On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
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: 23rd Hussars
Month and Year: May 1945 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. R.P. HARDING, DSO
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
GERMANY 1   00.01 hours. Just after midnight the 23rd Hussars/8th RB got off the road and prepared to leaguer for the night just north of SCHWARZENBECK. 1/100,000 Sheet L5.
We were then ordered to move on to give room for Main Brigade to come up behind and leaguer. "A" Squadron Group, followed by HQ and "B" Squadron moved up the secondary road towards SAHMS, 8551. "C" Squadron Group moved up the main road SCHWARZENBECK - MOLLN, 9563. It was a dark night and progress was very slow. We moved at a snail's pace all night. At dawn as "A" Squadron Group approached SAHMS the two leading tanks were knocked out by what were thought to be two Tigers but they were never definitely located. It was decided to put in a full scale Squadron/Company attack. "C" Squadron meanwhile, unable to move up the main road owing to mines and the blowing of the bridge at 845515, moved westwards and then north across country through GROVE, 8351 - LANKEN, 8453 - ELMENHORST, 8553 with the object of striking the main road to the north of the block and continuing the advance. A small number of PWs were taken in these villages. As "C" Squadron Group approached the main road they were engaged by AP fire from the area of KANKELAU, 8854. Tanks were knocked out. "C" Group were then ordered to move into a position to attack KANKELAU. Meanwhile "A" Squadron Group attacked SAHMS and approximately 60 PWs were taken. "B" Squadron were passed through to to work up to KANKELAU from the south but were unable to get on owing to marshes. 2nd Fife and Forfar Group had in the meantime moved up behind "C" Squadron and pushed on across country by tracks to BORSTORF, 8761 - KOBERG, 8564 and thence to SIRKSFELDE. They made good progress against no opposition.
At approximately 15.00 hours "B" Squadron were ordered to advance west from SAHMS up the main road via TALKAU and road junction 897591 to KOBERG, there to harbour for the night.
There was a delay from mines which had been laid to cover the demolished bridge. There was also a large number of sea mines which had not been primed. The enemy had luckily not had time.
18.00 hours. Eventually "B" Squadron went through followed by "A" and HQ and got off the road in the area of TALKAU, 8857. Meanwhile "C" Squadron attacked KANKELAU and found one 105mm gun abandoned. Three others were reported to have pulled out. Theleading troop of "B" Squadron, when ordered to move on to the road junction, 897591, was fired on from the area MENDORF, 9058. They engaged the enemy and knocked out one A/Tank gun. It was then decided to turn off at road junction 885578 and thence to BORSTORF. The going was very bad. One of the leading tanks was bogged at approximately 873600. Efforts to bypass it and to pull it out were unsuccessful and the Regiment harboured for the night in situ by squadrons wherever it was possible to get out of the lanes.
Four Other Ranks were killed in action and two wounded. One car, the MO's 8-cwt, a Steener - a captured vehicle - was abandoned at M.R. 8302, Sheet M 54, WESTERGELLERSEN, Province Hanover, owing to unserviceability and non-availability of spares. Three tanks, Comets, were destroyed by enemy action.
2   As the second class roads and trackes had been proved impassible, "C" Squadron Group was ordered to clear the road TALKAU - road junction 918605 and thence west to BORSTORF. There was no opposition. Two large sea mines were exploded. They caused no damage to the tanks but blew two very large craters in the road. These were eventually filled in and "C" Squadron moved on.
12.00 hours. 2nd F & F Yeomanry were making good progress, finding no opposition, and the Brigade was directed onto LUBECK. 23rd Hussar Group, having taken some time to extricate itself, followed behind 2nd F & F Yeomanry via SIRKSFELDE, 8367 - STEINHORST, 8374 - WESTERAU, 8279 and thence along the autobahn. 2nd F & F Yeomanry had raced ahead and entered LUBECK. They found little opposition. 23rd Hussar Group halted for a short while on the autobahn and was then ordered to bypass LUBECK and push on to the coast. A large number of Allied POW were set free, including some British. "C" Squadron were put down in the area 9695, "B" and HQ, 9895, and "A" Squadron, the area 0295. An increasing number of prisoners was taken during the day. Opposition had now ceased. The enemy's one idea was to surrender without delay. Counting them was out of the question. It was difficult enough to herd them together.
3   "B" Squadron Group was ordered to move up and investigate TRAVEMUNDE. The enemy was surrendering in thousands. Captain Weiner negotiated the surrender of airfield on the peninsular by telephone and then went across the river to take over. The water-ferry was still working. He went over in a Scout car. Germans poured onto the narrow neck of land trying to cross to escape from the Russians, who they thought were coming up in their rear. "C" Squadron Group was sent to NEUSTADT. The main road was blocked but they bypassed to the east. In NEUSTADT great confusion reigned. Two ships full of Baltic DPs had just been shot up by the RAF and many were killed. Those who escaped were in very poor condition, and largely without clothes. Their condition was reported as reminiscent of that of the inmates of BELSEN. Higher authority was inclined to doubt it but they were later convinced.
16.00 hours. 23rd Hussar Group less "C" Squadron moved to the area NIENDORF, 8395, 1/100,000 Sheet K4 to harbour and prepare for move to Eclipse area. One half-tracked International M-5 truck, 15-cwt received from 8th corps CS and VP.
2 x Comet tanks received from 270th FDS.
4   14.00 hours. "C" Squadron Group rejoined.
4-9   "A" and "B" at STRUKDORF and "C" at NIENDORF. A period of waiting. Frequent change of orders, disappointing to those whose one aim was to get to HUSUM as quickly as possible. VE night was celebrated by the lighting of bonfires and a display of Verey lights and Mortar flares. A certain amount of Stolzenhau Hock was consumed.
8   One Cromwell VI tank transferred to 3rd RTR. One Cromwell tank VI, 3 x Comet tanks and 1 x Stuart VI tank notified backloaded to REME, 11th Armoured Division, backloading statement No. 132.
10   Move to HUSUM via NEUMUNSTER and RENDESBURG. 8th RB now divorced and left behind. The Regiment spent the night on the outskirts while the harbour parties allotted accommodation.
11   The Regiment moved in. "A" Squadron to Wireless Station, 9266. Remainder of the Regiment to the Marine Barracks, HUSUM. 1/100,000 Sheet J3.
11-31   Operation Eclipse.
13   One Comet tank notified backloaded in REME. 11th Armoured Division backloading statement No. 133.
25   Two Comet tanks transferred to 15th/19th Hussars.
27   One Stuart VI tank, notified backloaded in REME. 11th Armoured Division backloading statement No. 138.

previous month

Source: Neil Grimshaw.

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.