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War Diary: 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, Jan - Dec 1944

WO 171/5150WO 171/1258 3 Scots Guards Scots Guards War Diary 1945 North West Europe

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#1 dbf

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 171/1258

 

Allied Expeditionary Force, North West Europe (British Element): War Diaries, Second World War, INFANTRY REGIMENTS



Description: 3 Scots Guards (Tank Battalion)
 
Date: 1944 Jan.- Dec.

See also: http://www.ww2talk.c...may-1945-a.html
NB Sketch maps etc have been taken from the above link and added to this thread in order to illustrate positions. References within the text below refer to maps which were not included in the file.

 

 

Gallery Album:

http://ww2talk.com/f...s-1944-jan-dec/


Edited by dbf, 04 May 2013 - 09:47 PM.

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#2 dbf

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

WAR DIARY: 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS, January - December 1944


INDEX

1944


January
February
March
April
May
June

July
Appendix K1 - Account of Caumont 30 July 1944
Appendix A - Orbat 30 July 1944
Appendix B - Casualties 30 July 1944
Appendix F - Battlefield recce of action 30 July 1944

August
Appendix K2 - Account of Estry 6 August 1944
Appendix A - Orbat 6 August 1944
Appendix B - Casualties 6 August 1944
Appendix K3 - Account of Chenedolle 11 August 1944
Appendix A - Orbat 11 August 1944
Appendix B - Casualties 11 August 1944

September
October
November
December

Edited by dbf, 10 April 2013 - 09:41 AM.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:38 PM

1 - 3 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

4 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Battalion Exercise “TROT”.
Copy attached.

5 - 6 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Lectures to Squadrons, and Officers discussion, on CAMOUFLAGE.

7 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Brigade Signals Exercise “TURNCOAT”

8 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Commanding Officer’s Parade.

9 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Battalion visited by Lieutenant-Colonels J.M. HAY, Officer Commanding 5/7 GORDONS, and A. DUNLOP, Officer Commanding 7 A.&.S.H. and A.G.F. MONROE, Officer Commanding 5 CAMERONS.

10 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Brigade TEWT “OPEN” (Tactical)
Copy attached.

11 - 12 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

13 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Visit of Regimental Band.

14 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Brigade TEWT “OPEN” (Adm)

15 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Commanding Officer’s Parade attended by Regimental Band.
Arrival of 5 CAMERONS (152 INFANTRY BRIGADE) at CARBURTON Camp.

16 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

17 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN” begins.
Being an Exercise to practice Tank/Infantry co-operation with Battalions of the 51st HIGHLAND DIVISION.

18 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN I”. Copy attached.

19 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN I”.
Tactical discussion with 5 CAMERONS “Tank/Infantry Co-operation in the mobile battle”.

20 - 21 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CAIRNGORM I.”
Copy attached.
Being an Exercise to practice the deliberate attack by Infantry supported by tanks.

22 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Departure of 5 CAMERONS.
Arrival of 5/7 GORDONS (153 INFANTRY BRIGADE)
Visit of Lieutenant-Colonel MILES, M.C., DACG, 8 CORPS.

23 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

24 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN II” begins.
As a result of Major R.H.G. MOUNSEY-HEYSHAM being sick the following posting of Officers has taken place:
Captain C. O’M. FARRELL promoted Major and posted to command Left Flank
Captain W.P. BULL transferred to ‘S’ Squadron as Second-in-Command.
Captain A.J.C. SEYMOUR transferred to Left Flank as Second-in-Command.
Captain R.W.O. BURNETT on return from GUARDS ARMOURED TRAINING WING posted to H.Q. as Battalion Liaison Officer.
Captain The Honourable W.H.C.J.R. WATSON-ARMSTRONG is posted away to be Second-in-Command of BRIGADE TANK DELIVERY SQUADRON.
Lieutenant JW.C. ELLIOT promoted Captain and posted to command ‘T’ Squadron.
2/Lieutenant F.J.N. CURZON joined the Battalion.
2/Lieutenant J. WILSON joined the Battalion.

25 - 26 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN II”.

27 - 28 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CAIRNGORM II.”
Copy attached.
Being an Exercise to practice Battalion Laager and deliberate attack in co-operation with Infantry.
Watched by Major-General D.C. BULLEN SMITH, D.S.O., M.C. (G.O.C. 51 HIGHLAND DIVISION) and Brigadier G.L. VERNEY, M.V.O.

29 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Departure of 5/7 GORDONS.
Arrival of 7 A.&S.H.
Lieutenant J.O. CHUBB leaves the Battalion.
Lieutenant P.B. FRASER re-joins Battalion from H.Q. 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE.

30 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

31 January 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “GRAMPIAN III” begins.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 20 February 2012 - 10:45 PM.

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#4 dbf

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:54 PM

1 - 4 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CAIRNGORM III.”
Copy attached.
Termination of Infantry and Tank Co-operation training with 7 A.&S.H., 51 (HIGHLAND) DIVISION.

5 - 6 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

7 February 1944
Thoresby Park
The Battalion paraded under Major W.S.I. WHITELAW to rehearse for C.-in-C. parade.
First STUART Tank for training of Recce Troop arrived.
Exercise “BALL” for volunteer spectators of CORPS Football Final. Copy attached.

8 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

9 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “MONTY”.
The BRIGADE moved in convoy to CORPS H.Q. for parade of CORPS Troops and 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE and to hear address by C.-in-C.

10 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Morning visit of Major-General to the Battalion.

11 - 12 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

13 - 16 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Gunners fire 6-pounder, 95mm at MIDHOPE Ranges.

17 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

18 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Lecture to all Officers from Captain NOBLE, ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY, on Artillery Assistance.

19 - 20 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

21 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Re-visit of War Office Personnel Selection Board to complete examination of the Battalion.

22 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Indoor TEWT for Officers - “KNOCK HARDER”.
Copy attached.

23 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

24 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Continuation of Exercise “KNOCK HARDER”.

25 February 1944
Thoresby Park
The Major-General visited the Battalion in the afternoon and inspected the camp.

26 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

27 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Lieutenant J.S.P. DORMER and 2/Lieutenant J.S.M. RAMSAY joined the battalion from the Training Battalion of the Regiment.

28 - 29 February 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 20 February 2012 - 11:14 PM.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

1 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Tank crews leave for WARCOP Ranges to fire 6-pounder, 6-pounder H.E. and Besa.

2 - 3 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Firing at WARCOP.

4 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Battalion returned from WARCOP.

5 - 7 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

8 March 1944
Thoresby Park
BRIGADE ‘A’ & ‘B’ Echelon Exercise “OPEN II”.
Captain J.W.O. ELLIOT - Battalion Echelon Commander

9 March 1944
Thoresby Park
BRIGADE ‘A’ & ‘B’ Echelon Exercise “OPEN II”.
Re-play of CORPS Football Final.
Battalion -v- CORPS Signals. Result CORPS Signals 4, Battalion 3.

10 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Captain The Marquess TOWNSHEND was attached to 100 O.C.T.U. (R.A.C.) SANDHURST as Instructor.

11 - 14 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

15 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Preparations for Exercise “SMITH”.

16 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Rehearsal of tank march past or Exercise “SMITH”.

17 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “SMITH”.
The 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE was inspected by H.M. The KING.

18 - 19 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

20 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Combined training with 6 K.O.S.B.
Squadron and Company training.

21 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CELT”.
The Battalion on evening Monday in STRAWBERRY HILL area. Copy attached.

22 March 1944
Thoresby Park Exercise “CELT”.
Exercise of combined Infantry Battalion and Tank Regiment co-operation, with 6 K.O.S.B.
The Exercise was directed by Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR.
The Battalion was commanded by Major S.J. CUTHBERT
Captain N.W. BEESON returned to the Battalion from O.C.T.U. (R.A.C.) SANDHURST as Recce Officer to ‘S’ Squadron.

23 - 25 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “TATLER”.
Involving tank and infantry co-operation Exercise.
6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE was in support of 44 (L) BRIGADE.
The Battalion, with the 6 K.O.S.B.
The Exercise took place in area BLIDWORTH, against opposing forces to the South
The BRIGADE concentrated in the afternoon of 23 March and the Exercise ended at approximately 0830 hours on the morning of 25 April.

26 - 27 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

28 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CELT II”.
Copy attached.
Co-operation with 7 A.&S.H.

29 - 30 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Recce Troop fired 37mm and .300 Browning.
Remaining 1st gunners and ops H.E. and AP 75mm at MIDHOPE Ranges.
AA Troop fired Oerlikon and Vickers.

31 March 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 20 February 2012 - 11:24 PM.

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

1 - 2 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CELT III” : Co-operation with 7 SEAFORTH.
Appendix A.

3 - 5 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

6 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Suspension of privilege leave.
Firing at MIDHOPE Ranges: 75mm and Besa practices.

7 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Firing at MIDHOPE Ranges: 75mm and Besa practices.

8 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Imposition of censorship of outgoing mail.

9 - 13 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

14 April 1944
Thoresby Park
The Battalion had a closed address from 0001 hours onwards.

15 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Battalion route march under Major S.J. CUTHBERT.

16 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

17 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Practice in stowage of ammunition in 3-ton lorries and inspection by the BRIGADE Umpire and BRIGADE Major.
The Recce Troop under command of Lieutenant R.C.G. PEMBER leaves for 10 days’ training in the WOLDS area.

18 - 20 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

21 April 1944
Thoresby Park
2/Lieutenant C. CAMPBELL
2/Lieutenant P.W.P. COMYSS
2/Lieutenant J.M. FEARFIELD
2/Lieutenant C.J.O. CLARKE
joined the Battalion from the Training Battalion of the Regiment.
Lieutenant H.N. NEVILE left the Battalion and was posted to GUARDS ARMOURED TRAINING WING, PIRBRIGHT.
Lieutenant J.W.C. ELLIOT also joined the GUARDS ARMOURED TRAINING WING.

22 - 27 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Nothing to report.

28 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Exercise “CORNELIUS” under the command of Major Sir C.H.F. MACLEAN.
Main Road Party leaves THORESBY.
Harbour that night near WELWYN, HERTS.

29 April 1944
Thoresby Park
Main Road Party arrives 1630 hours in camp of EASTWELL Park.

30 April 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

Attached Files


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

1 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Patrolling courses for Squadron Recce Officers and senior Troop Leaders under Major S.J. CUTHBERT (1 week).

2 May 1944
Eastwell Park
2/Lieutenant A.K. McC. ELLIOTT
2/Lieutenant T.E.P. GILPIN
2/Lieutenant J.C.J. SHEARER
joined the Battalion for attachment.

3 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

4 May 1944
Eastwell Park
24 hours rest period per man per week regulation came into force.

5 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion moved from camp in EASTWELL Park into EASTWELL House.
Recce Troop, ‘T’ Squadron to WALNUT TREE Farm.

6 - 7 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

8 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Firing at SHORNCLIFFE to practice new 75mm guns (Vernier locks).

8 - 16 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Anti-Aircraft Troop (Commander Lieutenant E.C.H. WARNER) carried out operational role at SHORNCLIFFE.

15 May 1944
Eastwell Park
The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the Regiment visited the Battalion.

17 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

18 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion Signals Exercise “TWICE”.
Arrival of two LOCUST light tanks for Recce Troop.

19 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Exercise “BIRDCAGE”.
Practice “Stand-to” 1700 hours till 0300horus 20 May, based on Battalion Defence Scheme.

20 - 22 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

23 - 24 May 1944
Eastwell Park
BRIGADE Signals Exercise “SLASHER” - G net, Q net, Tech assistance and Battalion net.

24 May 1944
Eastwell Park
The Major-General Commanding BRIGADE OF GUARDS visited the Battalion.

25 May 1944
Eastwell Park
BRIGADE Signals Exercise “RAMSAY”. G and Q nets only.
Intelligence Officers manned rear link sets
Battalion Signals Exercise “SNAP”.

26 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion Signals Exercise “POKER”.

27 May 1944
Eastwell Park
75mm firing at SHORNCLIFFE.

28 - 29 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

30 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Exercise “TRUBSHAW”.
The BRIGADE attended a Divine Service in CANTERBURY Cathedral.
Address by the Archbishop of CANTERBURY.
The BRIGADE Commander took the salute at March Past. Appendix B.
Holiday for the BRIGADE.

31 May 1944
Eastwell Park
Leave travel regulation modified to 25 miles radius.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 21 February 2012 - 12:04 PM.

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#8 dbf

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:40 PM

During the month the Battalion continued preparation for Embarkation and move overseas.
Modifications on tanks were continued.

1 - 7 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

8 June 1944
Eastwell Park
First Flying Bomb passed over Battalion area.

9 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the Regiment visited the Battalion.

10 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

11 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Lieutenant C.R.T. CUNNINGHAM, M.Q.M.S. and Tank Squadron Mech. Serjeants went to GUARDS ARMOURED TRAINING WING, PIRBRIGHT, for course on SHERMAN tank.

12 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Stowage trials for all Battalion vehicles.
Stowed vehicles were inspected by the BRIGADE Commander.
2/Lieutenant P.W.P. COMYSS
2/Lieutenant P.A.S. GORDON
2/Lieutenant I.L.M. CRICK
2/Lieutenant J. MACDONALD-BUCHANAN
2/Lieutenant H.L.C. GREIG
2/Lieutenant E.J. PETERSON
joined Battalion from WESTMINSTER Garrison for attachment to undergo Armoured Training.

13 - 21 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

22 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Captain C. O’M. FARRELL re-joined Battalion on termination of attachment H.Q. 30 CORPS as an observer in NORMANDY.

23 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

24 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion paraded under Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR at INVICTA Barracks, MAIDSTONE.

25 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Party from Battalion attended Old Comrades Day at PIRBRIGHT
Battalion was 2nd in Shooting Match.
Billets inspected by Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR.

26 June 1944
Eastwell Park
2/Lieutenant P.W.P. COMYSS
2/Lieutenant P.A.S. GORDON
2/Lieutenant I.L.M. CRICK
2/Lieutenant H.L.C. GREIG
2/Lieutenant J.C.J. SHEARER
2/Lieutenant E.J. PATERSON
2/Lieutenant J. MACDONALD-BUCHANAN
left Battalion for GUARDS ARMOURED TRAINING WING, PIRBRIGHT.

27 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

28 June 1944
Eastwell Park
BRIGADE Commander ordered dispersal of unit personnel as PAD precaution against flying bombs.
Battalion confined to 10 miles radius of billets and under orders to remain at 6 hours’ notice.

29 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

30 June 1944
Eastwell Park
Captain C. O’M. FARRELL lectured to all Officers on the Campaign in NORMANDY.
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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

1 - 3 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

4 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion A & B Echelon road march under Major Sir C.H.F. MACLEAN, Bt.

5 - 8 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

9 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Preparations and planning for Exercise “SIZZLE”.
Appendix A.
Battalion O Group 1830 hours.

10 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Exercise “SIZZLE”.
Tank Squadrons and A Echelon took part in Exercise of Battalion in Armoured role.
Exercise took place in STONE STREET Training Area.
Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR.

11 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Exercise “SIZZLE” concluded 1600 hours.
Battalion returned to billets.

12 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Maintenance and repair to tank casualties suffered on Exercise “SIZZLE”.

13 - 14 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Nothing to report.

15 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Battalion Drill Parade at 0830 hours under Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR.

16 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Beginning of move to Tank Marshalling Area, BOTLEY, HANTS.
First tank train left ASHFORD 1800 hours.

17 July 1944
Eastwell Park
Preparations and stowage of ‘B’ vehicles for move “WADDING”. Appendix B.

18 July 1944
Eastwell Park
0600 hours
Move “WADDING”.
Battalion F2, ‘A’ and ‘B’ Echelons, under command Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR, left billets at EASTWELL Park for marshalling area CAMP A9 and arrived 1600 hours.

19 July 1944
Marshalling Area
3 Shiploads of Battalion M.T. left Marshalling Area for Embarkation in L.S.T.s at the Hards at GOSPORT.
These shiploads lay out in SOLENT night 19/29 July.

20 July 1944
Marshalling Area
Remaining M.T. and the tanks embarked.
First 3 shiploads join convoy leaving for FRANCE 0900 hours.
The convoy had rough crossing and arrived off JIG beach 1 1/2 miles EAST of ARROMANCHES 1900 hours.

21 July 1944
After beaching and drying out first shipload managed to disembark 0530 hours.
2nd and 3rd L.S.T.s carrying Battalion vehicles remained off shore until next tide.
L.S.T. carrying ‘S’ Squadron vehicles forced to turn back in heavy sea.
Battalion begins concentration in area ESQUAY-SUR-SEULLES, 2 miles EAST BAYEUX.

22 July 1944
'S’ Squadron tanks arrived in concentration area.

23 July 1944
Concentration completed.

24 July 1944
Nothing to report.

25 July 1944
C.O., Second-in-Command, Adjutant and Squadron Leaders attended Conference given by 21 ARMY GROUP Commander, General Sir Bernard MONTGOMERY.

26 July 1944
C.O., Adjutant and Major Sir C.H.F. MACLEANT, Bt., visited H.Q. 5 GUARDS ARMOURED BRIGADE in area CAEN.

27 July 1944
Nothing to report.

28 July 1944
2200 hours
Battalion was ordered to move from Concentration Area to area ST. HONORINE DE DUCY. (3 miles East of BALLEROY).

29 July 1944
In the Field
Battalion in new area by 0830 hours
6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE was put in support 227 INFANTRY BRIGADE, 15 (S) DIVISION.
Day spent in planning, recce and preparation for attack following day.

30 July 1944
In the Field
In support 6 A.&S.H.
Battalion commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR, attacked South, with 1 squadron 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS supporting GORDONS on Left and 4th Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS with 10 H.L.I. on Right, to take an objective (Point 309) 6 miles South of CAUMONT.
The Battalion advanced 2 squadrons up, Right Flank on Right, ‘S’ on Left.
Left Flank followed ‘S’ Squadron.
The area attacked was held by elements of 361 German Infantry Division.
This was the first stage in an Operation designed to break through the German lines and prepare the way for a large scal advance by British Armoured Formations.
The Sector had been considerably weakened by the Germans in order to reinforce units holding their line further West opposite US V CORPS.
At first the Battalion found little opposition and few anti-tank defences.
A minefield, however, was encountered and 2 tanks were immobilised before avoiding action could be taken.
Heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy. (735 Infantry Regiment suffered in particular, on the Battalion axis of advance).
By 1500 hours the Battalion was on the feature immediately South of LES LOGES and preparing to continue the advance to the final objective, Point 309.
At this point the Battalion, having made such good progress, had created a salient in which both flanks were exposed and furthermore the A.&S.H. had by this time dropped well behind.
It had been decided to try and push on to the objective with all speed.
Here the Battalion encountered an enemy force of unknown strength and equipped with Anti-Tank weapons.
This force opened fire on ‘S’ Squadron from close range and from close country in the left rear which was an open flank owing to the failure of the formation on the left to get forward.
9 tanks were penetrated and set on fire by 88 mm and possible 150 mm calibre shells, one S.P. gun (believed to be RHINOCEROS or ELEPHANT) and at least one Mk V were observed for a brief moment.
Shots were fired and a hit with an H.E. round was claimed on a Mk V.
Simultaneously with this attack the position was mortared.
The enemy withdrew apparently in haste after this single encounter.
At 2330 hours the Battalion was released and went into harbour area 1 1/2 miles North West of LES LOGES.
Casualties during the day’s battle were as follows:-
OFFICERS:
1 Killed - Captain N.W. BEESON
2 Missing (believed Killed) - Major C.J. CUTHBERT (Second-in-Command), Lieutenant R. HUMBLE
1 Wounded - Lieutenant C.R.T. CUNNINGHAM
OTHER RANKS:
5 Killed
13 Missing (believed Killed)
3 Missing
19 Wounded

31 July 1944
In the Field
The Battalion remained in support of the A.&S.H. during the day; a certain amount of repair and recovery work being carried out.
The following appointments were made as a result of casualties incurred during 30 July:
Major W.S.I. WHITELAW - Second-in-Command
Captain C. O’M. FARRELL - Officer Commanding ‘S’ Squadron
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR - Second-in-Command Left Flank
Captain J.W.O. ELLIOT joined the Battalion from 261 Forward Delivery Squadron R.A.C. and was appointed Recce Officer Left Flank.
The Battalion still in support of A.&S.H. to new area 1/2 mile North of LES LOGES.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 21 February 2012 - 07:09 PM.

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Account of 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS action at CAUMONT, 30 July 1944.

About 1930 hours 28 July the Battalion then 4 miles East of BAYEUX received orders to move to a concentration area about 4 miles North of CAUMONT. The move, some 23 miles was successfully accomplished by 0730 hours on the morning of 29 July.

At 0830 hours a Brigade ‘O’ Group was held at which Officer Commanding 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS was told he would support 2nd Battalion ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS in a 227 (H) BRIGADE attack from the CAUMONT ridge onto Point 309, the high ground just North East of ST. MARTIN DES BESACES. We were given to understand that this was the break through to allow the armour to break out. A second ‘O’ Group was then hold at H.Q. 227 (H) BRIGADE where further details were given and Officer Commanding 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS then went forward to LE REPAS to liaise with 2nd Battalion ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS. For the Squadron and Troop Leaders the remainder of the day was spent in reconnaissance, ‘O’ Group and liaison with 2nd Battalion ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS. ‘F’ Echelon of the Battalion moved up into the assembly area immediately North of the CAUMONT - BRIQUESSARD road by 1930 hours and close harboured for the night.

The plan for 30 July was briefly:-
PHASE I
An attack, proceeded by bombing, by 2nd Battalion GORDONS supported by one squadron 4th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS and CROCODILES to capture LUTAIN WOOD.
PHASE II
Advance by 2nd Battalion ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS supported by 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS to Start Line on track immediately South of LA MOUGERAYE, on reaching the Start Line an attack, to the 1st objective, the bare ridge North of LES LOGES.
PHASE III
If possible, an attack by 7th Battalion SEAFORTHS from 46 (H) BRIGADE, supported by 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS from LES LOGES ridge to East of Point 309.

Timings
The provisional timings were:-
PHASE I - H hour 0630 hours
PHASE II - 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS cross preliminary Start Line 0710 hours.
3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS for PHASE II 1100 hours.

4th Tank Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS in support of 10th Battalion H.L.I. were conforming on the right astride the road CAUMONT - ST. MARTIN DES BESACES, 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS, less one squadron, and 9th Battalion CAMERONIANS having cleared up the villages of LE BOURGE and SEPT VENTS as a preliminary operation.

43rd DIVISION were to attack level with us on the Battalion left flank and 11th ARMOURED DIVISION on the BRIGADE right flank.

Although our front line in this area had been static for a considerable period the information about enemy was very scanty. It was known that they were in some strength in LUTAIN WOOD, but it was impossible to identity positions in the “Bocage” country in the valley, their strength was believed to be one Field Division, 361 with two Regiments up and one in reserve. 2 Pz Division together with an S.P. Anti-Tank Battalion were said to be within easy reach. A minefield was suspected in the LE BOURGE area, and Anti-Tank defences on all roads and tracks.

The ground as viewed from the Observation Post at LE REPAS was extremely enclosed, and consisted of small fields surrounded by 3-4 ft earth banks with 14-20 ft hedges on top of them, there were no roads forward anywhere in the Battalion axis of attack and no vehicles, except CHURCHILLS, could possibly get across the country. A good many of the fields contained cider apple orchards.

At approximately 0630 hours on 30 July the preliminary attack to take LUTAIN WOOD went in; this owing to the strength of the enemy defences was a slow business; in the meantime, to avoid shelling the ARGYLLS moved forward to the foot of the CAUMONT ridge. There the tanks, who did not cross the Start Line until 0710 hours, were to meet them. As the tanks came down the forward slope, two squadrons up - Right Flank on the right, ‘S’ Squadron on the left - they encountered heavy 15 cm shell and 12 cm mortar fire, but no material damage was done through several tanks including the Commanding Officer’s were hit. See Appendix ‘D’, Position ‘A’. Seen after the link up with the ARGYLLS was successfully carried out. The next 400-500 yards advance was however even slower as there were a considerable number of Germans in the orchard West of LE BOURG and East of LUTAIN WOOD, where severe fighting was still in progress. At one moment three troops of Right Flank shot a company of the GORDONS into the West side of LUTAIN WOOD.

The East end of the LE BOURG minefield was also encountered; two Right Flank tanks being blown up.

At 0930 hours the ARGYLLS and both forward squadrons were still fighting in the LE BOURG - LUTAIN area and it became obvious that we should have to move fast to catch the second PHASE barrage at the Start Line. The Commanding Officer therefore ordered the tanks to move forward as fast as they could in spite of the opposition. They did this successfully, encountering and dealing with several enemy pockets on the way, but as a result outstripped the ARGYLLS who were unable to keep up through the bad going.

The Start Line was crossed 5 minutes late at 1105 hours, more infantry localities and snipers being immediately encountered. Here both squadrons, especially Right Flank, had most successful Besa and H.E. shoots killing many Germans who were sheltering in the hedgerows, a considerable number also surrendering.

At about 1215 hours, having covered another 1200 yards, the loading squadrons were so far ahead of the ARGYLLS, who had not yet crossed the Start Line, that the Battalion was ordered by BRIGADE to halt and wait for them to come up. See Appendix ‘D’, Position ‘B’. Whilst waiting ‘S’ Squadron were several times sniped from neighbouring houses. Two of those were attacked and silenced with H.E. by Lieutenant HUMBLE’s and Lieutenant CUNNINGHAM’s troops, several bodies being later found in them. At about 1315 hours, it became obvious that the infantry were still far behind, and that unless the tanks went on, the opportunity to get onto the objective without serious opposition would be lost, as the effect of the barrage would pass off. Permission to continue without them was therefore requested and given. Both squadrons were then crowded to push on with all possible speed to the LES LOGES ridge.

S’ Squadron moving with remarkable speed over the bad country had established itself on the ridge by 1430 hours, but owing to the difficulty of passing through LES LOGES unprotected by infantry Right Flank was forced to turn left and follow it on. The position was then consolidated with Right Flank on the right, ‘S’ Squadron on the left and Left Flank in support, and preparation made for the continuance of the advance to Point 309 as envisaged in PHASE III. The consolidation was completed by 1530 hours and about 1615 hours the leading infantry had arrived and permission was sought to proceed forward and secure Point 309, but this was not given.

About this time information was received from BRIGADE that the attack on our right had also successfully reached the objective and that infantry on tanks were to be passed through and proceed up the main CAUMONT - ST MARTIN road to secure Point 309, nothing however was known about our left where 43 DIVISION were supposed to be up level with us, nor was it possible to carry out any reconnaissance as the CHURCHILLS were the only vehicles of any kind that had been able to get up over the bad going.

On further examining the objective it became obvious that it was a vital feature to hold since anyone on it dominated the CAUMONT - ST MARTIN road, which was the only main forward route for the whole break out. As it was very exposed to shell, mortar and small arms fire the infantry were very reluctant to come forward onto the bare slope and decided to hold the village of LES LOGES itself on the reverse slope. As also counter attack appeared most probable from the dominating high ground to the North East, North and North West it was decided to keep the two tank squadrons on it, in hull down positions to these features, until Anti-Tank guns were up and the immediate danger past.

About 1800 hours however, the enemy began to shell and mortar the position very heavily with 15 cm guns and 12 cm and ?.2 mortars and the tanks were forced to close down, at least one (Captain BEESON’s) being hit by shell fire and knocked out. About 10 minutes later an armoured counter attack was launched by the Germans from thick cover about 400-600 yards to the left rear of ‘S’ Squadron. This was concealed from Left Flank, who were in support, by a house in a small orchard which had a thick hedge leading from it towards ‘S’ Squadron. The strength of the force is unknown, but it certainly included one or more TIGERS and probably an S.P. gun mounting an 8.8 cm Anti-Tank gun.

The first few shots knocked out all three tanks of Lieutenant CUNNINGHAM’s troop who were watching that flank. Covered by fire of the others behind the house, one TIGER advanced under the lee of the hedge through ‘S’ Squadron from the South East knocking out several other tanks on its way. It was almost completely covered by the hedge from Left Flank during this operation though one hit by a 75mm was claimed on it. Apparently, however, finding the opposition more heavy than it expected it sheered off and disappeared in a Northerly direction. See Appendix ‘D’, Position ‘C’. At about the same time another S.P. gun, though to be a HORNET, came in from the North but was engaged and driven off. The remaining armour behind the farm then drew off and the counter attack ended.

The position was very quickly reorganised by ‘S’ Squadron Commander and the tanks remained in position until about 1930 hours when our own S.P. guns were got into position and took over, and at about 2200 hours the Battalion was withdrawn into forward rally and harboured about 1/2 mile South West of LES LOGES, the ridge being subsequently held by the ARGYLLS without much difficulty.

It is difficult so soon to assess the results of this action, that is more a task of the Historian, but it is clear that if enemy armour had recaptured the LEG LOGES feature, the main CAUMONT - ST MARTIN road would have been unusable and the further progress towards Point 309 a matter of great difficulty.

Mutually the combined attack of 227 (H) BRIGADE and 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE is known to have accounted for one complete Regiment (3 Battalions) of 361 Division in killed, wounded and captured, of these Right Flank and ‘S’ Squadron can certainly claim a very fair share.

The lessons that can be drawn from this action would appear to be:-
1. That the cross country capacity of the CHURCHILL tank completely surprised the Germans who considered the ground crossed by them to be tank proof and had therefore concentrated their Anti-Tank defences on the roads and tracks.
2. That the properly co-ordinated fire power of a CHURCHILL Squadron is so tremendous that it will completely demoralise infantry unsupported by Anti-Tank weapons. They subsequently offered little or no opposition to the infantry following up.
3. That it is very necessary to have some form of reconnaissance vehicle that can keep up with the CHURCHILL over bad going.


From this thread
http://www.ww2talk.c...may-1945-a.html

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Edited by dbf, 23 February 2012 - 01:01 AM.

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#11 dbf

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

3rd (Tank) Battalion Scots Guards

30th July, 1944 - At the Battle of Caumont

BATTALION HEADQUARTERS

Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR - Commanding Officer
Major S.J. CUTHBERT - Second-in-Command
Captain V.P. ERSKINE CRUM - Adjutant
Lieutenant P.B. FRASER - Intelligence Officer
Lieutenant D.L. BANKES - i/c Battalion H.Q. Tanks

Captain W.J. DORMAN, M.B.E. - Quartermaster
Captain A.T. MacKINIGH, R.A.M.C. - Medical Officer
The Reverend G.T.H. REID, R.A.Ch.D. - Chaplain
Captain C.E. PRING, R.E.M.E. - Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Officer
G. BROWN - Regimental Sergeant-Major
D. DUFF - Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
J. SMITH - Drill Sergeant
L. MOORE - Drill Sergeant
A. ARBER - Technical Quartermaster Sergeant
J. McGOWAN - Mechanical Quartermaster Sergeant
W. SMITH - Pipe-Major


HEADQUARTER SQUADRON
Major Sir Charles MacLEAN - Squadron Leader
Captain A.J.C. SEYMOUR - (Squadron) Second-in-Command
Captain I.S.R. BRUCE - Technical Adjutant
Captain R.W.O. BURNETT - Liaison Officer
Lieutenant R.C.G. PEMBER - Recce Troop Leader
Lieutenant H. LLEWELLYN SMITH - Signal Officer
Lieutenant E.C.H. WARNER - Anti-Tank Troop Leader
R. PICKARD - Squadron Sergeant Major


RIGHT FLANK
Major The Earl CATHCART - Squadron Leader
Captain J.P. MANN - (Squadron) Second-in-Command
Captain D.G. MATHIESON - Recce Officer
Lieutenant D.W. SCOTT-BARRETT - Troop Leader
Lieutenant R.A.K. RUNCIE - Troop Leader
Lieutenant H. LAING - Troop Leader
Lieutenant A.I.D. FLETCHER - Troop Leader
Lieutenant I.L. THORPE - Troop Leader
C. CRAGGS - Squadron Sergeant Major


S SQUADRON
Major W.S.I. WHITELAW - Squadron Leader
Captain W.P. BULL - (Squadron) Second-in-Command
Captain N.W. BEESON - Recce Officer
Lieutenant R. HUMBLE - Troop Leader
Lieutenant E.P. HICKLING - Troop Leader
Lieutenant C.R.T. CUNNINGHAM - Troop Leader
Lieutenant A.R.G. STEVENSON - Troop Leader
Sergeant E. THORNE - Troop Leader
J. TODD - Squadron Sergeant Major


LEFT FLANK
Major The Honourable M. FITZALAN HOWARD - Squadron Leader
Captain C.O'M. FARRELL - (Squadron) Second-in-Command
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR - Recce Officer
Lieutenant J.M. BARNE - Troop Leader
Lieutenant H.W.S. MARSHALL - Troop Leader
Lieutenant The Lord BRUCE - Troop Leader
Lieutenant C.J.R. DUFFIN - Troop Leader
Lieutenant G. CAMERON - Troop Leader
A. PRICE - Squadron Sergeant Major


DETACHED AT FORWARD DELIVERY SQUADRON
Lieutenant J.W.O. ELLIOT
Lieutenant H.N. NEVILE
Lieutenant The Honourable J.S.P. DORMER
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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:23 PM

3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS List of Casualties sustained in the CAUMONT Attack on 30 July 1944

:poppy:

OFFICERS
Killed
Captain N.W. BEESON CWGC - Casualty Details
Missing (Believed Killed)
Major S.J. CUTHBERT CWGC - Casualty Details
Lieutenant R. HUMBLE CWGC - Casualty Details
Wounded
Lieutenant C.R.T. CUNNINGHAM

OTHER RANKS
Killed
2697939 Lance-Serjeant J. LOUDEN - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2697501 Lance-Serjeant G. MURRAY - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2700978 Lance-Serjeant D. GILLIES - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2700615 Guardsman J. HARVEY - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2700903 Guardsman F. WILSON - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
Missing (Believed Killed)
2692032 Serjeant E. THORN - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2698812 Serjeant A. HAY - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2694682 Lance-Serjeant H. INNES - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2698669 Lance-Corporal T. PARKIN - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2697131 Lance-Corporal W. LAWRIE - ‘S’ Squadron
2698442 Lance-Corporal W. SCOTT - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2699112 Lance-Corporal R. THOMSON - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2697126 Guardsman J. PRENTICE - Right Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2698854 Guardsman F. LYNCH - Right Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2699184 Guardsman H. O’NEILL - Right Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2701152 Guardsman S. HERON - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2697594 Guardsman L. NICHOLSON - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2700879 Guardsman A. WATTS - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
Missing
2698227 Lance-Corporal J. MALCOLM - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2698165 Guardsman W. GREEN - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
Died of Wounds
2698436 Lance-Serjeant K. MURRAY - Right Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
Wounded
2698132 Serjeant G. RONALD - ‘S’ Squadron
2699200 Lance-Corporal R. HOLFORD - ‘S’ Squadron
2698764 Lance-Corporal B. HOWARD - ‘S’ Squadron
2698633 Lance-Corporal J. BRISTOW - ‘S’ Squadron
2697022 Lance-Corporal R. DUNLOP - ‘S’ Squadron
14313098 Lance-Corporal J. SWINNERTON - ‘S’ Squadron
2698339 Lance-Corporal J. GRAYSTON - ‘S’ Squadron
2698894 Guardsman C. HOWIE - ‘S’ Squadron
2697900 Guardsman C. CHALMERS - ‘S’ Squadron
2699152 Guardsman J. McNALLY - ‘S’ Squadron
2694344 Guardsman J. WILKIE - ‘S’ Squadron
309929 Guardsman R. HAMILTON - ‘S’ Squadron
2700649 Guardsman L. HALL - ‘S’ Squadron
2698413 Guardsman J. DUNLOP - ‘S’ Squadron
2700984 Guardsman D. GARDEN - ‘S’ Squadron
2698178 Guardsman A. BAIN - ‘S’ Squadron
2699420 Guardsman W. RIBCHESTER - ‘S’ Squadron
2699888 Guardsman T. HOLLAND - ‘S’ Squadron

Edited by dbf, 22 February 2012 - 10:47 PM.

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#13 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:14 AM

Account of 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS action at CAUMONT, 30 July 1944.

On 28 August 1944 a party of Officers, at a time when the Battalion was resting near TINCHEBRAY, went to LES LOGES further to examine the battlefield and to try and determine more accurately the strength of the enemy and reconstruct their action which had knocked out eleven SCOTS GUARDS CHURCHILLS.

By following the tracks which the enemy vehicles had made, and by noting where the empty 88 mm shell cases lay, it was confirmed that three enemy vehicles had been responsible for causing the damage - one from the house in the orchard to the left rear of ‘S’ Squadron, one which had come up under the crest of the hill right through ‘S’ Squadron, and one which must have fired from a more South-Easterly direction and had knocked out two tanks. The one which came up through the position had withdrawn to an orchard about 1/2 a mile to the East. In this orchard were a number of tank tracks, which led to the supposition that it might have been a harbour area for the Germans. Tracks led from this orchard onto the main road running East from LES LOGES.

About a mile down this road a JAGDPANTHER was found. It had apparently pulled off the road into a field on the right. Here it had a track, and apparently set on fire by its own crew. There was no sign of a hit on it, but the whole inside was burnt out and one side ripped open by exploding ammunition. None of those Officers, who saw this JAGDPANTHER now, had seen one, either in the flesh or on a recognition chart, before. It was a stupendous equipment. A very long 88mm gun stuck out from a very heavily armoured sloping front plate. Long sloping sides extended for three-quarters of the length of the vehicle. The gun appeared to have about 20 degrees of traverse. On the top were two exit hatches for the crew. All round was a length of wire on which camouflage could be hung - camouflage which would not interfere with the rotation of the turret, as on a tank.

Later, another JAGDPANTHER was found in ST MARTIN DES BESACES railway station. This one was fairly intact. It had been recovered by 6th GUARDS TANK Heavy Recovery Section. Inquiries there revealed that it had been found about 1/2 a mile beyond the burn-out one, and recovered to ST. MARTIN. When found, the only apparent damage, apart from two small holes in the side and the roof, which did not in any way affect the working of the tank, was two missing teeth in the left front sprocket. These must have broken the left track. Two new links were found in it, showing where it had first been repaired, and it was again broken when found. The crew had obviously then given up hope of repairing it and therefore abandoned it. The Gunner and Commander of Lieutenant BANKES’ tank had originally claimed a hit with a 75mm H.E. on this part of an enemy vehicle. The credit for having stopped it is therefore accorded to them. The two holes in the hull, which were very small, may also have been caused during the action - or, possibly, by infantry PIATS after the equipment had been abandoned. Two 88mm rounds, one an H.E. and one and A.P., were taken from this JAGDPANTHER and will be preserved. They are 3 feet 10 inches long.

The discovery of two abandoned specimens of this German S.P. gun - their latest and certainly most formidable anti-tank weapon - lead to the feeling in the Battalion that a certain revenge had been taken for the loss of eleven CHURCHILLS and many of their crews.

Edited by dbf, 23 February 2012 - 06:50 PM.

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#14 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:15 AM

1 August 1944
France
Battalion remained in harbour area near LES LOGES, at short notice to go out in counter-attack role if required.
A 25-pounder shell from our own guns firing from the field behind exploded in a tree in ‘S’ Squadron area, causing three fatal casualties.
The remaining Troop (No. 10) of ‘S’ Squadron was withdrawn to the BRIGADE Adm area to reform with the rest of ‘S’ Squadron.
The Battalion started to operate on a two Squadron basis.

2 August 1944
Tank squadrons moved into position about 1/2 mile North of LES LOGES to be ready to repel counter-attack if required.
This proved unnecessary, and they withdrew to harbour at 2200 hours.

3 August 1944
The morning was spent in rest and the planning of a further move forward.
At 1500 hours the Battalion picked up personnel of 2 GLAS H. and 10 H.L.I. on tanks and lorries and moved them to Point 244 6947 (RF and 2 GLAS. H.) and Point 238 6848 (LF and 10 H.L.I.) and there took up positions covering the Infantry with the object of protecting the left flank of the drive Southwards of the Armoured Divisions, and making a firm base.
Point 244 was shelled during the night.
Battalion H.Q. was set up at LA MANCELLIERE 6849 near 227(H) BRIGADE H.Q.

4 August 1944
Battalion remained in positions taken up the previous day without incident.

5 August 1944
Battalion moved to position area MONTCHARIVEL 7442.
Deploying on either side of the road running West-East through MONTCHARIVEL, squadrons in support of their respective battalions reached the area LA BRUYERE 7642 without opposition, and here they harboured for the night.

6 August 1944
Right Flank in support of 2A.&S.H. and Left Flank in support of 10 H.L.I. continued the advance Southwards at 0900 hours with the object of capturing CANTELOUP 7835 and LE THEIL 7635 respectively.
Unexpectedly, extremely strong opposition was met, and by 2200 hours Right Flank had withdrawn to harbour area 762397 and Left Flank was in position with 10 H.L.I. just North of the Crossroads in ESTRY 7437 and in very close proximity to the strong enemy position in ESTRY.
An account of this day’s action is attached, marked Appendix K2. Appendix K2.
Lieutenant D.L. BANKES was appointed Recce Officer of Right Flank and,
Lieutenant J.M. GOW came up from 261 Forward Delivery Squadron R.A.C. to command Battalion H.Q. Tanks.

7 August 1944
Tank Squadrons remained behind the infantry battalions they were supporting.
In the afternoon, Left Flank returned to the Right Flank area, and at night they were brought right back to Battalion H.Q., North of MONTCHARIVEL.

8 August 1944
Right Flank was withdrawn to the Battalion area during the morning, and the afternoon was spent in resting, having baths and doing maintenance.
During the afternoon ‘S’ Squadron rejoined, having reformed under Major C. O’M. FARRELL.

9 August 1944
Battalion remained in same area, still under command of 227 (H) BRIGADE, and at notice to move forward if required.

10 August 1944
Battalion left 227(H) BRIGADE, with whom they have been so far, and moved to the area 705279, where they came under command of 32 GUARDS BRIGADE.
The afternoon and evening was spent in recce by Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders for an attack next day.
During the move of the tanks a British 4-engined bomber bombed the column in the area of CATHCOLLES 7043.
No damage was caused, and the only casualty was Major The Earl CATHCARTH, who dislocated his shoulder. (He returned to the Battalion within a week).

11 August 1944
Reveille 0100 hours.
F’ Echelon moved off at 0300 hours at 1 mile per hour, to obtain surprise, to an FUP for the battle of CHENEDOLLE.
A full account of this battle is attached, marked Appendix ‘K3’. Appendix K3.
During the night two Scout Cars, moving up from PRESLES, were knocked out by shellfire and two men killed.

12 August 1944
Battalion remained in position just North of LE BAS PERRIER all day, ready to move in case of counter-attack.
The only excitement was at 1800 hours, when four THUNDERBOLTS bombed the Battalion.
One bomb landed in the middle of Right Flank tanks, but failed to explode.
No casualties were caused.

13 August 1944
One of the PANTHERS knocked out by ‘S’ Squadron during the battle two days before was found to be in running order and driven back to the Battalion area.
Here it was examined by the tank crews.
When an effort was made to take it further back, however, it caught fire and was abandoned.
The Battalion was visited by Major-General A. ADAIR, G.O.C. GUARDS ARMOURED DIVISION, in the morning.
Half-an-hour after he left the Battalion was ordered to move to 3 BRITISH INFANTRY DIVISION.
Starting at 1330 hours, they moved to the area of ROULLOURS 6830, arriving there at 1900 hours.
Here the Battalion came under command of 185 BRIGADE.
A’ Echelon joined the Battalion.

14 August 1944
Right Flank moved off at 0630 hours to support 2 K.S.L.I. and remained in position at 688295 ready to attack with them if required.

15 August 1944
All quiet.
Church Services.

16 August 1944
The BRIGADE Commander visited the Battalion

17 August 1944
Right Flank was withdrawn to main Battalion area at ROULLOURS.

18 August 1944
A party of men went to LE BENY BOCAGE to swim, and another to a Concert Party at which George FORMBY starred.
Brigadier G.F. JOHNSON and Major P.S. FOTHERINGHAM came to dinner.

19 August 1944
Battalion left 185 BRIGADE and moved forward nearer 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE H.Q. - to 713268.
On the way all vehicles moved over a CHURCHILL bridgelayer for practice.
The sad news of the death of Brigadier Sir W. de S. BARTTELOT, Bt., in his Scout Car which was blown up on a mine, was received.
Major the Honourable M. FITZALAN HOWARD left the Battalion on appointment as Brigade Major, 32 GUARDS BRIGADE.
Major J.P. MANN to command Left Flank.
Soft rations were issued for the first time since landing.

20 - 21 August 1944
Nothing to report.

23 August 1944
The Battalion moved to the area of TINCHEBRAY, for training in Tank/Infantry Co-operation with 185 BRIGADE of 3 BRITISH INFANTRY DIVISION.
Battalion H.Q. was established near 185 BRIGADE H.Q. at 758236 and the tank squadrons went to areas near their respective infantry battalions - Right Flank with 2 K.S.L.I., ‘S’ Squadron with 2 WARWICK and Left Flank with 1 NORFOLK.
The Commanding Officer attended a Conference at 8 CORPS H.Q. to discuss a new style of infantry and tank co-operation as practiced by the Canadians.
Brigadier W.D.C. GREENACRE M.V.O. visited the Battalion.

24 August 1944
The Major-General commanding BRIGADE OF GUARDS visited the Battalion.

25 August 1944
An int patrol was sent to search an area of the FALAISE - ARGENTAN gap, but found nothing of importance.

26 - 28 August 1944
Nothing to report.

29 August 1944
Lieutenant-General Sir Richard N. O’CONNOR, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C. visited the Battalion and stayed to lunch.

30 August 1944
Parties from the Battalion went to two ENSA Concerts at FLERS.

31 August 1944
Nothing to report.

Attached Files


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:51 AM

Account of the action by 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS at ESTRY, 6 August 1944.

(See 1/25,000 Maps ‘ONDEFONTAINE’ and ‘VASSY’ attached) [Not attached]


Since the successful breakout from CAUMONT on 30 July 1944, the Battalion had been engaged for several days in support of 227 (H) BRIGADE of the 15 (SCOTTISH) DIVISION, in seizing positions from the enemy who were withdrawing.

By the evening of Saturday 5 August, Right Flank was just outside MARCHARIVEL supporting the 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. and Left Flank was in a counter attack role in support of the 10th Battalion H.L.I. at AU CORNU. ‘S’ Squadron was reforming in the BRIGADE Administrative Area during this period.

As soon as it was dark Right Flank moved up the hill and laagered in an orchard on top of the high ground at LA MOTTE ready to support 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. early next morning. It was not known at this time whether the attack next day would go in against the enemy strong point at MONTCHAMP or whether the advance would continue towards VASSY. At 0600 hours next morning orders were received to make an advance to contact towards VASSY.

The Plan was for:-
2nd Battalion GORDONS supported by a squadron of 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS to capture ESTRY.
10th Battalion H.L.I. supported by Left Flank to wait until ESTRY was captured and then pass through and capture LE THIEL.
2nd Battalion A.&S.H. supported by Right Flank to capture Hill Point 208 and then carry on to capture the 250 contour ridge running North East and South West between LE ROCQUEL and CANTALOUPE.

Meanwhile on the left, 46 (H) BRIGADE supported by 4th Tank Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS were to capture the high ground LE CODMET - BOIS DES MONTS and GOURNEY.

There was no information about the enemy except that ESTRY had been reported clear, but from LA MOTTE the evening before heavy anti-aircraft fire had been seen put up against our planes and several NEBELWERFER mortars had been located in the valley below, giving every indication of considerable enemy strength in the area.

At first light, on Sunday 6 August it was very foggy which delayed the attack on the left by 46 (H) BRIGADE. Right Flank however moved down the hill from LE MOTTE into the valley at 0830 hours, using a very narrow and steep track, and met the 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. just North of the cross roads at LE CAVERIE at 0930 hours. At this moment, as the 2nd Battalion GORDONS and the 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS Squadron were passing on their way to ESTRY, an enemy tank which had moved up on the Left began shelling the cross roads from about 1,000 yards away in the direction of LASSY. Lieutenant FLETCHER’s troop identified its position and move to engage it, but in the meanwhile it had fired several rounds of A.P. followed by several rounds of H.E. The first H.E. round hit Captain MATHIESON’s Scout car killing Captain MATHIESON and wounding his operator, Guardsman HOUSON. Lieutenant FLETCHER’s troop engaged the enemy tank which was identified as a PANTHER and it immediately withdrew. At the same time, the cross roads came under shell fire from mortars and medium artillery.

Left Flank in support of the 10th Battalion H.L.I. passed LA CAVERIE cross roads about 1130 hours towards ESTRY with an advance guards of one company and two troops leading. Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR commanded the two troops of the advance guard. Immediately after passing the cross roads, the advance guard deployed onto the Left of the road to ESTRY and carried on for about a mile till they came up to 2nd Battalion GORDONS and the tanks of 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS who were fighting their way slowly astride a sunken lane leading into ESTRY. Captain BALFOUR’s tank was ditched in the sunken land so Lieutenant MARSHALL’s troop remained to cover the ditched tank while efforts were made to recover it. These were unsuccessful and owing to snipers it was decided to leave it. The GORDON’s attack on ESTRY, down the sunken lane, failed and they withdrew back under cover. This delayed the 10th Battalion H.L.I. with Left Flank who had halted along the road and were now coming under heavy mortar and shell fire. It was decided therefore to deploy and get a firm base round the area where the sunken lane met the ESTRY - LA CAVERIE road. During this operation, some enemy machine gun nests were mopped up and Lieutenant DUFFIN’s tank was attacked by a Bazooka Patrol, which was beaten off by a round of H.E., completely disintegrating one man. Left Flank then remained there under intermittent shell fire till about 1900 hours in support of 10th H.L.I. During this period Serjeant TRANTER’s tank was knocked out by shell fire and the 10th H.L.I. suffered heavy casualties from both shells and NEBELWERFER mortars.

In the evening, a plan was made for the 10th Battalion H.L.I. supported by Left Flank to attack and hold the cross roads at ESTRY, this attack to be preceded by a concentration of medium artillery on the town. The attack formed up astride the road, the 10th Battalion H.L.I. two companies up, whilst the Tank Squadron with two troops up was to move in the closest possible support of them as the country was very thick. The attack began at 1915 hours, in spite of the fact that no artillery concentration had come down. No opposition was met on the Right of the road and two companies supported by Lieutenant H.W.S. MARSHALL’s and Lieutenant C.J.R. DUFFIN’s troops reached the objective. Lieutenant MARSHALL’s tank went up on a mine as soon as he came onto the road and his co-driver, Guardsman FINCH, was killed. The reserve troop and Sqaudron H.Q. then moved up to join them and Captain BALFOUR who had been ordered to find a way across the cross roads had his tank blown up on a mine beyond the cross roads.

On the Left of the road, the 10th Battalion H.L.I.’s advance was held p by enemy machine gun fire and very thick country. As Lieutenant BARNE came out the last orchard before the village of ESTRY, he saw a PANTHER tank in a shed 200 yards in front. He fired a sot and hit the tank with H.E., before however he could fire again the PANTHER fired and Lieutenant BARNE’s tank caught fire and the crew were forced to bale out. Two of his crew were shot by machine gun fire as they away from the tank. His troop then withdrew behind smoke and joined Lord BRUCE who with Serjeant COLEMAN was being approached by a party of Germans, calling on them to surrender. Lord BRUCE shot the leader with his revolver and the rest were shot by Besa fire. Meanwhile Lieutenant Lieutenant BARNE directed the M.10 S.P. guns onto the PANTHER which was destroyed. These tanks remained in position and helped the infantry to overcome machine gun nests till nearly dark when they formed at tight hedgehog with the rest of Left Flank in the orchard in the North corner of the cross roads. The 10th Battalion H.L.I. managed to get two platoons over the cross roads, but this time both infantry battalions were so reduced that they were unable to get on and took up positions in the orchard protected by the tanks.

Left Flank remained in the orchard in support of the 10th Battalion H.L.I. and 2nd Battalion GORDONS till 1500 hours the next day when they were withdrawn by order of the Brigadier 227 BRIGADE. During this period the orchard was subjected to heavy mortar and machine gun fire, causing many casualties to the infantry. The forming up to move back to rear rally had to be carried out under heavy mortar fire by the personal direction of the Squadron Leader.

Meanwhile on the Left, Right Flank remained deployed to cover the LA CAVERIE cross roads until 1300 hours when they moved up the roads toward CANTALOUPE in support of 2 A.&S.H., since however the hight ground on the left had never been captured by 46 (H) BRIGADE as intended, as Right Flank moved up the road, it was constantly shelled and shot at by S.P. guns from that direction. The Squadron was successfully deployed off the road to the Right as soon as possible in spite of the fact taht mines had been reported on the verges and two infantry carriers had already been blown up. On deploying a good fire position was found with a clear view of the objective, Hill 208. The same moment 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. came under heavy mortar and shell fire. Shortly afterwards Lieutenant FLETCHER’s troop observed a badly camouflaged tank on the road at the crest of Hill 208. Their first round of H.E. blew the camouflage net away and revealed a PANTHER tank which, after a short sharp shooting match from both sides, was forced to reverse back and change its position. When Right Flank had deployed in good hull down positions along the small ridge 500 yards North of Hill 208 with Besa and H.E. fire for nearly 10 minutes in order to allow the ARGYLLS to get forward onto it. However the tanks were still being shelled from the Left and Serjeant HYSLOP’s tank was struck on top of the turret by an H.E. burst, which wounded him. The Squadron Leader therefore called for artillery smoke on the left flank, which was eventually forthcoming. Meanwhile the infantry had suffered casualties and disorganisation from heavy mortar and shell fire and were not ready to assault the objective, so the tanks had to continue intermittent fire onto the objective for a further 15 minutes. Shortly after Serjeant HYSLOP was wounded his tank was knocked out and the gunner, Guardsman SMALL, was killed. During this period communications with 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. temporarily broke down as the Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. left his wireless set to go and reorganise the remnants of is Battalion. Two officers, Lieutenant BANKES and Lieutenant A.G. LAING were despatched in two separate scout cars to establish personal contact and this was finally successful.

When eventually the two remaining companies of 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. advanced onto the objective, Lieutenant H. LAING and Lieutenant SCOTT-BARRETT took their troops forward in close support while the other two troops covered them from their hull down positions. The infantry came under heavy machine gun fire which the tanks neutralised after some difficulty due to the closeness of the country and the problem of locating the machine guns. As Lieutenant LAING’s tank was coming up the hill to the crest he saw a PANTHER tank, 60 yards away, traversing its gun onto his tank. He was unable to fire back as he could not get sufficient gun depression due to the steepness of the hill. However the PANTHER missed him with its first shot but knocked out Corporal STEWART’s tank with a later shot which killed Corporal STEWART. Since this only left Lieutenant LAING with one tank in his troop, he dismounted and led an infantry patrol on foot with a P.I.A.T. up to the PANTHER which withdrew after the first shot. Meanwhile Guardsman DRUMMOND, who was Corporal STEWART’s driver, left his tank which was holed in the turret and under machine gun and sniper fire directed Lieutenant SCOTT-BARRETT’s troop onto the PANTHER; but, when he realised that the PANTHER had withdrawn, he got back into his tank and drove it back to help recover Captain MANN’s ditched tank under mortar fire.

When the 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. reached the Northern slope of Hill 208, they were still under serious sniper and occasional machine gun fire, so the two leading troops and the Squadron Leader’s tank helped them to mop up, getting a particular good shoot at a bunch of Germans as they rounded a corner, and cover them while they consolidated. At 1930 hours it was decided not to attempt to capture the reverse slope position, still held by the Germans, till next morning and the tanks were withdrawn to forward rally to replenish behind the next ridge. Further advance never materialised and Right Flank remained in a counter role behind the small ridge 500 yards North of Hill 208 for 36 hours before being withdrawn to rear rally.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ENEMY
After the battle it was learnt that the enemy holding area of ESTRY was the 20 SS Pz Gren Regiment supported by a number of PANTHER tanks of the 9 SS Pz Regiment, both these Regiments forming part of the 9 SS Pz Division.

CONCLUSIONS
Although this action may have appeared indecisive with heavy casualties to our own infantry, in fact the co-operation achieved between tanks and infantry was outstandingly good, so that, in spite of the most stubborn opposition by the very best troops that GERMANY possessed, 227 (H) BRIGADE was successful in securing most important footholds within this very strong prepared enemy position and inflicting heavy casualties on the SS who had been ordered to hold this important pivot at all costs. Incidentally the remaining portion of the village of ESTRY later proved so strongly defended that it held out against a full scale attack by another Infantry Brigade supported by a Tank Regiment, FLAILS, CROCODILES, Artillery and Air.



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Edited by dbf, 23 February 2012 - 02:21 PM.

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#16 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Order of Battle at the start of the ESTRY Attack on 6 August 1944

HEADQUARTERS
Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR - Commanding Officer
Major W.S.I. WHITELAW - Second-in-Command
Major Sir C.H.F. MACLEAN, Bart., - Officer Commanding H.Q. Squadron
Captain V.F. ERSKINE CRUM - Adjutant
Captain I.S.R. BRUCE - Technical Adjutant
Captain A.J.C. SEYMOUR -Liaison Officer
Lieutenant P.B. FRASER - Intelligence Officer
Lieutenant H.W. LLEWELLYN SMITH - Signal Officer
Lieutenant D.L. BANKES - Officer in Charge H.Q. Tanks
Lieutenant R.C.G. PEMBER - Officer Commanding Recce Troop


RIGHT FLANK
Major The Earl CATHCART - Squadron Leader
Captain J.P. MANN - Squadron Second-in-Command
Captain D.G. MATHIESON - Recce Officer

Lieutenant D.W. SCOTT-BARRETT - No. 1 Troop Leader
2694192 Serjeant L. AITKEN - No. 1 Troop Serjeant
2696316 Lance-Serjeant A. McKIE - No. No. Troop Corporal

Lieutenant R.A.K. RUNCIE - No. 2 Troop Leader
2693641 Serjeant W. MILDENHALL - No. 2 Troop Serjeant
2698094 Lance-Sergeant J. MATHIESON - No. 2 Troop Corporal

Lieutenant H. LAING - No. 3 Troop Leader
2694906 Serjeant J. WILLIAMSON - No. 3 Troop Serjeant
2696970 Corporal G. STEWART - No.3 Troop Corporal

Lieutenant A.I.D. FLETCHER - No. 4 Troop Leader
2696474 Serjeant T. HYSLOP - No. 4 Troop Serjeant

Lieutenant H.E. BROWN - No. 5 Troop Leader
2696392 Serjeant A. SOMMERVILLE - No. 5 Troop Serjeant
403671 Lance-Serjeant A. MOSS - No. 5 Troop Corporal


LEFT FLANK
Major the Honourable M. FITZALAN HOWARD - Squadron Leader
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR - Second-in-Command Left Flank
Captain J.W.O. ELLIOT - Recce Officer

Lieutenant J.M. BARNE - No. 11 Troop Leader
2694355 Serjeant T. COLEMAN - No. 11 Troop Serjeant
2697930 Lance-Serjeant R. BOON - No. 11 Troop Serjeant

Lieutenant H.W.S. MARSHALL - No. 12 Troop Leader
2696364 Serjeant J. MUTCH - No. 12 Troop Serjeant
2694945 Serjeant J. BROWN - No. 12 Troop Corporal

Lieutenant The Lord BRUCE - No. 13 Troop Leader
2696468 Serjeant J. BIRSS - No. 12 Troop Serjeant
2698505 Lance-Serjeant W. CAMPBELL - No. 12 Troop Corporal

Lieutenant C.J.R. DUFFIN - No. 14 Troop Leader
2694688 Serjeant E. TRANTER - No. 14 Troop Serjeant
2698198 Serjeant E. ELCOCK - No. 14 Troop Corporal

Lieutenant G. CAMERON - No. 15 Troop Leader
2873917 Serjeant J. GORDON - No. 15 Troop Serjeant
2698353 Lance-Serjeant D. MARSDEN - No. 15 Troop Corporal
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#17 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS List of Casualties sustained in the ESTRY Attack on 6 August 1944

:poppy:

OFFICERS
Killed
Captain D.G. MATHIESON CWGC - Casualty Details

OTHER RANKS
Killed (and Missing believe Killed)
2696468 Serjeant J. BIRSS - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2696770 Lance-Serjeant J. GEDRIM - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2696970 Corporal G. STEWART - Right Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2701050 Guardsman H. HAY - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2698570 Guardsman R. ACKERLEY - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2699226 Guardsman C. FINCH - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2701138 Guardsman I. WALLACE - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2698514 Guardsman T. McINTYRE - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details
2699115 Guardsman H. SMALL - Right Flank CWGC - Too many requests

Missing
2697719 Lance-Corporal D. SUTHERLAND - Left Flank
2697876 Guardsman H. THOMPSON - Left Flank

Wounded
2696474 Serjeant T. HYSLOP - Right Flank
2694688 Serjeant E. TRANTER - Left Flank
2697977 Lance-Serjeant J. BRACKENRIDGE - Left Flank
2698942 Guardsman W. TAYLOR - Left Flank
14313727 Guardsman W. HOUSTON - Right Flank
2697726 Guardsman N. MILLER - Right Flank
2697080 Guardsman W. COOK - Right Flank
2698274 Guardsman R. DRUMMOND - Right Flank
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#18 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

Account of 32ND GUARDS BRIGADE and 3RD (TANK) BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS at CHENEDOLLE 11th August 1944.

At about 1700 hours on Wednesday, August 9, the G.3. came to see the Commanding Officer and gave him the following orders from the Brigadier.

The Battalion is to come under command 32 GUARDS BRIGADE tomorrow morning and will move at 0900 hours tomorrow to concentrate in the area CAVIGNAUX 7037. The attack will probably take place on Friday, August 11.

On Thursday the Battalion moved and concentrated as ordered and the Commanding Officer went and received orders from GUARS ARMOURED DIVISION. At 1730 hours on Thursday the Commanding Officer returned and gave out his orders.

1. The Ground
Three ridges ran across the area
(1) A small subsidiary ridge between PRESLES and LE BAS PERRIER Area 7135 - 7235.
(2) High ground around LE BAS PERRIER which stretched away to the left as far as Left Flank’s objective, Track Junction 733347, and fell away sharply.
(3) A steady slope up from LE BAS PERRIER culminating in the very dominating feature Point 242, just North of CHENEDOLLE.
Generally the country was very close with small fields and hedges on banks, with a few orchards, farm buildings and sunken lanes.

2. The Enemy
Very little was known about the enemy, but it was though that elements of 9 SS Panzer Division were on our front.

3. Own Troops
Both the Americans and 3rd British Division were attacking on the Right flank on the general axis VIRE - TINCHBRAY. GUARDS ARMOURED DIVISION were attacking on the Left flank with a final objective MT CERISI 8125.

The GUARDS ARMOURED DIVISION’s plane was to advance with the 32 GUARDS BRIGADE on the left with the high ground BOULAY AUX CHATS 7331 as objective and then push forward with 5 ARMOURED BRIGADE on the Right to MONT DE CERISI.

4. The Plan
The 32 GUARDS BRIGADE’s attack was divided into three Phases:

PHASE I: Part ‘A’
An attack by 2 and 3 Companies, 1st Battalion WELSH GUARDS, supported by ‘S’ Squadron.
Objective: Villages 723337 and 728339.
Zero: 0630 hours

PHASE II: Part ‘B’
Attack by 4 Company, 1st Battalion WELSH GUARDS, supported by Left Flank.
Objective: Track Junction 733347
Zero: 0715 hours

PHASE II
Attack by two companies 5th Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS, supported by Right Flank right; ‘S’ Squadron left.
Objective: To form strong points on either side of CHENEDOLLE 7232, block all exits while another company 5th Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS mopped up the village.
Zero: When ordered; dependent on the bomber effort.

PHASE III
Attack by two companies 1st Battalion WELSH GUARDS, supported by one squadron 2nd Armoured Battalion IRISH.
Objective: LE BOULAY AUX CHATS 7331.
During this attack the Battalion was to come back into forward rally in area LE BAS PERRIER.

Artillery: Artillery support to be in accordance with a pre-arranged fire plan. There were to be concentrations on known enemy positions in PHASE I and a barrage in PHASE II.

Air: There was to be a bomber effort on area LE BOULAY AUX CHAT anytime between 0730 - 1200 hours, weather permitting. This effort did not take place.

Troops under Command:
The Battalion had under command two sections Armoured Bulldozers and four AVRE Petards. These were both to be used for blasting or pushing a way through any hedges or sunken lanes which proved to be tank obstacles. 1 section Armoured Bulldozers was put under command both ‘S’ Squadron and Left Flank for PHASE I and the AVRE Petards under command Right Flank for PHASE II. Those were never used.

The move up to the Battle
At 0300 hours Friday, 11 August, the Battalion moved out from the Assembly Area in order ‘S’ Squadron, Left Flank, Right Flank, Battalion Headquarters. The route was a narrow road leading past Point 218 - 7036 PRESLES 7135 to LE BAS PERRIER 7234. Parts of this road were constantly shelled and any broken down tank on the narrow road would have prejudiced the whole attack.

Fortunately all went perfectly well and by 0615 hours all squadrons were in their positions. ‘S’ Squadron in FUP Area just South of LE BAS PERRIER, Left Flank in a field just on the right of the road on subsidiary ridge ready to move forward to their FUP just North of LE BAS PERRIER as soon as ‘S’ Squadron attack started. Right Flank on the left of the road on the same ridge in positions from which they could give support to Left Flank’s attack along the next ridge.

PHASE I: Part ‘A’
At 0630 hours the attack by 2-3 companies 1st Battalion WELSH GUARDS, supported by ‘S’ Squadron started. Two troops under command Major C. O’M. FARRELL supported the right hand company onto the right hand objective while two troops under command Captain W.P. BULL supported the left hand company. On the left the infantry were soon held up by 3 machine gun posts but the two troops silenced these easily. No further opposition was met and by 0730 hours the objective had been captured and the infantry had started to dig in. On the Right however the main enemy position on the objective started to give trouble as soon as the tanks and infantry reached the Start Line. The enemy position later turned out to be a company position supported by 4 PANTHERS. The infantry tried to get round the right flank but were held up and much confused close fighting ensued. At this point Lieutenant LAW’s tank was hit through the engine by what later turned out to be a PANTHER, at close range. The whole crew managed to bale out. Lieutenant HICKLING then started to work his way forward and as he did so he spotted some PANTHERS in a barn in the area of the objective. He was not observed by them and wisely did not shoot. Instead he remained in observation and reported to Major FARRELL. Major FARRELL then ordered Captain W.P. BULL to send one of his troops across to the left to get into a position from where it could fire on the back of the barn and also onto the road leading out of it. Lieutenant WARD was sent across and took up his position about 150 yards from the barn. He was then able to observe the PANTHERS’ flanks. One moved away but he destroyed the other two, one with a 75 mm from his own tank and one with a 6-pounder sabot from the Troop Serjeant, Serjeant MacFARLANE’s tank. These were the first two PANTHERS to be destroyed for certain by the Battalion. After this the tanks continued to support the infantry very slowly forward against considerable opposition. There were however no further incidents. Before the infantry had finally captured the objective the squadron ordered to by-pass and carry on with PHASE II.

The objective was, however, captured soon after at approximately 0930 hours.

PHASE I: Part ‘B’
Left Flank formed up with their infantry company in the area just North of LES BAS PERRIER at 0700 hours. The ground mist was so thick in this area that it was impossible for one tank to see another. In addition it is though that the enemy laid some smoke in the area. Snipers were also very numerous. As a result the infantry asked if Zero hour could be postposed till 0745 hours. This was allowed. At 0730 hours the sun came out and the mist cleared. The attack was therefore able to start. The Squadron moved troops up with a platoon working with each troop. The first opposition was encountered just short of the second gully running across the front. At this point the infantry was held up by considerable machine gun fire from two houses. These houses were destroyed by H.E. fire from the two leading troops and the number of dead found in them later made it clear that they contained a platoon position After this the country became even more close and the advance slowed up considerably. Another platoon position in a hedge was encountered and dealt with again by H.E. fire. After this the right hand platoon troop group were able to reach the objective. The left hand group were however held up and only managed to get onto the centre of the objective. In order that this group should be able to get onto the left of the objective Lieutenant Lord BRUCE was ordered to take his troop forward. During this advance Lieutenant Lord BRUCE’s own tank was knocked out by a bazooka from 20 yards range. He was severely wounded in the leg and his operator, Guardsman BRAND, was killed. The movement was, however, successful and the infantry were completely established on the objective by 0900 hours.

The Squadron then remained on their objective till 1530 hours in close support of their company. During this time they were subjected to considerable mortar fire and sniping. One enemy tank appeared on the right and knocked out three SHERMANS belonging to 2nd Armoured Battalion IRISH GUARDS. This tank was then stalked by one of the supporting M.10s, directed by Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR and Lieutenant J.M. BARNE. It was engaged and considered to be destroyed. Another house was engaged with H.E. fire and blew up. It was later found to be a German mortar ammunition dump. Artillery fire was brought down very quickly on an area where a TIGER was suspected. This fire was arranged through the Commanding Officer who was at the infantry Brigade Headquarters, and was directed by the Squadron Leader, Major The Honourable M. FITZALAN-HOWARD. It was very accurate and very quick. It is also satisfactory that the Bazooka man who knocked out Lieutenant Lord BRUCE’s tank was killed. His pay book was collected and it shewed that he had been awarded the IRON CROSS for similar work on July 16.

PHASE II
On the left ‘S’ Squadron moved off before their right hand objective in PHASE I had been finally taken and by-passed round by the left. They joined up with their company of 5th Battalion COLDSTREAM GUARDS without incident and supported them slowly forward to their objective on the left of CHENEDOLLE. Little opposition was met and the leading elements of both infantry and the tanks were on the objective by 1100 hours, and the whole force was finally established there by 1300 hours. The infantry then pushed forward down the forward slope and ‘S’ Squadron remained on the objective in positions from where they could bring fire to bear on the South of CHENEDOLLE and the exits from the village. In this position they remained without much incident till 1700 hours. On the right Right Flank moved forward; deployed to their FUP just North of LE BAS PERRIER from the subsidiary ridge. They arrived in time to join up with their infantry company just before zero at 0900 hours. The infantry had already sustained heavy casualties in reaching their Start Line. The leading troops advanced just in front of their platoons immediately behind the barrage and in this way were able to destroy many Germans as they ran back from their dugouts to their weapons. Thus considerable opposition was overcome and out infantry were on the objective by 1030 hours. Right Flank tanks then remained in positions from where they could cover the South West and North West exits from the village. But, owing to the close nature of the country, they were unable to bring really effective fire onto the village itself. While they were in these positions a PANTHER was spotted moving along the road from LE BAS PERRIER to CHENEDOLLE. 6-pounder tanks were immediately moved into positions covering the North West and South West exits. By this time ‘S’ Squadron were covering the North West and South West exits from the village and supporting M.10s were in position in the area of LE BAS PERRIER. The PANTHER must have realised the hopeless position for it drove into a barn and was then observed to blow itself up. No further incident occurred until the Squadron was released at 1400 hours.

Forward Rally
The area for the Forward Rally was just North of LE BAS PERRIER. Right Flank arrived there at 1430 hours, Left Flank at 1600 hours and ‘S’ Squadron at 1315 hours by which time the whole Battalion was once more concentrated and prepared for its counter attack role. This area was constantly mortared and shelled and about 1930 hours an unlucky shell wounded several men in ‘S’ Squadron.

Results
It turned out that the attack was opposed by the Engineer Battalion of the 9 SS Panzer Division and the Divisional Headquarters Defence Company, both of whom were fighting as normal infantry. The PANTHERS presumably came from the tank resources of the Division. These SS troops were really tough fighters. Many of them were killed and many others taken prisoner. The remainder were routed and forced to surrender the vital feature Point 242; this in itself pays sufficient tribute to the complete success of the operation.
The lessons seem to be these:-
(1) That if the tanks and infantry together stay close enough to the Artillery barrage, even the best of the enemy troops can be overrun.
(2) That PANTHERS are easily dealt with if they can be observed before they have observed our own tanks, who can then manoeuvre onto their flanks which are very vulnerable.
(3) PANTHERS are definitely not cross country vehicles in ‘Bocage’ country.


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Edited by dbf, 23 February 2012 - 11:00 PM.

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#19 dbf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS Order of Battle at the start of the CHENEDOLLE Attack on 11 August 1944

BATTALION HEADQUARTERS
Lieutenant-Colonel C.I.H. DUNBAR - Commanding Officer
Major W.S.I. WHITELAW - Second-in-Command
Captain V.F. ERSKINE CRUM - Adjutant
Lieutenant A.G. LAING - Intelligence Officer
Lieutenant J.M. GOW - Officer In Command Battalion H.Q. Tanks.

HEADQUARTER SQUADRON
Major Sir C.H.F. MACLEAN, Bart., - Officer Commanding H.Q. Squadron
Captain R.W.O. BURNETT - Squadron Second-in-Command
Captain I.S.R. BRUCE - Technical Adjutant
Captain A.J.C. SEYMOUR - Liaison Officer
Captain R.C.G. PEMBER - Officer Commanding Recce Troop
Lieutenant H.W.L. SMITH - Signal Officer
Captain W.J. DORMAN, M.B.E. - Quartermaster

RIGHT FLANK
Captain J.P. MANN - Squadron Leader
Captain J.W.O. ELLIOT - Squadron Recce Officer
Lieutenant D.W. SCOTT-BARRETT - No. 1 Troop Leader
Lieutenant R.A.K. RUNCIE - No. 2 Troop Leader
Lieutenant H. LAING - No. 3 Troop Leader
Lieutenant A.I.D. FLETCHER - No. 4 Troop Leader

'S’ SQUADRON
Major C. O’M. FARRELL - Squadron Leader
Captain W.P. BULL - Squadron Second-in-Command
Lieutenant H.E. BROWN - Squadron Recce Officer
Lieutenant P.M. WARD - Troop Leader No. 7 Troop
Lieutenant E.P. HICKLING - Troop Leader No. 8 Troop
Lieutenant M. LAW - Troop Leader No. 9 Troop
Lieutenant A.R.G. STEVENSON - Troop Leader No. 10 Troop

LEFT FLANK
Major the Honourable M. FITZALAN-HOWARD - Squadron Leader
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR - Squadron Second-in-Command
Captain D.L. BANKES - Squadron Recce Officer
Lieutenant J.M. BARNE - Troop Leader No. 11 Troop
Lieutenant the Lord BRUCE - No. 13 Troop Leader
Lieutenant C.J.R. DUFFIN - No. 14 Troop Leader
Lieutenant G. CAMERON - No. 15 Troop Leader

ATTACHED OFFICERS
The Reverend G.T.H. REID, G.F., R.A.Ch.D. - Chaplain
Captain A.T. MacKNIGHT, R.A.M.C. - Medical Officer
Captain C.E. PRING, R.E.M.E. - E.M.E.
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#20 dbf

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:02 AM

3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS List of Casualties sustained in the CHENEDOLLE Attack on 11 Augutst 1944

:poppy:

OFFICERS
Wounded
Lieutenant The Lord BRUCE

OTHER RANKS
Killed
2698476 Serjeant P. MacFARLANE - ‘S’ Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2696784 Lance-Serjeant J. LINDSAY - H.Q. Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2699373 Guardsman E. DONALD - H.Q. Squadron CWGC - Casualty Details
2698234 Guardsman W. BRAND - Left Flank CWGC - Casualty Details

Wounded
2698194 Serjeant E. ELCOCK - Left Flank
2695221 Serjeant A. ROBERTSON - ‘S’ Squadron
2697678 Lance-Serjeant D. SPROTT - ‘S’ Squadron
2698661 Lance-Serjeant E. PATERSON - ‘S’ Squadron
2696823 Lance-Corporal J. SUTTIE - ‘S’ Squadron
2697112 Guardsman A. REID - ‘S’ Squadron
2700616 Guardsman C. TOWERS - ‘S’ Squadron
2698644 Guardsman G. LILL - ‘S’ Squadron
2698091 Guardsman M. COUSIN - ‘S’ Squadron
2701794 Guardsman R. ADAMS - ‘S’ Squadron
2700829 Guardsman C. MARTIN - ‘S’ Squadron
2700408 Guardsman J. FERGUSON - ‘S’ Squadron
2826202 Guardsman W. McKAY - ‘S’ Squadron
14359716 Guardsman W. MERRITT - Right Flank
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#21 dbf

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:54 AM

1 September 1944
France
Second-in-Command inspected ‘B’ vehicles of H.Q. Squadron
Five 3-tonners left to carry forward 25-pounder ammunition for 3 BRITISH INFANTRY DIVISION.

2 September 1944
Commanding Officer inspected ‘B’ vehicles of Right Flank.
Information concerning own forward troops very scarce.

3 September 1944
Church Parade 1000 hours.
Search parties left to look for Captain & Quartermaster W.J. DORMAN, M.B.E., and Captain C.E. PRING, R.E.M.E., who had been missing since 1 September.
Information was brought back that they had both been killed in a motor accident.
Lieutenant H.E. BROWN arrived from 161 Forward Delivery Squadron R.A.C. to act as Quartermaster.
More 3-tonners left for Army and Corps second and third line tasks.

4 September 1944
A Memorial Service for Captain DORMAN and Captain PRING was held at 1800 hours.
Commander, 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE was among those who attended.

5 September 1944
Battalion Drill Parade.

6 September 1944
Commanding Officer inspected HONEY tanks and Scout Cars of Recce Troop.

7 September 1944
Battalion started to move forward towards River SEINE.
Tracked vehicles left at 0630 hours and staged the night at 420405.
Wheeled vehicles left at 2000 hours and drove through the night.

8 September 1944
Wheeled vehicles arrived at R 030810 during the morning.

9 September 1944
Tracked vehicles left again at 1000 hours and reached R 030810 at 1630 hours.

10 September 1944
Church Service at 1000 hours.
Commanding Officer 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE visited Battalion.

11 September 1944
Nothing to report.

12 September 1944
Battalion started to move across River SEINE, in groups of 20 vehicles, starting at 0715 hours.
All had arrived at new location 374995 by 1730 hours.

13 September 1944
Two Germans who had been hiding in the wooded country nearby were captured.

14 September 1944
The band of H.M. LIFE GUARDS gave a performance in the Battalion area.
There was an ENSA Concert at FLEURY.
Recce patrols searched the surrounding woods for Germans with no success.

15 - 16 September 1944
Nothing to report.

17 September 1944
Left Flank had a dance at LES ANDELYS.

18 September 1944
A young N.C.O.’s Drill Class started and lasted one week.
Recreational transport was run to ROUEN.

19 September 1944
Captain R.C.G. PEMBER left the Battalion on attachment to TAC H.Q. SECOND ARMY as personal Liaison Officer to Army Commander.
Lieutenant M. LAW was attached for a week to H.Q. 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE as Staff Learner.
Lieutenant A.G. LAING was appointed Second-in-Command Recce Troop and Lieutenant J. WILSON attached to ‘S’ Squadron.
Lieutenant C.J.R. DUFFIN was appointed Intelligence Officer.

20 September 1944
Nothing to report.

21 September 1944
An armed party from Right Flank went to search nearby woods after a report that 20 Germans were in hiding in a cave. No signs of them were seen.
A French deserter from the German Army was located at RADEPONT.

22 September 1944
Battalion Drill Parade under Second-in-Command.
The Band of H.M. LIFE GUARDS attended.
M54 (airburst) ammunition was tried out at a range at NOMILLY-SUR-ANDELLE.

23 September 1944
Nothing to report.

24 September 1944
Church of Scotland Service at 1000 hours.
Church of England Service 1100 hours.
Serjeants Mess Dance at ETRPAGNY at 2000 hours.

25 September 1944
Advance Parties left to recce new areas.
Major the Earl CATHCART
Captain C.S.R. GRAHAM and
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR
left for attachment to H.Q. 8 CORPS for 3 days.
’S’ Squadron dance at LES ANDELYS at 2000 hours.

26 September 1944
Preparation for move.
Tanks started loading onto transports.

27 September 1944
Wheeled vehicles left at 0800 hours.
They arrived 13 km North of CAMBRAI at 1730 hours and there staged the night.
Transporter column left 4 hours late owing to a breakdown in a narrow road.
They spent the night in area DOUCHY.
It was made known that the destination was GELDROP in HOLLAND.

28 September 1944
Wheeled vehicles left at 0900 hours and arrived at GELDROP by 2100 hours.
Tank transporters spent night near BRAIN LE COMTE.

29 September 1944
Transporters, having gone through BRUSSELS, unloaded at the ALBERT Canal, and the tanks went on on their tracks, arriving at GELDROP at 2100 hours.

30 September 1944
More tanks, whose transporters had broken down on the long journey, arrived in batches in the Battalion area.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 24 February 2012 - 09:25 AM.

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#22 dbf

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

1 October 1944
Holland
Battalion was by now fully concentrated in Area 4616, between GELDROP and EINDHOVEN.
Church Services were held in the evening.

2 October 1944
Orders for an Operational role in the event of an enemy counter-attack on the East flank of the salient were received.

3 October 1944
Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders recced areas of ASTEN and HELMOND, to which the Battaion was prepared to send squadrons at one hour’s notice and three hour’s notice respectively in order to block any counter-attack.

4 October 1944
All Officers down to Troop Leaders recced the same areas.

5 October 1944
Maintenance on tanks all day.

6 October 1944
Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders attended a Conference at H.Q. 15 (S) DIVISION, at which an Operation in the area of the REICHSWALD FOREST, which was due to commence on 10 October, was discussed. Appendix D1.

7 October 1944
Squadron Leaders and Troop Leaders recced area in which forthcoming Operation was due to take place.
The plan fore this Operation became firm.
Commanding Officer held an ‘O’ Group in the evening.
Shortly after this, information was received that the Operation was to be postponed indefinitely

8 October 1944
Church Parade 1000 hours.

9 October 1944
Right Flank and Left Flank moved into billets in GELDROP and EINDHOVEN respectively.

10 October 1944
Commanding Officer attended a Conference at 15 (S) DIVISION, at which planning for an Operation in the area South of WEERT was begun.
H.Q. Squadron held a dance in EINDHOVEN.

11 October 1944
Commanding Officer and Adjutant to recce area in which forthcoming Operation to be known as “SIRIUS”, was to take place.
Good Observation Posts were found in the churches at ZWARTBROEK 6294 and NEDERWEERT 6100.

12 October 1944
Further recces of area South of WEERT, down to Squadron Leaders.

13 October 1944
Operational Orders for Operation “SIRIUS” were received.
Battalion was to attack in support of 46 (H) BRIGADE.

14 October 1944
Air photos of the area were studied by Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders.

15 October 1944
Exercise “COCKSHY” took place in the area 5016, just East of GELDROP. Appendix D2.
This was a rehearsal with 46 (H) BRIGADE, of which two Battalions were carried in KANGAROOS, for the move over a bridge, into an FUP, and further advance to an objective.
One hour before the Exercise was due to start, Battalion was put on two hour’s notice to move to area of WEERT.
At 1900 hours no movement orders had been received, and Squadron Leaders completed planning of Operation with the Commanders of the Infantry Battalions they were to support.
Half an hour after the Battalion Commanders had left, information was received that the Operation was indefinitely postponed.
During the night orders were received for a move to the area of North of OVERLOON, where the Battalion was to be in support of 3 BRITISH INFANTRY DIVISION, with the rest of 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE, who had been fighting in this area since 10 October.

16 October 1944
Battalion moved to area 7433, North of OVERLOON, starting at 0745 hours and completing move by 1400 hours. Appendix D3.
Battalion was placed in support of 9 BRITISH INFANTRY BRIGADE.

17 October 1944
Recces for an attack next day were carried out by Commanding Officer, with Commander 9 BRITISH INFANTRY BRIGADE.
Squadron Leaders visited the Battalions in this BRIGADE which they were respectively detailed to support.
Recce Officer Left Flank recced River in area 7931 - with the eventuality in view of 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS supporting this BRIGADE in an advance South East towards VENLO.
This River was found to be a tank obstacle, with very muddy approaches on both sides.

18 October 1944
Three tanks from Left Flank went to the area of 6th Battalion K.O.S.B. in order to try, at a range of almost 4,000 yards, to demolish a large concrete building on the banks of the MAAS which the enemy were using as an Observation Post.
The attempt was unsuccessful.

19 October 1944
Commanding Officer visited 185 INFANTRY BRIGADE Commander, and then went to 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE H.Q. to meet the CORPS Commander. Appendix D4.
Orders were received for a move back to 15 (S) DIVISION area.

20 October 1944
Battalion moved to area 5827 (between GEMERT and BAKEL).

21 October 1944
Baths at HELMOND.

22 October 1944
Commanding Officer attended a Conference at 15 (S) DIVISION, at which orders were given for a set piece attack by 46 (H) BRIGADE supported by 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS from the area East of BEST 3726 to OIRSCHOT 3125.
Recces were made in the area of BEST, where the Church was found to be a good Observation Post.

23 October 1944
Further recces and plannings for this Opertaion.

24 October 1944
Enemy were reported to be withdrawing from area West of BEST.
At 1100 hours Battalion was put on immediate notice to move, and at 1500 hours moved to area of ZON 4426.
Commanding Officer attended an ‘O’ Group at 46 (H) BRIGADE at 2100 hours, and held an ‘O’ Group on his return at 2230 hours.

25 October 1944
Battalion formed part of 46 (H) BRIGADE GROUP in an advance Westwards from BEST.
Forming up by 0900 hours on the wide main road running South from BEST, Right Flank in support of 2 GORDON HIGHLANDERS formed the advance guard.
They passed through OIRSCHOT, which was already held by 44 (L) BRIGADE GROUP, and SPOORDONK 2827, which recce elements had reached the night before.
A small enemy rearguards in the area 2430 (two miles East of MOERGESTEL) caused the deployment of the advance guard, but as soon as it was realised that this rearguard had withdrawn, tanks were pushed up to the bridge at MOERGESTEL with all speed.
The Bridge was found blown.
An attempt to wade through the river was unsuccessful.
Two CHURCHILL Bridgelayer tanks were brought up, and all tanks had been passed over these by 1530 hours.
The Recce Troop with one company 2nd Battalion GORDON HIGHLANDERS in KANGAROOS made a dash for the bridge into TILBURG at 177327, light failing them when the tanks were 400 yards short of the bridge.
Here the Recce Troop found itself in the middle of what seemed to be a German Company position and a brisk engagement took place in which losses were inflicted on the enemy.
During it three HONEYS were bogged, and attempts at recovery had to be made under heavy M.G. fire.
These were successful except in the case of one tank, which had to be abandoned until next morning.
The Recce Troop eventually withdrew after dark, having caused considerable damage to the enemy in the surrounding farmhouses which were occupied.
Left Flank and 7th Battalion SEAFORTHS advanced North toward OISTERWIJK 2334, where the bridge was found blown and covered by small arms and mortar fire.
This advance was carried out with 15 Troop and the Squadron Leaders tank acting as point of the advance guard.
The Troop Leaders tank charged through a road block just short of the blown bridge, and the Troop managed to deploy and engage the enemy firing at them from the opposite bank of the river.
A spirited and successful fire engagement was fought, but Lance-Serjeant MARSDEN, the Troop Corporal, was killed when a mortar burst on top of his tank.
S’ Squadron and 9th Battalion CAMERONIANS advanced to area 1931, and Right Flank and 2nd Battalion GORDON HIGHLANDERS to area 2030.

26 October 1944
Left Flank supported 7th Battalion SEAFORTH up to the river South of OISTERWIJK in an Operation which cleared half of this town.
In spite of considerable opposition, a number of prisoners being taken.
Whilst the squadron was forming up in the dark Lieutenant RAMSAY was killed and S.S.M. PRICE wounded by an air burst.
S’ Squadron supported their Infantry forward against light opposition to the area of Bridge 177327, which was found blown (probably 1 1/2 hours before they reached it).
Right Flank moved to area South of OISTERWIJK.
Infantry patrols got across the broken bridge into TILBURG.

27 October 1944
Recce Troop patrolled in the morning to the Canal line North North East of TILBURG, where slight opposition was met.
In the afternoon Left Flank carried 7th Battalion SEAFORTH to this same area, where 7th Battalion SEAFORTH patrols crossed the Canal into TILBURG without opposition.
In the evening all Squadrons were pulled back into the area 1933.

28 October 1944
Second-in-Command went into TILBURG to recce billets, but at 1100 hours Battalion was put at one hour’s notice to move.
At 1400 hours the Battalion was told to be prepared to move East early next morning.
At 1510 hours orders for this move were received, and at 1600 hours Battalion started moving via EINDHOVEN and GELDROP to the other side of the so-called NIJMEGEN salient, where a German counter-attack had captured MEIJEL 7006 and was said to be threatening SECOND ARMY H.Q. at HELMOND.
The tanks arrived in a harbour area just North of ASTEN 6113 by 0130 hours next morning.
A’ Echelon was dropped off at ZOMEREN 5911.

29 October 1944
During a day full of extraordinary rumours concerning the progress and success of this German counter-attack, at 1100 hours tank squadrons moved out at short notice to areas South and East of ASTEN to cover this road centre in support of the Infantry battalions of 227 (H) BRIGADE under whose command the Battalion now was.
The enemy advance was said to be being made with two Panzer Divisions, the 9th and the 15th.
No enemy were seen during this day.

30 October 1944
7 U.S. ARMY DIVISION which had been holding this sector of the line was withdrawn, and the Battalion in support of 227 (H) BRIGADE moved up to take over their positions, whilst the rest of 15 (S) DIVISION and 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE were concentrating behind them.
The expected enemy attack did not materialise, though shelling and mortaring were fairly heavy.
Right Flank were attacked in harbour during the night, but drove off the enemy with losses.
15 Troop of Left Flank carried out an attack on an occupied farm in co-operation with a company of 2nd Battalion GORDONS.
This resulted in the capture of 23 Prisoners.

31 October 1944
No change in situation.
Shelling still fairly heavy.
Squadrons were located as follows:-
Right Flank area 6310, in support of 10th Battalion H.L.I.
Left Flank area 6311, in support of 2nd Battalion CAMERONS.
S’ Squadron area 6212, in support of 2nd Battalion A.&S.H.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 25 February 2012 - 12:05 PM.

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#23 dbf

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:07 PM

1 November 1944
Holland
Shelling still fairly heavy.
Left Flank in support of 2nd Battalion GORDONS occupied some more buildings unopposed in area 6512.

2 November 1944
Recce Troop patrolled actively to the East of Left Flank position and to the South East of Right Flank position, where enemy company position equipped with light automatics was discovered in the peat bogs at 6508.
As a result of this a hurriedly laid on attack was launched by 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. supported by one troop ‘S’ Squadron.
The ground however proved to be entirely unsuitable, two tanks got bogged and smoke had to be put down to cover their debogging.
The Infantry mistook this for the prearranged signal to withdraw and since they were anyway held up by extremely heavy and accurate mortar fire they returned to Starting Point.
The tanks were thus left in the gathering dusk and the troop was attacked by about 30 German infantry.
Several of these were killed but in the action one of the bogged tanks had to be abandoned.
The remainder then withdrew after blowing up an enemy ammunition dump behind a peat bog.
It afterwards turned out that the enemy also withdrew after this action.

3 November 1944
The bogged tank of ‘S’ Squadron was recovered undamaged without opposition.
Situation remained unchanged.
Shelling much reduced.
Enemy apparently falling back.

4 November 1944
The Battalion moved into billets in HELMOND 5522 for maintenance and refitting, arriving in HELMOND 1000 hours.
Appendix A.
The Commanding Officer held a Conference at 1100 hours.
Priorities of occupation were to be maintained, baths and rest.

5 November 1944
A Church Service was held at 0900 hours.
The remainder of the day was spent in maintenance and baths.

6 November 1944
The day was spend in maintenance.

7 November 1944
The day was spend in maintenance.

8 November 1944
Commanding Officer’s Drill Parade 0930 hours.
Appendix B.
Day spent in maintenance and recreation.
An Operational role was allotted in support of 6th R.S.F. at 6809.
One squadron to be at one hour’s notice.
Commanding Officer visited 6th Battalion R.S.F. for purpose of tying up the detail

9 November 1944
A Crew Commander’s course was started within the Battalion.
Remainder of the Battalion was employed in maintenance and recreation.

10 November 1944
Day spent in maintenance and recreation.

11 November 1944
Commanding Officer’s Drill Parade 0900 hours.
Remainder of day spent in maintenance and recreation.

12 November 1944
A combined denominations Church Parade was held at 0930 hours.
Remainder of day spent in recreation.

13 November 1944
Subaltern Officers’ Map Reading Course.
Maintenance and recreation.
Commanding Officer and Adjutant to 227 (H) BRIGADE to discuss an Operation to be known as “NUTCRACKER”, with the object of clearing the large enemy pocket West of the MAAS, with a preliminary Operation to clear MEIJEL.
Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR to be Adjutant vice Captain V.F. ERSKINE CRUM.

14 November 1944
Commanding Officer to 227 (H) BRIGADE to discuss “NUTCRACKER”.
Maintenance.

15 November 1944
Commanding Officer to 227 (H) BRIGADE to discuss “NUTCRACKER”.
Maintenance.

16 November 1944
Commanding Officer and Officer Commanding Recce Troop carried out recces in now occupied MEIJEL area.

17 November 1944
Commanding Officer to 227 (H) BRIGADE to discuss “NUTCRACKER”.
Squadron Leader Right Flank to 44 (L) BRIGADE to discuss further phase of Operation “NUTCRACKER”.

18 November 1944
Recce Troop commenced clearing minefields in MEIJEL to provide suitable tank FUPs.
Unit came under command of 227 (H) BRIGADE and ceased to be at call of 6th Battalion R.S.F.
C’ Squadron W. DRAGOONS and 146 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY put under command 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS.
During the night patrols of 10th Battalion H.L.I. accompanied by Recce Officers ‘S’ Squadron and Left Flank went out to determine the tank going between MEIJEL 7007 and the Canal De Deurne between 7206 and 7205.
They saw slight signs of enemy activity at 721069 and reported the going to be good.

19 November 1944
Voluntary Church Parade 0930 hours.
Day spent in maintenance.
Captain R.C.G. PEMBER blown up on a mine in MEIJEL 7007 while in a Scout Car on recce to fin a bridge over the Canal de Derivation.
At 1700 hours orders were received from 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE to move next morning to BERINGE 740060.
A bomb which fell on Left Flank billets caused some casualties.

20 November 1944
F1 and F2 moved to BERINGE leaving HELMOND at 0700 hours.
A’ Echelon moved to HEUSDEN 6311.
A tank FUP was recced by Second-in-Command at 745065 in which the Battalion was formed up with under command ‘C’ Squadron W. DRAGOONS, 146 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY and one troop AVRE.
Two CHURCHILL Bridge layers were also under command.
The FUP was covered by two patrols of the Recce Troop and was shelled intermittently by an SP gun causing one casualty.
At 1115 hours Left Flank in support of 2nd Battalion GORDONS moved up alongside the road to 758078 where they came under heavy mortar and spandau fire from the houses immediately to their front and the surrounding woods.
As the infantry were held up, Left Flank moved forward into the houses, destroying them by gunfire, silencing the spandaus and killed approximately 20 and taking 46 German Prisoners in the process.
During this time an S.P. gun, believed to be a 75 mm opened fire from the woods at approximately 775090 on the right flank followed by another on their left flank.
Both were concealed in the woods and before being forced to withdraw knocked out the Tank Commander by Lieutenant J. WILSON, killing him and wounding two of his crew; two other CHURCHILLS being hit but not damaged.
Lieutenant I.L. THORPE was severely wounded by small arms fire in this action.
Left Flank withdrew to forward rally after dark to 748082.
S’ Squadron in support of 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. harboured in the wood at 761078 while Battalion H.Q. and Right Flank remained in the North of BERINGE at 752070.
At this time each squadron had under command one troop of FLAILS from W. DRAGOONS and one troop S.P.s from 146 Anti-Tank Battery ROYAL ARTILLERY.
Troop AVREs remained with Battalion H.Q.
During the course of the afternoon Right Flank moved to 742071 in support of 44 (L) BRIGADE, but though they made no contact with the enemy one tank was lost on a mine.
Recce Troop made various patrols to 752088 and the edge of the woods just to the North.
From these patrols one tank did not return.

21 November 1944
Left Flank in support of 2nd Battalion GORDONS moved North WE up the road from BERINGE - SEVENUM 818140 starting at first light.
Though no contact was made the bridge over the Canal at 783806 was blown.
2nd Battalion GORDONS and Left Flank crossed this with the assistance of a CHURCHILL Bridgelayer and an AVRE bridge.
They formed a bridgehead on the Northern bank and came under considerable shell, mortar and Nebelwerfer fire.
A Patrol of the Recce Troop was sent to recce VORST 819123 but met mines at 787109 where one tank was lost with casualties, but the other successfully completed its mission and returned.
As the approaches to the bridges were so bad it was decided to pass no-one else across the bridge that night.
Final positions were Left Flank 783108, ‘S’ Squadron 779102, Right Flank 745065, Battalion H.Q. 779100.
Heavy rain all day.

22 November 1944
At first light BROEK 806113, VORST 819123 and ACHTERSTE STEEG 804125 were reported clear by 15 (S) DIVISION Recce.
Before dawn the bridgelayers lifted the bridges and moved them a few yards so that the approaches were undamaged.
Right Flank in support of 10th Battalion H.L.I. moved forward at about 0900 hours and by 1200 hours had occupied SEVENUM 818140 without opposition covered by Left Flank from the North edge of the Wood 795135.
Final dispositions were Right Flank 810131, ‘S’ Squadron 804124, Left Flank 806132, Battalion H.Q. 815136.
There was a sharp period of shelling round Battalion H.Q. at 2100 hours.
Heavy rain all day.

23 November 1944
Battalion H.Q. shelled at 815136 at about 0730 hours.
15 (S) DIVISION Recce reported that HORST 830185 was clear of enemy and Right Flank starting at 0900 hours reached HORST opposition, being vociferously received by the inhabitants and taking 5 Prisoners.
No further incident took place that day though there was considerable shell fire in the area of Battalion H.Q. at about 1900 hours.
Great difficulty was experienced on this and previous days in bringing up F2 Echelon owing to the bad state of the read between BERINGE - SEVENUM.
Final dispositions, Right Flank 830185, ‘S’ Squadron 828180, Left Flank 818167, Battalion H.Q. 826183.
Heavy rain all day.

24 November 1944
Battalion remained in previous positions in HORST.
Contact was made to the West with patrols of 11 ARMOURED DIVISION, and ROYAL ENGINEERS constructed a bridge over the Canals at 829189 and 832203.
Orders were given by 227 (H) BRIGADE for an advance on the following day to TIENRAIJ 858231.

25 November 1944
ARVs of H.Q. and Left Flank under the command of TA cleared obstructions from the road at 832203.
At 0900 hours Right Flank in support of 10th Battalion H.L.I. occupied EIKELENBOSCH 850207 without opposition.
S’ Squadron supporting 2nd Battalion A.&S.H. moved into an FUP at 834804 where they were sharply shelled.
They then moved forward and by 1200 hours had occupied TIENRAIJ without opposition, amid heavy shelling.
Left Flank and 2nd Battalion GORDONS then moved through TIENRAIJ and occupied SWOLIGEN 875227, this Operation being completed by 1600 hours.
Final dispositions Battalion H.Q. 830198, Right Flank 843212, ‘S’ Squadron 856228, Left Flank 862238.
Night patrols were made by Recce Officers ‘S’ Squadron and Right Flank to determine the tank going towards BLITTERSWIJK 870270.

26 November 1944
After a night of heavy but intermittent shelling, Left Flank were very heavily shelled at 0800 hours, which resulted in the death of Lieutenant H.W.S. MARSHALL and two of his crew, two more being wounded.
At about 1000 hours Right Flank in support of 10th Battalion H.L.I. moved up towards BLITTERSWIJK.
Right Flank were unable to advance to the village itself owing to an obstacle at 868259.
Some opposition in the shape of a spandau and faustpatronen was found here but was quickly silenced by fire from the tanks.
Two Troops of Left Flank under the command of the Squadron Leader assisted 2nd Battalion GORDONS into BROEKHUIZEN 906222 without opposition though they encountered a number of minefields.
S’ Squadron was put under command 46 (H) BRIGADE to assist in an Operation to clear LOTTUM 897191 but were not used

27 November 1944
Squadrons located as follows: Battalion H.Q. 826182, Right Flank 830185, ‘S’ Squadron 828180, Left Flank 843213.
S’ Squadron was put under command 46 (H) BRIGADE to assist in an Operation to clear up LOTTUM 897191 but were not used.

28 November 1944
One Troop of Left Flank and the Squadron Leader moved forward to 900220 to support 2nd Battalion GORDSON into KASTEEL and to demolish booby trapped houses in BROEKHUIZEN.
In this they were entirely successful, 5 Prisoners of War including an Officer being taken, and at least 5 other Germans killed though heavy and consistent shell fire was encountered from the East bank of River MAAS.
During the nigh the R.S.M. was blown up on a mine in a Scout Car but was uninjured.

29 November 1944
Battalion was released from 15 (S) DIVISION and came under command 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE.
At 1300 hours Battalion moved back into billets in HELMOND.
Commanding Officer and 10 Officers attended a farewell address by Commander 8 CORPS at 1415 hours.

30 November 1944
Day spent in maintenance and baths.
Battalion was visited at 1500 hours by Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, accompanied by Commander SECOND BRITISH ARMY, and Colonel. J. GAULT, SCOTS GUARDS.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 25 February 2012 - 08:13 PM.

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#24 dbf

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:44 PM

1 - 6 December 1944
Day spent in maintenance and individual training.

7 December 1944
Day spent in maintenance and individual training.
Commanding Officer attended a Conference at 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE to discuss possibility of the Battalion going into the Line and infantry during January.

8 December 1944
Day spent in maintenance and individual training.
Commanding Officer held a Conference to discuss infantry role.

9 December 1944
Day spent in maintenance and individual training.

10 December 1944
Orders were received to relieve 4th Tank Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS who were in 8 CORPS reserve at ZEILBURG 6619 on 13 December.
Recces of new area made by Second-in-Command and Squadron Recce Officers.

11 - 12 December 1944
Maintenance and individual training.

13 December 1944
Move to ZEILBURG cancelled but Battalion came into 8 CORPS reserve at 3 hours’ notice to counter-attack any enemy penetration of 8 CORPS front.

14 December 1944
Commanding Officer and Adjutant made recces of training areas.

15 - 17 December 1944
Maintenance and individual training.

18 December 1944
Air activity over HELMOND.
Several enemy jet propelled aircraft seen.
No incidents.
Commanding Officer held a Conference on the subject of future training.

19 December 1944
Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders recced training areas.

20 December 1944
Orders received from 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE at 0345 hours to move to area BREE 5084 with a view to Operations in connection with German breakthrough in the ARDENNES sector.
Battalion moved in accordance with March Table at Appendix D2.

21 December 1944
Commanding Officer and Adjutant attended Conference at H.Q. 51 (H) DIVISION at BERINGEN.
Battalion at 3 hours’ notice in support of 153 (H) BRIGADE.
A plan was made to support 153 (H) BRIGADE in a defensive role South of LOUVAIN to counter an enemy attack across the MEUSE.
Second-in-Command and Squadron Recce Officers went to LOUVAIN to look for billets.
At 1830 hours Battalion was ordered to move to area MAASTRICHT the following day.
Squadron Seconds-in-Command reported to H.Q. IX U.S. ARMY at MAASTRICHT.
B’ Echelon arrived from HOLLAND.

22 December 1944
Battalion moved to MAASTRICHT, wheels starting 0430, Tracks 0530.
Final locations, Battalion H.Q. 655543, Right Flank HOUTHEM 635543, ‘S’ Squadron 645543, Left Flank 649542.
Battalion came in support 154 (H) BRIGADE.

23 December 1944
Maintenance in new area.
Battalion put at 4 hours’ notice.
By 1800 hours Battalion at 8 hours’ notice.

24 December 1944
Church Services for all squadrons.
Battalion at 8 hours’ notice.

25 December 1944
CHRISTMAS DAY.

Church Services for all squadrons.
Battalion ceased to be in support 154 (H) BRIGADE and came under command 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE which was under command IX U.S. ARMY.

26 December 1944
Whole holiday.
Besa Ranges constructed.

27 December 1944
6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE and 3rd Tank Battalion SCOTS GUARDS came under command 43 BRITISH INFANTRY DIVISION at 6 hours’ notice in a counter attack role as army reserve to IX U.S. ARMY.

28 December 1944
Commanding Officer attended Conference at 43 DIVISION H.Q.
Battalion put under command 214 INFANTRY BRIGADE.
Plans for a counter attack in the BRUNSSUM 762699 and AACHEN areas were made.

29 December 1944
Commanding Officer attended an Order Group 214 INFANTRY BRIGADE H.Q.
Squadrons affiliated to battalions of 214 INFANTRY BRIGADE.
Right Flank to 7th Battalion SOMERSET L.I, ‘S’ Squadron to 1st Battalion WORC. REGIMENT, Left Flank to 5th Battalion D.C.L.I.
Commanding Officer and Squadron Leaders made recces of areas AMSTENRADE - HOUTE-EN-DOUVE 7262 - MERKLEBEEK 7463 - KLING 7563 - ROZENGAARD 7663 - BOUWBERG 7763.

30 December 1944
Recces of areas on Squadron-Company level continued.
Battalion visited by Commander 43 INFANTRY DIVISION.

31 December 1944
Church Services for all squadrons.
Recces of counter attack areas on Platoon-Troop level carried out.
Plan for counter attack in BRUNSSUM area hardened, and full commitments of 43 INFANTRY DIVISION and 6 GUARDS TANK BRIGADE received.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 25 February 2012 - 11:52 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WO 171/5150WO 171/1258, 3 Scots Guards, Scots Guards, War Diary, 1945, North West Europe

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