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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: 1st Bn The Herefordshire Regt.
Month and Year: April 1945 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. G.R. Turner Cain.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
HALTERN and LEER 1 1240 Bn. with 2F&F Yeo u/c moved with the intention of passing through 4 KSLI at BIRGHTE Bridge V9406 across the Dortmund Ems Canal. Route Leer, Bursteinfurt, Emsdetten V8697, Mseum V8404, Elte 8605, Riesenbeck 9307, Birghte 9406.The enemy had been located by 4 KSLI on the wooded high ground at 972060, and A and D Coys. (left and right respectively) were deployed to attack this position, the close country making tank support impossible. "A" Coy reached high ground at 972060, but were counter attacked three times and were finally surrounded. On orders from Bn.HQ, they managed to make their way to the Southern edge of the wood. "D" Coy on the right also had difficulty and later were ordered to withdrawBoth Coys suffered casualties, the total for the operation being:- Offrs.Killed 2 (Lieut.Spittal and Lieut.Hopkinson) Wounded 2 (Lieut.Mannering and Lieut.Mason.OR's killed 3 Wounded 36 and missing 13:The Bn. eventually consolidated on the reverse slope with "A" at 963051, "B" at 987053, "C" at 964055, "D" at 967049 B.H.Q. at same area. The enemy were first class troops being a composite unit formed from the NCO Inf.Trg.School at Hanover. Birghte Bridge and the Bn. positions were attacked twice by enemy aircraft, during the afternoon and evening without causing casualties. Adwards for this action "A" Coy. Major Tapper awarded Military Cross. C.S.M. Hartnett and Sergt. Bevan awarded the Military Medal.
" 2   Bn. remained in the same locality whilst 3 MONS. endeavoured to seize the feature 972060. They were also driven back by a conter attack and later took up positions on the left of the Bn.
2 2330 Patrols from "B" Coy found south edge of WOODS 968056 to 973056 strongly held. Sharp bombing attack in the evening but no damage or casualties caused.
BIRGHTE 3   3 MONS. again heavily counter-attacked in the morning causing severe casualties. Position later restored by 2 DEVONS (7th.Armd.Div.) passing through 3 MONS. and taking 200 POW.
3 1900 Bn. releived by 4 KOSB (part of Bde. of 52(L)Div. u/c 7.Armd.Div) and coys moved to rest locality south of original area preparatory to a further advance in the morning.
" 4 0645 Bn. moved. The Hfd.Gp.following up the 29th.Armd.Bde. by bounds Route Brochterbeck WO1o3, Tecklenberg 0503, Lotte 1209, (halt with Bn. in area 0909 for 1 hours) Rd.junc 151086, Eversheds 1812, Lecktingen 2014, Icker 2616, Osterkappeln 3317, arriving approx 1500 hrs.
4 1700 Bn ordered to area Butterbohn, route Osterkappeln, Bohmte 3919, Buttenbohne, where on arrival it was found that the enemy had already been mopped up by 15/19th Hussars.
BUTTENBOHNE 4 1900 Bn. settled in the location preparatory to marrying up with 2 F&F Yeo advancing the next morning. B.H.Q. at 488203
" 5 0700 Bn moved to seize a bridge over the R.WESER. Route Rd.Junc. 572221, Rafden 6026, Laversloh 6825, (Hfd.Gp.passed thro' KSLI Gp.here) Bonhorst 7326, Rd.Junc 759291, Harrienstedt rd junc 814280, One sqn 2F&F were sent to Glissen 837267, turned north and first opposition of the day met at 836273.One tank KO'd. "D" Coy was sent to deal with the enemy and the position was mopped up. 9 POW were taken.At the same time "B" Coy on tanks were sent NE to Diers 8403, Muslingeren 8733, and reached the R.WESER at Schlusselburg 917323, (finding no bridge across but ferry stages) without opposition. "C" Coys on tanks and "A" Coy on TCV's followed up to Musseringer where a temporay BnHQ was located.THE Commanding Officer made a recce and decided to send "B" Coy across in one boat found on the river bank. This was achieved without opposition and later "C" Coy were sent across on Mk.ll assault boats with "A" Coy on the west bank providing ferry servives. Two Wireless Jeeps for the use of Fd.and med arty FOO's (other comn was by 18 set abd later line was laid across river) and 2xA/Tk. Guns (6pr) were sent across on a Cl lll raft. Ferrying was a slow operation as the current was very fast. Two sec MMG were sent accross and one pl 4.2" Mortar (2 Ind.MG Coy) came u/c. "B" and "C" Coys in Mussleringen. "A" and BnHQ in eastern half of Schlusselburg.
SCHLUSSELBURG 6   "B" and "C" Coys remain on the east side of the river.Enemy seen infiltrating into the area from the NE and SE and our own patrols encountered enemy. 20mm sprayed area of bridgehead otherwise SA fire only. Only enemy interference to the ferry service was from the air, which was ineffective.Cas for the day 2 OR's killed and 5 OR's wounded. Higher plan to go through Petershagen 8420 bridgehead formed by 6 AB Div. to continue advance. "B" and "C" Coys therefore withdrew to west bank of the river together with all guns vehicles and equipment. This operation completed without incident by 2115 hrs. "A" and "C" Coys moved to eastern half of Schlusselburg with BnHQ and "B" and "D" and majority of Supt.Coy in Mussleringen.
SCHLUSSELBURG 7   Hfd.Gp. ordered to continue route advance via Petershagen Bridgehead.
7 1100 Bn moved and cleared route Windheim, Dohren, Loccum where first enemy were met in strength. "B" on left and "C" on right attacked through the village with "A" Coy firm base in western end of it. "D" Coy passed through "B" and "C" Coys and finally cleared the opposition. This operation was highly successfull yielding 150 POW from LAD (Labour Corps) and Battle GP Volkaes at little cost to ourselves : Cas. 10 OR's wounded. Also MMG Pl. had three killed and 2 F&F Yeo. lost a sqn. commdr. Enemy equipment destroyed : 6x88mm guns, 3x20mm guns, 2 Halftracks, 1xarmd Car, and 5xlorries.Bn. consolidated in Loccum with BnHQ at 971301.
LOCCUM 8   15/19 Hussars and 1st.Cheshire Gp. passed through and reached line of railway NE of Eilsesel 1340 meeting slight enemy opposition wia Mardorf 0633 and Schneeren 0838, Herefords Gp. stepping up behind in bounds and at 1630 hrs. ordered to pass through Cheshire Gp. Route was clear through to Hagen 1443, Dubensen 1646 and Laderholz 1849. A rd block was encountered 400 x north of Laderholz covered by enemy infantry with SA and pzfausts. "B" Coy with one sqn sent to deal with this whilst "C" Coy and "C" sqn diverted south east to Mandelsloh 2446, these is North to NEDERSTOCKEN 2451 without opposition, although 70 POW were taken in the latter village, the majority of these were from the Hitler Jugend. Opposition continued strongly north of Laderholz and darkness fell before Neiderstoken was cleared. Bn. therefore consolidated with "C" coy in Neiderstoken and "A" "B" and "D" Coys and BnHQ in Laderholz 186492. Cas 1 OR. killed and 9 OR's wounded.
LADERHOLZ 9 0645 Attacks by "A" "B" and "D" Coys ti clear Neidersocken met no opposition. "A" Coy and sqn passed through "C" then south sit in Mandelsmch. "B" and "D" Coys with BnHQ at 197506 consolidated in Rodewald, and waited completion of bridge by RE's at Helsdorf 2545.
RODEWALD 10   Higher plan was changed and Hfd Gp. were ordered to pass over 6 AB Div: bridge at Neustadt 1736 and clear villages to the North of Esperke 2650. Route was Laderholz 1849, Hagen 1543 Neustadt 1735 then road running north on the eastern bank of the Linne River. First opposition was encountered at Grindau 2753 when the leading tank with "D" Coy was knocked out by a pzfaust and also "D" Coys wireless was the resulting fatal casualties to the wireless operators. The village was cleared by "A" and "D" Coys and "B" and "C" passed through to clear the next village of Schwarmstedt 2755. This was completed by 1700 hrs. Opposition was extremely determined, units identified were from 2 Marine Div: approx 60 POW's were taken during the day Own cas: Officers killed one (Lt. HANCOX), Wounded one. OR's Killed: 5: Wounded ten.In the evening "B" and "C" Coys were relieved by 1 Cdo Bde and withdrew to the Bn rest area at Esperke. "A" and "D" Coys remained in positions north and south of Grindau, respectively, together with MMG pl and 3" Mor Pl:
ESPERKE 11   Bn remained in rest area at Esperke, whilst the 1 Cdo Bde and Cheshire Gp obtained bridgeheads over the R.Aller.These were sucessfully accomplished at Essel 3057 (Cdo) and north of Bucholz 3157 (Cheshire) During the night work was commenced on building a bridge.
ESPERKE 12   Bn remains in rest area at ESPERKE and GRINDAU whilst a bridge was constructed over the River Aller at ESSEL 2956A delay was also caused by a deputation of German and Hungarian Officers who came over to request a " non fighting area" north of the ALLER owing to an epidemic of Typhus. [BELSEN Camp of notoriety]Discussions went on all day but the plan was finally rejected by the Commdr. of 1 Para.Army. 1 Cheshire and four Cdo Gps in the meanwhile were sitting tight in their two bridgeheads at BUCHOLZ and ESSEL respectively, and the KSLI Gp concentrated in SCHWARMSTEDT 2755.
" 13 0900 Hereford Gp to cross the R.ALLER at ESSEL 2956 at the rear of 29 Armd Bde. 159 Inf.Bde.route Essel - Winsen 4756 - Wolthousen 5257 - Hassel 5262 - Silze 5566 - Beerdorf 5671 - Mude 6078.
13 1600 Hereford Gp left Esperke to cross the ALLER and concentrated in the area 400557 whilst the Cheshire Gp attempted to break through to Winsten. This operation was not sucessfull, the Cheshire Gp Being held in area 440570 by stong A/tk and Pzfaust fire.
Est of WINSEN 14   Bn remained in area whilst the Cheshire Gp attempted again to break through to Winsen. but this was again unsucessfull and at 1230 hrs the Hereford Gp was ordered to attack WINSEN from the NW via Tck.Junc 438570 - 438575 - 444572 - 448573 - 451573 - 454574 - 458573. Coys to 'leapfrog' forward onto the following objectives:- (1) "A" to 438575; (2) "D" to 444572; (3) "C" to 448573; (4) "B" to 451573; (5) "A" to 454574; (6) "D" to 458573; (7) thence on to the main road running south to Winsen where "D" and "C" Coys move astride the rd to 460571; (7) "A" and "B" Coys to 463568; (9) "B" and "C" to final objectives at 472563 and 469550.
14 1600 Operation commenced. The only vehicles used were tcks and Jeeps owing to the poor state of the tracks. No opposition was encountered all the way to 464565, at 1830 hrs "B" and "C" went in on to the final objective after the preliminary stonk. Approx 20 to 30 POW's were taken identified as Battle Gp. Totzeck from the Werfer School at Celle.Casualies killes OR's 2; Wounded OR's 10.Enemy equipment captured intact 1x7.5 cm A/tk gun, and one half tck (armd)
WINSTEN. 15 0700 Remainder of the wheeled tpt joined the Bn. 0815 hrs Hereford Gp moved. First opposition encountered at a road block near Wolthousend 5157. Several POW's were taken in the area including a Major, Comd. of the Btl Allschwager, one of the Bns. of the Battle Gp Totzeck. Adance continued on to Silze 5566. Beekdorf 5671, Hermansberg 5873, junc 580748, to Muden.The leading tanks passed over the bridge at Muden 604783 which was blown whilst they were over on the other side of the River. As a result of this two rifle coys were over on the other side of the River. As a result of this two rifle coys were sent over the River to form a tight bridgehead around the bridge to enable the RE to build a bridge and for the protection of the tanks Cmd. Post and the remainder of the Bn. were located approx 300x short of the bridge. During the day approx 200 POW's were taken, the majority of them from Luftwaffe units drawn from the aerodrome at 6583. 3x5cm ATk guns were captured and several vehicles destroyed. Cas. Officrs. wounded 1 (Major Northey MC O.C. "C" Coy) OR's Killed 2, Wounded 7. 30 OR's posted to Bn as reinforcements.
MUDEN 16   The bridge was completed at 1030 hrs: and the remainder of F&F Yeo. passed over followed by the Bn. Hfd. Gp. concentrated at Polzen to allow 29 Armd Bde to pass through, on the northern route to Ebstorf.
16 1500 Hfd. Gp. moved on route Aerodrome 6482 - junc 679834 - BRAMBOSTEL 690880 - Eimke 7388. The aerodrome was only lightly held, some opposition coming from the woods on the east and NE side.Difficulty was experienced at 685859 in passing vehicles over the bogged ground and the complete column did not get through until the next morning. Approx 500 POW's taken during the day.Own Cas: OR's wounded 1;The Commanding officer Lieut.-Colonel G.R.Turner Cain DSO left the Bn. to take up duties as AAG HQ 1 Br Corps Basic Control Increment. The 2i/c, Major R.C.Fripp DSO assumed command of the Bn. and was promoted Lieut.-Colonel; Major W.A.P.Croft MC. rejoined the Bn. and appotd. 2i/c.
EIMKE 17   Orders were passed to Hereford Gp to move to Ebstorf 7502 to take up a defensive position in order to cut off escape and rd ief route to Uelzen 9089 which was being attacked by the 15 (S) Division the following day. This move was completed by the afternoon, Coys taking up the following def. pos.:-"A" 803965. "C" 804961. "D" 804957. "B" in reserve at 795962. Bn HQ 800962. Coys proceeded to clear the woods forward of their positions and "D" coy came under heavy Spandau fire resulting in 10 casualties.No other incidents were reported apart from movement in buildings forward of 'C' Coy. position at 806961; Approx. 30 P.O.W's, mainly deserters, were rounded up in the woods Unit remained in the same position, coys being alloted further areas to patrol and clear with instructions not to get committed should heavy opposition be encountered. Armd. patrols also cleared Wittenwater 9092, and Melzingen 8293. Own casualties for the day nil. cf to D Coy ...?...
Ebstorf 19 1200 Hereford Gp. relieved by 6 AB Division. Higher orders were changed owing to the rapid advance of the 15(S.) Division on our right towards Uelzen. 159 Bde. Gp. to advance via Luneberg to the river Elbe. Route Ebstorf, Wriedal 7296, Orzen 7313, Kirchgellersen 7118, Reppensten 7420, Luneberg, Bardowick 7725, Rottorf 7130, Winsen 6534. No opposition was encountered until Luneberg was passed. One coy. cleared the village of Handorf 7432 and approx. 60 to 70 P.O.W's were taken. The advance was finally stopped at Bridge 7330 which was blown after our leading tanks had passed over. The Bn. concentrated for the night in the area of the bridge and work was commenced in putting another one across. Own casualties were:- OR's killed 1 wounded 6.
East of Rottorf 728300 20   Advance continued against slight opposition and Winsen was reached and cleared by the late afternoon. Hfd. Gp. concentrated in the town coys. located as follows: - 'A' 651326, 'B' 650330, 'C' 646328, 'D' 648319 Cmd. Post 648328.
WINSEN 21   Bn. remains in WINSEN. Higher plan was to wait on the Elbe until the flanks reached the river. Owing to the possibility & the unit remaining in the same location for five to six days, certain adjustments to the Bn. layout were made. 'D' were moved to the area & road junction 673342, and the A.Tk. and 3" Mor Pls took over the area at the south end of the town vacated by "D" coy. One Coy of the 1 Cheschire came u/c and located at Uhlenbusch 680378. A 24 hours standing patrol consisting of one pl, one tp of tanks was located at road junc 630558 provided in turn by "C" "B" and "A" Coys.At midnight two enemy were shot along rd 627358. One was killed and one wounded. They were carrying pzfausts and revolvers.The area was searched but no further incidents were reported.At midday the Batt. area was very heavily shelled by S.P.guns firing possibly from the N.W. on the other side of the river. "C" Coy received 3 Casualties, one killed 2 wounded.
WINSEN 22   Bn. still in same location. During the day 13 POW's were evacuated to Bde. No other incidents to report. On their return from the forward standing patrol position; "C" Coy cleared the village of STOCKTE 6455. Nothing to report.The Cheschire Coy under command captured a complete patrol of 5 men who crossed the river at 708405 and worked down our side of the river until they were captured at 685389.They provided useful information of dispositions on the North Side of Elbe. 45 OR's posted to Bn reinforcements.
WINSEN 23   The previous nights patrols had nothing to report.
23 1415 The Cheshire Coy area was heavily shelled with one direct hit on their Coy HQ. Two tanks went to an area near the river 660360 and fired on the area immediately opposite on the N.Bank. This was an attempt to mislead the enemy on to the location of our defences and to draw his fire on to an un-occupied area. 11 POWS were taken during the day, all deserters picked up in the forward areas.
WINSEN 24 0500 A large enemy patrol clashed with "B" Coy in the forward standing patrol area. They were sucessfully repelled and cas. inflicted on them were 5 dead.
WINSEN 25   No incidents to report.
WINSEN 26   A recce. party from the 8 R.B. arrived in the afternoon preparatory to releiving the Bn.tomorrow.
WINSEN 27 1130 Area handed over to the 8 R.B. without incident. Bn. moved to a reserve area at Rottorf 7130.
WINSEN 30   After a re-organisation of Bde. groups Bn. infuture to work with 3rd.R.T.R. in place of 2F&F. Yeo. Pl.M.M.G. and 1 tp. R.E. came under command. Hereford Gp ordered to cross the river ELBE, and to pass through the bridgehead formed by the 15 (S) Div. 11 Armd.Div. to reach concentration area W. of Lubeck as quickly as possible.
30 1930 Bn. moves but owing to great congestion on the road it was long delayed in its journey. Route Luneburg 7820, Artlenburg 8334, Guzow 8342, Kollow 8144
30 0500 Bn. reached Kollow and concentrated for a short period of time.
30 0630 Hfd Gp. moves off on route Schwarzenbeck 8248, Basthorst 8156 Mines knocked out 3 tanks and one carrier killing 3 O.R's and wounding one officer (Capt.R.Curtiss 2 i/c "A" Coy.)The mines were laid from cross roads 808500 to Haverhorst 8152.
30 1230 Bn. halted at Basthorst to allow clearing of mines and time bombs laid along the route. Large number of prisoners were taken chiefly from 245 Eng.Bn.245 Div.
30 1430 Hfd. Gp. continued on route Halfelde 8059, Trittau 7788, (entered after preliminary stonk and short battle) and cont. to Gronwold 7764, which was entered after slight opposition.One 88mm.gun was K.O'd. During the day 300 POW's were taken. Own casualties - Killed, ORs 3. wounded ORs 8. One Offr wounded.
30   Fripp Lt. Col.Commanding Officer.1st Bn. The Herefordshire Regiment.

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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.