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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: 5 Royal Tank Regiment
Month and Year: October 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. C.A. Holliman, MC
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   Ref Maps 1.50,000 (GS 4040)
1   Nos 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 35, 36, 37, 46, 47, 48
NISTLERODE 1   The Bde for an indefinite period was to be employed on a watching role in protection of 30 Corps CL. It was therefore decided to give the Regt as much opportunity of re-organisation and maintenance as possible. One Sqn only was to be actively employed at a time 'C' Sqn being the Sqn on duty. The regt moved to NISTELRODE. The regt right and left bdys were the BARRIERE - WETTERING Canal 405475 to 445475 and the HEESCH - S'HERTOGENBOSCH rd respectively. The enemy was known to hold posns roughly along the 40 Easting. 'I' Coy 1 RB was placed under Comd and formed together with 'C' Sqn a strong point at HUNNEKINS VINKEL 455482. Inf patrols were sent forward to investigate enemy posns by night and reported hearing enemy patrols in area 413495. Maj S.P. Wood assumes comd of 'B' Sqn.
1   Casualties:- Tpr Pidgeon Wounded.
2   'B' Sqn relieved 'C' Sqn otherwise no event.
VEGHEL 3   Regt HQ plus 'B' Sqn who were relieved by 'C', Recce Tp moved to VEGHEL 4837 to take over defense of the town and safeguard the area between the canal and the river. 4 Fd Sqn RE were placed under Comd to act as Inf and later took over American Paratroop posns along the rly.
4   A Canal running from 449399 to 438381 prevented veh recce from going further NW. Recce Patrols went out but no sign of enemy. However, enemy were confirmed to be in woods at 451385. Indirect shoots were carried out by 'B' Sqn.
5   In conjunction with 131 Bde a feint attack was carried out and 'B' Sqn sent two tps down the canal bank as far as the 44 Easting and destroyed houses on the southern bank.
6   8 H took over posns and the regt gp returned to NISTELRODE. 'A' Sqn reverted to regt comd and also returned to NISTELRODE.
NISTELRODE 7   C' Sqn were relieved by 'B' Sqn who were billetted in NISTELRODE. The remainder of the regt carry out maintenance and trg.
8   Tpr Carson 'C' Sqn killed on a miniature range erected by 'C' Sqn.
9   'A' Sqn relieved 'B' Sqn. Enemy patrols active. Mortar fire reported.
10   No event on the regt front excepting a "Stand-to" at approx 2300 hrs due to enemy activity.
11   'A' Sqn relieved by 'C' otherwise no event.
12 0600 Recce Tp took over the responsibilities of 'I' Coy 1 RB Carrier Pl for 3 days.
13-14   No event other than patrols.
15   'B' Sqn relieved 'C' Sqn otherwise no event.
16   'I' Coy 1 RB took over posns from Recce during which a Boche Patrol was captured and passed back to RHQ.
16   Losses:- Enemy 7 PsW Own:- nil.
17 0300 I' Coy 1 RB clashed with enemy patrols laying mines at MR 421483 enemy patrol withdrew. Unfortunately it was not noticed that this patrol had laid mines with the result being that one Cromwell moving up on the usual patrol was badly damaged. There were no casualties to personnel. A further incident during the day was a very concentrated "Stonk" directed on the HQ at MANNEKENS VINKEL from three separate gun areas. The whole conc landed two to three hundred yards E of HQ. The enemy probably found out location through the medium of civs. Casualty - Wounded - Tpr Chitty.
18   A vigorous Counter Bty programme was carried out during which HQ ' ' Sqn with 'I' Coy 1 RB moved forward approx 1,000 yds.
19   No events other than 'A' Sqn relieving 'B'.
20   The Regt less Recce Tp and Two Sqns ('B' and 'C') under comd 53 (W) Div prior to the attack on S'HERTOGENBOSCH. No events on 'A' Sqn front.
20 1420 The CO Lt. Col. C.A. Holliman lectures to all ranks on "Forthcoming Ops" in the Catholic Hall.
21   Final arrangements made by liaison with 71 Bde for the attack on S'HERTOGENBOSCH. Quiet day on 'A' Sqn front but towards evening the enemy man-handled an 88 mm A/Tk gun into posn and brewed up One Cromwell this gun was however KOd the following day.
21   Losses:- Enemy:- Nil Own:- one Cromwell.
21   During the evening 'B' Ech was subjected to a quick enemy air attack using AP Bombs.
21   Casualties:- Killed:- 2/Lt. Derbyshire, Tpr Lewis, Tpr Perkins, Tpr Taylor, Tpr Jackson. Wounded:- Capt (QM) A.E. Thompson, Tpr Hearty, Pte Williams (ACC).
22   The first phase of the main S'HERTOGENBOSCH began at 0630 hrs. 'A' Sqn after careful and detailed planning with the 4 RWF moved across the start line in sp of them. Progress along the 40 grid Easting was good having been proceeded by a hy arty barrage. The country in this area towards the final objective was extremely thick and contained a considerable number of en enemy snipers. The upshot of this sit was that One Coy of the 4 RWF lost all their offrs but few ORs. Also an Offr Tk Comd of 'A' Sqn (Lt. J. Collinge) was shot through the head. 'A' Sqn fired a great deal of amn into the suspected areas and by last light had inflicted hy cas making it possible for the inf to clear the whole area East of the 40 Easting.
22   Losses:- Enemy:- 1 x 75 mm A/Tk KOd, 1 x 20 mm SP KOd, 1 x 81 metre Mortar KOd.
22   Cas - Killed - Lt. J. Collinge.
23   'A' Sqn and RHQ back under comd 22 Armd Bde and conc as a Regt in NISTELRODE.
24 1600 Regt moved to new area MR 448371 and leaguered for the night.
448371 25 1100 It was anticipated that the Regt would have to cross the canal by one of two brs at 321401 or 403379 in which a move via HELVOIRT - UDENHOUT would have to be made. A sec of 4 Fd Sqn RE under Comd of the regt with a scissors br secured a crossing at 321401 but opposition a 1,000 yds further on was too strong to allow a break through. The regt leaguered the night in ST. MICHELS GESTEL Area MR 325385.
325384 26   The 51 HD having secured a br-hd at 304378 the Regt was ordered to cross and proceed to HELVOIRT via MOLESTRAAT. 'C' Sqn leading reached MOLESTRAAT without opposition. At this point the leading tp was fired on by an SP gun but no damage was done. The SP was thought to be in the area 1,000 yds due West of MOLESTRAAT and 'C' Sqn set about stalking it. At this stage 'B' Sqn was passed through 'C' Sqn to make firm the X-rds 270383 and exploit to the next X-rds. The 1 R. Tks were then passed through 'B' and 'C' Sqns directed on UDENHOUT. 'B' and 'C' Sqns changed direction and advanced SW. 'B' Sqn reaching MR 250383 before being fired on with AP. 'C' Sqn with no opposition reached HOLEINDE MR 247369. Good progress was maintained until nightfall when the regt leaguered in Sqn boxes at area 2538. Day's bag:- 6 killed 20 PsW.
2538 27   Regt now placed under Comd 131 Bde. 'B' & 'C' Sqns ordered to proceed to MR 230400 and 219309 respectively supporting 1/6 Queens protecting the Div CL - main rd HELVOIRT LAIR UDENHOUT. Rt and left Bdys being the rd GUILDENBERG 259419 to HELVOIRT and the 20 Easting. During the afternoon 'A' Sqn reported some mortaring and enemy inf movement MR 215400. At night RHQ leaguered in HELVOIRT, 'A' Sqn in defensive posns at MR 213370 plus 'A' Coy 1 RB 'B' Sqn at 216372 'C' Sqn at GUILDENBERG.
27   51 HD recce reported possibility of enemy cutting the CL.
HELVOIRT 28   1/6 Queens and a Sqn of the 11 H now under comd the regt gp who in turn was placed under direct comd 7 Armd Div still carrying out the role of CL protection. 1/6 Queens posns 'A' Coy 215401 'B' Coy 225405 'C' Coy 239409. 'A' Sqn were in immediate sp to 'A' Coy. 'B' Sqn in res at 230309. 'C' Sqn at GUILDENBERG. Night patrols reported enemy approx str One Coy at 215412 also Mortar and Spandau fire from this area.
29   A plan was made to clear the enemy from area 215412 and to est 'B' coy 1/6 Queens and 'B' Sqn in this area. This op was successful and completed in 1 hrs. 'B' Sqn having destroyed a number of houses containing enemy inf inflicting hy cas. Country extremely thick and difficult. An A/Tk gun located at MR 235438 withdrew after exchange of fire enabling 'C' Sqn to proceed through the village of GUILDENBERG. The outskirts were found to be heavily mined One Cromwell being lost, this Tk being commanded by Lt. Jones. Cas:- Lt. Jones wounded. Killed:- Tpr Mackinson & L/C Carter. Enemy cas:- 6 Killed 22 PsW.
GUILDENBERG 30   At first light the area having been completely cleared the regt conc and moved to take over posns held by 4 Armd Bde in the vicinity of REIGEN 0537. The route being HELVOIRT - TILBURG - REIGEN. 1/6 Queens remained under comd and with Recce Tp carried out extensive recces proving area for 2 miles West of line X-rds 0535 to 0539 clear of enemy. The Royal Netherlands Bde now under our comd. The 1 Polish Armd Div was also contacted their HQ being at GILZE. Locations:- RHQ HULTEN X-rds 'A' Sqn 068342 'B' Sqn 033346 'C' Sqn 053962.
HULTEN 31   Regt now under comd 22 Armd Bde. The regt was est by 1400 hrs at HORST MR 035423.

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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.