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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: 6th Guards Tank Brigade
Month and Year: November 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brigadier W.D.C. Greenacre, M.V.O.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   The enemy is being dogged in his defence. With the same grouping we have made further advances today against a thickening defence screen.
1 1500 By 1500 hrs 46 Bde and the Div Recce Regt had pinpointed enough 75-mm guns and inf posns on the line NE – SW – 710160 – HEITRAK 680095 to bring the adv to a halt pending the replanning for tomorrow.
2   Today 4 Tk Coldm Gds were released and the bn withdrew to DEURNE for 3 days rest and maintenance. Limited advs were made by 44 Bde of up to 1¼ miles nearer MEIJEL but there is no question of the enemy yielding ground except under pressure.
3   Contrary to his reactions of yesterday, 15 (S) Div patrols report, the enemy has withdrawn from a number of his previous posns and fallen back on MOOSTDIJK.
3 1630 Today 44 Bde has occupied MOOSTDIJK while 227 Bde has moved down the left axis to reach 664096 by 1630 hrs.
4   A comparatively quiet day. Both 4 Tk Coldm Gds and 3 Tk SG are still back and the battle has centred for the last 12 hrs on counter-bty work by our gunners against posns to the EAST of the Canal. Tomorrow 4 Tk Gren Gds and 44 Bde will probably attack MEIJEL itself. On our right flank 7 U.S. Armd Div has made a useful advance of some 2½ miles bringing them up to grid line 68 Easting. Appendix D.1
5   The plan for today’s operation against MEIJEL was roughly as follows. 44 Inf Bde sp by 4 Tk Gren Gds would carry out the attack. No 2 Sqn Gren Gds was to move round EAST of the wood 7107 and shoot in the inf from a posn SOUTH of it. Nos 1 and 3 Sqns were to continue down the main DEURNE – MEIJEL road, No. 1 right, No. 2 left.
5 0730 The attack began at 0730 hrs.
5 0930 Two hours later, No. 1 Sqn ran into mines at 693086 and No. 2 Sqn into boggy ground between 711085 and 713081. In a short space of time 13 tks were bogged. Flails were ordered up to contend with the minefield, one of these blew up itself on a mine. With these disasters following quickly on one another, the attack slowed up and the infantry were being consistently shelled and mortared.
5 1530 At 1530 hrs, tk crews of 4 Tk Gren Gds were dismounted to go on foot to the assistance of the isolated tks. It was soon afterwards decided to abandon the approach from the NORTH into MEIJEL.
5   It remains to be seen whether units of 7 US Armd Div on our right flank can get in from the SOUTH. The evacuation of crews from the bogged tks was successful.
6   There has been no radical change in the situation today. 4 Tk Gren Gds and 3 Tk S.G. have been withdrawn to HELMOND. 44 Bde improved their posns slightly when 7 Seaforth (now u/c 44 Bde) cleared Eastwards to the canal. SCHANS is reported still strongly held.
6   Lt-Col H.R.H. Davies relinquished his command of 4 Tk Gren Gds. Lt-Col the Lord Tryon took over command of the battalion.
7 0900 At 0900 hrs 4 Tk Coldm Gds moved to HELMOND for rest and maintenance,
7 1400 followed at 1400 hrs by Bde HQ. It is possible that the Bde may have two or three days in HELMOND. A duty sqn will be held at two hours' notice on daily roster. Div Comd in an address congratulated 4 Tk Gren Gds on their fine effort. Appendix D.2
8   N.T.R.
9   Bde Commander's conference at 1030 hrs at Bde HQ.
9   48-hrs leave started to BRUSSELS. Whole Bde resetting.
10 1500 Two bombs fell close to Bde HQ. No damage or cas caused.
11   A club known as the Churchill Club was opened by the Bde Commander in HELMOND this afternoon. It bas been provided as recreational centre for ORs and contains reading, writing and games rooms, also a refreshment counter.
12   N.T.R. from the Bde. Interest has been directed to the bigger picture as reports of major troop movements come in. There is news of heavy fighting NORTH of AIX-LA-CHAPELLE as the Ninth U.S. Army advances.
13   The greatest piece of news affecting the war situation today is of the complete destruction of the German battleship Tirpitz, capsized by three 12,000-lbs dropped from RAF Lancasters.
13   In the Bde, the period of rest and maintenance continues undisturbed.
14   The German Air Force has shown some interest in this area during the last three days. This evening the It AA batteries in the area opened up on a small force and some small calibre bombs were dropped in the SOUTH suburbs of HELMOND.
15   N.T.R.
16   Last night Capt Bankes (S.G.) and Capt Graham (S.G.) accompanied patrols of 2 Gordons and 2 A & S.H. (227 Bde) respectively. The Gordons patrol taking the route 713060 - 716056 - 723053 - 720056 - 722063 - 714065 found that with the exception of a few bad patches there was good tank-going. No enemy or mines were encountered. The patrol left 1930 hrs and returned 2315 hrs.
17   N.T.R.
18   N.T.R.
19   The general Western Front offensive is now in full swing. The German town of GEILENKIRCHEN today fell to 43 Div.
20 0700 3 Tk S.G. moved u/c 227 Bde 0700 hrs from their billet in HELMOND and joined the inf at BERINGEN 7406. Hence an advance was made down the BERINGEN – SEVENUM 8114 rd.
20 1700 There was little opposition and by 1700 hrs SEVENUM had been reached and consolidated. Mines are the only checks to a rapid move towards the MAAS. Rearguard actions are only half-hearted. Appendices D.4-5
21   An uneventful advance along the HORST rd has been very slow due to the mud, mines in quantity and a Tp of S.P. guns which was encoutnered and inflicted two tk cas on 3 Tk S.G. 2 miles NORTH of SEVENUM. Today units of 11 Armd Div cleared AMERIKA 7816 on our left flank. The div axis has swung NORTH across this sector.
22   Heavy rain overnight and poor visibility have added to the diffilculties. Advances of up to 3 miles were made today on our front while interest was diverted the Southern end of the front. This evening MULHOUSE was cleared by the First French Army and there are rumours of French troops on the RHINE.
23   227 Bde with 3 Tk S.G. have today occupied HORST and the infantry have pushed out patrols to the NORTH. Throughout the ‘Maas bend’ scene of ops resistance is weakaning. There is news tonight that a considerable exodus has been going on through VENLO for the past three days.
24   The weather has deteriorated. Heavy rain has made even road movement very difficult. Today there was a pause in the advance while plans were made for a possible attack on TIENRAIJ 8523 tomorrow.
25   Further advances in very difficult going have been made today by 3 Tk S.G. and 227 Inf Bde.
25 1800 Right Flank and 10 HLI are in DIJK 844213, ‘S’ Squadron with 2 A & S.H. in TIENRAIJ 8523, Left Flank with 2 Gordons in SWOLGEN 8722. All along the front short advances have been made by the U.S. and French forces.
26   The battle of the MAAS bend is nearly over. Mopping up ops have gone ahead satisfactorily, taking 227 Bde with 3 Tk S.G. up to the following disposns — 2 Gordons with Left Flank at 9022 - 9024; 10 H.L.I. with Right Flank at 8726 - 8727; 2 A & S.H. with 'S' Squadron at 8724.
27   One of the few remaining strongpoints on the WEST bank of the MAAS - KASTEEL 8329 - has been bombarded by HQ Tp and two other Tps of 4 Tk Coldm Gds. The structure was holed in several places by observed fire (a captured Panther doing its fair share) and at a range of 1500 yds. The tks were in position at 824293. Flooding of the MAAS in this area has made the approach to the position difficult but the garrison’s line of retreat is cut and their complete destruction a matter of time.
28   KASTEEL was shelled heavily today. The inf have so far failed to get close enough to finish it off. Left Flank of 3 Tk S.G. with 9 Cameronians (46 Bde) cleared wood in 9020. They took 5 PW and killed 8.
29   Bde HQ and 3 Tk S.G. have been withdrawn back to their former billets in HELMOND. 4 Tk Coldm Gds assisted in a deception plan at MAASHEES 8231 which drew the fire of the enemy and covered the entry into and capture by inf of KASTEEL which had undergone a successful bombardment by Typhoons earlier in the day.
29 1430 The Corps Commander, Lieut-General Sir Richard O’Connor, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C., gave a farewell address to personnel of the Bde in the Scala Cinema. HELMOND. Appendix J.2
30 1100 4 Tk Coldm Gds was relieved and returned to billets in HELMOND. Appendix D.6
30 1400 The Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, G.C.B., visited Bde HQ and units of the Bde accompanied by General Sir Miles C. Dempsey, K.B.E., Commander Second British Army. Gen. Eisenhower’s inspection lasted two hours. Appendix J.3

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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.