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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: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brigadier G.L. Verney, M.V.O.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
B.L.A. 1   The Brigade was not in action. Guards Armd. Div. passed through the area on the road SOUTH to BENY BOCAGE. The day was spent cleaning up and maintaining. Some German infantrymen who had been hiding up for 24 hours surrendered to H.Q. Sqn. in the morning. They belonged to 752 GR (361 Inf. Div.).
2   Another quiet day within the Brigade, but from outside the news is very good. American troops area ST. MALO and RENNES and 7 Armd. Div. who passed to our left 24 hours ago to the S.E. are nearing AUNAY-SUR-ORNE. 11 Armd. Div. have reached the line of the R. SOULEVRE.
2   There are still isolated pockets of enemy resistance immediately to the SOUTH of us, but it is now clear that the whole defensive front is crumbling.
2   Bde. H.Q. moved this afternoon to 678518.
3   The Brigade Comd. has relinquished command of this formation to take over the 7th Armd. Div. The Brigade is now commanded by Brigadier Sir Walter de S. Barttelot, Bart., former Commanding Officer 4th Tk. Coldm. Gds., and his place has been taken by Lt. Col. W. Smith, formerly 2 i/c of the bn.
3   This evening 4th Tk. Gren. Gds. took part in an operation in sp. of 44 Bde.
4   Last night 4th Tk. Gren. Gds. took part in an operation in sp. of 44 Bde. The plan was as follows:-
4   44 Bde. less 6 R.S.F. and plus 1 Welsh Gds. were to attack the high ground round Pt. 279 (7142) and establish themselves along a line running NORTH and SOUTH down the eastern side of the wood in sqs. 7242 and 7342. Before launching this attack, it was essential that the left flank of 44 Bde. should be secure. To achieve this 6 R.S.F. (of 44 Bde) with 4th Tk. Gren. Gds. in support attacked at 2100 hours last night from area of CATHEOLLES (7044) with objective high ground in sq. 7244 and village of ARCLAIS (7244). All went well until the stream running N.E. to S.W. across sq. 7144 was encountered. Only one tp. of 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. managed to negotiate this. The Inf. however, went on without the tks. and reached their objective before dawn. The country was very marshy, hilly, and enclosed, and quite unsuitable even for Churchill tanks. At 0700 hrs. this morning 44 Bde put in their attack and reached their objective successfully by 0840 hrs.
4   Bde. H.Q. moved fwd. to 694446. 4 Tk. Coldm. Gds. and 3 Tk. Scots Gds. have spent the day resting.
4 2000 Bde. Admin. area (incl. Bde. B Echs) R.A.S.C. Coy. Bde. W’kshps. O.F.P., 261 Fwd. Del. Sqn. moved from original F.C.A. of the Bde. EAST of FOULOGNES to new area N.E. of ST. MARTIN DES BESACES (6750), in which amn. and pet. pts. and A.R.S. with Bded. L.A.Ds. were already established.
4   Move was complete by 2359 hrs. Major Forster, (R.E.M.E.) has joined the Bde. as Bde. E.M.E. Major E. Hensler is posted to 258 Corps as R.E.M.E. inspector.
5 1500 Bde. Admin. area was shelled and 30 O.Rs 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. were killed and 8 wounded. 2 - 3 tonners of 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. were destroyed.
5 1700 Amn. and Pet. pts. (45 R.A.S.C. vehs.) moved fwd. to 705444.
6   The Army Cmdr. visited Bde. H.Q.
6   An attack was put in with 4 Tk. Coldm. Gds. supporting 46 Bde on to objectives COURNEY (8040) and Pt. 232 (8039). The latter was reached by 2 Gordons, but the village was strongly defended. 46 Bde. supported by 3 Tk. Scots Gds. and 1 sqn. 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. put in another attack directed on ESTRY. Progress here was very slow and although 1 sqn. of 3 Tk. Scots Gds. and 10 H.L.I. were in the orchard on the N.E. side of ESTRY village by 2200 hrs, yet opposition was too strong to allow complete occupation. The country was scarcely suitable for tk. defence tactics yet this sqn. remained fwd. on the outskirts of the village all that night.
6 1100 1 Sec. 11 L.F.A. was sent to Admin. area and allotted to R.A.S.C. Coy.
7   Bde. H.Q. moved up closer to the bns. - new location 748437 just NORTH of MONTCHARIVEL. With the exception of 1 sqn. 3 Tk. Scots Gds. who remained in support 227 Bde at ESTRY, the whole Bde. was resting and maintaining.
8   A further attempt to batter a way into ESTRY was made to-day. “Crocodiles” and “Petards” were used supported and protected by 3 sqn. 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. (3 Tk. Scots Gds. sqn. was withdrawn). This made little impression on the stubborn German resistance. ESTRY has obviously been selected to form a very strong point in the middle of a rapidly weakening front.
9   No. 1 sqn. 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. replaced No. 3 in area ESTRY this morning. It has been decided to make no more assaults on the place but to hold our present posn. while the enemy's line in this area gradually becomes untenable. 43 Div. is making good progress on our right and should be encouraging a German withdrawal from ESTRY by now. The remainder of the Bde. spent a quiet day.
10   The Bde. came under comd. 3 Brit. Div. as from 2200 hrs. 3 Tk. S.G. under comd. 32 Gds. Bde. moved to area 5 miles N.E. CHENEDOLLE.
11   Operation Grouse.
11   Plan was for Gds Armd Div and 3 Brit. Inf. Div. to adv. along 2 axes to line TINCHEBRAY (7422) – MONT DE CERISI – CONDE SUR NOIREAU. G.A.D. axis of adv. line of rd. VIRE – FLERS (8620). 3 Brit. Inf. Div. axis, line of rd. VIRE – TINCHEBRAY (7422).
11   4 Tk. Coldm. Gds. came under comd. 9 lnf. Bde. and remained in reserve area VAUDRY (6531). 1 Sqn. 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. remained u/c 44 Bde. now in area ESTRY. The other 2 Tk. sqns. movd. to area COURTEIL (711408).
11   The start line was crossed 0900 hrs. and heavy opposition was encountered shortly afterwards from alts. 3 & 5 Para. Divs. and 9 SS Div, in prepared defensive posns. By 2200 hrs. only limited progress up to 3 miles, but considerable casualties had been inflicted on the enemy. (1 Sqn. of 3 Tk. Scots Gds. claimed 3 Mk. Vs tks. knocked out, 100 killed, 50 P.W.).
11   Bde. H.Q. moved at 1000 hrs. to 649348. Bde. admin. area moved to new location near LA BISTIERE (6537).
12   Little progress has been made in continuation of plan for operation "Grouse". Opposition appeared to increase along line of rd. VIRE – TINCHEBRAY. Bde. H.Q. moved to 667359.
13   To-day the first signs of a universal withdrawal by the enemy from this sector have become apparent. The pursuit is being limited to an infantry operation so far.
13   All bns. are now to come under comd. 3 Brit. Div. 4 Tk. Coldm. Gds. is u/c 8 Inf. Bde. 3 Tk. Scots Gds. u/c 185 Inf. Bde. and 4 Tk. Gren. Gds. are in reserve with 9 Inf. Bde.
14   Limited advances by units of 3 Brit. Div. have been made to-day. There are further indications that the enemy is pulling out. There has been little for the tks. to do in this adv. apart from giving extra fire support where possible to the infantry, and holding temporary defensive posns. on features gained. The div. is now 3 miles nearer TINCHEBRAY. The Americans in U.S. V Corps on our right appear to be doing no better.
15   News on the general situation in France is good. General Eisenhower has called on all the allied armd. forces to make this a most momentous week in the history of the War. U.S. troops are sweeping S.E. towards PARIS while the enemy is gradually falling back on the line of R. SEINE. On the div. front his resistance has weakened still further and our recce. elts. have reached TINCHEBRAY. The enemy is now trying to extricate his forces from a rapidly closing 'bag' through the ARGENTAN – FALAISE gap and for the moment the R.A.F. is leading the 2nd Army in the work of destroying the retreating columns. The Bde. spent a quiet day. There in now little room for 8 Corps to deploy between the advancing 30 Brit. and V U.S. Corps. Operation "Anvil" began to-day with large scale allied landings in the SOUTH of France.
16   The Bde. Comd. was killed when the scout car in which he was making a tour of the Bde. units, struck 2 Tellermines. Bde. H.Q. moved to area ST. QUENTIN (725247).
17   N.T.R. from the battalions, all of which are now concentrated near Bde. H.Q. The whole day has been spent in rest and maintenance. We heard further encouraging reports from 3 U.S. Army front and large inf. units of the depleted German 7th Army are being trapped by the closing of the 'bag'.
18   Brigadier W.D.C. Greenacre, M.V.O., former 2 i/c 5th Gds. Armd. Bde. took over comd. of this Bde. The Bde. is now directly under 8 Corps and for the time being in reserve with it.
19   The Brigadier visited the units in the Bde.
20   There has been N.T.R. from within the Bde. to-day, but outside, all eyes are turned on the great American advance to the SOUTH which is said to have resulted in a br.head over the SEINE being formed during the last 12 hrs. The 'bag' is now virtually closed in the sector EAST of us. Figures have not yet been published but half the total German force operating in the area is said to have been cut off.
21   The weather has broken. Heavy rain began falling at 0500 hrs. and continued throughout the day. The R.A.F. has been able to continue its assault on the German M.T. colns. except during momentary lulls in the rain storm.
22   The Bde. is to come under comd. 3 Brit. Div. for the purpose of training in Tank/Infantry co-operation. There are unconfirmed reports to-day of a further allied landing at ARCACHON on the Biscay coast.
23   Bde. H.Q. moved to area 8322.
23   The great news of the liberation of PARIS by the French has been announced.
24   The Major-General Commanding Brigade of Guards visited the formation. After touring the units of the Bde. during the morning, he lunched at this H.Q. He was accompanied by Brigade Major, Brigade of Guards.
25   The Bde. was given an area of the battlefield EAST of FALAISE, over which the German columns recently retreated, to search. Bn. I.Os. were sub-allotted portions, and the day was spent identyfying and listing abandoned enemy equipment. Few items of great interest were found and a great deal of stuff had been removed already by the Germans themselves or French civilians.
26   The former battlefield in the area CHAMBOIS (406512) has been visited by officers in the Brigade. Every type of German equipment was found here, abandoned during the retreat through the FALAISE gap.
27   Further visits to the battlefield in area CHAMBOIS, S.E. of TRUN have been made to-day. There are opportunities here to study a great deal of equipment in first class order.
28   Nothing to report.
29   The Corps Commander visited units in the Bde. during the morning and lunched with 3 Tk. Scots Guards.
30   The Corps Comd. dined at Bde. H.Q.
31   Nothing to report.

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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.