On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Instructions regarding War Diaries and Intelligence Summaries are contained in F.S. Regs., Vol. 1. and the Staff Manual respectively Title pages will be prepared in manuscript.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: HQ 159 Infantry Brigade
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brigadier J.B. Churcher
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1-7   The div remained in the GEMERT area, resting, refit etc, filmshows, baths etc.
1-7   During this period Hereford had one coy detached at MEIJEL in a composite force with one tp of 151 Fd Regt
7   During the night 6/7 the Bde was ordered to take up a portion of the line now held by 7 US Armd Div from VORTUM 7937 to incl rd ST ANTHONIS - OVERLOON. The Bde was grouped with 4 ksli, 1 Hereford, 2 ff Yeo, 75 A Tk Regt less two btys under cmd. The role of the Div was to act as right flank protection to Second Army, Second Army hq being at HELMOND
7 1230 The units of the Bde moved at 1230 and were all in the new location by 1630 hrs, taking over from the combat teams of the 7 US Armd Div. Bde HQ in the area of ST ANTHONIS, 4 ksli area MULLEM, west of VORTUM, 1 Hereford area WOODS, north of OVERLOON. 2 ff Yeo area SAMBEEKSCHE HEIDE 7335.
8   The Bde remained same locations, patrolling continued during the day, many posns being pin-pointed, incl guns, action being taken by Gunners. A Lt. Beduin of the Dutch Army joined the Bde as an interrogator. He visited BOXMEER with Capt. Andrews, LO.1, to get latest form from local inhabitants. A lot of infm was gained. In direct result an ambush has been arranged in BOXMEER to catch any Huns that cross during the night after the Inns Of Court and ff Yeo patrols withdraw. Shelling and mortaring continued during the day on the fwd posns. During the early eveningthe Huns put in a counter-attack on the Hereford's fwd posn of approx two pl strength. The Herefords had to give a certain amount of grouns. The ambush arranged for the Windmill in BOXMEER area did not materialise as it was reported tehe enemy were already in posn. During the night patrols reported small amount of movement.
9   The Bde remained in the present locations. Shelling and mortaring continued on the area during the day. Patrols continued during the day.
9 1530 At 1530 hrs 1 Hereford put in a strong raid on the enemy posns with the assistance of the guns of the tks, also Arty, resulting in 17 Huns being captured, many killed and wounded being left behind.
9 2030 Many more offensive patrols were arranged to take place during the night. 4 ksli sent a fighting patrol of one Offr (Capt. Quash) and 20 ORs to obtain an identification from the enemy posn at KLUIT 788349. This was succesfully carried out at 2030 hrs, killing 4 or 5 enemy, 1 captured. Patrols continued during the night
10   Bde remained in present locations, great deal of movement in Bde area, 8 Agra and 3 (Brit) Div were concentrating. During the day aggressive patrols were sent out to locate the enemy. Certain Pw were taken,identification made from Bn - Paul Hoffman from Regt Hartegg. Shelling and mortaring continued during day to a lesser degree. Our [...] continued to give harrassing fire with good results.
11   The Bde remained [...] Aggressive patrolling continued, building up the enemy picture daily. All reps of HQs of [...] sited this Hq for information of the front in readiness for their [...]
B.L.A. 12   The Bde remained in same posn
12 1100 At 1100 hrs medium bombers came over and bombed areas behind the enemy lines. Typhoons straffing up any seen movement, gun posns. Our guns opened up a large arty programme wich continued all day. The 3 (Brit) Div put in their attack with one Bde up. By nightfall they had adv to the main East-West rd from OVERLOON. Some tps in OVERLOON, and up in Woods tothe West and slightly South. The Churchill tks were held up by A.Tk minefields. Lanes were cleared, and by the end of the day a tp of tks was with each of the fwd Bns. Patrolling was carried out during the night by 4 Ksli and 1 Hereford. Our own arty continued on a heavy scale during the night.
13   The 3 (Brit) Div continued their adv and by the end of the day had two Bdes in the Wood, south of OVERLOON. We continued to send out aggressive patrols with good results. A small party was laid on by 4 Ksli to clean up 24 Huns who were dug in just this side of the MAAS by the Wier of SAMBEEK. This was carried out during the afternoon with excellent results, all the enemy being accounted for, including 14 Pw. The mortaring and shelling of our fwd posns became less as the 3rd Brit advanced although in the early evening the Bn Hq of 4 Ksli was heavily stonked. Orders had been given out to all units in the 159 Inf Bde Gp, which consisted of the 4th Ksli, 1 Hereford, 15/19 H, 2 Ff Yeo, one bty 117 of 75 A Tk Regt, for the move through the 3rd (Brit) Div to our objective, no specific time being given as it depended on the progress of 3 (Brit) Div.
14   The Bde remained in present posns, 3 (Brit) Div continued ops. 3 (Brit) Recce Rgt took over posns in front of 4 Ksli. In the late afternoon the Bde was ordered to prepare to take over posns in the area South of SCHAFFERDEN with arty and air sp, in order to protect the left flank of 3 (Brit) Div.
15 0900 At 0900 hrs Tac Bde Hq moved to the area 749341, the location of the Hq of 1 Hereford.
15 1030 At 1030 hrs the barrage in sp of 4 Ksli commenced. 4Ksli reported slight opposition
15 1115 At 1115 hrs report came back that 27 Pw taken - progress still good. 1 Hereford prepared themselves with 15/19 H to go through Ksli to clean up area to North in the KIJKUIT. 4Ksli reached objectives after having some hard struggles. Air sp was in continual use, Typhoons being called on to VIERLINGSBEEK Marshes. Quite a lot of light Aa was put up by the Hun. 15/19 H, during the later part of the day lost one tank on a mine, but knocked out an 88 mm and an A Tk dual purpose gun. Further Pw reported by 1 Hereford and 4 Ksli, the day's bag amounting to approx 70. These were from various units - 437 Enginee Bn, Bn Romansky, Bn Greving, Bn Hoffmann and Bn Paul.
16   The Bde remainde in their new posns, making as many faces as possible at the enemy, while 3 (Brit) Div pushed their way on to VENRAY. By the end of the day slow progress had been made. The Bde had orders to move as soon as possible to the area DEURNE with the object of attacking from the West.
16 1700 At 1700 hrs 16/19 H and 1 Hereford left the area with main Bde Hq.
16 1915 4 Ksli were being relieved by Kosb and a fire plan was made for 1915 hrs to 2000hrs. Owing to the very bad weather conditions the movement of all vehs was greatly reduced, some being bogged.
16 2400 By midnight 4 Ksli and 2 Ff Yeo were withdrawn in readiness to move off at first light to the area of DEURNE 6520. 1 Hereford and 15/19 H were already in that area.
B.L.A. 17 0730 At 0730 hrs Tac Bde Hq moved for new area near DEURNE, followed by 2 Ff Yeo and 4Ksli. 1 Hereford and 15/19 H were ordered to pass through 7 Us Armd div and take IJSSELSTEIGN 7222 - to start adv at 1000 hrs. Contact was made with 7 Us Armd Div and a plan was made. The area was reported to be heavily mined with A Tk and Ap mines. Special attention of this fact was brought to the notice of all dvrs in the Hq.
17 1000 At 1000 hrs 1 Hereford and 15/19 H started adv. Great difficulty was found in crossing br over Canal as the enemy had registered his Nbws mortars and arty on this crossing. 1 Hereford suffered heavy casualties, but still continued to push forward. As the adv continued, Pws began to come in. Arty was arranged, also Typhoon sp and by last light 1 Hereford and 15/19 H had captured IJSSELSTEIGN 7222. One coy of 4 Ksli were sent forward to hold br. The combat gps of the 7 Us Armd Div had moved south of the br. 4 Ksli less one coy in the area 6722, Bde Tac 6721 with 2 Ff Yeo. By the end of the day approx 180 Pw had been taken, mostly from 489 Engineer Bn, some of the rfts having arrived only the night before.
18   At first light 4 Ksli and 2 Ff Yeo pushed forward across the Canal br. Mortaring and shelling was reported most of the day. Pogress was slow owing to the weather and condition of the rds. Many more Pw were taken, incl two completely fanatical Offrs and 3 Offrs who seemed at last to see the light, all from 22 Inf Regt. The 2 Ff Yeo had a very successful bag of 3 Panthers and 2 Jagd Panthers, 3,75 cm guns and one Nebelwerfer. It is appreciated that these are some of the remnents of the 107 Pz Bde. By last light the Bde Gp was rather widely separated.. 4 Ksli and 2 Ff Yeo at VEULEN 7722, 1 Hereford and sqn 15/19 H 7321, 15/19 H less one sqn and Bde Hq at ST CATHERINE HOEVE 7223 just north IJSSELSTEIGN. It was reported that 3 (Brit) Div had taken VENRAY and were moving South, and 7 Us Armd Div was moving up on our right flank.
20   The Bde posns remained unchanged. Hf programmes were laid on by the arty. 4 Ksli in VEULEN, continued to be mortared and shelled all day. 15/19 H were ordered to probe and find out the form of the enemy to the South in and around ST HELENE HOEVE. By the end of the day 15/19 H had Ko's three towed guns and Sp and a Panther but in return had itself suffered a few tank casualties.
20 1830 At approx 1830 hrs three shells uncomfortably close to the Bde Tac Hq vehs. Patrols were laid on for the 19/20th
21   The Bde still held same posns - enemy shelling and mortaring continued in the area. The Cl became impassible to wheeled vehs owing to mud. The Sappers were ordered to lay a log road. This was started, although under shell fire. Orders came through from Div that one bn and an Armd Regt at a time would be completely taken out of the line. Rosters were made and the timings for relief worked out. 3 Mon were to take over 1 Hereford posn in IJSSELSTEIGN and 1 Hereford to take over 4 Ksli posn in VEULEN. The F & F Yeo taking two sqns out of the line to DEURNE and one sqn and Regt Hq in the area of Bde Hq. 15/19 H - one sqn in VEULEN, one area of 3 Mon and one in res with Regt Hq. Patrols were carried out during the night and enemy being shot up - one Pw being taken (wounded).
B.L.A. 22 1000 All units were in their new posns by 1000 hrs on 22 Oct 44. - 4 Ksli moved to rest at DEURNE
22   Bde remainde in same posns. Little or no activity took place during the day. During the evening increase enemy shelling
22 2200 At about 2200 hrs onwards enemy shelling and mortaring became heavy.
23   The Bde continued to hold same posns.
24   The Bde continued to hold same posns.
25   4 Ksli took over 1 Hereford posn at VEULEN with sqn 2 Ff Yeo. 8 Rb took over from 3 Mon in IJSSELSTEIGN. 1 Hereford and two sqns 15/17 H went to rest at DEURNE. Patrolling continued during the night. Enemy continued to send out small aggressive patrols equipped with bazookas with the task of destroying our Afvs. Mortaring and shelling also continued.
26   The Bde remained in same locations.
27   During the morning reports came in to the effect that the Hun had put in an attack across the Canal East of MEIJEL and had succeeded ingetting 200 men and 5 tanks into the area. The 7 Us Armd Div were holding this sector, which made the task of getting information extremely difficult.
27 1200 At 1200 hrs 1 Hereford and two sqns of 15/19 H now resting in DEURNE were ordered to get ready to take over from the American Ccb at GRIENDTSVEEN so that they could counter-attack the Boche and push them back over the Canal if necessary.
27 2000 By 2000 hrs reports came in that their posn was partially restored by two coys of their Recce Regt and two coys of Inf who had re-entered MEIJEL.
27 2200 By 2200 hrs 1 Hereford reported in their new area. A Bn of the 3 (Brit) Div, 2 E Yorks, came under cmd of the Bde to act as counter-attack force, taking up posns around IJSSELSTEIGN. Active patrolling was laid on for the night.
28   Early morning reports from 7 Us Armd Div contradicting the report of the previous night. The enemy were still in MEIJEL when the Americans put in their counter-attack. - So did the Hun. By the end of the day the Hun had been pushed back in the Northern sector to within 500 yards of the west of HELENAVEEN but they had advanced approx two miles West of MEIJEL on the MEIJEL - ASTEN rd. This attack was held. 2 E Yorks of 3 (Brit) Div were moved to an area South of DEURNE - area of HOOGDONK 6616 to stop any Northward move which might happen during the night. Two Bdes of the 15(S) Div were moving during the night to strengthen their posn.
29   By first light 44 and 46 Bdes of 15 (S) Div had arrived in the area to take up their posns with the 227 Bde following. 46 Bde took up a posn astride rd South of DEURNE on the DEURNE - MEIJEL rd. 44 Bde west of ASTEN and 22 going into ASTEN. 1 Hereford still remained in the area GRIENDTSVEEN 7117 with 2 E Yorks to the West watching the southern approaches, with the 15/19 H probing and recceing the lanes as far as the inter-Div bdy running west to East on the 16 Grid. The Hun mad little progress during the day - the general advance being held. Preparations were being made for a counter-attack bij 15 (S) Div. Ccr of 7 Us Armd Div held their ground on the ASTEN _MEIJEL rd but the ccb became involved and owing to confused reports was unable to give its exact locations. The airforce was able to give excellent sp during the day owing to good weather and succeeded in destroying the five brs across the Canal.
29 1900 At approx 1900 hrs enemy planes during the DEURNE area and dropped Ap and He bombs. Little damage or casualties were reported. Patrols were arranged by all units.
30   During the day 15 (S) Div took over from 7 Us Armd Div. Small advances were made towards LIESEL and LOON. The general advance of the Hun seems to have been halted and held. The units of this Bde remained in the same locations and were not involved in the battle. During the night patrols were sent out. Just North of GRIENDSTEEN a patrol was shot up, killing one & capturing a Pw identified from 1 Coy 16 Bn 22 regt. The Pw disclosed much information, including an intended attack on GRIENDSTVEEN. and general movement in the area, locations etc.
31   The units in the Bde remained in the same location. The 15 (S) Div continued their progress, taking 1 Offr and 130 Pw during the day. Little movement took place during the day. The usual patrols were sent out during the night. One Pw was taken by the 8 Rb in the area ERICA 7620. The Pw knew very little but was part of a standing patrol, awake at night, asleep during the day.

previous month | next month

Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Pim van Gelder.

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.