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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.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: 7th Bn. The Hampshire Regt.
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. D.E.B. Talbot MC
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
Field HOLLAND 1   Bn locations same.
1   At about 0615 hrs under cover of heavy mist and heavy mortar and shell fire on the Bn area the enemy attempted to force a crossing of the NEDER RIJN opposite B Coy. The crossing was at once spotted by an OP in A Coy Area. This OP was in a house in full view of the enemy. Although severe casualties were inflicted by arty, mortar, MMG and LMG fire which was at once brought down a number of enemy succeeded in establishing themselves in the factory bldgs 663753 and to the East of it in a white house 666765. B Coy was ordered to attack and clear the area from the SW at 0825 hrs under cover of concentrations. By 0900 hrs B Coy had reached the NE corner of the factory where they were held up by hy MG fire from the bldgs on the far bank. The coy then pulled back while another arty conc was brought down on the ey posns. Meanwhile C Coy, Reserve coy, was ordered up to a posn from which an attack could be made on the ey posns from the East. By about 1100 hrs B Coy, although having est themselves in the West portion of the factory bldgs were unable to adv further once again being held up by very hy MG and mortar fire. Shortly afterwards C Coy was also seriously held up just short of the white house area.
1   In spite of repeated and gallant attempts by both coys to get to grips with the enemy throughout the day they were unable to do so in spite of excellent fire support. The enemy held on to this small br head with fanatical bravery suffering hy cas.
1   In the evening both coys were withdrawn having failed in their task but having succeeded in containing the ey in a very small br head and preventing further crossings.
1   Casualties Offrs. One killed (Lt Hope) ORs 2 killed 37 wounded 4 missing.
Field HOLLAND 2   During the night the ey made further attempts to cross the river in rubber boats to re inforce the post there but all were engaged by arty mortars MMGs and coy weapons and all boats were either damaged or destroyed and only a few ey succeeded in crossing.
2   C Coy reinforced by one pl A Coy carried out a dawn attack to clear the White House area but once again failed to make any progress owing to hy ey fire.
2   At 1115 hrs under cover of smk the ey attempted a further crossing in some strength to re inforce his br head. Arty and MMG fire was brought down and most of the boats appeared to be hit. OPs reported that only 15-20 men succeeded in getting ashore. It was decided to put in a night attack with a fresh coy - "A" - to try to clear up the situation. The attack commenced at 2200 hrs supported by arty, mortars, MMGs and fire from flanking coys from the main bn posn. The coy reached the NE corner of the factory with little difficulty but at this point a hy mist came up from the river reducing visibility to about one yard and making it impossible to maintain contact in the confused tangle of bldgs. The coy therefore was withdrawn to the South western side of the factory to reorganise and wait for visibility to improve before making a further attempt.
2   Casualties 10 ORs wounded 4 missing.
3   By 0600 hrs visibility had improved to such a degree that it was possible for the coy to go in again. The ey had by now several LMGs sited between the factory and the sheds to the NE and also on the N bank and along banks which joined the factory with the white house. These guns put down very hy fire on the coy who suffered severe cas and were again held up and finally had to be withdrawn under cover of smk.
3   Throughout the day the factory area was heavily engaged by Fd, Med and Hy arty.
Field HOLLAND 3   The CO spent from 1200 hrs till 1600 hrs at Bde HQ and a plan was made for a further and final assault on the factory.
3   Bn O Gp was held at 1745 hrs and the plan detailed as follows:-
3   Attack would be by A and D coys in 4 phases.
3   H hour was to be 0415 hrs 4 Oct.
3   Phase I D coy to capture and mop up western blocks of factory. A Coy to follow up D and pass through them on to
3   Phase II A Coy to capture and mop up the most easterly bldgs of factory
3   Phase III D Coy to pass through A to mop up the ey in the area of White House at 666755
3   Phase IV Withdrawal on completion of the whole operation under cover of a smoke screen.
3   Remainder of Bn not actually engaged in the operation would support the attack from the rd. Arty and mortars would fire in accordance with a pre-arranged plan and the two tk tps would engage tgts on the far bank with 75 mm. Apart from occasional shelling and mortaring remainder of night was quiet.
3   Casualties 1 killed 9 wounded 6 missing.
4   At 0415 hrs the attack started as planned but visibility was unfortunately very poor.
4   D Coy cleared the W end of the factory but were engaged by ey in the Eastern bldgs. One pl worked round to the north side of the bldgs alongside the river knocking out several MG and one bazooka posn and killing approx 20 of the enemy.
4   A Coy then passed through but visibility improved and both Coys were subjected to very hy MG fire from the Eastern end of the factory bldgs, the far bank and the White House area supplemented by a certain amount of mortaring. The ey posns were well sited to cover all approaches and were fanatically defended by SS. In spite of every effort and after suffering severe casualties neither Coy was able to adv appreciably and was ordered to withdraw about 0730 hrs under cover of smoke.
Field HOLLAND 4   At 1115 hrs Typhoon rocket firing aircraft attacked the factory area with good effect and a further attack by three aircraft was made at 1500 hrs.
4   Reps from 502 RCT (101 US Airborne Div) who were to relieve the bn during the day arrived at mid day to recce the area.
4   At 1800 hrs a medical sjt from the ey came to Bn HQ to attempt to arrange a truce to allow evacuation of their many wounded. He was told that we would hold our fire until 1900 hrs by which time all tps in the br head must surrender or we would make no further arrangements for stopping the firing but there was to be no evac to the North bank. Later a private from SS Herman Goering Div (S/B) surrendered himself as PW.
4   Relief by 502 RCT commenced at 1930 hrs and was completed by midnight the Bn proceeding by march route to a conc area SE of NIJMEGEN.
4   P.W. One. Casualties Offrs. 2 Killed (Capt Anaka 2ic D Coy Lt Jenkins R.I.O.) ORs 4 killed 16 wounded 3 missing.
5   Bn had completed con by 0700 hrs in area 643600 646598.
5   Bn role was to counter attack either on its own or as part of the Bde on either of the two fwd RCT areas in 82 US Airborne Div under whose command the Bde had come.
6   Bn location same.
6   CO carried out recce for counter attack role.
Field HOLLAND 8   Bn location same.
8   During the afternoon CO together with CO 4 Dorset visited Regtl HQs of 504 RCT and 325 GIR of 82 US Airborne Div on which unit areas the Bde might be required to carry out counter attack role.
8   Orders were recd during the day that Bde would shortly be relieving 505 RCT on right of 325 GIR.
9   CO attended O Gp at Bde HQ at 0900 hrs.
9   Bde comd gave orders that Bde Gp would relieve 505 RCT in area GROESBEEK (1:25000 Sheet 12 NW/E) on the night 10/11 Oct.
9   Immediately after O Gp CO proceeded to the new area to carry out initial recce. During the afternoon Coy Cmdrs came fwd to the headquarters at 647500 to recce their Coy areas. As nearly all the Bn area was overlooked by the ey great care had to be excercised in movt and recce on the gd could not take place till after last light.
9   At about 1600 hrs a series of airburst shells burst over the Bn area at 643600 causing 7 cas.
9   The night was quiet with no incidents.
10   CO attd co ordinating conf at Bde HQ when final details of the change over were discussed.
10   Bn O Gp was held at 1200 hrs.
10   At 1800 hrs coys started off to new area by march route and relief commenced at about 2030 hrs.
10   Owing to the very heavy rain and the bad state of the roads in the forest some difficulty was experienced in getting tpt fwd and several vehs were ditched. The rifle coys were all satisfactorily in posn by 0015 hrs and A tk guns and mortars were finally positioned by first light.
10   Throughout the period of the relief there was no enemy activity on Bn front.
Field HOLLAND 11   Bn locations now as follows:- Bn HQ 756550. A Coy (Rt Coy) area 768542 B Coy (Left coy) area 757556 C Coy (Res Coy) 757653 D Coy (Centre Coy) area 770552.
11   Int O.P. was est at 758549 and close observation of the front was maintained from this and other OPs in Coy localities. Very little ey movt was seen and the day was without incident.
11   Two patrols were sent out during the night to investigate posns which had been reported by the US forces and ey were located along tk running south from 777558. Both patrols were fired on by LMGs but no cas were caused.
12   Bn locations no change.
12   During morning CO went to Bde HQ for two days and Bn was commanded by Maj. D.B. Rooke MC.
12   Observation of the front contd throughout the day and a small number of ey posns were located.
12   Some shelling of Bn area occurred during the afternoon but on a small scale and no damage or cas were caused.
12   Further patrols to go out during the night were briefed.
12   Harassing fire was put down by supporting arms from 2030-2100 hrs.
13   Recce patrol returned at 0415 hrs having reached a point about 100 yds from their objective which was the rd running N from 773555. Ey were heard along this rd and MGs located in the area.
13   The second patrol had the task of destroying an ey MG posn located the previous night at 773552 and returned at 0530 hrs having found no enemy there.
13   The night was quiet with only slight mortaring which caused no cas.
13   At 1200 hrs Bde comd visited bn and gave details of patrols to go out during the night.
13   CO 5 Dorset visited Bn during the afternoon to make preliminary arrangements to take over on night 14/15 Oct.
Field HOLLAND 13   Observation of the front contd throughout the day but very little activity was seen. Germans were observed on a few occasions in the area of the Church at 781545 where they had been seen previously.
13   Patrol comds were briefed during the afternoon.
13   Very slight shelling and mortaring of Bn area occured during the day but no cas were caused.
13   One patrol had the task of laying up to ambush any ey who should attempt to move into area 773552. They remained in posn from 2100 hrs till midnight but saw or heard nothing.
14   Recce patrol of two men under 2/Lt Philbedge set out at 0100 hrs with the task of finding if the houses in the area of HORST church 781545 were occupied. Objective was reached, ey being found in the locality and on returning the patrol was fired on by two sentries and the offr slightly wounded. He ordered the two men to return and after waiting a short time made his own way back along the rd 778535--768543 arriving at Bn HQ at 0630 hrs. The two men did not return until 0930 hrs as on their return journey they had come very close to an ey posn which was occupied by alert sentries and had been unable to proceed. They waited till dawn when the enemy retired to his slit trenches and the men were able without much difficulty to get back to their Coy.
14   During the day recces were carried out by reps of 5 Dorset and 7 Hamps in preparation for the relief to be carried out later in the day.
14   At about 1300 hrs two concentrations of bombs from a rocket projector fell in the immediate vicinity of Bn HQ causing extensive damage to bldgs but no cas. Arty engaged the weapon which did not fire in the area again.
14   The first Coy of 5 Dorset arrived at 1930 hrs and relief which was completed by 2300 hrs was carried out without incident. All coys reported as being in their new locations by midnight.
Field HOLLAND 14   Bn was now in res to the Bde with Coys disposed as follows:- Bn HQ 743538 A Coy 746534 B Coy 742537 C Coy 742543 D Coy 742524.
14   Casualties. 7 ORs wounded.
15   CO rejoined Bn at 1300 hrs.
15   At mid day Sqn Comd C Sqn 4/7 DG who were to support Bn in its counter attack role on Bde front visited Bn HQ and a conference was held when details of the method of counter attack were discussed.
15   CO held O Gp at 1530 hrs and counter attack method was detailed.
15   Recces were later carried out by Coy and Tp comds.
15   No enemy activity.
16   Bn locations same.
16   No enemy activity throughout day.
16   Pl and Tp comds carried out recces for counter attack role during the morning.
16   A proportion of Offrs and NCOs attended a lecture by Corps Commander during the morning. He gave the detailed story of the advance of 2nd Army through Belgium and into Holland up to the evacuation of 1st Br Airborne Div from Arnhem and gave a brief outline of the probable trend of future ops.
17   Bn locations same.
17   During the day Officers from 1 Worc R which was to relieve the bn the next day arrived to carry out recces and recces were made of the posns which the bn was to occupy in the vicinity of the village of MOOK.
18   Bn locations same up to 1800 hrs.
18   1 Worc R (214 Bde) relieved bn without incident during the afternoon and bn moved about two miles to the village of MOOK on the eastern side of the river MAAS. 130 Bde was now in res to 43 Div and Bn was closely concentrated around the village with no immediate operational role apart from the defence of the Cl 40 bridge over the river which commitment was taken over by B Coy.
Field HOLLAND 18   Locations:- Bn HQ 721518 A Coy 723517 B Coy 713522 C Coy 722516 D Coy 718521.
19   Bn locations same.
19   Coys carried out trg particular attention being paid to co-operation with tks and the crossing of tk obstacles.
19   Cinema shows were provided for the tps in the village.
20   Bn locations same.
20   Coys contd with trg. Corps Comd gave a further lecture to the Offrs and NCOs who had not attended on the previous occasion.
20   During a tank field firing exercise Bn 2 ic Maj. D.B. Rooke MC was wounded by shrapnel and CSM C Coy wounded by MG fire. Some Offrs and NCOs attended short talk and demonstration by 27 Fd Bty R.A. on working of 25 pr gun.
21   Bn location same.
21   During afternoon CO lectured to all coy and pl comds on future ops for the bn using a large scale sand model which had been constructed. Special points to be noted on trg were discussed and coy comds liaised with their individual tk tp leaders.
21   Coys contd with their trg.
22   Coys contd trg co-operating with tks.
22   Orders were recd for 130 Bde to relieve 129 Bde in right fwd sector of Div front on 23 and night 23/24 Oct. Recces of 5 Wilts posns which bn would take over were carried out during the day.
23   Bn moved from posn in res to right fwd bn of right hand bde relieving 5 Wilts who took over posns vacated by us. Relief of left fwd coy which was in very close proximity to the enemy was effected during daylight as covered approaches were available through the woods. Relief of remaining coys who were to occupy posns in the low gd between MOOK GENNEP rd and R. MAAS was carried out after dark.
Field HOLLAND 23   Locations:- Bn HQ 735512 A Coy 744502 B Coy 734498 C Coy 729494 D Coy 743506.
23   Intelligence OP was est on the high gd to SE of Bn HQ but visibility was not good owing to ground mist and no activity was seen. The site was later moved to 733513 as a better field of view was obtainable from this posn but visibility was poor and very little was observed.
23   Shortly after D Coy moved into posn one man was killed by an enemy sniper.
24   Bn locations same.
24   Harassing fire by arty, 4.2" and 3" mortars was brought down at intervals throughout the day.
24   Snipers with D Coy killed two enemy (one a sniper) and wounded another while an enemy sniper caused another casualty in the same coy.
24   OPs maintained observation over the front throughout the day but little enemy activity was seen. Small activity observed fwd of D Coy posn received attention during their evening 2" Mortar concentration. Shelling of enemy posns was somewhat increased during the afternoon and at 1730 hrs a psychological talk was broadcast to the enemy explaining the futility of further resistance and inviting him to surrender. This talk which was not fully effective owing to adverse wind did not produce any immediate result.
24   Casualties 2 ORs wounded.
25   Bn location same.
25   Little ey activity was seen during the day.
25   At 1800 hrs a small party from D Coy led by Maj Braithwaite MC attacked the ey in the area of the tower in their area with the object of capturing a prisoner. They found the enemy securely est behind a bank and were unable to get to grips with them. Ey opened up with MGs 42 and schmeissers and threw a number of stick grenades.
Field HOLLAND 25   One NCO was killed and the remainder of the party had to withdraw. They were unable to bring back the body. It was found that although some stick grenades exploded very close to several men only very minor cuts resulted and it was thought that unless a grenade actually exploded on a person no serious injury likely.
25   Ey movt was heard during the night. Arty mortar and MMG harassing fire was brought down at intervals. The night was uneventful.
25   Cas. 1 OR killed. 3 wounded.
26   Location same.
26   Little ey activity during the day.
26   Some ey guns fired on the bn area at intervaIs causing no cas. Arty was brought down on posns where these guns were thought to be as bearing had been obtained from various OPs in the area.
26   During the evening and night 26/27 recce patrols were carried out along the dyke rd 745505--739494 to discover dispositions of the ey. Lt Nethercliff was badly wounded by MG fire from a posn in the area of houses 738494 but was able to return unaided to his Coy where he gave a detailed report of his patrol.
26   During the evening change over of coy posns was completed making dispositons of coys along front:- A left D, C, B Coy right.
26   An attempt was made to recover the body of the NCO who was killed yesterday but it was found that it had been removed.
26   During the early morning A tk gunners found a German in a slit trench near their gun. He was from 26 Fus Ers Bn and had come over to our lines as result of the broadcast on 24th.
26   Cas. 1 Killed 1 Wounded One Officer (Lt Nethercliff) wounded.
27   Location same.
27   Little activity was observed generally but snipers with A Coy carried out individual stalks very close to ey posns and reported on dispositions and habits around the swimming pools at PLASMOLEN and in the woods in that area.
Field HOLLAND 27   A listening patrol sent out from the rt fwd coy reported 4 men with a dog moved into posn near the river. Other patrols sent out during the night saw sentries around the houses in the PLASMOLEN area.
28   At about 0230 hrs the enemy sent a fighting patrol to the area 736496 where C Coy had a standing patrol which lost one man killed and one missing. Fire was brought down and the ey retreated.
28   During the afternoon A Coy arranged a shoot with 2" mortars on the area of ey posns around PLASMOLEN. Good results were obtained at least two ey being killed and a number of others injured. It was noted that the ey fired a white verey light to bring up stretcher bearers and as the signal had been observed on previous occasions it was presumed to be a standard signal.
28   A fighting patrol was sent out during the evening to beat up the ey listening patrol with the dog should they move into posn again but they did not arrive and the patrol returned without incident.
28   In anticipation of the enemy repeating his performance and attempting to attack the standing patrol again a special programme involving arty MMG 4.2" and 3" mortars was arranged good results at about 2300 hrs. The ey (est strength approx 30) attacked with much singing and shouting. Fire was quickly brought down and much screaming and moaning was heard. Enemy retired without making actual contact with the coy.
28   Remainder of night was quiet. Casualty. One OR killed.
29   During the afternoon and evening Bn was relieved by 5 Dorset and moved back to reserve posns Bn HQ being in MOOK at 725517. Coys were located in the woods in square 7351. Relief was completed without incident by 2300 hrs.
29   A listening patrol was est on the south bank of the MAAS opposite MIDDELAARHUIS 738483 to report on any ey activity in that area.
Field HOLLAND 29   Very little was heard.
29   Night was quiet with no enemy activity.
30   Bn locations same.
30   No enemy activity against Bn.
30   Listening patrol was again put out south of MIDDELAARHUIS but nothing was heard.
30   Recce patrol went to MIDDELAAR and reported ey occupation of houses in that area. MG post was discovered and men were seen relieving the sentry gp on duty at the gun. During the patrol an expIosion was heard at about 735488 and two men were heard screaming. It was believed that an enemy listening patrol had set off booby traps which had been laid while the bn was in the fwd area.
31   Bn location same.
31   No enemy activity.
31   Patrols were again sent out during the night and reported MIDDELAARHUIS occupied.

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Source: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer, 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.