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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.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: HQ 11 Armoured Division
Month and Year: July 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Major-Gen. G.P.B. Roberts DSO, MC
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
Normandy 1   Sitrep 1200 hrs 1A
1   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.13 (Copy No.48) 1B
1   Day's events 1C
2   List of place code names 1D
2   Sitrep 1800 hrs 1E
2   Day's events 1F
3   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.14 (Copy No.47) 1G
3   Day's events 1H
3   11 Armd Div Standing Orders Amendment No.5 1J
4   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.15 (Copy No.41) 1K
4   Day's events 1L
5   Sitrep 1145 hrs 1M
5   Sitrep 2200 hrs 1N
5   Sitrep 2230 hrs 1O
5   11 Armd Div Op Instr No.3 (Copy No.19) 1P
5   Day's events 1Q
6   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.16 (Copy No.41) 1R
6   Day's events 1S
6   Sitrep 2200 hrs 1T
Normandy 7   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.17 1U
7   11 Armd Div OO No.2 (Copy No.50) 1V
7   11 Armd Div Gen Instrs No.10 1W
7   Day's events 1X
8   Sitrep 0100 hrs 1Y
8   Place code names period 9-15 Jul 1Z
8   Sitrep 1115 hrs 2A
8   Sitrep 1345 hrs 2B
8   159 Inf Bde report on methods used to defeat German Tactics etc 2C
9   Sitrep 0045 hrs 2D
9   Sitrep 1500 hrs 2E
9   11 Armd Div General Instruction No.12 2F
9   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.18 (Copy No.41) 2G
9   Sitrep 2350 hrs 2H
10   Sitrep 2340 hrs 2J
10   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.19 (Copy No.42) 2K
11   Sitrep 2345 hrs 2L
11   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.20 (Copy No.43) 2M
12   Change of Command 2N
12   Sitrep 2350 hrs 2O
Normandy 13   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.21 (Copy No.42) 2P
14   Sitrep 0110 hrs 2Q
15   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.22 (Copy No.39) 2R
16   11 Armd Div OO No.3 Copy No.46 and Amendment No.1 2S
13-17   Days events 2T
17   Sitrep giving gen situation 2U
18   Day's events 2V
19   Sitrep 0230 hrs 2X
19   Sitrep 1444 hrs 2Y
19   Sitrep 2200 hrs 2Z
19   Sitrep 2359 hrs 3A
19   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.23 Copy No.44 3B
19   Day's events 3C
20   Sitrep 0820 hrs 3D
20   Sitrep No.049 3E
20   GOC's message 3F
20   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.24 Copy No.46 3G
20   Days events 3H
Normandy 21   Sitrep 1325 hrs 3J
21   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.25 (Copy No.48) 3K
21   11 Armd Div Mov OrderNo.1 3L
21   Day's events 3M
22   Sitrep 2359 hrs 3N
22   Day's events 3O
23   Sitrep 1255 hrs 3P
23   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.26 Copy No.50 3Q
23   Tank and crew cas for ops 18 and 19 Jul 3R
24   Lessons from battle SE of CAEN 18-21 Jul from 159 Inf Bde 3S
24   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.27 Copy No.51 3T
24   Sitrep 2359 hrs 3U
25   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.28 Copy No.55 3V
25   Sitrep 1115 hrs (come under command 12 Corps) 3W
25   Sitrep 2330 hrs 3X
26   Sitrep 1300 hrs 3Y
26   11 Armd Div Int Summary No.29 Copy No.56 3Z
27   11 Armd Div Op Instr No.4 Copy No.14 4A
France 29   On July 29, the division moved across the Second Army bridgehead via BAYEUX. This proved a long and tedious process for the roads in that constricted area were packed with traffic of all sorts which no movement instruction however careful or authoritative seemed capable of clearing.
29 2200 By nightfall our forces were concentrated between BALLEROY and CAUMONT, the front-line town of the sector recently captured by the Americans.
29   For the advance which was to start at 0700 hrs on the next day fresh brigade groupings were adopted. The experience of 7 Armoured Division and the Americans in the bocage country had demonstrated the necessity for the closest co-operation of tanks and infantry. In this region of thick woods and narrow roads winding between impassable hedges and ditches, num[...] local engagements were anti[...] and under these conditions reasonable progress could be assured by the infantry moving with the tanks on all routes and often actually riding on them. Appendix No.1
France 29   The division therefore moved in Brigade Groups; 29 Armoured Brigade Group on the left consisting of two of their armoured regiments (23 H and 3 RTR) the motor battalion (8 RB) and one infantry battalion from 159 (3 MON); and 159 Infantry Brigade Group on the right with their remaining two units (4 KSLI and 1 Hereford), one armoured regiment (2 FF Yeo) and the armoured recce regiment (2 N Yeo) now as usual employed as a normal tank unit.
30   On the left where the advance coincided with that of 15 (S) Division, little or no enemy opposition was actually encountered; but the difficult nature of the country and the bad condition of the roads made progress slow. Woods [] the road had to be investigated as the recent [] of the enemy was displayed by the number of mines which were met.
30 2200 This route let from LE VALLEE just south-west of CAUMONT to skirt SEPT VENTS, thence just to the east of [] and so down to ST MARTIN DES BESACES. By last light the leading troops were about a mile to the south-west of [].
30 1800 Meanwhile on the right where we were flanked by 5 [] Infantry Division strong enemy resistence developed at CUSSY and in the surrounding woods. One of the battalions of 159 Infantry Brigade Group (1 Hereford) had to fight a stiff battle before this could be overcome. This operation occupied most of the day and cost the battalion fairly heavy casualties especially to one company. CUSSY was eventually cleared by 1800 hrs and the other infantry battalion (4 KSLI) together with one armoured regimetn (2 FF Yeo) pushed on to capture LA BAISSELIERE.
30   Opposition was everywhere stubborn and several tanks were lost on mines. On the whole progress had been satisfactory and compared favourably perhaps rather too fabrouably with that made by the troops on our right and left. Effective use was made of supporting aircraft through-out the day.
30   From now on it may confidently be asserted that the division considered its role as an independent advance rather than simply the protection of a flank. The enemy position was based on the FORET L'EVEQUE and the east and west road through ST MARTIN DES BESACES, and it was considered that we were best placed to break through this line and push south to next commanding position the high ground east and west of LE BENY BOCAGE. So we were first to capture the important road junction of ST MARTIN itself and hand it over to 15 (S) Division then to try and find a way round or through the FORET L'EVEQUE. Instead of protection somebody else's flank, it was now hoped that someone woudl protect our own. Once again the division was sticking its neck out but this time conditions were different. The close country of which we had once been so apprehensive proved far more friendly to our tanks than the open expanses of the CAEN plain. Above all it was felt that the enemy who was now showing signs of cracking in the west might here too be overthrown by a sudden coup and an important victory might be won.
30 2300 That night 2 WG came under command and took over our right flank protection from 2 N Yeo for one day only. Appendix No.2
France 31   The advance towards the ST MARTIN road continued by night.By early morning 29 Brigade Group had bumped fairly stiff opposition and 159 Brigade Group were the first to reach the main road. An attack on ST MARTIN thus became possible from two directions with 29 holding from the North and 159 moving on the place from the west. Appendix No.3
31 1100 The village was entered by 1100 hrs (31 July) but the importance of its capture was soon forgotten in the excitement over a piece of news at 1030 hrs.
31   At this time there were two armoured car regiments under the division's command and one of these (2 HCR) patrolling in front of 159 Brigade Group had found a track through the FORET L'EVEQUE which was neither blocked by mines nor held by the enemy. This track evidently formed the boundary between two enemy divisions, 3 Para and 326 Infantry and apparently the enemy omitted to make it inclusive to either formation or the formation responsible had omitted to guard it. This theory was confirmed subsequently by a radio intercept which presented the route in question as a subject of dispute between the two German commanders concerned.
31   Down this track therefore, had gone a troop of armoured cars and emerging from the forest, they discovered that the bridge over the River Ondeleure on the main road from MONT BERTROND to LE BENY BOCAGE was also unprotected and promptly seized it. Two hours later they were joined by a troop of tanks from 2 N Yeo who had made their way through the forest only after overcoming the opposition of two German SP guns. This force held the vital bridge for the next six hours by which time it had been decided to push the entire division over it and the leading tanks of 29 Brigade Group had arrived on this mission.
France 31   The capture of this bridge and the advance southward which it made possible was unquestionably a turning-point in the campaign in France. The battle beyond CAEN had obstructed the collection of a counter-attack force sufficient to halt the American drive further west. This advance prevented the immediate reinforcement of that force. In order that the coup might be exploited the Army plan was changed and its most westerly troops now became officially the main striking force. The commanding heights around LE BENY BOCAGE, originally the objective not even of 15 (S) Div but of 30 Corps now lay within our grasp: and we were ordered after securing them to push on with all speed to ETOUVY (6338).

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Source: Jeroen Koppes,

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.