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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: 2nd Household Cavalry Regt.
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H. Abel Smith
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1-4   2 H.C.R. remained at NEERBOSCH. 1 Sqn was for 48 hours at a time in sp of 52 Recce Regt whose task was to be responsible for the area between the MAAS and the WAAL towards the WEST. Little of note occurred though; 3 Oct D Sqn staged under guidance of 52 Recce an attack on WAMEL and DREMMEL, at first light. However no Germans materialized. The Germans were carrying out their usual tactics on river lines which were not strongly guarded, of coming over by boat at night and making forages for food and plunder. They also often set fire to or blew up buildings.
5-8   2 H.C.R. has 2 Sqns at 4 hours notice to move to assist 52 Recce in the same task. Remainder of regt at 24 hrs notice. All officers worked in a period of 24 hours leave to BRUSSELS which was a great break and much appreciated.
9   Gds. Armd. Div. assumed a counter attack role in sp of Inf Divs of 30 Corps who now take over from 12 Corps the close defence of NIJMEGEN and GRAVE bridge. The whole Regt comes on to 4 hours notice. 1 - 9 Oct was a very static period but Sqns had quite good billets nearly all men being under cover. D Sqn billets were in the rather attractive village of LEUR, where the Padre held 2 Sunday Services in the Dutch Protestant Church in the village. Gds. Armd. Div., started a club for Offrs and O.Rs, in the Barracks at GRAVE and the Cinema and E.N.S.A., shows were popular.
10   2 H.C.R. received warning order to move to 8 Corps area to take over the job of holding the left flank of 8 Corps. 8 Corps was on the EAST of the main centre line to NIJMEGEN SOUTH of the MAAS and their task was to protect the EAST flank of Second Army and to push SOUTH from area OPLOO 7137 to clear up the enemy in the PEEL (marsh) country to the WEST of the MAAS as far SOUTH as ROERMOND 7990. This meant that the Corps had a front of 42 miles and in particular a long exposed NORTH EAST flank on the R. MAAS. 2 H.C.R. was ordered to take over under comd 11 Armd Div, incl CUY 7349 to rly br at GENNEP 7746. This sector was to be taken over from 3 Recce Regt.
11   2 H.C.R. moved to area HAPS 7145. B Sqn were responsible for SOUTHERN part of sector A for the NORTH. The method adopted was for Armd C tps to move out on O.Ps at first light and remain in position of observation, e.g. windmills and churches throughout the day while by night the front was covered as adequately as possible in view of the very small number of personnel who could be produced on their feet by active patrolling by the Sp Tps. The Sp Tps were absolutely invaluable and without them the task allotted would have been almost if not absolutely impossible. The communication lay out was curious as 2 H.C.R. was netted to Inns of Court Regt and communicated with 11 Armd Div. through them.
10-20   The weather was very bad with a lot of rain especially at night. The moon was in its last quarter and the patrols had little or no help from the conditions.
13   There was no change in the lay out. Appx B. Letter to Gds Armd Div from Comd Airborne Corps. Appendix C. Confirmatory orders issued after COs conference. Appx B & C
14   2 HCR assumed responsibility for a much longer piece of front incl CUYK to incl GROENINGEN 7935 which was the location of the F.D.L.S. of the tps of 3 Brit Div who were to advance SOUTH that day. For the purpose 2 HCR Gp consisting of 2 H.C.R., Inns of Court less 2 Sqns and 3 Recce Regt all under comd was formed and took over responsibility for the extra front w.e.f. 1000 hrs 14 Oct. 2 HCR was still under comd 11 Armd Div and were netted direct to them. HQ 2 HCR moved to WANROIJ 6742. Enemy patrol activity was slight during 14/15 Oct. Patrols however came over in the area of the blown rly br at GENNEP 7746. Enemy at this time held two small bridgeheads on WEST of MAAS at rly br mentioned and in area of the weir at SAMBEEK 7739.
15/20   2 HCR Gp still responsible for same task. 2 HCR had three Sqns up with one in reserve. Inns of Court hd one Sqn up.
16   2 HCR Gp passed under comd 3 Brit Div as when 11 Armd Div were moved to the SOUTH to help with the attack on VENRAY 3 Div became responsible for left flank protection of 8 Corps. Additional tps were allotted to 2 HCR to help in their task as follows:
16   16 Oct. 91 (A&SH) A/Tk Regt - the guns of this regt of which 2 btys were SP and 1 towed were not only used in an Anti Tank role but were also used as SP guns to fire HE into known enemy positions, on the EAST of the river.
16   17 Oct. 1 Carrier Borne Coy of 2 Mx, 4.2 Mors and 1 Coy also carrier borne MMG were used to fire on positions, roads, and opportunity targets on EAST of MEUSE.
16   1 Bty 25 pdrs from 25 Fd Regt RA was placed in immediate sp of 2 HCR Gp Hy AA guns from 8 AGRA used in a ground role were also in sp of 2 HCR Gp.
16   18 Oct. For one day 2 plns of searchlights were put in sp of 2 HCR but they were whisked away by 3 Div before they could be used.
16   20 Oct. 1 Flight 159 AOP was placed in sp of 2 HCR. RE parties also went out daily to assist Sqns - booby trapping and mining the approaches and areas of their strongpoint. The object of the above was to produce a stronger picture of the long front that could be produced by mere Armd Car patrols and the somewhat meagre inf resources which an Armd C Regt can display at night. 1 Sqn was reIieved every 4-8 days so that each Sqn had 48hrs rest in 8 days but nevertheless tps and especially the Sp tps were very hard at it.
16   CCRA came to the aid of 2 HCR and we were lent on 20 Oct 80 men from 121 LAA Regt (8 Corps Tps) who did absolutely invaluable work in helping out with night strong points and patrolIing.
17   Letter from Comd 30 Corps to Comd Second Army with regard to the part played by Gds Armd Div and 2 HCR in the adv from the SEINE to NIJMEGEN. Appx D
18   Enemy patrols were active by night and blew the church up at BEUGEN. The enemy was very thorough in his blowing of churches and sent strong parties over to carry out demolition of these places which he considered were being used as O.Ps.
21   3 Brit Recce Regt reverted to comd 3 Div and the responsibility of 2 HCR Gp was consequently adjusted to reach as far SOUTH as 800385. Enemy patrols were very active and both BOXMEER and OEFFELT churches were blown up. The loss of BOXMEER church was very annoying as it removed the best OP on the whole front. Nevertheless with the few infantry available it was not possible to stop stray German patrols because the whole front could not possibly be held. Another very real problem was that in the villages close to the river there were a large number of locals who definitely ran with the hare and hunted with the hounds. They were useful in telling us what the Germans had done at night but there was no doubt that they also told the Germans what we did by day. It was a difficult decision to make as to whether these civilians should be evacuated or not.
21/25   The same routine continued with markedly less patrol activity by the enemy. 25 Oct was an unlucky day as 2 Scout Cars were blown up on mines, one by a Teller-mine laid by the Hun on the flood bank one it is believed by a Hawkins Grenade left by our own inf.
22   A draft of seven offrs and 35 ORs arrived at 30 Corps Del Sqn. This particular draft had only token 10 days since leaving HCTR. This was an enormous improvement on earlier drafts which had taken anything up to 10 weeks. Scout Comds of which there were six (absorbed from the disbandment of 112 Regt RAC The Sherwood Foresters were badly needed) and as always operators either driver or gunner ops were badly wanted.
  C.O. decided to bring fwd all Offr reinforcements to give them training in the patrols and night work which Sqns were doing and Sqns were brought up to strength with men. In addition one section with a White Scout Car were taken on strength of RHQ to assist with guards and to be available when Germany was entered to deal with booby traps, mines and to help with local protection of RHQ.
25   Lieut Van Cutsem was posted to HQ 21 Army Group as Staff Lieut (L).
25/31   The task of watching the flank continued. From 25-27 Oct 2 RCH were without the sp of a Fd Regt as 25 Fd Regt were moved to deal with an enemy threat in the SOUTH of 8 Corps Area. However they were replaced by a Bty of 7 Fd Regt from 3 Brit Div.
27   Major Gen Allan Adair, Comd Gds Armd Div lunched with 2 HCR and visited D Sqn. Comd 8 Corps, Lt Gen Sir R. O'Connor went round OP positions with C.O.
  Band of The Life Guards gave concert to Regt at HAPS.
28   43 Div (30 Corps) moved 1 Bn to WEST of the MAAS into area CUYK 7149. This Bn was for an immediate counter attack in event of a bridgehead being formed in 2 HCR Gp sector. 32 Gds Bde from area GRAVE were also ordered to be prepared to conc in HAPS area to counter attack in event or 2 HCR Gp being in trouble. Responsibility of 32 Bde Bde Gp as far SOUTH as excl BOXMEER.
29   2 HCR visited by Lieut Gen Sir H. Loyd, CB, Comd London District. He was accompanied by Gen Adair.
31   This month thus ended with 2 HCR who had been lent by 30 Corps to 8 Corps for 4 days still carrying out the same watching task. The job was most interesting but was hard work for the men in the Sqn as with the long night hours of patrol were stretched. Again the weather was vile and the ground was becoming very soft and boggy.
  About 10 Oct all personnel were as far as possible got under cover in barns and stables, but owing to evacuees and also the prolificness of the Dutch accommodation was no easy matter.
  The nights were getting very long and it was vital for cookhouses and messes as far as possible should be under cover. Sqn HQs were for the most part in Cafes while an excellent billet for a whole Sqn was found at a brickworks between HAPS and OEFFELT. Echs were most comfortably billeted in HAPS.

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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.