3rd County of London Yeomanry
|Missing:- October 1939
January to Jun 1940
|January 1945 ||CO Lt Col W Rankin|
|Jan 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/1/45 ||Regiment still in ASTEN E.615135. The first week was spent in training of various types. C Sqn ran an NCO Cadre course under the RSM, the remainder on tank maintenance. A & B Sqns ran refresher courses for operators, gunners and drivers. During this time the Regiment was, as usual, on one hours notice on alternate days. (See OP Order, Appendix E Dec 44)|
|2/1/45 ||Major AL Murray left B Sqn, Major Phelps of C Sqn took over command of B. Capt. T Bradbury promoted to command C Sqn.|
|3 - 5 ||Training as before.|
|6/1/45 ||Lt Mortimer rejoined B Sqn from UK.1015 - Verbal order received for a Sqn to proceed to support 3rd Brit Inf Div in a counter-attack role: A Sqn was sent. A full report of whole operation, incl A Sqn's activities attached in Appendix J.|
|7 - 8 ||Training as before.|
|9/1/45 ||1030 - A Sqn rejoined in a blinding snow storm.|
|10/1/45 ||SSM Rhodes of A Sqn received a direct commission on the 8th and today joined B Sqn.|
|11/1/45 ||Training as before. LOMMEL ranges still available for Sqns for firing and T&A-ing guns.|
|12/1/45 ||As before.|
|13 - 14 ||TEWT conducted by 2i/c for all tank commanders on scheme supplied by 4th Armd Bde.|
|15 - 19 ||Training continued. Programmes are changed each week and comprise all branches of RAC training on Troop, Sqn and Regimental levels, including Sten, Bren and grenade and patrol practices, firing as well. Sqns also used allotments of LIESEL ranges to practice still further in their art the occupants of the main turret armament.|
|20 - 21 ||As Before|
|22/1/45 ||Co-operative training with infantry and demonstrations of tank firepower and transport of infantry by tanks commenced on the 22nd and went on till the end of the month.|
|23/1/45 ||0930 - Recce Tp and Echelons moved to HEEZE E.490110, to make room for 6th Airborne Div HQ at ASTEN|
|24/1/45 ||1525 - For same reason RHQ moved to LEIROP E.560155, three Sqns concentrated in the area. Accommodation gets progressively worse; it was with great difficulty that the men were housed in so small a place.|
|25 - 31 ||LEIROP.Training resumed as before, incl infantry co-operation.WEATHER: During the whole month was very inclement, snow and intense cold except for a two day thaw in the middle of the month and a thaw which started on the night 30/31. 48hr leaves to Brussels were continued. On Jan 1st, the first part of 11 officers and 183 ORs (month's allotment) went to UK for well-earned leave.|
SUBJECT:- Op against enemy brhead in area WANSSUM 7/8 Jan, 1945.
Secret, Ref; 7/G/13
15 Jan 45.
'G' 3 Br Inf Div MAIN.
- During the night 1/2 Jan enemy est a small brhd REST of R MAAS In?area WANSSUM. Patrols had found the wood 8528 held by enemy with small covering parties on?either flank. 1 S LAN R had made two attempts by night to clear this wood but both attempts had failed principally because of the hy enemy DF from both guns and mortars and Nebelwerfers which fell on to the approaches to the woods.
- From infm from PW and patrols the wood was believed to be hold by one cot 1222 GR and one pl HMG with arty OP. The ground within 1000 yards of the wood was overlooked from the EAST bank of the river and could be covered by direct fire from A Tk or SP arty.
- On the morning of 6 Jan after the second attempt by 1 S LAN R had failed 1 SUFFOLK were warned to carry out a further attack in conjunction with one Sqn of 3/4 CLY (Sherman tanks), this attack to take place not later than morning 8 Jan. After recce on the afternoon of 6 Jan a plan was made to attack the wood at first light on 8 Jan, two coys to move to their forming up area and dig in at last lt 7 Jan, tks to come up from VENRAIJ early morning 8 Jan.
- At midnight 6/7 Jan it was known that two Tps of 1 Can Armd personnel carriers Regt (Kangaroos) would be available for the battle. A practice with the Kangaroos and tks of 3/4 CLY was held on the morning of 7 Jan near VENRAIJ when the inf were introduced to the Kangaroos and practised in loading of personnel and eqpt and dismount rapidly. During the afternoon of 7 Jan recces down to pln comds tp leaders and Kangaroos sec comds were carried out.
- Although the enemy were thought unlikely to have ferried A Tk guns to the WEST bank of the MAAS it was considered that movement of tks during the evening preceding the attack might cause him either to bring over A Tk guns or to lay further mines round his position. During the attack on 6 Jan Teller mines had been seen about 20 yards in front of the wood lying on top of the ground and one man had become a case on a Schu Mine. Both A Tk and AP mines were therefore to be expected. A mine clearing det moved with leading COY in a Kangaroo t was decided to
- The original plan was not altered save that it was decided to move fwd from billeting area (VENRAIJ) in the early hours of the morning, the inf travelling in the Kangaroos, and to form up just East of HELLING some 1400 yards SOUTH of the objective. Although the enemy was known to bring down hy DF in this area no forming up area was possible further away. The Groote Molen Beeke and an old wire fence together with mines (part of the old enemy def of HELLING and WANSSUM) prevented this.
- The force was to start forming up at 0715 hrs and at 0745 hrs with two tps leading would adv on and subdue the enemy fire in the wood. The other two tps were to protect each flank and deal with the small covering parties which had been located in the area. As soon as the fire was subdued the tk sqn leader would call fwd one coy in Kangaroos who would drive right up to the edge of the wood, dismount, clear and occupy the wood. The second coy was to remain in res in the forming up area and to be called fwd if and when required for mopping up. Concurrently one pl of a coy of 1 S LAN R who were dug in astride the WANSSUM ? BLITTERSWIJK rd supported by one tp of M 10's from 67 A Tk Bty would occupy Pt 14.2 which patrols had reported to be occupied by the enemy though this was thought to be held only by a Sec Post or enemy snipers. Tac Bn HQ 1 SUFFOLK had been dug in during the afternoon of 7 Jan about 500 yds SOUTH of the forming up area.
- The Div arty, one med regt, one bty HAA and two pls 4.2" mortars were in posn to support the op. During the previous attack very careful note had been made of enemy gun and mortar areas and three deceptive fire plans had been fired to gain this infm. All arty and mortars with the exception of one bty, who would fire a smoke screen on the right flank, were to be used in the first place for counter mortar fire. The med. regt being prepared to switch to counter battery if the enemy guns became too troublesome. This bombard was to be at call from 0600 hrs but would not be fired unless enemy DF was active before H hour. At H hr all would fire bombards from H to H plus 10 and H plus 15 to H plus 25 thereafter at call. One Fd Regt although taking part in the bombard plan would be at call of 1 SUFFOLK if required.
- Comns were triplicated through the Inf Tk and RA wireless nets and the Kangaroos net duplicated the Coy/Sqn link. Line up to the wood was to be laid as soon as attack was successful.
- The coln left VENRAIJ at 0500 hrs in a snowstorm, the tk sqn lead followed by the Kangaroos. Snow was freezing on the rds and the tks skidded badly on the turn off the OOSTRUM ? MEERLO track and the approaches to the br over GROOTE MOLEN BEEKE . The rd was soon blocked and it appeared then as if the whole op would have to be cancelled. Later it was decided that unless the attack could be put in by 0830 hrs it would be postponed and would take place later in the day if and when snow or fog obscured observation from the EAST bank of the river. Fortunately the rd was cleared just in time and by 0830 hrs forming up was complete and the tks adv as planned.
- The forming up area was not marked or taped but had been carefully recced the previous day. The village of HELLING and small woods nearby were an excellent guide and no difficulty whatever was experienced, the forming up being completed in 3 or 4 minutes. At this time another hy snowstorm started, visibility was reduced to some 400 yards and all observation from the EAST bank of the MAAS obscured. The RA OP quickly called off the smoke screen on the RIGHT flank since this was no longer necessary.
- By 0845 hrs the tks were approaching the wood; there appeared to be no opposition and a few Germans were trying to surrender. The Sqn Leader therefore called fwd the coy of 1 SUFFOLK. The Kangaroos came fwd at speed. Enemy DF was by now falling on the forming up area and on the ground over which the adv was to take place. The adv took some 4 minutes, no cas were caused either in the forming up area or during the adv.
- The Kangaroos drove straight up to and tps dismounted on the edge of the wood. Four Kangaroos struck mines causing cas to the infantry as they dismounted. The Kangaroos returned immediately to the forming up area. The tks then entered the wood with the inf. No opposn was encountered, PW stated that the bulk of the garrison had withdrawn on hearing the noise of the tks.
- While this was in progress the tp of tks protecting the rt flank assisted. the pl of 1 S LA14 R to capture 14.2 wood. The M 10's had become bogged down on their way up to their RV.
- The res coy of the SUFFOLK was then brought up, a further three Kangaroos striking mines en route. Patrols searched the area WEST of the MAAS on either side of the wood, whilst RE det spent the day in clearing the area of mines. Enemy DF decreased in volume and our arty continued to fire bombards in answer to his. By about 1100 hrs his DF had practically ceased.
- SUFFOLK had 2 man killed and 10 wounded (75% of these were caused by Kangaroos striking mines)
- Sqn 3/4 CLY had 3 men killed (one tk got a direct hit from a shell inside the turret killing the 3 occupants)
- Kangaroos: 1 Tp Leader was very slightly wounded.
- 3/4 CLY lost 2 tks on mines and 1 by shellfire.
- Kangaroos lost 7 Kangaroos on mines. SUFFOLKS lost 1 coy carrier.
- 1 tk and 1 Kangaroo have not been recovered.
- The principal lessons appear to be as follows:-
- Loading presents no difficulties ? a tp of Kangaroos (12) lifts a coy, a sec (2) a pl.
- Tps require practice in dismounting quickly and should be taught to get out all round the veh: over the front and back as well as the sides.
- One inf man should be detailed to remain behind and unload spare stores such as wire, amn, rations and water, after the sec has dismounted.
- One inf man should be detailed to fire the Browning mounted on the turret ring. This man requires instn on how to fire this weapon.
- Every inf man knew the name of his pet Kangaroo in which he was to travel.
- Kangaroo drivers must keep their veh still while the sec dismounts and until it is well clear of the veh. Cas were caused by men dismounting as the veh was moving and then striking a mine. In one case a dvr started to slew his tracks before the sec was clear, and again struck a mine causing cas to the sec.
- Dvrs following the first flight had their veh knocked out on mines because they did not go through the mine belt in the tracks of the vehs which had previously passed through successfully. The same applies on returning after unloading the inf.
- Inf secs must concentrate after dismounting. This should be left to the discretion of the sec comd, obviously if under MMG fire shelter could be obtained behind the veh otherwise double away 30 or 40 yds.
- Some Kangaroos should be retained in the forming up area after their return to ferry fwd res, amn, etc. or to fetch back cas.
- The value of close liaison between Coy/Sqn and Pl/Tp/Kangaroo comds was very evident. Both 3/4 CLY and Kangaroos agreed that they had not had, such a close tie?up before with each other. The practical and recces on the previous day had been invaluable for this purpose.
- MORALE. This was the first time that this bn had seen or taken part in an OP with Kangaroos and the success and few cas made a singularly favourable impression on all ranks.
- The Kangaroos were held back in the forming up area and were brought up at speed in one bound through the enemy DF. It must be remembered in this instance that the ground was eminently suitable for this, there were no obstacles to mov and the objective, a wood, was easily recognisable. There was therefore no chance of the Kangaroos, although out of sight of the tks, losing direction.
- DECEPTIVE FIRE PLANS These proved most successful. Each was different, two were fired by night and one by day and each time drew enemy reaction. Smoke was used in each case to which the enemy appeared to be most sensitive. It is essential to lay on this sufficiently early before op to enable CB and CM org to collate infm, but not so early that enemy has time to move his gun or mortar areas. 2 hrs before H hour was considered about the right time.
- GB AND CM. All resources were mobilised to locate enemy gun and mortar posns, including the inf OP's. As a result during the attack by the 1 S LAN R in one 24 hr period an 5/6 Jan 166 mortar and 37 shelreps were received. During the 24 hr period on 7/8 Jan 82 shelreps were received.
- Owing to the limited number of our guns available it was decided in the first instance to concentrate entirely on known and suspected mortar areas, and to switch some guns to GB if it became apparent that shelling as opposed to mortaring was causing trouble. It was therefore necessary for all OP's and reports from whatever source to state whether DF was mortars or guns. This infm was never really satisfactorily obtained, and it appears that this pt was not properly appreciated. More effective support could have been given if this had been improved.
Brigadier, Comd, 8 Br Inf Bde.
|February 1945 ||CO Lt Col W Rankin|
|Feb 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/2/45 ||1000 - Regiment moved to LEENDE E.4808, Sqns being billeted in the town and along the main road to HEEZE E.4911. Echelons remained in HEEZE. Training programmes cancelled for the day.|
|2/2/45 ||Regimental training resumed. Infantry co-operation training with 3 (Br) Div - see App G & H Jan '45 - cancelled and Sqn formation practises substituted it its place.|
|3/2/45 ||CO of 2nd Hereford Regt. 159 Lorried Inf Bde. 11th Armd Div, came to luncheon and discussed with the CO future training in the carrying of inf on tanks.|
|4/2/45 ||Training. Sqn formation training was handicapped by thaw conditions and bad roads on the way to the training areas.|
|5/2/45 ||'Boating' practice commenced. The apparatus consisted of two cables stretched across a waterway, a section of Bailey Bridge on pontoons and winches on the bridge section clamping onto the cables. The tank is loaded onto the bridge section and hand-winched from bank to bank. B Sqn practised boating on the 5th .|
|6/2/45 ||A Sqn practised boating. Co-operative training between on Tp of each Sqn and A Coy 2/60th KRRC was commenced.|
|7/2/45 ||C Sqn practised boating. This training was entirely successful and no difficulties were encountered. Further training with A Coy 2/60th KRRC.|
|8/2/45 ||Training with A Coy concluded. CO went on UK leave, Major GG Skelton MC, assumed command of the Regiment for the period.|
|9 - 13 ||Sqn and personal training resumed. Instruction given in Tank Commanding, Map Reading, D&M, Wireless, Gunnery and Small Arms.|
|14 - 17 ||Training. Regiment at 24 hours notice to move u/c 52nd (L) Div.|
|18/2/45 ||0800 - Regiment moved to TILBURG E.1634, u/c 1st Canadian Army. At 1400 put on 6 hours notice to move operationally in the CLEVE area u/c 11th Armd Div.|
|19/2/45 ||Regiment placed at 24 hours notice whilst in this area u/c 1st Can Army.Maintenance.|
|20/2/45 ||Maintenance. Recces were made for a training area to the South of TILBURG. Lt Col W Rankin returned from UK leave to resume command of the Regiment.|
|22/2/45 ||1000- Regiment placed on 6 hours notice to move. At 2000 CO attended Bde conference of Unit Commanders on the forthcoming role in Operation VERITABLE.|
|23/2/45 ||2000 - Regiment moved to GROESBECK E.7556 arriving before first light on 24th Feb.|
|24/2/45 ||CO wounded in the leg by shellfire whilst in conference with Brigadier 4th Armd Bde. Major GG Skelton MC took command and Major OFJB Woods MC, from A Sqn became 2i/c. Capt. JC Sturrock of C Sqn replaced Major Woods as A Sqn Leader. At 1800 Regiment moved to area MATERBORN E.873548.|
Casualties:- 1 officer wounded.
|25/2/45 ||Remained concentrated in same area. Shellfire wounded on man in the Echelon.|
Casualties:- 1 OR wounded.
|26/2/45 ||1245 - Moved to KSLI area at E.9048. Capt. L Cotton MC MM, was injured when his Jeep struck a mine. Thenceforth Major T Sorby, HQ Sqn Leader, lead A1 Echelon. Regiment remained in area E.9048 for the night at 30 minutes notice to move.|
1 officer and 1 OR wounded.
|27/2/45 ||0400 - Reveille.0800 - Regiment set out for UDEM 9942. C Sqn, leading, reported the town in Canadian hands and had to work round to the right of their route as the CL was blocked by Canadian vehicles. Three of their leading troop were brewed by fire from a Jagdpanther on high ground to the East. Heavy fire was encountered by a patrol of 4Tp, trying to recce the A/Tk ditches to the SE of UDEM. A and B Sqns, each carrying a Coy of the Herefords, then passed through C Sqn to offload their inf at 990410 and 998403 respectively. In supporting the infantry to their objectives, the Sqns lost five tanks to heavy AP shooting from the North and SW. C Sqn then carried a further Coy of Herefords to GOCHFORTZ ridge 000400, right and forward of B Sqn, and then supported them to their objective.|
RHQ leaguered for the night at 998402 and the Sqns remained directly behind the objectives of the inf they had carried into battle. Considerable shellfire continued throughout the night and A Sqn lost a tank to bazooka fire three hours after dark.
1 officer wounded
9 ORs killed
10 ORs wounded.
|28/2/45 ||The Regiment was again heavily shelled in the morning. At 1300 C Sqn supported an advance by a Bn of the Mons Regiment to MAESHOF 006002. Going was bad and fairly heavy shellfire encountered. Whilst on foot with C Sqn Major Skelton MC was badly wounded and died after being taken back on a tank.|
Major OFJB Woods MC assumed command of the Regiment. B Sqn moved to area 989405 and remained there until last light when a troop was despatched to protect the river crossing at 003395. A Sqn from area 994396 engaged an enemy SP at 997392, but results could not be observed. Two of their tanks were brewed when they made an effort to join C Sqn, and they remained in their positions throughout the night. In the afternoon a misdirected RAF attack with rockets and bombs hindered regrouping.
During the 27th and 28th, the Regiment took approx 100 POWs in conjunction with the infantry, but could not claim any enemy vehicles. The weather was generally dry but the ground was heavy and wet enough to restrict severely any movement off the roads.
|Casualties:-||1 Off died of wounds,|
| ||2 Off wounded.|
| ||4 ORs killed,|
| ||9 ORs wounded.|
|March 1945||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|Mar 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/3/45 ||0200 - Sqn moved, A Sqn to 003494, B Sqn to 003395 whilst C Sqn attempted to support inf attack across marshy country, quickly became bogged and were recalled. Patrolling by a Tp from both A & B Sqns during the day. A few casualties were inflicted upon a small party of enemy inf at 007381 by B Sqn's patrol.|
Claims nil. Casualties nil.
|2/3/45 ||0700 - Sqns rejoined RHQ at 005402. The Regiment, with 11th Armd Div, was in Corps reserve.|
|3 - 4 ||Remained in area at 1 hours notice to move.|
|5/3/45 ||Remained in area at 1 hours notice to move. Lt Col WAC Anderson DSO, (ex 22nd DG & 24th Lancers) assumed command of the Regiment.|
|6/3/45 ||At 1 hours notice.|
|7/3/45 ||At 1 hours notice. Regiment reverted to u/c 4th Armd Bde. Warning order received from 4th Armd Bde to move to SONNIS K.3878.|
|8/3/45 ||1900 - Moved to NIJMEGAN E.7363. Tanks loaded onto transporters.|
|9/3/45 ||0900 - Regiment moved, tanks on transporters, to Cav Barracks at SONNIS.|
|10 - 15 ||Reorganisation, maintenance and rest at SONNIS. A number of tanks were taken over from 44th RTR, who were to receive special equipment. Personal messages were received from GOC 11th Armd Div and from Lt Col W Rankin, former CO of the Regiment. Instructions on Military Govt were received and passed on to officers of the Regiment.|
|16/3/45 ||1200 - Under command 79 Armd Div, tanks loaded onto transporters and travelled thus as far as VENLO E.9109.1800 - Wheeled vehicles moved from SONNIS en route for UDEM area A.0140|
|17/3/45 ||0030 - Having off-loaded from transporters, tanks crossed the MAAS at VENLO bridge and moved to area UDEM A.0140. Movement was simplified by despatching tanks in packets of 6 at 15 minute intervals. The first packet arrived at destination at approx 0200 and the move was complete by 0500. Where possible, vehicles were parked by buildings, though several Echelon trucks had to form open leaguer on fields in the area. In all cases, camouflage was carefully attended to.|
|18/3/45 ||Maintenance. Capt JL Adams posted to the Regiment and was made 2i/c of C Sqn.|
|19/3/45 ||Maintenance. No-one was allowed to travel East from the conc area. By courtesy of XXX Corps, officers and men of the Regiment enjoyed the limited bathing and recreational facilities in the locality. A most comprehensive issue of maps and photographs of the area East of the Rhine to Bocholt and beyond, was received.|
|20 - 21 ||Numerous conferences were held on man-power in the Regiment. Reinforcements were posted to Sqns. Bathing facilities were extended by erection of an improvised shower-bath in the HQ Sqn area.|
|22/3/45 ||1400 - Brigadier RMP Carver DSO MC, 4th Armd Bde visited the Regiment and addressed all ranks on the forthcoming operation.|
|23 - 24 ||Maintenance and rest.|
|25/3/45 ||1200 - Scout cars moved to area XANTEN A.1240. Here they crossed the RHINE by floating bridge. Order of march - C Sqn, B Sqn, RHQ, A Sqn and A1 Ech. Leaguer was formed at 135460 without incident shortly after midnight.|
|26/3/45 ||0600 - Regiment moved to area 1951, RHQ contacted RHQ of 44th RTR at 199509 and the Regiment took over from them. C Sqn were in support of 8th RSF, 44 Bde, 15 (S) Div, B Sqn to area 302510 in support of 6th KOSB who had just been heavily counter-attacked. A Sqn under command Royal Scots of 44 Bde moved to area HAMMINKELN 215487, there shooting up enemy movement incl an 88mm gun. The Sqn was spasmodically shelled an mortared. They lay low during daylight, but at 1900 put in a planned attack, with the inf and 4th RHA support, to 197523. Opposition was encountered by all types of enemy fire, and some casualties inflicted on the Sqn.|
2300 - Regiment leaguered at 199495.
Claims:- 200+ POW, 15 MT, 1 88mm gun.
Casualties:- 2 ORs killed, 1 officer wounded.
|27/3/45 ||1300 - Regiment under command 53 (W) Div, moved with 4th RWF in Kangaroos, B Sqn with A Coy, C Sqn with C Coy, RHQ with BHQ and A Sqn with B Coy. Objective was high ground East of BOCHOLT at 153576, the route being RINGENBURG 2250 - 243511 - 239525 - 255552. B Sqn advanced to 243511 under covering arty fire, took their objective and a handful of POWs. One tank was KO'd by AP fire. Regimental Recce Tp had previously closed to 500 yards of the objective. Regiment leaguered just short of objective.|
Claims:- 39 POWs
Casualties:- 1 OR wounded
|28/3/45 ||0200 - Regiment continued along its centre line, B Sqn in the lead still, with inf of 4th RWF riding on the tanks. Bad going held up the Regt at 240562 and bazooka attacks from a field on the right, covered by Spandau fire, brewed two tanks and caused casualties. Buildings at 238574 were reached with arty support. B Sqn, though subjected to considerable SA and later AP fire, reached their objective, woods at 237568, for the loss of one tank to A/Tk fire. There the Sqn engaged enemy inf in the area of the wood, inflicting cas and taking 60 POWs.|
1830 - A Sqn with a Coy of 4th RWF attacked the main lateral road South of BOCHOLT 2361, reached its objective in face of sporadic SA, SP and HE fire and captured 40 POWs. Leaguer was made in general area 2456.
Claims:- 100 POWs
Casualties:- 5 ORs killed, 2 ORs wounded.
|29/3/45 ||0600 - Whilst BOCHOLT was being cleared, A Sqn replenished at first light, one Tp then moved up with the OX & Bucks in readiness for an attack on WINTERSWIJK 3375.0830 - C Sqn replenished at 253551, thence tied up with HLI at 235581 for moving through BOCHOLT. B Sqn, after replenishment, moved to 226577 under command 60 Bde, to relieve C Sqn Royal Scots Greys, with 6th RWF and 2nd Mons. Later A Sqn of 53rd Recce Regt passed through to lead to 230624, North of BOCHOLT. No opposition was encountered in this last move. Regt leaguered in area 2257.|
1 OR killed, 1 OR wounded
1 Officer wounded.
|30/3/45 ||0230 - a troop of B Sqn in support of 6th RWF cleared the area 232608, East of rly and North of river at BOCHOLT. Task completed by first light. B Sqn then conc area 248605.|
0430 - C Sqn joined HLI at 228611, moving thence at first light with Recce Regt in the lead. Undefended schumines were encountered at 248643 and 256649. Spandau from the Customs House 277693 caused Sqn to deploy and shoot up enemy in houses at both sides of the road. One tank was brewed by A/Tk fire when an attempt was made to outflank to the left. The Sqn leaguered in posn behind inf posts.
0830 - 4th Armd Bde passed through the Regt which came under command 71 Bde.
1100 - A Sqn moved through BOCHOLT to WINTERSWIJK 3375. Some SPs were encountered which shot up 7 Kangaroos and 1 Regtl recce Stuart tank.
Claims:- 40 POWs
|31/5/45 ||0500 - B Sqn in support of 4th RWF, 71 Bde, took A/Tk positions at 289713.0730 - A Sqn replenished at 299736.1200 - B Sqn passed through WINTERSWIJK and continued advance with HLI to VREDEN 3783, reached it against light opposition. Pushing on to ALSTATTE 4493, strong opposition was encountered at 385853 and one tank was lost to 88mm fire. Two 88mm guns shot up by the Sqn which then helped inf to consolidate and leaguered in area 380833.|
1500 - A Sqn moved behind Ox & Bucks through WINTERSWIJK to area ½ mile East of VREDEN at 394824, leagurering there for the night.
C Sqn spent the morning in reorganisation to 3 troops of 3 tanks and SHQ of 2 tanks. Later they tied up with 1/5th RWF, moving through WINTERSWIJK to leaguer with the inf at 323763.
|Claims:-||20 POWs, a few MET and 2 88mm guns.|
|Casualties:-||1 OR wounded, 4 ORs missing.|
Due to intermittent rain during the days onwards from 27th March, going became heavy and sticky, and many tanks were temporarily bogged. This in turn, overtaxed the mechanisms of the tanks and for each of the five days an average of more than 10 tanks were in the hand's of the fitters or LAD, thus considerably reducing the effective strength of the Regt. A copy of the Regimental tank state is included in Appendix J.
|Appendix J (1)|
Extract from Regimental Orders. Serial No 43, 10 Mar 45.
- Message from Lt Col W. RANKIN
The following is an extract from a letter dated March 2nd written by Lt Col W. Rankin to the late Major G.G. Skelton, MC:-
"Will you thank everybody in the Regiment for the great help they have always given me, and say how desperately sorry I am to leave such a very fine Regt., especially at this time, and wish everybody in the Regt. the very best of luck.
- Message from GOC 11 Armd Div
The following is a copy of a personal letter received from G,O.C. 11 Armd Div to 4 Armd Bde :
*I should like to thank all ranks of 4th Armoured Brigade for the excellent work they have done while the Brigade has been a part of this Division.
During the prolonged and tedious period of holding a long stretch of the river MAAS I was impressed by the keenness of all concerned, a keenness which achieved supremacy over enemy patrols and obtained the initiative on the other side of the river. During the recent operations, in most difficult circumstances and in a role for which we are not entirely suited, all units fought their way forward in a most determined manner.
The very best of luck in your next operations.
Appendix J (2)
- Apart from preventing the actions of civilians impeding mil ops and the adm of the country, the principal task of Mil Gov will be the liquidation of the NAZI PARTY and its affiliated organisations, and the purging of all adm and police services which have been impregnated with the NAZI ideology.
This will involve:-
- The restoration of law and order.
- Control and care of displaced persons (DPs - see defn below)
- Protection of Allied property.
- Apprehension of War Criminals.
- The ultimate elimination of NAZISM.
- The establishment and preservation of a suitable civil administration.
Definition of Displaced Persons
- Civilians outside the national bdys of their country by reason of war, who are:-
- Desirous but unable to return home or find homes without assistance; or,
- To be returned to enemy or ex-enemy territory.
- Mil Gov will be effected indirectly through the GERMAN civil administration machinery (suitably purged). Direct adm by Mil Gov personnel may only be undertaken as a temporary measure to prevent an adm breakdown which would imperil the attainment of the objectives of Mil Gov.
Responsibilities of Commanders
- Commanders are responsible for Mil Gov within their operational areas regarding:-
- (a) Arrangements for dealing with any civilian action which might impede mil ops.
- (b) Restoration of law and order.
- (c) Any Mil Gov task specifically delegated.
- (d) Provision of such assistance as can be given without prejudice to mil ops, for Mil Gov tasks not specifically delegated, but requested by local Mil Gov officers.
Responsibilities of All Troops
- All tps will ensure that:-
- Their attitude towards civilians is correct at all times.
- No actions taken by them towards civilians unnecessarily increases the difficulties of Mil Gov.
- They take action to enforce obedience to Mil Gov laws and orders by taking action against offenders, arresting or reporting according to the circumstances, when Mil Gov officers, PRO personnel or civil police are not present to do so.
Mil Gov Staffs and Dets
- To assist comds in carrying out their functions of Mil Gov there is a Mil Gov Staff at Corps HQ and Mil Gov Dets. These are both similar to the CA Staffs and CA Dets which were attached to the Corps during ops in liberated territories. Broadly, the system of working will be the same with the following important differences:-
- In all matters the mil comd will give orders to the civil administration. These will be conveyed through Mil Gov officers who are also responsible for seeing that the orders are carried out.
- Field Security and PRO have more onerous tasks directly concerned with Mil Gov than in liberated territories. Field Security and PRO and Mil Gov personnel must work in the closest possible contact in both planning and execution of their roles in every op at all levels. It is essential that Field Security, PRO and Mil Gov offices and billets are in the same or adjacent buildings. Only in very exceptional circumstances will this not be so. The reasons are:-
- Communications are needed and resources will not permit of separate lines and wireless links to be provided for each.
- Small units must combine to provide the necessary security guards on their own accn.
- Civil admin will, in the best possible conditions, be weak, and in the worst non-existent. In addition the population may be actively hostile. Therefor commanders at all levels will be prepared to provide tps, if necessary, to ensure that essential Mil Gov tasks are carried out.
Reasons for "Stand Still" Order
- In this particular op until some depth has bean obtained, there will be no place to put evacuated civilians. Until brs are open the 'turn?round' of craft and ferries would be delayed if used for return loads of civilians being evacuated.
There is the possibility that large numbers of Displaced Persons will start to move, Mil resources my be strained to compete with these alone. Each person added to this move not only Increases the size of the problem but reduces the facilities for dealing with it, as it is intended that enemy civilian resources of all types will be used to the fullest extent.
The enemy civil adm will be weak. In the initial areas because the permanent officials will have fled. In the latter areas because, being Nazis, they will be removed. Germans must be used to sup all possible facilities for the Allied Forces. Every evacuee puts a greater strain on the German adm and takes up some facilities which would otherwise be available for the benefit of the Allied Forces
Guide to suitable action In the fwd areas
- Moving people a short distance from their bows for op or aeon reasons is NOT evacuation,
- A pl comd has a def locality round a farm. If there is a suitable farm a few hundred yards away he may order the inhabitants to move to that farm. If there is not a second farm he can order them into the cellars or into ono room and lock them in.
- All inhabitants of one side of a street may be ordered to move across the road.
- Inhabitants of even number houses may be ordered to move in on top of the occupants of the odd numbers.
Actions similar to the examples given will only be taken through a Mil Gov offr except in the case of the most urgent op or accn necessity. Invariably the Mil Gov det concerned will be infm of any such action taken by the quickest possible means.
Finally, if there is no solution to a problem but evacuation at once, then evacuation FWD must not be discarded unless impracticable for reasons such an obstacles, mines, inhabitants being non?German etc,
On first arrival at a locality any inhabitants will, if necessary, be ordered to remain indoors until further orders. It will be made clear, as far as possible, that disobedience will be punished and will also incur the risk of being shot. Mil Gov officers will be present at all places of any size but they cannot be everywhere at once. Tps will be in small places for sometime before the arrival of a Mil Gov offr and this may happen in a fairly large place, because accidents do take place in war.
- If civilians disobey any order they will be :
- Shot at, if their action endangers the security of tps and arrest to prevent the contemplated action if possible, e.g. crossing over to the enemy line.
- Arrested and kept in custody until handed ever to Pro in accordance with ARC 231/44.
- Send to the next higher HQ, it retention in custody is not possible, for action as in sub?para (b) above. A short note of details of the alleged offence and names of witnesses will be required.
- Assistance to Mil Gov Offrs
Every assistance will be given by all to enable Mil Gov Offrs to get as far fwd as battle conditions permit. The sooner Mil Gov orders can be made known to the civilians, the less chance there will be of civilians being a nuisance. An hour lost after first contact with civilians may cause trouble taking days and a great amount of military effort to overcome.
Appendix J (3)|
Regtl. TANK STATE, 27 - 31 March '45
| || Fit ||Fitters||W'shps||KO'd|
|27 March|| || || || |
|75mm Shermans||31||5||1|| |
|Stuarts||8|| || || |
|28 March|| || || || |
|75mm Shermans||27||8|| ||1|
|17pdr do.||15||6|| ||1|
|Stuarts||8|| || || |
|29 March|| || || || |
|75mm Shermans||30||4|| ||1|
|17 par do.||17||4||1|| |
|Stuarts||8|| || || |
|30 March|| || || || |
|17pdr do.||17||5|| || |
|31 March|| || || || |
|75mm Shermans||27||3||2|| |
|17pdr do||20||3|| || |
|Stuarts||6||1|| || |
|April 1945 ||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|Apr 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/4/45 ||0445 - A Sqn in support of 4th RWF moved off to LISRATTE A.4493 which was reached without opposition in spite of 3 blows in the road. One troop advanced to 467972, 3 miles from ALSTATTE on the road North East to GRONAU V.5102. In these positions the Sqn leaguered.|
1000 - C Sqn with a Coy of 1/5 Welsh in TCVs, moved through VREDEN and ALSTATTE to pass through A Sqn. The leading tank was brewed at V.495005 from fire coming from woods at 498015. A troop flanked to 493008 and two troops of Regimental Recce and the remainder of C Sqn moved up to the woods to support the infantry in clearing the district. Considerable, thought inaccurate, A/Tk and mortar fire prevented further progress. One troop was left by the woods and the remainder of the Sqn leaguered at V.493008.
1230 - B Sqn in support of 1st E Lancs advanced on GRONAU 5102. Slight opposition was ignored and having reached GLANERBRU V.4702, the Bn comd decided to consolidate. The Sqn leaguered there behind the infantry posts.
|Casualties:-||2 ORs killed, 2 ORs wounded, 1 OR believed POW.|
| ||1 tank destroyed.|
|2/4/45 ||0500 - A Sqn with its infantry left ALSTATTE for OCHTRUP V.6202. The road was found to be obstructed at several points, notably V.5501 and 5701, where the barriers were defended. At first, the leading tanks deployed and made effective use of HE fire, inflicting considerable casualties and taking 230 prisoners. The block at 5701, encountered in the late afternoon, held up the advance for some hours. An attempt by the tanks to out-flank it after dark was made abortive by bad going and the difficulties of navigation at night. On regaining the CL, resistance was found to have died down and after a bulldozer had brushed aside the barricade, the Sqn followed the infantry into OCHTRUP, arriving there at 030330B. Three tanks of A Sqn and some of the 53 Recce vehicles went up on mines in the area of the last road block.|
0730 - C Sqn joined 1/5th Welsh at A.517995 with a troop at X-roads V.516018.
1800 - C Sqn concentrated at V.568001 and leaguered there for the night.
1900 - B Sqn joined RHQ at A.537997 for leaguer.
|3/4/45 ||1145 - C Sqn moved with 1/5th Welsh through OCHTRUP to X-roads V.471039. One tank was damaged by a mine at 659029. Troops at V.665045 and 675042 gave flank protection to the remainder of the Sqn at the brickworks V.675037. Leaguer was made in those positions.|
1200 - B Sqn in support of 1st E Lancs moved to X-roads 700016 unopposed and consolidated there with the infantry in area V.6903.
A Sqn remained at OCHTRUP. A further 200 POW were brought in from the general area of the road block at 5701.
|Claims:-||430 POW (combined 2/3rd April)|
|4/4/45 ||1000 - C Sqn concentrated in brickworks V.675037 and leaguered there.|
1100 - Major HV Phelps reassumed command of B Sqn. Sqn in support of 2/60th KRRC, concentrated for counter-attack role, if required, area V.686054, where leaguer was made.
1430 - A Sqn concentrated in general area WETTRINGEN V.7102, with a Coy of 2/60th KRRC.
The Regt had no contact with the enemy.
Claims and casualties Nil.
|5/4/45 ||1100 - C Sqn came under command 160 Bde, 53 Div and moved to tie up with 2nd Mons in counter-attack role if required.|
1215 - RHQ and Regt, less C Sqn, concentrated in area 7305. A Sqn's scout car hit a mine, injuring the two occupants. Otherwise no contact.
|Casualties:-||1 officer, 1 OR wounded.|
|6/4/45 ||Regt under command 160 Bde, 53 Div. A Sqn crossed the DORTMUND EMS canal to area 7912 - 8212, facing North as left flank protection to 52 (L) Div CL.|
Claims and casualties Nil.
|7/4/45 ||0600 - C Sqn tied up with 6th RWF to take up defensive positions from 8217 - 8317.|
1000 - RHQ moved to area DREIERWALD V.8415, where A Sqn, reverting to Regimental command, joined them three hours later.
1630 - A Sqn moved to a large farmhouse hard by HOPSTEN V.9121 in support of 5th KOSB, encountering no opposition but mines, on one of which their fitter's half-track was destroyed, fortunately without injury to the occupants. The Sqn leaguered at the farmhouse.
Claims and casualties nil.
|8/4/45 ||0545 - B Sqn under command ? Coy 5th KOSB, lead the advance to objective high ground at V.9923. Only light opposition was encountered and 6 prisoners were taken from 15 PG Div. Two half-tracks were captured on the route which followed 858177 - HOPSTEN 9020 - HALVERDE 9524 - 964247 - 992244. Sqn recced river crossings at 992234 and 999248. The former was blown and the latter protected by MG, Panzerfaust, mortar and shellfire. One tank was destroyed by bazookas. B Sqn continued on to high ground at W.004254 where A Sqn passed through with a Coy of infantry in Kangaroos to take up positions overlooking the village of VOLTIAGE W.010265 from the East. The kangaroos advanced to the village, but after leading vehicle had been brewed up by bazooka fire, the entire village was blasted by the guns of the Sqn tanks and rocket firing Typhoons.|
Following this preparation, C Sqn moved up from DREIERWALD with a Coy of infantry on their tanks and entered VOLTIAGE without loss. There they spent the night, extracting a few prisoners and brewing up any suspicious houses.
|Claims:-||30 prisoners, 2 half-track captured|
|Casualties:-||1 OR killed, 1 officer believed POW, 4 ORs wounded.|
|9/4/45 ||1915 - Regt, still with 5th KOSB moved to its harbour area South of NEUENKIRCHEN W.0724, which had previously been cleared by 44th RTR and 2/60th KRRC. Thence A Sqn, which had led the march, pushed on rapidly to W.095272, where the inf dug in round the tanks and a brief halt was called.|
Claims and casualties nil.
|10/4/45 ||0200 - C Sqn passed through the positions reached by A Sqn. In the thick mist going was slow and precarious and a road block protected by shellfire held up the advance for 2 hours at W.095284. By first light the following troop positions had been consolidated:-|
W.098280 - 095284 - 099279.
0900 - C Sqn moved back to W.071234 where the Regt concentrated.
1300 - Regt concentrated at W.067232 for a 6 mile march to ASENDORF W.8665. The move was completed without incident at 0430.
|Casualties:-||11 - 13|
| ||Maintenance, rest, replenishment and sleep in area ASENDORF.|
|14/4/45 ||0830 - The Regt left the ASENDORF area travelling East through Moya 9569 and Retham X.1167, where the ALLER river was crossed. A Sqn married with a coy of 1/5th Welsh at OTERSEN X.0973 who were carried on the backs of their tanks. Thence, they continued along the main road towards ARMSEN X.0879. a stray 88mm shell hit a tank during a halt by the road, killing its driver and injuring the operator. On moving across country Northwest from ARMSEN, bazooka fire was encountered from some of the numerous woods area X.0880. Later the Sqn leaguered in open country clear of ARMSEN.B Sqn closed on ARMSEN by way of OTERSEN X.0872 and WITTLOHE X.0975, also carrying a coy of the 1/5th Welsh. On arrival at the objective, the Sqn deployed on high ground North of ARMSEN in anti-tank positions. The Sqn leaguered the night in the area of the village.|
C Sqn rendezvoused with B Coy 1/5th Welsh at WITTLOHE X.0974, carrying them on the tanks as far as the high ground South of ARMSEN 0879. There the Sqn leaguered, protecting RHQ's area during the night.
|Casualties:-||1 OR killed, 1 OR wounded |
| ||1 tank destroyed|
|15/4/45 ||0930 - A Sqn made an unsuccessful attempt to clear the wooded area X.0879 which was called off to enable an adequate arty preparation for a further attempt.|
1300 - The second operation to clear the wooded area was entirely successful. The 1/5th Welsh were supported by ½ Sqn of Crocodiles from the 7th RTR in addition to A Sqn's Shermans. During the early afternoon, B Sqn which had remained uncommitted in the adjoining area to RHQ, were suddenly shelled. OC B Sqn, 2i/c and 6 ORs were wounded and 1 OR killed. Among the nine casualties were no fewer than 6 tank commanders. Bad luck dogged the Sqn in the evening when a bridge at 078818 collapsed under one of troop from the Sqn that was supporting 1st E Lancs to that area. The tank tipped upside down and, despite repeated efforts to save him, one of the crew drowned. Capt J Sale, ex A Sqn took over command of B Sqn in the absence of the 2nd Captain on leave.
1600 - Supporting 2nd Mons, 160 Bde, C Sqn tied up with them at X.095780 and moved through VERDENERGOOR. Final positions were taken up in the area KUKENMOOR 1182. Opposition from enemy inf was overcome without casualties, 15 enemy being killed and 51 POWs taken. Sqn leaguered in the positions they had won, remainder of the Regt spent the night at X.0880.
|Casualties:-||1 OR killed, 1 OR drowned, 2 officers wounded, 6 ORs wounded.|
|16/4/45 ||0630 - Still with 1/5th Welsh, A Sqn moved into WEIZMUHLEN X.0682 and, again with the help of ½ Sqn of Crocodiles, attacked high ground North of the village. The objective was secured with out much trouble and yielded some 40 POWs.|
1400 - A Sqn returned to WEIZMUHLEN for leaguer.
1400 - Moving again with 1st E Lancs, B Sqn reached objective high ground 0683, against light opposition. One tank was brewed from bazooka fire, causing cas amongst the crew. Having supported the inf as far as KIRCHLINTELN 0684, the Sqn leaguered at 078818.
1430 - C Sqn encountered stubborn inf opposition in supporting 6th RWF into their objective at 113837. The forward troop covered the inf by smoke and HE fire, killing a considerable number of the enemy and assisting in taking about 20 POWs. The leading tank was hit by bazooka fire on the shield, which was effective in protecting the fabric of the tank.
1800 - Coming under command 4th Welsh, C Sqn supported their attack across the stream at 108829. A bridge in the locality proved too weak for armour and the Sqn waited until 2330 when a Class 40 bridge was completed. The Sqn leaguered at 097833.
|Casualties:-||1 officer and 2 ORs killed.|
| ||2 ORs wounded.|
| ||1 tank destroyed.|
|17/4/45 ||0530 - A troop from B Sqn went to the rescue of a patrol of the 4th Welsh which had been cut-off during the night at 086846, giving covering fire whilst stretcher bearers brought out the wounded inf. During the operation 25 POWs were roped in.|
0530 - Meeting only light opposition, A & B Sqns, with 4th RWF and 1st HLI respectively, converged on the Northeastern outskirts of VERDEN.
1400 - RHQ moved to BORSTEL X.0483 and the two Sqns concentrated in the North East outskirts of VERDEN.
|Casualties:-||1 OR wounded.|
|18/4/45 ||0600 - A Sqn supported the Ox & Bucks into the village of DAUELSEN X.005855, encountering only spasmodic small arms fire. Afterwards the Sqn returned to its former area at VERDEN.|
1130 - C Sqn joined the remainder of the Regt at 0182. The Regt rested for the remainder of the day. Leaguer was made in general area 0182.
Claims and casualties nil.
|19/4/45 ||The Regt, less C Sqn, moved to area SUDERWALSEDE X.0991.|
C Sqn relieved 44th RTR with 1/5th Welsh at 087962. Troops were posted at 082981 and 079972. Very little to report excepting for shooting up the odd sniper.
Claims and casualties nil.
|20/4/45 ||1030 - Supporting 7th RWF, A Sqn moved to and round LUDINGEN 1792, collecting a handful of prisoners and then joined B Sqn around DRESSDEL 165885. Together the Sqns advanced WSW to JEDDIGEN 195875. B Sqn continued along the main road while A Sqn worked their way round to the North and East of the village. B Sqn took 30 POWs at a road block, defended by small arms only. Leaving the infantry to consolidate the village and surrounding area, the Sqns returned to LUDINGEN for the night.|
C Sqn remained in their previous location, engaged from time to time on dealing with stray snipers.
|21/4/45 ||0700 - B Sqn in support of 71 Bde, cleared up to a line from WITTORF 2092 to HASTEDT 1500. No opposition of note was encountered and the fire power of the tanks was little used. The night was spent in WITTORF.|
A troop from C Sqn supported a patrol of the 1/5th Welsh through the woods to 130980, taking 49 POWs and returning just before they got out of hand.
1130 - A Sqn joined RHQ in area 0991.
|22/4/45 ||0900 - B Sqn moved to BARTELSDORF 1705 in support of 1st HLI. NTR1015 - C Sqn supported 7th RWF in local patrols in area 1298, taking 50 POWs and encountering no opposition.|
1130 - A Sqn left their location travelling through WITTORF to the Southern outskirts of ROTENBURG S.1203. One troop accompanied a coy of the Ox & Bucks North of the railway station, returning at 2330.
1700 - C Sqn moved to high ground at 095989 in preparation of supporting 1/5th Welsh into UNTERSTEDT 0999. Two troops of tanks and two coys of infantry entered the village against only token opposition and took 40 POWs. A small attack also took the hamlet of EVERSEN to the South, yielding another 4 POWs. 13 Germans gave themselves up to SHQ during the day and another 10 were taken by the Sqn fitters. 1 75mm, 1 88mm and 1 125mm were found abandoned in UNTERSTEDT.
| ||1 75mm, 1 88mm and 1 125mm guns|
|23/4/45 ||0630 - A Sqn followed 1st HLI from SCHEESSEL S.|
1710 West to the village of WESTERHOLZ which was taken without opposition. Passing through positions were taken up to the West and Northwest of the village and here it was shelled for some hours by SPs and later Nebelwerfers. One 75mm gun was destroyed and what was thought to be an SP was set on fire.
0700 - B Sqn tied up with 1st Ox & Bucks at SCHEESSEL and advanced to take HERTZWEG S.1112 unopposed. A troop passed through to capture ABBENDORF 1013. One tank was destroyed by 75mm AP fire without causing casualties. One troop was left with 1st Ox & Bucks for the night, the remainder of the Sqn leaguered in HERTZWEG. A 75mm gun was overrun between HERTZWEG and ABBENDORF.
C Sqn were not called upon during the day.
No claims can be made, but considerable casualties must have been caused by A Sqn's bombard, during which they fired over 600 HE.
|Claims:-||2 75mm guns destroyed|
| ||1 SP (?) set on fire|
|Casualties:-||1 tank destroyed.|
|24/4/45 ||0700 - C Sqn in support of 4th RWF, moved on HESEDORF S.0813, entering the village against negligible opposition.|
1100 - C Sqn rejoined RHQ at SCHEESSEL S.1710.
A Sqn passed the day at WESTERHOLZ S.1210 NTR.
Casualties:- 1 OR wounded.
|25/4/45 ||0730 - A Sqn left WESTERHOLZ with Ox & Bucks, whom they were supporting. They advanced through HETZWEGE 1211 and HESEDORF 0713. Opposition was almost non-existent, but at the latter place the Sqn encountered very heavy shellfire as they crossed the railway at 065140. Continuing, the village of GYHUM 053150 where 20 - 30 POWs were taken, was entered and the autobahn Southeast of it was crossed unopposed. The advance continued through fairly open country to WEHLDORF 035168. B Sqn, working with 1st HLI, branched South from GYHUM to enter BOCKEL 028137 against light opposition.The Ox & Bucks had pushed a patrol into WEHLDORF after arty preparation by A Sqn tanks, but withdrew when an SP advanced down the main road of the village. A Sqn then shelled the village further and, together with the infantry entered it to take a further handful of prisoners. A troop was left there during the night. A & B Sqns made leaguer in the area of GYHUM.|
C Sqn and RHQ did not move from their previous location.
|Casualties:-||1 OR wounded.|
|26/4/45 ||1030 - C Sqn joined 4th Welsh at WESTERHOLZ and moved with them to occupy the airfield at 0804, no opposition being encountered. 10 GAF prisoners were taken. Half the Sqn then supported 6th RWF to the Western edge of the woods at 079057 and 080061, also reached without opposition.2130 - C Sqn supported 4th Welsh in an unopposed entrance into BOTERSEN 059058. One troop remained in the village and another followed 6th RWF into WAFFENSEN 062033, reached without incident.|
Considerable quantities of equipment were found in the area of the airfield at 0804, including at least 1000 wrecked searchlights, generators and sound location apparatus. A considerable number of derelict aircraft were on the field.
A & B Sqns remained in the GYHUM area. RHQ moved to a road-house in area 2014.
|27/4/45 ||0130 - A troop of C Sqn joined 2nd Mons at 075071 and advanced to HOPERHOFEN 049064.|
1200 - B & C Sqns joined RHQ at area 2014. A Sqn moved through SICK and BOCKEL to the SCHEESSEL area 1710.
|28/4/45 ||Rest in the above areas.|
|29/4/45 ||Regt moved to SALZHAUSEN S.6317, in accordance with Movement Orders received.|
|30/4/45 ||B Sqn, together with a troop from A Sqn, was put in support of 158 Inf Bde for the crossing of the R ELBE. The Regt spent the rest of the day in rest and preparation.The month of April saw the Regt engaged in close support of infantry of 53(W) Div. Their joint tasks were concerned with the clearing of relatively small bodies of the enemy which had been by-passed by the thrusts of the Guards Armd Div, the 7th Armd Div or the 11th Armd Div. In addition to nearly 900 prisoners taken in the field, some 30 or 40 soldiers were picked up in civilian clothes and sent back to the cages.|
The 30 casualties which the Regt suffered during the month included 10 fatalities.
|May 1945 ||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|May 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/5/45 ||SALZHAUSEN S.6217.|
The Regt, less B Sqn, remained conc in area SALZHAUSEN for the assault on HAMBURG. B Sqn remained under command 158 Bde in area S.798250. No movement during the day, which was spent on rest and maintenance.
|2/5/45 ||0420 - B Sqn crossed R ELBE at ARTLENBURG S.835347 and conc area GRONHOF S.8038.|
1315 - B Sqn, in support of 1st E Lancs, moved into GEESTHACHT 7641. The town contained large dumps of V2 explosive heads and had surrendered unconditionally at 1200 hours rather than risk the great damage which would have resulted if our shellfire had detonated the dumps. B Sqn leaguered in the town for the night.The remainder of the Regt remained at their previous locations.
|3/5/45 ||0430 - BERGEDORF 6546 having surrendered unconditionally, B Sqn still in support 158 Bde, advanced on a 4000 yard front through the town to LOHBRUGGE 625482 on the left to SCHONNINGSTEDT 675515 on the right. There the Bde and B Sqn remained pending negotiations for a wider surrender.|
1345 - The Regt crossed the R ELBE by Class 40 bridge at GEESTHACHT S.7640, under command 71 Bde.
1830 - On the announcement of the enemy's unconditional surrender up to the line of the 50 Easting, B Sqn moved with 158 Bde to a line running from BOBERG 6149 to 6152 to 6352.
1900 - Remainder of the Regt moved North of 158 Bde and leaguered for the night with A Sqn at BARSBUTTEL 6156 and C Sqn at STELLAU 6658. There were no incidents.
|4/5/45 ||0530 - The Regt moved into HAMBURG. A Sqn in support of 4th RWF conc in the ADHESTRASSE area, B Sqn accompanied 158 Bde to the Rly Stn then, coming under command of 160 Bde, moved to the dock area at HARBURG S.4943. C Sqn conc just North of A Sqns area. RHQ took billets at 506574. There were no incidents.|
|5/5/45 ||Regt remained in previous locations. Reports of a riot in a PWX camp were found to be without foundation.|
|6/5/45 ||1400 - B Sqn were relieved by the 7 Stuarts of the Regtl Recce Tp. The echelons moved into HAMBURG to an area slightly North of RHQ, whilst B Sqn, coming up from HARBURG, settled in to the South.|
|7/5/45 ||1400 - The Commanding Officer visited each Sqn in turn to tell them of the unconditional surrender of the German Forces and State to the Allies wef one minute past midnight of the night 8/9.|
|8/5/45 ||VE DAY. The occasion was celebrated in Sqn Messes and canteens.|
|9/5/45 ||0930 - Regt moved to PINNEBERG 3665 and leaguered there for the night.|
1900 - A Thanksgiving Service was held in the Pinneberg Parish Church.
|10/5/45 ||0930 - Regt moved to ELMSHORN S.2775. Suitable houses were requisitioned and the Regt settled down to its unfamiliar role as part of an Army of Occupation.|
The area for which the Regt assumed responsibility is indicated in the accompanying Trace. In the town of ELMSHORN four road barriers were erected around the Regtl area and a Command Post established in the centre of the town. Patrols at once started in the task of combing the 80-odd square miles of countryside for DP and PWX camps, for arms and equipment dumps and for undesirable natives. The many German servicemen roaming the district were handled by the Command Post, whence they were sent to PINNEBERG barracks, taken over by 4th Armd Bde as a POW Cage.
|11/5/45 ||For the remainder of the month the Regiment's duties were concerned with the policing of its allotted area. A summary of the numbers of PWX and DP camps, personnel therein and dumps is enclosed in the Appendix. The figures are also given for the POW forwarded to the Bde Cage.|
Living conditions in the 44 camps for PWX and DP varied from fairly reasonable to unsatisfactory, but no very bad examples were found. Clothing was in great need in two Russian camps and food stocks were low. In general, however, DP and PWX working on farms and in small camps were rationed daily from local supplies.
Several cases of mal-treatment were reported; mainly by Poles, and the accused Germans were interrogated, arrested and handed over to the local Police for detention pending trial before Military Court. Evidence was in nearly all cases confirmed by admissions of guilt.
|12/5/45 ||[no entry]|
|13/5/45 ||It was found necessary to treat the tales of some of the Eastern Europeans with a certain amount of reserve. This was illustrated to-day when a Russian reported SS men terrorising villages to the North and Northeast of ELMSHORN. A troop of Stuarts and a troop of Shermans were despatched to the area only to find the information completely false.|
|14 - 21 ||After discussion with AMG, the local Burgomaster was deposed, gaoled and a new one installed.|
Usual interrogation of suspected persons, passing on of POW, visiting of DP and PWX camps. Westbound nationals were being evacuated in accordance with Brigade instructions and some 900 French and Belgians had been moved by the 21st of the month.
|22 - 28 ||Many complaints had been made by the local Police about the behaviour of Polish and Russian PWX and DP. Charges of looting were investigated and, in spite of the evident prejudice in the Police Dept, unlawful conduct was found in two Russian camps. The Burgomaster was made responsible for collecting 250 sets of underwear and shirts from the townspeople for distribution among the Russian camps, and also for seeing that correct rations reached the Russians in future. The Russians in their turn were warned to keep the peace. Two vehicles in Russian possession were impounded as they had been used on several occasions for unauthorised purposes. The Regt commandeered some baby-food from a warehouse in the town for distribution at one of the Russian DP camps where there were 10 infants under twelvemonths.|
|29/5/45 ||Recce parties went to an area Southeast of KIEL to which the Regt will be moved during the month.|
Mil Govt moved the remainder of the Westbound DPs and also the bulk of Russian PWX and DP from our area. Regtl transport was not used for this purpose.
Lt GR Bramall MM assumed the duties of Adjutant during the absence of Capt T Dunn on a course in UK.
|30/5/45 ||In the last eight days of the war in Europe, the Regiment suffered no casualties. No estimate of the number of POWs taken up to 8th May can be given - those who gave up to B Sqn were handled by 158 Bde or 160 Bde.|
|June 1945 ||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|Jun 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1 - 10 ||Regiment still at ELMSHORN S.2775.|
|11/6/45 ||Sports Day, A Sqn won the Inter-Sqn Cup|
|12 - 17 ||Recces of new area.|
|18/6/45 ||0830 - Moved to Kreis PION. RHQ to LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn to RAISDORF N.638350. B & C Sqns to SALZAU N.728409. As the area to be taken over by 4th RHA was empty, A Sqn patrolled.|
|19 - 27 ||[No entries]|
|28/6/44 ||An SS Sturmbannfuhrer gave himself up to C Sqn and was forwarded to HQ 4th Armd Bde.|
|July 1945 ||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|Jul 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/7/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B & C Sqns at SALZAU N.728409. Previous occupational duties resumed.|
|4/7/45 ||0830 - C Sqn moved to MELDORF M.885118, to assist in the liquidation of the German Armed Forces in "Area G" under Operation Shuttle.|
|5 - 23 ||Normal occupational duties. Twice weekly elements of Recce Tp patrolled into "Area F" under instructions from Bde.|
Recreational training, popular with all ranks, included yachting. Cricket, football, handball and tennis. Facilities were found for instruction in horse riding.
Potential instructors for the Army Educational Scheme were earmarked and their training started. As a beginning, classes were operated in Shorthand and French, as well as discussions and lectures on ABCA and BWP pamphlets.
|24/7/45 ||The first member of the Regt to be released under Class A, Tpr RA Death, A & S Group 9, left the Regt.|
|25 - 31 ||As before.|
|August 1945 ||CO Lt Col WAC Anderson, DSO|
|Aug 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/8/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B Sqn at SALZAU N.728409 and C Sqn still away from the rest of the Regt at MELDORF M.885118.|
|2 - 13 ||Normal occupational duties continued.|
Honey patrol sent into Area F once or twice weekly.
|14/8/45 ||Lt Col WAC Anderson DSO leaves the Regiment and Lt Col GJ Kidston DSO MC assumes command.|
|25/8/45 ||C Sqn returned from MELDORF to their former quarters with B Sqn at SALZAU.|
|28/8/45 ||First batch of 72 men proceeded on PYTHON or LYOP leave.|
|29 - 31 ||Sqns in turn took tanks to PUTLOS ranges for firing practice.|
|September 1945 ||CO Lt Col GJ Kidston, DSO, MC|
|Sep 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/9/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B & C Sqns at SALZAU N.728409.|
|2 - 8 ||Patrols and guard duties as before.|
|9/9/45 ||Regimental Educational Scheme implemented. 15 different subjects included in syllabus. About 180 students taking part.|
|10/9/45 ||Officers of Regiment attended air demonstration by Typhoons at PUTLOS ranges.|
|21/9/45 ||Regiment inspected by Corps Commander, Lt Gen EH Barker KBE, CB, DSO, MC.|
|October 1945 ||CO Lt Col GJ Kidston, DSO, MC|
|Oct 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/10/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B & C Sqns at SALZAU N.728409.|
Normal occupational duties continued. Honey patrols sent into area F once or twice weekly.
|4/10/45 ||Inspection by Commander 4th Armd Bde, Brigadier RMP Carver CBE DSO MC of Regimental B vehicles and Transport Office.|
|17/10/45 ||Bde Tank War Trial competition held at PUTLOS ranges N.031048. Won by 44th RTR.|
|26/10/45 ||2 new officers posted to Regiment - Capt J Doran and Lt J Robson. New draft of 16 ORs posted.|
|27/10/45 ||Lt D Maslin posted to Regiment.|
|29/10/45 ||Regimental 2i/c, Major OFJB Woods leaves Regt on release.|
|30/10/45 ||New draft of 13 ORs posted.|
|November 1945 ||CO Lt Col GJ Kidston, DSO, MC|
|Nov 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/11/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B & C Sqns at SALZAU N.728409.|
Normal occupational duties continued. Honey patrols sent into area F once or twice weekly.
|5/11/45 ||Lecture by Commanding Officer to entire Regiment on the Future of the Army, Release, Leave etc.|
|16/11/45 ||Inspection of the Regiment by Commander 4th Armd Bde, Brigadier RMP Carver CB DSO MC.|
Right Reverend the Bishop of Dover visits the Regiment.
|27/11/45 ||Lt PH Strode posted to Regiment.|
|December 1945 ||CO Lt Col GJ Kidston, DSO, MC|
|Dec 45 ||3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry|
|1/10/45 ||Regt in previous locations, with RHQ and HQ Sqn at LEHMKUHLEN N.717293, A Sqn at RAISDORF N.638350 and B & C Sqns at SALZAU N.728409.|
Normal occupational duties continued.
|4/12/45 ||Lt M Brooks joined Regiment.|
|10/12/45 ||Lt D Harrison joined Regiment.|
|13/12/45 ||New 2i/c, Major AS Gemmell joined Regiment.|
|18/12/45 ||Lt Col GJ Kidston DSO MC, assumes command of 4th Armd Bde during absence of Brigadier RMP Carver CB DSO MC.|
|21/12/45 ||New tanks fired on PUTLOS ranges.|
|25/26 ||Whole Holidays for Christmas celebrations.|