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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: HQ, 9 Brit Inf Bde.
Month and Year: August 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Brig. G.D. Browne
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
FIELD 1 0700 Bde area was shelled; the only cas being two OR from 2 Lincolns. A quiet day spent mainly in preparation for the impending move.
1 1000 Div report no move before 1600 hrs, SC departed on his recce of the new area. One of the highlights of the day was the ENSA show for the tps; although not really first class, it was a welcome innovation.
2   Move Order issued to all units in bde gp.
2 1700 Bde HQ closed down at BIEVILLE and made an uneventful journey via CAUMONT.
2 2010 Bde HQ re-opened at 770665 with 2 Lincolns at 773658, 1 KOSB at 770648, 2 RUR at 762646.
2 2223 Placed at four hrs’ notice to move, but unlikely to move before 4 Aug.
2   The weather all day was simply glorious.
2   Issue of 9 Brit Inf Bde Mov Instr No. 2. Appx ‘A’.
3   Quiet night; no enemy activity in area.
3 1400 Comd and BM visited Div and received orders for the move to FORET L’EVEQUE 6351 and were infm that no move of main bodies would be instituted before 0600 hrs 4 Aug. Recce parties moved off at 1815 hrs and the bde was placed at 2 hrs' notice to move.
4 0800 Bde moved out to new area and after an extremely "dusty" move re-opened in farm 637518. The intended location was reached at 1100 hrs, but a combination of circumstances, mainly hygienic, resulted in the bde moving to a newer and sweeter smelling area.
4 1600 4 Armd Bde came under comd 3 Brit Inf Div. Bn localities 2 Lincolns 652521, 1 KOSB 645512, 2 RUR 638505
5   Another quiet night, with no enemy activity at all. This quiet life proves beneficial to all in gen, after the hurly-burly of recent life in the TROARN area.
5 0900 Bde Comd held a conference with offrs of 44 RTR, who were to operate with us in the next show.
5 1800 Bde 'O' Gp called, details of op were discussed and the OO issued. 44 RTR were to be under comd for the show. OO No 6 at Appx ‘B’
6 0500 2 RUR relieved 1 Norfolk in the LA BISTIERE area 6737at first light and sent patrols fwd of this pt. Their Patrols reported no enemy in the area of LE BAS – LA BISTIERE
6 0600 Bde moved from location and, after a move uneventful save for the blinding dust, arrived at farm 657378 in LA GRAVERIE at approx 0900 hrs.
6 0955 1 KOSB on left and 2 Lincolns on right were steadily moving fwd on to their objectives and at 0955 hrs 1 KOSB reported being on their first objective the area MONTISANGER,
6 1000 2 Lincolns also reported having reached rd 669380. Neither bn meeting any enemy up to this stage.
6 1530 The adv proceeded steadily Southwards and by this time 1 KOSB was est on line 675340 and 2 Lincolns a little South of wood at LE PONT DE VAUDRY. Neither bn having fired a shot in anger during the day.
6 1700 Orders were given to both fwd units to push on to both Boot and Maple and by 1908, 1 KOSB had their fwd tps over stream running laterally across the front. 2 Lincolns had also kept pace with their adv.
6 2200 Lt-Col Wilson, comd 2 Lincolns, was wounded, his bn now being in force in woods at LA PONT DU VAUDRY and LA LANDE 6633. Shelling now commencing was sporadic and harassing, rather than DF.
6 2300 Original intention to adv fwd of rly and rd VIRE – ESTRY at 0615 was cancelled by Corps Comd in view of threatened enemy counter-attack from SE (698328) and VIRE. 2 Lincolns and 1 KOSB were now to stay firm for night in ground of own choosing and not adv beyond rly. The Div Comd anticipated any counter-attack would be directed against our left flank at junc between 9 and 159 Bdes. DF tasks were arranged accordingly. During the day close liaison was est with the American forces on our right flank, an LO from 23rd US Regt being att to bde.
7 0050 American forces reported in VIRE and clearing up the town. During the night strong patrols were pushed fwd South of the woods at VAUDRY without incident.
7 0030 Yesterday's plan to hold on to the ground won was cancelled by the Div Comd in view of the American occupation of VIRE and the original plan to push on was resurrected and a warning order to that effect was issued.
7 1020 Patrols of both 2 Lincolns and 1 KOSB respectively reported contacting the enemy in some str in area 674385, 657327 and 658326, the Lincolns patrol having met and killed one German NCO on their travels. A rather informative deserter from A tk Bn of 3 Para Div who are in the line facing us, reported that they had one coy 100 m South of rly 6632 and their 2 and 3 coys fighting as inf – this stresses the pt that the enemy is finding manpower an increasingly difficult problem.
7 1220 With 1 KOSB remaining in posn, 2 Lincolns were ordered to move fwd from LE PONT DU VAUDRY to the rly line.
7 1355 This they did and were reported as consolidating on their objective at 1355 hrs. During late morning and early afternoon reports kept filtering through of tks and SP guns being located in our area. Although numbers were obscure, it is computed that no more than 6 tks and 2 SP guns were in the vicinity. 33 Fd Regt took care of them with a Mike task.
7 1630 About this time, the enemy commenced to heavily shell and mortar the Lincolns posns on the rly and A Coy 2 Lincolns sustained hy cas.
7 1820 Their CO eventually withdrew them under cover of smoke to their original posns in the two woods. Cas, although substantial, were not so hy as had at first been surmised, an estimated total of 60 - 80 being incurred.
7 2200 County of London Yeo commenced relieving 44 RTR, who had been in sp of bns in the bde. Brig ADG Orr relinquished comd of the Bde, Lt-Col GD Browne (GSO1, 3 Brit Inf Div) taking over.
7 2300 Brig GD Browne arrived and went on an immediate tour of bns.
8 0200 The relief of 1 KOSB by 1 Suffolk was completed in the early hrs of the morning, 1 Suffolk coming under comd 9 Brit Inf Bde. 1 KOSB moving out to a res area behind 2 Lincolns, their exact location being at LA GROUDIERE 663342.
8 0630 At the same time, the complete relief of 44 RTR by County of London Yeo was carried out.
8 0900 Bde Comd decided that the day should be spent in planning for the following day's op and said that 44 RTR would sp us in this show, with MG pls of A Coy 2 Mx in sp and not under comd. The remainder of the day was spent in vigorous offensive patrolling by 2 Lincolns and 1 Suffolk. These patrols were extremely successful and est the enemy as holding posns 667327, wood 674326 and LA BIJUDE 6831.
8 1800 In the late afternoon, patrols of 1 Suffolk were despatched to occupy the LE MAINE feature, now reported clear of enemy, and a standing patrol was sent over the rly to occupy a posn at COURTE, also vacated by the enemy within the past 24 hrs.
8 2200 Throughout the day close contact has been maintained with the American Forces via LOs from 2 US Div HQ, 23 Regt HQ, 9 Regt HQ and 116 Regt HQ, and finally in the evening the S2 and S3 of 2 US Div visited Bde HQ to tie up arty tasks for the impending show. Bde Comd and Lt-Col Lindsay saw these visitors and satisfied their needs.
8   Issue of 9 Brit Inf Bde OO No 7. Appx ‘C’
8   Issue of 9 Brit Inf Bde March Table. Appx ‘D’
9 0200 1 Suffolk reverted to comd of 8 Bde and Div instructed that on completion of relief of 2 Lincolns comd of the MONTISANGER sector would pass to 8 Bde. The relief of our bns and their consequent move to conc area was completed without untoward incident.
9 0415 Bde HQ was closed and moved to MONTISANGER 672351, where it re-opened at 0450 hrs. At this time, Bns reported everything in order.
9 0605 Both 1 KOSB and 2 RUR reported their fwd tps as having crossed SL, from then on it was a steady adv with absolutely no opposition,
9 0800 and by 0800 hrs 1 KOSB had taken their objective, Pt 230 6531.
9 0830 2 RUR occupied the village of VAUDRY and reported no incident, save for a slight hold-up caused by enemy mines on their line of adv.
9 0845 Bde Comd ordered 1 KOSB to send out strong patrols to village of ROULLOURS 6630 and to est contact with the US forces on our right flank. This they did, and by 1200 hrs, contact was est with our American friends at 637326.
9 1200 A 1 KOSB patrol shot up an enemy truck proceeding towards VIRE, killing one man and taking 4 prisoners. They were of the 1/600 Army Engr Bn (Tyfun) and had been fighting as inf in the area of CHENEDOLLE. They were proceeding to bury some of their dead, took wrong turning and were, as a consequence, captured.
9 1300 Another patrol of 1 KOSB penetrated to the outskirts of ROULLOURS and located the enemy at Pt 262 673303; on their return 1 KOSB requested permission to est a standing patrol at LA BOIVINIERE 6531 and send a strong fighting patrol to ROULLOURS. The Bde Comd sanctioned these proposals.
9 1800 Offensive patrolling continued during afternoon, the persistent probing of 2 RUR and 1 KOSB patrols further establishing the enemy as being in some str at Pt 262. 2 Lincolns were brought fwd to a posn immediately right of 1 KOSB.
9 2100 The Bde Comd emphasised the need for continued patrolling during night by all three bns and warned them that our patrols must literally "sleep with the enemy" so that quick action could follow any withdrawal, which seemed possible.
10 0030 Bde Comd instructed that a fighting patrol would be laid on to attack woods 648310 at an early hr - its purpose being to create a diversion on the left flank of an American attack planned for first light.
10 0700 The patrol, one pl strong, adv to wood with strong arty sp and cleared it of enemy. They were later relieved by the armd C tp of 3 Recce Regt.
10 1400 Again the day was devoted to probes along the whole div front by patrols of various fmns and varying sizes, as a result of which enemy posns were identified at 657295 (A tk gun) inf at 677307, 4 enemy tks moving East at 665284, mortars at 670306, inf 657307, MGs at 675302, inf at 668308 and in str in orchard and wood at LOISONNIERE 657303, with MGs and mortars.
10 1700 2 Lincolns sent out a patrol to the wood 657303 and encountered strong resistance. They were unable to proceed into wood owing to hy MG fire from hedgerows at 653304, 653303, 654304 and 654301. The patrol heavily engaged the enemy, but could not adv further without incurring heavier cas. Their total cas being 1 offr, 1 sjt and 1 OR wounded. Patrol withdrew after achieving its object of pin pointing enemy posns.
10 1830 A 1 KOSB patrol was also engaged by the enemy from area 686313, but continued with its task in the area of ROULLOURS. Another patrol of the same unit est that LE FAYE 657307 was clear of enemy.
10   Issue of 9 Brit Inf Bde Op Instr No 3, with traces. Appx ‘E’
10   Nothing further of event was reported. Our patrols continued to dominate the area. The force we have encountered in this phase of the battle consists of the 3rd and 5th German Paratp Divs. These divs have already suffered many cas and though, by PW statements, they are sadly depleted and battered, they remain a tenacious foe who, by skilful positioning of MGs and mortars, continue to harass our adv. Evidence tends to prove that these two Para Divs are now unified under one comd.
11 0025 Op "Wallop", the attack for which was timed to go in at approx 0730 hrs, was to have been preceded by one hr's air bombardment. This was cancelled in the early hrs, presumably owing to climatic conditions. The intense ground mist would have made the proposed bombing a hazardous venture.
11 0600 Our patrols, busy throughout the night, did not make contact with the enemy. It is to be assumed that the German forces have again withdrawn. Areas previously occupied were now found to be completely clear of the enemy.
11 0900 After an intense arty programme the op commenced; 8 Bde on the right, with 1 S Lan R fwd, and 185 Bde on the left, with 2 KSLI fwd. In the early stages no opposition was reported by either fmn and a steady rate of adv towards TINCHEBRAY was maintained.
11 1045 The Bde Comd was infm that 6 Gds Tk Bde (Churchills) were relieving 4 Armd Bde today and 4 Coldm Gds would relieve 44 RTR as Bde tk sp. At the same time, 2 RUR were warned to stand by for the job of clearing VIESSOIX should the necessity arise. They were placed at one hr's notice to move.
11 1830 Later on, in the evening, orders were issued regarding possible roles for 9 Bde in this op. They were (a) to be prepared to deploy towards VASSY with in sp one sqn 4 Coldm Gds (b) bde will be prepared to assist 3 Recce Regt in pursuit towards TINCHEBRAY and FLERS (c) will keep touch with leading bdes and become 3 Div firm base.
11 2000 Bde HQ closed down at 672352 and moved to 649315, where it opened at 2045 hrs.
12   Being in div res, the bde had a quiet day, broken only by a shelling incident at 1245 hrs, when 2 RUR were shelled in VAUDRY, 1 OR being killed and 3 wounded.
12 1535 1 KOSB reported that the German truck they shot up at 645314 three days ago, had in it a number of grenades.
12 1900 We were warned to be at readiness to relieve both 1 Gren Gds (Motor Bn) at VIESSOIX and a sqn of 3 Recce Regt on Pt 237.
12 2200 The latter was carried out immediately and a coy of 2 RUR was despatched to relieve the Recce sub-unit.
12 2255 Mov Order for taking over from 1 Gren Gds was sent by message form. 2 Lincolns were to take over LE MAINE feature, 1 KOSB to VIESSOIX and 2 RUR to occupy area of Pt 237. 2 Lincolns and 1 KOSB to be in posn by 1000 hrs 13th. 2 RUR moving at 1100 hrs 13th.
12   Copy of Move Order message at Appx ‘F’. Appx ‘F’
13 1000 The bns moved off to their new posns and by 1000 hrs both 2 Lincolns and 1 KOSB were in posn and making firm the ground.
13 1052 2 RUR reported they were on the move to Pt 237 and by 1230 hrs were in posn. The Bde was now disposed with 2 Lincolns area of LE MAINE their HQ at 692337; 1 KOSB at VIESSOIX with HQ South of church in village; and 2 RUR at Pt 237 6531 on main rd VIRE – ESTRY, with Bde HQ at 649315.
13 1111 Div instructed that bde be prepared to move at short notice, reason being the enemy seems to be making a gen withdrawal and a pursuit on the lines of Op "Wallop" is envisaged. Highlight of the day was the discovery of 13 dead Germans in 2 Lincolns area - one of whom was a woman attired as a German paratp NCO. Div were immediately infm of this interesting discovery. The day brought very little event apart from the usual routine contact patrols with flanking fmns, i.e., US forces on the right and 2 HCR on left.
14 0300 Div ordered one bn to be available to move at 0900 hrs, possible role to move behind 8 Bde. Tp tpt had been fixed to report in the event of this move being necessary. Bde Comd detailed 2 RUR for the task, they were duly warned. This was altered at 0800 hrs to one hr's notice of move for the bn.
14 1135 Div Comd visited this HQ and in the resulting conference the bde was placed at 4 hrs notice to move. This, because the German withdrawal threatens to become more precipitate and our probable role will be that of maintaining contact with the retreating enemy.
14 1500 2 Lincolns and 1 KOSB resumed patrolling and at 1520 1 KOSB reported the whole area for which they were responsible as being clear of enemy.
14 2000 Later on, a strong patrol of 1 KOSB visited BOULAY AUX CHATS which was suspected of being the harbour of some enemy tks. As a result of this patrol a Victor task was laid on with 76 Fd Regt for 0730 hrs the following morning, target being the tk harbour.
15 0730 1 KOSB "tk harbour" engaged heavily with a fierce conc of HE.
15 1035 Div Comd arrived at this HQ and with a small ‘O’ Gp consisting of the Bde Comd, BM, OC 1 KOSB and GSO3 discussed a plan for a small scale penetration by patrols of 1 KOSB. Three objectives were given, the final one being in area of BERNIERES, main object to est the whereabouts of enemy in area, if any.
15 1220 By 1200 hrs 1 KOSB had est their firm base on the line of the rly SE of VIESSOIX and their patrol had reached its first and second objectives,
15 1320 and approx one hr later had reached its final objective at 719305, all without contacting enemy.
15 1435 TINCHEBRAY was reported entered by a patrol of 3 Recce Regt, no opposition being encountered.
15 1600 The bde was warned to be at readiness to move at 0700 hrs the following morning through 8 Bde on Div axis to FLERS. 9 Brit Inf Bde OO No 8 issued. At Appx ‘G’
15 1930 Bde Comd accompanied by OC 4 Gren Gds, went on his recce for the following day’s op, contacting 8 Bde Comd and Comd 3 Recce Regt in the process.
15   During the evening two PW were taken by 1 KOSB at 719297; they were identified as being from 1/3 Para Engr Bn and had been fighting as inf. This acute shortage of the enemy is rapidly showing itself by his emp of all types tradesmen for inf work regardless of their state of trg.
16 0900 Bde moved off to conc area at ST QUENTIN DES CHARDONETTS 7125 and were concentrated by 1030 hrs. Bde ‘O ‘Gp then reported to Bde HQ at 728252 to await further orders re OO No 8 (Appx ‘G’): the Bde Comd was at this time at Div Tac HQ.
16 1130 The Bde Comd on his return dismissed the 'O' Gp to their conc areas to await further orders, then immediately left for Div Tac HQ again. The cause for the delay in proceeding with the op against FLERS is to be found in the enemy’s rapid withdrawal in the area, no contact having been made with his forces during the night even though elements of 8 Bde had penetrated to within one mile of LANDISACQ 8021 and had occupied FRENES 7825.
16 1320 An intercept message from 3 Recce Regt describes FLERS as having been evac by the Boche.
16 1330 Bde Comd's 'O' Gp. Bn Comds were given verbal orders for the move of the bde to LANDISACQ, where it was to take up a firm base posn on the GANDER feature.
16 1530 Recce parties left for new area and were joined by main bodies later on in the afternoon.
16 2000 At 2000 hrs Main Bde HQ joined Tac HQ at 789223, and by this time the Bde Gp was in a def posn in area LANDISACQ.
16 2030 Maj RG Jessel, Som LI, reported in from 12 Corps. He is to take over duties of BM from Maj JP Searight. The remainder of the evening was devoted to setting up HQ and at 2200 hrs OC 7 Fd Regt came in to tie up bde DF tasks.
16 2200 In accordance with a div instr regarding the searching of the area for enemy eqpt, bns were infm of their responsibilities and plans were made for an organised search of area MONT CERISI – LANDISACQ – FORET DE HALOUZE 8214.
17   The search, which commenced at 0900 hrs, brought to light quite a number of interesting items of enemy eqpt, chief among these being a Panther tk in good condition abandoned at LE CHALIER 853133 - other items were a gun dump containing 10 guns of varied calibre, most of them in good condition, at 847175 and three burned out tks scattered around the area.
17 1630 Maj Searight relinquished appointment of BM, Maj Jessel taking over. Maj Searight left for Div HQ. 2 Lincolns were warned to be at one hr's notice to clear BOIS DE MESSEI 8713 with a sqn of 4 Gren Gds in sp. The wood is suspected of harbouring German tps computed to be 200-300 strong. A loudspeaker unit is being conscripted in an effort to make these tps capitulate prior to the planned attack which is due to take place early tomorrow.
17 2220 A report came in from civilian sources that the enemy vacated the BOIS DE MESSEI at 0400 hrs this morning. This was unconfirmed and no change in plan has been made.
17   A quiet day; 6 German prisoners, mainly deserters and stragglers of Russian origin were brought in. On being interrogated, they all gave evidence of the complete state of chaos existing among the Wehrmacht in this area, and confirmed the stories of hy cas sustained through the med of our arty. The prisoners represented 84 Inf Div, 9 SS Div and 3 and 5 Para Divs.
18   A very quiet night, units having nothing to report in their sitreps.
18 0845 After a series of recces carried out in the area of BOIS DE MESSEI, 3 Recce Regt reported that no organised resistance had been encountered there. The plan involving 2 Lincolns was then called off by Div. Otherwise no further activity or event in the bde area during the day.
19 1200 Refugees are beginning to filter back into the area and occupying their homes again. The Bde Comd laid down a firm policy that if refugees wish to return to their own homes, the Army will vacate such premises.
19 1300 Issue of 9 Brit Inf Bde Move Order No 3. Appx ‘H’
19 1321 Trg in the new location will consist of river crossing, assault br crossing eqpt for the purpose has already been laid on.
20 0900 Bde moved off to new area West of FLERS, the Bns marching.
20 1030 Bde HQ opened at 856148.
20 1800 Bns located 2 Lincolns 851151; 1 KOSB 851162; 2 RUR 855141.
20 2000 The weather changed rapidly and a violent rainstorm occurred — this carried on throughout the evening.
20 2200 Nothing untoward in the Bde area to report. We are right out of contact with the enemy and bns are spending their time in reorg.
21 0800 -2400. Complete day spent trg in storm boating and Cl 9 rafting on lake at LA CHAPELLE 8416 and Cl 9 FBE br crossing on river 8520. Bns and units in the Bde Gp were given trg allotments of periods during the day in which to exercise personnel in the negotiation of river obstacles. The weather was extremely poor, rain continuing throughout the day.
22 0400 Night trg in river crossing carried on in foul weather until 0400 hrs, which time allotment of the trg area expired. A further period may be granted during the week.
22 1000 OC 4 Gren Gds visited Bde Comd to discuss trg between inf and tks during the week. Bn located at 868157. One day course for Bn IOs held at ST PAUL 8119 where G3 (Int) 3 Brit Inf Div initiated several of the IOs into intricacies of the ‘I’ world. Nothing further of interest occurred during the day.
23-27   Individual trg and trg in co-operation between tks and inf carried out by three bns in the Bde Gp, working with tks of 4 Gren Gds.
23-27   Bn ‘Int’ secs detached from 24/27 to carry out detailed search for eqpt lost by enemy, in and around FALAISE. Results of search:- 9 tks (various) damaged or burnt out, 14 guns (various) damaged or burnt out , 11 Amn Dumps, 92 vehs damaged or burnt out, 2 planes.
28-29   Trg continues.
30   The lull has provided all bns with an opportunity to straighten out their adm affairs. Kit inspections and checks have been a feature of the period. Trg with tks and the usual individual trg.
31 1200 'R' Parties consisting of S.C. Sigs Offr and Camp departed to recce new area. Further orders for move of Bde Gp are expected hourly.
31   Battle Casualties by units for month of August 1944:
31   HQ 9 Brit Inf Bde: Killed - Offrs, 1 ORs. Wounded - Offrs, 1 ORs. Missing - Offrs, 1 ORs. Total 3.
31   2 Lincolns: Killed 1 Offrs, 6 ORs. Wounded 8 Offrs, 37 ORs. Missing - Offrs, 19 ORs. Total 71.
31   1 KOSB: Killed 1 Offrs, 4 ORs. Wounded 3 Offrs, 43 ORs. Missing 3 Offrs, 37 ORs. Total 91.
31   2 RUR: Killed - Offrs, 4 ORs. Wounded - Offrs, 22 ORs. Missing - Offrs, 1 ORs. Total 27.
31   [Total:] Killed 2 Offrs, 15 ORs. Wounded 11 Offrs, 103 ORs. Missing 3 Offrs, 58 ORs. Total 192.

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Source: Jeroen Koppes, TracesOfWar.com, 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.