National Archives catalogue number WO 171/4161.
1020, 21st March
Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment
Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle?
British Liberation Army
British / Bridge
[Inns of] Court / Car
Commander Royal Artillery
Division / Divisional
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
General Staff Officer
Landing Ship Tank
Left / Light
Medium Machine Gun
Nothing to Report
North West Europe
Petrol, Oil and Lubricants
Prisoner of War
Regimental Aid Post
South East Asia Command
Start Point / Self-Propelled / Support (lower case)
Month and year : March 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt. Col. G.R. de C. Stewart
1st to 8th March 1945
All personnel of regt returned from N.W.E. on leave.
9th March 1945
Infm received that regt was to provide half sqn of 8 tanks and 1 tp 4.2" mortars (latter under comd CRA) for operation Varsity, remainder of regt to proceed by sea to N.W.E. C.O., Capt O'Hanlon and Lieut Williams (i/c Mortar tp) Lieut Davis and Lieut Kenward (i/c half sqn) to proceed by air.
11th March 1945
All personnel returned from leave.
13th March 1945
Tk crews firing on Redhorn Range; AP and HE was fired. It was noted that the bursts of 37 mm HE was so slight as to render observation difficult.
14th March 1945
Loading of vehs for seaborne party. Fmn signs, unit serial number and Airborne flashes were obliterated from clothing and eqpt. Seaborne party was given the disguised name of "Stewart's Horse".
15th March 1945
0715 - Seaborne party left Larkhill on the following route:- Newbury, Reading, Wokingham, Staines Bge, North Circular Rd, S4 marshalling area. Order of march:- all carriers, all 3 tonners, A, B, C Sqns, HQ, RHQ. Difficulty was experienced en route owing to difficulty of carriers fitted with new tracks in negotiating bends.
1700 - All tps accommodated in transit camp S4. In view of security measures taken by the unit surprise was felt that transit camp officials referred to unit by clear name on public address system. A protest was made and the matter was adjusted.
16th March 1945
0830 to 1200 - Party embarked in 4 LSTs at Tilbury and sailed during night 16/17.
17th March 1945
1200 to 1300 - Disembarked at Ostend, and billeted for night 17/18 in 111 Transit Camp.
18th March 1945
0900 - Party moved in order of march as before to DP at BETHUNE on route 305 to THOUROUT, on route 210 to Ypres - ARMENTIERS - RICHEBOURG - BETHUNE.
1600 - Party billeted at DIVION in area Bethune. It was noted that the Div Land Elts were located at BETHUNE and still had red berets and Airborne flashes and it was considered that Div seatail could have been brought into area further separated from Div Land Elts.
19th March 1945
1800 - Orders for move on 20 March to WEERT 582975. Regtl Land Elts rejoined unit having carried out security measures as laid down for the unit.
20th March 1945
0835 - Head of regtl column passed Div SP at LENS H5215.
2045 - Regt arrived at bivouac area SONNIS K3777. Tps were accommodated in barrack buildings.
2200 - Infm received by LO that regt was now to proceed to NEEROETEREN 5879. Time of departure to be 211020.
21st March 1945
0400 - Time for departure put forward 2 hrs to 0820.
0820 - The regt proceeded in order of march as before to NEEROETEREN arriving there at 1000 hrs. Infm from OC Div Land Elts that regt would be divided into two parties (composition as in Appx "B" attached) for crossing of the RHINE when junction with Airborne elements was to be made.
22nd March 1945
1500 - Orders for serial 17 to move at 1900 hrs to DP at GELDERN A2015 on route 623797 - VENLO - STRAELEN 9817. This party to cross on D+1.
23rd March 1945
Serial 28 was organised into two sub-parties (as Appx "C" attached) to cross on D+2. Difficulty in planning operations was experienced owing to the extremely limited supply of maps available, the final issue being six copies per Sqn.
1700 - LO was called for to proceed to 060269 where infm was given that all vehs in serial 28 excl tks and ARV would cross on Class 9 bridge.
24th March 1945
0900 - Orders for serial 28 to move at 1100 hrs to SP at 633795 and thence on route as for serial 17.
1130 - Head of regtl column passed SP 633795. Narrative of Airborne Landing see Appx "D".
1330 - Head of column reached VENLO Bde.
1400 - Column arrived at DP.
1430 - Unit harboured in 0228 where 8 Cromwells from Regtl Land Elts rejoined unit.
1900 - Preparatory arrangements for crossing by all serial 28 excl tks and ARV on D+2. Wireless nets to be opened provisionally at 251100.
26th March 1945
0200 - Serial 28 ordered forward for crossing.
0530 - Party left via KEPPENLEN - SENSBECK - 055406.
0800 - Crossing of class 9 bridge 1146 commenced.
1030 - All tps crossed and proceeded to join RHQ of Airborne element at 184476.
1700 - Orders for regt to move to concentration area 2547. Recce parties were despatched to this area.
1800 - Sqns ordered to move independently to their concentration areas on return of recce parties. Regtl task for 27 Mar defined as recce in front of 3 Para Bde on axes as follows:- Rt 268462 - 282457 - 298459 to 311458. Lt 277475 - 304472 - X tracks 317474. Start line rd BRUNEN south. Regtl method:- rt A, Lt B with under comd 1 MMG tp. RHQ to move on rt centre line, "C" Sqn less one mortar tp and 1 MMG tp behind RHQ. RAP and ARV with T/Adjt to move with RHQ. Echelon to remain in concentration area and move comd 3 Para Bde.
27th March 1945
0200 - Regt arrived in concentration area 2547.
0700 - Owing to the blowing of bridges over R.ISSEL Div plan was changed as follows:- Regt was to establish itself by 0900 on start line and deny to the enemy. When bridges were clear "A" Sqn to advance to 311458 followed by "B" Sqn who were to pass through them and proceed to 317474 and thence to ERLE if possible. Order of march at start line "A", "B" RHQ "C" Sqn. At 0900 "A" Sqn was in area of temporary bridge 282458. At 1000 RHQ moved out along axis and after a halt in BRUNE where approx 12 PW (stragglers from various units) were taken moved on again to 272474. At 1100 "A" and "B" Sqns were across the bridge at 282458 and by 1150 leading sub-units of "A" Sqn were approaching 298459 where contact was made with enemy of about 1 coy in strength. By 1215 forward tps of "A" Sqn were able to move forward again. At 1310 leading sub-unit of "B" Sqn were at 318474 and pushing on, but at 1340 it was fired on by 20 mm flak guns at 352492. The tk tp of "B" Sqn was ordered to engage these guns. At 1400 leading elements of A Sqn were at 317471 and were ordered to strike north towards the main rd N.E. from BRUNE and thence N.E. towards RAESFELD while B Sqn were to push on to ERLE. The opposition at 351492 continued to delay B Sqn and at 1600 it was reported that one of their tks had been hit by a SP gun firing from 356493. At 1655 A Sqn forward tps had reached 300495 and at 1735 after some difficulty experienced in finding suitable crossings over a water obstacle they were at 311502 where contact with 7th Armd Div was made. At 1815 RHQ gp moved up towards area 2947. At 1820 B Sqn reported that a further 2 tks had been lost in area 364493 and that in this area approx 5 SP guns supported by inf were operating. At 1830 it was learned that the crew from one of the tks above mentioned had escaped and brought back 4 prisoners from 48 Flak Regt who stated that 3 of their guns had been knocked out that morning by B Sqn fire. By 1900 RHQ was established at 297476, A Sqn at 303496, B Sqn at 317474 and C Sqn with RHQ. All Sqns detached sent DRs to RHQ and wireless net was closed down.
28th March 1945
0700 - Regt was ordered to recce up to the line of rly from incl 455508 to 472463 and to make contact with 17 US Airborne Div along the rd ERLE - ALTSCHERNBECK 4644 and with 7th Armd Div along rd ERLE - RAESFELD 3852. "A" Sqn was given this task and moved out at 0730 SHQ being established at 385496. At 1000 contact was made with enemy at 401478 who withdrew. At 1030 further contact at 398487 was reported. At 1040 US tps were contacted at 401478 who were found to be 194 Regt and not 513 Regt as had been expected, 17 US Airborne Div not having moved so far forward as had been anticipated. By 1130 "A" Sqn had reached the general line Easting 41 on the rd ERLE - LEMBECK without contact but at 1200 the leading sub-unit was fired on in area 4150 by an enemy force which incl 2 MGs and some larger guns. 2 'Z' cas to vehicles were sustained. At 1300 this enemy posn was by-passed and by 1330 the bridge at 420511 was reported clear. At 425513 some prisoners were taken and by 1400 hrs 436508 had been reached and all bridges found intact up that point. By 1415 leading elts were in RHADE 4450 and RHQ moved up to 347487. At 1445 the rly in 4550 was crossed and the bridges at 458509 found intact. At 1530 slight opposition was encountered in the area 4750 - 4752 and by 1545 an enemy posn at 472507 was located at 1630 tps had advanced and were engaging enemy at 489517, one tk "A" Sqn being used in support. This enemy posn was found to contain a concentration of 20 mm Flak Guns which prevented entry into the village of LEMBECK and 1655 all sub-units had to be withdrawn out of range. One veh cas was sustained. Air support was obtained against these targets in LEMBECK by 1730 hrs, and as inf elements were brought forward to attack the place all sub-units were withdrawn into harbour area 4450 by 2000 hrs. RHQ was established at 446507. At this time a sqn of the Innes of Court Regt was placed under comd and the regt was given the task of reccing forward on a broad front on the axis LEMBECK - COESFELD 6172 and of covering the East flank of the Div on the Div bdy.
29th March 1945
Orders for the day were issued as follows:- regt to recce forward on axis as above with Rt "A" Sqn, Lt "B" Sqn, Centre Inns of Court. Centre lines - rt LEMBECK to GR.REKEN 5260 - COESFELD, lt junc 465539 - 489568 - 516632 - COESFELD. Particular attention to be given to early report on bridge 549625. RHQ on rt centre line. Start time Inns of Court 0800, "A" and "B" Sqns 0830. Some difficulty was experienced in reaching the ST line owing to the rd being congested with miscellaneous traffic, but by 0830 the sqns of Inns of Court was able to move forward and at 0845 found the rd in 4953 blocked with fallen trees. At 0915 forward elements of Inns of C. had reached 493538 where there was a rd block which was hastily evacuated by the enemy. By 0930 A & B Sqns were on the move and reported Northing 53 clear and at 0935 elements of B Sqn were approaching Northing 55 on the Sqn centre line. At 1000 hrs the rt sub-units of A Sqn were on Northing 55 but B Sqn was still held up on the left on the same Northing behind a tp of Inns of C. whose vehs were finding the going very difficult in that area. At 1030 532604 had been reached on the main axis where a few enemy inf were shot up but on rt and lt the Inns of C. were held up by bad going in area 469531 and area 5354. At 1045 the centre tp of Inns of C. was within reach of the bridge 549625 and reported hearing an explosion in that area. One Lieut taken in the area was identified as belonging to 328 GR Ersatz bn. At 1100 "B" Sqn were still on Northing 55 and were ordered to try to get through between sub-units of Inns of C. who were held up. The going in this area was very difficult. At 1105 "A" Sqn made contact at 567573 with 3 BR Div Recce who were held up in that area by a number of SP guns. At 1110 the bridge 569623 was found to have been blown but to be passable to light veh and 2 Scout cars of Inns of C. were put across. At 1120 an order from Div was received to deviate from rt centre line via LETTE 6266 but in attempting to execute this loop the bridge half a mile S.E. of 569625 was found to be blown. At 1200 the forward tps of Inns of C. had reached 546635 and with them was a sub-unit of A Sqn; B Sqn had reached area 474565 where two abandoned 88 mm guns were found. At 1220 the sub unit of A Sqn on the rt reported inf with one gun at 572628 north of the rd rly crossing: it was forced to retire to a position of observation. Meanwhile the Inns of C. were feeling West for an alternative crossing for heavier vehs but at 1220 made contact with inf at 535621. The sub unit made a detour to the South. In the area of the blown bridge 549625 alternative intact crossings at 562611 and 565608 were found suitable for all vehs although the latter was only 10 ft wide. Further recces of the crossing at 572628 were made but fire continued to come from the area. The patrol of the Inns of C. which was making the loop to the west already referred to became bogged at 538634. "B" Sqn on the left continued to make fair progress without contact and by 1345 had reached the line Northing 62. At the same time the centre tp of Inns of C. (2 Scout Cars) had reached 570678 with a total bag of 50 prisoners. All bridges to this point were found intact; lt tp of Inns of C. was still bogged at 538634 while the rt tp had now come up to 565609. At 1350 the Inns of C. reported that the alternative route to by pass the blown bridge at 549625 had been found via 531621 and thence due north to the main rd again. The going in the middle was soft for heavy vehs. At 1415 the forward tp of Inns of C. had reached 585689 and reported the bridge there intact and Class 70. "B" Sqn was finding the going on their centre line north of Grid 62 very difficult and impassable for heavy vehs. At 1430 the forward tp of Inns of C. reported a half track veh at 598690 which came out of the wood and retired on being fired on, and shortly afterwards the same sub unit was fired on by a Pzfaust at 600710. It appeared that stiffer opposition at COESFELD might be expected. At 1450 a sub unit of "B" Sqn engaged enemy inf at 505650 who retreated to the N.E. The going in this area was impassable for vehs and a detour to the West had to be made. VELEN 4366 was found clear. Two prisoners from 87 Arty Regt were taken in the area who stated that they had been ordered to withdraw 3 days ago. A sub unit of "B" Sqn passed through WEISSES VEN 5265 and found that the rd was suitable for tracked vehs. At 1505 in 5870 an uncertain number of inf were reported and some prisoners incl and oberst-leutnant were taken from 271 Ersatz Fd gun bty, 392 Mounted Inf Regt, 199 Gr Regt and 17 Eng Regt. The sub unit of Inns of C. in this area now attempted to deviate to the west and reached 571713 without opposition but at 1545 it ran into many inf armed with Pzfausts lying up in the hedges area 587714. Inf assistance was obtained for this sub unit. "B" Sqn continued to press on up their centre line and by 1620 had arrived at 578712 where the bridge was still intact. Both B Sqn and Inns of C. were ordered to try to work round to the rear of COESFELD but some difficulty was experienced in doing this and in the meantime small parties of enemy continued to attempt to infiltrate back across the bridge 578712 to blow it up. By 1915 the Inns of C. reported that attempts to get round to the north via 5572 had failed and permission was given for all sub units to be withdrawn as also those of "A" Sqn. Many attempts were made to arrange for inf support for the sub unit of "B" Sqn at 578712 but communication had become extremely bad and in default of direct contact with Div the assault tp and one MG tp of "C" Sqn were sent up to take over in the area. By 2000 hrs sub units were located as follows: "A" Sqn 555649, "B" Sqn area 5268, "C" Sqn area 5667 and RHQ at 555678.
30th March 1945
0700 - Orders for the day were issued as follows:- the regt with the Sqn Inns of C. still under comd and deployed as on the previous day was to recce routes N.E. on the axis COESFELD - GEVEN 9188 and to make contact on the rt with 3 Br Div Recce at fixed junction points 6770 - 7578 and 7979. At 0830 the leading sub units of Inns of C. trying to get on their axes found COESFELD heavily obstructed with craters and impassable to all vehs while foot recce was rendered impossible without inf cover by numbers of snipers. The Sqn was ordered to try to work round on the south and thence N.E. At 0915 "B" Sqn found COESFELD obstructed with large numbers of soft vehs and could not deviate to the N.E. owing to enemy still in the woods in general area 6075. At 0930 the O.C. "B" Sqn reported that he had been requested by Comd 5 Para Bde to carry out protective recce in front of his tps and that he had declined to accept this responsibility if an alternative quick route round onto his proper centre line could be found. The rd COESFELD - OESTERWICK 6480 was badly cratered and only a track. At 1000 hrs "B" Sqn were still in general area 6075 and had taken 12 prisoners from 159 Ersatz Inf Bn. At this time "A" Sqn succeeded in finding a loop to the south round COESFELD through its southern outskirts and "A" Sqn and Inns of C. were ordered to follow it. By 1030 it had been found suitable for all vehs of the regt though some delay was caused in making use of it owing to a restriction on its use by tracks imposed by RE on the spot which was removed after application to Div. "B" Sqn asked permission to make use of the same diversion and this was granted, but owing to the great obstruction of the rd by traffic the Sqn could not disengage from area 6075. By 1050 two sub units of "A" and two sub units of Inns of C. had passed round COESFELD and were moving along their axes. The assault tp of "C" Sqn was now given a task of sending patrols to search BILLERBECK 6975, GANTWEG 6977, and OESTERWICK 6380. At 1135 contact was made by leading tps of INNS OF C at 625748 where a small party of inf armed with pzfausts was located; one armd C was ditched, but the remainder pulled out to a position of observation. Further contact with approx one pl was made at 647743. The posn was bypassed and at 1215 fwd subunit was at br 655744: part of the assault tp C Sqn was ordered to provide protection for the ditched car at 625748. The mortar tp of C Sqn was able to bring fire down on this posn and it was hit with 10/15 bombs. Meanwhile the axis COESFELD - OESTERWICK had been found very difficult for mov by inf and the regt was ordered to recce an alternative route on axis COESFELD - DARUP 6970; A Sqn was given this task, and while proceeding on this axis was strafed by friendly a/c at 622714. At 1300 the assault tp C Sqn had approached the area BILLERBECK which according to civreps was held by inf with MGs; small parties of enemy were also observed 660758. At the same time B Sqn still NW of COESFELD reported contact with a posn incl MGs and pzfausts at 605737. At 1330 A Sqn had two sub units in observation of BILLERBECK from the SE and a tp of INNS OF C attempting to approach from the W was fired on by 88-mm at 685761. Withdrawing to a posn of observation it reported considerable activity in the town: half-tracks were seen at 671751 and 706762 and stationary vehs (?tks) at 708762. Gun posns were located at 692739 693760 689760 and trenches at 6976. It appeared that the place was held in str and recce tps accordingly remained in observation but the coln of 3 Para Bde approaching on the axis behind A Sqn pushed on into the town. A short engagement ensued in which the leading sub unit of A Sqn became involved and lost one carrier with one X and one Y personnel cas. By 1535 the situation in the town was clearer and subunits of A Sqn and INNS OF C began to move fwd again. At this time B Sqn reported contact 595762 with another posn incl inf armed with pzfausts which was engaged with the sqn tk tp; one X personnel cas was sustained but 35 PW incl 6 men from a Luftwaffe sigs unit and inf from 159 Ersatz bn were taken. One subunit of INNS OF C was still held up area 625748 and this tp now reported having taken PW from battle gp KNAUST, 245 Inf Regt and the bn staff of 159 ersatz bn. This last was stated to have no heavy weapons and to be armed principally with pzfausts. At 1630 this subunit was withdrawn to try an alternative route; at the same time difficulty was being experienced by the remainder of INNS OF C in getting round BILLERBECK. RHQ was now moved up to 639709. By 1700 BILLERBECK was passed and A sqn subunits were proceeding on their axis while INNS OF C had one subunit at 695771 and another at 7579. At 1800 the leading tp of INNS OF C was at 7980 but the tp in area 6978 was held up by inf with MGs and had to be switched south. At 1815 A sqn reported their fwd tps north of HAVIXBECK 7775 and approaching KENTRUP 7582. At 1900 the INNS OF C were at 807818 and 727792; A sqn had made no contact at the second contact pt (7578) and were moving on to the third. At this time B Sqn reported that, all attempts to work round from the north of COESFELD having failed owing to enemy opposition and the dense traffic jams in the town, sqn had harboured for the night in area COESFELD. At 1930 INNS OF C had reached 8686 and A sqn tps were generally in area 8177. It was now too dark for further recce and as inf elts were generally now passed through the regt all tps were withdrawn and harboured as follows: A and C Sqns - 787797 B Sqn - 613728 INNS OF C 869864 RHQ was moved to 768790. The 22 Independent Para Coy came under comd wef this night.
31st March 1945
At 0500 orders were received to continue recce on one main axis of adv GREVEN - LENGERICH 0899 with the special task of seizing and holding the brs 9890 9098 and 0295. A sqn and INNS OF C were given this task with B sqn in res and C sqn in sp to move with RHQ. At 0800 sqns attempted to move out on their tasks but it was found that contrary to infm received the br at 912886 was blown and would require several hours to replace. By 0830 INNS OF C and A sqn were on the line of the rly west of GREVEN. Alternative crossings south of the town were recced and a br was found intact at 915859 but the subunit which crossed found the br at 918873 blown and held. The brs at 914917 and 913948 were also useless. At 1030 a party of two enemy offrs arrived at br 915859 and attempted to blow it but were prevented by fire from a subunit of A sqn at this point. RHQ now was moved up to 881889; a number of airburst shells were fired into the area. At 1045 a subunit of INNS OF C penetrated to 920858 where it came under from a 20-mm gun and withdrew. At 1145 it was reported that a class 12 br at 912886 would be ready in 15 mins; it was actually ready by 1245 when a tp of INNS OF C attempted to cross and two scout cars got across but the br broke under the following armd C which became bogged in the middle. In an attempt to get fwd on an alternative route B sqn was ordered to pass through and relieve A sqn (which owing to veh cas had now an effective str of only 2 tps of 2) and with 22 Ind Para Coy in sp send a strong fighting patrol to GIMBTE 9384. At 1245 the 2 scout cars which had crossed the br in GREVEN came under fire at 928885; they subsequently came under fire from a gun at 930883 and a party of inf tried to work round to them. The assault tp of C sqn was sent up to support them and assisted in knocking out the gun at 930883 and clearing the houses in this area. At 1545 the patrol sent to GIMBTE reported that it was empty: the br in GREVEN was still down and the armd C still stuck in it. At 1630 it was learned that the patrol to GIMBTE had shot up and destroyed an 88-mm at the east end of the place and taken 18 PW. It appeared that there might be an intact crossing both over the river and also over the DORTMUND-EMS canal on this rd and a patrol from INNS OF C was sent to investigate; it was found however that the brs at 955820 065829 and 968843 were all blown. At 1815 a report was received that 200 inf and 2 sp guns were forming up in area 8984 and B sqn was ordered to send all available tks and one recce tp to the area; INNS OF C and 22 Ind were also to send patrols. The 2 scout cars of INNS OF C which had crossed in GREVEN now reported having reached 975905 where they were fired on by an a tk gun; the br 972895 was intact. At 2030, nothing having been seen in area 8984 all tps were recalled and sqns harboured as follows:- A sqn-896900 B sqn-9980 C sqn-890888. RHQ remained at 881889.
Month and year : April 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt. Col. G.R. de C. Stewart
1st April 1945
0030 - Orders to provide one Sqdn. recce in front of 6 A/L. Bde. exploiting bridge head at 9890 over DORTMUND-EMS canal, remainder to provide flank protection on the right. A Sqdn placed under command 6 A/L. Bde. Flank protection by Inns OF Court, on gen. line rd junct. 0088, high ground 0387, junc. 0490, bridge 0791, rd-rail crossing 1196. B Sqdn. to move up to be. in GREVEN prepared to take over from Inns of Court if br. still not passable; if passable to take over inner line 0091-0291-0493 thence NE, with under command one tp. of M.G. and mortars.
0754 - Leading tp. of Inns of Court moved off.
0854 - Br. on canal still blown, no sign of R.E.
0915 - Own Inf. reported that br. on canal 9798 was blown and that engr. work was impossible because the route to it was sniped and shelled by 4 field guns. Tp. there recalled.
0945 - Own Inf. on left reported 50 enemy with 1 S.P. 88mm. moving south from 9396.
1015 - R.E. party met enemy at 926885. B Sqdn sent to provide cover on south in this area and disposed of occupants of house with mortar fire capturing 48 POW.
1100 - C Sqdn ordered to provide MG cover at cross-roads 935877 and br. at 917873. B Sqdn to cover area of rd. at 9588. 22nd Indepent Para. Coy at 968884.
1130 to 1400 - Delay in br. building and all Sqdns stood down but ready to move if required.
1410 - A Sqdn moved up through GREVEN to conc. in rear of canal crossing 9890.
1440 - Information received that br. not likely to be ready before 02.00 2 April.
1445 - Sqdns locations:- RHQ 954895, A 970899, B 941877, C 978894.
1530 - All Sqdns stood down for rest of the day.
1815 - Orders to cross canal br. during the night. Order of march:- Armd Car Sqdn. A Sqdn, B Sqdn, C Sqdn less one tp. of MMG and Mortars, 22nd Indep. Para., RHQ. During night 1/2 April time for crossing given as 02.00, 0400, and 08.00.
2nd April 1945
0900 - A Sqdn started crossing and at 0915 were at 002882 recceing route back to centre line. They found the br. at 008882 to be intact and the road up that point OK. 6 88mm Flak guns were found intact at 002882.
1000 - Force of enemy with 2 SP guns and armoured cars reported to be moving west at 012930.
1045 - A Sqdn at LADBERGEN 0093; told to halt whilst 6 A/L Bde dealt with the opposition.
1100 - Route from 003882 direct to LADBERGEN reported to be OK up to class 40.
1130 - A Sqdn instructed by the General to carry on up the axis to the high ground east of LENGERICH and from there carry out recce NW and SE.
1145 - Remainder of Regt. crossed the canal. One tp. of B Sqdn told to recce road 028868 NE to axis; remainder providing flank guard as before.
1200 - Road to 028868 OK for all traffic. 026868-031895 unlikely to take tanks.
1245 - Enemy vehicles incl. scout car and heavy transport vehicle engaged by B Sqdn.
1250 - Assault tp. C Sqdn. engaged enemy inf. with SA and MG at wood 0188.
1315 - Br. at 031877 reported fit for all traffic. A Sqdn stated that high ground above LENGERICH reported to be held by enemy.
1406 - B Sqdn temporarily held up by pocket of enemy at 031877. Lt. recce vehs. approaching 028868 from SE. Further enemy observed at 036890; at 14.30. C Sqdn were disengaged but reported approx. 100 enemy 0389. Road from 000930-039929 is 20 ft. wide with some restrictions to 12 ft., fair tarmac with some subsidence due to bomb craters. From 039921-060971 is 18 ft. wide and surface good.
1515 - A Sqdn tanks engaged at 089999; one dam hit but later returned under own power.
1530 - 12 POW from 506 Flak Regt., taken from wood 0389 confirm that there were still 90 inf. left there.
1600 - B Sqdn tps. on east of wood 0389 relieved by MMG and sent on flank guard, by 17.00 leading tp had reached 080942.
1705 - Wood 0389 shelled by arty. and 16 more POW taken.
1710 - A Sqdn tp. fired at by 75mm. at 115005. Now ordered to recce rd to LEEDEN 1002.
1830 - C Sqdn by-passed bazooka party at 080910.
2030 - MMG carrier att. to B Sqdn shot up in area 107966. Tank tp. despatched.
2045 - Tank tp. and carrier surrounded at 107966 where they subsequently spent the night worried only by a few snipers.
2330 - Orders:- Corps attack high ground above OSNABRUCK and advance NE to MINDEN as final objective. 5th Para. Bde with under com. one sqdn of 6 AARR. will seize high ground N.W. of OSNABRUCK. 6th A/L Bde will seize high ground at 1409. 3rd Para Bde with under com. one sqdn 6 AARR will move up the axis to NETRUP 127015, thence N. to WISSENGEN. At 09.00 1 Commando Bde will pass through and seize OSNABRUCK. Flank protection by 6 AARR. Route:- 0795 - 081984 - LENGERICH 127015 - HAGEN 167001 - 2001 - Xrds 2201 - Tjunc. 2700 - Xrds 2904 - WISSENGEN. ST. 08.00. S.P. 127015.
3rd April 1945
0745 - B Sqdn moved out but were held up one mile from S.P. by traffic jams. They were clear by 08.30 but were again delayed by rd. blocks at 093992 and 119008.
0900 - Own inf. reported Tellermines in the verges at 120010.
0930 - Enemy contacted at 148002 - 20 to 30 inf in a house.
0935 - A Sqdn on the flank followed route 144033 - 156021 - 159043 where own inf. were contacted. Flak guns seen on reverse slope at 148002.
1045 - Heavy gun firing at leading tp. of B Sqdn. from 150009.
1050 - A Sqdn encountered mines at 144033; these were easily removed.
1055 - B Sqdn who were held up at 148002 were ordered to force one tp. through supported by 22nd Indep. Para. and loop S. thence NE. By 11.15 the opposition at 148002 slackened and the tp. moved on.
1115 - 2 heavy guns at 1600 and another at 1502 reported to be firing into HAGEN.
1145 - Leading tp. of B Sqdn chasing enemy on own axis through HAGEN, and by 12.30. C Sqdn had established a "stop" in the area 1798, where slight opposition was encountered.
1245 - B Sqdn again reported contact with inf. and flak guns at 175007.
1300 - X-rd. at 188035 reported clear by A sqdn but the wood in that area was so thick that only inf. could clear it.
1345 - B Sqdn loop approaching 194977 thence to rd IBURG-OSNABRUCK. HAGEN cleared by 22nd Indep. Para. and at 14.15 elements of 3rd Para Bde began to move along the axis. From then onwards the inf. moved so fast that it was impossible for the recce sqdns to keep pace with the head.
1455 - Leading tp. had reached 177987 and at 15.30 a B Sqdn tank was hit 4 times by a bazooka at 2010188 without suffering any damage.
1635 - A Sqdn contacted enemy at 175049 who, when fired on ran into a thick wood. After this message communication with A Sqdn became impossible but they continued their job meeting only slight opposition; at 20.30. when the leading tp. was on the outskirts of OSNABRUCK the Sqdn was withdrawn to harbour at 1403.
1735 - Leading tp. of B Sqdn approaching KLOSTER OSEDE, but our inf. were already well ahead and were reported to be nearing the objective - WISSINGEN.
2000 - RHQ at 277020 with B and C Sqdns in the same area.
4th April 1945
Now that the Division had by-passed OSNABRUCK and reached the axis to the E. the intention was to push on to MINDEN as fast as possible. 6 A/L Bde with A Sqdn under com. was ordered to advance on the right and 3 Para. Bde. with B Sqdn under com. on the left. C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. Coy would provide the flank guard. B Sqdn's main task would be to secure the crossings intact at 5616 and 6015.
0800 - B Sqdn crossed the S.P. but A Sqdn were held up through lack of maps.
0915 - Canal crossings at BAD ESSEN 4114 and 4314 prepared for demolition but still intact.
0945 - A Sqdn crossed the S.P. but after advancing two miles contacted the enemy at 355061; one tank was knocked out by 75mm gun. Opposition neutralised by supporting Churchills of 6th Guards Tank Bde and 6 A/L Bde, after a fierce battle; advance continued without further opposition at 13.00.
0950 - C Sqdn contacted enemy in HARPENFELD 4114; dealt with by 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. who were left behind to guard the two bridges.
1000 - Further slight opposition encountered at RABBER 4513, but by 10.40 B Sqdn had reached BLASHEIM 5612. On tp. had captured the br. at 5616 intact but another tp. found the br. 6015 to be blown and held. These two tps. were relieved by C Sqdn at 12.30 and B Sqdn were ordered to continue advance.
1330 - Leading tp. at 6915 reported br. at 708140 blown.
1430 - B Sqdn reported that C Sqdn who were following them at 7516 were being engaged by heavy flak guns firing from 765165 and 761164. These guns had allowed the first tps. to go through before coming to life. B Sqdn tanks were sent back to help to get personnel out before continuing their advance. In this action 1 White Scout Car and 4 Mortar Jeeps were destroyed, and 1 MMG tp. were reported missing. Later one pl. 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. supported by the Assault Tp. C Sqdn captured the whole flak battery numbering approx. 200 men.
1600 - Leading tp. in centre of objective; reported 2 AFVs in town with inf. riding on them.
1800 - Tp. withdrawn from the town after being engaged by a panzerfaust at 800122. Inf. left to clear the town. During the afternoon A Sqdn had continued their advance on the right flank without further opposition but, owing to the initial delay were ordered to swing N. at 5305 and continued on 3rd Para Bde centre-line.
2100 - RHQ. harboured 763088, A Sqdn 567123, B Sqdn and C Sqdn 800123. No contact with Div. HQ by wireless or any other means.
5th April 1945
1030 - A Sqdn, on orders from 6 A/L Bde moved to area FORST HEISTERHOLZ 8019.
1100 - Regt. ordered to act as Div reserve.
1400 - A Sqdn harboured PETERSHAGEN 840208. Other Sqdns as before.
6th April 1945
1100 - Regt. moved to area 6918 for proposed rest period while inf. establish bridge head over R. WESER. RHQ at 695183, Sqdns in same area.
7th April 1945
1530 - Regt. moved to new locations. RHQ HARTUM 740134, Sqdns in same area.
8th April 1945
0100 - Regt. ordered to cross br. at PETERSHAGEN at 08.30 via 822205.
0730 - Regt. moved out to cross br. but delayed en route by traffic jams; all over R. WESER by 10.00. 6 A/L Bde contacted at LAHDE 8520 and A Sqdn ordered to assist in clearing FORST BAUM 8815. Patrol sent to X-rds 862134 but no contact made with enemy in this area.
1500 - Regt. moved by march route to WIEDENSAHL 9421. RHQ 944215, A Sqdn RADERHORST 9220, B Sqdn ROSENHAGEN 9323, C and HQ Sqdns WIEDENSAHL 9421.
9th April 1945
1300 - Tp. C Sqdn ordered to recce br. at 9519, if intact to guard it. Br. found blown up and tp. withdrawn.
10th April 1945
0900 - Regt. to take over from 5 Para. Bde. in connection with an extension of br. head across R. LEINE in areas SCHARREL 2338 and BRINK 2235; also responsible for patrolling area wood 2439-2539. A Sqdn sent to BRINK and B Sqdn to SCHARREL.
1300 - RHQ established 199359, A 219352, B 233387, C 1838, 22nd 216366.
1700 - All recces complete and no sign of enemy.
11th April 1945
0700 - B Sqdn, under com. 3 Para. Bde. instructed to carry out clearance of woods in area 3050-4050. Lateral rds in area searched and rd. SCHARMSTEDT 2755-JEVERSEN 3753 covered. Elts. 11th Armd. Div contacted but no enemy seen.
12th April 1945
A Sqdn given task, under com. 3 Para Bde with 8 Para Btn, of clearing area N. of rd MELLENDORF-CELLE up to line of R. ALLER. between grid lines 40 and 50. At 12.45 contact was made with a bazooka and MG position at 425500. Tps. were pinned down by further MG and rifle fire from WIEKENBERG 4250 and advance impossible. Mortar fire was brought to bear on the enemy positions and another tp. of A Sqdn working with a Coy. of inf. approached village from E and NE. The village was finally cleared by 17.00 when A Sqdn was withdrawn and established itself at MELLENDORF 3540.
13th to 14th April 1945
Nothing to report.
15th April 1945
0600 - Regt. ordered to move by Corps axis CELLE-ESCHEDE to conc. area S. of UELZEN. At 12.30 the column was met by GSO.1. on N. side of CELLE and told that leading elements of 15 (S) Div. were not yet in UELZEN. Regt. must halt in situ and A Sqdn were ordered to co-operate with 5th Para. Bde in clearing wooded area N. of R. Aller east of the line WOLTHAUSEN 5157 - EVERSEN 5564.
1300 - RHQ at 607518.
1730 - A Sqdn reported br at 522578 blown and rd.-rail br. at 565645 blown. No sign of enemy in the area.
1930 - All Sqdns harboured in the area ALTENHAGEN 6151.
16th April 1945
Regt. cleared the large thickly wooded areas of FORST MIELE 6162, GARRSENER HOLZ 6260 and FORST LUSS 7473. The tracks were very bad and progress was slow. Only 5 enemy were seen at 620668 but they disappeared into the thick undergrowth before any action could be taken. All other areas were reported clear.
1930 - RHQ 837671, A, B, C and 22nd Indep. Para. at SPRAKENSEHL 8666.
17th April 1945
1300 - Orders from Div to move to STEDERDORF 9283 via 8783.
1315 - Recovery Vehicle hit by panzerfaust at 8572. A Sqdn tp. sent to investigate but could find no trace of enemy.
1400 - B Sqdn ordered to recce area E. of grid line 00 between 85 and 98. A and C Sqdns to go to area MASSENDORF 9494, supported by 22nd Indep. Para.
1640 - B Sqdn tp. fired on from 002913; two scout cars destroyed. In this area 3(?) 88mm guns, 3 half-tracks and 3 lorries loaded with inf. were seen. The area was immediately engaged by arty fire.
1830 - Tp. A Sqdn sent to 9095 to try to contact 11th Armd Div. there. Such contact would have meant that any enemy left in UELZEN, which had not yet been taken would have been completely encircled.
1850 - OITZEN 9795 clear. Enemy OP seen at 970937. Enemy digging in 028850-029880.
1940 - Tp. at 9988 shelled by own arty. - no casualties. RHQ at ESTERHOLZ 9384.
2000 - After arty. had shelled JARLITZ 1 tracked veh. and several wheeled vehs. were seen moving NE.
2050 - B Sqdn withdrawn to EMERN 9783 and A Sqdn tps. to MASSENDORF 9494 to hold the village with C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. Coy.
18th April 1945
0830 - Orders:- B Sqdn will recce SCHLIECKAU - WELLENDORF 0087 for enemy occupation and, if not held, protective recce as far as SULLENDORF 0484; also protective recce in front of ROSCHE 0291. A Sqdn protective recce NE and E of MASSENDORF to area OITZENDORF 9597 - STOCKEN 9794.
1130 - Enemy movement seen at 0087 and enemy battery seen firing from 0287. Later a rocket battery was seen firing from 022882 towards ROSCHE.
1400 - 14 POW taken at OITZENDORF 9597 stated that they were making for TESTORF 0098.
1410 - Orders to recce BANKEWITZ 0697, SCHMOLAU 0997, MIDDEFEITZ 1197, RETZIEN 0996, WITTFEITZEN 1595, DOMMATZEN 1693, KROTE 1493, VUDDENSEN 1291.
1430 - Tp. looking for 2 suspected SP guns at 968963.
1440 - STOCKEN 9794 clear.
1615 - Orders issued at 14.10 superseded; B Sqdn to recce BRUCHWEDEL 0096, X-rds 090938 and NATELN 0390.
1700 - BORG 0294 clear. SCHWEMLITZ 0296 shelled on strength of civ. rep. that it was a stragglers post and that many enemy were there.
1715 - NATELN 0390 clear.
1730 - RHQ at 977906.
1830 - Rocket bty. approx 9606 firing due W and large gun heard by A Sqdn in area 0606.
1945 - A Sqdn tp. fired on by (?) SP 75 mm gun from woods in area 008940.
2000 - Sqdns recalled, A Sqdn to MASSENDORF and B Sqdn to ROSCHE 025920.
19th April 1945
Regt. ordered to recce for contact on Div. front between rd UELZEN - DANNENBERG excl. and rd. UELZEN - SALZWEDEL incl. A Sqdn moved to NATELN 0290 to recce on right and B Sqdn remained in present location to recce on the left. C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. to MOLBATH 0089. Rd. Uelzen - ZARENTHIEN 110940 incl. to B Sqdn. Primary tasks to recce areas SCHWEMLITZ 0396, POLLAU 0894, DALLAHN 0890, GRABAU 0788, NESTAU 0587, NOVENTHIEN 0587.
1215 - Approx. 100 enemy observed at 050932 and movement seen 052928.
1320 - SCHWEMLITZ held and patrol covering rd. at 048926.
1435 - Tp. fired on by SP gun from 071883 and reported to be in GRABAU, also in area S. of 079889.
1600 - DALAHN reported held and dug-in positions seen at 076898.
2050 - SUHLENDORF, NOVENTHIEN and NESTAU clear.
2100 - Sqdns recalled, A to NATELN and B to ROSCHE.
20th April 1945
0800 - Orders as for 19. A Sqdn to recce as far as QUARTZAU 1287 if poss.
1310 - Own tps. in SUHLENDORF. Civ. rep. DALLDORF and GRABAU held, later confirmed by POW taken at NOVENTHIEN.
1500 - Movement past NOVENTHIEN impossible because Nebelwerfer fires on area to E.
1640 - Patrol fired on by two MGs from 053874 - NESTAU held.
1830 - Patrols withdrawn.
2200 - Orders for 21. 5th Para. Bde. and 6 A/L. Bde will clear area between own locations and grid line 10. Inter Bde bdy ROSCHE - DALLDORF - 100880. If required A Sqdn to be under com. 5th Para. and B Sqdn under 6 A/L Bde.
21st April 1945
A and B Sqdns stood by until 15.00 when it appeared that there would be no task for them and they were stood down.
22nd April 1945
1400 - Recce parties ordered to take over accommodation in area BARGTORF 8506 and STEDDORF 8306. The latter was found to be already occupied and after consultation with 8 Corps, in the absence of direct information from Div. advance party, HOHENBOSTEL 8309 was taken.
23rd April 1945
1045 - Regt. moved to new area and by 12.00 were accommodated as follows:- RHQ 850062, A 821101, B 837098, C 840099, 22nd 852110.
24th April 1945
Nothing to report.
25th April 1945
0200 - 4 POW captured by HQ Sqdn from 20 Lt. Observer Unit.
26th April 1945
Nothing to report.
27th April 1945
Nothing to report.
28th April 1945
0700 - After 15 (S) Div. has secured bridge head over R. ELBE 6th Airborne Div. will extend the right flank. This Regt., will be in Div. reserve and must be prepared to cross the river at 23.00 on D plus 2, D-day being 29 April.
1200 - Field Marshal MONTGOMERY visited Div. HQ and the following members Regt. for services in NORMANDY - Major DUNOLLY. M.C., Capt. SHEARER, M.C., and Cpl. WATTAM, M.M.
29th April 1945
1430 - Advance party moved to conc. area at BREEZE 9822.
30th April 1945
0645 - Regt. moved to conc. area.
1200 - Tanks and other vehs over class 9 moved out to cross R. ELBE on a class 40 bridge at 837348.
2200 - Remainder of Regt. moved out to cross R. ELBE at 880340 via NEETZE, JURGENSTORF, SASSENDORF. Further orders to be given on other side of the river.
Month and year : May 1945
Commanding Officer : Lt. Col. G.R. de C. Stewart
1st May 1945
0200 - All vehicles less tanks across R. ELBE 8834.
0630 - R.H.Q. set up at 950347. Sqdns in same area.
0830 - Orders. Enemy resistance is half-hearted and they are holding the crossings at BUCHEN 9246. 6 A/L Bde are in ZWEEDORF 9241, NOSTORF 9438, and BUKHUSEN 9236. 3 Para Bde are in BOIZENBURG 9835 and BAHLENDORF 9146. 15 (S) Div. are seizing road and rail crossings in PORTRAU 9146. Intention - Regt. will seize and hold the crossings over the ELBE-TRAVER canal and river in BUCHEN 9346. Method - B Sqdn with 1 tp. MMG and Assault tp. under command will seize BROTHEN 9546 and high ground to N. A Sqdn will seize crossings at BUCHEN after B Sqdn has taken high ground to E. C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. will move with R.H.Q. Route - HORST 9235, BUKHUSEN 9237, ZWEEDORF 9251, then B Sqdn will moved NE and A Sqdn N.
1000 - Regt. moved off but soon afterwards 2 Scout cars of B Sqdn were bogged at 928400 and it was not until 11.15 that the advance could be continued.
1205 - Leading tp. of A Sqdn contacted friends visually in area 9245 moving N.
1240 - Bridges at 925466 and 925456 reported blown. By 13.25 BROTHEN was reported clear after 10 POW had been taken and soon after BUCHEN was also reported clear.
1420 - R.H.Q. moved into BUCHEN 931468.
1545 - FITZEN 9248 cleared and 27 POW taken.
2015 - Tanks and class 40 vehicles joined Regt.
2030 - A Sqdn returned to BUCHEN, B Sqdn remained in Brothen whilst C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. stayed in BUCHEN. Throughout the day 54 POW were taken mainly in ones and twos; they were from various units and with little idea of the situation.
2330 - Orders. Enemy are withdrawing to LUBECK and KIEL, otherwise information is rather vague. Intention - Div. will to line WISMAR-SCHWERIN, 3 Para Bde on right and 5 Para Bde on left with Regt under command. Method - B Sqdn less tank tp. and with 1 MMG tp. under command will recce the centre line. A Sqdn with 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. and C Sqdn (less 1 MMG tp. and Assault tp.) under command will protect left flank; they will move parallel to B Sqdn as far as ZARRENTIN 1155 and "tap" in and out of centre line. Both tank tps. will link up and move with the leading infantry bn. Infantry will ride on tanks of the second tp. Tanks will move on the centre line behind B Sqdn. R.H.Q. will move behind B Sqdn as far as GRESSE 0041 and thence with 5 Para Bde H.Q. Centre line - GRESSE 0041, GALLIN 0648, VALLUHN 0652, LUTTOW 0953, BANTIN 1454, TESSIN 1856, SCHONWOLDE 1865, GADEBUSCH 2372 and thence at Brigadiers discretion.
2nd May 1945
0630 - Regt. moved out of harbour.
0705 - A Sqdn reached 993475 where 26 enemy surrendered without resisting.
0720 - B Sqdn reached LUTTENMARK 0144 without opposition.
0725 - R.H.Q. set up at GRESSE 0041.
0745 - 15 POW taken by B Sqdn at GREVEN 0346; soon afterwards the leading tp. was fired on from GALLIN but after a very brief resistance they surrendered.
0900 - B Sqdn linked up with A Sqdn at VALLUHN 0652. From here A Sqdn looped N. to investigate ZARRENTIN 1155, B Sqdn continuing on the centre line without any further opposition.
1020 - B Sqdn reported that the track at 1454 was very bad so the Brigadier changed the route to follow through BOISSON 1456.
1145 - Although POW had reported that TESSIN 1857 was strongly held, B Sqdn entered the village without any opposition.
1200 - A Sqdn reached ZARRENTIN which they by-passed leaving C Sqdn and 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. to clear the town; by 12.25 the leading tp. had reached the area 1458.
1230 - R.H.Q. which was following 5 Para. Bde. H.Q. in the main column was held up by a traffic jam on a narrow track in the wood at 113534 for 2 hours. During this time B Sqdn who were pushing on at top speed went out of wireless contact. At 13.00 they were attacked by our own TYPHOON fighter aircraft on the main road at 210683; 1 Bren carrier was knocked out, 1 man was killed and another was seriously injured.
1400 - A Sqdn took 200 POW at 1361 together with their horses; during the next hour they took more than 200 more in the same area. These prisoners were part of the staff of a large Allied POW camp in that area. From this point onwards the advance continued at full speed unchecked. At GADEBUSCH 2372 B Sqdn were ordered to continue N. as fast as possible, then to swing E. at 410872 as far as the line LUBOW 4990 - HOHEN VIECHLEN 4983 in an effort to contact the RUSSIAN forces who were known to be making for that area from the E. At some places the advance was delayed by thousands of the enemy giving themselves up and the road was often blocked by GERMAN transport. It was impossible to count the number of POW and often difficult to disarm them all. No contact was made with the RUSSIANS and by 19.00. Sqdns were harboured:- R.H.Q. 442869, A 421849, B 464810, C and 22nd 4390.
3rd May 1945
0815 - B Sqdn tp. sent to contact RUSSIANS in area LUBOW 4990; they were contacted at 09.11. and the tp. returned.
4th May 1945
1515 - Regt. moved to new area to take over Military Government. Areas:- Coast line, Grid Line 30, main road from 300915 to 400961 thence N. to coast (excl. WISCH). Sqdns located as follows:- R.H.Q. 357004, A Sqdn 334963, B Sqdn 355993, C Sqdn 380937, 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. 305923, H.Q. Sqdn 360954.
5th May 1945
0025 - Message from 6 Airborne Div. H.Q.:- GERMANS in NW EUROPE surrendered unconditionally at 041820B. Hostilities cease at 050800B.
1830 - Orders:- Sqdns will be responsible for Military Government in their own area to be carried out on lines of Operation ECLIPSE. As far as possible everything will be done through the local burgomasters. Nobody will pass through the area without a pass and permanent check points will be established as follows:- By day and night, A Sqdn 303003, B Sqdn 400962, C Sqdn 366915, 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. 302913 and 300934. From 07.00 to 21.00, A Sqdn 323955, B Sqdn 356975 and C Sqdn 391946. Curfew (unless in possession of a special pass) 20.00 - 05.00. POW to be sent to Div. cages. All fire-arms to be collected. Displaced persons - If moving east to be sent to EASTLAND CAMP and if moving west to be sent to WESTLAND CAMP. Both camps located in WISMAR. Enemy transport to be located and, if movable sent to E.M.E. at H.Q. Sqdn otherwise location to be reported. Medical Officer to contact any local doctors and supervise medical arrangements in the area. Wireless - Hourly calls from 07.00 until 21.00 when a D.R. will be sent to R.H.Q.
6th May 1945
Sqdns searched areas and manned check points.
7th May 1945
8th May 1945
Complete capitulation of all GERMAN Armed Forces to take effect as from 00.01 to-night.
9th May 1945
10th May 1945
The job of the Military Government in this area proceeds quietly and smoothly. The local people show a certain willingness to co-operate and so far no deliberate defiance of the laws enforced has been encountered. All except one of the Sqdn Leaders have fixed office hours when the local people can go to them with their complaints and requests. Requests are usually to go back to their own homes which vary from a few miles to several hundred miles away. The original rule concerning the movement of civilians has been relaxed so that they can now return to their homes provided they are in the Div. area. At first the general tendency was for everybody to want to move westwards away from the RUSSIANS but this has now been checked.
11th May 1945
12th May 1945
13th May 1945
14th May 1945
1600 - 5 Brit. Div. Recce Regt. recce party arrived to prepare to take over in Regt. area. Regt. to be prepared to move on May 17.
15th May 1945
Regt. move post-poned to May 20. Recce party of 5 Div. Recce Regt. returned to unit.
16th May 1945
1000 - All tanks and carriers handed in to 39 P.O.D.
2000 - Orders:- Regt. will return to U.K. in two parties, one by air and the other by road and sea via OSTEND. Journey will be divided into stages; everybody will go to LUNEBURG on the first stage. Move will commenced on May 17. Order of march to LUNEBURG:- A Sqdn (with the Assault tp. under command to act as D.R.s), R.H.Q., C Sqdn, 22nd Indep. Para. Coy., H.Q. Sqdn, and B Sqdn. Cross Regt. S.P. 400960 at 10.00 and Div. S.P. 387839 at 11.00. Route:- GADEBUSCH, RETTENDORF 1771, ZIETHEN 0370, MOLLIN 9562, SCHWARTENBECK 8249, Rd. junc. 7447, GEISTHACHT, bridge 7540, D.P. 771251, then to CAVALRY BARRACKS, LUNEBURG. P.O.L. at LUNEBURG. Constant wireless watch as from 07.00. Halts at the discretion of leading Sqdn. Air party to travel to LUNEBURG in the 8 enemy vehicles supplied by Div.
17th May 1945
1000 - Regt. left WISMAR.
1630 - Arrived at LUNEBURG and harboured in wood at 186849.
2230 - Orders:- 60 from the Regt. and 40 from the 22nd Indep. Para. Coy. to report to the airfield at LUNEBURG at 06.30 on May 18 to fly back to U.K.
18th May 1945
0615 - Advance air party left harbour, took off at 07.35 and flew back to U.K. via BRUSSELS, where they changed planes. Arrived LARKHILL, WILTS (Regtl base) 16.00. Regt. ordered to stay in harbour until whole of air party left.
1600 - Further 80 to stand by to return to U.K. by air; later stood down.
2245 - Remainder of air party (125) ordered to be at LUNEBURG airfield at 10.00 on May 19; to travel to airfield in the enemy transport, which will be handed in to the dump at the CAVALRY BARRACKS after the take-off. As soon as the drivers return Regt will move to No.2 Staging Area at SULINGEN. Route:- LUNEBURG, AMELINGHAUSEN 6606, SOLTAU 4189, FALLINGBOSTEL 3276, RETHEM 1066, EYSTRUP 9965, HASEL 9968, WESELOH 7867, SULINGEN 7254.
19th May 1945
1000 - Air party left airfield, after which the enemy transport was handed in.
1400 - Regt. left harbour.
1800 - Air party arrived LARKHILL.
2100 - Regt. harboured at VARRIL 678478.
2200 - Regt. ordered to move to No.2 Staging Area at GOCH on MAY 20. Cross S.P. 621476 at 07.15. Route:- REHDEN 5046, DIEPHOLTZ 4245, REININGEN 3928, ENGTER 2221, HALEN 1415, IBBEBBUREN 9808, RHEINE, METELEN, ANUAS 4986, STADTLOHN 4377, BOCHOLT 2264, HALDERN 1153, REES bridge, CALCAR, GOCH 9043.
20th May 1945
0700 - Regt left harbour at VARREL.
1700 - Regt harboured at GOCH 9043.
1900 - Orders to move to LOUVAIN on 3rd stage of journey. Route:- VENLO, ITTERVORT, BREE, PEER, HECHTEL, BOURG LEOPOLD, DIEST, LOUVAIN.
21st May 1945
0700 - Regt. left harbour at GOCH and arrived at CORTENBURG (W. of LOUVAIN) at 14.30.
1700 - Orders:- Regt. will move to OSTEND on May 22; move out from harbour at 07.00. Route:- BRUSSELS By-Pass, ASCH, ALOST, GHENT, DEYNZE, LICHTERVEDE, OSTEND.
22nd May 1945
0700 - Regt. left CORTENBURG and arrived at OSTEND 13.30. Billetted in Transit Camp.
2100 - 1 Staff Car, 5 Jeeps with trailers and 1 Water truck ordered to load on to L.S.T. at 10.30 on May 23. No further movement for remainder.
23rd May 1945
Vehicles as detailed loaded on to L.S.T. which sailed at 11.30 and arrived at TILBURY at 23.00. Party arrived at LARKHILL at 15.00 on May 24.
24th May 1945
1000 - Orders to be ready to move to CALAIS by road at 02.00 on May 25; time later changed to 12.00 on same day.
25th May 1945
1200 - Regt. left OSTEND and moved to CALAIS via THOUROUT, YPRES, POPERINGHE, and ARDRES. Arrived CALAIS at 16.30 and loaded vehicles on to train ferry at 22.00. Personnel spent night at the Transit Camp.
26th May 1945
Train ferry left CALAIS at 09.30. and docked at DOVER at 11.30. Moved to LARKHILL via FOLKESTONE, ASHFORD, REDHILL, GUILDFORD, BASINGSTOKE and ANDOVER.
27th May 1945
Personnel entitled to leave as follows:- 28 days, - All those who are eligible for service in S.E.A.C. i.e. those who age and service group is 27 and above. 14 days - Those who have returned from B.L.A. and who have not had leave since December. 9 days - All remaining personnel. All leave to be completed by July 20.
28th to 31st May 1945
Regt. on leave.
Tank Half Sqn. 8 T.9s commanded by C.O. and 4.2" mortar tp (Capt O'Hanlon). Took off at Woodbridge and at Little Dunmow respectively.
Take off 0730 in good weather. Flight without incident under perfect conditions. Cast off 1050 approx. LZ obscured by smoke and covered with intense flak. COs tank landed, very wide of RV and within one field of another which somersaulted and landed on its back, crew OK. En route to RV, CO picked up one more which had gone through a house, a runner but guns out of action. The rear link tank (Lieut Kenward) landed OK in right area and was in action immediately, only to be brewed up by an 88 while supporting Americans who were clearing up a farm building. Of the remainder, one (Sgt Dawson) was reported to have been shot out of the air and another, damaged en route to the RV, remained in action all day in front of 12 Para Bn positions. Four tanks eventually reached the RV and occupied the high feature 1847 and railway embankment. They came under fire almost at once and were given 1 platoon Devon in support. During the ensuing fight casualties were suffered by both ourselves and the Devon, one Tp Sgt being wounded and the Platoon Commander being killed, both forward tanks were hit by MMGs and fired upon by heavier guns. During the night all tanks moved into section areas, and the sections themselves were reinforced with glider pilots. The enemy attempted to infiltrate during the night, but after suffering casualties withdrew. In the early hours of the morning contact was established with the 8 Para Bn and the enemy drew off. This position was vital to us in that it commanded Div HQ from a range of 800x.
The 4.2" mortar troop was placed under command CRA during planning and flew in with 53 Light Regt (The Worcestershire Yeomanry). Most of the troop was landed wide of its objective and in the outskirts of the village of HAMMINKELN, where they came under intense AA and small arms fire. Capt O'Hanlon, however, collected them together and they fought their way back to the gun area with the loss of only one jeep. One mortar and crew and one jeep and ammunition trailers were lost due to AA fire.