|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: Headquarters 29th Armoured Brigade|
|Month and Year: September 1944||(Erase heading not required).||Commanding Officer: Brigadier C.B.C. Harvey, DSO|
|FRANCE||1||0715||The adv from our br head over the Somme began. 2 FF Yeo led on left route followed by 8 RB gp (less three mot coys), with 23 H leading in centre followed by Tac HQ, Bde, 3 R Tks and Main Bde. One sqn 23 H followed a route on the right to protect that flank. Whatever enemy force had been in the area during the previous day had pulled out, leaving only a few weak rearguards which were quickly overcome.|
|1||0900||Colns of horse-drawn tpt and MT were engaged with great success. Large numbers of PW were taken and evacuated to the CL, where the FFI helped by guarding and marching them up to the collecting pt.|
|1||1015||A flying bomb site was found at PUCHEVILLERS N. 1976. It was only in an early stage of construction. Reports came in all day of both projected and operational bomb sites, mainly from civilian sources. All the op sites were N of our line of adv.|
|1||1030||The main rd ARRAS – DOULLENS cut by 23 H. More enemy tpt destroyed and PW taken. A few guns were captured complete with their crews N of the main rd. Meanwhile a complete bty of 150mm guns were found abandoned in PUCHEVILLERS.|
|1||1430||Units ordered to push on and est themselves as quickly as possible in the following areas:
23 H area 3713 N of X rds
2 FF Yeo area 3612 W of X rds
3 R Tks area 3812 E of X rds
8 RB area 3610
13 RHA area 3609
Bde HQ area 3812
|1||1655||Main Bde joined Tac in harbuor at 3812|
|1||2155||Bde is ordered to adv on 3 routes on 2 Sep to area E of CARVIN 6121.
29 Armd Bde Op Instr No 16 issued.
|2||0715||The adv continued with one armd regt leading on each of three routes.|
|2||0825||All armd regts had reached main rd ARRAS – BETHUNE|
|2||0900||FFI report LENS clear but br at 586189 damaged.|
|2||0920||23 H enter LENS and make only very slow progress through the town owing to the great welcome given to them by the population.|
|2||1000||23 H find br suitable for tracks at H. 5619. The main br at 5819 suitable for wheels only.|
|2||1030||3 R Tks followed by 8 RB and Main Bde ordered to follow 23 H across the only available br. 2 FF Yeo make progress towards COURRIERES 6017.|
|2||1200||Units ordered to take up posns in following areas:
23 H area CARVIN 6020 and cover main crossing at 5819
3 R Tks area MEURCHIN 5622 and look N and E also responsible for corssing at 5619
2 FF Yeo to area OIGNIES 6318 to look S and W and cover this crossing
8 RB to area X rds 5121 and cover rds to N and E
|2||1215||Main Bde harbours with Tac at 577201|
|2||1230||2 FF Yeo find two crossings, one of which at 6318 cl 40.|
|2||1400||All units were in their posns.
The rest of the day was spent in offensive patrolling to our front. Acting on infm received from FFI parties were despatched to several places where parties numbering up to 100 enemy were successfully dealt with. The Bde was not allowed to adv beyond the line CARVIN H. 6222 – DOUAI H. 6906 owing to a projected airborne op which did not in fact take place.
|2||29 Armd Bde OO No 17 issued.||Appx 'D'|
|3||0715||Inns of Court report SECLIN H. 6627 held.|
|3||0800||3 R Tks held up at SECLIN by A tk guns and inf. The enemy held this village in some str and it took time for 3 R Tks to get round it and overcome the opposition. Meanwhile 23 H on the right route made good progress, shooting up enemy colns E of FRETIN 7427.|
|3||0935||3 R Tks report finding several abandoned 50mm A tk guns in SECLIN, half of which has now been cleared.|
|3||1130||Main Bde colns get a good shoot at enemy tpt and inf. Also enemy whi had been driven out of SECLIN provide another good shoot. A total of approx 100 PW were taken. The right hand coln had meanwhile been halted to allow left coln to catch up. 23 H had reached area DOUVINES 7830.|
|3||1200||It was decided to push on with right coln, although 3 R Tks had not yet cleared up SECLIN.|
|3||1315||23 H reach TOURNAI H. 9333 and report that br at 9143 is passable. They contact elts of an American div which has been sent up from the S to hold the town. Also leading elts of Gds Armd Div are met.|
|BELGIUM||3||3 R Tks moving fwd. 2 FF Yeo who are following them up report finding 10 abandoned 88-mm guns in area SECLIN.|
|3||1340||Head 3 R Tks at SIN H. 8234|
|3||1415||Main Bde crosses FRANCO-BELGIAN frontier at BAISIEUX H. 8433|
|3||1420||Head of 2 FF Yeo at SIN|
|3||1500||From TOURNAI onwards a little opposition was encountered on the northerly route and more on the southerly. All units were ordered to keep a steady pace and make good our immediate objective, which was the high ground SE of ALOST J. 4066 before nightfall if possible.|
|3||1630||3 R Tks had reached CELLES H. 9844; 23 H were through RENAIX J. 0847 and Main Bde HQ 4 miles beyond TOURNAI.
The right coln proceeded steadily and reached its immediate objective before dark. The left hand coln had some distance to catch up, and was many miles short of its objective when darkness came. Just before dark 3 R Tks had a short engagement with enemy inf which further delayed them. Consequently 3 R Tks and 2 FF Yeo were not in their posns until between 0300 and 0400 hrs 4 Sep.
|3||Locations night 3/4 Sep
23 H area WOLVERTHEM J. 5967
3 R Tks & 2 FF Yeo area high ground J. 4663
8 RB at 558633
Main Bde HQ at 558644
|4||0715||3 R Tks on left route and 23 H on right pass the SP and make good and unopposed progress towards ANTWERP as far as R. Rupel.|
|4||0920||23 H report one tp across the canal at VILVORDE 6864. 3 R Tks report that there is a 60-ft gap in the main br at 6381.|
|4||0940||3 R Tks find br passable at 6481 and start moving across|
|4||1115||23 H report good progress through MECHLIN 7275. Enemy opposition negligible and quickly dealt with|
|4||1200||3 R Tks on the outskirts of ANTWERP. They met some opposition from inf and A tk guns but overcame this and moved steadily into the city. Progress was made extremely difficult owing to the great joy and enthusiasm shown by the enormous crowds who came out into the streets to welcome their liberators. It was found almost impossible to keep them from crowding over the tks and greeting the crews with embraces, drinks and every other form of welcome. The German defenders had been thrown into a complete state of panic and disorganisation by the speed of our adv and no effective resistance was put up in the City itself. The Belgian White Bde turned out in str and proved a great assistance in giving infm, rounding up snipers and small parties of Germans and in providing escorts for the ever-increasing flow of PW. Some German soldiers were actually seen to join the joyful population and add their hand-waves along with the rest. Several parties of enemy who had been charged with the defence of brs and installations in the BOOM 6483 area and area to the West of it realised that something was wrong so abandoned their 20-mm guns and attempted to reach ANTWERP. One such coln stopped on a rd parallel to Main Bde coln. After two rds of Bofors had been fired at them 97 Germans willingly gave themselves up without having fired a shot. This kind of incident was being repeated all over the area. 2 FF Yeo who were clearing the area of the CL, N of BOOM had some good shooting and captured large nos of PW.|
|4||1600||3 R Tks had one tp in the dock area, one sqn and 'G' coy 8 RB well into the city, and the remainder of the regt moving across the river at 6694.|
|4||1640||3 R Tks report hundreds of Germans incl the Comdt and his staff in the Central Pk 6895.|
|4||1740||23 H met opposition on the right. They KO some 8.8 cm AA guns being used in A tk role, but are held up by a strong posn incl 88mm's and MGs in area 6993 also by 6 – 88mms and inf in area of fm and chateau 6893. CO considered that it would need an inf op to clear these posns. He was informed that a bn 159 Inf Bde was on its way and 23 H were to give every assistance. This attack went in before last light and by first light 5 Sep the resistence had been completely overcome.|
|4||1800||3 R Tks had one sqn in the dock area. The docks themselves were reported to be almost undamaged. A bn 159 Inf Bde was being sent up to clear the area and capture the vital sluice gates, assisted by sqn 3 R Tks and coy 8 RB. Owing to delay in getting the inf bn up and to a fair amount of enemy opposition this op was not carried our until 5 Sep. Sqn 3 R Tks and coy 8 RB remained in the dock area night 4/5 Sep.|
|4||2130||All opposition in the western and central part of the city had been overcome. The General commanding the Garrison and his entire staff were captured and passed back through Main Bde HQ.|
|4||Locations night 4/5 Sep.
23 H less one sqn: area CONTICH 7087
One sqn remained in area 6890
3 R Tks less one sqn area 6590
2 FF Yeo in area 6687
8 RB in area 6788
Main Bde at 642875
|5||The day was spent in minor mopping up ops of many civilian reports of enemy received, most turned out to be false or misleading but several of these reports were investigated. 23 H sent one tp and one pl 8 RB to investigate a report of 5 – 8mm AA guns at 732942. When they arrived they found 4 – 88mms, 7 – 20mms and 2 lorries abandoned by the enemy who had left early in the morning.
One sqn 2 FF Yeo swept the area bounded by R. Escaut – R. Rupel – rd ANTWERP – BOOM – 90 grid northing. By 1500 hrs they reported this area to be clear. One tp was left to watch for any enemy attempting to cross the river in the area HOBOKEN 6492.
|5||1400||3 R Tks moved to 631880
8 RB move to 675878
|5||1600||Sqn 3 R Tks which had been operating with 3 Mons in the dock area arrives back in harbour. They reported that 88-mms and MGs on the W bank of the Schelde which had been engaged by arty and mortar fire had withdrawn more to the W.|
|6||1415||One sqn 23 H put at 30 mins notice to assist 159 Inf Bde to clear MERXEM 7098 area.|
|6||Orders were received late in the in the evening for the bde to pass over the canal at two brs which had been constructed in area 6898 and break-out of 159 Inf Bde br head.|
|7||Bde moves two up through ANTWERP to the line of the canal. Opposition from the northern bank proves too much, and armd regts find it impossible to get across.|
|7||1130||As no br available for us and as enemy holds line of rly N of canal in str it was was decided that a br head will have to be made somewhere else. Units ordered to return to previous locations. One sqn 23 H remains in dock area to cover 4 KSLI who are holding br head.|
|7||1840||Warning order received to move first light 8 Sep to DIEST I. 1368 area. Role to protect reight flank of 30 Corps.|
|7||2115||23 H sqn withdrawn|
|7||29 Armd Bde OO No 18 issued||Appx 'D'|
|8||0600||Orders confirmed. Move to begin at 0900 hrs. Route – MALINES – LOUVAIN. Bde under direct comd 30 Corps. Sqn Inns of Court placed under comd Bde.|
|8||1700||All units harboured in following areas:|
|8||23 H: I. 1773
3 R Tks: 1267
2 FF Yeo & 8 RB: 2375
Main Bde: 1773
|8||1950||Orders for 9 Sep. Bde less one regt gp will start crossing canal at BEERINGEN 2475 at 0700 hrs and take over X rds 3575 – rd junc 2674 to form rt flank protection of 30 Corps.|
|8||29 Armd Bde OO No 19 issued||Appx 'D'|
|8||29 Armd Bde Mov Order No 3 issued||Appx 'I'|
|9||0700||2 FF Yeo start crossing canal|
|9||0940||Tac HQ at 2674|
|9||1000||23 H in posn area 2674|
|9||1215||2 FF Yeo complete taking over from Gren Gds gp in HELCHEREN area. Ordered to be thoroughly offensive in that area and not allow any infiltration. They report A tk guns and mortars just E of the X rds, and begin to deal with them|
|9||1500||Comd 11 Armd Div visits Bde comd. Remainder of div being brought up from ANTWERP area. The first inf bn to arrive will be sent up to assist 2 FF Yeo in clearing HELCHEREN area. Main Bde joins Tac at 264731.|
|9||1800||Bde reverts to 11 Armd Div. 8 RB remained in area just W of BEERINGEN crossing all day. 3 R Tks brought up to area vacated by 2 FF Yeo during the morning. Corps Comd personally ordered one sqn across to BEERINGEN to counter an enemy threat fromthe N and NE. Remainder of regt brought across later in the day into same area.|
|9||1900||8 RB ordered to join 23 H. 3 R Tks warned that they would be reverting to 159 Inf Bde for next day's ops. 29 Armd Bde OO No 20 issues||Appx 'D'|
|9||Location night 9/10 Sep:|
|9||23 H and three coys 8 RB: 3074|
|9||2 FF Yeo and 1 Herefords: 3575|
|9||3 R Tks and 8 RB less three coys: 2375|
|9||119/75 A tk bty with Main Bde at 264731|
|10||0700||Adv continued with 22 FF Yeo and 1 Herefords gp on left and 23 H and 8 RB gp on right.|
|10||2 FF Yeo gp make progress against moderate opposition. They take over 100 PW 23 H find dat the area E of HELCHEREN is stubbornly held by the enemy, who has A tk guns, bazookas and mortars. Owing to lack of amn 13 RHA were restricted to 25 rpg for the day; unfortunately this restriction was not put on until most of the allotment had been used up early in the day. Thus it was not possible to get any arty sp for 23 H. The enemy was most persistent and after a day's hard battle has lost over 100 in killed, many wounded and approx 400 PW. The 2nd Bn Hubner Para regt was virtually wiped out as a result of the day's fighting. These tps were mostly yound and inexperienced; many had been clerks, etc. on airfields. But this was the stiffest fight we had experienced since the Normandy break-through. They did not surrender willingly and had to be almost pulled out of their dug-outs. By last light 23 H had advanced to a point about 2 miles E of the X rds. There they met more opposition and had a tk knocked out. 23 H gp decided to reamin in area 3773 for the night.
2 FF Yeo made good progress until they reached the main rd in area 3784. Here they had to overcome moderate opposition, incl A tk guns and a SP gun. By 2145 hrs they were est in the village 3784 astride the main rd.
|11||0655||2 FF Yeo report firmly in posn and sending patrols to E.|
|11||0715||23 H report mines on rd at 379771. These soon dealt with by RE's and 23 H push on quickly meeting no opposition. One sqn passes through PEER 4184 and est itself on the N side. A certain amount of opposition reveals itself to be on the E outskirts of the town, with a few snipers in the town itself. 23 H lose one tk from bazooka fire.|
|11||1300||119/75 A tk bty in posn at rd junc 3978.|
|11||1305||23 H ordered not to clear up PEER, but to push on to LE PETIT-BROGEL 4088 and leave 2 FF Yeo gp to clear PEER. Arrangements for this are made mutually between CO's of the two regts.
23 H push on and find PETIT-BROGEL clear. Ordered to send patrols N and Ne.
|11||1540||2 FF Yeo have cleared PEER and send patrols to SE.|
|11||1725||23 H patrol fired on at 458911 – one veh. KOd.|
|11||1820||A further 23 H tk KOd and another hit.
No mov possible beyond 463913. Ordered not to go beyond these X rds.
|11||1800||Main Bde harbours with Tac Bde at 398866.|
|11||2100||23 H reports two tp/pl gps of fwd sqn/coy now back. One tp gp unable to get out until dark – another tp remaining to cover it. These withdrew successfully at 2145 hrs.|
|11||2245||Div intention to hold present area and prevent enemy infiltration across L'Escaut canal. When HECHTEL 3484 cleared by W Gds tomorrow, 3 R Tks take over that area and revert to our comd; at same time 1 Herefords will revert comd 159 Inf Bde.|
|11||2300||Armd regts warned to have one sqn at 30 mins notice, one at 3 hrs and remainder at 24 hrs.|
|11||Locations nights 11/12 Sep.|
|11||23 H & 8 RB: LE PETIT-BROGEL 4188.|
|11||2 FF Yeo & 1 Herefords: PEER.|
|12||2 FF Yeo ordered to keep one sqn gp astride main rd W of PEER to deal with anything flushed out of HECHTEL. 23 H also to have one tp/pl gp astride rd leading S-W of PETIT-BROGEL. These remain in posn all day, but very few enemy escape from HECHTEL. Elts of Hermann Goering Trg Bn with Para and GAF tps up to 500 – 600 in no sp by several SP guns hold out there until they are either killed or captured.|
|12||1230||3 R Tks start entering HECHTEL, but loose one tk as it approaches X rds. Together with 3 Mons, a clearing op is laid on. A few enemy inf escape to N and E of HECHTEL and are shot up by our ambushes.|
|12||1630||2 FF Yeo ambush takes two PW from 6 Para regt who said they were the last to leave HECHTEL.|
|12||Locations night 12/13 Sep remain unchanged.|
|12||12 Armd Bde OO No 21 issued||Appx 'D'|
|13||Apart fromsmall patrols sent to area of LILLE ST HUBERT, the Bde rested|
|14||0930||Comd 30 Corps speaks to all CO's and 2IC's of regts also other offrs and ORs who have particularly distinguished themselves during the fighting since we crossed the R. Seine. Meeting held in a hall in PEER. Corps Comd congratulated us on our performance since the Div had been under his comd, giving especial praise for our capture of AMIENS and ANTWERP. The tp ldrs who had actually led the bde into these towns were personally congratulated also. the tp ldr who had led the 2 FF Yeo adv towards AMIENS and who had captured comd German 7th Army.|
|14||Bde Op instr No 22 issued||Appx 'D'|
|14||Locations night 14/15 Sep unchanged.|
|14||The BM (Major J.A. Kershaw, MC) left us to take up post as instr at Staff College, CAMBERLEY. Capt J.H. Thomson (RB) takes over BM and Capt B.H. Gibson (RB) takes over GSO 3.|
|15||1400||3 R Tks move to area 3784 just E of the rly to make room for a bde of 3 Br Div. 8 RB send night patrols to area LILLE ST HUBERT 4394. They saw small parties of enemy crossing canal by a tunnel who disappeared when contact was made. Locations other than 3 R Tks unchanged.|
|16||1200||11 Armd Div reverts comd 8 Corps|
|17||0700||8 RB patrols in area LILLE ST HUBERT report that no enemy crossed canal during the night.|
|17||0900||23 H and 8 RB move to area GRAND BROGEL 4586. One coy 8 RB sent to area 4393 to remain in posn until bde 3 Div in posn area PETIT-BROGEL. This coy relieved at 1500 hrs.|
|17||1130||Conference for all unit CO's held at Main Bde. Outline plan of 2nd Army op starting 1400 hrs today with mass air-drop given by BM.|
|19||1015||Units warned that move this evening is possible as 3 Br Div who are making by head over the canal at LILLE ST HUBERT are getting on well. A cl 9 br was built during the night 18/19 Sep and a cl 40 should be ready by 1600 hrs. 1 Herefords reverts comd of the bde at 1200 hrs and together with 2 FF Yeo placed at ½ hrs notice from 1300 hrs; remainder of bde ½ notice from 1600 hrs. 3 R Tks to come under comd 159 Inf Bde 1200 hrs.|
|19||1145||2 FF Yeo gp expected to be allowed across the Gds br at 3696|
|19||1330||2 FF Yeo gp begin to move|
|19||1500||Tac Bde HQ at 423938|
|19||1600||As brs over river in area E. 4103 found to be blown 2 FF Yeo ordered to go up to VALKENSWAARD 4208 and find harbour area for night 19/20 Sep just S of the town and conc from there tomorrow morning down the line of the rly and link-up with inf bn of 3 Div in ACHEL K. 4397.|
|19||Locations night 19/20 Sep. 23 H & 8 RB: GRAND BROGEL. 22 FF Yeo & 1 Herefords: E. 4207. Main Bde: unchanged.|
|19||2100||29 Armd Bde Mov Table No 4 issued||Appx 'J'|
|19||2200||All timings were postponed 2 hrs after this had been issued, as Corps did not consider that 3 Div br head was sufficiently clear for us to cross before 0915 hrs 20 Sep|
|20||0630||2 FF Yeo adv S meeting no opposition.|
|20||0900||Recce 2 FF Yeo links up with 9 Inf Bde in ACHEL|
|20||0905||23 H and 8 RB begin to cross canal at LILLE ST HUBERT. 2 FF Yeo turn NE and press on towards LEENDE 4707 meeting no opposition.|
|20||1030||Tac Bde HQ crosses the Dutch frontier at CONVERT DE LA TRAPPE 435024|
|20||1100||2 FF Yeo report that LEENDE held by inf with bazookas. This was quickly cleared by them.|
|20||1400||2 FF Yeo ordered to send one sqn ahead to try and rush br over canal at ZOMEREN 6012, and to follow up with remainder as soon as possible. They by-pass HEEZE 4911 which is held, but leave one sqn/coy gp to contain it until 23 H can be brought up to deal with the situation. 23 H ordered to send one sqn/coy gp through LEENDE – STRIJP 4706 to main rd LEENDE – MAARHEEZE 5703 and to engage enemy in MAARHEEZE from their rear as 159 Inf Bde coming from HAMONT 4707 are held up. Remainder 23 H gp ordered to seize HEEZE. To go via rd junc 440284 and minor rd. They quickly cleared the town, taking a no of PW from 6 Para regt, 2 pls of which appeared to be holding the town.|
|20||1800||23 H ordered to go […] in HEEZE area. 2 FF Yeo held up by enemy inf in ZOMEREN. They were ordered to seize ZOMEREN at all costs and to try and get at least one coy of 1 Hereford across canal during night if the br was still there. Civilians reported that the br had been destroyed. ZOMEREN was captured before last light, but they were unable to make a br head during the night.|
|20||Locations night 20/21 Sep. 23H & 8 RB: HEEZE 4911. One sqn/coy in area 5005. 2 FF Yeo & 1 Herefords: ZOMEREN. Main and Tac Bde 475080. 13 RHA at 4909 with two btys sp 22 FF Yeo from area 5311.|
|21||0700||Bde comd infm that 2 FF Yeo gp will come under comd 159 Inf Bde and 3 R Tks gp will revert to our comd as soon as MAARHEEZE cleared. Sqn gp 23 H to remain N of MAARHEEZE to catch anything pushed out by 3 R Tks.|
|21||0800||23 H send patrols N towards GELDROP 4816. By 1200 hrs 23 H had reached line of canal 4918 – 4717 finding both brs intact and no opposition. MAARHEEZE had been cleared and sqn/coy gp 23 H had rejoined 23H main body. 3 R Tks and 3 Mons were moving up through LEENDE.|
|21||1345||23 H now 2,500 yds N of rly EINDHOVEN – HELMOND and had met no opposition. 3 R Tks 2,500 yds short of GELDROP. 119 bty moved up to take over from sp coy 8 RB in GELDOP.|
|21||1400||23 H reported NUNEN 4822 held.|
|21||1555||23 H attacked by 5 Panthers moving W from BEEKSTRAAT 4921. One Panther KO for loss of 2 Shermans. One Tiger seen N of NUNEN. These were the first tks in any str we had met since crossing the Seine, and a considerable battle developed. 23 H losing two more Shermans while they KO'd two more Panthers. Enemy inf holding GERWEN 4923 in some str. By last light 23 H firmly est in area 480210. Meanwhile 3 R Tks ordered to seize MIERLO 5218 and recce to canal crossings to N. Also sent one sqn and two coys up to 480195 to work E through wooded area to MEDEVOAR 5220. By last light they were firmly est in MIERLOO with inf across the main canal crossing 5319. Party working along N of rly line had become split up and withdrew to area 480195 to reorganise during the night.|
|21||Locations night 21/22 Sep: 23 H and 8 RB area 47203 R Tks and 3 Mons area 5318 Main and Tac Bde 485163.|
|22||0700||23 H and 3 R Tks gps adv to complete Bde task of clearing the area bounded by rd GERWEN - GELDROP on W, WILLEMS canal on E, canal 5619 - 4918 on S and canal 5526 - 5026 to N.23 H quickly occupied GERWEN without meeting opposition, and pushed one org on to STPHOUT 5323, mopping up a few enemy inf and MG posts on their way.3 R Tks had one sqn gp across canal and up to rly at 522210 by 0730 hrs. They had to deel with a certain amount of opposition from enemy inf before they could get across the rly. The sqn and two coys N of rly worked its way E successfully dealing with small pockets of enemy inf to MEDEYOAR 523210. 8 RB patrol which had been sent off at first light reached AARIE 5425 and reported brs along the canal blown. No enemy left W of WILLEMS canal N of HELMOND except a few isolated pockets in area OVERBRUG 5423 and MG posts futher S.23 H soon cleared STIPHOUT and sent patrol S to contact 3 R Tks coming up towards them.|
|22||1215||3 R Tks cleared X rds 5421 and had two coys 3 Mons across the stream in 5421 one coy working towards HELMOND on each side of the main rd. Fair amount of opposition from MGs and snipers was encountered. Civilians raported taht the br was still in order, so 3 Mons were told to make every effort|
|22||to seize it. When 600 yds from it the enemy blew the br. Owing to the very close street fighting it took until last light for the inf. to clear the town W of the canal.|
|22||Meanwhile 159 Inf Bde had made a br head at ZOMEREN which extended up to ASTEN 6113. The br head had been severely counter-attacked during the day but the enemy had been driven off with hy losses.|
|22||1600||The bde ordered to pass through 159 Inf Bde br head on 23 Sep and seize DEURNE 6520. 23 H and 8 RB, Tac and Main Bde HQ moved immediately to area just W of ZOMEREN, completing the move by 1800 hrs, preparatory to moving across canal 0700 hrs 23 Sep. 3 R Tks gp remained in HELMOND Area for the night. 13 RHA moved one bty with 23 H and two btys to area GELDROP.|
|22||Locations night 22/23 Sep. 23 H and 8 RB; 5711. 3 R Tks and 3 Mons; 5421. Main Bde; 575120.|
|23||0700||23 H and 8 RB begin to cross canal and push on to OMMEL 6115. Here they met fairly strong opposition and could not get on. The enemy had arty and Nebelwerfers, the first conc we had met since Normandy. ASTEN and the br itself were subjected to continuous arty and mortar fire all day without doing any serious damage.|
|23||0745||3 R Tks leave HELMOND area and move up to ZOMEREN to leaguer until called fwd. All leaguered by 1130 hrs.|
|23||1230||One sqn gp 3 R Tks called fwd and ordered to adv along the minor rd to LIESEL 6614. Made fair progress and soon reached RINKVELD 6413, chasing approx 80 enemy inf into the woods and dealing with others armd with bazookas. This sqn gp shortly followed up by the remainder of the regtl gp, travelling on the same route.
23 H push recce round right and left of OMMEL but meet considerable A tk and inf fire. Progress was very slow. By 1800 hrs they had reached the area of the X tracks 624172 and pushed recce towards T-rd 628180 which reported inf with bazookas holding out in the houses there. 23 H unable to seize this area before last ligth, so pulled back a little leaving a listening post close to the T-rd.
A broadcasting van was used by 23 H during the night to persuade the enemy to give themselves up. This met with moderate success.
3 R Tks pushed on and went firm in LIESEL for the night, having overcome only light opposition.
|23||Locations night 23/24 Sep
23 H and 8 RB: 6114
3 R Tks and 3 Mons: 6614
|23||Place Code Names issued||Appendix 'J'|
|24||The intention to seize DEURNE remained the same. At first light 23 H pushed recce fwd to see whether opposition area of T-rd warranted a bn attack. It proved not to be serious, so it was decided to push on in normal sqn/coy gps. 3 R Tks made very good progress towards the N and by 0830 hrs had their inf across the rly line 6519 – 6619 with leading tks just beginning to cross. One gp directed on ZEILBURG 6619 met some opposition in that village but was overcome quickly. Area of Y-rd 6621 appeared to be strongly held, and was shelled heavily by 13 RHA and med regt.|
|24||1200||13 RHA sp 8 RB attack on VLIERDEN 6218 with 50 rpg from two btys. Place cleared by 1230 hrs and 23 H push on, meeting no opposition. One sqn/coy gp sent along rly to area 630200.|
|24||1345||Combined attack on DEURNE by 3 R Tks and 23 H is successful, and town is quickly occupied.|
|24||1450||All rds to be cleared to allow 159 Inf Bde to pass through DEURNE and push NW towards BAKEL. Inns of Court to patrol W towards HELMOND. By last light 3 R Tks pushing towards Y-rd 659210 meet stiff opposition, but one sqn/coy gp remain in area 6520 engaging in enemy, particularly nebelwerfers in area of chateau and Y-rd. 23 H firm to NW and W. Remainder 3 R Tks firm to E and S.|
|24||Locations night 24/25 Sep
23 H and 8 RB: 6419
3 R Tks and 3 Mons: 6519
|25||0700||23 H gp send patrol to area 6319 and patrol wood to N of rd. They find no enemy. 3 R Tks patrol to Y-rd 659211 and patrol NE and E from there. They report rd-block just E of Y-rd, otherwise all clear. Comd 9 Inf Bde visits Bde HQ to discuss situation in DEURNE, which his bde will take over at 1000 hrs.|
|25||0930||23 H warned to move one tp/pl to Y-rd 6521.|
|25||1030||Tp/pl gp 23 H move to Y-rd.|
|25||1100||Sqn/coy 23 H follow up|
|25||1130||Remainder 23 H gp follow up and move N of Y-rd. Leading tp meets A tk gun area 6523, which is knocked out.|
|25||1300||23 H and 2 FF Yeo who moved up to BAKEL 6124 and sent one sqn E from there, join up at X rds 650247.
23 H adv to wooded area 6629 and go firm in this area while 3 R Tks pushed through, meet no serious oppositiom and reach ST ANTHONIS 7138 by 1530 hrs.
|25||1630||3 R Tks firm in ST ANTHONIS looking E. It was understood that W of ST ANTHONIS 15/19 H were is posn. Bde Comd went fwd with BM and held short conference with CO's of 3 R Tks and 3 Mons. Without warning two German ½ tracks raced through the village shooting their MG's. CO's 3 R Tks and 3 Mons were both killed instantaneously. BM wounded and Bde Comd slightly wounded. These two ½ tracks together with two more were all destroyed by 3 R Tks.|
|25||1800||2TC Bde sent fwd to ST ANTHONIS to tie-up dispositions of 3 R Tks and 15/19 H who had arrived by that time.|
|25||Units went firm in following areas for night 25/26 Sep
23 H and 8 RB: 6833 to 6525
3 R Tks and 3 Mons: 7238 to 6833
|26||1100||Main Bde arrives in harbour with Tac. Various civilian reports of enemy to our E were received during the day. Some of these were confirmed and enemy fire dealt with by 15/19 H who pushed out to BOXMEER 7640.|
|26||1300||Coy of 9 Inf Bde takes over X rds 650247 from sp coy 8 RB. Inns of Court patrolled all rds to N, W and E of Div area during the day. Locations unchanged.|
|27||Day patrols sent out to E find enemy inf in small nos in area approx 3,000 yds E of bde area.|
|27||1200||8 Inf Bde take over CL up to 657262 from 23 H. 159 Inf Bde take over area ST ANTHONIS S to OPLOO 711363. 3 R Tks close up to the S and cover area OPLOO – rd junc 694359 – 685332.
During night 27/28 inf patrols sent out to E have nothing to report. It appears that enemy keeps quiet and possibly withdraws for the night to reappear again in daylight.
Locations night 27/28 unchanged except 3 R Tks now in area 7035.
|28||Patrols again sent out to following areas (1) 7435 (2) 7232 (3) 7230. All report enemy posns in these areas, and remain in observation until last light. 3 R Tks lose two tks and KO one Mk IV in area Monastery 7435. Locations remain unchanged.|
|29||Night patrols found nothing in the areas where enemy were definitely seen during the previous day. Day patrols sent out to same areas again meet considerable enemy opposition and remain in observation. 3 R Tks lose on tk in area 7335.|
|30||7th US Armd Div arrives in area to adv S and clear area to our E up to R MAAS. At 1530 hrs their attack starts, but they only succeed in adv a few hundred yds before the light fails. Opposition is definitely stiff and incl tks.
Locations night 30 Sep/1 Oct unchanged.
Helaas geen map gevonden.
Source: 11th Armoured Division.
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.