WW II, a British focus



War Diaries

The Royal Tank Regiment
August 1939 To March 1946

  • May 1941
  • October 1941
  • November 1941
  • December 1941
  • September 1942
Royal Tank Regiment Badge

January 1944 CO: Lt Col HM Liardet OBE
Jan 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/1/44 Laying out new training camp Bir Beida. Echelons brigaded and separated from forward tanks etc.
3/1/44 Lt HC Reid promoted A/Capt wef 29/12/43.
5/1/44 Lt EP Underwood appointed Signal Officer and posted to HQ Sqn.
25/1/44 CO addressed all ranks before leaving the unit for an appointment in Italy and promotion to Colonel Commandant of 15th Army Group Trg.
26/1/44 1215 – Regt moved out of camp to return to FAYID. A maintenance party under Capt T Stainton was left in charge of tanks.
1900 – Regt arrived FAYID camp.
28/1/44 Lt WL Smith appointed Sports Officer vice Lt Templeton. Lt RA Woods appointed entertainment & Welfare Officer vice Lt Curren. Lt GB Lane appointed anti-rodent Officer.
29/1/44 Capt KV Fidler re-granted T/Major wef 29/1/44. Lt RW Driscoll appointed Messing Officer vice Capt JM Robinson.

February 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
Feb 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/2/44 Major PWD Sturdee promoted A/Lt Col and assumed command of the Regt wef 26/1/44. Major DJ Coulson MC, appointed 2i/c of the Regt. Capt GD Addison MC, appointed OC C Sqn.
9/2/44 The following were taken on strength – Lt JA Sparke, Lt GHA Arding, 2Lt R Bruce.
15/2/44 Major DJ Coulson assumes command of the Regt during absence of CO.
Junior tank commanders course started with Capt JM Robinson in charge.
19/2/44 CO returns. Capt GD Addison promoted A/Major wef 29/1/44.
20/2/44 Lt BC Curren appointed Transport Officer. Lt JA Garrard appointed Gas Officer.
26/2/44 The following is an extract from the supplement to the London Gazette for 11 Jan 44:-
“HM The King has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be mentioned in recognition of the gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East, Captain JM Robinson."
29/2/44 During the month all members of the Regt had seven days leave in Cairo or Alexandria.

March 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
Mar 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
2/3/44 Regt moved to ATAQA for Combined Ops training.
3/3/44 Lt PGS Lucraft assumed the duties of Adjt.
4/3/44 Lt HG Jenkins promoted A/Capt and posted to HQ Sqn to take over duties of Transport Officer.
6/3/44 Lt PGS Lucraft promoted A/Capt wef 6/3/44.
8/3/44 Regt moves to FANARA.
10/3/44 Lt GHD Arding appointed Salvage Officer.
13/3/44 Capt RC Williamson taken on strength and posted to C Sqn.
18/3/44 Regt moved to KABRIT for training at Combined Training Centre.
22/3/44 T/Capt EH Jones appointed Lt QM and relinquishes temp rank.
23/3/44 Lt JA Garrard promoted T/Capt wef 13 Mar 44.
31/3/44 Lt NC Shillinglaw appointed Messing Officer.
During the month all members of the Regt took part in combined Training including landing from assault craft, cliff scaling, assault course and loading/landing AFVs using LCT, LCM and two lighters.

April 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
Apr 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
4/4/44 The following were taken on strength:-2Lt PC Bowman, 2Lt PV Hulley.
16/4/44 FGCM – Tpr Dawson under AA Sect 35, using disloyal words regarding the Sovereign. Sentenced to 56 days detention. Confirmed by Major General HL Birks commanding 10th Armd Div. Sentence suspended until further orders.
17/4/44 27 ORs taken on strength from ME RAC Training Depot.
23/4/44 Regt preparing for move.
24/4/44 First advance party embark Block E under Capt Goodyer.
25/4/44 First Main party embarked Block E under CO and Adjt.
Second Advance party embark Block F under Capt Stevens.
Sentence on Tpr Dawson FGCM 16/4/44 QUASHED by GOC BTE.
26/4/44 Second Main party embarked Block F under Major Coulson.
27- 30 On board Troop Transport.

May 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
May 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1-3 On board Troop Transport.
4/5/44 Disembarked TARANTO 0800 hrs and proceeded to transit camp.
5/5/44 Regt entrained
7/5/44 Regt detrained and proceeded to form-up area 350065.
8 – 16 Taking over from 40th RTR.
17/5/44 Regt relieved 40th RTR taking over their counter attack roles in support of 10th Indian Div. RHQ & A Sqn in ROATTI 322097. B Sqn under command 20th Ind Infantry Bde 313130. C Sqn under command 25th Ind Infantry Bde 302109.
20/5/44 Capt HG Jenkins appointed Welfare Officer.Lt RA Woods appointed Anti-Malarial Officer.
21/5/44 Two tanks of B Sqn, firing indirect from 314135 shelled house and suspected SP gun at 285173. House was destroyed and SP gun or very near miss. 62 rds HE fires. One troop B Sqn firing indirect from 314135 shelled Monastery at 285167 scoring 40 direct hits. Front wall demolished exposing interior and house beyond as was required. 86 rds HE fired. There was some slight enemy shelling of the forward position. Own damage and casualties NIL.
22/5/44 RHQ strafed by two Me109’s flying SW – NE. own damage and casualties NIL.
23/5/44 0600 – One tank B Sqn shelled suspected SP at 287730. Ten direct hits scored, remainder VNM. 40 rds HE fired.
2130 – One Troop engaged position ALMA 285167 as part of deception plan 20 Indian Infantry Bde operation. 240 rds HE fired. Area plastered. Whole of B sqn area subjected to fairly heavy shelling by mixed calibres throughout the night. Own damage and casualties NIL.
24/5/44 Capt AP Binks RAMC mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the field.
26/5/44 Three tanks B Sqn firing from 314134 shelled suspected MG position lone house 278154. 150 rde HE fired. House destroyed.
28/5/44 2Lt R Bruce promoted Lt.

June 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
Jun 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/6/44 9Tp C Sqn engaged an enemy OP in a group of houses at 263138. 106 rds HE fired with 15 direct hits and remainder in target area. Own OP was provided by 15 Fd Regt RA and tanks fired from 305092.
3/6/44 C Sqn supported two Coys of 1/4th Essex in exercise designed to test Infantry – Tank communication.
4/6/44 C Sqn – one troop, firing from 305098 shelled ‘Palm Tree’ village 260184 and a medium OP at 263138. 125 rds HE fired and 44 hits recorded on the village and 38 hits on the OP.
B Sqn firing from 315??? Shelled house in wood suspected HQ and MG post. 147 rds HE fired and direct hits on the house resulted in severe damage to roof and walls.
5/6/44 One Tp C Sqn engaged enemy OP firing position 305092 and 27 direct hits observed.
6/6/44 Seven tanks of A Sqn firing from 303088 shelled building in TUCCI with rds gunfire. Also shelled lone house 261108 with 4 rds HE. Hits obtained on both targets and 27 rds HE fired.
7/6/44 Regt prepares to move to new location 0300 hrs C & B Sqn tanks left area and entrained SAN VITO.
8/6/44 B Vehicles left B Echelon area at 0500 hrs. and arrived new location NE VENAFO at 1600 hrs. A & RHQ tanks left area at 0500 and entrained SAN VITO. C & B Sqn tanks arrived new location 2030 hrs.
9/6/44 A & RHQ tanks arrived new location 2000 hrs.
Tpr J Chappell tried by FGCM AA Sect 41 – three charges of Common Assault. Found guilty of the first two charges, not guilty on the third. Sentenced to nine months detention.
Tpr F Wood tried by FGCM AA Sect 41 – one charge of Common Assault. Found guilty. Sentenced to three months detention.
10/6/44 Regt comes under command 10 Indian Infantry Div. Under command 10th Corps 8th Army. A sqn came under command 10th Ind Infantry Bde and moved to new location 049241. B Sqn came under command 20th Ind Infantry Bde and moved to 164312. C Sqn came under command 25th Ind Infantry Bde and moved to 107260.
12/6/44 C Sqn supported 3/1 Punjabis in a village fighting exercise in CERASUOLO.
14/6/44 C Sqn tanks supported 1st Kings Own in a Bn attack exercise at 163306.
15 – 16 25th Ind Infantry Bde and C Sqn took part in 8th Ind Infantry Div training team exercise directed by Lt Col Whitty DSO MC, and attended by Major General DW Reid CBE DSO MC GOC 10th Ind Infantry Div.
30/6/44 Firing of personal arms during the month was carried out and a marked improvement in accuracy was noted.
During the month a complete inspection of anti-gas equipment was carried out and TOETs for all personnel with satisfactory results.

July 1944 CO: Lt Col PWD Sturdee
Jul 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/7/44 Lt Gen CW Alfrey CB DSO MC, 5th corps Commander visited the Regt, accompanied by Brig OL Prior-Palmer.
3/7/44 2Lt PC Bowman MM appointed Regtl sports Officer.
8/7/44 Lt RL Downie MC taken on strength.
9/7/43 The Commanding Officer and Officers of the 6th Royal Tank Regiment deeply regret to record the death of Sgt “Joe” Parker, who received injuries on 30 June 1944, which have since proved fatal.
16/7/44 CO and RIO recce new camp and training area.
19 – 20 7th Armd Bde scheme “Trickle” carried out, incorporating move to new camp and training area near ANAGNI.
21/7/44 Settling in new camp. Recce of training area.
24/7/44 Major DJ Coulson MC left for repatriation to UK.
30/7/44 CO addresses Regt before leaving for CMTC. Major KV Fidler MC, 4 Officers and 40 ORs formed guard of honour on part of the route taken by HM the King, during his tour of Allied forces in Italy.
31/7/44 Lt Col AC Jackson assumed command of the Regt.

August 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Aug 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
2/8/44 Major ELS Gjemre and the RIO leave on recce of new camp and training area South of Rome.
4/8/44 New camp and training area altered to area bordering Lake Braciano, North of Rome. Advance party led by Lt WB MacGregor left at 0800.
5/8/44 Regt moves to new area for special training.
0730 – B vehicles left under command Capt A Aplin. A vehicles left later under Capt RJC Williamson.
1500 – B vehicles arrived new location 5388. A vehicles arrived later.
During the move a C sqn tank collided with a civilian, Anna Ridolfi, who sustained fatal injuries.
8/8/44 Major KV Fidler recced a training and firing area.
10/8/44 A Sqn commenced a two day exercise but returned in the evening when Regt learnt that the special training is not to take place.
11/8/44 Regt prepares to move. Advance party left.12/8/44
12/8/44 Regt left.
13/8/44 Regt arrived Cerreto.
16/8/44 Strict attention paid to camouflage of vehicles.
20/8/44 Regt moved to area North of Sigillo under command 4th Ind Div
21/8/44 A Sqn detached under command 5th Ind Infantry Bde and Major JM Warner vested with powers of CO.
24/8/44 Capt JG Mauldon recces roads and tracks North of Sigillo.
25/8/44 Capt JG Mauldon returns, having stepped on a mine which failed to explode.
Regt at 1 hours notice to move from 0700 hrs. Regt visited by 3 Padres.
26/8/44 Regt less C Echelon moved to Cagli 909414. B Sqn leading followed by Tac HQ, C Sqn, RHQ tanks.
27/8/44 Regt less C Echelon and A Sqn concentrated at Cagli. 1300 hrs B Sqn moved out to support 7th Ind Infantry Bde advancing on Acqualagna and Fermignano. B Sqn reached 804348 by 1600 hrs.
29/8/44 Regt moved to area Fermignano.
30/8/44 C Sqn moved to area North of Urbino to join B Sqn. RHQ and A & B Echelon moved to area North of Urbino.

September 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Sep 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/9/44 RHQ tanks and Echelon in area north of Urbino except 2i/c, RHQ Troop Leader with two tanks detached with a composite Sqn attacking Tavoleto.
16/9/44 Regt less A Sqn reverted to under command 7th Armd Bde who were in support of 56th (London) Infantry Div.
22/9/44 Regt came under command 4th Ind Div.

September 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Sep 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment     A Sqn, OC Major JM Warner
1/9/44 1000 - Capt Stainton with 1 & 2 Tps contacted 1/9th GR at 896712 preparatory to advance on Tavoleto. Advanced without opposition to junc 885718 where Infantry were held up by heavy shelling and mortaring. Tanks destroyed 1 MG position. 5 Bde then planned attack on to high ground area Pt. 401 overlooking Tavoleto to provide a firm base for a night attack on Tavoleto.
1800 – tanks and Infantry went forward under mortar fire to Pt. 401 which was taken without opposition. Tanks remained until Infantry had consolidated and then withdrew to leaguer area Monte Calvo. During the last stage of the attack, one tank brewed by mortar fire.
2/9/44 The 2i/c Sqn and half Sqn with 4/11 Sikhs attempted to continue advance on Tavoleto, one tank lost on mined road and six more immobilised through losing tracks on steep slopes. Infantry attack held up by MG and mortar fire, which continued throughout the day and night 2/3. 11 Bde relieved 5th Bde.
3/9/44 Quiet day, shelling and mortaring. Night attack on Tavoleto planned with 2/7th GR. Tanks to go forward at first light on 4th Sep.
4/9/44 Sqn moved up before first light to support 2/7th GR on to Tavoleto. Tanks reached outskirts before being held up by mines. Tanks heavily shelled by observed fire throughout the day. Capt Stainton plus half Sqn against, reported enemy tanks which did not materialise – last light tanks withdrew Ό mile out of shellfire. Night of 4/5 further attacks on Tavoleto planned with 2nd Camerons.
5/9/44 At first light 2nd Camerons supported by tanks entered Tavoleto unopposed, 4 POW taken. Infantry pushed forward to Casa Gerrone 860747 supported from Tavoleto by 2 Tps tanks. At 1600 hrs Capt Stainton attended O Group of 2nd Camerons plan:- during the night to take Pt. 507 860776. Tanks to go through Castel Nuovo to reach Pt. 507 by first light.
6/9/44 Capt Stainton plus half Sqn commenced to advance down road junc 979765.
0300 - Made contact with 3rd RFFR at Pt. 323 873749 whose attack was held up and tanks sent forward dawn road to river crossing 866761 to reach high ground between Castel Nuovo and S Pietro and support Infantry onto Pt. 441 850771.
1300 – Tanks advanced into valley as planned, under mortar fire, and entered Castel Nuovo and Pt. 441. Tanks shelled many Infantry positions – 15 POW taken. Wireless Comm with 3rd RFFR very good. Infantry CO had excellent observation and control of battle from ridge on Tavoleto road. Tanks leaguered night area Castel Nuovo.
7/9/44 Whole Sqn in area Castel Nuovo. Rain delayed operations. Capt Stainton put 30 rds into a house and 25 rds on to Pt. 507. 1 Tp succeeded in getting just short of Pt. 441 and remained there night 7/8 at the request of the Infantry but under protest from Lt Rhodes. Torrential rain and Sqn less 1 Tp returned to valley bottom. Sqn Ldr met CO 1/9th GR.
8/9/44 First light. 1/9th GR attacked Pt. 507. Sqn Ldr and 1 & 2 Tps attempted to reach Pt. 507. Three tanks were bogged down with tracks off on a very steep slope. Remainder met 1/9th GR and advanced losing two more tanks with track off (at Pt. 441 and 443). These two tanks were engaged by an A/Tk gun and were knocked out and one brewed. Tpr Laws and Tpr Murphy wounded. Tpr Todd got Tpr Murphy back in spite of being wounded himself. The half Sqn failed to reach Pt. 507 but gave covering fire. Major Walter, OP for 230 Bty 58 Med Regt RA having been with the Sqn since attack on Tavoleto gave invaluable assistance through bringing down fire on all targets with good effect. During the afternoon the Bde Commander, CO 4/11th Sikhs and OC Sqn recced forward for projected attack on Onferno (831771). Owing to heavy shelling and mortaring no observation was possible.
9/9/44 Sqn now reduced to 4 tanks by mechanical trouble, casualties and immobilised with tracks off. Capt Stainton took remaining tanks by road, river bed and track up the spur to 845762 where they were heavily shelled during the day. Sqn Ldr made further recce with CO 4/11th Sikhs but still had no observation on Onferno. At last light sqn leaguered 866761.
10 – 15 Refitting and rekitting of tanks.
16/9/44 3 Tp moved to Pian di Castello with ½ GR taking over from B Sqn under command 7th Infantry Bde. 4 Tp moves to Monte Giovanni covering Altavelio.
17/9/44 3 Tp rejoined sqn in area 881803. 4 Tp left with 7th Armd Bde on Monte Giovanni, moving first light Pt. 361 overlooking Altavelio and the road West and SW. engaged Infantry at 781730 on the road. Enemy ceased to use the road. At 1230 hrs 4 Tp engaged houses in Altavelio where enemy movement was seen. Enemy seen leaving target area. At 1800 hrs 4 Tp moved back to Pian di Castello to rejoin 1/2nd GR in counter attack role. Remained in this position until 1700 hrs 18 Sep when Tp left to rejoin Sqn.
18/9/44 Sqn moved to Castellari in support 2nd Camerons who were under command 5 Bde. Concentrated shelling by 150mm SPs, Nebelwerfers, mortar 75mm SPs on this village where Bn HQs of 2nd Camerons and 1/9th GR were both situated. Numerous tanks received direct hits and one cut-down (LO at Camerons HQ) was brewed by a direct hit from a mortar. Enemy change fire positions frequently and had good observation throughout the day. 1/9 GR has established a precarious bridgehead across river Marano and were pinned down by enemy fire and out of communication. Sqn asked to carry ammunition forward to 1/9 GR. A blow in the road West of Castellari had been temporarily filled under fire, with some difficulty. 1 Tp managed to cross the river and found a track up to the road short of Pt. 343, where they delivered the ammunition to 1/9 GR who had by that time almost exhausted their supplies. Good work by 1 Tp Comd, Lt Rhodes, who remained there in support all day.
1400 – It was decided to try to get 2 Tp forward with more ammunition for the Infantry. Soon after starting the leading tank lost a track in area of road blow and blocked road. Tank came under heavy fire and the ammunition loaded on the back caught fire. Crew forced to bale out and sought cover nearby, pinned down by MG, shelling and mortar fire. Tp comd, Lt Smith, having dismounted from his tank to assist them, left them under cover and returned to Castellari to find a way back. Lt Smith having returned to the crew of the disabled tank commenced to crawl back with the crew. This movement was observed by the enemy and heavy fire was brought down on the crew. Tpr Horsman wounded but brought back by stretcher, by, Tpr Watling and Tpr Williams under heavy fire from MG. Tpr Wooley also injured. As the road was now blocked by the tank, RE’s recced a further route and made a tank track over the river.
At 2359 hrs Sqn moved forward on this route over river to join 1 Tp at 0230 hrs.
19/9/44 At first light Sqn moved forward along road towards Grotte which the enemy had evacuated during the night, having withdrawn to area Borgo Maggiore. Roads were recced and cleared of mines. Tanks went forward in support of 2nd Camerons. 1 & 3 Tps moved to area Boldino 7783 clearing up and down positions and enemy strong points in houses on the sides and summit of the S Marino feature. 2 Tp with Capt Stainton went forward to 77718378 and gave good supporting fire to 1 & 3 Tps from an excellent concealed position. Cut-down Honey (Sgt Hopkins) acting as LO to 2nd Camerons at Rigo 7684 engaged 4 spandau positions with .50 Browning. Wounded later evacuated from these positions. 4 Tp rejoined Sqn and remained in reserve with Sqn HQ at Grotte. At last light Sqn pulled back behind Grotte.
20/9/44 0430 – 1 & 4 Tps moved to 764843 covering Borgo Maggiore. 2 Tp and Capt Stainton returned to yesterday’s good firing position. 3 Tp and two Sqn HQ tanks took up firing position in Grotte. Sqn Ldr and Recce officer went to Camerons HQ in a cut-down. 2nd Camerons HQ was overlooked by spandau posts which were troublesome. Some shelling.
0800 – 2 Camerons attack Borgo Maggiore supported by heavy fire from whole Sqn in which all ammunition in 2 & 3 tps was expended. 1 & 4 Tps keeping Ό in reserve. Tank firing having proved very effective 1 & 4 tps move up in support 2nd Camerons to area of Convent 759843.
1500 – Camerons occupied Borgo Maggiore with tank support and 4 enemy A/Tk guns were captured. Remainder of day occupied in clearing up enemy MG nests and firing at OP in S Marino towerslast light Sqn leaguered back again in area Grotte. Four tanks lost tracks while going over difficult ground to avoid minefield.
21/9/44 3 Tp ordered forward of S Marino but could not get further than the centre of Borgo Maggiore owing to a road blow just North of the town. Tp then returned to leaguer area. Heavy rain and mist all day, visibility nil. At 1800 hrs Sqn moved to houses in Rigo and dried out.
22/9/44 Sqn now under command 11th Bde. At 0830 hrs 2 & 3 Tps moved North of Borgo Maggiore to cover an attack on Pt. 300 South of R Marrecchia by 3/12th RFFR, objective taken without opposition. Night attack on Torriana with 2/7 GR and on Montebello with 3/12 RFFR planned during the afternoon. Sqn less 3 Tps to support 2/7 GR. 3 & 1 Tps to support by fire onto Montebello. Sqn leaguered last light in area Rigo.
23/9/44 0200 – Half Sqn comd by Sqn Ldr moved to 721864.
0300 – Sqn Ldr contacted CO 2/7 GR. Very scanty information. Contacted A Coy 2/7 GR. 1 & 3 Tps moved to area 7385 and supported 3/12 RFFR on to Montebello. Infantry not able to reach objective. Sqn Ldr and half Sqn were in a state of constant readiness from first light to go to the assistance of 2/7 GR who were having heavy casualties in area of Gessi 7088. Half Sqn not allowed to move forward by Comd 11 Bde.
NOTE:- if a decision had been made before 1030 hrs to move up to support the Infantry, the half Sqn could have saved the Infantry some casualties.
1545 – Half Sqn moved direct to Gessi area by track and road leading A Coy 2/7 GR. Heavy mortar fire from Montebello area and SP fire from Torriana. By last light tank fire had wiped out or silenced several enemy positions in houses in and South of Gessi. A Coy 2/7/GR linked up with LH Coy of 3/12 RFFR and made firm base 800 yards South of Gessi with patrols forward.
1915 – Half Sqn prepared to return to leaguer area at last light. Shelled and smoked by own arty rendering movement impossible for 30 minutes. Half Sqn eventually leaguered 721864.
24/9/44 Half Sqn less 2 tps pulled out to area 751853. First light 1 & 3 tps moved forward to Gessi in support 2nd Camerons, the enemy having pulled out from Montebello feature during the night. 3 & 1 Tps having moved forward to Torriana, remained there all day in counter attack role. At 1830 hrs they were relieved by K Tp 152 Bty (M10s) and returned to Sqn leaguer area.
27/9/44 Sqn moved to area 717006 in reserve.
28 – 30 Heavy rain, movement impossible.

September 1944 CO: Lt Col
Sep 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment      - Appendix B Sqn - OC Major KV Fidler MC
1/9/44 5 Tp remained in Pieve di Cagna, slight shelling.
2/9/44 5 Tp remained in position – enemy withdrawn. 8 Tp recovering tanks. 6 Tp relieved 5 Tp in afternoon and 5 Tp moved forward to Barbara.
3/9/44 5 Tp moved to Rocco 8368 and engaged enemy to NW.
4/9/44 6 Tp at Pieve di Cagna. 8 Tp finished recovering tanks. Quiet day as the enemy withdrawn. 5 Tp still in position but the enemy not engaged.
5/9/44 8 Tp returned from Pieve di Cagna to 8563 and were later relieved by a Tp from HQ. 5 Tp remaining in position.
Casualty Sgt E Eccles (wounded).
6/9/44 Sqn moved to La Casinino 8670 at 2000 hrs. 6 Tp moving on to Buzza 8574. 8 Tp to 8479. 5 Tp returned to Rocco to engage SPs.
7/9/44 6 Tp stayed at Buzza. 8 Tp moved back from Poggio S Giovanni to 8474 owing to accurate shelling. One tank of 7 Tp and later one tank of HQ sniped from S Giovanni on to cemetery and houses SW of cemetery.Casualty LCpl F Mallinson – wounded – died 8/9/44.
8/9/44 6 & 8 Tps moved forward from Buzza at 0430 hrs. 6 Tp to take Cemetery Hill and 8 Tp the shoulder between Cemetery Hill and Pt. 507. The leading tank of 6 Tp almost reached Cemetery Hill but was knocked out by an A/Tk gun from 8576 which was itself knocked out a few moments later by sniping tank from S Giovanni. 6 Tp who was following hit a mine on the road South of Pian di Castello. 8Tp went to the East of Castello and reached objective by first light capturing a quantity of very surprised Germans. The Infantry arrived at approx 1030 and consolidated 8Tps position. 2 HQ tanks came up to 8Tp in the late morning and 5Tp arrived at dark.Casualties:-
Tpr N Bassett killed
Tpr J Murray killed
Sgt A Bull wounded
Tpr W Young wounded
Sgt F Pymer wounded
Cpl C Jackson wounded
Tpr A Caufield wounded but remained on duty.
9/9/44 5 & 8 Tps supporting moved over Cemetery Hill from the East to take the next ridge at 0500 hrs. no opposition other than shelling was met and tanks stayed on ridge whilst Infantry consolidated. 7Tp came up at approx 1100 hrs. heavy mortar and shelling all day.
10/9/44 Consolidated position West of Cemetery Hill under intense mortar and shell fire all day. Counter attack came in at approx 0300 which cut off our forward Infantry. The tanks moved forward in support of Infantry and 7Tp were sent up from East of Cemetery Hill but failed to get there owing to darkness and bad going. By 0330 situation returned to normal. During this move Sgt Fraser’s tank rolled over twice, then proceeded to objective with 75mm out of action.
Sgt W Kerr killed
Cpl F Weedall injured (battle accident)
Tpr W Everton injured
Tpr G Hambleton injured
11/9/44 8Tp in support, role Cemetery Hill. Under heavy mortar and shell fire all day. At 1800 hrs stand-to for expected enemy counter attack which took place at 1945 hrs. tanks moved forward and engaged enemy driving them off by 2000 hrs.
10 and 12 Tps from C Sqn arrived shortly after to relieve 8Tp.
12/9/44 5 and 6 Tps and 1 honey moved to Cemetery Hill area to support Sikhs who had moved off to attack Monte Colombo. On night 11/12. They had only got 50 yards forward of the Sussex position. The day was spent dealing with left flank opposition firing down on the Sikhs. 10Tp which was in the area voluntarily came under command. Tanks and Sikhs withdrew that night leaving position as before with 10Tp supporting Sussex.
13/9/44 10Tp in support role Cemetery Hill.
14/9/44 7Tp in support role Cemetery Hill.
15/9/44 8Tp in support role Cemetery Hill.
6Tp right of Cemetery Hill giving support on to Gemmano and Pt. 248.
16/9/44 5Tp in support role near Cemetery Hill, withdrawing in evening and replaced by half Sqn from A Sqn. The understanding and co-operation we got from 1st R Sussex was first class throughout this battle.
17/9/44 Left Pian di Castello area at 0800 hrs to area Pedreto (9074) where we expected to have five days rest.
18/9/44 Left Pedreto with tanks to be handed in and draw six tanks from 277 Forward Delivery Sqn at La Poggio. One HQ tank drawn at Pedreto.
19/9/44 Drew six tanks from 227 Fwd Del Sqn and spent day re-kitting etc. three HQ tanks arrived from Pedreto.
20/9/44 Moved at approx 0800 hrs to R Morano (8485) to join 7th Armd Bde. Moved again at 1700 hrs to area 8087 where we arrived at 1900 hrs in a downpour of rain.
21/9/44 Spent very miserable day in pouring rain. Received warning order to move to 4th Ind Div on 22nd. Lt Arding resumed command 5Tp vice Capt Robinson to Echelon.
22/9/44 Moved at 0900 hrs to join 4th Ind div in area S Marino – carried out recce to North.
23/9/44 Carried out recce to North.
24/9/44 Warning order to move forward with 1st R Sussex in early afternoon. Moved at 1400 hrs and contacted Infantry North of S Marino – crossing the river Marecchie at about 2230 hrs and arrived in area Gemmiano at 2359 hrs – 7Tp left, 6Tp right.
25/9/44 5Tp joined 6Tp and all three troops engaged enemy in houses. 5Tp returned in the evening and 8Tp took their place.
26/9/44 6Tp and 8Tp – 7Tp remaining in support – crossed R Rubicon at dawn and took up position around Cornacchiara and engaged houses suspected enemy and were heavily shelled and mortared for their pains. Night – 2 Coys 1st R Sussex to attack M Regiano and one Plt Tribola. 8Tp to move along road to Reggiano – Tribola and 6Tp to Reggiano. The 2 Coys were held up 600 yards short of objective and owing to the pitched battle taking place, the mine clearing for 8Tp could not proceed. Plt on right got to within 300 yards of the objective and sent one section forward to objective and reported it clear. One Coy of 1/2nd Gurkhas took over from the Plt.
By first light the two Coys had dug in 600 yards from the objective and 6Tp and 8Tp had taken up supporting position.Casualties:-
Tpr A Calliers killed
Tpr A Fegan wounded
Sgt W Croft wounded
27/9/44 6Tp and 8Tp short of M Reggiano ridge engaging enemy in houses and on the ground. Relieved by 5Tp and 7Tp in the evening. Heavily shelled.
28/9/44 5 & 7Tp in same position engaging any enemy who happened to show themselves. Shelling and mortaring of tanks all day.
29/9/44 As yesterday. Little movement or firing owing to bad weather.
30/9/44 Usual inter-troop reliefs could not take place owing to bad state of approaches. Quiet day in comparison to others.

September 1944 CO: Lt Col
Sep 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment      - Appendix C Sqn - OC Major RJC Williamson
1/9/44 Half Sqn moved forward in support 4/11 Sikhs to Monte Calvo 9070.
Forward recces carried out in area 8891. Spasmodic shelling and mortaring. At 2200 hrs half Sqn comes under command 11 Ind Infantry Bde and in support 1/9th GR.
2/9/44 0400 – Half Sqn moved forward to 885718.
0600 – Tank support called for by 1/9 GR who were held up by MG and mortar fire area S Lorenzo 878732.
Half Sqn moved forward over very difficult ground, but were unable to reach S Lorenzo owing to minefield and ground which sloped away from a razor-back ridge. One tank lost track on mine and a further five tanks lost tracks and became casualties. Lt MacGregor recced minefield under shellfire. Disabled tanks heavily shelled and mortared. The crews of these tanks so far forward as to be uncertain of Infantry protection removed all vital portable equipment and returned to area 895711. Capt Williamson and Lt Templeton remained with a guard to look after disabled tanks. Lt MacGregor and crew forced to remain in tank throughout this period owing to heavy and accurate shelling and mortaring.
3/9/44 Lt MacGregor and crew carried out further recce for mines on road and lifted several. Spasmodic mortaring and shelling.
Two further tanks recovered by 2100 hrs under spasmodic mortar fire. Four tanks now fit, four still disabled, two requiring LAD attention.
4/9/44 NTR
5.9.44 Half Sqn rejoined remainder of Sqn –area Auditore 8471.
6/9/44 Sqn HQ in Auditore heavily shelled 0515 – 0545 hrs. dumps of petrol and ammunition set on fire. LO’s dingo burnt out.
9Tp and 11Tp supported R Sussex advance on Pian di Castello but unable to proceed beyond Buzza. 9Tp held up by mines on road.
Lt MacGregor killed whilst outside his tank making plan for further advance with Infantry Coy commander. 11Tp carried out successful shoot on farm buildings – area Pian di Castello.
2100 – C Sqn relieved by B Sqn under command 7th Ind Infantry Bde. C Sqn placed under command 11th Ind Infantry Bde. Sqn commander, Major GD Addison evacuated to ADS. Capt RJC Williamson assumes command of Sqn.
7/9/44 Sqn moved to area 785724 South of Tavoleto. Extensive recces forward carried out.
8/9/44 Recces by Tp leaders to area Castelnuovo.
9/9/44 Sqn came under comd 5th Ind Infantry Bde. Capt Walton, OP from 58 Medium Regt RA attached to Sqn.
10/9/44 Sqn moved to area 8575, thereby relieving A Sqn. Take over complete by 1600 hrs. three tanks taken over from A Sqn, but crewed by C Sqn.
9Tp, now commanded by Lt Hulley, moved to area 844766 in support 1/9 GR and in counter attack role. Spasmodic shelling and mortaring during the day.
Capt Mauldon takes over as 2i/c Sqn. Capt Jenkins takes over as Echelon Officer. Lt Lane posted as LO. Sqn tank strength 15.
11/9/44 11Tp relieved 9Tp in counter attack role in support 1/9 GR. Recce forward carried out by two officers under shellfire.Evening – Half Sqn under command Capt Mauldon MC came under command of 7 Bde at Monte Croce in support of C Coy 1st R Sussex.
12/9/44 Half Sqn remained in support of R Sussex.10Tp successfully engaged spandau posts and shot up enemy patrol.
9 and 11Tp engaged enemy position in Maite and La Sella with great success. Many stretcher parties seen removing casualties after shelling by Sqn.
12Tp (Lt Templeton) rejoined Sqn which was now complete less 10Tp which remained in support 7 Bde.
13/9/44 Enemy postitions at Maite, La Sella, Torneto and Cafrereso successfully shelled. 600 rds 75mm HE expended. Sqn congratulated by Bde on the excellence of the shooting.
Cpl Wright killed by shellfire.
14/9/44 Further shooting at same targets with good results. Stretcher parties again seen in target area after Sqn shoot. Over 600 rds expended.
Cpl Bradshaw wounded in the throat by mortar fire and evacuated while acting as LO to Infantry HQ.
14 tanks fit after hard work by crews and Sqn fitters.
15/9/44 Sqn relieved at first light by B Sqn and moved back to area 881716 remaining under command 5 Ind Infantry Bde.
18/9/44 The Regt less A Sqn having come under command 7th Armd Bde in support 56 Infantry Div, C Sqn moved to area SE of Mulazzano 818853. Sqn becomes Bde commander’s reserve at immediate notice. Slightly shelled during night of 18/19.
19/9/44 Sqn moved forward to area South of Cerasolo 825888. Officers and tank commanders recced forward and view battle from road East of Cerasolo. Spasmodic shelling of Sqn area during the night.
20/9/44 Sqn called forward at first light to area NW of Falciano to support attack by 2/6 Queens on San Christina and thence to Ceriano. 11Tp covered by remainder of Sqn, worked forward and linked up with Infantry just short of San Christina. 12Tp encountered considerable trouble with mines, but were able to proceed after lanes had been cleared by Infantry pioneer section.Supporting fire from 9, 10 and 12Tp destroyed or set on fire many enemy MG positions in houses and haystacks, while 11Tp worked down to the valley. First class shooting by 11Tp which resulted in the destruction of A/Tk guns and MG positions at 50 yards range. Cpl Billingham engaged and destroyed two 50mm A/Tk guns which had fired at him and missed at approx 100 yards range. During this engagement, Cpl Billingham smashed two fingers in 75mm recoil, but carried on a further two hours until relieved. One tank was hit four times by HE at point blank range. Gun destroyed with crew., later found to be 15cm Infantry gun.
10Tp replenished and moved up to San Christina, relieving 12Tp in its counter attack role. Uncomfortable night owing to shelling by own artillery. No casualties. Heavy rain.
10Tp bogged down on account of rain and unable to return to Sqn HQ, and remained in valley 774897 with Infantry and with supporting fire from 12Tp.
11Tp relieved by 12Tp. 12Tp leader (Lt Templeton) acted as 2i/c Sqn, and Lt Shillinglaw (OC 11Tp) took over 12Tp. 12Tp then proceeded along ridge to Ceriano. Going very slow, Infantry held up by MGs. Arrived Ceriano and did night shoot. 12Tp withdrew, having firmly established Infantry in Ceriano.
During the day cut-down Honeys commanded by Sgt Jack continued throughout to replenish forward tanks with petrol and ammunition. This replenishment was carried out under heavy shell fire and enable the Sqn to continue shooting, though on a limited scale, throughout the day. Torrential rain made conditions extremely difficult throughout and the Sqn was, this last day. Reduced to using emergency rations.
21/9/44 9Tp plus OC Sqn moved to Ceriano. 12Tp commanded by Lt Shillinglaw, moved forward with A & C Coys 2/6 queens. This move was in the nature of a strong patrol to recce forward, if possible as far as R Marecchio. Reached river crossing at 777912. Here 9Tp relieved 11Tp under cover of darkness and 11Tp rejoined OC.
22/9/44 9Tp remained forward in support A & C Coys 2/6 queens.
10Tp still bogged in mud at bottom of valley area 7790. Sqn moved back complete after dark to area 809880 and prepared to move back with Regt to 4th Ind Div sector.
23/9/44 Sqn moved with RHQ and B Sqn to Domagnano 773858.
24 – 25 Tp comds carried out recces forward.
Sqn reorganised to form 3 troops of 3 tanks each with a Sqn HQ of 3 tanks, with one spare crew to be carried on Sqn HQ.
26/9/44 Sqn moved across the Marecchio and concentrated area 7190. All officers and tank commanders recced forward to Trebbio. Valuable going information obtained.
27/9/44 0345 – 10Tp supported by three M10’s and OP tank moved forward in support 1/2 GR to reach Montalbano 7079 by first light. Infantry unable to advance more than 1200 yards, so 10Tp remained in support in area Pt. 160. Intensive continuous shelling during whole day.
Sqn HQ plus 11Tp moved forward and took up position for fire support NW of Poggio Berne.
OC moved to HQ 1/2 GR near Pt 160 707961.
Tp leaders of 10 and 11Tp liased with Infantry Coy commanders.
1230 – Attack by 1/2 GR supported by 10 and 11 Tp on Tribola and Reggiano feature commenced. 10 and 11Tp advanced guarding East flank. Sqn HQ, less OC, and 9Tp supported attack by fire from Poggio. 10Tp moved across very difficult ground – slopping, sodden plough – meeting strong opposition from enemy MGs and dug-in Infantry positions. 30 men of Coy 1/2 GR reached objective by 1600 hrs. 10 and 11Tp shot up numerous houses and MG positions. Four tanks, whole of 10Tp and one of 11Tp, shed tracks on steep and difficult slopes up to final objective and Lt McGrath changed tanks 3 times to retain control. Tanks immobilised and crews forced to remain inside owing to accurate spandau fire on any movement in the vicinity.
Repeated attempts made by crews to fix tow ropes to the disabled tanks, but all ropes were shot off as soon as they were placed in position. Sqn HQ plus 9Tp continued to engage targets on Tribola ridge with some effect.
Just before last light, the crews of the four disabled tanks were ordered to abandon tanks, in view of the fact that, in the face of strong enemy opposition on both flanks of the objective, the Infantry felt themselves unable to hold the ground. Before evacuating, crews collected all portable items of kit of value to enemy (Slidex, wireless equipment,firing-pins etc).
During evacuation, the crews were subjected to intensive fire from MG and mortars. Tpr AP Jones wounded during this period, but was assisted back to Sqn HQ by remainder of crew.Replenishment again brought up by cut-down Honey under shelling and mortar fire. Sgt Jack, in a cut-down, went forward and picked up the crews of four evacuated tanks, and returned with them to Sqn HQ at Poggio Berne.
28/9/44 Torrential rain continued throughout the night and morning. 9Tp, 11Tp and forward Sqn HQ at 709957 heavily shelled by HV SP. Forward section of Sqn moved forward with 1/2nd GR towards Tribola, but observed enemy fire made movement almost impossible throughout the day.
During the night 28/29 250 rds fell in Sqn area. No damage, no casualties. B1 Echelon shelled. Casualty one wounded (Tpr Dyet).
29/9/44 Very little change. Rain continued, the nature of the ground rendered movement impossible. Crews confined to tanks by heavy shelling and mortaring.
Sqn observed SP in area 696890. Heavy Battery OP with Sqn brought down concentration in area, causing SP to retire NW, giving no further trouble.
1Tp A Sqn came under command.
30/9/44 0100 – 0300 Lt Hulley led patrol of 1/2nd GR to recce a route forward for tanks. Roads found free from mines, but road verges contained SCHU mines, some of which were booby-trapped.
Canteen rations, including beer, ferried forward in cut-down by Sgt Jack.
Tiger tanks reported but not seen.
Rain ceased, heavy shelling continued.
Sqn medical orderly went forward in cut-down to evacuate wounded Gurkhas, whose medical equipment had been partially destroyed by shellfire.
1Tp (A Sqn) arrived to reinforce Sqn, but position still unchanged.

October 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Oct 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/10/44 RHQ & A Sqn NTR.
B Sqn0200 – Attack on BORGHI and REGGIANO with 2/11 Sikhs left, 1st R Sussex centre, Camerons right, supported by 5, 6 and 7Tp.
0615 – 7Tp Ldr gained objective over fallen trees, mines and mud, 7a & 7b moving up road to overlook BORGHI.
0520 – 6Tp moved through 5Tp to back-up 7Tp from area BREW HILL, just short of M REGGIANO. 5Tp remained in position covering left flank.
HQ and 8Tp moved over R RUBICON, 8Tp remaining at CORNACCHIARA. HQ moving up to contact forward troops. Rain all day.
C Sqn
Soon after first light, 9Tp supported by 11Tp moved forward to TRIBOLA and thence to M REGGIANO to link up with the attack made by 2nd Camerons and 1st R Sussex on TRIBOLA and REGGIANO. Objectives taken without opposition. 9Tp and 11Tp remained forward while Infantry consolidated the TRIBOLA and REGGIANO features. Mine recce done by Tp Ldrs along road and tracks forward. After first light, 9 & 11Tp withdrawn and replaced by troop of M10’s in counter attack role. Withdrawal successfully accomplished without enemy interference. No shelling during the night.
2/10/44 C Sqn
Sqn concentrated for rest and refit area POGGIO BERNI.
B Sqn
Tps changed over, leaving 8Tp watching BORGHI, remainder back to dry out. 7Tp rendered inoperative owing to Tp Ldr and 1 tank commander plus a gunner and driver on the sick list.
1530 – Report from Sikhs stating that 12 enemy tanks 2500 yards from forward position. Diversion past the road blow unusable owing to rain so 6Tp was sent round the road, one blew on a mine so was halted. Reinforced by remaining two tanks of 5Tp and went on to BORGHI. Here they found Infantry was pulling out so they were brought back to REGGIANO for the night where they had rain and HE all night.
Position at last light – 5 & 6Tp at REGIANO, 8Tp supporting from 500 yards short of REGGIANO road junction. HQ 200 yards behind 8Tp, remainder at CORNACCHIARA. Sqn Ldr from relieving Regt of Churchills made contact prior to take-over. Rain all day.
RHQ & A Sqn NTR.
3/10/44 RHQ, A & C Sqns NTR.
B Sqn
Infantry position clarified. Camerons in BORGHI, REGGIANO and RED HOUSE. 5 and 6Tp moved to BORGHI to support. Previous report of 12 enemy tanks cancelled, in fact one u/s tank had been found. During morning Churchills started taking over our positions and wrecks recovered. Weather improved from early morning. Handed over to C Sqn, North Irish Horse.
4/10/44 B Sqn moved to K.8 on SANTA ARCHANGELO road. Great difficulty in getting back over the RUBICON owing to height of water and state of approaches.
The following promotions were published:-
Capt RW Hill to A/Major
Lts KW Rhodes, Templeton and Eberstein to A/Captain
5/10/44 Lt ER Hudson taken on strength.
11/10/44 RHQ less tanks moved to SOGLIANO 635924.
12/10/44 Regt came under 7th Armd Bde. RHQ rejoined tanks and B1 Echelon.
13/10/44 Advance party left for new location at RECANATI S.6324.
2Lt HS Hodding promoted Lt.
14/10/44 Regt left for new location.
15/10/44 Regt arrived.
17/10/44 Regt moved to MONTELUPONE. Major Hill appointed Sports Officer.
18 – 31 Vitamin tablets issued.
Courses on Wireless, D&M, gunnery.Leave to Rome commenced.
Major JM Warner assumes command during CO absence on leave.

November 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Nov 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
5/11/44 Major G Chapman ToS and appointed 2i/c.
16/11/44 Major JM Warner appointed
17/11/44 Cambrai Day celebrated.
19/11/44 Regt left for FORLIMPOPOLI having come under command 10th Ind Div.
21/11/44 CO visited 20th Ind Bde with a view to Regt, lass C Sqn supporting this Bde in an advance up Route C when 4th Div had made a bridgehead.
23/11/44 Regt less C Sqn at six hours notice to move.
25/11/44 RHQ, B1 Echelon moved to area 413241.
30/11/44 Regt under command 20th Ind Infantry Bde.

November 1944 CO: Lt Col
Nov 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment      - Appendix C Sqn - OC Major RJC Williamson
20/11/44 Area – HQ, 11 & 12Tp 482186, 9 & 10Tp 486186.
21/11/44 Spasmodic shelling during the night. Sqn on 6 hours notice from 0300 hrs. during the morning liaison was effected between Tp Ldrs and Plt commanders of 2/6 GR. A route and leaguer were recced to support another possible attack. The Sqn Ldr went up in the air OP and carried out an extensive recce over the enemy lines and battle area. His report was not very encouraging. Tp positions unalterable.
An entirely new kind of German A/Tk mine was discovered on the road at 490230. This was dissected at great personal risk by Capt T Templeton and when its properties and peculiarities were discovered these were expounded to the troops.
22/11/44 During the morning the OC and 2i/c liased with 2/6 GR and 10th Ind Bde. This liaison was extended in the afternoon to Tp Ldrs and the SSM, after a CO’s conference attended by the OC.
Orders were received from the CO for the Sqn to be ready to move tonight, but not before orders had been issued by the Brigadier. These were issued at 1530 hrs at RHQ of 2/6 GR. On his return journey with Capt Templeton the OC was machine gunned by enemy aircraft. A Sqn O Group was held at 1730 hrs. the move was cancelled and orders were given for the recce during the night of canal crossing at 485306 and 504315 by Lt Hudson and Sgt Jack respectively. These crossings were both in enemy hands.
23/11/44 Sgt Jack met an enemy patrol and was unable to reach the bridge. During the morning all the Tp Ldrs went off to recce possible fresh positions and the OC went Tp HQ 10th Bde and attended a CRE’s conference where Fascines were discussed.
In the afternoon the ‘B’ tanks of 10, 11 and 12Tp were all taken to the RE’s and fitted with 4 per tank on the side. An explosive quick release gear was fitted, to detonate electrically. These Fascines were about 14’ long and 2” in diameter. They were fitted on the right hand side of the tank.
While these tanks were away orders were received for a troop to move immediately to 506291 and be prepared to support A Coy of the 2/6 GR at first light, 9Tp was detailed. The tanks fitted with fascines also moved to area 506291 and were joined by the rest of the Sqn at first light on 24th.
24/11/44 At first light 9Tp moved forward with A Coy to 478312 and immediately engaged numerous MG nests in houses. At 0830 hrs SHQ successfully engaged many targets along the banks of the R MONTONE. An extensive recce on foot was carried out by Lt Hulley to East and NE of SCUOLE but no suitable tracks could be found. At last light 9Tp was engaged in a fierce battle NW of SCUOLE.
At 1200 hrs 11Tp and 2i/c moved to 474305 in support of B Coy 2/10 GR where a place for only one tank could be found, from here targets at 471313 and 472311 were engaged, the latter being set on fire and left blazing at last light.
The remainder of the Tps went to C Coy 2/10 GR at 465306 to engage further targets after which a smoke screen was laid by the enemy rendering further shooting impractical for a time. At last light, in spite of the bad light 10Tp successfully engaged a small target indicated over the wireless.
Verey light signals between tanks and Infantry were used very effectively by 9Tp throughout the day.
Sgt Birkett was wounded and subsequently died.
25/11/44 Much the same as yesterday. Targets were effectively engaged by troops. 9Tp made its own fascines and used them to cross a ditch which otherwise could not have been crossed. The fascines were fitted to the front of the tank and dropped in the ditch by the driver and lap gunner cutting the wires.
A recce on the left was carried out by Lt Hudson with a view to supporting 2/10 GR when they extend in that direction to take over from the 10th Baluchs. Later it was found that there was a Churchill Sqn with flame throwers already there so the party was called off. Other targets were found but could not be engaged today because of bad visibility.
26/11/44 Another successful days shooting from the same firing points, including a shoot by 11Tp using an OP in the top storey of a house beside the tanks. Orders were received to stand down when 2/6 GR were relieved in the evening. 10 and 12Tp engaged targets along the road on the river bank and also engaged an OP in a church tower. The tower was completely demolished by 10Tp.
27/11/44 2i/c recced new billets at 429205 and went with an advance party to retain them.
28/11/44 A5 igniter mine was discovered and disarmed by Capt Mauldon.
29/11/44 Sqn moved to 398239 and at last light Sqn HQ moved to 408267. 9Tp moved to 404256 and 11Tp took over from 5 and 6 Tp (B Sqn) at ALBERETTO, all in support of 1/2nd Punjab Regt.
30/11/44 At first light – 11Tp moved to LA PODESTA in support of A Coy, losing one tank on a mine on the track (over 100 had been lifted by the RE’s in a stretch of 100 yards). A great part of this advance was carried out across country under very difficult conditions. After this attack the enemy said that the presence of tanks was decisive, especially in the collection of a bag of 30 prisoners.
Enemy tanks were reported at LA BENEDETTA 410288. Cpl Lush went forward on foot alone to investigate. He discovered a mining and demolition party in the area (410280) who drove off in a NE direction. The recce was carried out under very heavy shellfire and the information gained was inestimable. At approx 0900 hrs 9Tp was moved to 402283. They had considerable difficulty in getting there. On arrival they carried out several successful shoots, and patrolled as far North as CASA ARCI 402289.
Half Sqn under Capt JG Mauldon came under command of 1st Nabharaal Regt and carried out recces of routes forward.

November 1944 CO: Lt Col
Nov 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment      - Appendix A Sqn - OC Major T Stainton
28/11/44 1300 – Sqn moved to BIRANDOLA and joined FOO SU Battery 15 Fd Regt RA and one Tp SP A/Tk.
3 and 4Tp comds recced ground for next days attack.
Plan: C Coy 2/3rd GR were to attack GESSA from road junc 384268 supported by 3Tp from area VENEZIA 380368. Start time 0830 29th.
On success of this, D Coy were to attack RIAZZOLA from road junc 384268 supported by tanks from SW. thence to work up NW along the track through PIANETTA ca di SOTTO.
29/11/44 0830 – In spite of rain 5Tp managed to get in position off the road. GESSA was taken at 0900 and 5Tp moved East to support on to R RIAZZOLA.
4Tp was to cover 3 from CASA NUOVA and be prepared to cover the left if necessary, but his vision was very limited and he was withdrawn. 2Tp moved by road to RIAZZOLA, but 5Tp arrived first across country and in about 15 minutes it was taken.
It was found satisfactory for the tanks to support up the vine avenues, while the Infantry worked diagonally through them. This enabled tank support to be continued until quite late. But we had no direct intercom between tanks and Coys, since they carried no 38 sets. We shall try netting 38s to Infantry FOO sets.
1300 – 2Tp moved through 3Tp and remained the night at 385376.
30/11/44 2/3rd GR during the night had occupied BERNARDO. At first light 1Tp moved up to BERNARDO and 4Tp to ALBERETO cross roads.Plan: B Coy were to attack from BERNARDO NW to road junc 386288 and work down the houses towards the river. 1 and 4Tp to support from area GIACOBBI 390285.
1530 – Attack went in and tank support was successful. 1Tp remained in area of road junction for the night, also two SP A/Tk were moved in at dusk. 4Tp was withdrawn. There was some difficulty in making arrangements for the night since the Coy comd was not English speaking. Tanks are not of much value at night unless very exact arrangements can be made as to their job in the event of a counter attack.
Fascines were carried up by 1 and 4Tp for the bridging of a particular ditch which had been recced by RE’s for the night at BERNARDO. Replenishment for 1Tp made by cut-down Stuarts.

November 1944 CO: Lt Col
Nov 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment     - Appendix B Sqn - OC Major KV Fidler MC
25/11/44 Sqn moved up and contacted 3/5 Maharattaa (20th Ind Infantry Div) during the morning. In the afternoon formed up – one up, 8Tp leading, heading North from 6 kilos East of FAENZA with the intention of pushing North as far as ALBERETO. Rain about 1500 hrs.
Road was found to be heavily blown with flood dykes saturating road surface, some mines found (non metallic glass type). Progress was very slow and only about 2000 yards total advance made. No contact with enemy, shelling and mortaring.
Lt Help and Tpr Bonnessy wounded by shellfire. 7Tp taken over by Sgt Fraser MM.
26/11/44 Advance continuing in heavy rain, progress slow owing to road having been searched for glass mines, as risk of blocking main axis considered to be too great at this stage. Leading Coy (B) suffered some casualties from mortar and shelling so 6Tp was switched to B Coy to continue advance NW from 400254 through REUA, which was reached against light resistance. When advance was swung North again however, after 200 yds Infantry were held up by direct fire and some casualties suffered. Leading tank (6a) after jumping road block of fallen trees struck a mine, as no pioneers were at this stage in the leading elements.
To give Infantry the support required, Tp comd 8Tp recced cross country route on foot under considerable fire and set his two remaining tanks up with the Infantry who intended pushing up past the hamlet at 390865. This was however impossible owing to casualties suffered by the Infantry who were replaced by A Coy; 6Tp in support. It was found that houses had been overlooked by the Infantry and 6Tp were busily engaged in eliminating such buildings whilst the light lasted.
5Tp brought up and placed in support of C Coy with the intention of making the Xroad at 39527. After a three hour foot recce to find the Infantry they were contacted by 5Tp and joined at 1730 hrs at 402264.
8Tp placed in support of C coy 1/2nd Punjabi. Moved up to first objective (Jane), no opposition. Tanks arrived without Infantry and were on objective 1½ hours before Infantry were finally dug-in. enemy patrol beaten off by Infantry during the night.
27/11/44 5Tp pushed through heavily mined area to DENEDETTA with A Coy after first light, foot recce looking for enemy tanks, none seen. After gaining this objective, returned to support C Coy and advanced to 397274 at 1500 hrs where Infantry were held up by heavy mortar and SP fire from direction of 394276, several direct hits sustained by Infantry coy HQ at 394274. Intermittent fire and torrential rain all night.
6Tp remained with A Coy in counter attack role. 4 Infantry killed when direct hit scored on 8a.
7Tp brought up in support of 5Tp who were consistently threatened from left flank. 7Tp comd (Sgt Fraser) advanced up road alone from 411265 to 396274 in an attempt to draw fire from suspected enemy SPs. Enemy did not retaliate but movement observed by 5Tp, so C/support fire was brought down with 5Tp Comd afoot with 38 set, talking to his operator on the tank 38 set, operator relaying corrections on 19 set direct to 2i/c ranging. 3 direct hits on house, some damage and casualties to one SP, which afterwards pulled out under cover of darkness, pursuit not possible owing to mined approaches. 5Tp relieved at last light by A/Tk guns.
8Tp moved back down road to cross canal at 400258, returned North and went to support D Coy 1/2nd Punjabi at 486268. Moved NE along road and took C CATTANI at 408272. Heavy MG fire but light too bad for tank shooting for Infantry safety. Turned left at road junc to attack ALBERETO 405277. Infantry held up by mortar stonk and severe spandau. 8 and 8a bogged behind 8b but troop able to give HE and Browning support on ALBERETO at Infantry Comd request. Infantry then put in bayonet charge and 8 and 8a were unditched under own steam and advance continued up to 404276 to consolidate. On the way up support fire from tanks was requested and given onto 402277. ALBERETO reached about 1500 hrs where tanks remained with crews mounted all night. Some mortaring during the night.
Close support 105’s were used effectively on suspected OPs and enemy forming up places. One house shot down afterwards confirmed as enemy OP, this was OP’d by 5Tp Comd.
28/11/44 6Tp with depleted A Coy advanced to LA ZORDA at midday. On arrival 6b shot down ALBERETO church tower which was being used as an OP – 18 rds mixed AP & HE at approx 900 yds.
1330 – Enemy counter attacked LA ZORDA from West. Owing to casualties of our own Infantry, only two tanks were really effective. These were moved and attack was effectively beaten off under orders of 6Tp Comd. 40 enemy dead were afterwards counted.
1530 – Enemy counter attack was reported to be forming up. As the ammunition had not been made up, Browning at long range was used by 6Tp and close support 105mm was put down, HE and smoke mixed, on enemy area, with the result that this attack was never put in. close support fire was controlled by 6Tp Comd.
29/11/44 Remained in position all night, sending back one tank at a time to replenish from dump made 1000 yds back by Honeys.
8Tp all quiet until 1000 hrs when Lt Holding advanced to shoot up ALBERETO church which was being used as enemy OP. After firing six shots, heavy counter mortar stonk drove the tank back with Lt Holding wounded in the head. This target was subsequently dealt with by 8b.
5Tp sent to relieve 8Tp at first light at 405278 in support B Coy 1/2nd Punjabi. No move out permitted by Infantry Comd owing to excessive stonking in the morning. During the afternoon shot up target at 400277 for 3/5 Maharattaa- bad visibility, result unknown. Relieved by C Sqn at 2000 hrs and withdrew to Sqn concentration area at 402264.
6Tp relieved at first light by 7Tp and withdrew to concentration area. 7Tp in support A Coy, several counter attack alarms during the day with tanks, but none actually seen bt Tp Ldr who did extensive foot recces. Tp in observation all night.
8Tp relieved and brought back to Sqn concentration area. Tp taken over by Lt PN Custance.
30/11/44 6Tp in support of D Coy ??? on assault on ALBERETO from the East, supported by 5Tp. Attack started at 0700 hrs with C CATTANI as first objective. When this was reached the Infantry had used their ammunition dealing with dug-in positions which were ‘flushed’ by one tank (Cpl Reekie) from the flank. During the ensuing interval (90 minutes) 6Tp were ordered to hold the road and approaches from the North and 5Tp were moved up in close support, on orders from Sqn Comdr.
Afterwards attack continued with 6Tp moving into village and relieved of northern flank responsibility by 5Tp. All objectives gained and both troops relieved at last light by M10’s and towed A/Tk guns.
7Tp still in support A Coy 3/5 Mah on left flank dealt with any movement observed which might interfere with the main attack on ALBERETO. One ammo dump fired.
8Tp in support of C Coy NABHAKAALS in assault on ALBERETO from the South. Xroad at 395275 found still mined and cratered despite report that it had been cleared. No Infantry visible for nearly two hours. First tank mined so other two were due through mud to gain first objective 396276 which they held until Infantry arrived. Attack continued into ALBERETO and all objectives gained. This troop was under direct shelling all day, two aerial bases and several items of outside kit shot off and four periscopes smashed. Tp withdrawn at last light.
During the consolidation of ALBERETO a counter attack supported by three tanks was reported by air OP to be forming up at about 309806 and afterwards across country onto ALBERETO. To deal with this 8Tp formed up SW. 5Tp came through 6Tp to NW of ALBERETO in readiness. C/S were directed onto area, but no attack actually came in.
All troops recalled to Sqn concentration area by 1900 hrs.

December 1944 CO: Lt Col AC Jackson
Dec 44 6th Royal Tank Regiment
1/12/44 RHQ NTR.
A Sqn
Plan to close up to the river and fill in North to BAZZONA – 0730 hrs 3Tp move up and join 1Tp. At 1300 hrs patrols reported little opposition and C Coy went on to occupy BAZZONA, supported by 3Tp. The vines were thick and support was difficult. However, there was little opposition and the occupation was successful. At 1800 hrs 1 & 3Tp withdrawn and 3Tp left up at GATTINA 390281. 2/6 GR take over from 2/3 GR.B Sqn6a and 8b recovered under own power by crews and Sqn fitters.
C Sqn
At first light half Sqn moved up to ALBERETO church. Whilst manoeuvring into position 12Tp unfortunately lost a tank on a mine at Xroad 295275, this road had been reported swept and clear of mines. 10Tp were in support of B Coy and 12Tp in support of A Coy. A successful attack was carried out on 295982 and DOMENCO 293284 and secondly on 295290. Tanks not used on first objective but were used on the second. 10Tp did some useful shooting of houses on the lateral road through MIGLIANO supported by HQ and 12Tp. 9Tp which were in area lent support to this attack by fire on the houses on the East end of the objective. HQ and 12Tp experienced considerable difficulty with soft going and eventually were all bogged down. Fascines were used and all tanks were got out by their crews. Considerable mortar and spandau fire was directed at the tanks whilst they were being recovered.9 and 11Tp had a comparatively quite day. 1/2nd Punjabi being relieved by RGD. 11Tp were moved across country to BENEDETTA together with arty OP.
2/12/44 RHQ, B1 Echelon less tanks moved to 400261. Regt in support 43 Lorried Ghurka Bde who relieved 20 Ind Infantry Bde.
A Sqn based on BIRANDOLA. HQ moved to BERNADA.
B Sqn NTR.
C Sqn
0900 – RCD’s launched a large attack supported by 9Tp and reached area 409301. Target indication by verey lights was successfully used and support by 9Tp was invaluable.
11Tp was switched from LA BENEDETTA to 401284 and SHQ moved to 405292. 12Tp and HQ moved up and joined 10Tp at MIGLIANO.
10Tp and 2i/c moved up and supported Nabha into CHINASSI and successfully won a fine fight with some German MGs. Recces were carried out by 2i/c and 10Tp Ldr along the road NE from CHINASSI. Suspicious rounded humps on the river bank turned out to be Germans who later killed a patrol which went up to investigate.
At last light 10Tp returned to MIGLIANO. 8th Ghurkas took over.
3/12/44 RHQ – NTR
A Sqn – Shooting as required by Infantry Comd against houses and enemy posts.
B Sqn – NTR
C Sqn – 9Tp advanced at first light in support of A Coy RCD to 408320 and 11 Tp moved to 411312 in support B Coy. SHQ moved to LA RIFA.
1200 – This part of the Sqn was relieved by 12th RTR and came into support of 2/8 GR. Meanwhile 10Tp had supported D Coy 2/8 GR to 392300 and B coy to 386303. They destroyed some MG nests and withdrew in the evening to 389391. 9 and 11Tp spent the night at 395200. 12Tp & HQ at 394289. Major Williamson took over command of the Sqn.
4/12/44 RHQ – NTR
A Sqn – Shooting as required by Infantry Comd against houses.
B Sqn – NTR
C Sqn – At first light 10Tp again moved forward to support B Coy and engaged numerous MG nests in the banks of R LAMONE at 385303. During the day the troop remained in support and withdrew at night to 393305.
5/12/44 1000 – B Sqn followed by RHQ & B1 Echelon moved back to area VILLA FRANCA on relief by 48 RTR.
1500 – A & C Sqn moved to conc area VILLA FRANCA. Regt came under command 7th Armd Bde.
5 – 13 Heavy rain restricted all movements. Personnel working on maintenance, road repair and building fascines.
14/12/44 A Sqn at 6 hours notice to move to area SW of FAENZA in support of 10th Ind Div.
15 – 17 NTR
18/12/44 A Sqn stood down.
21/12/44 A Sqn at 6 hours notice to support 10th Ind Div.
22/12/44 At 0500 hrs A Sqn moved to 248242 in support 10th Ind Div. Lt Bowman MC MM wounded by anti-personnel mine while on RE recce.
1130 – RHQ, B1 Echelon less tanks moved to FAENZA.
23/12/44 1800 – RHQ tanks moved to FAENZA.
Capt A Aplin promoted A/Major and appointed OC HQ Sqn vice Major Hill on leave to South Africa.
Lt Shillinglaw promoted A/Captain.
24/12/44 C Sqn moved to FAENZA.
26/12/44 Lt JF McGrath promoted A/Captain.
28/12/44 Lt DES Bulman wounded while disarming an enemy booby trap.

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