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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: 4th Tk Bn Grenadier Guards
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. H.R.H. Davies
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
LES LOGES 1 0530 The Bn moved ¾ mile from its last location & stayed there for the whole day. No 1 Sqn supported 6th R.S.F. in taking over high ground around BOIS DU HOMME & remained with them throughout the day.
1 1700 1 Tk No 2 Sqn supported 6 KOSB on an attack on the wood NE of the BOIS DU HOMME. This was successful against light opposition & prisoners were taken.
1 2000 The entire Bn harboured together in the same location.
2 0430 No 2 Sqn took over No 1 Sqn’s position with 6th RSF but was released later in the morning.
2 1430 The Bn was ordered to pick up 6 RSF & occupy high ground around PEVILION. This order was not carried out due to the congestion on the roads. 21 Pz Div were in posn to deny movement in the area. (The Bn remained on 3 hrs notice.)
2 2000 The entire Bn harboured in same location.
PEVILION 3 1130 The Bn was put at 1 hrs notice.
3 1400 The Bn moved across country carrying 6 RSF on the tanks & proceeded to LE TOURNEOR 6945 arriving at 1530 hrs.
3 1800 6 RSF supported by No 3 Sqn were ordered to attack the high ground around ARCLAIS 7244. No 3 Sqn were told to protect the left flank. This attack was postponed until 2100 hrs as the infantry were not ready.
LE TOURNEOR 3 2100 Supported by airburst arty barrage from the arty not only of 15 S Div & GAD but an AGRA & such fire available from the 1st & 2nd Bns of the Regt the infantry, supported again by the only four tanks that could pass through the incredibly difficult country, succeeded in taking their objective.
3 2300 No 3 Sqn remained in their battle locations for the night. The Bn harboured about ½ mile from LE TOURNEOR.
4 0900 No 3 Sqn remained with the infantry around ARCLAIS in a close support position.
4 1800 No 1 Sqn moved out in support of 6 RSFs in an attack on MONTCHARIVAL 7442. No 2 Sqn moved out after No 1 Sqn in support of 6 KOSB who were to occupy Pts 227 & 287 6541. Owing to the country No 2 Sqn were not in direct support of the infantry but on call.
4 2000 Enemy resistance in MONTCHARIVAL was broken up by 2 plns of infantry supported by 2 tks No 1 Sqn. Several machine gun nests & a half track were destroyed.
4 2200 No 1 Sqn harboured West of MONTCHARIVAL & were heavily shelled during the night. No casualties. The rest of the Bn harboured East of ST PIERRE TARENTANE 7043. No 3 Sqn having by now rejoined Bn HQ.
5 0900 No 2 Sqn moved up in direct support of 6 KOSB.
5 1400 Long range shelling killed 3 men in “B” Echelon & wounded 8 others. The Bn remained in same location as before.
ESTRY 6   No 2 Sqn were detached from the Bn & placed under command 3 Tk SG who were attached 227 Inf Bde. An attack on ESTRY 7437 from the road to the NE was carried out in the morning. No 2 Sqn came under very heavy & accurate shelling on this road. The country was as usual very difficult for tanks & dug-in Tigers & stiff enemy infantry resistance from the SS troops caused heavy casualties. Lt Lord Oliver Fitzroy & 8 ORs were killed. Capt. J.A. Cannan, Lt H.W. Wollaston, Lt G.C.B. Gidley Kitchin & Lt J.B. Sumner were all wounded, the last named only slightly. 10 ORs were wounded & 2 missing believed P.O.W.
COUDRAIES 7893 6 1400 The remaining tks were rallied by Capt H.J. Gould who assumed command of the Sqn & these returned to Bn HQS. No 1 & 3 Sqns remained in area LECORNU 6741. Bn HQ was at COUDRAIES 7893.
7   The day was spent in reorganizing both infantry & tank battalions & preparing for an attack on ESTRY the next day.
MONTCHARIVAL 7 2000 The Bn moved to a harbour area ½ mile W of MONTCHARIVAL. Recce’s were carried out by the Commanding Officer & O.C. 3 Sqn for the attack.
7 2300 No 3 Sqn moved out to an F.A.A. SE of MONTCHAMP.
ESTRY 8 1200 The attack on ESTRY was to be carried out by the RSF & KOSB supported by 6 flame throwing tanks & 6 petard tanks – corps arty & No 3 Sqn in direct protection of the special tanks. The attack began reasonably well but later the impossible country for tanks held up all types & heavy losses amongst the flame throwers & petard tanks forced their withdrawal with little done. No 3 Sqn remained with the infantry for the rest of the day with about half the objective taken, & both sides very close to each other. No 3 Sqn had an unpleasant time from snipers & mortars.
9 0500 No 1 Sqn took over from No 3 Sqn & No 2 Sqn moved up in support of the reserve inf bn 8 RS.
9   No 1 were in direct support of the leading inf coys & spent a bad day being sniped, mortared & shelled by SP guns.
9   Lt H. Verney was sniped & very seriously wounded.
9   Efforts were made to clear hedges, trees etc & the church tower as ESTRY was also shot & holed. The front line was just S of ESTRY X rds & visibility for tanks not more than 50 yds.
9 1900 Bn HQ moved to COURTEIL 7140 & Sqns were on a shuttle service 1st with the leading inf coys, 2nd with the reserve Bn just South of MONTCHAMP & the 3rd with Bn HQ; at dawn each day 1st sqn went back to reserve 2nd sqn moved up to front line & 3rd went up to the reserve inf bn.
10 2000 No 2 Sqn in immediate support of the infantry carried out a raid with one troop. The infantry who were to support this raid were mortared during the recce & were unable to help. This raid was successfully carried out without loss. Otherwise the position remained as before.
10   The bn was warned to be prepared to leave 15 S Div at any time after 1000 hrs 11th. The rest of the 6th Gds Tk Bde had already left the Division.
10   The enemy sent over a few shells by night in the diretion of Bn HQ.
11 0900 An attack to the E of ESTRY by GAD & 3 Br Inf Div could be heard during the morning. The position at ESTRY remained as before. No 3 Sqn being in direct support of the infantry. Sniping & mortaring continued as before & despite intelligence reports to the contrary the enemy remained firmly in ESTRY village.
12 0500 No 1 Sqn went up to the infantry front line at dawn & had 1 tk bazookered through the turret, wounding the gunner.
12   The rest of the day was spent as the two preceeding days, the tanks sitting in the front line closed for 18 hrs. Mortaring & sniping were however slightly on the decrease.
13 0500 No 2 Sqn moved up to the infantry & spent a much quieter day.
13 1700 159 Inf Bde took over from 46 Inf Bde & 15th Scottish Division moved out of the area & 11th Armd Div came in.
13   The Bn remained under command until the relief was complete & it was relieved by 3 RTR.
13   The Bn was ordered to move to area VIRE 6432 at 0900 hrs the next morning.
13   Lt GB Sheffield & Lt WT Agar joined the Bn.
COURTEIL 14 0930 The Bn now under command 3rd Br Inf Division on extreme right of British line moved across country to a harbouring area about 1 mile NE of VIRE 6432.
VIRE 14 1400 “A” Ech joined the Bn which was now together for the first time since the attack started.
14 1530 Shells killed 2 ORs in “A” Echelon & wounded 3 others slightly.
L’AUBESNIERE 15   The Bn remained in the same location until 2000 hrs when orders were given to move to L’AUBESNIÈRE 6528. No 2 Sqn moved later as some personnel were attending the first concert party since before the attack. The Bn was now under command 9th Inf Bde.
16   The Bn remained in the same location & was moved from various hours of notice until at 1400 hrs it was placed back under command 6th Gds Tk Bde.
16 1800 Owing to the death of the Bde Cmdr Lt Col HRH Davies assumed temporary command of the Bde & handed over the Bn to the 2nd in Command Major CMF Deakin.
17   The Bn remained in same location all day.
17   The A.A. Tp was disbanded & sent back to the FDS for training on Churchills. The Recce Tp now contained 6 Honeys & 5 Humber Scout Cars.
18   Colonel WDC Greenacre MVO Welsh Guards arrived to assume command of the Bde. Lt Col HRH Davies reassumed command of the Bn.
18   Orders were given for the whole Bde to concentrate in its present area. Recce parties were sent to discover a new area near ST QUENTIN-LES-CHARDONNETS & to clear mines if necessary.
18   From July 30th until 16th August the Bn casualties were as follows:-
18   Offrs 3 killed, 6 wounded
18   O Ranks 16 killed, 22 wounded; 2 died of wounds, 2 missing
ST QUENTIN-LES-CHARDONNETS 19 0900 The Bn to its new area & by 1100 hrs both Echelons were in harbour.
19 1600 “B” Echelon arrived & the Bn was complete.
19   Maintenance was carried out on all vehicles.
20 0945 A church service was held in the Bn area.
20   The rest of the day was spent in reorganization & rest.
20   The Brigadier visited the Bn in the morning & went round all Sqns.
21   Very heavy rain fell all day & no maintenance was possible.
21   2/Lt G Booth-Jones, W/Lt. AH Gray were attached to the Bn for training from the F.D.S.
22   The weather improved & all blankets, clothes, etc. were dried.
22   A warning order was given to move South of FLERS on the next day.
23 0900 After very heavy rain during the night the Bn moved out of harbour; wheeled vehicles leading, & arrived at its new harbour area at 857140, via TINCHEBRAY & FLERS.
23   Training arrangements with 9 Inf Bde were made & one Sqn was attached to each infantry battalion.
CHATELLIER 24   All day & night was spent practising rafting Churchills across a lake. This training was very successful & no difficulty was experienced.
25   Inf Tk cooperation was praticed today by all Sqns. No 1 Sqn with 2 RUR – No 2 Sqn - 1 KOSB & No 3 Sqn - 2 Lincs.
25   The I.O. Lt Hearn was sent to catalogue enemy material in the FALAISE gap but did not find much of interest.
26   The Major General commanding Brigade of Guards Lt General Sir HC Loyd KCB DSO MC visited the Bn & saw all Sqns training.
27   Inf-Tk cooperation continued. Baths, concerts etc were arranged with the 3rd Br Inf Div.
28   Major W Pike MBE joined the Bn from England to command No 2 Sqn. Training continued with infantry.
29   Lieut-General Sir Richard N O’Connor comd 8 Corps accompanied by Brig. Sir Henry Floyd Bt BGS visited the Bn this morning & saw all Sqns. Violent rain prevented all training.
30   Rain continued to fall heavily – no training nor maintenance could be done. Capt ND Morton left the Bn & was posted to PORBRIGHT.
31   Weather improved. 3rd Div started to move but orders for the Bn to move have been cancelled.

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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.