|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: 3rd Bn Irish Guards|
|Month and Year: November 1944||(Erase heading not required).||Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. J.O.E. Vandeleur|
|MALDEN||1||Coy Comds spent the day carrying out recce of counter-attack role West of the REICHSWALD Forest in conjunction with Sqn Comds of 2 Recce W.G.|
|MALDEN||2||Coy trg was carried out in the Bn area.|
|MALDEN||3||The Bn received a warning order to return to take over the defences of NIJMEGEN bridges in place of the 1 WG, who were to come under comd of 11 Armd Div in the VENLO area. The day was spent in preparation for the move and handover of billets to the Rifle Bde.|
|NIJMEGEN||4||The Bn had , by 1000 hrs, occupied its original posns round the rd and Rly bridges over the R. WAAL The role, the same as we had fulfilled before, was one of static defence and therefore training, of which some of the rfts stood in sore need, was able to continue.|
|NIJMEGEN||5/10||The Bn remained in the area of the brs and provided the area with local protection. The period was quiet and uneventful except for sporadic shelling which increased in intensity towards the end and caused some cas. From time to time Bn received visits from Bde and Div Comds for the purpose of inspecting the defence.|
|NIJMEGEN||11||The Bn received a warning order to move the following day to the area of SITTARD 6868 to take over from units of 19 US Corps. On the same day recce parties from the Cdn Recce Bn which was to take over our commitments, arrived in the area and remained with the Bn overnight.|
|NIJMEGEN Ė GREVENBICHT||12||The relief of the rifle Coys was effected by 1500 hrs and at 1630 hrs the Bn left NIJMEGEN on a night drive to GREVENBICHT 6273 where we were to concentrate preparatory to taking over a piece of the line.|
|GREVENBICHT||13||The Bn reached the conc area at about 0700 hrs and spent the day resting and settling into new posn.|
|GREVENBICHT||14||The Bde Comd arrived at the Bn at 1000 hrs and told us that we had to take over from 125 Cav Recce Sqn US, a sector included NIEUWSTADT 6872 to incl HOLTUM 6573. Accordingly, recce parties set out for detailed recce of the area, and it was decided to occupy NIEUWSTADT with two coys, HOLTUM with one, and one coy was to be in Div res with Bn HQ at BORN 6472.
The gap between NIEUWSTADT and HOLTUM was to be filled by Honey tks from 2 (Armd) IG. In the evening we received the news that that the Commanding Officer (Lt. Col. J.C.H. Vandeleur DSO) had received comd of 129 Inf Bde and was to leave us on the following morning.
|GREVENBICHT||15||The CO left at 0900 hrs and at 1600 hrs the Bn , commanded by Major P.F.I. Reid, had entered its new posns. At 1730 hrs the new Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. T. Gimson, arrived at Bn HQ and took over comd. During the night, recce patrols operated on our front but without making contact with the enemy. An enemy patrol penetrated our posn at NIEUWSTADT but when grenades were thrown at it, it quickly withdrew.|
|BORN Ė HOLTUM Ė NIEUWSTADT||16||At about 1000 hrs the Div Comd and the Bde Comd arrived at the Bn to inspect the defensive lay-out. As a result of their visit, several changes were made to the tactical dispositions but the locations of the coys remained unaltered.
The day was quiet except for occasional shell fire. During the night our patrols were active again on the Bn front and made contact with the enemy at a number of places.
|17||Another quiet day marked only by patrol activity and occasional shelling. During the night ambushes were laid for enemy patrolling which was anticipated, but without result.|
|18||A very quiet day except for desultory shelling. Our patrols were again active in an endeavour to ascertain the enemyís intention and dispositions on our immediate front.|
|19||Patrolling during the day was designed to discover whether there were any signs of enemy withdrawal or thinning out. This was to be anticipated as aresult of the advances further South, including the capture of GEILENKIRCHEN. Our fwd coys maintained contact with the enemy however, and apart from signs of movement by MT a short distance behind the FDLs, there was nothing to indicate any change in enemy policy.|
|20||Today saw a considerable decrease in the amount of enemy shelling and at one time, it was thought that in the Northern part of the Bn sector, the enemy had withdrawn slightly to the NE. This however was belied by the fact that during the night 20/21st our patrols contacted enemy sentries in posns which they had previously held, and towards dusk a recce patrol from the Southern Coy clashed with a large body of the enemy, which incl what appeared to be offrs on recce.|
|21||Another quiet day in which bad weather made movement and patrolling difficult. Still no sign of enemy withdrawal on our front.|
|22||Slight increase of shelling in the Bn area during the day, few enemy were seen , this may have been due to the appalling weather. During the last three days changes have been observed in the enemys habits. These circumstances lead to one or the other of two conclusions, either a relief effected on our front or the thinning out of the line & the residue indulging in excessive activity to conceal the fact.|
|23||Very little shelling on our fwd posnís today Owing to bad weather conditions little was observed of the enemy, during the early hrs of the morning a flare was set off possibly by an enemy patrol in search of infm. Nothing was discovered which either confirms or refutes the possibility of a relief on our front. The nights patrolling produced no infm or identification.|
|24||Bad weather conditions with visibility 300 to 400 yds, again made observation difficult & as a result little was heard or seen of the enemy during the day. Shelling in the Bn area was light. During the night patrols established the presence of the enemy along the canal bank & and found signs of fresh digging.|
|25||Bn HQ was shelled in the early hrs of the morning & was spasmodic shelling in the coy areas during the day. A patrol from No. 4 coy had a skirmish with a German patrol & two prisoners were taken by ambush. With the capture of these PW we were able to establish the identity of the enemy on our front, who proved to be 39 Fus. This at last solved the possibility of enemy relief & showed that none had taken place since we had been in our present posnís.|
|26||Shelling again on No. 4 Coys area started the days activity by the enemy. The Div Cmdr visited the Bn. Greatly improved weather conditions made it possible to observe signs of enemy activity along the whole front, fresh digging which had taken place during the misty weather has been observed & a wire fence has been erected as of ISENBRUCH. It is now possible to say with some certainty there has been no relief on our immediate front. The fact that not all posnís are constantly manned & and that the enemy change from one to the other indicates a desire to make us believe that he is stronger than he really is. Although the PW captured yesterday denied that there had been any thinning out.|
|27||In the S part of the Bn sector a German patrol of about 20 men reentered their posnís in wood SW of the canal at about 0815 hrs. Observations later in the morning drew fire from what seemed a single rifleman, but whether or no this served the presence of others could not be ascertained. It may be that realizing our desire to dominate the canal & our habit of sending patrols out at night, the enemy has decided to intercept us or obtain warning of our approach by means of flares. Certainly he seems very sensitive to any activity on this part of the front. The Germans appear to have completed the defences in this area to their satisfaction.
There was no shelling in the Bn area today.
|28||Today there was a renewal of enemy shelling on the Bn area. For our own part we carried out a programme of harrising fire on various known enemy posnís on the front. The wood at 685755 was investigated at 1600 hrs, it was found unoccupied. No traces of fresh digging or booby traps were discovered.|
|29||Hostile activity has again been confined to shelling from which No 4 coy suffered most. In the afternoon a white Ho at 684736 possibly occupied by the enemy was shot up, though not entirely destroyed. In retaliation a Pl of No 4 coy were heavily mortared without casualties.|
|30||Another quiet day, The HOLTUM coy again came under intermittent MG fire during the night & replied by mortaring known enemy posnís. Just after 0620 about 20 shells fell in the same coys area. Beyond this slight activity, it is known that at least one German patrol crossed the canal in the evening, but it was seen on its way back & and had caused no-one any trouble.|
Helaas geen map gevonden.
Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Fred Bolle.
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.