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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: 15th/19th Hussars
Month and Year: July 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt Col A.D. Taylor, MC.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
U.K. 1   Lt. R.J. Pearce collected 1 Honey tk from LIVERPOOL. ‘C’ Sqn and RHQ Tk Tp contd their Tp trg in the Trg Area between SHOTTISHAM and WOODBRIDGE.
U.K. 1   APPENDIX ‘Z’: 'A' & 'B' Sqns had been at FRITTON BRIDGING CAMP since June 26th doing amphibious tk trg. The D.D. Sherman is an ordinary Sherman tk to which is added a screen which can be raised so that it forms a canvas box around the tk. This increases the volume of the tk in the water and makes it float. The screen is raised by compressed air tubes and held up by iron struts. The compressed air is supplied to the tubes by compressed air bottles on the front of the tk. The tk is driven in the water by two propellors, which are themselves driven off the final drive to the sprockets, so that the tracks to go round when the propellors do, and as soon as the tk touches land the tracks take over. These propellors can be raised so that when the tk is on land they do not get damaged. The tk is steered by a lateral movement imparted to the propellors by one of the two tillers. The Comd has one on the outside of the tk and the driver another in his compartment. There were enough D.D. Shermans for each Sqn to have 19, and these stood in a long concrete camouflaged tk park for the first day or two. Instructors had handed over the tks to the drivers from the Regt, explained the theory of the tk to crews, and allowed them to practice inflating screens in the tk park. Soon tks went into the lake and instructors at first comd them. Later the crew comds from the Regt took over. The drill for testing propellors and for raising screens was always done before entering the water. In the water there were various means of steering. The Comd could stand on top and steer with his tiller. Or he could stand on top and give instructions over the I.C. to the driver who would use his own tiller. The driver could use his long periscope or the Comd could look through his periscope and give commands on the I.C. to the driver who steers with his tiller. As the trg went on, Tps trained together practising Tp launchings, drives and landings, and later on Sqns practised as Sqns.
3   The Recce Sqn moved to a Sqn Camp near SHELTERHOUSE CORNER and ELVEDEN X rds. Here they did Tp and Sqn trg in Honey’s and a fair amount of dismounted trg, as well. 5 M/C's were handed over to 28 Armd Bde Wkpsps.
4   'C' Sqn fired on the AFV Range at BOYTON in Essex. There is one firing point and one Tp can fire at a time. There are targets for 75 mm A.P. and HE shooting on the flats between the firing point and the sea.
5   1st and 2nd Tps of 'C' Sqn with 2 tks of RHQ did the Battle Practice run near ORFORD. Major G. Courage commanded the two Tps and the C.O. controlled the run. The run was shaped like a dog leg, the first leg going towards a place of slightly high ground near the sea, and the second leg ran roughly parallel to the sea. At the beginning of the first leg the two Tps had to go through some thick valley country where map reading was difficult and targets hard to see. Afterwards they came up onto a stretch of higher ground where targets were numerous and easier to see. The Tp ended the first leg by putting in a combined attack on the crest. 2nd Tp gave covering fire while 1st Tp adv. The second leg ran in a southerly direction parallel to the sea. Guns were pointing seawards and the targets were on the marshy ground near the sea wall or in small woods and hedges in the marshes. The two Tps covered each other fwd from piece of dominating ground to another and ended with a joint shoot at the last set of valley targets. This Battle Practice course was devised by the C.O. and the targets layed out by members of the Regiment and in many ways it was far more realistic and better value than the majority of Battle Practices on the AFV Ranges throughout the country. Safety angles were observde and except for what must have been a ricochet no rounds went outside the laid-down boundaries.
5   RHQ Tp began a 2 day march on their feet in Essex. Col. Russel Hodgson visited the Regt to take questions of reinforcements and Home Details. The Regt completed its mobilisation. 5 M/C's were taken over by the Regt.
5   APPENDIX ‘Z’: Major General Sir Percy C.S. Hobart, KBE, CB, DSO, MC, visited FRITTON and spent several hours on the lake watching Sqns train.
5   APPENDIX ‘Z’: During the fortnight that 'A' & 'B' Sqns spent at FRITTON, every Officer and man wnt through elementary trg is escaping from sinking tks, both with the Davis escape apparatus and the simpler amphibious tank escape apparatus. After both apparatuses had been explained every one practiced walking under water breathing oxygen and after the first strangeness had passed most people found it straightforward. Later on, everyone practiced escaping from the turret of a Valentine and a Sherman which were submerged in warm water. This part of the trg was completed without anyone finally failing to do it.
6   3rd and 4th Tps 'C' Sqn did the Battle Practice at ORDFORD. The 2nd in Command controlled the run. The A.A. Tp had some gunnery instruction at the Naval Gunnery School on HMS MIRANDA at GT. YARMOUTH. On the whole however, it was becoming obvious that the A.A. Tp was unlikely to survive as such. The A.A. tks which should have come had not arrived, and an enterprise which had begun in Northumberland with much keenness petered out owing to lack of equipment and the prospect of never being used. QMS Tulley, the Orderly Room Sgt left for GHQ 2nd Echelon, 21st Army Group.
7   RHQ Tp fired the 75mm and the Besa on BOYTON AFV Range. The C.O. and Adjt were present.
8   RHQ Tp again fired at BOYTON AFV Range. Direct and indirect shoots were done, and a Tp indirect shoot ended the morning. 'C' Sqn did more Tp trg on the WOODBRIDGE Trg Area.
8   APPENDIX ‘Z’: After dark 'A' Sqn did a night launch. The C.O. and the Comdt of the camp were present. Using rear screen lights only the tks launched and drove round the Iake coming just at first light but too early for periscope light. It was very difficult to see the tks and it is probably a good time to put in an ampleibious attack assuming that there is periscope light for the last 1000yds or so.
9   'C' Sqn and RHQ Tp ended their period at VALE FARM Nr. SHOTTISHAM in Essex.
9   APPENDIX ‘Z’: 'B' Sqn did a night launch.
10   Recce Sqn moved to TITCHWELL Ranges in Norfolk.
10   APPENDIX ‘Z’: 'A' & 'B' Sqns moved to the camp at LEE-OVER-SANDA Nr. BRIGHTLINGSEA to do Saltwater trg. 'C' Sqn and RHQ Tk Tp moved to FRITTON to do the lake trg which 'A' & 'B' Sqns had just completed. For 10 days 'A' & 'B' Sqns went through the Saltwater trg. The camp was a tented one with some shacks on the front which were used for offices. Again there were enough tks for each Sqn to have 19. At the beginning of the 10 days tks were taken over by drivers and the effects of salt water on tks explained. There were also lectures on the formations that would be adopted by the Sqns when they launches and landed. The direction was always to be set by a pilot launch and Sqns were to enter the water in 4 columns, each column consisting of a Tp and a part of RHQ. To turn round and come back to the shore Sqn columns would tither counter march or the whole convoy wheel to left or right. As far as landing was concerned it was possible to land on one of the two beaches and it was necessary to avoid various anti tank erections and banks of mud. The Chief Instructor – Major Graham also gave lectures on how to launch from "Landing Craft Tank". During trg on the sea, all crews wore life jackets except for those inside the tks who wore ATEA outfits. The strongest sea during these 10 days was a force 3 sea, and therefore trg was not held up by rough weather. It was an enjoyable 10 aays, more interesting than at FRITTON naturally enough, and when the sea rose it was quite exciting. No tks were lost. On a fine evening it was a fine sight out see 40 odd craft sailing out to sea, wheeling, coming into beach and deflating at speed.
11   Recce Sqn fired their 37 mm guns and their .30 Browing M.G's.
12   7 Sherman Tks and 16 Centaurs III taken over from 5 D.G.
13   Recce Sqn returned to their camp nr ELVEDEN X rds and took over 10 Centaurs, handing over 2 Honeys to the 1 F.F. Yeo. The only Crusader A.A. tk was handed over to Ordnance.
16   25 Fordson 3 ton lorries which were fitted out for Arctic conditions were handed over to Ordnance.
18   6 Centaurs Mk. III were handed over to Ordnance for salvage.
19   30 3ton Fordson lorries taken over by the Regt as well as 4 3ton Compressor Carriers.
21   Recce Sqn did a 2 day Exercise on STAMFORD BATTLE Area.
22   'A' Sqn moved to POPLAR FARM and 'B' Sqn to VALE FARM, both near WOODBRIDGE in Essex. The Regtl adv party moved to FORNHAM HALL, Nr. BURY ST EDMUNDS.
22-31   APPENDIX ‘Z’: ‘C’ Sqn and RHQ carried out Saltwater Trg at LEE-OVER-SANDS in the same manner as 'A' & ‘B’ Sqn. On one occasion the sea was too rough for sailing, but otherwise no trg was missed and on one ocassion it was done on a force 4 sea. On July 31st Major Genersi Sir Percy C.S. Hobart KBE, CB, DSO, MC, visited LEE OVER SANDS and watched 'C' Sqn and RHQ do a launch in the afternoon. No tks were lost during the 10 days.
23   'A' & 'B' Sqns began doing their Gunnery and Tp trg at BOYTON AFV Range and WOODBRIDGE Trg Area.
25   'HQ' Sqn and Recce Sqn moved to FORNHAM HALL from GT YARMOUTH and ELVEDEN respectively.
27   3rd and 4th Tps of 'A' Sqn did the Battle Practice at ORFORD.
28   1st and 2nd Tps or 'A' Sqn did the Battle Practice at ORFORD.
30   3rd and 4th Tps of 'B' Sqn did the Battle Practice at ORFORD.
31   1st and 2nd Tps of 'B' Sqn did the Battle Practice at ORFORD.

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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.