On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
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 Bn the Wiltshire Regiment
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. E.L. Luce, DSO, TD
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1-5   FM Sir Bernard Montgomery visits Bn HQ and meets HQ Offrs and Coy Comds. Bn remains in rest area until 5 Dec during which time admin was carried out and a few periods of close order drill. There was also a trg cadre for Junior NCO's. Cinema shows were available each day at BRUNSSUM (7662 1/25000 48 SE).
6   Bn relieves 1 Worcs in area BIRGDEN (8168 - 1/25000 Sht 4902) with fwd coys at 799689, 818693 and 826693. Relief was carried out without any trouble. Movement of tpt to fwd coys kept down to a minimum owing to parts of route being under observation.
7   Situation quiet on Bn front except for occasional stonk on BRIDGEN. OR's observe fair amount of enemy movement including one unusual incident of a fwd enemy lookout putting up an umbrella when it started to rain. This post was immediatly fired upon by our 3" mortars.
8   Bn releived by unit of 5 Guards Bde and moved to rest area at KLING (7563). This period in the line for the first time produced NO cas in the Bn.
9-17   Cinema shows available to tps during this period. Ensa shows also available. Preparations for attack on enemy pocket West of R.Roer. Role of Bn to capture DREMMEN (8872). This attack was held up owing to poor ground conditions and was finally cancelled.
18   Advance party leaves KLING for new conc area VUGHT in which area it is intended to do a period of approx 3 weeks intensive trg.
19   Main body leaves KLING en route for new area. Bn only reaches BREE K 58 where coln was stopped and ordered to remain concentrated in area in view of the changed situation created by the German offensive on the 1st US Army front.
20   Bn left BREE and moved to area MILLEN (K 4645) arriving late at night.
21   Bn moves again and concentrates in RUSSON (K 3841) operational role being against paratroops and counter-attack in the direction HUY (2317) in the event of enemy reaching the R. Meuse.
22-23   Rate of enemy's advance slowed down and situation becomes a little easier although the threat of parachutists still remains with the Bn. Coys draw ballot for leave commencing 1st Jan 45. Bn at 1 hrs notice to move and 3 hrs notice for counter-attack role. Weather - Hardest frost of winter experienced so far, sunny by mid-day.
24   Bde 'O' Gp does recce of LIEGE area (4729) with a view to holding the bridges if the enemy penetrated far enough to threaten them. During the course of the recce a large enemy shell fell in the town 200 yds from the 'O' Gp killing 4 Americans. Preparations made for the tps to have the usual Christmas dinner, commodities being 4 oz tinned turkey per man, Xmas pudding, one orange, two bottles of beer (one paid for), cigards, bar of chocolate and sweets. Weather remains frosty and sunny during the day.
25   Bn unable to get together for Christmas dinner in the usual way but despite this a good time was had by all - and no paratroops were dropped - thank goodness !!! Weather remains frosty and sunny during the day.
26   Bn 'O' Gp does recce of LIEGE for counter-attack role if city reached by enemy. Tank and arty offrs also take part. Warning order for Bn move to new area East of R. Meuse received late at night.
27   Advance party moves off for new area NE of MAASTRICHT (K 55). Bn location to be area K 6657. Bn Coln arrives in new location about mid-day. Bn HQ established AALBEEK (6757).
28   Comd Offr attends Div Comd's conference.
29   CO and IO recce ground for firm base role in area SCHERPENSEEL (K 8261) in the event of an enemy attack from the fireotion of GEILENKIRCHEN.
30   CO takes Coy Cmds and Sp Pl Comds out to recce the SCHERPENSEEL area for Pl and Sec posns.
31   2IC and IO go to area WURSELEN (8748) N of AACHEN to recce posns for firm base role. Parties from Coys proceed to SCHERPENSEEL to dig firing posns as recced by Pl Comds previous day. First leave party proceed to BOURG LEOPOLD (Belgie) en route for CALAIS and England (lucky chaps!)
31   Bn strenght - Ors 849 Offrs 31
Weather - Fairly normal but very frosty latter part of month. Some snow.

previous month

Source: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer, transcribing: Mia Litjens.

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.