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: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brigadier J.B. Churcher
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   During the day the 4 Ksli took over from 4 Mon locns as follows: Bde Hq 853194, 3 Mon 848184, 4 Ksli 885189, 8 Rb 884232, 1 Hereford 884168. By the end of the day a further 35 Pow were brought in by the Mons, 8 being sent by Medical channels. The total bag being 45 incl the Coy Comd. All identified as 6 and 5 Coy of Grassmehl. On further investigations, 3 Mons losses were even higher; a total of 8 Offrs killed and 2 wounded, whilst 30 men killed and 80 wounded. This high number has been put down to the fact that the men are new and very untrained, and as soon as their leader was wounded, they all sat down and did nothing. Some of the reinforcements being youngsters with little or no trg with no experience of battle. Little activity was reported during the day.
2   Bde remained in same locns. No activity reported W of river Maas, although movement was observed E of river.
2 1400 At 1400 hrs, a funeral service was held at MELDERSLO cemetery for the Offres and men killed in 3 Mon at BROEKHUIZEN. Nothing reported during the night. Civil Affairs stated evacuating civilians up to 1,000 yds W of Maas.
3   Bde remained in same locns. Nothing reported during the day.
3 1130 At 1130 hrs, the new Corps Comd, Lieut-Gen. E. H. Barker, Cb. Cbe. Dso. M.c., visited this Hq and spoke to all unit comds. No major activity reported.
4   Bde in same locns. Int Course was started at HORST, with an opening address by the Goc. No activity reported during the day.
5   The Bde remained in same locns. Activity reported by fwd Ops of troops in an around enemy posns.
6 1115 At 1115 hrs, the Army Comd visited Bde Hq to see all unit comds. Little activity reported on front, certain amount of shelling, 3 Mon moved to a trg area HOMBERG 820168. The 8 Rb moved to the vacated area of 3 Mon at MELDERSLO around Bde Hq. The Inns of Court Regt taking over from 8 Rb.
7   No activity reported during the day. No 1 course for the Bde Battle School opened, duration 10 days at METERICK. Comdt - Major Northey Mc. of 1 Hereford.
8   No activity reported on the Bde front. The Int Course was concluded with a lecture given by Chester Willmott the Bbc reporter.
B.L.A. 9   Slight increase in enemy shelling and mortaring during the day. Normal activity observed by Ops on E side of Maas.
10   Bde in same locns, usual activity reported.
11   Bde in same locns, usual activity reported.
12   Bde in same locns, usual activity reported.
13   1 Hereford were relieved by 8 Rb. 1 Hereford moved to MELDERSLO. No activity reported.
14   No activity reported.
15   Recce parties of 185 Bde, 3rd Br. Div visited this Hq prparing to take over our front on 17 Dec. Our Bde to take over from 160 Bde, 53 (W) Div in the ROERMOND area.
16   All quiet on the Bde front during the day.
16 2100 By 2100 hrs the two fwd Bns had been relieved by the 185 Bde. The Bde was preparing to move to the ROERMOND area on the 17 Dec to hold another sector of the Maas. 8 Rb returned to comd of 29 Armd Bde who were out of the line for re-fit.
17   During the morning, the Bde moved to the new area.
17 1400 By 1400 hrs, Bde Hq was in new locn N of BAEXAM 708942. 1 Hereford taking over from Rwf and 3 Mon from 2 Mon. 4 Ksli in reserve at BAEXAM. During the move down, enemy Jet Planes were seen overhead. One plane actually straffed the 3 Mon column with no effect. Div Hq moved to ELL at 645932 and the 4 Armd Bde Hq at the CASTELL at 648864. The front was reported to be quiet with spasmodic shelling and mortaring.
18   3 Mon reported 30 civs crossing the Maas - quite an amount of infm was gained.
18 1200 At approx 1200 hrs 3 Mon reported they had taken 4 Pow from 6 Coy, 11 Bn Hubner who were on patrol with orders to take a Pow. Details of their orders were obtained. A party was arranged to catch the boating party who were going to collect them. On hearing the given signal of 3 shots fired, two on a Luger. This operation was not successful owing to the fact that the patrol split up into two parties and then owing to the darkness and general tension, fired on each other which scared the enemy boat party which had answered the pre-arranged signal and therefore turned back.
19   Little activity reported. Spasmodic shelling and mortaring. During the evening, a recce party was arranged to try and cross at the Lock gates at 734878 with sp from arty on the known posns of the enemy which was timed to come down at the time of the reported change over of pln. The patrols reported the shelling to be effective as cries were heard from the other side. The patrol was unable to cross the Lock owing to trip flares and booby traps which brought down fire on fixed lines.
20   No activity reported during the day. Although one enemy raiding party successfully winkled out a sec post of the 3 Mon, at the time the relief was expected.
21   During the night, a party of loyal Dutch people crossed the Maas, and came into our lines. Also, one very doubtful person, who admitted he had been trained as a Saboteur. No enemy shelling reported during the day.
22   Bde remained in same locns. Little to report. Enemy reported to be patrolling on this side of the Maas.
23   Bde in same locns. A general stropping up of the Hun posns was laid of for 1300 hrs, to help them celebrate their Xmas, which we heard through civ reps was being held on the 23rd.
24   Bde in same locns. Recce parties of the 338 Bty arrived in the area in readiness to take over a Coy posn in the 1 Hereford area, in an inf role.
25   During the night, two of a crew of a Raf Halifax (one F/O and one Sgt) crossed the Maas accompanied by four Dutch boys and one girl, having been in hiding since May 24. Little activity reported during the day. The new Bm, Major P. M. Slane Mc. Joined the Hq in replacement of Major R. T. St John, who left as instructor at the Staff College. The new Bm had just left the Staff Collage. One Gaf pilot was picked up by 3 Mon. (He and three others were part of a bomber crew brought down during the night. The three others had been captured previously).
26   Bde remained in same locns. Little enemy activity reported.
27   Bde remained in same locns. 4 Ksli took over from the 1 Hereford in the area HEIDE. Capt Higgson, G III Div joined Bde Hq for a 5 days stay. A Testcase was made by sending an empty boat down the Maas to try and draw fire. Two Spandaus opened up soon after the launching.
28   Bde remained in same locns. No activity reported. During the night, 4 boats were seen floating down the river; these were shot up successfully.
29   Bde remained in same locns. No activity reported.
30   Bde remained in same locns. No activity reported.
31   Bde remained in same locns. No activity reported.

previous 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.