National Archives catalogue number WO 171/4701.

 

Abbreviation

9642

Armd

A/Tk

Bde

Bn

Brit

C in C

CL

Comd

Div

DP

Infy

Junc

LO

OP

Posn

PWX

RB

RE

Regt

Regtl

RHQ

RTR

S
S/Car

SHQ

SP

Sqn

X rds

Map Reference

Armoured

Anti-Tank

Brigade

Battalion

British
Commander-in-Chief

Centre Line

Command

Division / Divisional
Displaced Persons

Infantry

Junction

Liaison Officer

Observation Post

Position

Ex-Prisoner of War

Rifle Brigade

Royal Engineers

Regiment

Regimental

Regimental Headquarters

Royal Tank Regiment

Scottish

Scout Car

Squadron Headquarters

Self-Propelled

Squadron

Crossroads

 

 

Month and year : March 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. JCAD  Lawson DSO, MC

 

1st to 2nd March 1945

Place: Field

 

Still under orders of 2 Canadian Corps.  LOs being sent each day to same Divisional HQ.

 

3rd March 1945

Regt moved to UDEM area 9642.  Role still the same but Regt not used as there was no job for us to do.

 

4th to 8th March 1945

Regt still in area 9642.  Still providing LOs for the same Divisions but doing nothing else.

 

9th March 1945

Regt moved at 0030 from UDEM area.  Travelled all night through REICHSWALD, GRAVE, EINDHOVEN, DIEST, LOUVAIN, and arrived in MALINES area at 1430 hrs.  RHQ and Echelons BEERSEL, A Sqn BONHEYDEN, B Sqn PUTTE, C Sqn BONHEYDEN, D Sqn RYMENAM.

 

10th to 15th March 1945

Regt in reserve in MALINES area doing maintenance, training and reorganising.

 

15th March 1945

The Commanding Officer went on leave to UK.  Lt.Col. BINGLEY, DSO arrived to make his inspection of the Regiment's equipment.  Recce parties went off to GOCH area to pave way for regtl move.

 

16th March 1945

The Regiment moved to GOCH area and came under comd of 30 Corps.  The task allotted to the regt was one of traffic control.  This was done by A Sqn on 'CLUB' Route and C Sqn on 'HEART' Route who manned between them 13 Traffic Control Posts in the area between the MAAS, RHINE, CLEVE and WEEZE.  These controlled all convoys travelling to the marshalling areas for the RHINE crossings.  All this time the Regt was at 2 hrs notice to operate as an armoured car regt.

 

20th March 1945

B & D Sqns moved to their respective marshalling areas.  B Sqn controlled the marshalling area at MARIENBAUM and D Sqn the one at CALCAR.  The task of the sqn was to ensure the smooth running of the arrival, holding and despatch of troops engaged on operation 'PLUNDER' (see Appx A).

 

21st to 26th March 1945

The Regiment continued its task of controlling traffic and marshalling troops for the crossing of the RHINE.

 

27th March 1945

The Regiment was relieved by 2 Derbyshire Yeomanry, concentrated in the PFALZDORF area, left 30 Corps, and came under command of 8 Corps.

 

28th March 1945

The Regiment moved out of PFALZDORF at first light, crossed the RHINE at WESEL by the American pontoon bridge at 0815 hrs and concentrated in area 2341 2 miles to the NE of WESEL.  The Regiment at the time was under command of 6th Airborne Division with the task of protecting the Division's left hand and northern flank and pushing out north in preparation for the advance of the 11 Armd Div next day.  RHQ, A, C & D Sqns concentrated in area ERHLE.

 

29th March 1945

C Sqn started on their reconnaissance to the north flank of the Division but made little progress in the morning.  At 1300 hrs the Regiment less B Sqn reverted to command of 11 Armd Div.  Our orders were to establish and maintain contact with the enemy, provide information about routes in the Div area and keep liaison with 6 Airborne Div (see Appx B).  B Sqn were to come under command of the 6 Airborne Recce Regt and reconnoitre Divisional front (see Appx C).  C Sqn employed 3 troops up on the Div front and after midday made good progress in spite of bad weather and bad roads.  The chief opposition came on the Div axis STEEPLE.  In HEIDEN the road was blocked and had to be bypassed.  In VELEN contact was made with the enemy who were dealt with and the advance continued to GESHEN A 4973.  Little opposition was met on CHASE route though further to the west in the area BORKEN A 3961 and RAMSDORF A 4366 the enemy was fairly active.  On this route contact was made with 7 Armd Div and maintained.  C Sqn kept 4 troops out in observation south of GESCHEN for the night and had nothing to report.  RHQ, A, C & D Sqns spent the night at VELEN A.4866.  Meanwhile B Sqn were reconnoitring their Divisional axis and had little opposition to deal with apart from nature until COESFELD A.6072 was approached.  There, dug-in enemy held up their advance and so the Sqn was withdrawn for the night behind the Airlanding Bde.  Altogether close on 500 prisoners were sent back by us to the cages.

 

30th March 1945

C Sqn recalled at first light.  COESFELD cleared by Airborne infantry.  A Sqn took over from C Sqn and their task was to recce the area NE of GESCHEN and protect the left flank of the Division.  The area of GESCHEN was heavily mined and troops were held up for some time and an increased amount of opposition was encountered both from small arms and bazookas.  Traffic jams were becoming prevalent also at this stage.  In view of the hold-up D Sqn were ordered at 1300 hrs to send out patrols to OSTERWICK 6380, DARFELD 6881 and EGLERODE 6685 to protect the right flank.  Opposition was generally slight though here again bad roads held up the advance.  OSTERWICK was cleared and contact made with 6 Airborne Div 2 miles to the East.  A Sqn, relieved of this right flank commitment, concentrated on the left of the Div axis and moved North from ASBECK 5984 to reach AHAUS 4986.  HEEK 5791 and METELEN 6494.  They were held up by enemy infantry and our tanks attacking LEGDEN and troops were left out all night at FRETTHOLT 5985 and SCHOPPINGEN 6588.  D Sqn maintained a patrol all night at 820803, an important X-roads.  B Sqn, once COESFELD was cleared, and after a bit of RUBBLE TROUBLE was met in the town, found a way through.  The troops fanned out towards BILLERBECK 6975 and met desultory opposition from infy and bazookas though one troop had a nasty moment with a couple of 88 mms.  BILLERBECK was cleared and an advance made to 3 miles west of GREVEN 9188.  RHQ stayed the night at HOLTWICK 5798.

 

31st March 1945

The A Sqn patrol at FRETTHOLT was shot at by 23 HUSSARS (no casualties) and a little confusion was caused but soon cleared up.  C Sqn took over A Sqn's north flank commitments.  D Sqn continued on the right flank and patrols were sent to BORGHORST 7692 and ALTENBURG 8183 which were soon reached and the advance continued to NORWALDE 8288 and further east to a disused canal.  The patrol from BORGHORST encountered infy pockets.  Meanwhile C Sqn were moving North to METELEN and the X-rds at 682583.  Heavy opposition was met north of BURGSTEIN FURT 7294 and tanks came up to clear the enemy.  D Sqn were therefore ordered north through EMSDETTEN 8597 to the left flank of the Division.  Patrols were sent to HEMBERGEN 9055, RHEINE 7908 and NEUKIRCHEN 7504.  HEMBERGEN was soon reported clear.  At RHEINE heavy opposition was met and the patrol drew back to a position of observation.  At NEUKIRCHEN slight opposition was met but when our patrol took offensive action the town surrendered.  C Sqn meanwhile sent a flying patrol along the road BURGSTEINFURT, BORHORST and ALTENBURG and reported it clear.  At 1816 hrs a D Sqn patrol crossed the R.EMS by a newly-built bridge to recce the bridge at SAERBECK 9397.  The patrol encountered opposition from infy but pushed on to SAERBECK where it was held up by enemy with bazookas.  Later on, another unsuccessful attempt was made and the patrol withdrew for the night.  B Sqn set off to pass through GREVEN at first light but found the bridge blown.  Patrols were sent out to find another crossing with no result.  A small bridge was repaired and at midday a crossing was made by 2 Scout Cars only.  These advanced until attacked by an SP gun on the centre line.  The gun was located and an infy patrol dealt with it.  The patrol carried on then to the DORTMUND-EMS canal where it again came under fire.  No further advance was made.

 

KILLED IN ACTION

30 [March] 327546 Lieut. K. HILL, 30 [March] 7930236 Cpl. TREVETT, E.

 

KILLED - BATTLE ACCIDENTS

9 [March] 7936137 Cpl. McKENZIE, J.

 

WOUNDED IN ACTION

31 [March] 314413 Lieut. WELCH, P.M., 330634 Lieut. BARAGWANATH, D., 30 [March] 4863479 Sgt. WALKER, W., 30 [March] 552706 Sgt. DAVY, E., 30 [March] 7955620 Tpr. COOKE, R., 31 [March] 14437302 Tpr. ALMOND J.

 

WOUNDED - BATTLE ACCIDENTS

9 [March] 14670569 Tpr. THOMAS, IG., 14565211 Tpr. JENKIN, W., 6 [March] 6352330 Tpr. YOUNG, G., 3911992 Tpr. PARRY, B., 6352369 Tpr. PARRY, B., 14413678 Tpr. DUERDEN, K.

 

OFFICERS JOINED

17 [March] 314414 Lieut. H.A. PEARSE from 257 Corps Dely Sqn, 17 [March] 245384 Lieut. F.B. PARSONS from 257 Corps Dely Sqn.

 

 

Month and year : April 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. JCAD  Lawson DSO, MC

 

1st April 1945

Place: Field

 

This was a quiet day.  A Sqn took over D Sqn positions at NEUENKIRCHEN 7504 and also sent patrols to FENRODDE 8808 which contacted scattered enemy resistance on the way and remained in observation for the rest of the day.  C Sqn took over positions on the RHEINE road protecting the left flank of the Division until the 7 Armd Div came up to RHEINE when they and the patrol in NEUENKIRCHEN were withdrawn.  The patrols at FENRODDE were attacked by enemy aircraft and claim one ME 109 destroyed.  These patrols were pulled in at 1745 hrs.  B Sqn, still with 6 Airborne Div, crossed the R.EMS at first light and moved forward to the DORTMUND-EMS canal where they went into reserve.  D Sqn were in reserve at EMSDETTEN.

 

2nd April 1945

B Sqn rejoined the Regt at first light.  The Regt was in reserve although C Sqn were kept at 1 hrs notice to move.  At 2000 hrs C & D Sqns were sent across the R.EMS to support the 23 HUSSARS and 3 RTR pulling out to protect their flanks as the advance progressed.  RHQ also crossed the EMS.  All crossed the DORTMUND-EMS canal, the weather was vile and progress slow.

 

3rd April 1945

C & D Sqns moved at first light, C Sqn on left flank and D Sqn on the right.  C Sqn got patrols to WESTERKAPPELN 0913, WERSEN 1312 and cross-roads 089091.  They encountered bazooka parties and infantry on the way, dealt with them and found their objectives clear.  One patrol was sent to the bridge at HALEN 1415 to report on its condition.  They found 3 prepared for demolition and all were captured intact and held until a task force arrived to take over at night.  This was the main bridge required for the advance of 7 Armd Div.  In fact, our role at this stage was virtually flank protection for 11 Armd Div and reconnaissance for the 7 Armd Div.  All patrols remained in position for the night.  D Sqn had a comparatively quiet day and got patrols to HASBERGEN 1404, which was clear, and east of LOTTE 1208.  Contact was made with 6 Airborne Div.  B Sqn were in reserve as also were A Sqn though patrols were sent to LEDDE 0505 and TECKLENBERG.

 

4th April 1945

C Sqn were kept out in their position.  D Sqn crossed the ZWEIGAN-OSNABRÜCK canal to carry on right flank protection and sent patrols to BELM 2711, SCHLEDEHSN 3409 and WEHREN 3915 where contact was again made with 6 Airborne Div.  B Sqn were called up to cross the canal and do left flank protection.  This was done by moving to the EMS-WESER canal where 4 bridges were found intact and held for the 7 Armd Div.  From 1730 hrs onwards C Sqn were relieved by the 11 HUSSARS after an uneventful day.  A & D Sqns and RHQ crossed the EMS-WESER canal.  A Sqn, now protecting the forward left flank, sent patrols to the north of BOHMTE, 3919, but made little progress and were kept out all night.  D Sqn leapfrogged forward again and also put out a patrol on the left flank to the east of A Sqn.  At this stage all sqns were deployed on the left flank covering a front of some 40 kms.  B & D Sqn patrols also stayed out all night.  RHQ was at BOHMTE with F2.

 

5th April 1945

B Sqn were relieved by 7 Armd Div at first light and followed up the advance.  The A Sqn patrols pushed out farther north against infy and bazooka opposition.  C Sqn were pushed through to recce the bridges over the R.WESER.  D Sqn maintained their patrols at STEINBRINK 6732 and the road junc north of UCHTE 7934.  RHQ made a 60 mile hop from BOMHTE to LOHE 7732.  C Sqn patrols forged ahead to recce the crossings at LANDESBERGEN 9340 LEESERINGEN 9546 and NIENBURG 9950.  The first was found to be nonexistent and the patrol went on to the next north - bypassing a battle in LIEBENAU 9246.  The bridge appeared to be intact but was not able to be approached due to the tracks petering out, so it was kept under observation.  The patrol amused itself by blowing up ammunition trucks.  By this time the role had changed as the bridges were not important and patrols were kept in observation in STEVEBERG 8741 and LIEBENAU.  Resistance in LIEBENAU was very stubborn and the patrol withdrew to a posn to the south of the town.  C Sqn HQ was attacked by aircraft but suffered no casualties.  A Sqn were pulled in at 1300 hrs and advanced up the centre line to NENDORF 8534 where they stayed the night.  B Sqn harboured at UCHTE, C Sqn at MENSINGHSN 8138.  D Sqn patrols were called in except one kept out at STEINBRINK.  RHQ and F2 remained at LOHE.

 

6th April 1945

C Sqn relieved their patrols at STEYERBERG and LIEBENAU.  A Sqn were ordered to send two patrols on to the road between LEMKE 9552 and SULINGEN 7254.  The left hand patrol reached road junction 7541 where they contacted troops from 7 Armd Div.  They were therefore withdrawn.  The right hand patrol struck bad going and had to be left.  Another patrol was sent out further to the east and reached DEBLINGHAUSEN 8444 where it remained.  D Sqn patrols were withdrawn at midday and the whole sqn moved to LOHE.  B Sqn also moved to STOLZENAU 9035 so as to be ready to cross the WESER as soon as the bridge at STOLZENAU was completed.  In the early evening A Sqn sent patrols to SCHINNA 9138 and to STEYERBERG.  The latter patrol was attacked by enemy aircraft on his route.  The two scout cars were damaged but no serious casualties were suffered.  C Sqn patrols were recalled at last light but A Sqn stayed out all night.  In view of the successful air attacks made on the STOLZENAU area the bridging operations were held up and B Sqn made no further move.

 

7th April 1945

B, C & D Sqns in reserve.  A Sqn patrols sent out at first light to contact enemy at a road block south of LIEBENAU.  A patrol was also sent out to search a wood at 8941 with no result.  In STEYERBERG station two trainloads of V1 & V2 were found.  These contained complete specimens of both weapons and their launching apparatus.  Later in the morning 75 A/Tank Regt came up to deal with the road block and our patrol was then able to advance to recce a bridge at 9546.  It was not possible to reach the river and as it seemed certain that there was in fact no bridge but a ferry the patrol was withdrawn.  In view of the enemy opposition to our bridgehead and bridging operations in the area of STOLZENAU the project was cancelled and B Sqn were sent across the WESER in the evening by way of the 6 Airborne Div Bridge at PETERSHAGEN 8420.  A Sqn of the S.A.S. came under command of B Sqn on the "Old Boy" system and both sqns harboured together at SEELENFELD 9027.

 

8th April 1945

A Sqn relieved by D Sqn at first light.  One troop was kept in SCHINNA to protect a gunner OP and one was assisting 75 A/Tk Regt to clear the area LIEBENAU - LEMKE.  Sqn HQ remained at STEYERBERG.  Soon after first light RHQ crossed the WESER at PETERSHAGEN and harboured at LOCCUM 9629 just as B Sqn were advancing through the town.  Their role was two fold.  This was to keep contact with the 1st Commando Bde advancing north from LEESE 9335 and protect the left flank of the division.  The patrol with the Commando reached LANDSBERGEN 9441 which was strongly held by enemy and was kept under observation by our patrol.  Two fully loaded trains of V2s were captured here.  A patrol was sent along the left hand divisional route from REHBURG 0132 and met opposition in the woods north of the town and tanks and artillery were called upon to assist them.  In view of this hold up another patrol was sent east and then north to the left flank.  This again met heavy opposition in the NIENBURG FOREST 0742 and had to withdraw after a stiff battle with the enemy.  Meanwhile D Sqn were ordered north to MAINSCHE 8848 and to maintain patrols at 882527.  LEMKE was then reported clear and the sqn switched across and its patrols sent N and NW from the town.  A Sqn relieved them of their duties in SCHINNA.  In the evening C Sqn crossed the WESER and moved to REHBURG.  The D Sqn patrol moving north from LEMKE made contact with 53 Div Recce Regt at BUCHHORST 9756.  The position at night was that A Sqn were concentrated at SCHINNA, B Sqn plus the SAS were in the area of SCHNEEREN 0838 with a strong patrol out at HAGEN 1443.  C Sqn were at REHBURG.  D Sqn withdrew their two northern patrols to LEMKE for the night and kept one out at LIEBENAU.  RHQ was still at LOCCUM.

 

9th April 1945

A & D Sqns still operating west of the WESER.  Contact was made with 53 Div Recce Regt at WIETZEN 9058.  Both sqns were withdrawn in the afternoon, crossed the WESER and concentrated at DUDENSEN 1546.  B & C Sqns continued to protect the left flank to the east of the WESER.  B Sqn advanced north from HAGEN through STEIMBKE 1252 where they were held up for six hours by enemy infantry.  Patrols were then pushed out to LICHTENHORST 1359 and GILTEN 2458.  C Sqn patrols moved north from HUSUM 0242 to NIENBURG 0050 which surrendered to our tanks and west from HUSUM to BROKELOH 0040 which was clear.  Another patrol was operating with 1st Commando Bde which took LEESE in the early morning.  Mines prevented this patrol from advancing north so it was withdrawn to HUSUM.  The patrols which entered NIENBURG advanced rapidly, one to STEIMBKE which it reached without opposition, another north to ROHRSEN 0158.  This latter was withdrawn to NIENBURG where it was relieved by our tanks.  All troops were withdrawn for the night except one from C Sqn which guarded a V2 site NE of LEESE.  RHQ moved to WNDEN 1249.  On the news at 2100 hrs the BBC reported A Sqn's capture of the V1s at STEYERBERG.

 

10th April 1945

B Sqn were in reserve as also were D Sqn.  A Sqn took over the patrols in the GILTEN and LICHTENHORST areas.  Both places were clear and the GILTEN patrol was able to advance to AHLDEN 2364 where the bridge over the ALLER were blown up in his face.  The other patrol contacted large numbers of the enemy in the woods north of LICHTENHORST and had to withdraw slightly.  C Sqn meanwhile contacted 53 Div in ROHRSEN and also sent a patrol NE from NIENBURG but did not get far owing to enemy opposition.  Both patrols were withdrawn in the afternoon and the sqn concentrated at LADERHOLZ 1849.  At the same time D Sqn were sent across the R.LEINE to ELZE 3645 to recce the tracks N & E through the FUHRBURG FOREST.  Good progress was made.  Tracks were reported passable though our patrols were all finally halted by road blocks or enemy infantry from the NEBELWERFER SCHOOL in CELLE.  All A & D Sqn patrols were called in for the night.  A report was received during the afternoon that there was a camp of 2000 British POW in the bog area north of STEIMBKE.  An SAS force was sent out and returned having found nothing.

 

11th April 1945

B & C Sqns were in reserve.  A Sqn had standing patrols at NEUDORF 1857 and at railway crossing 2459.  D Sqn continued to patrol the FOREST area and confirmed yesterdays reports.  They found WIEKENBERG 4250 held.  A Sqn in the afternoon sent their patrol at 2459 up to GRETHEM 2460 in order to find a position from which they could observe enemy movement in EIKELOH 2660.  All patrols were called in at night.

 

12th April 1945

A Sqn sent out their patrol again to GRETHEM and one further north to BÜCHTEN 2361.  The Pembrokeshire Yeomanry provided medium artillery support and engaged targets found in the EIKELOH area.  B Sqn crossed the LEINE and moved to HOPE 3048 waiting to cross the ALLER once the bridge at ESSEL 3057 was completed.  C Sqn were still in reserve.  D Sqn again patrolled the forest area and also the main road from BUCHOLZ 3154 to WEITZE 4153.  WEIKENBERG was still held.  The main patrol moved east from BUCHOLZ and reached JEVERSEN 3753 just east of which the road was mined.  At this stage orders were received not to go within 4000 yds of WINSEN 4755.  German officers came through the lines here in order to negotiate the surrender of the area of BELSEN concentration camp which was a typhus-infected area.  These and BGS 8 Corps returned to the German lines.  WEIKENBERG was cleared by 8 Parachute Bn and a patrol was ordered to stay at JEVERSEN to await the return of BGS 8 Corps.  A Sqn patrols were withdrawn at night.

 

13th April 1945

Just after midnight the BGS 8 Corps returned and was escorted back by a D Sqn patrol which then rejoined the Sqn.  At first light A Sqn patrols took up their again at GRETHEM and BUCHTEN.  C Sqn crossed the R.LEINE and moved to SCHWARMSTEDT 2755 ready to cross the ALLER as also were B Sqn.  At 0900 hrs D Sqn were ordered to send a patrol from JEVERSEN to STEINFORDE 4352 to report on the bridge across the R.WIETZE in that area.  At midday the patrol reported that they were all blown except a Class 40 bridge at 410538.  This patrol was then ordered to recce the road to WINSEN 4756.  Another patrol was sent east to CELLE 5950 to recce the road NW from there to WOLTHAUSEN 5257.  The bridge south of WINSEN was found to be blown so the patrol stayed in observation of the town.  The patrols sent NW from CELLE came to a full stop on the line of the R.ORTZE as all the bridges across it had been destroyed.  In view of the opposition to our armour in the area of the ALLER bridgehead neither C nor B Sqns were called upon and C Sqn moved to ESPERKE 2650 for the night.  RHQ was at SCHWARMSTEDT all day.  The A Sqn OPs were withdrawn at night as were the D Sqn patrols.

 

14th April 1945

A Sqn patrols again back in their positions at first light as also were the D Sqn patrol on observation of WINSEN.  B Sqn crossed the ALLER this morning with orders to give left flank protection and recce roads north of WINSEN.  In view of the opposition to our tanks and infantry all they were able to do was follow up the very slow advance.  Two patrols kept up with the forward elements.  RHQ crossed at midday and harboured at ENGEHAUSEN 3357.  At 1930 hrs the D Sqn patrol reported the enemy withdrawing from WINSEN which was taken by our infantry and tanks about two hrs later.  All patrols were called in at last light.  C Sqn were in reserve all day.  The echelon moved up to ESPERKE.

 

15th April 1945

At first light D Sqn sent their patrol to the river south of WINSEN and it reported the town to be occupied by our own troops.  C Sqn crossed the ALLER and concentrated in the area of WINSEN.  The orders for the Regiment at this stage of the advance were again left flank protection of the division and also the protection with one Sqn - A Sqn - of the RE party demolishing the bridge at 300573.  This latter task was cancelled later and A Sqn instead sent their OP to GRETHEM.  An LO was also kept with 53 Div on our left.  Flank protection was carried out by B Sqn who advanced through WINSEN at first light.  A patrol was sent to recce the road from WINSEN to MEISSENDORF 4361 and contacted infantry and bazookas at 4559 in the woods.  This was engaged by artillery.  The enemy retaliated with a salvo of 'Moaning Minnies' on the troop's OP but no casualties were suffered.  Once the enemy resistance in the wooded country north of WINSEN was broken a rapid advance was made through the BELSEN area in which there was no fighting on account of the presence of typhus in the concentration camps.  BERGEN 5070 was quickly taken and patrols were sent out North, N.West and West from the town.  While most of B Sqn went due north from WINSEN to BERGEN one patrol was sent east and north through WOLTHAUSEN 5157.  This patrol made contact with an SP 88mm about two miles south of OFFEN 5166.  The Daimler was hit on the top of the turret and the car commander was killed.  Two shots bounced underneath the other Daimler and one scout car had a direct hit on the driver's visor - fortunately the shell had already been through a road block and did not penetrate the visor.  The gun later withdrew.  The patrols from BERGEN made steady progress.  The patrol west reached MANHORN 4270 where it contacted enemy infantry, the patrol north was halted by a road block and ditch a mile south of MARBOSTEL 5179.  The patrol NW advanced about two miles before being halted by enemy infantry with which our tanks dealt.  During the afternoon C Sqn relieved the B Sqn patrol SE of MEISSENDORF and searched the woods in the area with no result.  A & D Sqns both crossed the ALLER.  A Sqn harboured in BERGEN as also did RHQ and B Sqn.  D Sqn stayed in WINSEN.  All patrols except the one of C Sqn were recalled at night.

 

16th April 1945

At first light D Sqn relieved the C Sqn patrol at MEISSENDORF.  At this stage 15 (S) Div on our right flank had dropped back slightly so the Regiment had to protect both left and right flanks.  This was done by C & B Sqns on the left and by A Sqn on the right.  B Sqn again sent out patrols west and NW from BERGEN with the secondary task of contacting the 11 Hussars.  Four patrols were sent out.  One went to MANHORN and again made contact just east of the village.  One went on the main road to FALLINGBOSTEL 3276 but was halted by enemy infantry at 4473 north of MANHIRN.  Two patrols went NW from BERGEN and reached 451815 and 466815 before also being held up by enemy infantry.  All these positions were maintained all day.  C Sqn were sent north to WEITZENDORF 5082 to recce roads N, NE and NW out of the town.  At 514819 just SE of WEITZENDORF the leading troop contacted enemy infantry and a 75mm.  These were disposed of only for the patrol to find the road rendered impassable by a 40 ft crater.  A Sqn meanwhile sent a patrol from HERMANNSBURG 5873 to recce the road to UNTERLUSS 7273.  Here contact was made with 15 (S) Div.  Another patrol was sent to recce the road from WEESEN 6173 - EIMKE 7388 followed by 15/19 Hussars.  Once WEESEN was cleared rapid progress was made to GERDEHAUS 6579 where a battle started between tanks and enemy flak guns defending an aerodrome in the area of SCHMARBECK 6681.  As the patrol at UNTERLUSS was unable to rejoin the Div C.L. at MUDEN 6078 it was redirected and ordered to find a way cross-country to WICHTENBECK 7386.  This proved rather difficult owing to the inaccuracies of the map but eventually the village was reached and found to be clear.  The patrol pushed on until halted by enemy infantry dug in the woods south of EIMKE.  Eventually the whole squadron concentrated at WICHTENBECK.  B Sqn was still pinned down and C Sqn had withdrawn to WIDDERMHAUSEN 5175 where "much kit" was uncovered.  As the Div C.L. had been changed C Sqn were recalled from the flank and sent to the gas area east of MUNSTER 5790 which they were ordered to patrol mainly to prevent any fires reaching the gas cylinders.  There were a large number of fires to cope with but none got out of hand.  No further advances were made today and at last light B Sqn withdrew to BERGEN which they were ordered to defend against attack from the North and the West.  C Sqn, joined by RHQ at ORREL 6487, patrolling the gas area all night.  A Sqn stayed out at WICHTENBECK with the 15/19 Hussars and 1st Cheshires.

 

17th April 1945

At first light D Sqn moved to ARENDORF 7396 and A Sqn passed on to EIMKE which was clear and then on to HANSTEDT 7797.  B Sqn sent patrols a short way out from BERGEN.  C Sqn still remained guarding the gas area but found time to send a patrol to accept the surrender of MUNSTER where there were 4000 German troops in hospital.  A & D Sqns carried on with left flank protection.  Very little opposition was met apart from infantry and bazookas.  D Sqn got patrols to BORKUM 6502, REHLINGEN 6604, AMELINGHAUSEN 6606 and DROGEN-NINDORF 7109, all of which were clear or cleared.  An A Sqn patrol reached EMBSEN 7412 and went on to the main road at 7414, another reached a point a mile south of MELBECK 7812 where the enemy halted our advance.  C Sqn were relieved by 75 A/Tk Regt and moved to ARENDORF 7396 for the night with RHQ.  A Sqn concentrated at VELGEN 7802, B Sqn at WRIEDEL 7296 and D Sqn at HOLTHUSUN 7198.

 

18th April 1945

The Regiment started at first light operating with B Sqn.  D Sqn on the left flank, A Sqn in the centre and C Sqn on the right flank.  D Sqn took up their old positions in DROGEN-NINDORF and AMELINGHAUSEN.  A Sqn returned to their previous days positions.  C Sqn were sent out to the areas of BIENENBUTTEL 8408 and BEVENSEN 9002 from which latter point they had to send out patrols NE, East and SE.  These patrols reached (i) ALTENMEDINGEN 9207 which was clear (ii) ROMSTEDT 9503 where the leading S/Car was bazookad and the driver killed.  The armoured cars set the town alight and then remained in observation.  (iii) ROBBEL 9500 where 15 (S) Div Recce and SAS were contacted.  The patrol at BIENENBUTTEL found the village clear and moved east to HOHNSTORF 8709 where it remained in observation.  D Sqn patrols moved NW from their positions and made good progress though a little opposition was met on ORZEN 7313.  SUDERGELLERSEN 7115 and KIRCHGELLERSEN 7118 were cleared and a patrol sent to WESTERGELLERSEN 6718.  B Sqn took over the AMELINGHAUSEN position from D Sqn and sent a patrol to SALZHAUSEN which was halted by enemy in area 6512 and withdrew to WETZEN 6711.  By this time - about midday - A Sqn were directed on LUNEBURG 7820.  The main road bridges were all destroyed but one troop found a small footbridge S of ODOME 7618 over which only scout cars could pass.  Very quickly 8 scout cars were pushed across and raced into LUNEBURG, which they were the first to enter.  The patrols found large numbers of enemy infantry preparing to defend the town but their Vickers K Guns caused them to change their minds very quickly.  The cars reached the market place where a light Sqn HQ joined them so that in all there were 11 scout cars and two half-tracks holding the town.  A patrol was sent to the bridge over the R.ILMENAU in the town and shot up enemy troops preparing their defence.  After some time the sqn was joined by 15/19 Hussars and 1st Cheshires who had come in from the west.  The deputy Gauleiter of HANNOVER was among those present when the sqn arrived and was quickly put in the bag.  D Sqn patrols were then pushing on northwards to VEIRHOFEN 6621 and westerwards to LUHMÜHLEN 6416 where the bridge was blown.  In the VIERHOFEN area enemy infantry were contacted and dealt with.  Once LUNEBURG was cleared A Sqn were ordered to patrol HORNDORF 9017 and 2 patrols were kept in LUNEBURG to assist 15/19 Hussars in controlling the town.  The Sqn advanced to BARENDORF 8618 where they contacted 23 Hussars and 8 R.B. and stayed the night, being joined later by the patrols from LUNEBURG.  B Sqn harboured at BETZENDORF 7207, C Sqn, less 2 troops at BIENENBUTTEL, concentrated at BEVENSEN.  D Sqn withdrew all patrols to SHQ at WESTERGELLERSEN.  RHQ and F2 harboured at RETTMER 7616.

 

19th April 1945

The Regiment's role at this stage was protection of both flanks of the division while 7 Armd Div on our left and 15 (S) Div on our right drew level.  As these flanking formations drew level so our patrols were withdrawn.  D & B Sqns were responsible for the left flank and A & C Sqns held the right flank.  At first light D Sqn sent patrols out NW and W from WESTERGELLERSEN to recce bridges in the areas of BAHLBURG 6326, GARSTEDT 6223, SALZHAUSEN 6217 and PUTENSEN 6414.  All were found intact except the main bridge at 6416.  B Sqn also sent out patrols to AMELINGHAUSEN, WETZEN and OLDENDORF 6609.  OLDERDORF was held by the enemy but a Polish PWX was sent with an ultimatum calling upon the Germans to surrender or be shelled.  Similar warning was given to AMELINGHAUSEN with the additional threat of flame throwers.  In both cases the enemy considered discretion the better part of valour and gave themselves up.  On the right flank A Sqn sent patrols to HORNDORF, ALJARN 9212 and EGGELSTORF 9309 where contact was made with 6 Guards Armd Bde and 15 (S) Div.  C Sqn patrols pushed out to HOHNSTORF and ALMSTORF 9803.  At the latter point contact was made with 5 Brit Div.  In the afternoon the A Sqn patrol at HORNDORF advanced with BAVENDORF 9415 where contact was again made with 15 (S) Div.  D Sqn sent out patrols to clear up the area of SALZHAUSEN, TOPPENSTEDT 5821, GARSTEDT and GARLSTORF 5818.  The area was reported clear, except for large numbers of enemy mad keen to surrender.  The 11 Hussars were contacted in PATTENSEN and GARSTEDT.  In the evening B Sqn were ordered to patrol the area south of SALZHAUSEN.  Troops reached ROLFSEN 6210 and EYENDORF 6114 taking a few prisoners.  All patrols of all squadrons were recalled at night to the following locations.  A Sqn BAHRENDORF B Sqn MARXEM-AM-BERGE 6810 C Sqn SEEDORF 8601 D Sqn VIERHOFEN RHQ at RETTMER.

 

20th April 1945

The task of the Regiment was as given in Appx 'B' (a) was carried out by A Sqn (b) by D Sqn and (c) by B Sqn.  At first light A Sqn sent out their patrols to yesterdays positions, D Sqn moved to the SALZHAUSEN - GARLSTORF area.  B Sqn moved to the area of ROLFSEN.  From ROLFSEN patrols were sent to EGESTORF 5513 and BISPINGEN 5101, which were both clear, and contacted the 11 Hussars in both places.  From BISPINGEN the southern patrol moved NE to SCHWINDERBECK 5905 when was captured a Naval Mines factory and its staff.  Troops were then placed facing south as it was reported that a large number of German troops were hiding in the MUNSTER FOREST.  C Sqn moved to BETZENDORF.  All patrols were withdrawn at last light.  RHQ was by this time at SALZHAUSEN.

 

21st April 1945

At first light A Sqn again took up their previous positions.  B Sqn carried out their security patrolling of the BISPERGEN - ROLFSEN area.  C Sqn and D Sqn were in reserve.  At 1130 hrs A Sqn patrols were recalled and the whole Sqn moved to SALZHAUSEN.  At 1800 hrs C Sqn were ordered to move to LUNEBERG.  Their role was to prevent riots and looting and to enforce the 48 hrs curfew commencing at 2200 hrs.  All patrols were recalled at night.

 

22nd April 1945

The Regiment's orders were now to patrol those parts of the Div area not permanently occupied by troops in order that the inhabitants might be reminded of the continual presence of Allied troops in their country.  This was done by dividing the area into four sqn areas as follows:  A Sqn: GARLSTORF - NINDORF - HANSTEDT - EGESTORF.  B Sqn: ROLFSEN - STEINBECK - BISPINGEN - EVENDORF.  C Sqn: LUNEBURG.  D Sqn: TUPPENSTEDT - GARSTEDT - PATTENSEN - VIERHOFEN - SALZHAUSEN.  Patrols were very active especially at first and last light.  Many prisoners were taken.  D Sqn moved to SALZHAUSEN this afternoon.  C Sqn sent four patrols round LUNEBURG.

 

23rd to 28th April 1945

The Regiment continued its security patrols.  Large numbers of enemy in civilian clothes were picked up and sent to PW Cages.  The high lights of this rather monotonous period were (a) The formation of a cavalry patrol by B Sqn which made an early morning raid on EVENDORF but had nothing but stiffened joints to show their less enlightened colleagues.  (b) The capture of SS Sturmbauerführer ALFRED OTTO, a Nazi Oil Company Director, by RHQ and his subsequent shooting by D Sqn when he attempted to escape from their sqn at night.  (c) The capture of the former German Ambassador to Hungary by A Sqn.  One thing is fairly certain.  The Germans in the SALZHAUSEN area were only too painfully aware of their country being occupied.

 

29th April 1945

Orders had been received for the crossing of the ELBE to be made by 15 (S) Div in area of ARTLENBURG 8334 and LAUENBURG 8834.  This was due to start at 1100 hrs but 11 Armd Div were not being used until 30 April.  The Division's objectives were REINFELD 8185 and OLDESLOE 7482 and the task of the Regiment was again left flank protection and right flank also should 5 Brit Div not keep up with our advance.  (See Appx D).  No move was made by the Regiment today.  In the evening definite orders were given for the Regiment to carry out right flank protection as well as left.  See Appx E.  The left flank was to be made the responsibility of D Sqn and the right of C Sqn.

 

30th April 1945

The Regiment was standing by all morning until H Hour was notified as being 1800 hrs.  C Sqn finally moved out of LUNEBURG at 1930 hrs and crossed the R.ELBE at ARTLENBURG later in the night after numerous hold-ups.  RHQ moved at 2140 hrs, as also did D Sqn from SALZHAUSEN and made their way towards LUNEBURG.  In view of the traffic blocks RHQ pulled off the road at REPPENSTEDT 7420 and spent the rest of the night there.  A & B Sqns stayed in SALZHAUSEN and ROLFSEN respectively.

 

CASUALTIES

 

KILLED IN ACTION: 327544 Lieut. H. SKELTON-SMITH 4 Apl, 320582 Tpr. GRAZIER, RH 3 Apl, 7934591 Cpl. COX, H 15 Apl, 7942996 Tpr. DAVIES, AL 18 Apl.

 

WOUNDED IN ACTION: 245384 Lieut. F.B. PARSONS 13 Apl, 7928268 Tpr. PAYNE, M 5 Apl, 7903568 Sgt. OGILVIE, CR 12 Apl, 3781852 L/C. LINAKER, J 12 Apl, 6026589 Tpr. BOWEN, 12 Apl, 7930064 Tpr. HARRINGTON, 15 Apl, 7960195 L/C. COX, F. 15 Apl.

 

MISSING: NIL

 

REINFORCEMENTS

 

315924 Lieut. WILLIAMS, RJ.  216912 Lieut. MUNRO, AHH.  337822 2/Lt. HUNT, SC.  339440 2/Lt. BRIGGS, CTE.

 

 

Month and year : May 1945

Commanding Officer : Lt.Col. JCAD  Lawson DSO, MC

 

1st May 1945

Place: Field

 

C Sqn crossed ELBE at 0133 hrs and D Sqn at 0200 hrs. and both harboured 2 Km. North of the river, till 0900 hrs. when D Sqn advanced on left, and C Sqn on right.  The former W and NW of SCHWARZENBEK, 8248, and the latter to the N & E.  Contact was made on the left flank at BRUNSTORF 7847, which was then kept under observation, crossroads 789522 and at 785540. where one Scout Car was knocked out by bazooka and its crew killed.  The last patrol had to call upon tanks and a scout patrol to assist it to extricate its remaining cars.  C Sqn patrols were held up at SAHMS 8551, by blown bridges and enemy infantry.  These were dealt with by our tanks.  Patrols then pushed to KANKELAU 8854 and PAMPAU 8751 where contact was again made and no further advance was made in this direction.  A & B Sqns crossed the ELBE during the afternoon and concentrated at GROVE 8351.  D Sqn meanwhile reconnoitred routes W. & NW of BASTHORST 8157.  The track west was impassable but better progress was made to the NW and the bridge at HAMFELD was reported undamaged.  The patrol was withdrawn.  At last light A Sqn took over the D Sqn positions at 8050, 8152 and 8054, and D Sqn concentrated at HAVEKOST 8253, with RHQ.  The patrol 8050 was relieved at 2130 by 15 (S) Div.  The others were kept out all night.  C Sqn withdrew their patrols to SCHWARZEBEK except for 2 who were kept out all night E of KANKELAU.

 

2nd May 1945

C Sqn patrol entered KANKELAU at 0600 hrs and remained there for the rest of the morning.  A Sqn maintained their two outposts and the remainder moved at 0800 hrs to MUHLENRADE 8259.  B Sqn pushed out further N and NE of C Sqn and apart from demolitions met very little opposition, but maintained contact with 5 Brit Div Recce Regt. on our right flank.  D Sqn continued to give forward left flank protection and dropped off patrols to the west as the advance continued.  At all points large numbers of Germans were giving themselves up, and German resistance in fact seemed finally to have been broken.  As progress was made very rapidly by the Division A Sqn relieved D Sqn patrols on the left flank, thereby enabling them to be made use of further forward.  Night found the Division firmly established in LUBECK and BAD OLDESLOE and on the autobahn between HAMBURG and LUBECK.  D Sqn harboured in BAD OLDESLOE itself.  C Sqn in area REINFELD 8185, B Sqn at SIEBENBAUMEN 8476, RHQ at BARNITZ 8282, A Sqn at LUTJENSEE 7565.  Patrols were maintained at GROSSENSEE 7261, where an isolated party of SS had been concentrated earlier on, and at SPRENGE 7569.

 

3rd May 1945

A Sqn maintained their all night patrols, B Sqn were kept in reserve at SIEBENBAUMEN, C Sqn were ordered to send out patrols NE from REINFELD and D Sqn were ordered to recce the road to BAD SEGEBURG 6996.  It was altogether an ineffective day.  No opposition was encountered and prisoners gave themselves up by the hundred.  BAD SEGEBURG was soon cleared and D Sqn advanced to SCHACICENDORF 6699, and patrols went N and W to accept the surrender of all villages within 5 miles.  C Sqn were, meanwhile, having the same experiences in their area.  A Sqn at 1330 hrs moved on North to FAHRENKRUG 6597.  B Sqn also moved to MOZEN 6693.  At 1500 hrs. D Sqn assisted the 3 R.T.R. to escort a German General to NEUMUNSTER and were then ordered to withdraw south so as not to interfere with the surrender negotiations.  It was in this atmosphere of expectation that the Regiment harboured for the night.  RHQ at SCHACICENDORF, A Sqn at FAHRENKRUG, B Sqn at MOZEN, C Sqn at GEESCHENDORF 7898, and D Sqn at RIRKLING, 5904.

 

4th May 1945

At first light A Sqn sent out a patrol towards NEUMUNSTER, and one to the forest of SEGEBURG.  All other Sqns were at rest.  At 0800 hrs a standstill order was received, and the A Sqn patrols were subsequently withdrawn.  Negotiations for surrender were proceeding and both sides agreed to leave a neutral zone between the two armies.  Our northern limit of advance was the line of the road BAD BRAMSTEDT 4194 - NEUSTADT 0117.  RHQ, A & D Sqn were allowed to remain in position so long as movement was kept to a minimum.  In the evening at a Squadron Leader's conference it was announced that the Regimental area of occupation was Kreis SUDTONDERN on the DANISH FRONTIER.  All sub-units were still in the same locations at night.

 

5th May 1945

At 0800 hrs. the German Army in NW Europe surrendered to 21 Army Group.  Orders were received for the advance of the 11 Armd Div to take over the area between DENMARK and the KIEL CANAL.  This was due to take place on the 6 May, (see Appendix A).  These were postponed and the standstill was still enforced and Sqns had to maintain traffic posts in their area to prevent movement North of the stop line (see Appendix B).

 

6th May 1945

The standstill was still in operation.  Traffic posts maintained as on previous day.  No move, nothing to report.

 

7th May 1945

At 0141 Germany surrendered unconditionally on all fronts.  At 0900 hrs. RHQ hoisted the Union Jack in a prominent position in SCHACKENDORF.  In the evening orders were received for the Regiment to move at 0415 hrs. next morning North to the KIEL CANAL in order to prevent large bodies of German soldiers who were in the area between the Kiel Canal and the Danish frontier from moving South across the canal in accordance with instructions which had been erroneously broadcast over the Hamburg radio.

 

8th May 1945

V-E Day.  The Regiment advanced at first light to the Kiel Canal to take control of all crossings from 495400 westwards to 025040, using all four Sqns.  B Sqn on the extreme right, D Sqn to their west, then A Sqn and finally C Sqn in the southwest.  When C Sqn arrived at their crossing they found units of the 7 Armd Div already in possession, so all patrols were withdrawn and the Sqn harboured at LUTJENWESTEDT 1418.  'A' Sqn picketed their crossings and had no major incidents.  'B' Sqn similarly had no trouble at their crossings.  'D' Sqn were unfortunate enough to have the RENDSBURG swing and railway bridges in their area.  There was an endless stream of traffic in both directions here and interpreters were kept working at top speed to work out the people entitled to cross from the hordes who were endeavouring to go south.  While at the bridge at RENDSBURG RHQ was visited by Major General Roberts. CB, DSO, MC.  'A' spent night at JEVEMSTEDT 2629, 'B' Sqn at BOVEWAU 3639, 'C' Sqn at LUTJEMWESTEDT, 'D' Sqn and RHQ at RENDSBURG.

 

9th May 1945

All Sqn's in yesterday's positions.  Nothing further to report.  Orders were received for the Regiment to advance to take over its occupational area, i.e. Kreis Sud Tondern.  Advance parties under Major Greig made a reconnaissance of the Squadron billeting areas and established contact with a friendly tribe to the north of the Regimental area.  Preparations for the move were completed during the evening.

 

10th May 1945

All Sqns were up at 0530 hrs. and the regimental column headed by RHQ moved over the Kiel Canal at 0700 hrs.  RHQ and the Sqns reached their respective billet areas by 1100 hrs.  RHQ, HQ Sqn and "D" Sqn established themselves at NIEBÜLL, 8400, the capital of Kreis Sud Tondern: "A" Sqn at LECK, 9397, "B" Sqn at SUDERLUGUM, 9108, and "C" Sqn at MEDELBY, 0799.  The rest of the day was spent in turning out German troops, women and civilians from billets intended for regimental use, and in getting settled down.

 

11th May 1945

The Regiment started to carry out its occupational role.  This was:- (a) To patrol Kreis Sud Tondern - less islands.  (b) To control the passage of German troops as they moved from Denmark to the surrender area (Area G).  (c) To ascertain location and numbers of German troops in the Kreis.  (d) To ascertain location and number of D.P. and PWX in the Kreis.  (e) To ascertain location and amount of enemy war material in the Kreis.  (f) To prevent unauthorised crossing of the frontier.  General instructions were given by patrols to Burgomeisters as to the behaviour required from, and the restrictions imposed upon civilians.  The Regimental area was divided into 4 Squadron areas, and Squadrons were responsible to RHQ for maintaining order in and searching their areas.

 

12th May 1945

"D" Sqn discovered packing cases full of blue prints of aircraft and jet engines destined for Japan, also 3 Luftwaffe officers, Col. H. Schubut of the German Embassy to China, Major R. Sauer and Lt. R. Shuman of German Aviation Advisory Committee to Japan.

 

13th May 1945

Blue prints and German officers taken to HQ 8 Corps at Kiel..

 

14th May 1945

First conference held with Major General Krause, commanding German Troops in Kreis Sud Tondern, and his staff.  Orders given for the concentration and discipline of German troops in the kreis.

 

15th May 1945

Letter of congratulation received from Colonel The Viscount Hailsham, KO, PC.  (See Appx C).

 

16th May 1945

Lieut. I.M. Walker rejoined the Regiment.

 

17th May 1945

Unit censorship suspended.  Arms found by "D" Sqn buried in Churchyard at RISUM, 8596.  11 persons including Pastor Bencke arrested and questioned.  Arms and ammunition were found wrapped up in Hitler Jugend flag.

 

18th May 1945

Arms case handed over to Military Government and Field Security.  Divisional HQ informed.

 

24th May 1945

All French D.Ps in the area repatriated.  Lieut. Luxton, 2/Lt. Herbert and 2/Lt. Blakey joined the regiment.

 

26th May 1945

Major/General G.P.B. Roberts, CB, DSO, MC, Commander, 11 Armoured Division, visited the Regiment.

 

28th May 1945

2/Lt. S.W. Rogers joined the Regiment.

 

AWARDS.

Lieut. P.B. Greenberg, awarded Military Cross, (authorised 20 May 1945).

Major W.L. Warren, Major R.P.P. Smyly, Capt. J. Clark (RAMC) Mentioned in Despatches, (approved 10 May 1945)

L/c. Anthony G.  Awarded C.in Cs Certificate, (authorised 11 May 1945).

Sgt. Pearsall J.  Awarded C.in Cs Certificate, (authorised 25 May 1945).