War Diary: 158 (Royal Welch) Brigade HQ

Discussion in '53rd (Welsh) Division' started by Swiper, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    158 (Royal Welch) Infantry Brigade
    War Diary

    1st June to 30th June 1944
    Appendix A to B
    Commanding Officer: Brigadier SO Jones, OBE, MC
    Location: Hollingbourne, Kent
    1st June – Brigade Planning Instruction No.1 ‘Overlord’ [A]
    Reference Section V Paragraph 5, ‘Cornelius’ date given as 6 June. Message dated 28th May.

    2nd June – 0800 – Waterproofing of vehicles begins.

    5th June – 2300 – Code Word ‘Adoration’ imposing wireless silence.
    6th June – Brigade at 6 hours notice as from 0001 hours. Loading of vehicles almost complete.
    1600 – Collected and issued – No.1 Divisional Intelligence Summary, Michelin Guide to France, booklets for all troops – ‘France’; Escape Aids.

    7th June – First Brigade ISUM published.

    8th June – 1100 – Visit of Colonel of Regiment to the Brigade, Visited and addressed each Battalion.

    15th June – 2200 – Advance Parties of Brigade Group concentrated in Leeds Park, Kent.

    16th June – 0700 – Advance Party, consisting of Brigade Command, GS, one Liaison Officer and 6 ORs left for Marshalling Area.
    1400 – Orders for move main body received.

    17th June – 0800 Main body leaves for Marshalling Area. Arrived 1400 hours.

    19th June – 1500 – Main Body moved to Embarkation Area – Tilbury Docks.

    20th June – 0230 – Embarkation completed (LST No.8)

    22nd June – 0830 – Convoy left Mouth of Thames.

    Location: Courseulles-sur-Mer, France
    23rd June – 1430 – Arrives beach.
    1700 – Tide suitable, disembarkation commenced. (Dryshod).

    Location: St-Andre
    2330 – Arrives concentration area. No casualties to vehicles or personnel.

    29th June – 1700 – Brigade HQ at one hours notice to move to relieve 130 Brigade.
    30th June – 0020 - Leaves Present location.
    Location: 0400 – Arrives new location. Relieved 130 Brigade HQ and came under command 8th Corps.
    1600 – Reverts to 53rd Division.
    1900 – Orders received to relieve 227 Brigadfe – Area Grainville-sur-Odon.
    2115 – Commanders O Group.
    Fd Return Officers and ORs, for June 44
     
  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    1st – 31st July 1944
    Commanding Officer: Brigadier SO Jones, OBE, MC
    Location: St-Andre, France
    1st July – Field Return of Officers and ORs [A]
    0400 – Advance party leaves for 227 Brigade area – Grainville-sur-Odon. Brigade was to come under command 15th Scottish Division as soon as relief was complete.

    Location: Colville
    2nd July – 0415 – Relief completed
    0900 – Command passes to 158 Brigade
    1200 – Brigade reverts to 53rd Division.
    1500 – Brigade ordered to move to Cheux to relieve 130 Infantry Brigade.
    1700 – Divisional Commanders conference at Brigade HQ attended by all Brigade Commanders. Orders issued for the relief of 130 Brigade for one night only and for the relief of 70th Infantry Brigade on the 3rd July.
    2300 – Tactical Brigade HQ moves to Bretteville L’Orguelleuse

    3rd July – 0730 – Brigade Command to 70th Brigade HQ.
    1000 – Brigade O Group at 70th Brigade HQ.
    Location: Le Haut du Bosq
    1800 – Releief of 70th Brigade completed.
    Admin Order No.8 Issued
    1930 – Captain TM Jones (200233) RWF killed and Intelligence Sergeant and Corproral wounded whilst blowing in slit trenches with No.75 grenades.

    4th July – Admin Order No.9 issued. [C]
    0900 – Brigade Commadners conference for Brigade Group commanders.
    1430 – Brigade Command planned counter-attack with reserve Battalion on forward Battalion areas.
    1630 – Brigde Commands conference to plan clearing of minefield during night.
    During all day command vehicles completely dug-in with aid of Bulldozer.

    5th July – Admin Order No.10 issued [D]

    7th July – Admin Order No.12 issued [E]

    8th July – Field Return of Officers and ORs [F]

    9th July – Admin Order No.14 issued [G]

    11th July – Admin Order No.16 Issued [H]

    12th July – Admin Order No.17 issued
    Location: Haut-de-Bosq
    2200 – Orders from HQ 53rd Division, 147 Brigde of 49th Division to take over Brigade Sector – handover to be completed by 0300 hours on the 14th.

    13th July – 2015 – Command passes to 147 Brigade and all Battalions withdrawn from line without casualties by 2230 hours. Brigade HQ moves to concentration area Brettevillette.
    Signal Despatch Rider killed. Jeep destroyed.
    Admin Order No.18 issued. [J]
    Location: Brettevillette
    14th July – 0800 – Brigade comes under command 15th Scottish Division and prepared to take part in operation Greenline as reserve Brigade of 15th Scottish Division.
    1430 – Brigade Commanders O Group.
    Admin Order No.19 issued [K]

    15th July – Admin Order No 20 issued [L]
    Location: Bretteville L’Orguelleuse
    0030 – Brigade HQ moves to area Bas de Mouen – under command 15th Scottish Division.

    16th July – 0500 – Brigade at half hour’s notice to move to take over from 46 Brigade on our success of Operation Greenline i.e. capture of Evrecy and Ferme de Mondeville. The situation at 1000 hours was such that Brigade was ordered to capture Evrecy and Ferme de Mondeville during night 16/17th, zero hour 2330 hours.
    1400 – Brigade Commanders O Group
    1900 – Co-ordinating Conference
    2300 – Attack by enemy aircraft on area Brigade + HQ. No casualties, no shelling or mortaring during the day.
    2330 – Zero Hour – Op Stirling.

    17th July – Owing to thick fog the op did not succeed and Battalions were forced to withdraw to the area Les Vilains-Tourmauville.
    1000 – Tactical HQ moved to Les Vilains.
    1400 –Brigade Commanders O Group. Same attack replanned for night 17/18th. The attack on Ferme de Mondeville to be preceded by the clearing of Evrecy and the Guigue Valley as far as Bas d’Esquay. Attack to be supported by 147 RAC. Zero hour 2100 for clearing of Evrecy, and 2115 for attack of Ferme de Mondeville.
    Admin Order No 22 issued [M]
    2115 – Attack started well at zero hour.
    2200 – Battalions report more prisoners than they can manage.
    2230 – Heavy air attacks on attacking Battalions and Brigade HQ
    [XXX50 PW taken by Brigade during Night XXX][1]
    2300 – Battalions in difficulties – under heavy fire from Guigue Valley and Evrecy.
    2330 – Battalions withdraw to start line. 250 Prisoners of War taken during nights 16/17th and 17/18th.

    18th July – 0200 – Brigade reverts to command 53rd Division. Brigade ordered to hold present positions as it is too weak to attack again. Brigade digs in. Little shelling and mortaring.

    19th July – No change in situation.
    1700 – Brigade HQ heavily mortared. CSM killed and two ORs wounded.

    20th July – 0400 – Heavy mortaring and shelling including Nebelwerfers.
    2400 – No change in situation, sporadic shelling and mortaring during day.
    Admin Order No.25 issued [O]

    21st July – No change.
    2100 –Orders received to take over sector of 43rd Division’s front on the capture of Maltot.
    Admin Order No26 issued. [P]

    22nd July – No change. Notable absence of shelling and mortaring all day. Preliminary orders for relief of Brigade by 71st Infantry Brigade (53rd Division) issued.
    Admin Order No.27 issued [Q]
    Field Return of Officers and ORs [R (Original Only)]

    23rd July – 0930 – Recce party leaves for new concentration area.
    1100 – Conference of Brigade Commanders – 158, 160 and 71 Brigades. Orders issued for support by 3” mortars for a raid by 4 Welch (160 Brigade) to begin at 2100 hours.
    2100 –Zero hour for 4 Welch raid.
    Admin Order No.28 issued

    24th July – 0700 – Relief of Brigade by 1st Ox and Bucks completed in Les Vilains area.
    Location: Mouen
    0730 – Brigade HQ moves to concentration area.
    Admin Order No.29 issued [T]
    [15th?] Field Return of Officers and ORs. [U (Original Only)]
    0900 –Brigade Command visits 214, 130 and 129 Brigades
    1200 – Brigade Command receives orders from Division for relief of 43rd Division by the Brigade.
    1500 – Brigade Commander’s O Group – ordered issued for relief of 130 and 129 Brigades. Commanding Officers sent to recce the Maltot – Eterville area.
    1800-2145 – Brigade Command and Brigade Major tour 129 Brigade area.
    25th July – 0900 – Brigade Commander tours 130 Brigade area.
    1200 – Brigade Commanders O Group – final details for relief of 130 and 129 Brigades. Troops under Command. 278 Anti-Tank Battery RA, 336 Anti-Tank Battery RA, B Company 1st Manchesters, B Squadron 53rd Division Recce Regiment, 153 RTR 129 Self-Propelled Battery RA, 2 Platoons 4.2 Mortar 1st Manchesters, 83rd Field Regiment in support.
    1300 – Brigade Command visits 2nd Canadian Division.
    2115 – Brigade HQ moves to new location at Versom.
    Location: Versom
    2300 – Relief of 129 and 130 Brigades complete.
    Admin Order No.30 issued [V]
    26th July – Admin Order No 31 issued [W]
    1600 – Brigade Command attends Divisional O Group and receives preliminary orders for operation Sunny.
    1900 – Brigade Command O Group for operation Sunny.
    2100 – Operation Sunny cancelled.

    27th July – 1525 – Outline Programme of activity night 27/28th July issued. [X]
    0600 – One deserter from II/978
    0900 – Two PW from 271 Panzer Regiment
    0630 – Command attends Divisional Commander’s conference on Defence of 53rd Division’s area.

    28th July – 0015 – Sitrep issued. [Y]
    0630 – Division Command visists units of Brigade and visited 6 RWF in Maltot.
    0900 – Two Polish and one Russian deserters bought in from II/978 GR of 271 Division.
    1030 – Instruction for defence of 158 Brigade issued [Z]
    Admin Order No.33 issued [AA]
    Outline program of activity night 28/29 issued [BB]
    1530 – Visit of Major-General Richards, HQ 21st Army Group.
    1930 – Intelligence Report issued [CC]
    2330 – Situation report issued [DD]
    29th July – Admin Order No.34 issued [FF]
    1215 – Patrol Program for night 29/30th issued.
    Strength Return of Officers and ORs [GG (Original War Diary Only)]
    2200 – Very heavy mortaring and shelling of Brigade area.

    30th July – Patrol program night 30/31st July issued [HH]
    1200 – Intelligence report issued [II]
    Admin Order No.35 issued [JJ]

    31st July –1130 – Patrol Program for night 31/1st August issued [KK]
    1200 – Intelligence report issued [LL]
    0930 – Brigade Commanders O Group. Pre;o,omary orders for raid by 4 RWF on Triangle wood 970622 given out, to be carried out night 1/2nd August.
    1500 – Visit of General Richie, Commander 12th Corps.
    Admin Order No.36 issued [MM]

    Appendix


    HH – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Patrol Program Night 30/31st July

    Serial
    Operation
    Command
    Troops
    Object
    Time
    Route
    1
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce triangle 970623
    2300-0500
    South from 968630
    2
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in post at 977623 or, if unoccupied post at 675623
    2300-0500
    South through 976630
    3
    Fighting
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in post at 985616
    0130-0500
    South cross-tacks 989621
    4
    Recce
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce area Feuguerelles
    0130-0500
    Cross tacks 989621/down road to road and track junction 994617 to South.
    5
    Recce
    7RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Obtain details of ditches between triangle and road Chau de Fontaine-Maltot with a view to offensive action later.
    To be coordinated with 4 RWF
    6
    Recce
    6 RWF
    1 NCO + 2 ORs
    Ger identity from enemy killed last night.

    short distance in front of own lines
    7
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    One platoon
    Clear orchard 983623 and eliminate post at Westerly Corner
    2300-0500
    Direct
    8
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Destroy tanks(?) located last night 005615
    2300-0500
    000620 along railway cutting

    II – 30th July Intelligence Report

    0600. INTEP. SECRET. 160 Bde. The 2 Mons raid on 966623 was very successful. 17 PW were taken one PW estimated that 50 per cent of II Coy III Bn 21 PGR became casualties. Our casualties were very light and at an early hour this morning only one of our men had been reported killed. The enemy bought hy fire down on the objective at approximately H + 40 but our troops had just withdrawn. Identifications were 1 coy I Bn 979 BR and 11 Coy III Bn 21 SS PGR of 10 SS Pz Div. The majority of PW were from the former. One PW states tks in hedges and amongst trees but not gun in, in area triangle 970622 and squad fd to SOUTH of angle made by rd junc 960616. He estimates 15 Tigers at each place. This infm should be treated with res. It is reported that the enemy did not like our MG fire and that they could not get their hds up and get their weapons into action. OWN front. As soon as the smoke went down at the beginning of 160 Bde raid the enemy bought hy fire down on MALTOT and CHATEAU-FONTAINE. He was evidently expecting an attack from this direction. Hy fire continued for some hrs. Patrol infm. The following infm was obtained by our patrols during the night. 6 enemy and MG at 100 yds WEST of orchard 979623. Sec posn near bend on track 975623. Lanes cut in corn from 979623 towards ditch junc 974626. MG fire from TRIANGLE 970623 and 981624. Shouting and firing from area 982614. Man and dog at X tracks 986617, but little to report in this area. Attack on ho 996616 resulting in one enemy possibly 3 killed. There were no enemy in the ho but some slit trenches up the garden. Patrol set the ho on fire before withdrawing. Patrol to Le Hamel area for posn 005617 saw 20 Germans moving to hedgerow EAST of rly and heard sounds of digging in same area. Voices heard in ho and area 006616. 50 yds from hedge 5 tks under trees. Voices heard area 008614. During early hours of this morning 4 Russian deserters blew themselves up on S mines laid by 6 RWF. Three were killed one wounded. They carried an RAF leaflet calling for desertion instead of one of the leaflets issued by 6 RWF telling them to use the rd. CO 6RWF assumed that being Russians they preferred Public Control to Private Enterprise, which error proved the cause of their undoing.

    Captain, IO
    JJ – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Admin Order No.35

    1. Sups
    Ref pt on 31 Jul at 1100 hrs at 924704. Units will proceed independently.

    2. Maint Train
    Maint Train on 31 Jul will leave Rear Bde HQ 1500 hrs as arranged by Bde TO.

    3. Amn
    Ref para 7 of Admn Order No34 dated 29 Jul. If any unit has not yet drawn the extra 10 rds per gun of SABOT amn they will do so by 1800 hrs today from the existing AP.
    Standard AP opening area JUMBAY 9766 this evening. Exact time nad position later.

    4. Ord
    In future all 6-pr guns will be delivered to units with all modifications completed.

    5. Sal
    Most satisfactory efforts have been made in the salvage drive and it is desired that it shall continue. Units will please NOT collect any further U/S German vehs and guns as these will be collected by REME direct when they can obtain direct access to them. British vehs and guns should be moved to such areas as are now directly accessible to REME.

    6. Entertainments –Week Commencing 31 July
    The film for week commencing Monday 31 Jul will be “Ziegfield Girl” showing at 0900 hrs, 1300 hrs and 1930 hrs.
    “Stars in Battledress” at 1130 hrs and 1730 hrs.
    Div Concert Party at 1530
    Location of Theatre-Land remains unchanged.
    Captian, SC






    KK – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Patrol Programe Night 31st July/1st August

    Serial
    Operation
    Command
    Troops
    Object
    Time
    Route
    1
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce West and South side of Triangle 970621
    2300-0500
    South from 969630 - West side of triangle
    2
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Destroy MG post 975623
    0130-0500
    972632-972626-975623
    3
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce South of digging 975615
    2300-0500
    978631 - thence direct to objective
    4
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    4 RWF covering party 555 Field Company 3 demolition parties
    Destroy derelict tanks 968642
    To be fixed later
    Direct
    5
    Recce
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce Feuguerolles 9961
    2400-0500
    Cross tracks 989622-track junction 995617 thence South to objective
    6
    Fighting
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 8 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in area of crest South of 986616
    0200-0500
    Cross tracks 989622 - thence direct to objective
    7
    Recce
    7RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce trench system 9762
    2400-0500
    Via crossroads 977632
    8
    Recce
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce area buildings 006616
    0200-0430
    997623-SE along wood to railway bridge 005616
    9
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill of capture enemy lone house 997616
    0300-0430
    Direct from 997623


    LL – Intelligence Report
    0608. INTREP. SECRET. Patrols night 30/31. Some our inf patrols were hampered by a late start due to bright moonlight. Recce of triangle – enemy in northern tip SE corner + about 971623. Attempt to draw enemy fire unsuccessful. Ditch running from 974624-972626 is V shaped 6 ft deep and 6 ft wide. Ptrol found no trace of enemy at 978623 where he has been on previous occasions. Same ptrol was fired on from 981524. A ptrol to 986616 did not see any enemy but heard lorries areas 987613 and 984614. A patrol to recce Northern approaches to FEUGEROLLES did not have enough time to complete task. Talking and coughting were heard area 996614 and 994613. A patrol of 6 RWF believe they killed 3 enemy in orchard area – bodies were searched but no documents or identifications were found. There was activity on west side of orchard and probably MG post in SW corner and possibly another one on Western edge – several other patrols heard them firing. Another 6 RWF patrol sent to destroy tanks at 006613 were nearly ambushed but killed 3 enemy and wounded others. They found enemy dug in South of line of trees along hedgerow 006617 to river and heard enemy in orchard 005616. There was little mov on our front during daylight yesterday. Activity at 982613 suggests a possible HQ in area. No further identifications hve been obtained. SS deserter from 9 SS Pz Div gave himself up to 71 Bde yesterday but it was found that he had been separated from his unit for some days and had been with 277 Div. No indication that 9 SS Div had crossed R ORNE. A patrol of 160 Bde to LE BON REPOS via LONE HO 951617 saw no enemy. As a result of 160 Bde raid it is clear that the attack went in on bdy between III Bn 21 SS PGR and I Bn 979GR. This completes picture of enemy on our front. 991 GR of 277 Div in BOUGY-EVRECY area. 21 SS PGR LE BON REPOS-HILL 112. I Bn 979 GR between HILL 112 and rd MALTOT – ST MARTIN. II Bn 978 between rd and R ORNE.

    Capt, IO.

    MM – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Admin Order No. Secret, 31 Jul 44
    1. Sups
    Ref Pt on 1 Aug at same time and place as for 31 Jul. Untis will proceed independently.

    2. Maint Train
    Maint Train/will leave Rear Bde HQ at 1500 hrs as arranged by Bde TO.
    1 Aug
    3. Amn
    Mixed Standard AP est 957656, signed from 964656. Units can now draw 3” Mor HE as and when required.

    4. Baths
    MBU at 971653 from 1000 hrs to 1800 hrs 1 Aug. 15 men per bn per hr may attend. 7 RWF are ensuring that adequate slit trenches are dug today.

    5. Chaplains
    DACG will meet all C of E Padres at 202 Fd Amb 1200 1 Aug. 6 RWF and/or 202 Fd Amb will please inform the Rev HA Jones.

    6. Returns
    units will show increment and extra 10 rds/per gun when and where applicable.

    7. Rfts
    Approx 36 ORs rfts for 6 RWF will be available as from 1600 hrs today.

    8. Ordnance Bulletin No 10 today has been handed to unit QMs.
    9. Untis having any civilians in their area will notify this HQ of names and addresses.

    TOS 1210 hrs
    Capt, SC



    [1] Attempt to remove this piece of text with ‘xxxx’ over top.
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    1st – 31st July 1944
    Commanding Officer: Brigadier SO Jones, OBE, MC
    Location: St-Andre, France
    1st July – Field Return of Officers and ORs [A]
    0400 – Advance party leaves for 227 Brigade area – Grainville-sur-Odon. Brigade was to come under command 15th Scottish Division as soon as relief was complete.

    Location: Colville
    2nd July – 0415 – Relief completed
    0900 – Command passes to 158 Brigade
    1200 – Brigade reverts to 53rd Division.
    1500 – Brigade ordered to move to Cheux to relieve 130 Infantry Brigade.
    1700 – Divisional Commanders conference at Brigade HQ attended by all Brigade Commanders. Orders issued for the relief of 130 Brigade for one night only and for the relief of 70th Infantry Brigade on the 3rd July.
    2300 – Tactical Brigade HQ moves to Bretteville L’Orguelleuse

    3rd July – 0730 – Brigade Command to 70th Brigade HQ.
    1000 – Brigade O Group at 70th Brigade HQ.
    Location: Le Haut du Bosq
    1800 – Releief of 70th Brigade completed.
    Admin Order No.8 Issued
    1930 – Captain TM Jones (200233) RWF killed and Intelligence Sergeant and Corproral wounded whilst blowing in slit trenches with No.75 grenades.

    4th July – Admin Order No.9 issued. [C]
    0900 – Brigade Commadners conference for Brigade Group commanders.
    1430 – Brigade Command planned counter-attack with reserve Battalion on forward Battalion areas.
    1630 – Brigde Commands conference to plan clearing of minefield during night.
    During all day command vehicles completely dug-in with aid of Bulldozer.

    5th July – Admin Order No.10 issued [D]

    7th July – Admin Order No.12 issued [E]

    8th July – Field Return of Officers and ORs [F]

    9th July – Admin Order No.14 issued [G]

    11th July – Admin Order No.16 Issued [H]

    12th July – Admin Order No.17 issued
    Location: Haut-de-Bosq
    2200 – Orders from HQ 53rd Division, 147 Brigde of 49th Division to take over Brigade Sector – handover to be completed by 0300 hours on the 14th.

    13th July – 2015 – Command passes to 147 Brigade and all Battalions withdrawn from line without casualties by 2230 hours. Brigade HQ moves to concentration area Brettevillette.
    Signal Despatch Rider killed. Jeep destroyed.
    Admin Order No.18 issued. [J]
    Location: Brettevillette
    14th July – 0800 – Brigade comes under command 15th Scottish Division and prepared to take part in operation Greenline as reserve Brigade of 15th Scottish Division.
    1430 – Brigade Commanders O Group.
    Admin Order No.19 issued [K]

    15th July – Admin Order No 20 issued [L]
    Location: Bretteville L’Orguelleuse
    0030 – Brigade HQ moves to area Bas de Mouen – under command 15th Scottish Division.

    16th July – 0500 – Brigade at half hour’s notice to move to take over from 46 Brigade on our success of Operation Greenline i.e. capture of Evrecy and Ferme de Mondeville. The situation at 1000 hours was such that Brigade was ordered to capture Evrecy and Ferme de Mondeville during night 16/17th, zero hour 2330 hours.
    1400 – Brigade Commanders O Group
    1900 – Co-ordinating Conference
    2300 – Attack by enemy aircraft on area Brigade + HQ. No casualties, no shelling or mortaring during the day.
    2330 – Zero Hour – Op Stirling.

    17th July – Owing to thick fog the op did not succeed and Battalions were forced to withdraw to the area Les Vilains-Tourmauville.
    1000 – Tactical HQ moved to Les Vilains.
    1400 –Brigade Commanders O Group. Same attack replanned for night 17/18th. The attack on Ferme de Mondeville to be preceded by the clearing of Evrecy and the Guigue Valley as far as Bas d’Esquay. Attack to be supported by 147 RAC. Zero hour 2100 for clearing of Evrecy, and 2115 for attack of Ferme de Mondeville.
    Admin Order No 22 issued [M]
    2115 – Attack started well at zero hour.
    2200 – Battalions report more prisoners than they can manage.
    2230 – Heavy air attacks on attacking Battalions and Brigade HQ
    [XXX50 PW taken by Brigade during Night XXX][1]
    2300 – Battalions in difficulties – under heavy fire from Guigue Valley and Evrecy.
    2330 – Battalions withdraw to start line. 250 Prisoners of War taken during nights 16/17th and 17/18th.

    18th July – 0200 – Brigade reverts to command 53rd Division. Brigade ordered to hold present positions as it is too weak to attack again. Brigade digs in. Little shelling and mortaring.

    19th July – No change in situation.
    1700 – Brigade HQ heavily mortared. CSM killed and two ORs wounded.

    20th July – 0400 – Heavy mortaring and shelling including Nebelwerfers.
    2400 – No change in situation, sporadic shelling and mortaring during day.
    Admin Order No.25 issued [O]

    21st July – No change.
    2100 –Orders received to take over sector of 43rd Division’s front on the capture of Maltot.
    Admin Order No26 issued. [P]

    22nd July – No change. Notable absence of shelling and mortaring all day. Preliminary orders for relief of Brigade by 71st Infantry Brigade (53rd Division) issued.
    Admin Order No.27 issued [Q]
    Field Return of Officers and ORs [R (Original Only)]

    23rd July – 0930 – Recce party leaves for new concentration area.
    1100 – Conference of Brigade Commanders – 158, 160 and 71 Brigades. Orders issued for support by 3” mortars for a raid by 4 Welch (160 Brigade) to begin at 2100 hours.
    2100 –Zero hour for 4 Welch raid.
    Admin Order No.28 issued

    24th July – 0700 – Relief of Brigade by 1st Ox and Bucks completed in Les Vilains area.
    Location: Mouen
    0730 – Brigade HQ moves to concentration area.
    Admin Order No.29 issued [T]
    [15th?] Field Return of Officers and ORs. [U (Original Only)]
    0900 –Brigade Command visits 214, 130 and 129 Brigades
    1200 – Brigade Command receives orders from Division for relief of 43rd Division by the Brigade.
    1500 – Brigade Commander’s O Group – ordered issued for relief of 130 and 129 Brigades. Commanding Officers sent to recce the Maltot – Eterville area.
    1800-2145 – Brigade Command and Brigade Major tour 129 Brigade area.
    25th July – 0900 – Brigade Commander tours 130 Brigade area.
    1200 – Brigade Commanders O Group – final details for relief of 130 and 129 Brigades. Troops under Command. 278 Anti-Tank Battery RA, 336 Anti-Tank Battery RA, B Company 1st Manchesters, B Squadron 53rd Division Recce Regiment, 153 RTR 129 Self-Propelled Battery RA, 2 Platoons 4.2 Mortar 1st Manchesters, 83rd Field Regiment in support.
    1300 – Brigade Command visits 2nd Canadian Division.
    2115 – Brigade HQ moves to new location at Versom.
    Location: Versom
    2300 – Relief of 129 and 130 Brigades complete.
    Admin Order No.30 issued [V]
    26th July – Admin Order No 31 issued [W]
    1600 – Brigade Command attends Divisional O Group and receives preliminary orders for operation Sunny.
    1900 – Brigade Command O Group for operation Sunny.
    2100 – Operation Sunny cancelled.

    27th July – 1525 – Outline Programme of activity night 27/28th July issued. [X]
    0600 – One deserter from II/978
    0900 – Two PW from 271 Panzer Regiment
    0630 – Command attends Divisional Commander’s conference on Defence of 53rd Division’s area.

    28th July – 0015 – Sitrep issued. [Y]
    0630 – Division Command visists units of Brigade and visited 6 RWF in Maltot.
    0900 – Two Polish and one Russian deserters bought in from II/978 GR of 271 Division.
    1030 – Instruction for defence of 158 Brigade issued [Z]
    Admin Order No.33 issued [AA]
    Outline program of activity night 28/29 issued [BB]
    1530 – Visit of Major-General Richards, HQ 21st Army Group.
    1930 – Intelligence Report issued [CC]
    2330 – Situation report issued [DD]
    29th July – Admin Order No.34 issued [FF]
    1215 – Patrol Program for night 29/30th issued.
    Strength Return of Officers and ORs [GG (Original War Diary Only)]
    2200 – Very heavy mortaring and shelling of Brigade area.

    30th July – Patrol program night 30/31st July issued [HH]
    1200 – Intelligence report issued [II]
    Admin Order No.35 issued [JJ]

    31st July –1130 – Patrol Program for night 31/1st August issued [KK]
    1200 – Intelligence report issued [LL]
    0930 – Brigade Commanders O Group. Pre;o,omary orders for raid by 4 RWF on Triangle wood 970622 given out, to be carried out night 1/2nd August.
    1500 – Visit of General Richie, Commander 12th Corps.
    Admin Order No.36 issued [MM]

    Appendix


    HH – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Patrol Program Night 30/31st July

    Serial
    Operation
    Command
    Troops
    Object
    Time
    Route
    1
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce triangle 970623
    2300-0500
    South from 968630
    2
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in post at 977623 or, if unoccupied post at 675623
    2300-0500
    South through 976630
    3
    Fighting
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in post at 985616
    0130-0500
    South cross-tacks 989621
    4
    Recce
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce area Feuguerelles
    0130-0500
    Cross tacks 989621/down road to road and track junction 994617 to South.
    5
    Recce
    7RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Obtain details of ditches between triangle and road Chau de Fontaine-Maltot with a view to offensive action later.
    To be coordinated with 4 RWF
    6
    Recce
    6 RWF
    1 NCO + 2 ORs
    Ger identity from enemy killed last night.

    short distance in front of own lines
    7
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    One platoon
    Clear orchard 983623 and eliminate post at Westerly Corner
    2300-0500
    Direct
    8
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Destroy tanks(?) located last night 005615
    2300-0500
    000620 along railway cutting

    II – 30th July Intelligence Report

    0600. INTEP. SECRET. 160 Bde. The 2 Mons raid on 966623 was very successful. 17 PW were taken one PW estimated that 50 per cent of II Coy III Bn 21 PGR became casualties. Our casualties were very light and at an early hour this morning only one of our men had been reported killed. The enemy bought hy fire down on the objective at approximately H + 40 but our troops had just withdrawn. Identifications were 1 coy I Bn 979 BR and 11 Coy III Bn 21 SS PGR of 10 SS Pz Div. The majority of PW were from the former. One PW states tks in hedges and amongst trees but not gun in, in area triangle 970622 and squad fd to SOUTH of angle made by rd junc 960616. He estimates 15 Tigers at each place. This infm should be treated with res. It is reported that the enemy did not like our MG fire and that they could not get their hds up and get their weapons into action. OWN front. As soon as the smoke went down at the beginning of 160 Bde raid the enemy bought hy fire down on MALTOT and CHATEAU-FONTAINE. He was evidently expecting an attack from this direction. Hy fire continued for some hrs. Patrol infm. The following infm was obtained by our patrols during the night. 6 enemy and MG at 100 yds WEST of orchard 979623. Sec posn near bend on track 975623. Lanes cut in corn from 979623 towards ditch junc 974626. MG fire from TRIANGLE 970623 and 981624. Shouting and firing from area 982614. Man and dog at X tracks 986617, but little to report in this area. Attack on ho 996616 resulting in one enemy possibly 3 killed. There were no enemy in the ho but some slit trenches up the garden. Patrol set the ho on fire before withdrawing. Patrol to Le Hamel area for posn 005617 saw 20 Germans moving to hedgerow EAST of rly and heard sounds of digging in same area. Voices heard in ho and area 006616. 50 yds from hedge 5 tks under trees. Voices heard area 008614. During early hours of this morning 4 Russian deserters blew themselves up on S mines laid by 6 RWF. Three were killed one wounded. They carried an RAF leaflet calling for desertion instead of one of the leaflets issued by 6 RWF telling them to use the rd. CO 6RWF assumed that being Russians they preferred Public Control to Private Enterprise, which error proved the cause of their undoing.

    Captain, IO
    JJ – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Admin Order No.35

    1. Sups
    Ref pt on 31 Jul at 1100 hrs at 924704. Units will proceed independently.

    2. Maint Train
    Maint Train on 31 Jul will leave Rear Bde HQ 1500 hrs as arranged by Bde TO.

    3. Amn
    Ref para 7 of Admn Order No34 dated 29 Jul. If any unit has not yet drawn the extra 10 rds per gun of SABOT amn they will do so by 1800 hrs today from the existing AP.
    Standard AP opening area JUMBAY 9766 this evening. Exact time nad position later.

    4. Ord
    In future all 6-pr guns will be delivered to units with all modifications completed.

    5. Sal
    Most satisfactory efforts have been made in the salvage drive and it is desired that it shall continue. Units will please NOT collect any further U/S German vehs and guns as these will be collected by REME direct when they can obtain direct access to them. British vehs and guns should be moved to such areas as are now directly accessible to REME.

    6. Entertainments –Week Commencing 31 July
    The film for week commencing Monday 31 Jul will be “Ziegfield Girl” showing at 0900 hrs, 1300 hrs and 1930 hrs.
    “Stars in Battledress” at 1130 hrs and 1730 hrs.
    Div Concert Party at 1530
    Location of Theatre-Land remains unchanged.
    Captian, SC






    KK – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Patrol Programe Night 31st July/1st August

    Serial
    Operation
    Command
    Troops
    Object
    Time
    Route
    1
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce West and South side of Triangle 970621
    2300-0500
    South from 969630 - West side of triangle
    2
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Destroy MG post 975623
    0130-0500
    972632-972626-975623
    3
    Recce
    4 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce South of digging 975615
    2300-0500
    978631 - thence direct to objective
    4
    Fighting
    4 RWF
    4 RWF covering party 555 Field Company 3 demolition parties
    Destroy derelict tanks 968642
    To be fixed later
    Direct
    5
    Recce
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce Feuguerolles 9961
    2400-0500
    Cross tracks 989622-track junction 995617 thence South to objective
    6
    Fighting
    7 RWF
    1 Officer + 8 ORs
    Kill or capture enemy in area of crest South of 986616
    0200-0500
    Cross tracks 989622 - thence direct to objective
    7
    Recce
    7RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce trench system 9762
    2400-0500
    Via crossroads 977632
    8
    Recce
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 2 ORs
    Recce area buildings 006616
    0200-0430
    997623-SE along wood to railway bridge 005616
    9
    Fighting
    6 RWF
    1 Officer + 10 ORs
    Kill of capture enemy lone house 997616
    0300-0430
    Direct from 997623


    LL – Intelligence Report
    0608. INTREP. SECRET. Patrols night 30/31. Some our inf patrols were hampered by a late start due to bright moonlight. Recce of triangle – enemy in northern tip SE corner + about 971623. Attempt to draw enemy fire unsuccessful. Ditch running from 974624-972626 is V shaped 6 ft deep and 6 ft wide. Ptrol found no trace of enemy at 978623 where he has been on previous occasions. Same ptrol was fired on from 981524. A ptrol to 986616 did not see any enemy but heard lorries areas 987613 and 984614. A patrol to recce Northern approaches to FEUGEROLLES did not have enough time to complete task. Talking and coughting were heard area 996614 and 994613. A patrol of 6 RWF believe they killed 3 enemy in orchard area – bodies were searched but no documents or identifications were found. There was activity on west side of orchard and probably MG post in SW corner and possibly another one on Western edge – several other patrols heard them firing. Another 6 RWF patrol sent to destroy tanks at 006613 were nearly ambushed but killed 3 enemy and wounded others. They found enemy dug in South of line of trees along hedgerow 006617 to river and heard enemy in orchard 005616. There was little mov on our front during daylight yesterday. Activity at 982613 suggests a possible HQ in area. No further identifications hve been obtained. SS deserter from 9 SS Pz Div gave himself up to 71 Bde yesterday but it was found that he had been separated from his unit for some days and had been with 277 Div. No indication that 9 SS Div had crossed R ORNE. A patrol of 160 Bde to LE BON REPOS via LONE HO 951617 saw no enemy. As a result of 160 Bde raid it is clear that the attack went in on bdy between III Bn 21 SS PGR and I Bn 979GR. This completes picture of enemy on our front. 991 GR of 277 Div in BOUGY-EVRECY area. 21 SS PGR LE BON REPOS-HILL 112. I Bn 979 GR between HILL 112 and rd MALTOT – ST MARTIN. II Bn 978 between rd and R ORNE.

    Capt, IO.

    MM – 158 (RW) Infantry Brigade Admin Order No. Secret, 31 Jul 44
    1. Sups
    Ref Pt on 1 Aug at same time and place as for 31 Jul. Untis will proceed independently.

    2. Maint Train
    Maint Train/will leave Rear Bde HQ at 1500 hrs as arranged by Bde TO.
    1 Aug
    3. Amn
    Mixed Standard AP est 957656, signed from 964656. Units can now draw 3” Mor HE as and when required.

    4. Baths
    MBU at 971653 from 1000 hrs to 1800 hrs 1 Aug. 15 men per bn per hr may attend. 7 RWF are ensuring that adequate slit trenches are dug today.

    5. Chaplains
    DACG will meet all C of E Padres at 202 Fd Amb 1200 1 Aug. 6 RWF and/or 202 Fd Amb will please inform the Rev HA Jones.

    6. Returns
    units will show increment and extra 10 rds/per gun when and where applicable.

    7. Rfts
    Approx 36 ORs rfts for 6 RWF will be available as from 1600 hrs today.

    8. Ordnance Bulletin No 10 today has been handed to unit QMs.
    9. Untis having any civilians in their area will notify this HQ of names and addresses.

    TOS 1210 hrs
    Capt, SC



    [1] Attempt to remove this piece of text with ‘xxxx’ over top.
     
  4. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Curses my PC keeps double posting for some reason. The 'S' Mines mentioned in Intel Summary, since I havent yet touched the 6 RWF WD (as its full of hand written entries), I assume they are German, unless we have the same terminology? Query comes from a confused friend, as am I now!
     
  5. reichswald2012

    reichswald2012 Junior Member

    Hello Swiper.

    I was reading your post on 53. Welsh Division. I was wondering, if you even have some information on the period 08.-17.02.1945.
    I am working on Operation Veritable - Battle of the Reichswald. Information is very poor on the actions in the forest.
    These are the troops I am searching for further input.
    -71. Infantry Brigade
    -158. Infantry Brigade
    -160. Infantry Brigade

    With kind regards
    Frank
     

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