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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: December 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 month began with 4 Tk Coldm Gds and 3 Tk S.G. and Bde HQ once again concentrated in HELMOND with the prospect of some time for maintenance and recreation ahead. 4 Tk Gren Gds have moved to a position of readiness at ZEILBURG 6619. Appendix D.1
2   The remaining pockets of German stragglers on this side of the R. MAAS have been eliminated with the exception of those maintaining a last bridgehead at BLERICK 8908 opposite VENLO. It seems unlikely that 4 Tk Gren Gds will be called upon to assist in any operation in this area.
3 0900 The Bde Comd left this morning on a day’s visit to the Gds Armd Div in area SITTARD.
4   Bde HQ is to assume responsibility for HELMOND P.A.D. control as from today. P.A.D. officer will be Capt. R.A. Fortescue.
5   N.T.R.
6   The Corps Comd, Lt-Gen E.H. Barker, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., visited Bde HQ and had tea in the Officers' Mess.
7   An area immediately SOUTH of the main HELMOND – GELDROP road has been selected as a training area for the Bde.
8 1400 The A.A. defences of HELMOND opened fire on an enemy plane. No bombs dropped.
9   Improved weather conditions this morning enabled more enemy aircraft to make armed recces of the HELMOND area. They did no damage.
10   N.T.R.
11   N.T.R.
12   N.T.R.
13   N.T.R.
14   N.T.R.
15   4 Tk Gren Gds have been witdhdrawn to HELMOND. The move of 3 Tk S.G. to replace them in this position of readiness has been cancelled.
16   Today the Germans launched a major counter-offensive. It is an apparently all out attempt to break through the Allied line between MONSCHAU 9518 and TRIER. Paratroops have been dropped behind the First U.S. Army front.
17   Detailed news of the German attack is difficult to get. Gen Eisenhower has ordered restrictions on communiques giving dispositions of troops in the affected sector. Orders of the Day issued by von Rundstedt and Hitler indicate that this is in fact a supreme effort.
17 1000 Six Me 262’s were seen over the Bde area this morning. AA guns opened fire with no apparent effect. Civ cas were suffered in HELMOND and GELDROP.
18   Adjustments in 21 Army Group areas of responsibility now bring HELMOND within the First Canadian Army boundary. The Bde therefore has come under comd. There is excitement and optimism over the German advance. It has become very difficult to follow the movements of formations in Second Army.
18   Bde HQ tanks began two weeks' training on the Bde area.
19   Four officers in the Bde went on attachment for a period of 4 days to 121 Fighter Wing (83 Group) at VOLKEL airfield.
20 0300 Orders have been received that the Bde will move to BREE 5285 to come under comd 51 (H) Div.
20 1230 At 1230 hrs the move began.
20 2200 Bde HQ and the Tk Bns were reconcentrated by 2200 hrs.
21 1200 The Bde Comd attended a conference at HQ 51 (H) Div in BERINGEN 2475.
21 0800 4 Tk Gren Gds were dispatched to area LOUVAIN. This move proved to have been based on an order that had been rescinded by Second Army. The Bde on the contrary, will now move in the opposite direction – S.E. to the area MAASTRICHT where it will come under comd Ninth U.S. Army. 4 Tk Gren Gds will be retrieved on transporters the day after tomorrow. 6 Gds Tk Bde has achieved something in the nature of a record. It has been under comd three different armies within a space of 24 hrs.
21   Lt.-Col A.W.A. Smith, C.O. 4 Tk Coldm Gds, has been awarded the D.S.O. M.Cs have been awarded to Major M.V. Milbank, 4 Tk Coldm Gds, Capt R.C.C. Pember, 3 Tk S.G., Lieut J.B. Curry, 4 Tk Gren Gds and Lieut J.N. Barne, 3 Tk S.G.
22 0400 Bde HQ, 4 Tk Coldm Gds and 3 Tk S.G. moved to area MAASTRICHT. To-night they occupy the following locations - 4 Tk Coldm Gds 629546 ; 3 Tk S.G. 658541 and Bde HQ BERG 619531.
23 1200 4 Tk Gren Gds arrived in their new conc area this morning. They now occupy billets in WIJK, the eastern suburb of MAASTRICHT.
24   Last night froze hard for the first time this winter.
24   Areas of responsibility to be taken over in the event of an emergency have now been allotted and the bns are affiliated to Inf Bdes for ops and trg as follows – 4 Tk Gren Gds to 129 Bde, 4 Tk Coldm Gds to 130 Bde and 3 Tk S.G. to 214 Bde. 340 Bty (86 A/Tk Regt) is now under comd of the Bde.
25   The Bde has had en opportunity to celebrate Christmas without fear of sudden movement. A L.O. returned from HQ Ninth U.S. Army tonight with the news that the Bde is to come under comd 83 U.S. Inf Div and will shortly move SOUTH. 83 Div is now in reserve.
26 1530 The Bde Major and D.A.A. & Q.M.G. attended a conference this afteraoon at HQ Ninth U.S. Army.
27   Enemy aircraft flew low over Bde HQ again last night. It has been reported that roads in the vicinity were machine-gunned. Appendix D.3
28   The Bde is now under comd 43 Inf Div and is no longer controlled by HQ Ninth U.S. Army. Appendix D.4
28   During the last three days the Allied Air Forces have reported some destruction by them in the Fifth and Sixth Pz Armies’ salient. The attack has slowed up in all sectors. Tonight Second Pz Div is said to be retreating from area DINANT, 4 miles SOUTH of R. MEUSE. A thick white mist has broken the spell of fine hard weather.
28   There has been a minor probing operation by the enemy in the area of GERROEK 6575. The situation has been restored by units of 12 Corps.
29   N.T.R.
30   The sound of heavy arty barrage last night has been explained this morning by the news that units if 183 German Inf Div have made an attack against 157 Bde (52 Div). By this evening the situation had been restored.
31   The Bde is now standing by at three hours’ notice to move to new areas of responsibility on the 12 Corps front. So far enemy activity has been confined to patrolling and occasional outbursts of artillery fire. Appendix D.5

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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.