tank column later.  Route:- Siek 6963 - Rd. junc. 687640 - Autobahn to Rd. junc. 775800 - Bad Oldesloe 7482 - Bad Segeberg 6996 - Neumunster 4711 - Eiderstede 5122.


1630 - Wheeled column reached harbour area.


1900 - Tank column reached harbour area.  All vehicles were then thoroughly washed down and cleaned.


8th May 1945



1000 - Leading vehicles of tank column moved out of Eiderstede.


1200 - Leading tanks halted at MR 556375 for midday halt and food.


1315 - Column moved off.


Place: Kiel


1330 - Leading vehicles entered Kiel.  The Commanding Officer and the Sqn. Commanders wore their colours at the head of the A Set aerial, and these were saluted punctiliously by all police on duty.  The long column of tanks wended its way majestically through the piles of rubble, and empty shells that once were houses, while the citizens of Kiel looked on in rather awed silence.  Fortunately every single vehicle completed the course without mishap as the streets were so piled with rubble that it would have been impossible for one tank to be passed by another should it break down.


8th to 9th May 1945

Place: Kiel


During the remainder of the afternoon and the next day, parties went around Kiel, the chief attraction being the capsized pocket battleship, Admiral Scheer, the gutted cruiser, the Admiral Hipper and the U-boat pens with their midget submarines.  The RAF had dealt with Kiel as effectively as Hamburg and elsewhere and it was quite difficult to find accommodation for everyone.  This was eventually done by turning a lot of Germans out of a large block of flats.


9th May 1945

Maintenance.  Bn. 2i/c left to reconnoitre permanent occupation area.


1345 - Commanding Officer addressed all ranks, congratulating them on their turnout during the last two days which had been of the highest order and thanking them for their efforts throughout the campaign in NW Europe, efforts which had borne such good fruit and had given the Bn. an unsurpassed reputation.


10th May 1945

1130 - The Bn. moved off to its permanent occupation area.  Another ceremonial drive through Kiel was carried out and the Bde. Commander took the salute in the centre of the city as the Bn. drove past.  He afterwards congratulated the Bn. on the extremely high standard of turnout both of men and vehicles.  Route - Rd. junc. 616382 - Rd. junc. 615365 - Rd. junc. 640346 - Rd. junc. PREETZ 663305 - DP. 626294.


1500 - Leading vehicles reached DP.  Bn. HQ then moved to Kirchbarkau MR 575270.  No.1 Sqn. moved to Wankendorf MR 615160.  No.2 Sqn. moved to Schonböken MR 615130.  No.3 Sqn. moved to Bissee MR 555243.


12th May 1945

1200 - Bn. HQ moved to Schloss Bothkamp MR 528260 the seat of the Graf von Bülow.  The area of the Schloss Bothkamp was a very secret experimental station in submarine warfare and was guarded by "T" Force.  A large number of the German scientists under Dr. Hecht, were kept at work there for several weeks after the Bn. arrived and they were interrogated almost daily by experts from the chief Allied Nations until they had disclosed their secrets.  A Russian Tank Corps General was meant to be visiting the Bn but he had to cancel his visit.  The enormous luncheon prepared in his honour was, however, avidly devoured by all officers.


13th May 1945

1100 - Representatives from the Bn. attended a Victory Service in Plön Church.


18th May 1945

1600 - The Bn was inspected by 8 Corps Commander. Lt. Gen. Barker.


27th May 1945

Capt. C.M.N. Rowsell returned to the Bn. with one finger a bit shorter than the rest.  During May the Bn. was chiefly concerned with the disarmament of the Wehrmacht and the collection of all personnel into area "F", a piece of Schleswig-Holstein east of Kiel around the town of Oldenburg.  The Germans had been allowed to retain their HQ Staffs for a limited period of time in order to speed up this operation.  In the Bn. area there were the Q staff of Army Group North, HQ Sauberzweig and the 1191 Signals Bn. complete, in addition to other small bodies.  These organisations although directly under 8 Corps HQ, were responsible to the Commanding Officer for discipline.  For a fortnight a transit camp at Bornhoved, for PW moving from west to east across Schleswig-Holstein, was manned by the Recce troop under Lt. Litchfield and Sgt. Tremayne.  It was most satisfactory that the first people through the camp were our old enemies 8 Para Div including the Commander of the 24 Para Regt. Oberst Hübner.  All ranks spent their leisure hours in walking and hunting the elusive roebuck and fallow.  No.2 Sqn were fortunate in having two stud farms beside them and budding equestrians spent many hours riding.  The other big tasks that the Bn had to carry out were firstly the checking of the whole area for any enemy weapons in order that they might be collected, and secondly the collection and dispatch of DPs to their native countries, a task which required an infinite amount of tact and patience.  The only thing which really kept the DPs amused was the delousing sprayer!