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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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 3rd Bn Irish Guards
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. J.O.E. Vandeleur
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
LIMBRICHT 1   The Bn received orders to hand over the present posns to 1st Bn Rifle Bde & move to the harbour area in res at LIMBRICHT 669701. During the day recce parties from the relieving Bn went round the posn’s & the relief was completed by 1800 hrs.
2   A quiet day was spent in the new area in resting and cleaning up after the period in the line. 3, 4, + 7
3   In the morning we received orders to take over a part of the line from VINTELEN to HASTENRATH from 1st Bn Gren Gds. The C.O. spent the day in recce and during the evening orders were issued for a move on the following afternoon.
GANGELT 4   At 1400 hrs the Bn left LIMBRICHT & moved to a conc area in the woods SW of GANGELT, as it was necessary to make the relief by night.. The relief itself was slow but uneventful & it was after midnight before the vehs of the last coy had completed the change over.
5   At about 0730 hrs a deserter arrived at GANGELT from 159 trg Bn which was holding the line on our front. He had been part of an enemy patrol designed to capture a prisoner by waylaying vehs on the rd GANGELT – GELSENKIRCHEN. He was able to give us little infm of importance beyond the sector hold by his Bn and the str of coys but his identification indicated that there had been no relief on this sector for some time.
6   Our patrols on the night 5/6 established the fact that the enemy was still occupying LANGBROICH 7970 & BUSCHENRIEDE 7770, & during the day smoke from houses in those areas indicated their continued presence. A projected patrol for the night 6/7 had to be abandoned owing to confusion on our right flank, where a neighbouring Bn was being relieved.
7   At about 0800 hrs four deserters from 159 trg Bn gave themselves up to our coy at HASTENRATH 7669. They had been engaged on a patrol designed to cut telephone wire on the rd GANGELT – SITTARD. Their ifm served in the main to confirm what we already knew & it is apparent that there is still little or no organisation in 176 Div. The Bn handed over the sector to the 9 DLI during the night 7/8 & moved to a rest area at RAATH 7464.
The relief was completed without incident & the last coy had changed over by 2200 hrs.
RAATH 8   The Bn spent the day settling into the new area & reorganising after the last period in the line. The C.O. attended a conference at Div and planning was started for an operation which was to take place in the near future.
9   The C.O. attended a conference at Bde at 1000 hrs on subject of next operation.. There was also an intelligence conference at Div in the afternoon. Otherwise the time was at the disposal of Coy Cmdr to polish up trg as best they could before they were on the move again.,
10   There was another conference at Bde HQ during the morning which the C.O. and I.O. attended. During the evening a conference of Coy Cmdrs was held at which they were told the outline plan for the next operation.
11 – 16   Trg continued in the area RAATH. Owing to unfavourable weather conditions the projected operation was cancelled & on the 16th Dec the Bn received a warning order to reoccupy a sector of the front between VINTELEN & HERKENRATH. 8
17   Recce was carried out during the morning & the relief of the 9 DLI. was completed by 2100 hrs without incident. During the night standing patrols were sent out as a protective measure but nothing was seen or heard of the enemy.
GANGELT 18   The day was quiet & the enemy showed little offensive inclination except for a few sniping shots on the left hand coy area. Movement on the front however indicated the continued occupation of known enemy localities. During the night patrols reported sounds of digging & M.T. movement but nothing materialised. There was no shell fire on the Bn area.
19   Bad visibility during the day precluded any observation of the enemy & they were as before inactive. During the hrs of darkness we were informed that an enemy counter attack might be expected at some point on the Bde sector. This however failed to materialise & apart from some inattentive enemy who fired on one of our patrols from a def posn the night was uneventful. Recce parties were warned to start at first light next morning for LOUVAIN to recce a new Bn area. 5, 6 + 9
20   Recce parties from the 9 DLI. arrived during the morning, & the Bn was relieved uneventfully. By 2100 hrs we were concentrated a few miles S of GANGELT ready for a night move to LOUVAIN. During the day however Maj. P.F.I Reid had been sent fwd to recce an alternative area in support of the American 1st Army. He met the Bn Coln in HASSELT & informed us that we had to move direct to the area LANDEN – ATTENHOVEN.
ATTENHOVEN 21   At about 0900 hrs recce part parties left HASSELT, here the Bn had been halted & proceeded to the new area. We were by no means in contact with the enemy, & the posn was one of counter attack reserve. All the coys were in their harbour area by 1300 hrs.
22 - 25   The Bn remained as a counter attack reserve in the area of LANDEN & spent Christmas peacefully in these surroundings. Apart from a few rd piquets which had to be found to counter the possibility of enemy saboteurs infiltrating in allied uniforms, the coys were able to clean up & start some trg.
26   At 2300 hrs we were informed that on the following day the Bn was to take over from the 43rd Div the responsibility for guarding Brs. Over the R. MEUSE at HUY, SERAING, & VISE. An O Gp was held at 0300 hrs, & the Bn was ordered to move shortly after first light the following day.
MOMALLE 27   Despite a certain amount of confusion in the orders which we received, all the coys had successfully taken over the responsibility for their various brs by 2000 hrs. The nature of the duties was simply to guard the brs themselves against enemy saboteurs & Para tps as the enemy ground forces were still some considerable distance away.
28   At about 1400 hrs we were informed that the Bn was to be relieved of its commitments on the MEUSE with the remainder of the Div on or about Dec 30th. Accordingly recce parties from the coy selected areas in the neighbourhood of Bn HQ & prepared to move to them on the following day.
29   At about 1200 hrs Bn received orders to return to ATTENHOVEN as the projected move S of the MEUSE had been cancelled. Since three of the rifle coys had already moved into Bn HQ area it was decided that the move for all but the fourth coy would be postponed till the following day.
ATTENHOVEN 30   At about 1000 hrs the Bn left for ATTENHOVEN. The move was uneventful & by 1300 hrs the coys were established in their old billet area.
The remainder of the day was spent in settling in.
31   As we were likely to remain in the present area for some considerable time the day was spent in compiling trg programmes & planning for the period in reserve.

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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.