Looking for the diaries of 22nd Dragoons RAC August 1944

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by steveinuk, Jun 13, 2018.

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  1. steveinuk

    steveinuk Member

    Hi, I'm looking for the diaries of this regiment around August 1944.

    Specifically looking for details of any losses of individuals or tanks. Researching a Trooper 4618267 called John Tozer 1917-1944, died 11th August 1944 - part of a tank crew, possibly a gunner.

    I have little details on him other than whats easily found.
     
  2. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Wounded on Aug 8th:

    Tozer.jpg
     
  3. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    8th August 1944, from regimental war diary.


    0315

    A Sqn with Northants Yeomanry reach objective. No mines have been encountered and no flailing was necessary.

    0540

    C Sqn with 144 RAC who encountered rather more difficulties and a small tank obstacle in the way of a railway embankment, only two feet high, however, finally reach their objective. No mines encountered.

    0630

    Orders sent to all Sqns through 33 Armd Bde to rally in area Bras (0663). It is not yet possible to determine casualties.

    0915

    B Sqn arrive at Rally. One flail tank can still not be traced and it seems likely it is a casualty.

    0945

    A & C Sqns arrive at Rally. C Sqn had one tank shot up on the return journey this morning, presumably by a “Bazooka”, and one member of the crew has been killed, the Officer wounded, otherwise no casualties due to enemy action.



    Total casualties – 1 tank destroyed (C Sqn), 1 tank missing, 5 O.Rs missing (B Sqn) - Later found KIA, Cpl William "Paddy" Addis, Tpr Austin Burke, Tpr Norman Greaves, Tpr Victor Goble and Tpr George Merrick, 1 O.R killed (C Sqn), 4 O.Rs wounded (C Sqn).

    *Details of the B Sqn Cuasualties can be read in Ian Hammerton's book "Achtung Minen!"

    X and Y casualties (not directly due to enemy action) – 14 tanks.

    1000

    The Regiment now comes under comd 1st Polish Armoured Div for an attack due to start at 1330 hrs today.



    Orders are received from Pol. Armd Div for Sqns of the Regiment to join them at FUP (area) Cramesnil not later than 1200 hrs.



    A Sqn is placed in support of 2nd Pol. Armd Regt., B Sqn in support of 1st Pol. Armd Regt.



    C Sqn in reserve and directly under comd of Pol. Armd Bde HQ but moving with 24 Lancers, the reserve regiment.



    Instruction of Polish Armd Div is to seize a final objective the high ground im,ediately North of Falaise with an immediate objective of the high ground South of Cauvicourt (1052).



    Order of march 2nd Armd Regt. Right with A Sqn. 1st Armd Regt. left with B Sqn. 24 lancers in reserve with C Sqn.

    1200

    Tank state at the time of joining Pol. Armd Div – 10 tanks each A, B, C Sqns (incl. 3 attached from 1st Lothians).



    Sqns now in position behind Start Line, Road Cramesnil – St. Sylvaiiy.



    RHQ join Polish Armd Bde HQ on track to Start Line.

    1345

    After some preliminary bombing by heavy bombers of the American Air Force, the leading two regts cross the S.L.

    1500

    Leading regiments having reached a point some 1500 yds from the S.L. run into a very strong A. Tk. Screen which ha not been eliminated by the bombers and are suffering considerable casualties. The advance is held up for the time being.



    B Sqn are subjected to some very heavy shelling which 4 O.Rs are wounded. 1 tk which has received a direct hit is a total casualty.



    RHQ with Pol. Armd Bde HQ and at MR 073590.

    2015

    Pol. Armd Regts have made no further advance. Under these circumstances flails do not seem to be required and the C.O. has asked for the Regt. to be withdrawn for the night and if necessary to join the Armd Bde on the morrow if a new attack is prepared.

    2100

    Sqns are released for the night and begin movement back to the morning Rally at Bras.

    RHQ return to Bras.

    2215

    A L.O. from the regt. is sent to the Pol. Armd Bde in case of orders for an attack tomorrow.
     
  4. Mikal

    Mikal Junior Member

    From C Squadron Diary, Capt Tim Wheway.

    August 8th, 1944.

    Very exhausted after our night ordeal we came under orders of the Polish Armoured Division to attack Robert Mesnil at 1200 hrs. This was the Polish Armoured Division’s first battle and unfortunately the night before they had been bombed by the U.S. Air Force who mistook them for enemy, and their morale was not too high in the morning. Major Shuter contacted the C.O. of the regiment we were attached to at Hubert Folie, which was the S.P. We got in but owing to the language situation, it was impossible to use wireless. We were attached to the reserve squadron and told to move up with them until called forward to deal with mines. Lt. Martin-Leake and Lt. Thwaites returned to duty and both led their troops 1st and 3rd in this attack.

    How many enemy were left behind in the night attack was proved now, because almost immediately after crossing the S.P., the tanks were fired on from dugouts in the middle of the corn. We kept up continual fire until Rocquancourt and the Polish Infantry collected many prisoners and we pushed forward. At Rocquancourt we halted and waited to be called forward, collecting quite a few prisoners from the field on our left. Major Shuter went forward with Polish RHQ. Information was very sparse owing to the language difficulty. We thought everything was going well, when the Polish Motor battalion came through, but later events proved this to be incorrect. Many wounded started coming back and we heard that the leading squadron had been wiped out by 88mm’s on the high ground east of Gaumesnil. Things got a bit tense and still not correct information.

    Much shelling and mortar fire came down on us and nothing seemed to be going forward and very little return fire. Some tanks on our left moved round a farm and worked their way covering each other to the other side and then disappeared over the ridge. A and B Squadrons were on our right having a very sticky time from shells and mortars. Not long after this the Polish Motor battalion came back followed by some tanks, all carrying many wounded, we could not get any information from them because of the language difficulty and imagined they were going to try an outflanking move on our left, but we immediately knew we were wrong as many more came back and disappeared from sight.

    The C.O. came over the air and asked what was going on, and Captain Wheway said “It looks like a general retreat”, which was not far wrong. The Poles had lost a whole regiment and we had not made a yard on our left for the last 5 hours.


    We hung on being shelled and mortared continuously and kept up fire as much as our ammunition would allow, in the area of Tilly-la-Campagne, supported by a squadron of 141 RAC.


    Still no information and after an hour of this we were much relieved to see a battalion of the 51 H.D. move up and take positions on our left and front, taking many prisoners right under our very noses as they moved forward in the fields. We then had orders at 2200 hrs to withdraw to Bras and rejoin the remainder of the Squadron. We had then been without sleep for nearly 4 nights and were very exhausted. 2nd and 4th troops had moved back to Cresserons and HQ of Squadron with 1st and 3rd troops remained at Bras. Tpr Smith W. wounded while flanking a position on the return.
     
  5. steveinuk

    steveinuk Member

    Thanks for all your help. I also found his half sister who provided a photo!

    Can anyone tell me what ‘x and y casualites’ Means!?
     

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