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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.

WAR DIARY
or
INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Army Form C.2118
Unit: 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards.
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. R.G. Byron
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Early start in accordance with last night’s orders at 0730 hrs. The Regiment crossed the SOMME (no opposition) just W. of AMIENS at 1100 hrs. and then diverted on to the left route. First opposition met by “B” Sqn. at VIGNACOURT where some Infantry and 3 tanks were reported. In this area a lot of horse tranport was shot up and some P.W. taken. VIGNACOURT was cleared and we pushed on to CANAPPLES where “B” Sqn. was pulled up by 88 mm A/Tk gun, which was eventually shot up. “B” Sqn. brewed up one Panther, captured one 150 mm horse drawn gun. Another Panther brewed itself up on our approach. “B” Sqn. claims for the day were 5 A/T guns, one Panther and a lot of transport, and “A” Sqn. got a S.P. RHQ also had a shot at a Mortar and men just through CANAPPLES. Opposition occurred at FLENVILLERS which had to be by passed. In the meantime the rest of the Brigade pushed on through DOULLENS on the right route of the Bde. Harbour area near REBREVITTE. The Regiment completed their tasks and were all in Harbour by midnight N. of DOULLENS with the rest of the Bde.
2   O Gp. 0930 hrs. 11 Armd. Div. reported up at BEL and that we were to continue the move to BRUSSELS. No orders for actual move given out. The rest of the day spent by “A” and “B” Sqns. in maintenance while “C” Sqn. went out on Boche killing expedition taking a few prisoners and killing a few Boche. The Regiment was now in the midst of the flying bomb sites, two not being more than 3 miles away at LA BONNIERE and VILLERS L’HOSPITAL.
3   The Regiment moved at 0830 hrs. at early notice on route for ALOST. We passed through ARRAS and LOOS, 8 Armd. Bde being with 30 Div. and the Regiment leading the Gp. with “A”Sqn. No trouble at all was met until a Bridge just E. of LOOS which was found to be blown; a diversion was made. Then opposition in the form of A/Tk. guns was met at HOUBLIN and “A” Sqn. were ordered to deal with the trouble crossing a small river obstacle through SECLIN to the S. of the Bridge. However, the opposition was well covered with some A/Tk. guns and “A” Sqn. had a sticky time having 3 tanks knocked out and Major J.A. d’Avigdor Goldsmid and captain A.C. Hawkins wounded and Tpr. Catlow killed. Meanwhile “B” and “C” Sqns. with “A” Coy. 12 K.R.R.C. were pushing on to LILLE which they liberated without opposition. They were completely mobbed by the inhabitants of LILLE and dirty and tired tank crews were embraced and given a tremendous welcome by the French. They were withdrawn to Harbour just W. of SECLIN in the evening, “A” Sqn. remained out all night with the 9 D.L.I. who were to clear up the enemy pocket in the HOUBLIN area.
4   O Gp. 0630 hrs. Reported that 11 Armd.Div. had crossed into BELGIUM. We were to continue advance in the 50 Div. Gp. towards BRUSSELS being ready to move by 0830 hrs. though “A” Sqn. still had a Troop operating with the D.L.I. These orders were later cancelled and no move took place till 1400 hrs. when 8 Armd. Bde. were given the role of blocking the routes running S.E. from LILLE to prevent any pockets of the Hun escaping from the N. “B” and “C” Sqns. were grouped with the 12 K.R.R.C. and 8 D.L.I. respectively for this purpose. “A” Sqn. remaining with RHQ. Sqns. escorting their Bns. to the blocking areas whence they pulled back and remained in support. RHQ moved to area near Tac Bde. just S.E. of CYSOING.
5   No move for anybody and no enemy seen though many wild reports of even up to 4,000 Huns reported in various places.
5 2000 We received orders for move to area S.W. of BRUSSELS commencing mid-day to-morrow. Harbour parties to leave early.
6   Harbour parties left at 0615 hrs. and the Regiment followed leaving at mid-day, "A" Sqn. leading and crossing the frontier into BELGIUM at 1300 hrs. where we went into Harbour at WOLTHAEEM.
7   O Gp. held 1045 hrs. The Regiment is coming under command of 69 Inf Bde. and we should move to their location at ALOST by 1230 hrs. taking A2 Echelon with us as 8 Armd. Bde were to remain in their present area near WOLTHAEEM. The Regiment moved out at 1130 hrs. “C” Sqn. leading going via SLETTIN 3457, KIRKCKEN - ALOST. At ALOST we joined with 69 Inf. Bde. “C” Sqn. moving on ahead with the 6 Green Howards. All along the route and especially at ALOST civilians gave us a great welcome and showered us with apples and tomatoes.
7 1600 Orders were changed and we returned to 8 Armd. Bde command moving on to AARSCHOT going via WILLEBROCK and MECHLIN, harbouring N.E. of AARSCHOT for the night. The Commanding Officer gave out orders 2230 hrs. Our intention being to cross over the Bridge on the ALBERT CANAL at BEERINGEN (which had been captured by the Guards Armd. Div.) turning left exploiting the Bridgehead and getting behind the enemy who are holding the crossings over the N.W. thus helping 50 Div. to obtain some Bridges. ”B” Sqn. to lead with “A” Coy. 12 K.R.R.C. under command. Bridgehead at BEERINGEN was only half a mile deep.
8 0700 The Regiment moved out and halted with our head short of BEERINGEN at PAIL where we stayed until just after mid-day. While going down a steep hill in DIEST, Lieut. J.H.G. Ford’s Crusader lost its air pressure and crashed into a pylon carrying electric cables which caused a great display of sparks in the wires and bringing the pylon to the ground. The tank and its occupants were unhurt.
8 1110 O Gp. Information. The Guards Bde. have reached BEVERLOO. Intention. “B” Sqn. will push on through BEVERLOO to OOSTHAM and then to OLNEEN and shoot up Germans retiring from the Canal. “A” Sqn. would send a patrol to HEPPEN. RHQ to move behind a Coy of the 12 K.R.R.C. deploying at BEVERLOO.
8 1345 Brigadier gave us orders to move on and the Regiment crossed the Bridge at BEERINGEN. After some opposition had been dealt with “B” Sqn. reached GENNEBERG, two miles N. of BEVERLOO and there were confused civilian reports as to what was in OOSTHAM. However it appeared that there was one S.P. and a lot of German Infantry in the village and in the wood round it. “B” Sqn. brewed up one S.P. near OOSTHAM and shot up a lot of German Inf. in the woods.
8 1800 “B” Sqn. got another S.P. which had, however, knocked out a “B” Sqn. tank. All the crew of this tank became lost including Sergt. West who had been a Troop Sergt. in “B” Sqn. and in action ever since “D” Day.
8   The Hun definitely intended to hold OOSTHAM as in the evening 3 lorry loads of Infantry were observed coming into the village from the EAST.
8 2015 “A” Coy, 12 K.R.R.C. were nearly in the middle of the village after quite a bit of fighting. By darkness the village was in our hands. “B” Sqn. remaining with “A” Coy, 12 K.R.R.C. throughout the night in the village.
9   Just after it became light a party of Germans consisting of a Lt-Col. and 40 men of a Suicide Squad to reach and destroy the Bridge at BEERINGEN at all costs, attacked the Bde A1 Echelon at close quarters which had the previous evening crossed the Bridge over the Canal. Some thirty lorries in the Bde. 13 of them our own and “A” Sqn's Jeep and a 15 cwt. W/T were destroyed and 2 O.P.s killed, 10 missing including SSM. Knox of “C” Sqn. and SSM. Rattenbury of “B” Sqn. a big blow. However, the Echelon saved the day and the Bosche attack never reached its objective. The Commanding Officer held O Gp. at 1000 hr. Information - situation very confused in this area as we have succeeded in cutting off a lot of Bosche who were holding the canal, their only line of retreat being due N. past OOSTHAM. “B” Sqn. were ordered to remain with the 12 K.R.R.C. and establish themselves at OOSTHAM, and “A” and “C” Sqns. and RHQ were to send patrols to watch the road from BEVERLOO – GENNEBERG – OOSTHAM ready to shoot up any Bosche trying to get out. “B” Squadron had quite a shoot during the day, and 431 Bty. 147 Fd. Regt. landed at least 5 shells right in the middle of a concentration of about 60 enemy. A lot of snipers in OOSTHAM and occasional shelling and mortaring by the enemy.
9 1845 O Gp. Information - warning to evacuate OOSTHAM and not to attempt to extend the Bridgehead any further in this direction. 8 Armd. Bde. were now under comd. Gds. Armd. Div. and were to move to-morrow to S. of BOURG LEOPOLD covering the left area of the Gds. Armd. Div. Intention - We were to move to the area BEAMAUS WOOD in the morning, taking up position covering the N. edge of that wood and holding an important feature of high ground to the S.E. of BOURG LEOPOLD. This town was still in enemy hands. “B” Sqn. and “A” and “C” Coys of 12 K.R.R.C. withdrew in the late evening from OOSTHAM and the enemy quickly followed our departure into the village. The Recce Tp. took one prisoner during the night - a Cpl. of an A/Tk. Regiment - who strayed towards our lines and was knocked down by one of the Recce. Tp. N.C.Os.
10   The Regiment moved in accordance with last night's orders to take up it's new position S. of BOURG LEOPOLD. Conflicting reports were received as to whether or not BOURG LEOPOLD is held. This modern town had been occupied by SS Tps. and in May that portion of it had been almost totally destroyed by the RAF in which raid it is understood nearly all the SS were killed numbering over 1,000, and it is also understood there had been imprisoned in BOURG LEOPOLD some 300 Belgium political prisoners.
10   In the evening “C” Sqn. were ordered to send a patrol in from the East to find out whether the village was held or not, and if not to go in. A Patrol of two Tps. under the Sqn. Ldr. carried out this task and when within about 800 yds. of the East end of the town, two tanks of “C” Sqn. were quikly brewed up and one other had its track knocked off (Lieut. N.S. Wide’s tank). by a S.P. gun which we were unable to spot. A considerable amount of shooting was done into the area where the S.P. was thought to be and some Bosche who were seen were shot up. A very high O.P. tower which it was thought might contain a Bosche O.P. was shot up by “A” Squadron and it was later discovered that a Bosche O.P. in it had been killed. ln the evening “C” Coy of the 12 K.R.R.C. entered the East end of the town from the South in an attempt to stalk the S.P. However they found nothing at that particular end and withdrew. “C” Squadron also came back to their Harbour in the late evening. Civilians reported that the Bosche was carrying out atrocities against women and children in the town and implored us to help them.
11   A watching patrol of “A” Sqn. to the East of the town was posted and 13/18 H were to the West of BOURG LEOPOLD. A Belgian Gp. was put under command of 8 Armd. Bde. with the intention of capturing BOURG LEOPOLD in the afternoon. However, there were reports that the Hun had evacuated the town during the night, retiring N.W. and the Belgians supported by “C” Sqn. entered the town quite unopposed in the afternoon. There were enemy, however, to the N.W. of it in the area of HEPPEN and their existence was confirmed by an Armd. car patrol. “C” Sqn. stayed the night in BOURG LEOPOLD.
12   Situation unchanged. 8 Armd. Bde still under command Gds. Armd. Div. who had by now not only got a crossing (in the nick of time) across the ESCAULT CANAL but had also got patrols across DUTCH border.
13   “B” Sqn. relieved “C” Sqn. of their duties at BOURG LEOPOLD. It was reported that the SRY had had a day of heavy fighting in GHENT area on the 11th when a large number of enemy fanatical SS Tps. attempted to break out. Very many were killed, some even standing up, shouting “I die for the Fuhrer”. The SRY had 11 tanks knocked out in this action, but the Bosche attacks all failed. 50 Div. on the left in the GHEIL area were relieved by 15 Scottish Div. and moved down into our area, and 8 Armd. Bde. came under comd. 50 Div. once again. “A” Sqn. carried out a patrol N. from the road running East out of BOURG LEOPOLD across the Artillery Range and discovered no signs of the enemy, and other reports indicate that he is pulling out behind the ESCAULT CANAL.
14   The Regiment moved with A1 Echelon into BOURG LEPOLD itself for 3 or 4 days maintenance and refit. Most of the men were found houses or buildings in which to be billeted. Our only operational commitment now was to maintain 24 hrs. watch from an O.P. tower N.E. of the village.
15   Back to semi peace time rule. Sqns. did maintenance and admin. inspections.
16   Squadrons at disposal of Sqn.Ldrs. The Commanding Officer having attended Corps Commander’s conference in the morning at which the plan for future operation was outlined, spoke to all Officers and NCOs in the afternoon.
16   Squadron Leaders conference held at which Commanding Officer outlined forthcoming operations. Airborne landings were to be made in the area EINDHOVEN – NIJMEGEN – ARNHEM on 17 Sep. with the object of securing the Brs. at these places. Gds. Armd. Div. followed by 43 Div. with the Regiment under comd. 214 Bde. were to drive through over the ESCAULT Canal through EINDHOVEN – NIJMEGEN – ARNHEM, the Gds. having as their objective Zuyder Zee.
17, 18, 19   No move yet made. Regiment still remains resting at BOURG LEOPOLD.
20   Lt.Col. R.G. Byron DSO who had been in comd. of the Regiment since December 1941, to-day handed over comd. to Major G.K. Barker. Lt.Col. R.G. Byron DSO who completed his 3 years as commanding Officer on the 19th September had commanded the Regiment during possibly one of its most eventful and historical periods, and his departure would be much regretted. He took comd. from Lt .Colonel L.E. Misa DSO during the difficult period of training in England after Dunkirk, then the conversion DD, and then finally committing the Regiment in its assault landing on D Day and on through the Normandy campaign and up to this date.
20   The following changes were to be made on his change of commands:-
20   2nd in Comd - Major W.N.D. Barlow (on posting from F. & F.Yeo.).
20   O.C. “A” Sqn. - Major I.G. Gill MC (Major J.A. d’Avigdor Goldsmid not having yet recovered from his wound).
20   O.C. “B” Sqn. - Major S.R.M. Jenkins (who is acting 2nd-in-Comd. until the arrival of Major W.N.D. Barlow).
20   O.C. “C” Squadron - Captain W.P. Riley.
20   Captain D.J.B. Richards was in command of “B” Sqn. while Major S.R.M. Jenkins was acting as 2nd-in-Comd.
20   Commanding Officer held O Gp. at 1000 hrs. to tie up our departure on Operation Market.
20   This Operation was part of the Airborne landings made on 17 Sep. and the whole consisted of a great drive by 30 Corps across the ESCAULT CANAL to GRAVE, across the WAAL at NIJMEGEN and the Lower Rhine at ARNHEM. 30 Corps was to be led by the Gds. Armd. Div. with 43 Div. following, the Regiment being under comd. 214 Inf. Bde. (Brigadier Essame DSO). The Gds. Armd. Div. had already got and through to NIJMEGEN and linked up with the 101 US Airborne Troops at EINDHOVEN. If the Bridge over the Rhine was blown, i.e. thus proving the failure to force the crossing, 43 Div. were to come through, their operation being divided into 4 phases as follows:-
20   Phase 1. 130 Bde. capture the South bank of the River.
20   Phase 2. 214 Bde. with the Regiment in support carry out an amphibious operation in Duxks crossing west of the Bridge.
20   Phase 3. 214 Bde. clearing the houses and down the other side of the River.
20   Phase 4. Crossing the River at Arnhem, the two Bdes. and 20 tanks of the Regiment were to be put into barges at NIJMEGEN sail up the Rhine and then turn North and then West along the Lower Rhine to a point of landing on the North bank on some concrete landing stages which were known to be in existence at ARNHEM. Fire power of the tanks, if necessary, to be used during the voyage.
20   The Regiment, “A” Squadron leading was scheduled to leave BOURG LEOPOLD at 1200 hrs. but time of departure was postponed until we actually moved out about 1700 hrs. Driving all night we passed up the only Corps route arriving at a place North of EINDHOVEN at day break on the 21st.
21   After breakfast the column moved on preceded by Harbour parties over the Bridge at GRAVE to a Harbour area about 3 miles further on where Squadrons went into own areas.
21 1430 Commanding Officer held O Gp. having attended at 8 Armd. Bde. for orders. Intention - 30 Corps to liberate the 1st British Airborne Div. who landed in the ARNHEM area on 17 Sep. This Division though still fighting was reported running short of supplies and coming under heavy enemy pressure. The Guards have captured NIJMEGEN and we hold the two Bridges and a small Bridgehead to the North of the WAAL about 1 mile deep. The 504 US Para. Bde. being in possession of this Bridgehead which the Guards are going to enlarge. There was extremely grim fighting for the road bridge at NIJMEGEN, but the American Paratroops after crossing the River in small boats succeeded in capturing the Bridge intact although the enemy had laid remote charges the night before, but the fuse wires to these had been cut during the night by a sapper party especially detailed for the job. We, with the 147 Fd. Regt. all under comd. 214 Inf. Bde. were to cross the River by the Railway Bridge, turn West after crossing the Bridge and then move North skirting ELST to the West making for ARNHEM. The SLI with “A” Squadron under commend and a Battery of the 147 Fd. Regt. and two sections of our Honeys were to form the advance guard of the Bde. Next were to come the DCLI Gp. and the Worcs. Gp. “B” and “C” Sqns. returning to Regimental command. The advance guard will not be allowed across the other side until sufficient space had been obtained by the Guards and Americans enlarging the Bridgehead.
21 2000 The Regiment harboured in woods immediately East of the Main road one mile South of NIJMEGEN. The Commanding Officer had great difficulty in finding 214 Bde. in the dark for an O Gp. not getting back until 0130 hrs. morning 22nd September.
22 0630 O Gp. Yesterday's orders stood with the addition of a barrage. Bridgehead had been slightly enlarged and yesterday's plan to be proceeded with, the SLI crossing at 0730 hrs. and the 130 Bde. were to attack due North up the road towards ELST, 214 Bde. going West through OOSTERHOUT and then North through WAALBURG. “A” Squadron moved out of their location near Railway Bridge at 0630 hrs. followed by RHQ 1 hour later, and “B” and “C” Squadrons took up position to the South part of the town some 4 hours later.
22 0800 SLI over the River, “A” Squadron at Southern edge of Bridge starting to go across.
22   Report received that Guards last night contacted elements of the 1st British Airborne Div. thus proving that a patrol of the Household Cavalry had actually reached the Southern bank of the Rhine linking up with the Polish Para. Bde. and meeting some of the British Div. who had come across the River. A large number of Bosche appeared to be in the area of OOSTERHOUT, and it was appreciated that once this crust was broken then an armoured drive could successfully be made up to DRIEL on the Southern bank of the Lower Rhine. The supply situation of Airborne Division was now critical and it was decided that once the SLI and “A” Squadron had cleared the Bosche from OOSTERHOUT a column consisting of “B” Squadron and the DCLI with supplies in Duxks should make a dash up to DRIEL. “A” Sqn. battle with the SLI was still going on at 1700 hrs. but by now the attack was going very well, a lot of Bosche had been killed, and “A” Sqn. had destroyed 2 Mk. IIIs and at least two A/Tk. guns. At 1830 hrs. “B” Sqn. were ordered to start their drive through. The Worcs. were crossing at this time and “C” Squadron and RHQ were to follow after and go into harbour the other side of the River. The Commanding Officer stayed the night at the 214 Inf. Bde. HQ just West of NIJMEGEN. The news of “B” Squadron’s advance was listened to with much excitement and everybody was delighted to hear that they had reached DRIEL in darkness late that night although it was not known what success the Duxks had had in getting any supplies across. Later it turned out that the column was in fact cut by two enemy Tigers which joined it in the darkness West of ELST. These Tigers were destroyed by a very gallant Infantryman who fired a Piat at them at so close range that he himself suffered severe burns. The leading Troop of “B” Squadron which led this drive was commanded by Lieut. Simmonds and the leading tank by Cpl. Raybould. On reaching DRIEL they linked up with the Polish Paratroops, but also, unfortunately, shot up an armd. car belonging to the Household Cavalry, this happening in the failing light, the leading tank not expecting to see any friendly AFVs on the road. Thus “B” Squadron had completed the attempt to relieve the Airborne Forces, but the supplies could not be got across the River.
23   “A” and “C” Squadrons were to carry out an attack to-day against ELST, the attack scheduled to commence in the morning. “C” Sqn. with the Worcs. “A” Sqn. with the SLI. “A” Sqns. party was postponed until 1500 hrs. owing to enemy being in the axis of their advance. “C” Sqn. started at 1200 hrs. with the Worcs.
23 1300 1 Panther reported captured by the Worcs.
23 1315 “C” Sqn. reported 3 Panthers ditched and 1 Tiger brewed up, the ditched Panthers were destroyed by us when we came across them.
23 1400 “C” Sqn. still helping the Worcs on to Village of LIENDEN immediately West of ELST. “A” Sqn. still waiting for the word go.
23 1500 LIENDEN now clear. “A” Sqn and the SLI commenced their attack, they were going through the Worcs. direct on ELST it-self.
23 1730 “A” Squadron attack still going well and they later reached their objectives with the SLI which were the centre and Southern half of the town of ELST.
23 2100 “C” Squadron returned to harbour near RHQ which had now moved to field South of WAALBURG. “B” Squadron remained near DRIEL with the DCLI and “A” Squadron stayed out the night with the SLI on the West side of ELST.
23   Great air supplies were seen to be dropped by parachutes in the Arnhem area, but it was not known how much of these fell into our own Troops hands.
24   It was proved to-day that yesterday's joint claims of ourselves and the Infantry in the ELST battle were 6 Tigers and 2 Panthers. “A” and “C” Squadrons continued their advance in the ELST area with the SLI and Worcs. starting at 0800 hrs. The reserve Troop of “A” and “C” Squadrons were each committed to support the 129 Bde in their advance North along the main road to ELST. 129 Bde. advance had been held up completely and had not progressed much further than the perimeter won by the Guards and U.S. Airborne Troops.
24 1000 Lieut. N.S. Wide (Troop Leader of “C” Squadron Troop with 129 Bde) reported that he had scuppered five dual purpose 75 mm guns, and they had taken a number of Prisoners of War. These two Troops returned to the Regiment at 1300 hrs. going into reserve again. “A” Squadron Troop co-operated with the 4 SLI and “C” Squadron Troop with the 4 Wilts.
24 1200 The Commanding Officer visited “B” Squadron in the DRIEL area where they were now coming under some harrassing artillery fire from the North side of the River Rhine.
24 1400 “B” Squadron escorting DCLI to new position further SE to form a defence flank facing ELST. This move was made with no enemy opposition. The Luftwaffe turned out about fifty planes, all fighters, FW 190 and ME 109s though they did not attack our positions, but were seen machine gunning what appeared to be the Airborne Div. positions. It was proved later that most of their efforts were directed to shooting up a wood which had a Parachute caught on top of a tree which they evidently thought marked the British positions. In actual fact it was in enemy ground. A number of these fighters were shot down during the day by our Spitfires.
25 0845 The Commanding Officer held O Gp. He recapitulated the events the last few days saying that our activities, particularly of “B” Squadron in their drive on to DRIEL had been much appreciated (account of part played by “B” Squadron is at Appx. “A”). The first Gds. Armd. Bde. were to take over this area and the Bde and 50 Div. should take over the area from ELST to NIJMEGEN BRIDGE. The Regiment would then move about 4 miles to the West near area of HERVELD. Lieut. J.H.G. Ford was sent on recce.
25   Admin. points were then dealt with. Tech. Adjt. would set up recovery point near RHQ where he would base himself with the 3 ARVs and Fitters half tracks and one LAD recovery vehicle. The supply line was continually cut N. of EINDHOVEN and although we would never be short waste was to be avoided. RAF were landing considerable quantities of supplies near GRAVE by Dakotas. Lastly great attempt by 130 Bde to establish small Bridgehead over the Lower Rhine (The Leck) would be made to enable as many as possible of the 1st British Airborne to be evacuated. “A” and “C” Squadrons will still help SLI and Worcs in ELST area and in the evening the Bosche appeared definitely to be pulling out of the area, our Troops reaching the Railway line. “A” Squadron had a Troop shot up by a Panther (all three tanks in a row on a road). There were no personnel casualties.
26   Position unchanged. “B” Squadron now back in Regimental area leaving a Troop with the DCLI and “C” Squadron had one Troop out with the Worcs. “A” Squadron remaining in Harbour with the exception of one Troop which was sent out in a flap to the 12 KRRCs in the West near ORPHEUSDEN where a strong Hun patrol had apparently crossed the river from the North and run into the 12 KRRC. This flap quietened down and the patrol withdrew, some prisoners being taken by the 12 KRRC. At least 1,500 of the Airborne Div. were evacuated successfully across the river last night; all these personnel passed through the Divisional ADS which was next door to RHQ. There was slight enemy air activity in the morning and afternoon, no attacks made on our position. All Squadrons were concentrated in Harbour near RHQ for the night.
27 0800 Commanding Officer held O Gp. The Regiment was to concentrate in area OOSTERHOUT, and we would be moving in the afternoon. Harbour parties were sent by Squadrons in the morning. Certain Admin. points were also dealt with.
27 1300 Flap order received to despatch Squadron to assist 214 Inf. Bde. in an attack to be put in in the afternoon against some enemy who had crossed over from North to South in the area of RANDWIJK. “C” Squadron were selected to follow as reserve Squadron to work with the Worcs. “A” and “C” Sqns. therefore with the usual half of RHQ proceeded to concentration area at ANDELST where “A” Sqn. joined up with the SLI, “C” Sqn. with the Worcs. The attack started from ZETTEN due North of RANDWIJK with the main road as the Axis. The attack went very well. We had no casualties and the SLI very few and some two or three hundred Bosche were accounted for. “A” and “C” Squadrons returned to Harbour at HERVELD and half of RHQ also stayed out with 214 Inf. Bde.
28 0800 The Commanding Officer attended Bde O Gp. (8 Armd. Bde) and then briefed O.C. “C” Squadron who would remain out in that area under comd. 214 Bde. while the rest of the Regiment would return to OOSTERHOUT. RHQ and “A” Squadron were back in OOSTERHOUT area by 1100 hrs.
28   As a matter of interest the tank state for the three Sabre Squadrons to-day was as follows (this was the average state for this period):-
28   Sherman 75 mm; "A": 10; "B": 12; "C": 11
28   Sherman 17 Pdr.; "A": 4; "B": 3; "C": 4
28   Squadrons were organized on 4 Tp. basis and where possible four tanks per Troop having one 17 Pdr. in each Troop, and if possible one 17 Pdr. in reserve with SHQ.
29   Major S.R.M. Jenkins went back to 2nd Army via the Forward Delivery Squadrons. The day spent quietly, but there were no baths or cinemas possible because a number of the enemy (about 14) during the night swam 15 miles down the river and blew a NIJMEGEN Bridge. These Bosche apparently had been trained at the one man submarine school in VENICE brought and briefed at UTRECHT, equipped with rubber swim suits, oxygen apparatus and extensions in water proof containers. They swam nearly all the way for 15 miles, then placed their charges, and then swam on to turn into the wrong creek. Most of them were taken Prisoner of War in the hands of the Recce Regiment.
30   The Commanding Officer held a conference for Squadron Leaders at 0900 hrs. and issued orders for “A” Squadron to relieve “C” Squadron of their duties with 214 Inf. Bde. In the HERVELD area at 1700 hrs. to-day and “B” Squadron was to be prepared to support, in case of a flap, the 5 DCLI to the East side of the Island towards BEMMEL. Apparently Hitler has given personal orders that we are to be kicked out of the Island (i.e. above NIJMEGEN – ARNHEM).

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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.