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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: 4th Tk Bn Coldm Gds.
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. A.W.A. Smith
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   At last we seem to be getting more operational again and today we came under command of 3 Div. whom we had not seen since FLERS. We are the only Bn. in the Bde to come to this area, the other two being kept back in the EINDHOVEN area. Our role is by no means certain but it appears some offensive operation is being planned.
1   The whole Bn again moved at 1800 hrs, crossing the MAAS at GRAVE and the MAAS-WAAAL canal at HEUMEN (wheels). The tanks crossed the MAAS-WAAL canal on the main GRAVE - NIMEGEN road and had to go through NIMEGEN and turn South again in order to get to new area. The Bn harboured in woods a mile North of MOOK. The area is typical of Pirbright - heather, sand and pine trees.
2   There are no definite orders yet but our immediate task is to provide a counter attack force for 185 and 8 Bdes who are taking over from 325 Glider Regt. of 82 U.S. Airborne Div. This Regt had attacked this morning in a S.E. direction. By nightfall it had reached its objectives on right and left i.e. MIDDELAAR and BRETHORST but had been held up in centre at KATERBOSCH.
2   As it seemed we might have to assist 8 Bde, who were relieving 325 Regt, to complete the attack. Sqn Comdrs and Offrs made recces of the area. Lt. Meintezhagen was killed by a mortar burst whilst out on a recce.
3   No 1 Sqn moved out to be in immediate support of 185 Bde who had taken over area of wood between BIETHORST and KNAPHEIDE. A fwd Bn HQ was established between No 1 Sqn and remainder of Bn.
4   Still no definite orders but recce went on and Commanding Officer paid several visits to Div. It appears we are to support 3 Div in an attack onto the REICHSWALD FOREST and it is hoped we will be amongst the first British Tps to enter Germany. During night 3/4 a small number of shells fall in HQ and 3 Div areas causing no casualties to personnel and very minor damage to one or two vehs.
4   2nd Lts […] and […] joined the Bn.
5   We are still waiting definite orders for our attack which gradually seems to be getting into shape. A great many people have made themselves really comfortable in dugouts. It has now become apparent that summer is really over as the night temperature is noticably low and “stand to” at 0645 is a very different matter from when we last did it at FLERS.
6   The situation is still uncertain but preparations still go on. A complete mosaic of the REICHSWALD FOREST was set up.
7   In the late afternoon it was learnt that the REICHSWALD attack was off and that we would probably be moving South again with 3rd Div.
8   There is no news of our next role but 3rd Div started moving during afternoon and we got orders to move tomorrow.
9   The Bn moved during afternoon to conc area 1 ml north of MILL going back over the MAAS by way of the GRAVE br.
10   F Ech moved to conc area woods 7334 at 1400 hrs followed by F 2 at 1330 hrs and were in harbour by 1700 hrs.
10   Commanding Offrs and sqn commanders met 8 Inf Bde Commander ( Brig Cass ) at 1000 hrs for recce and orders. Later tp commanders met their coy commanders. A most unpleasant day with continuous heavy rain which left all the tracks almost impassable to wheeled vehicles.
11   The operation planned for today was postponed for 24 hrs by higher authority, the exact reason was never made known. A day of sunshine enabled everyone to dry themselves out.
12   Full details of the operation planned are given in Appendix “A” Appendix A, Operation Order “B”, Map
BAKEL 21-23   These days were spent in thorough maintenance and exchange and replacement of personal from F.D.S. Recreation and baths were had in HELMOND. On 23rd Sqn commanders liaised with respective Bn Comdrs of 227 Bde 15 (S) Div conference was held.
13 1200 The attack started, and Nos 1 & 3 Sqns gained their objeotives respectively, the factory and ……… The Infantry went into OVERLOON, but withdrew to the north for the night. No 2 Sqn later attacked KAMPHOEF and gained northern edge of wood.
13 1100 The attack started at 1100 hrs No 1 Sqn in support of the Warwicks gained their objective i.e. Track 755300 to X rds 767305. No 3 Sqn on their left also reached this track. Several tanks got mined.
14   No 1 were not seriously engaged. No 2 in their attack towards the MOLEN BEEK lost six tanks by A.P. fire from S.P. guns and 1 Panther well concealed in poplar trees and hedge just in front of the BEEK. The Panther appeared from the southern edge of wood on their left rear flank, and although 3 hits were scored by 6 Pdr, no penetration was made. No 3 Sqn were withdrawn into Div reserve.
OVERLOON 15   Nos 1 & 2 were withdrawn north of OVERLOON in area of triangle wood to re-arm and reform.
16   The Infantry made two bridgeheads over the MOLENBEEK at first light. Nos 1 & 2 Sqns ordered to cross the beek with the assistance of Bdes Churchill bridge-layers. No 2 using the OVERLOON – VENRAY road, where the bridge had been blown. No 1 using the track to their right. No 2 held up by collapse of bridge-layer, inspite of strenuous attempts by the commanding officer to relay on twe occasions. No 1 got two tps across their bridge, which also showed signs of becoming unusable. Strenuous efforts were made to repair with logs and eventually all were across. No 3 Sqn were then ordered to cross by this bridge and assist the Warwicks to advance, with their final objective V wood at N.E. VENRAY. Both Sqns reached outskirts of VENRAY that evening after stiff opposition had been overcome. Major Tollemache o/c No 3 Sqn was wounded by mortar bomb.
VENRAY 17   No 1 Sqn supporting 2 Warwicks continued attack on BRABANDER which was captured after hard fighting. No 3 supporting K.S.L.I. attacked across the north of VENRAY to area of wood and reservoir …………… also after fairly stiff opposition. Typhoons gave excellent support in poor weather in attacks on targets in VENRAY especially the Church Tower which was thought to be used as O.P. for shell and mortar fire which all along had been fairly heavy. The Infantry entered VENRAY during the night.
VENRAY 18   No 2 in reserve, No 3 in reserve N.E. of BRABANDER. No 1 in suport of Warwicks in attack on ST. SERVATIUS which was reached without serious opposition.
VENRAY 19   No 2 Sqn took over from No 1 Sqn, who came back to area of brick factory S.W. of OVERLOON. No 2 sent two tps forward in support of Warwicks, remainder of Sqn in reserve just north of VENRAY. No 3 Sqn did not move.
20   Bn moved to area north of BAKEL to rest, refit, and complete maintenance. Moved at 0800 hrs. Route OVERLOON – OPLOO – BAKEL.
24   The Bn less B Ech moved to area near DONDERDONK. A Ech to ST OEDENRODE a few miles north. Map Sheet 18SW OIRSCHOT
BEST 25   The Enemy were holding fwd positions of woods west of DONDERDONK in the centre of which lies de NACHTEGAAL. They were not thought to be in any great strength. 227 Bde were ordered to clear these woods with tanks in support. An elaborate operational plan was evolved but owing to withdrawal of enemy, did not take place in detail. The 227 Bde walked through woods to line of rly N. of BEST. Only opposition being mines and booby traps on felled trees on main road. 1 Prisoner only was taken. The Bn remained in conc area.
STOKSKE 26   During the late evening 44 Bde with 4 G.G. passed through 227 Bde who conc in MOERGESTEL. The Bn moved to area of STOKSKE 2331 during the morning and spent the rest of the day liaising with Infantry and making recconnaissance.
27   The operational plan was to follow 44 Bde in an attack on TILBURG. Civilian information was that it was lightly held on outskirts and a few snipers were in the town. Both Bdes were to oross WILHELMINA Canal over BIEST br, made by R.E.s during night. 44 Bde were then to advance north to take eastern half of TILBURG, while 227 Bde advanced to GOIRLE 1527 and then turned north through BOSCHKENS to take western half TILBURG. This plan did not materialize, owing to two facts. 44 Armd Bde had advanced to outskirts of GOIRLE and reported mines in quantity and very bad tank country in the vicinity. Also it was not thought necessary to involve the whole Bde for the purpose of taking GOIRLE.
TILBURG 27   The Seaforths and K.O.S.B. were carried in Kangaroos, the H.L.I. marching in rear. The Bn followed in the following order 2, 3, 1, H.Q.
27 0900 No 2 crossed the S.P. at MOERGESTEL at 0900 hrs. The march was extremely slow and by the time VOORT was reached via HILVARENBEEK the column was held up altogether. This was due to the 44 Bde meeting stiff and determined opposition on the outskirts of TILBURG near BROEKHOVEN. At approx 1400 hrs No 2 advanced with the Seaforths and after experiencing difficulty crossing damaged bridges at BROEKHOVEN, eventually entered the town about 1600 hrs. They harboured in the area of cemetary 156318. Owing to the state of bridges and approaching darkness the remainder of Bn stood fast in present locations. No 3 at 183289, H.Q. & No 1 at VOORT 195255.
TILBURG 28 0830 The remainder of 227 Bde and Bn were ordered to complete entry of TILBURG, crossing the now repaired bridges at BROEKHOVEN between 0700 hrs and 0900 hrs. The Bn followed in rear to-gether with A Ech which had followed on the previous day. One of the bridges caused trouble and some delay, but all were across and into TILBURG by 0930 hrs. The streets were lined with vast crowds of cheering Dutch, which gave us our first glimpse of a reception given by a liberated town. The whole Bn soon found billets in the area of cemetary and settled down to an evening of gaiety and hospitality, which was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.
HEEZE 29 0900 Bn moved complete to HEEZE from TILBURG (Route see March Table). We spent the night in fairly comfortable billets.
30   We come u/c 46 H Bde and our role is to drive back the enemy who have infiltrated in counter-attack, across the Canal van NEDERWEERT south of MEIJEL and reached a line approx. LOON – VOORDELDONK – HEUSDEN 46 Bde to attack South with road VREKWIJK – LOON – LIESEL as main axis.
30 0900 F 1 and F 2 move to VREKWIJK and A Ech remain HEEZE. Nos 1, 2 & 3 Sqns affiliated to 9 Cameronians, 7 Seaforths, 6 K.O.S.B. respectively.
30 1600 No 1 and 9 Cameronians attack on left flank to clear up enemy M.G. positions and withdraw to original positions for night. Little opposition met, No 1 returned to Bn area for night.
31   Full details of operation plan given in Appendix. Appendix Operation Order 12 46 (H) Bde
31 0835 No 1 Sqn in support 9 Cameronians across start line and reach objective without much opposition.
31 0845 No 2 Sqn and 7 Seaforths cross S.L. 10 mins later and reach their objective, also without opposition. Enemy snipers and artillery being the most troublesome in the village of LIESEL.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, transcribing: Hans Houterman.

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.