VERITABLE 1945: 15th Scottish & 43rd Wessex Divisions in the Reichswald battle

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    The 214 Bde's dash to the Goch Escarpment (16/17 Feb 45)

    General Thomas GOC of the 43rd Wessex by noon of the 16th sensed that time had come to deliver a final stroke against the German defensive line, which by now shook under the continuous presure exerted over the past few days by his division. Thomas ordered his 214 Bde, reinforced by the 4th Somerset Light Infantry, forward. The 214 Bde commanded by Brigadier Essame was to attack due south from the position attained by 130 Bde and seize the Goch Escarpment, the commanding ground north of the small market town of Goch. As a first stage two battalions of the 214 Bde were to secure the eastern end of Pfalzdorf and some important crossroads along the Landwehrstrasse, which ran astride the British line approximately halfway between the Bremenkamp feature and the Goch Escarpment. This assignment was given to the 7th Somerset Light Infantry and the 1st Worcesters respectively. A third battalion loaded on Kangaroos then was to thrust forward and capture the farmsteads of Bergmannshof and Schroërshof and cut the Coch - Calcar road. This task was given to the 5th DCLI. Finally a fourth battalion, the attached 4th Somerset Light Infantry, was to gain the Goch Escarpment in a night operation. The 43rd Wessex subsequently had to clear the enemy occupied Cleve Forest (or 'Square Wood' as they knick named it by now). After the Wessex Division had attained all these objectives the 15th Scottish Division would pass through and capture Goch from the north.

    By the time the 214 Bde started forward from it's concentration area at Bedburg, the 130 Bde had barely secured the Start Line of the 214 Bde's attack, which ran across the Bremenkamp plateau. On the right the 7th Hampshires moved 1000 yards south from Berkhöfel Farm with 'C' and 'A' Coys to extend the 214 Bde's Start Line. The battalion did not reach the proposed objectives because of heavy enemy fire, instead the two attacking companies established a line on the exposed forward slopes. Major Leonard Stanley Nayler, the 'C' Coy CO, received a MC for his part in the actions:

    Maj Nayler 7 Hamps C Coy.jpg Maj Nayler 7 Hamps C Coy aa.jpg

    130 Bde afternoon 16th.jpg


    Plan of attack 214 Bde:
    Goch Escarpment.jpg

    027a.jpg
    Picture taken near the Start Line of the 214 Bde attack on the Bremenkamp Plateau, view to the south. In the distance the church spire of Goch
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    1st Phase: 7th SLI & 1st Worcester Regt (afternoon 16th)

    As General Thomas had been hoping for, the assault of the 214 Brigade tipped the scale in favor of his Division. After the relentless pressure excercized by the 129 and 130 Bde over the past few days, the 47th Panzer Corps' defense finally cracked. Thrusting down behind the Cleve Forest the 214 Bde rolled up the remaining stretch of the Kellen Riegel and penetrated right into the rear of the German defense. The two battalions of the 156 Pz Gren Regt (116. Pz Div), still in possession of the Cleve Forest, and most of the 15.Pz Grenadier Division, which was facing the 53rd Welsh Division in the Reichswald Forest, now were threatened with encirclement.

    Quote from the War Diary of the 1st Worcester Regiment:
    Lt Daniel John Pullen, a Platoon commander in 1 Worc Regt, was awarded a MC for his actions during the 16th. His Platoon took an enemy strongpoint, killed 15 of the enemy and captured 18:
    Lt Pullen 1 Worc Regt.jpg

    Both assault battalions captured a large number of POW's. By the close of the day the tally for both battalions stood at 413 and 105 respectively. POW's coming from the 116. Panzer and 15. Panzer Grenadier Division. By late afternoon the 7th SLI and 1st Worcesters consolidated on their objectives:
    214 Bde attack 1st Phase.jpg

    Excerpt of the Operational Narrative of 7th Somersets for the 16th. The battalion was supported by the tanks of 'A' Squadron 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards:

    7 SLI Op narrative.jpg

    028a.jpg
    Farm building along the Hunsrückstrasse occupied by the forward left hand company of the 7th Somerset Light Infantry. Picture taken with view to the south. The wall on this side of the building, facing north towards the British lines, still carries the marks of bullet impacts .
    030.JPG 034.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    2nd Phase: attack by the 5th Duke of Corwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) (16th evening):

    By 1730, in failing light, the 5th DCLI started forward for their part in the brigade operation. Moving in Kangaroos the troops of the battalion had to pass through the 1st Worcesters forward line and bypassing all buildings, farms etc. had to seize the Bergmannshof and Schroershof and a small countour just beyond the Goch-Calcar road, called the 'Kidney Ridge' for its peculiar shape. Tanks of 'B' Squadron of the 4/7th Dragoon Guards were in support of the attack.

    "This armoured column was an impressive sight as it went by in the twilight", to quote the War Diary of the 4/7th Royal Dragoons, "and with great determination and good map reading were on their first two objectives by 2145 hrs. and with a little difficulty in marrying up 'B' Squadron 2nd Troop set off with their infantry Coy towards the final objective, the Kidney contour at 2230 hrs".

    By the early hours of the 17th the battalion had taken all objectives against slight enemy opposition. Next day the battalion would be heavily counterattacked from the east from the area of the road Buchholt - Halvenboom.

    214 Bde attack 2nd Phase.jpg

    Kidney Ridge:

    001a.jpg

    The feature as seen from the ground; view from Whs on the Goch-Calcar road to the SE towards the Heidhausen Farm:
    049a.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    3rd Phase: night attack by the 4th Somerset Light Infantry (16/17 Febr 45)

    The 4th Somersets launched a night attack from the positions reached by the 7th SLI towards the Goch Escarpment. The attack started at 0300 hrs on the 17th and was a complete succes. All objectives were seized and by 0630 the battalion had consolidated. The enemy was completely surprised and a large number were captured. According to the War Diary of the battalion 250 POW's were sent back to the Divisional POW cages.

    Excerpt of the History of the 4th SLI:
    3rd Phase 4 SLI attack 1.jpg 3rd Phase 4 SLI attack 2.jpg

    Major Victor Walter Beckhurst, the Coy 'A' CO, received a MC for his actions. The recommendation gives details of the assault which included a bayonet charge by the company:
    Maj Beckhurst 4 SLI A Coy.jpg

    Fragment of the War Diary of the 4th SLI:
    3rd Phase 4 SLI attack 3.jpg


    Positions 4th SLI as of 17 Feb 45 at 17.2359, according to SitRep G43 of 8 Feb 45 (IMO 'B' and 'D' positions should be switched):
    Positions 4th SLI.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    4th Phase: Cleve Forest and Gocherberg feature (17 Feb)

    On the 17th the pocket formed by the Cleve Forest and the village of Pfalzdorf, which had been by-passed by the advance of the 214 Bde the previous day, was cleared by the 53rd Welsh and 43rd Wessex Divisions from the east and west. Unfortunately most of German defenders, taking advantage of the darkness, had slipped away to the south towards Goch. Though, not all of them got away. According to the Regimental History of the 7th Somerset Light Infantry: "At 0200 hrs a file of enemy infantry was reported by 'A' Coy. Seven platoon ambushed them and took fifty prisoners armed with ten machine guns and with rifles. They were commanded by two warrant officers and for the first time we heard prisoners saying that the war was lost. They said that the troops in the Forst Cleve had not had rations for three days".

    At 1000 hrs on the 17th, two companies of the 4th Dorsets commenced clearing the Cleve Forest and reported the wood clear by 1330 hrs. They encountered no opposition and took only two POW's. The 53rd Welsh, entering the forest from the west, likewise met no serious opposition. The 2nd Monmouths cleared the western section of the wood by 0930 hrs and took 14 POW's, all belonging to the 156 Pz Gren Regt.

    018a.jpg
    The southern edge of the Cleve Forest; picture taken near Beckershof with a view to the east. The 214 Bde occupied the elevated ground - which unfortunately does not stand out very well in the photograph - in the background. The enemy infantry, mainly 156 Pz Grenadier Regt, retreated from the forest across this area from left to right.

    That afternoon the 129 Bde moved forward and relieved the 7th SLI and 1 Worcesters. The latter two battalions in turn, supported by tanks of the 4/7 Dragoon Guards, attacked forward to gain the line of the Goch Escarpment to the north and north-east of Goch. Excerpt of the war diary 8th Arm Bde for the 17th (courtesy of Horsapassenger):
    8 Arm Bde Goch Escarpment 17 Feb.jpg

    For his actions during the 17th W/Bdr. Douglas W. Lakey, of the 112th Field Artillery Regiment, received a (periodical) MM:
    Douglas Lakey 112 Field Regt Goch Escarpment.jpg

    The OP Officer and driver who were killed, were:
    001 SCAMMELL SJ 14349198 55 THE WEST SOMERSET YEOMANRY FIELD REGT 17/02/1945 ROYAL ARTILLERY
    002 SILCOX RAE 14353424 55 THE WEST SOMERSET YEOMANRY FIELD REGT 17/02/1945 ROYAL ARTILLERY


    For the story of the 1st Worcester Regt see: Worcestershire Regiment (29th/36th of Foot)

    Map of the operations on 16 and 17 Feb 1945. It shows how the 214 Bde attack moved around the strongly occupied Cleve Forest and rolled up the Kellen Riegel, the German defensive line constructed along the eastern exit of the Reichswald, from the flank (with courtesy to Wolfgang Endemann, who allowed me to use the basic map from his book: "1945, Am Niederrhein, Kämpfe, Menschen, Spuren"; the unit and operational indications are mine):

    Topografische Karte 214 attack.jpg

    By the evening of the 17th the Gocherberg feature was completely in British hands and the town of Goch lay at their feet.

    045a.jpg
    The Goch Escarpement, where the plateau of higher arable ground around Pfalzdorf meets the flats of the River Niers, is only a shallow dip of 15 - 20 meters.

    040a.jpg
    View from the top of the Escarpement over the flat ground towards Goch and the River Niers. In the middle of the area stretched the inner antitank ditch protecting the town of Goch.

    In the 24 hours period ending at 17.1800, a number of 996 POW's were taken; 11 Offrs and 918 ORs entered the 43rd Wessex Divisional POW Cage, while 67 POW's were evacuated through medical channels. To these should be added the 250 or so prisoners taken on the 16th by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in the attack on Louisendorf, most of these also belonged to the 116. Pz Division (See: VERITABLE: the Canadian finale (Moyland Wood & Goch-Calcar road)).
    German personnel losses for the 16th and 17th had been appalling. Knowing that most units were woefully understrength losses in POW's alone equalled a rifle strength of 4 - 5 battalions and this without taking into account the number of wounded and killed, which most likely amounted to the same number as POW's taken.

    The infantry components of both the 15. Pz.Gren. and 116. Pz.Division, which already had suffered severe casualties in the futile counter-attacks of the previous days, most likely had been spent. A fact confirmed by the attachment of yet another para-unit to the 116. Pz Division. The deflated ranks of this division were shored up with the Fallschirm Aufklärungs-abteilung 12 (Para Recce battalion 12), a unit of II.FJ Corps, and the Para Regiment 7 (of the 2. Fallschirmjäger Division). With these reinforcements the Pz Division precipitatetly started to form a new defensive line hard east of Louisendorf, stretching from the Heselerfeld, in the north, to the important x-roads 'Am Lindchen', where the Bedburg - Uedem and Goch - Calcar roads meet. To the south, between 'Am Lindchen' and Goch, there was a gaping hole in the German line. Here the road to Uedem lay virtually open. Looking around for units to fill this gap, the German command finally ended up by shoving the remnants of the 84th Infantry Division into this area. The badly shattered division had only just been relieved from the line near Moyland and hastily patched up with reinforcements to a combat strength of two weak regiments.

    The Intell. Summary of the 43rd Wessex of the 17th gives the following breakdown of POW's captured during the operation:

    P1600675.JPG P1600676.JPG

    The Brits only just missed out the opportunity to add a rare unit to their spoils of war: the Panzer Sturm Mörser Kp 1002 (Armoured Assault-Mortar Company), which consisted of six Sturm Tiger (Assault Tiger), the German counterpart to the Churchill AVRE Petard, only much heavier. The Assault-Mortar Company had been temporarily attached to the 15. Pz Gren Division and a couple of days before, on Feb 12th, had taken up position at Pfalzdorf. From among the gardens of the houses on the western edge of the village, the 65 ton armoured juggernauts, with their 38 cm mortar tubes, had been engaging the British troops in the Reichswald (53rd Welsh). Lobbing their big rocketshells into the forest. As the frontline approached the Sturm Tiger discretely moved back, out of harms way, to the area south of the railway line Goch-Uedem. The presence of six of these behemoths was pretty extraordinary, considering that all together only eighteen were build during WW2.

    Sturm Tiger photo.jpg
    For more details on the Sturm Tiger see: Sturmtiger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Or:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    1Worc_men_Feb1945.jpg
    1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'D' Company men resting after the attack on the Goch Escarpment. Note the stretcher-bearers in the background of the photo looking up, apparently there is some air activity overhead, maybe some of the new enemy yet fighters ME-262's that frequently appeared above Cleve (photo courtesy of Worcestershire Regiment (29th/36th of Foot).)

    The succes of the 214 Bde did not come without a price. Though the attached 4th Somersets had no men KIA, losses for the 214 Brigade's sub-units were as follows (courtesy Geoffs search machine):

    7th Somerset Light Infantry
    001 ANDREWS AC 14443470 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    002 BARRATT CF 5669489 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    003 BROWN J 4690585 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    004 CADDICK JR 5674126 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    005 COOPER TJS 14610205 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    006 COPELAND G 4468570 7TH BN 18/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    007 DYSON A 2043693 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    008 FAIRWEATHER RJ 6296950 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    009 HARRIS BG 5671046 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    010 HARTLEY WD 14766426 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    011 LITTEN C 5671434 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    012 LONGSHAW P 3778218 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    013 MEDHURST GET 14712345 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    014 MERVYN M 5671100 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    015 MURPHY EV 4387013 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    016 PENNY RJL 5670702 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    017 SWIRES L 1686396 7TH BN 18/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    018 RUMMING PR 14767427 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    019 UNITT JWH 14208163 7TH BN 17/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY
    020 WINFIELD KL 14622742 7TH BN 16/02/1945 SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY

    064a.jpg

    1st Bn Worcester Regiment:
    001 KNIGHT LC 5254531 1ST BN 19/02/1945 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
    002 LOVELOCK M 14758019 1ST BN 17/02/1945 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
    003 MACEY RWA 5350500 1ST BN 16/02/1945 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
    004 PARKES H 5252580 1ST BN 17/02/1945 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
    005 PURSLOW D 14529394 1ST BN 17/02/1945 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT

    069a.jpg

    5th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry:
    001 ATTER LA 14498338 5TH BN 17/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    002 BARRETT D 5439966 5TH BN 17/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    003 BEEDEN SH 5771238 5TH BN 17/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    004 HADLEY EJ 14716125 5TH BN 17/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    005 HEALY J 14708884 5TH BN 19/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    006 LOCK EJ 14756518 5TH BN 18/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY
    007 SHALTZ SJ 2063208 5TH BN 19/02/1945 DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY

    067a.jpg

    Several Sherman tanks of the 8th Armoured Bde, in support of the 43rd Wessex Division, were knocked out in the operations that carried the division forward from the Eselsberg to the Goch Escarpment, resulting in the following casualties:

    001 BELL F 2027798 4TH/7TH ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS 19/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    002 BULL AW 3448725 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 13/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    003 DWYER JE 4543389 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 17/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    004 FORREST V 4542780 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 15/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    005 GOUGH CJ 319535 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 15/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    006 HAWORTH IL 14242514 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 13/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    007 HITCHCOX SF 7671245 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 15/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    008 HORSMAN JDS 7946132 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 15/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    009 JENNINGS LR 7954150 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 14/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    010 LIVINGSTONE GH 14424050 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 13/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    011 SPARHAM S 4978610 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 14/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    012 WEBBER GA 14497584 13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS 15/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
    013 WITHINGTON FI 7940821 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE YEOMANRY 13/02/1945 ROYAL ARMOURED CORPS
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Found this one on you tube "The Battle for Cleve":




    Looks like an 'old familiar' at 0:21 in the Kangaroo. Captain Baggaley the IO of the 6th KOSB …

    Defiant Baggaley.jpg

    ... who also appeared on this picture (officer on the left):

    Lt Col.jpg

    The other two on the last picture were already identified over here: http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/508...s-in-the-reichswald-battle-feb-1945/?p=597784

    And two other finds (courtesy Bedee):



    The following one has some nice shots of a Valentine tank:

     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Veritable commemoration at the Canadian Cemetery at Groesbeek 2016:

    002a.jpg

    Together with Bedee, I attended the annual commemoration of Operation Veritable at the Canadian Cemetery last Saturday, February 6th. Tomorrow is the 71st anniversary of this bloody overture of 21st AGroup's last phase of the war in NW Europe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
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  10. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger New Member

    This is such a great site. Thank you for sharing all the great photos. I drive through Groesbeek, Horst , Kranenberg to Kleve every weekend. Its amazing to see the then and now photos, which I can appreciate more now knowing more of these brave mens stories and struggles. .
     
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  11. dogsbody21

    dogsbody21 Member

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  12. Ivo

    Ivo New Member

    Dear Stolpi, a marvelous piece of work, and I only read the first part of it!

    It brings to mind a question which is haunting me for years.

    In the Bevrijdingsmuseum at Groesbeek a PaK40 is exhibited. On it is the text:
    TOT ZWIJGEN GEBRACHT
    8 FEBRUARI 1945
    DOOR
    SERGT. MICK SAVAGE
    CPL. L.S. MASO
    CPL. A. BRITTON
    R.C.A.

    This relict was called the Welsh Guard Monument. Several texts at the internet suggested that the cannon was incapacitated by the Welsh Guards near De Horst. This seemed improbable to me, as to my knowledge the Welsh Guards didn't participate in Veritable. I asked the museum about it several times and asked whether by any chance the 53rd Welsh Division and the Welsh Guards could have become mixed up. There wasn't any reply, but unfortunately my suggestion enhanced the confusion and now the attributions to the Welsh Guards and the 53rd Division really have got mixed up. Regretfully both attributions could be wrong.

    I am still wondering to which unit or units these men did belong. I suppose the RCA means Royal Canadian Artillery. I can't find any RCA regiment having been attached to the divisions which operated near De Horst. Could the PaK40 have been targeted during the barrage by a Canadian AGRA? Is it possible to find out what happened and to justice to history?
     
  13. Bedee

    Bedee Active Member

    Ivo, its a small world..
    was thinking about your question on FB. The question is WHAT'S TRUE...... in this case.

    If the relict is called "the Welsh Guard Monument", maybe the abbreviation R.C.A. is NOT Correct.
    R.C.A. is Royal Canadian Artillery
    R.A.C. is Royal Armoured Corps

    But when you look at the webpage of Major and mrs Holt Battlefield it is mentioned that the first two soldiers are Welsh and the third from R.C.A, so it is still possible.

    Now we look at the organisation (ORBAT) you see that the 2nd Armoured Recce Battalion Welsh Guards is in the same division as some artillery units. But these are R.A. units Royal Artillery from the UK. Maybe RCA should be RA.
    It happend on 08 feb 1945, in the Horst area. Imagine that this area was a logistic / last support area, but also it was muddy and tanks where stucked in the mud. And ofcourse there was the artillery Barrage.

    Artillery Fireplan: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/maps/europe/zoomify139490.html
    Regimental History: http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/2nd_Battalion_Welsh_Guards_history.pdf#search=2nd%20Armoured%20Recce%20Battalion%20Welsh%20Guards
    Guards at Nijmegen bridge: http://www.pegasusarchive.org/arnhem/Photos/PicNijmegenBridge.htm
    ORBAT: http://www.operation-veritable.com/orbat/index.html
    Armoured during Veritable: http://www.royaltankregiment.com/9_RTR/tech/reichswald/Reichswald%20Report.htm

    So back to your questions.. the possibility of mixe up units (Welsh Guards, 53 Welsh etc) is possible but not plausible.
    Where do these men belong to, thats not easy to answer. You need to write to the in this case Welsh Guards museum.
    Not easy to answer these questions..... But i will keep it in mind, maybe i find more.

    These are just a few thoughts from my side.

    Bedee
     
  14. Ivo

    Ivo New Member

    Dear Bedee,

    Thanks a lot! The more I read, the more complex questions about this operation seem to get. I did read some of the sources you provided, the others will follow suit.

    Unfortunately, there are some inconsistencies in the sources about the Order of Battle with regard to 2nd Bn Welsh Guards. That doesn't help.

    The Order of Battle (ORBAT) site does mention 2nd Bn Welsh Guards as recce unit for the Guards Armoured Division. The 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment however, is not to be found at the ORBAT site, although they performed reconnaissance tasks for XXX Corps during Operation Veritable - as for instance can be seen from the fragments of the Operation Orders in the first post here.

    Warhistoryonline states that 2nd Household Cavalry Reg became formally attached to Guards Armoured Division from September 1944 onwards and 2nd Bn Welsh Guards was attached to 1st Bn Welsh Guards to form a formal battle group. Quote 2nd Bn Welsh Guards History: "1 September was a memorable day; it was the last occasion on which the 2nd Battalion Welsh Guards fulfilled its role of battle reconnaissance in front of the division."

    Both 1st and 2nd Welsh Guards Bns became part of 32nd Guards Brigade. Just before Operation Veritable the infantry of Welsh Guards became replaced by 2nd Bn Scots Guards.

    Accordingly 2nd Bn Welsh Guards should still have been part of 32nd Guards Brigade.

    So 2nd Bn Welsh Guards started as part of 6th Guards Armoured Brigade, formerly a brigade belonging to Guards Armoured Division. Then, as 6th Guards Armoured Brigade became independent, 2nd Bn Welsh Guards stayed in Guards Armoured Division as recce battalion. They were replaced in begin September 1944 by 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment and together with 1st Bn Welsh Guards they did constitute a battle group within 32nd Guards Brigade, still as part of Guards Armoured Division.

    After 1st Bn Welsh Guards were replaced by 2nd Bn Scots Guards, it seems that 2nd Bn Welsh Guards stayed in 32nd Guards Brigade.

    I am still looking for official documentation to proof that 2nd Bn Welsh Guards were indeed participating in Operation Veritable.
     
  15. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    Official Order of Battle Veritable.[​IMG]
     
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  16. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Thanks Nijmegen, I knew I had this OOB somewhere, but had no time to look it up.

    This answers most of Ivo's questions. The 2nd Welsh Guards formed part of 32 Guards Brigade. When it became apparent that the Guards Armoured Division was not required to perform it's intended role as an exploitation force, the 32nd Guards Brigade was attached to the 51st Highland Division. The Guardsmen were engaged to the south of the River Niers, acting as right flank protection for the Highland Division, while the latter concentrated on Goch.

    But that's a different story for a separate thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
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  17. Ivo

    Ivo New Member

    I really enjoy looking at and examining these primary sources and contemporary photographs. Nowadays twice as much time has elapsed since my father told me his recollections, as had then, between that moment and the events itself. But still, for every year I grow older, the Second World War seems to come closer. Thanks a lot, all of you.
     
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  18. Bedee

    Bedee Active Member

    Good job, Nijmegen, i had the same as Stolpi, i knew it is somewhere but....
    (Nijmegen you were this week in the area "Undisturbed zig-zag trenches of Siegfried Line, overrun during Veritable. Must visit again and investigate further" when you want to see more, let me know)

    Meanwhile i asked a few questions in the Welsh Guards forum, to get some more information from the Welsh Guards during Veritable. But even in the wellknown document cmhq185.pdf
    http://www.saskatchewanmilitarymuseum.ca/SSR/soldiers/maule/2006/cmhq185.pdf

    W.G. is mentioned several times, indeed under command of 32, and exactly as Stolpi mentioned in the south of the Niers in Hassum.
    This whole action is written in the book of the Welsh Guards, have a look here.
    https://books.google.nl/books?id=huHNAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=1+Welsh+Guards+Hassum&source=bl&ots=JEVSW-56Uv&sig=0mecsrwf7rxmGwxE-LRHkXNaPHo&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj-y7zhjLrNAhVpDMAKHRvrBpgQ6AEISDAE#v=onepage&q=1%20Welsh%20Guards%20Hassum&f=false

    Then type in Hassum on the left side search box, page 130....

    Ivo, i think a good start. Have Fun but, Be careful....

    Gwarchodlu Cymreig
     
  19. Ivo

    Ivo New Member

    Thanks Bedee for taking my question so seriously. For quite a while I was convinced, probably by drawing conclusions from incomplete information on the internet that the Welsh Guards weren't involved in Veritable. I enjoyed being corrected by forum members here and I do realise that I need to read up on Veritable and the Battle of the Reichswald.

    Being a new chap I don't want to become a nuisance and I don't have the intention to hijack this thread any further with my Pak40 questions, but I do believe there's still a flaw in the above-mentioned hypothesis that the R.C.A. on the Groesbeek PaK40 refers only to Cpl. A. Britton whereas Sergt. Mick Savage and Cpl. L.S. Maso were left without any designation and therefore could have been Welsh Guards.

    The improbability seems to me the rank of Cpl. L.S. Maso. As far as I know the rank Cpl. wasn't used in any Guards Regiment. It either should have been L/Cpl or L/Sergt.

    The Major and Mrs. Holt Battlefield Guide reference in favour of the W.G. as responsible for the incapacitation of the gun, was the only one I knew of beforehand. As the book was first published in 2001 and no sources are mentioned, I did dismiss this reference as evidence.

    I do apologise for my tenacity
     
  20. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    redone ... I must say that the pictures in the new lay-out look much better than in the old one :)
     

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