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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: 7 FD Regt RA
Month and Year: November 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. N.P.H. Tapp
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Counter Mortar targets were engaged during the morning but apart from that and the registration of a harassing fire task during the afternoon the guns did not fire. The usual harassing fire was carried out during the night. The AOP was requisitioned to watch the river MAAS at periods during the day and to report on any activity.
2   More counter mortar targets engaged during the day. HQRA passed daylight harassing programme entailing an expenditure of 400 rounds. Operation Merry took place during the afternoon, but this did not provoke any immediate retaliation. VIERLINGSBEEK was shelled later in the afternoon and retaliation DEN BOSCH was called for. Several suspected hostile batteries were engaged with searching and sweeping. HF Task List Amendment No. 1
3   The Air OP was utilised for ranging during the afternoon. Harassing fire was fired during day and night. Shortly after midnight 2/3 Nov the harassing fire troop suffered very heavy shelling which fell very accurately on their troop position. The 'G' truck caught fire and three other ranks were injured. The remainder of the harassing programme was carried out by the remaining troop of 17 Bty.
4   The only targets during the day were counter mortar and counter bettery.
5   Today 9 Brigade took over the control of 3 Recce Regt the layout is now as follows:- Right, in area West of SMAKT - 2 RUR. Centre, VIERLINGSBEEK - B Squadron 3 Recce Regt. Left, VORTUM - C Squadron 3 Recce Regt. OPs are now disposed, BC 9 Bty and FOO with 2 RUR. BC 17 Bty with Recce Regt and OP at VIERLINGSBEEK and FOO of 9 Bty in OP at VORTUM. 16 Bty, less one troop, returned to Regimental area from co-operating with Household Cavalry and Royals. One troop remained to carry out any task requested. During the afternoon, a troop of 9 Bty took part in a fire plan which was directed at AFFERDEN. Troop of LAA, platoon mortars and MGs joined in. The troop had a few rounds fired at it as it came out of action - this surprisingly increased the speed of limbering up more than somewhat. Troop of 9 Bty went into HF position South of LACTERIA firing 160 rounds per gun during the night. There was some ineffective enemy counter battery fire. In the evening C Troop of 17 Bty relieved the troop of 16 Bty which had remained with HCR.
6   Major Rae, 17 Bty, relieved Major Lister, 9 Bty with 3 Recce Regt. D Troop of 16 Bty relieved Troop, 17 Bty, with HCR, this relieved troop moved into a harassing fire position in the wood South of LACTERIA. During the afternoon enemy patrols entered VIERLINGSBEEK and the OP evacuated with some speed. Up to 2330 hours some 200 rounds were fired into the village after which Recce Regt patrols entered finding that the Germans had withdrawn. The harassing fire troop fired 580 rounds during the night. During the morning several officers and men watched a demonstration of a new type of amphibious vehicle known to the London Illustrated News as a Buffalo.
7   The CO took over duties of CRA, Brigadier G.G. Mears, MC, having been evacuated to CCS for medical examination. The Regimental Survey Officer visited a demonstration of clothing for protection against Schu mines. This clothing certainly saved ones feet from being blown off but as in the case demonstrated the wearer is likely to lose his whole leg it was not thought that this suiting would be popular. F Troop, 16 Bty, took up a harassing fire position and expended 400 rounds during the night. D Troop returned on being relieved on the HCR front by a troop of 33 Fd Regt.
8   A very quiet day, targets were counter mortar and counter battery. Lieut T.L. Bowles posted to CMO Staff at HQRA.
9   No harassing fire troop tonight. Harassing is done by Regimental fire. Bad visibility during the day. We request Medium fire on German HQ on behalf of 3 Recce Regt. Results were unobserved.
10   Very bad weather, the GOC, who should have visited the Regiment postponed his visit until tomorrow. We fire an increased number of counter battery and counter mortar targets. 9 Bty send out harassing fire troop for the night. HF Task Table
11   The GOC, Major General Whistler, visited all Btys and RHQ. He spoke to all troops who were very amused by his jovial manner. The GOC congratulated the Regiment on their appearance during the morning and on the efficiency. 17 Bty send out harassing fire troop for the night. It was recorded that V 2 could be seen during darkness being fired from almost due East. They appeared as vertical shafts of light. Very little firing is done during this period as ammunition allotment is very limited. Retaliation targets take the small number of rounds available.
12   The CO returned to Regt and was relieved of his duties as CRA by CO 53 Medium Regt. Major Dunn, 16 Bty, took over CO's representative with 3 Recce Regt. A plot was made with 1 KOSB. The KOSB are to send a company into VIERLINGSBEEK before first light tomorrow with the object of ambushing an enemy 'looting' petrol. One FOO is to accompany them. The Bty were detailed to be laid on selected HF targets and these were on call from the FOO going in.
13   The patrol of KOSB were unfortunate in that no Bosche visited VIERLINGSBEEK during the day, the company returned at last light without calling for fire. No harassing fire during the night. The Regimental Serjeant Major, Mr R. Carden, completed 21 years service. He is spending the anniversary in BRUSSELS, so we are not able to congratulate him in the proper manner.
14   Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery visited the Div Area to present awards. Amongst those who received medels were Major J.F. Lister and Major R.H.W. Dunn, both of whom received the MC.
15   Arrangements were 'tied up' with 76 Field Regt for the take over of their gun area, probably on the 20 Nov. It was a quiet day for us but the distant rumbling of a barrage could be heard from 2200 hours onwards. Preparations were made to support a KOSB patrol which was to push out to a doubtful house forward of their FDL H hour was to be 0200 hours 16 Nov. HF fire this night consisted of two Mike targets on the 3 Recce Regt front.
16   The KOSB patrol found the house unoccupied and returned at first light. Arrangements are made to put down smoke screen in support of dummy RE bridging party. We fire this smoke at last light, there is no retaliation. We lay on petrol defence target on immediate call from 3 Recce Regt patrol. Patrolling is very active on this front and we have certainly got superiority. Fire plan
17   CO goes to plan with Brigadier 185 Brigade for the forthcoming advance onto WANSUUM. It is still doubtful as to who will do the attack but preparations are made to be ready if required. 76 Field Regt are still in support 185 Brigade but it is planned that we shall take over before the operation. The days are very quiet. BCs conference took place at 1800 hrs at which the CO explained the plan for clearing the area West of the MAAS.
18   OP reports that enemy has been observed crawling and most probably engaged in mine laying. We fire on suspected enemy OP at SMAKT otherwise a quiet day. Today we collect a Dutch interpreter who is officially attached, this will be quite a relief. Two other ranks injured.
19   We have church services during the morning by a Church of Scotland padre. Many men say they enjoy the services each week, they always join in the singing very well. 25 Field Regiment take over responsibility of 3 Recce Regt, this is done to facilitate the move tomorrow, we have now commitments only with 8 Brigade. One other rank injured. Movement Instr. No. 1
20   The Regt moved to occupy a new area to support 185 Brigade, taking over the positions held by 76 Field Regt. At the same time 76 Field Regt moved to take up positions near to the ones we vacated at OVERLOON. The move had to be carefully controlled as continuous support had to be provided for both 8 and 185 Brigades. Both Brigades had duplicate representatives from each Regt and the continuous support was proved when an Uncle target was engaged during the move. The Regiment settled fairly comfortably although it rained heavily during the late afternoon, the tractors and guns causing the usual depth of mud. The new area was KLEINDORP.
21   Rain makes the new area very muddy and the day is spent mostly in improvement of the position. One or two shells drop in the Regimental area but no damage is done, although one other rank was injured. Ammunition expenditure is limited to 4 rounds per gun per day. DF Task List
22   Very wet all day. Preparations go ahead for the coming attack. BC 16 Bty and one FOO per Bty report to 33 Field Regt, the FOOs are to work with 4 Coldstream Guards, Tank Battalion. The 185 Brigade is frequently shelled during the day but we cannot retaliate as we would wish with an allotment of ten rounds per gun. There are signs that the enemy is withdrawing from the Divisional front but that story is very rarely believed by anyone who has followed the campaign since D day. CO held 'O' Group for BCs at 1800 hrs to give orders for tomorrows advance. We supply eleven representatives all told.
23   The Regiment was prepared to fire a number of targets for the advance which was being carried out by 9 Brigade on our right, supported by 4 Coldstream Guards Tank Battalion. Little opposition was met and artillery support was not required. It is now proved that the enemy has pulled out, our own infantry ease forward without fighting. There is still a certain amount of firing both on 185 and 9 Brigade fronts. VENRAIJ is a target for enemy guns. Our representatives remain with 9 Brigade overnight. Three other ranks injured.
24   The Regt moved to a new area in the Western outskirts of VENRAIJ. The five batman who were seen moving down the road obviously enjoying to the full the luxury of the CO's staff car rather lost their dignity as they ran into a short burst of enemy shelling. Although the shells fell among vehicles just pulling into position no casualties were sustained. This position, apart from the shelling, was very pleasant as the surburban row of houses provided good dry cellars.
25   Tac HQ moved forward to LANDWEERT on the East of VENRAIJ and established themselves in comfort which would have made even Americans jealous. There is no battle as we had expected and there are no enemy in strength West of the MAAS in this sector. There are reported to be 40 drunken German officer cadets in the KASTEEL but in the morning they will no doubt be less determined to fight to the last.
26   The forward infantry in WANSUUM area are subjected to mortar and shell fire and it is thought to be observed from the church at WELL. 53 Medium Regt reply to our request by obtaining 32 hits which were sufficient to damage the tower more than somewhat. An OP officer, 16 Bty, was reported to have had a very good shoot when he crawled forward by the beek at WANSSUM and engaged several enemy on the far bank.
27   The Regimental area was shelled during the morning and one gun of 16 Bty was put out of action. There were no casualties. There is no movement on the front and from all sources there is nothing to report.
28   One of the quietest days for some time, there was no shelling in the Regimental area and very little over the Brigade front. The forward troops are almost pinched out of the line by 8 Brigade on the left and 15 (S) Division in BLITTERSWIJK.
29   A day even quieter than yesterday. DF Taks List
30   The Regiment moved to a position North East of ST AUTHONIS, batterys are well spread out in order to support the 185 Brigade which holds the front line from GROENINGEN to ST AGATHA. The Regimental Signal Section lay as much as 25 miles of cable. Communications work quite well during the day but as is normal in the area they deteriorate in the evening - we find it necessary to use relay stations. The three battery areas are 9 Bty ST ANTHONIS, 17 Bty RITKVOORT, 16 Bty HAPS. Two other ranks injured.

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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.