TracesOfWar needs your help! We miss photos of important sights in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Submit your photos to input@tracesofwar.com and it will be published!
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: 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeo., R.A.C.
Month and Year: September 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt.Col. A.B.J. Scott, M.C.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
1   At first light the advance continued Talmas - Beauquesne - Halley - Grandrullecoat - Savy - Estree. There was some 88 mm guns at Villers Bocage which knocked out one of C. Sqn. tanks. B. Sqn. were left to deal with this position, which they did effectively, destroying two 88 mms.The remainder of the Regt. continued on its route. No futher opposition was encountered although a number of infantry surrendered only after a few shots were fired at them.
2   We again moved at first light on the following route, having changed over on the right route of the Bde.Mont St Eloi - Vimi - Acheville - Courrieries - Oignies. There was no opposition at all and the bridges on the canals were intact. We arrived there early in the day, and remained holding the bridges for the night.
3   The Regt. moved off in reserve intending to move behind 3 R. Tks. but before we joined it at the end of their coln they had encountered opposition at Seclin. There was at least 8 88 mm guns in this area and a quantity of infantry. After a certain amount of shooting the 3 R. Tks. were able to get round the town to the left whilst we attacked from the right. A. Sqn. and F. Coy. 8 R.B. went in to mop up while the remainder of the Regt. continued on the route. There were wild scenes of enthusiasm amongst the local inhabitants when we arrived into Belgium.We did not have any further opposition though we succeeded in shooting up some enemy vehicles which got in between us and the 3rd R. Tks, which caused some delays as they brewed up in the middle of a narrow road and a by-pass had to be found. We reached the area of Alest at about 0400 hrs. The centre line we had followed was: Carvin - Sellin - Willems - Estambourg - Renaix - Sottegem - Alest.
4   We continued behind the 3rd R. Tks. towards Antwerp where on arrival A. & B. Sqns. were used for local mopping up operations and C. Sqn. spend the next days assisting 159 Inf Bde in clearing up inside the city where a large number of prisoners were captured.
5   C. Sqn. remained on the canal NE Antwerp supporting 159 Inf. Bde. The remainder of the Regt. moved into harbour South of the city during the next two days did much necessary maintenance on the tanks.Casualties were 1 O.R. wounded.
6   C. Sqn. rejoined the Regt. at 12 hrs.The following Officers joined the Regt. during this period.Lieut. H.F. Steele-Smith, Lieut. H.S. Axton, Lieut. J.R.A. Porter, 2/Lieut. J. McGregor and 2/Lieut. E. Featonby.Casualties 5 O.R's wounded.
7   The Bde was ordered to move out to the north of Antwerp over the small bridgehead which had been established there. The Regt. was by way of leading the right route out of Antwerp, but the bridgehead had not been sufficiently cleared up and after motoring into the middle of Antwerp the Regt. returned to its original harbour area less A. Sqn. who went off to watch the canal to the east of Antwerp.
8   At 0900 hrs. the Regt. led the Bde. to cross over the Albert canal by the bridge-head which the Gds had obtained at Beeringen, the route followed being Melies - Lovain - Diest. We remained just west of Beeringen, and harboured there for the night.
9   At first light we crossed the canal and moved up to take over from the Irish Gds in the area Helchteren x rds. This village had been occupied by th Gds the previous night bu had not been cleared up. This was partially done by the Irish Gds before we took over but there was still a lot of opposition on the eastern and southern outskirts of the village and of the surrounding woods. C. Sqn. who were on the northern exist were able to engage a number of the enemy in the woods. B. Sqn. with 2 plns of F. Coy. 8 R.B. were responsible for the east and south of the village where most of the opposition was and had some hard fighting throughout the day. At about 2000 hrs. F. Coy. were relieved by the 1st Herefords who continued the mopping up operations and the village was finally cleared. Throughout the day A. Sqn. had been protectig the road from the south to the west of the village.Casualties were 7 OR's wounded. Capt. A.P. Gardner joined the Regt. on this date.
10   B. Sqn. remained engaging the enemy to the east of the village until they were relieved by 23 H. who were continuing on that route. The Regt. moved nothwards towards Hechtel after crossing the railway at m.r. 351775. The Recce Tp who were leading reported enemy to the right of the road. A. Sqn. with a Coy. of the 1st Herefords engaged them from the South whilst C. Sqn. went forward to attack them with their Coy. of 1st Herefords from the west. There was considerable opposition from men of the 10th Bn. Parachute Regt. before they were liquidated. Over 350 prisoners were taken and a large number were killed. The Regt. continued to advance northwards with C. Sqn. leading on the left whilst B. Sqn. advanced through the wood on the railway line on the right.Casualties were 5 O.R's wounded.Hechtel was still held by the enemy who were being attacked by the Welsh Gds. C. Sqn. were therefore ordered to strike to the north east and cut the road between Peer and Hechtel. They met a certain amount of opposition from the village of Rest but reached the road at about 1700 hrs. They were then ordered to protect the left flank whilst A Sqn. passed through them to attack the village of Hoenrich whilst B. Sqn. gave support from the South. There was again considerable opposition, 2 88's being destroyed and about 70 prisoners taken before we finally occupied the village just after dark.x
11   We remained in position cutting the road at Hechtel, which had not yet been cleared by the Gds and the 23 H. who had been held up considerably the previous day moved on towards Peer. As there was still opposition there which had not come to light until the leading Sqn. of the 23 H. had got through 2 FF Yeo. were therefore ordered to clear the village and protect the eastern flank. C. Sqn. meanwhile remained watching the eastern exits of Hechtel.Casualties - 1 OR killed, 1 OR missing believed killed.
12   The Regt. remained in the area of Peer with C. Sqn. still watching Hechtel until it was finally cleared up by the Welsh Gds in the afternoon. Recce patrols were sent out to the east but did not come in contact with the enemy.
13   The Regt. remained in the area of Peer with 1 Sqn at immediate notice, the remainder of the Regt. being at 24 hrs. notice in order to carry out very necessary maintenance A. Sqn. moved out to the canal to the east of Bree where they found little sign of the enemy but were able to fire a few rounds of 17 Pr HE into Germany. These are believed to be the first British shells to land into Germany.
PEER. 14-18   Harboured at PEER. Lieut. R.H.A. GREGORY joined the Regt on the 19th.
19   The Regt moved to a X rds 3493 SOUTH of the Canal, where it was held up for 2 hrs while recce was made of streams EAST of the Guards Centre Line. One up the Guards C.L. to HOEK 3803 and harboured the night.
HOEK. 20   At first light we moved SOUTH EAST to X rds 4200 and without meeting opposition the Recce Tp joined up with 9 Bde at AACHEL. We then turned NORTH EAST to LEENDE where minor opposition was encountered. 'B' Sqn was ordered to attack from WEST and 'A' Sqn from the NORTH, but the enemy withdrew when the Infantry went in. 'C' Sqn then went NORTH to HEEZE, and was fired on by M.G. and A/Tk fire. The A/Tk gun was knocked out but the enemy, who was sheltering in a factory, was destroyed. The next objective was SOMMEREN and 'A' Sqn and the Recce Tp tried to get through the woods to the SOUTH EAST of HEEZE, but the bridge collapsed after one tp had crossed it. An alternative route was found and the C.L. rejoined. The Regt arrived at SOMMEREN just before dark hoping to capture a bridge across the Canal, intact. There was some opposition in SOMMEREN and a Recce tk was bazooka’d. The Herefords, who had been travelling on the backs of the tks, sent out fighting patrol and the enemy blew the only remaining bridge at 2300 hrs.
SOMMEREN. 21   ‘C’ Sqn actively patrolled the Canal by SOMMEREN and ‘A’ Sqn patrolled North to another possible bridge at 5715, but on arrival found it blown, so they worked down the Canal shooting up opposition on the far side. At 1930 hrs the Herefords established a bridgehead across the Canal, supported by fire from ‘C’ Sqn.
22   During the night sappers built a Class 40 Bailey Bridge and at 0730 hrs ‘A’ Sqn were ordered to rush the bridge, drive straight through ASTEN and cover the exits to the NORTH, SOUTH and EAST of the town. A concentration had been put down on ASTEN by the gunners, but as soon as the leading tp crossed the Canal, it came under heavy Spandau and Bazooka fire, and the two leading tks were knocked out whilst the third one was ditched.Lieut. W.S. BROWNLIE led the next tp straight past the knocked out tanks and through the enemy, and brought the Sqn to its position on the other side of the town. ‘B’ Sqn, co-operating with the Herefords, did the mopping up of the town. When finally in position, ‘A’ Sqn were on the NORTH of town, ‘C’ Sqn on the EAST and ‘B’ Sqn on the SOUTH and SOUTH WEST. A strong enemy counter attack during the afternoon was successfully driven off by ‘B’ Sqn.
ASTEN. 23   Lieuts D.W. BULLEY and P.C. FIRKINS were both killed whilst crossing the Canal. Capt. B.L. FREWIN was wounded.The Regt., came under command of 159 Bde and remained in ASTEN, supporting it whilst the 23 H passed through. ‘B’ Sqn with two coys of the Herefords, mopped up the area to the SOUTH and SOUTH WEST of ASTEN. Throughout the day there was sporadic shelling and mortaring.
24   At 1400 hrs we moved through DEURNE which had been captured by the 23 H and moved NORTH. About two miles from BAKEL ‘C’ Sqn contacted enemy tksand out two leading tks and an Op tk were knocked out. Lieut. E.A. LAMONT carried out an outflanking movement to the left and engaged some of the tks but did not succeed in knocking out any of them. No further progress was made that night and the Regt harboured in a cold and wet field between BAKEL and DEURNE. Lieut. A FORRESTER was killed that afternoon.
BAKEL 25   ‘C’ Sqn continued the advance and found the enemy tks had withdrawn, but regained contact again in BAKEL. One Panther, after being engaged by medium arty shell fire, was “brewed up”, and another one, after being fired at by ‘C’ Sqn, in its efforts to escape, was ditched and captured intact. The Regt remained in BAKEL with the KSLI whilst the 15/19 H and the Herefords mopped up HELMOND, after which it continued the advance to GEMERT and then EAST to 651337 where it harboured the night.During : 29 Armd Bde “O” Group at St ANTHONIS, two German half tracks coming round the corner firing N,Go shot up the party, wounding the Brigadier and the B.H., and killing Colonels Silvertop and Orr.
26   The Regt. moved at mid-day to a harbour two miles NORTH of St.ANTHONIS.
St. ANTHONIS 27   ‘A’ Ech moved up and Officers’ Messes were set ip. ‘E’ Sqn patrolled WEST of the Canal and shot up some enemy on the Eastern bank.
28-29   Remained in harbour. Lieut.J.O. HENDERSON and 2/Lt. D. DAVIES joined the Regt.
30   The Regt. moved to a new harbour area at HANDEL, in order to make room for the 7th U.S. Arm Div., which had come up from the SOUTH.
30   During the period 21st/24th, the following casualties were suffered :9 O.Rs killed.8 O.Rs wounded.
30   Lieut. Colonel,Comdg. 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, R.A.C.

previous month | next month

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.