War Diary: 71st (Royal Welch) Anti-Tank Regiment

Discussion in '53rd (Welsh) Division' started by Swiper, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Wee bit stumped by some of the terminology... hopefully rest of July-September tomorrow...


    June 1944 – War Diary


    71st Anti-Tank Regiment


    From 1st June 1944 to 30th June 1944

    Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel GD Castelli RA
    Location: Dartford
    2nd June – Codeword ‘Cornelieue’ in ‘Exercise’ Overlord received. Steps to complete waterproofing of all unit vehicles and equipment immediately put in hand.

    3rd June – Afs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, copies attached to original War Diary. [Appendix A]
    The Unit Welfare scheme for the benefit of unit personnel and their relatives was inaugurated and published (copy attached). [Appendix B]

    6th June – Waterproofing of ‘B’ Vehicles reported complete, except for residual vehicles. [Appendix C]

    7th June – Overlord Unit Operation Instructions 1 issued, copy attached to original War Diary.

    10th June – Afs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, copy attached to original War Diary. [Appendix D]

    12th June – Waterproofing of “A” Vehicles and equipment complete.
    Overlord Unit Admin Instruction No5 issued, copy attached to Original War Diary [Appendix E]

    14th June – Advance Party of 279 Battery proceeds to Marshalling Area to join 71 Bde Advance Party.

    15th June – Enemy rocket bombs passed over unit locality and two fell in Dartford area. No casualties to personnel or equipment.
    Overlord Unit Operation Instruction No3, Admin Instruction No6, and copy 53 Div 1 (b) Brief issued. Copies attached to original War Diary. [Appendix F]
    Advance Parties RHQ u/c Second in Command, Major DC Keating RA proceeds to Mote Park, Maidstone, to join 53 Div Advance Party.

    16th June – Overlord Unit Admin Instruction No7 issued, coppy attached to Original War Diary. [Appendix G]
    279 Battery proceed to Marshalling Area with 71 Inf Bde.

    17th June – Orderes received for unit less 279 Battery, to proceed to Marshalling Area south of Brentwood, Essex.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, copies attached to originl War Diary. [Appendix H]


    Location: Field
    18th June – Unit moves (less 279 Battery) to Marshalling Area and is divided up into parties in accordance with Ships Loading Tables.

    18th – 21st June – Final stage of vehicle waterproofing completed. Emergency rations and lifebelts issued to all personnel, currency exchanged for francs. Unfavourable weather in Channel causes delay in embarkation of troops.

    21st-28th June – Unit embarks at Tilbury onto American Liberty ships which sail to Southend and drop anchor to await the forming up of convoy, and instructions from Royal Navy.

    22nd – 25th June – Convoy lies off Southend.

    25th June – Convoy saisl for Theatre of Operations in Normandy. Passage smooth and uneventful.

    26th June – Convoy anchors off Gig area on Gold Beach opposite Arromanches les Bains.

    27th – 29th June – Unit offloaded and proceeds to concentration area via Transit Area and Aseembly area South of Bayeux at point 882754. 278 Battery under command of 158 Brigade. 283 Battery under command 160 Brigade.

    1st – 31st July 1944u
    Location: Secqueville
    1st July – Afs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2nd Echelon, copy attached to original War Diary. [Appendix A]
    53 Division under orders to relieve 15th Division in area Cheux. Change over to be initiated by unit relieving 97 Anti-Tank Regiment. 336 Battery deploy area Cheux-Grainville-sur-Odon. J Troop report ambush by enemy when taking guns into action. Two casualties killed were inflicted on the enemy.
    J Troops suffered casualties as follows: Killed – 14595463 Gunner JK McDonald. Missing Believed Killed – 1156693 – Gunner RM Collins. Wounded – 880437 – Lance Bombadier Brogan, 1111986 Lance Bombardier L Tunnicliffe. Vehicles: Two Quads burnt out and three 17 pounder guns. Gun position reported subjected to constant enemy mortar fire.
    278 Battery deployed area Moudrainville; also subjected to heavy Mortar fire.
    283 Battery deploy area. 283 Battery deploy area Colville sustain 2 OR causalties wounded by mortar fire.
    279 Battery concentrate area Segueville-en-Bessin and revert under command of Regiment.
    RHQ established at Putot-en-Besin

    2nd July – Heavy shelling and mortaring reported from all areas.
    Casualties : 278 Battery – 1 OR wounded.
    283 Battery – 1 Officer (Lietenant DA Young, RA) wounded.
    6 ORs wounded, 2 shell shock.
    336 Battery – 2 ORs killed, 1 wounded, 3 shell shock.
    279 Battery deploy in area Cheux.

    3rd July – 283 Battery casualties from hostile mortar fire. Lieutenant MP Varey, RA killed; Lieutenant RA Bradford, RA, died of wounds; 1 OR killed; 3 ORs shell shocked.
    279 Battery placed under command 158 Infantry Brigade and deploy area Haut de Bosq – Rauray.

    4th July – Casualties from hostile shelling: -
    278 Battery – 3 ORs wounded. 283 Battery – 3 ORs killed, 2 wounded.
    Lieutenant RWF Coigley, RA and Lieutenant R King, RA posting in from 31st RHY. Lieutenant King posted to 263 Battery.
     
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  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    5th July – Casualties from hostile selling:-
    278 Battery – 1 OR killed. 336 Battery – 3 ORs killed, 5 ORs wounded, 1 6 pounder gun, 1 jeep and 1 3-ton lorry out of action. 336 Battery receive 11 reinforcements.
    C Troop occupied new area near Grainville-sur-Odon

    6th-9th July – No change. AFS W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2nd Echelon, copy attached to War Diary [Appendix 2]

    10th July – Liuetenant GHE Gough RA, posted to 31st RHU.
    1100 – 283 Btatery placed under command 71 Infantry Brigade with under command 336 Battery and 1 troop of 278 Battery. No changes in dispositions.

    11th July – Lieutenant VD Wilkinson RA, evacuated suffering from perforated eardrums. Lieutenant R King, RA, posted to Unit and takes command H Troop 283 Battery.
    2300 – 278 Battery HQ moved to Tourville.

    12th July – 2000 – 279 Battery reverts under command 71 Brigade. No change in disposition.
    2200 – 283 Battery under command 160 Brigade in area Baron. RHQ at Tourville church.
    2300 – 278 Battery HQ moves to Colleville. A Troop guns move into position between Colleville and Grainville-sur-Odon.

    13th July – 1400 – Lieutenant GA Sullivan RA, severly wounded by shellfire. 2 ORs killed, 6 ORs wounded.
    1430 – CO helds conference at Regimental HQ. 278 Battery to concentrate with 158 Brigade in area Norray en Bessin with HQ North of Colleville.

    14th July – 1400 – 278 Battery under command 158 Brigade in proposed attack on Fe de Mondrainville; A troop to support 4 RWF, B & C troops support 7 RWF.

    15th July – 1000 – 158 Brigade plan discussed at sand table model with Troop Commands using air photographs. Approximate position of guns decided.
    1 OR wounded by hostile shelling. Lieutenant H St C Whitford temporarily blinded by shellfire and evacuated.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, copy attached to Original War Diary [No.3]

    16th July – 0200 – 278 Battery move to Brigade concentration area at Haut de Verson for attack.
    1400 – Regimental HQ move to area Cheux.
    Lieutenant Coigley posted to 59th Anti-Tank Regiment RA.
    2200 – 283 Battery HQ dive bombed by enemy. Battery commander captures enemy pilot parachutists.

    Location: Cheux
    17th July – 0600 – News that 158 Brigade attack unsuccessful.
    1430 – 158 Brigade O Group. New attack planned. 4 RWF with A Troop under command to attack Evrecy. Position to be consolidated by dawn 18th.
    1500 – 279 Battery HQ moves to Mondrainville.
    1800 – CO orders 336 Battery to concentrate at La Gaule.
    1800 – 278 Battery moves to Tournaville.
    2115 – 158 Brigade attack goes in.
    18th July – 0200 – News that 158 Brigade attack has definitely failed.
    0530 – News that A Troop had been ambushed in attack. Guns and vehicles lost when effecting an escape. 1 killed, 2 wounded, 19 missing. Lieutenant RCC Graham among the missing. [See Appendix 4]
    1800 – 336 Battery ordered by CO to deploy area Tourville in 279 Battery gun positions.
    1900 – B & C troops deploy round Tournaville.
    1930 – Lieutenant JC Peace posted to unit and appointed to 278 Battery.

    19th July – 0900 – 279 Battery relieves 159 Battery 97 Anti-Tank Regiment and deploys area Les Vilains, Gavrus and North of Evrecy. 336 Battery takes over 279 position.
    1000 – CO and Captain RTM Williams recce area Evrecy to locate lost equipment of A Troop. Withdraw under Mortar and small arms fire.
    1445 – 336 Battery HQ move to Tourville.

    20th July – No change.

    21st July – 3 ORs wounded by hostile shelling.
    Lieutenant EW Morgan and Lieutenant N Stacey posted in to unit. Lietenant Morgan to 279 Battery. Lieutenant Stacey to 278 Battery.

    22nd July – AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copy attached to original War Diary. [No.5]

    23rd July – 0900 – 278 Battery move to Mouen area. CO and Battalion Commander recce Etterville – Maltot area held by 43rd Division to select position for 278 Battery on 158 Brigade’s relieving 43rd Division’s position. F Troop 279 Battery deployed area Gavrus – Bougy. 336 Battery placed under command 158 Brigade for relief of 43rd Division.

    25th July – 2000 – 278 Battery guns take up new positions as recced.
    2300 – 336 Battery deployed area Verson. Trace attached. [No.6]

    26th July – 0930 – Regimental Residues arrive.

    27th July – No change.

    28th July – 2200 – 5 casualties – shellshock.
    A Troop reconstituted and complete as to equipment. Lieutenant GM Williams appointed Troop Commander.

    29th July – AFs W300[8] and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2nd Echelon. Copies attached to original War Diary. [No.7]
    2130 – 1 OR killed by hostile shelling. Lieutenant Stacey posted to 31 RHU.

    30th July – No change.

    31st July – Lieutenant H St C Whitford RA returned from hospital and [I?]O to 278 Battery. Lieutenant JC Peace assumed command of C Troop from Lieutenant Stacey who returns to 31 RHU.
    279 Battery remain – D Troop deployed Les Vilains, E Troop on ridge forward of Les Vilains & Gavrus & F Troop Gavrus-Bougy area.
    1 OR killed, 3 wounded by hostile shelling.

    1st – 31st August 1944
    Commanding Officer: Lieutenant-Colonel D Castelli RA
    Location: Mouen
    1st-2nd August – No Change

    3rd August – 0800 – 71 Brigade Operation Instruction No.2 dated 3rd August received. [1]
    1200 – Unit Operation Instruction No.1 issued [2]

    4th – 5th August – 0800 – 278 Battery HQ moved to Etterville.
    1000 – 279 Battery HQ to Les Vilains.
    1130 – 283 Battery HQ moved with 160 Brigade to River Orne.
    1230 – 336 Battery concentrated in Battalion HQ area.
    Enemy has withdrawn to South bank of River Orne and troops take up positions as follows.
    A. South West of road Maltot-Fergerelles sur Orne
    B. North of St Martin
    C. North of Fergerolles sur Orne
    D. South of Bougy and North of Evrecy
    E. On ridge South of Les Vilains
    F. In reserve on wheels at Les Vilains.
    G. Le Fe Mondeville
    H. Avenay
    I. Point 112.
    1600 – Regimental HQ moves to Mouen.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copy attached to original War Diary [3]

    6th – 7th August – No change

    8th August – 1400 – Regimental HQ move to SW Evrecy
    0600 – 278 Battery receive orders to concentrate Vacognes
    0930 – 279 Battery receive orders to concentrate Les Vilains – Bougy.
    0930 – 283 Battery receive orders to concentrate Avenay.

    9th August – 1200 – 278 Battery receive orders to adopt gun positions in bridgehead over River Orne area Grimbosque to Brier. 279 Bttery move to concentration area Vacognes.
    283 Battery two guns I Troop deploy in area around Bully.

    10th August – 1830 – 336 Battery concentrate near Regimental HQ.

    11th August – 1400 – Regimental HQ and 336 Battery move area St Louvert de Condell.
    1400 – 278 Battery ordered to prepare for mobile warfare.
    278 Battery cross River Orne to area Foret de Anglais.

    12th August – 1100 –Attack on Fresney by 1/5th Welch with under their command A Troop.
    1200 – Attack on Bois Halbout by 1st East Lancs with under their command B and C Troops.
    1700 – Both attacks successful.
    279 Battery cross River Orne to position near Anglais Chateau. Battery Tactial HQ established in Foret de Anglais.
    283 Battery concentrate with 160 Brigade in the area of Vacognes.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, Copies attached to original War Diary [4]

    13th August – 0500 – E Troop under command 1st HLI advance via Chateau de Mesnil-Samu direction Aigneville.
    1000 – D Troop under command 1st Ox and Bucks advance via Bois Hlbout and deploy ½ mile North of Meslay.
    1100 – E Troop deploy in the area Bois Halbout – village mortared during operation. 3 Nos 1 wounded.
    1600 – D Troop advance with 1 HLI and deploy on objective Point 205, Meslay.

    14th August – 0700 – 278 Battery moves to Bois Halbout.
    0730 – 283 Battery crosses Orne to area Les Mentiers en Cinglais.
    0900 – Regimental HQ moves to Montigny (7F/3 – 9053)
    0915 – 53rd Division Operation Instruction No.12 received [5

    Location: Montigny
    15th August – 0600 – 278 Battery and C Troop concentrate on Bois Saurier.
    0645 – 279 Battalion HQ moves to Bois Halbout, D Troop to Le Rabature and suffer two OR casualties, wounded, from mortar fire.
    070 – Lieutenant WD Jones evacuated suffering from mild dysentery. F Troop take up position Aigneville.

    16th August – 0800 – 283 Battery HQ move to Treppel.
    0830 – 289 Battery HQ move to Bonneuil.
    0900 – 336 Battery HQ move to Le Mesnil.
    0915 – 278 Battery HQ move to Leffard.
    1000 – 53rd Division Warning Order dated 16 August received [6]
    1200 – Regimental HQ moves Les Moutiers en Cinglais (7F/3 - 9852)

    Location: Les Moutiers en Cinglais
    17th August – 0700 – 279 Battery concentrates area Noron L’Abbaye. 336 Battery moves area Leffard.
    0900 – Inter boundary plan received from RA 53rd Division. [7]
    0900 – 53rd Division Operation Instruction No.14 received [8]

    18th August – 1200 – Regimental HQ moves to Le Outre (7F/3 - 0145)
    1300 – 278 Battery HQ moves to Mietle: 279 Battery HQ moves to St Clair: 283 Battery HQ moves St Pierre.
    1330 – Du Bu: 336 Battery and 128 Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Battery placed under command 283 Battery.
    1500 – Area Falaise Killing ground received from RA 53rd Division. [9]

    Location: Le Outre
    19th August – 0600 278 Battalion HQ moves to St Claire.
    0730 – 279 Battery: D and F troops under command 1st Ox and Bucks advance to Pierrefitte – held up by mines. E Troop under command 1 HLI advance to Montabant but held up by mines at Clinchamps. Mines are cleared and Troops deploy.
    0815 – 283 Battery: 2 Mons with H & I Troops take Brieux – 2 Tiger tanks knocked out by No.75 Anti-Tank Grenades.
    1000 – 336 Battery concentrates.
    1130 – RA 53rd Division Operational Summary dated 19 August received [10]
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copies attached to original War Diary. [11]

    20th August – 0930 – Regimental HQ moves to Le Mesnil (7F/3 - 0540)
    Location: Le Mesnil
    1000 – 278 Battery moves to La Hoggette: 279 Battery concentrates area Le Vey.
    1045 – 283 Battery moves to Brieux: 336 Battery ordered to area Merri to support recce in mopping up.
    1115 – 53rd Divisional Operation Instructions No.15 received. [12]
    RA Fire plan dated 19 August received. [13]

    21st August – Regimental HQ moves area 107367 (7F/3)

    Location: 107357
    22nd August – All Batteries concentrate in areas of Battery HQs – 279 at Necy.

    23rd August – Regimental HQ moves to Brieux.

    Location: Brieux
    23rd – 27th August – Regiment and Division carry out full maintenance to prepare for pursuit of beaten enemy. During period 14-23rd August, Troops were continuously deployed well forward with infantry.

    25th August – 0600 – Unit Operation Instructions No.8/1 issued [14]
    0740 – 71 Infantry Brigade Operation instruction No.3 received. [15]
    1000 – Unit Operation Instructions No.8/2 issued [16]

    26th August – AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, Copies attached to original War Diary [17]

    27th August – Regimental HQ and 336 Battery move Mesnil Rousset: 278 Battery moves La Risle: 283 Battery move Les Buttereaux: 279 Battery move La Hay St Sylvestre.
    Location: Mesnil Rousset
    1600 – Regimental HQ, 278, 336 Battery move on to Sebicourt (8F/4 - 945645)

    Location: Serbicourt
    28th August: Regimental HQ, 278 Battery, 336 Battery move Gaillon: 283 Bttery move East of Louviers: 279 Battery move area Ineville.

    Location: Gaillon
    29th August – 1000 – Regimetnal HQ, 278 Battery and 336 Battery cross Seine to area Muids (9F/1 – 307883)
    1030 – 53rd Division Operation Instructions No.17 received. [18]

    30th August – 1300 – 279 Battery crosses Seine with 71st Brigade Group to Bezuncourt.
    1500 – 283 Battery cross Seine with 160 Brigade Group to Lyons.
    1630 – RA 53rd Division Operation Summary No.5 received [19]

    31st August – Regimental HQ, 278 Battery and 336 Battery move area Ecquis (9F/2 - 446966)
    Move 7th Armoured Division received from RA 53rd Division.
    RA 53rd Division Operation Summary No.6 received (and trace) [20 + 21]
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    5th July – Casualties from hostile selling:-
    278 Battery – 1 OR killed. 336 Battery – 3 ORs killed, 5 ORs wounded, 1 6 pounder gun, 1 jeep and 1 3-ton lorry out of action. 336 Battery receive 11 reinforcements.
    C Troop occupied new area near Grainville-sur-Odon

    6th-9th July – No change. AFS W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2nd Echelon, copy attached to War Diary [Appendix 2]

    10th July – Liuetenant GHE Gough RA, posted to 31st RHU.
    1100 – 283 Btatery placed under command 71 Infantry Brigade with under command 336 Battery and 1 troop of 278 Battery. No changes in dispositions.

    11th July – Lieutenant VD Wilkinson RA, evacuated suffering from perforated eardrums. Lieutenant R King, RA, posted to Unit and takes command H Troop 283 Battery.
    2300 – 278 Battery HQ moved to Tourville.

    12th July – 2000 – 279 Battery reverts under command 71 Brigade. No change in disposition.
    2200 – 283 Battery under command 160 Brigade in area Baron. RHQ at Tourville church.
    2300 – 278 Battery HQ moves to Colleville. A Troop guns move into position between Colleville and Grainville-sur-Odon.

    13th July – 1400 – Lieutenant GA Sullivan RA, severly wounded by shellfire. 2 ORs killed, 6 ORs wounded.
    1430 – CO helds conference at Regimental HQ. 278 Battery to concentrate with 158 Brigade in area Norray en Bessin with HQ North of Colleville.

    14th July – 1400 – 278 Battery under command 158 Brigade in proposed attack on Fe de Mondrainville; A troop to support 4 RWF, B & C troops support 7 RWF.

    15th July – 1000 – 158 Brigade plan discussed at sand table model with Troop Commands using air photographs. Approximate position of guns decided.
    1 OR wounded by hostile shelling. Lieutenant H St C Whitford temporarily blinded by shellfire and evacuated.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, copy attached to Original War Diary [No.3]

    16th July – 0200 – 278 Battery move to Brigade concentration area at Haut de Verson for attack.
    1400 – Regimental HQ move to area Cheux.
    Lieutenant Coigley posted to 59th Anti-Tank Regiment RA.
    2200 – 283 Battery HQ dive bombed by enemy. Battery commander captures enemy pilot parachutists.

    Location: Cheux
    17th July – 0600 – News that 158 Brigade attack unsuccessful.
    1430 – 158 Brigade O Group. New attack planned. 4 RWF with A Troop under command to attack Evrecy. Position to be consolidated by dawn 18th.
    1500 – 279 Battery HQ moves to Mondrainville.
    1800 – CO orders 336 Battery to concentrate at La Gaule.
    1800 – 278 Battery moves to Tournaville.
    2115 – 158 Brigade attack goes in.
    18th July – 0200 – News that 158 Brigade attack has definitely failed.
    0530 – News that A Troop had been ambushed in attack. Guns and vehicles lost when effecting an escape. 1 killed, 2 wounded, 19 missing. Lieutenant RCC Graham among the missing. [See Appendix 4]
    1800 – 336 Battery ordered by CO to deploy area Tourville in 279 Battery gun positions.
    1900 – B & C troops deploy round Tournaville.
    1930 – Lieutenant JC Peace posted to unit and appointed to 278 Battery.

    19th July – 0900 – 279 Battery relieves 159 Battery 97 Anti-Tank Regiment and deploys area Les Vilains, Gavrus and North of Evrecy. 336 Battery takes over 279 position.
    1000 – CO and Captain RTM Williams recce area Evrecy to locate lost equipment of A Troop. Withdraw under Mortar and small arms fire.
    1445 – 336 Battery HQ move to Tourville.

    20th July – No change.

    21st July – 3 ORs wounded by hostile shelling.
    Lieutenant EW Morgan and Lieutenant N Stacey posted in to unit. Lietenant Morgan to 279 Battery. Lieutenant Stacey to 278 Battery.

    22nd July – AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copy attached to original War Diary. [No.5]

    23rd July – 0900 – 278 Battery move to Mouen area. CO and Battalion Commander recce Etterville – Maltot area held by 43rd Division to select position for 278 Battery on 158 Brigade’s relieving 43rd Division’s position. F Troop 279 Battery deployed area Gavrus – Bougy. 336 Battery placed under command 158 Brigade for relief of 43rd Division.

    25th July – 2000 – 278 Battery guns take up new positions as recced.
    2300 – 336 Battery deployed area Verson. Trace attached. [No.6]

    26th July – 0930 – Regimental Residues arrive.

    27th July – No change.

    28th July – 2200 – 5 casualties – shellshock.
    A Troop reconstituted and complete as to equipment. Lieutenant GM Williams appointed Troop Commander.

    29th July – AFs W300[8] and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2nd Echelon. Copies attached to original War Diary. [No.7]
    2130 – 1 OR killed by hostile shelling. Lieutenant Stacey posted to 31 RHU.

    30th July – No change.

    31st July – Lieutenant H St C Whitford RA returned from hospital and [I?]O to 278 Battery. Lieutenant JC Peace assumed command of C Troop from Lieutenant Stacey who returns to 31 RHU.
    279 Battery remain – D Troop deployed Les Vilains, E Troop on ridge forward of Les Vilains & Gavrus & F Troop Gavrus-Bougy area.
    1 OR killed, 3 wounded by hostile shelling.

    1st – 31st August 1944
    Commanding Officer: Lieutenant-Colonel D Castelli RA
    Location: Mouen
    1st-2nd August – No Change

    3rd August – 0800 – 71 Brigade Operation Instruction No.2 dated 3rd August received. [1]
    1200 – Unit Operation Instruction No.1 issued [2]

    4th – 5th August – 0800 – 278 Battery HQ moved to Etterville.
    1000 – 279 Battery HQ to Les Vilains.
    1130 – 283 Battery HQ moved with 160 Brigade to River Orne.
    1230 – 336 Battery concentrated in Battalion HQ area.
    Enemy has withdrawn to South bank of River Orne and troops take up positions as follows.
    A. South West of road Maltot-Fergerelles sur Orne
    B. North of St Martin
    C. North of Fergerolles sur Orne
    D. South of Bougy and North of Evrecy
    E. On ridge South of Les Vilains
    F. In reserve on wheels at Les Vilains.
    G. Le Fe Mondeville
    H. Avenay
    I. Point 112.
    1600 – Regimental HQ moves to Mouen.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copy attached to original War Diary [3]

    6th – 7th August – No change

    8th August – 1400 – Regimental HQ move to SW Evrecy
    0600 – 278 Battery receive orders to concentrate Vacognes
    0930 – 279 Battery receive orders to concentrate Les Vilains – Bougy.
    0930 – 283 Battery receive orders to concentrate Avenay.

    9th August – 1200 – 278 Battery receive orders to adopt gun positions in bridgehead over River Orne area Grimbosque to Brier. 279 Bttery move to concentration area Vacognes.
    283 Battery two guns I Troop deploy in area around Bully.

    10th August – 1830 – 336 Battery concentrate near Regimental HQ.

    11th August – 1400 – Regimental HQ and 336 Battery move area St Louvert de Condell.
    1400 – 278 Battery ordered to prepare for mobile warfare.
    278 Battery cross River Orne to area Foret de Anglais.

    12th August – 1100 –Attack on Fresney by 1/5th Welch with under their command A Troop.
    1200 – Attack on Bois Halbout by 1st East Lancs with under their command B and C Troops.
    1700 – Both attacks successful.
    279 Battery cross River Orne to position near Anglais Chateau. Battery Tactial HQ established in Foret de Anglais.
    283 Battery concentrate with 160 Brigade in the area of Vacognes.
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, Copies attached to original War Diary [4]

    13th August – 0500 – E Troop under command 1st HLI advance via Chateau de Mesnil-Samu direction Aigneville.
    1000 – D Troop under command 1st Ox and Bucks advance via Bois Hlbout and deploy ½ mile North of Meslay.
    1100 – E Troop deploy in the area Bois Halbout – village mortared during operation. 3 Nos 1 wounded.
    1600 – D Troop advance with 1 HLI and deploy on objective Point 205, Meslay.

    14th August – 0700 – 278 Battery moves to Bois Halbout.
    0730 – 283 Battery crosses Orne to area Les Mentiers en Cinglais.
    0900 – Regimental HQ moves to Montigny (7F/3 – 9053)
    0915 – 53rd Division Operation Instruction No.12 received [5

    Location: Montigny
    15th August – 0600 – 278 Battery and C Troop concentrate on Bois Saurier.
    0645 – 279 Battalion HQ moves to Bois Halbout, D Troop to Le Rabature and suffer two OR casualties, wounded, from mortar fire.
    070 – Lieutenant WD Jones evacuated suffering from mild dysentery. F Troop take up position Aigneville.

    16th August – 0800 – 283 Battery HQ move to Treppel.
    0830 – 289 Battery HQ move to Bonneuil.
    0900 – 336 Battery HQ move to Le Mesnil.
    0915 – 278 Battery HQ move to Leffard.
    1000 – 53rd Division Warning Order dated 16 August received [6]
    1200 – Regimental HQ moves Les Moutiers en Cinglais (7F/3 - 9852)

    Location: Les Moutiers en Cinglais
    17th August – 0700 – 279 Battery concentrates area Noron L’Abbaye. 336 Battery moves area Leffard.
    0900 – Inter boundary plan received from RA 53rd Division. [7]
    0900 – 53rd Division Operation Instruction No.14 received [8]

    18th August – 1200 – Regimental HQ moves to Le Outre (7F/3 - 0145)
    1300 – 278 Battery HQ moves to Mietle: 279 Battery HQ moves to St Clair: 283 Battery HQ moves St Pierre.
    1330 – Du Bu: 336 Battery and 128 Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Battery placed under command 283 Battery.
    1500 – Area Falaise Killing ground received from RA 53rd Division. [9]

    Location: Le Outre
    19th August – 0600 278 Battalion HQ moves to St Claire.
    0730 – 279 Battery: D and F troops under command 1st Ox and Bucks advance to Pierrefitte – held up by mines. E Troop under command 1 HLI advance to Montabant but held up by mines at Clinchamps. Mines are cleared and Troops deploy.
    0815 – 283 Battery: 2 Mons with H & I Troops take Brieux – 2 Tiger tanks knocked out by No.75 Anti-Tank Grenades.
    1000 – 336 Battery concentrates.
    1130 – RA 53rd Division Operational Summary dated 19 August received [10]
    AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon. Copies attached to original War Diary. [11]

    20th August – 0930 – Regimental HQ moves to Le Mesnil (7F/3 - 0540)
    Location: Le Mesnil
    1000 – 278 Battery moves to La Hoggette: 279 Battery concentrates area Le Vey.
    1045 – 283 Battery moves to Brieux: 336 Battery ordered to area Merri to support recce in mopping up.
    1115 – 53rd Divisional Operation Instructions No.15 received. [12]
    RA Fire plan dated 19 August received. [13]

    21st August – Regimental HQ moves area 107367 (7F/3)

    Location: 107357
    22nd August – All Batteries concentrate in areas of Battery HQs – 279 at Necy.

    23rd August – Regimental HQ moves to Brieux.

    Location: Brieux
    23rd – 27th August – Regiment and Division carry out full maintenance to prepare for pursuit of beaten enemy. During period 14-23rd August, Troops were continuously deployed well forward with infantry.

    25th August – 0600 – Unit Operation Instructions No.8/1 issued [14]
    0740 – 71 Infantry Brigade Operation instruction No.3 received. [15]
    1000 – Unit Operation Instructions No.8/2 issued [16]

    26th August – AFs W3008 and 3009 despatched to GHQ 2 Echelon, Copies attached to original War Diary [17]

    27th August – Regimental HQ and 336 Battery move Mesnil Rousset: 278 Battery moves La Risle: 283 Battery move Les Buttereaux: 279 Battery move La Hay St Sylvestre.
    Location: Mesnil Rousset
    1600 – Regimental HQ, 278, 336 Battery move on to Sebicourt (8F/4 - 945645)

    Location: Serbicourt
    28th August: Regimental HQ, 278 Battery, 336 Battery move Gaillon: 283 Bttery move East of Louviers: 279 Battery move area Ineville.

    Location: Gaillon
    29th August – 1000 – Regimetnal HQ, 278 Battery and 336 Battery cross Seine to area Muids (9F/1 – 307883)
    1030 – 53rd Division Operation Instructions No.17 received. [18]

    30th August – 1300 – 279 Battery crosses Seine with 71st Brigade Group to Bezuncourt.
    1500 – 283 Battery cross Seine with 160 Brigade Group to Lyons.
    1630 – RA 53rd Division Operation Summary No.5 received [19]

    31st August – Regimental HQ, 278 Battery and 336 Battery move area Ecquis (9F/2 - 446966)
    Move 7th Armoured Division received from RA 53rd Division.
    RA 53rd Division Operation Summary No.6 received (and trace) [20 + 21]
     
    dbf likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Just so you know, it is being read.
    And let us know what terms need explanation.
    Thanks and keep it coming.
     
  5. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Cheers mate, I've worked most of them out - but one of the ones really bugging me are "H & I Troops" I assume that is the H+I troops of 71st ATR? the wording is exactly the same on that part as the original (I occasionally pop in 'ands' and 'a's for readability's sake.
     
  6. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Cheers mate, I've worked most of them out - but one of the ones really bugging me are "H & I Troops" I assume that is the H+I troops of 71st ATR? the wording is exactly the same on that part as the original (I occasionally pop in 'ands' and 'a's for readability's sake.

    :)
    Jonny
    I'de say your correct "H" Troop + "I" Troop.
    Very interesting reading, as dad's Regt were firing in some of the same engagements, Evrecy, Orne river etc.
    As a Med Regt they only had 2 Bty's - 4 Troops, A. B. C. D. simple, then they came up with an "M" Troop!
    Rob
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    As a Med Regt they only had 2 Bty's - 4 Troops, A. B. C. D. simple, then they came up with an "M" Troop!
    And Owen wonders why I remain perpetually confused by British organisation & nomenclature...

    Great stuff Swiper, really good of you to share these.
    (And apologies for butting in.)
     
  8. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    ****NON WAR DIARY START****

    I located who were the main officers... and who commanded the various batteries etc:
    August 44 71 ATR Officers
    CO – Lt Col GD Castelli
    2I/C – Captain (acting) Major DV Keating
    283 Battery CO - Captain (acting) Major IG Griffith
    278 Battery CO - Captain (acting) Major RB Jones
    2336 Battery CO - Captain (acting) Major SB Gibbs
    279 Battery CO - Captain (acting) Major F Pitt Ridge
    Adjutant Captain EJO Edwards

    Hope thats correct (from tricky hand writing!) and useful.

    **** Next part is 'authentic' once more!****

    21 – RA 53 Welsh Div Operational Summary No 6 Secret
    31, 2015, Aug 44
    1. Own Tps
    Right – 30 Corps
    11 Armd Div are in AMIENS and have secured three brs intact across R SOMME
    LEFT – 2 Cdn Corps
    Progress by Cdns has not been as good as 30 Corps and the LEFT flank of 12 Corps is exposed.

    2. 12 Corps
    a) 7 Armd Div have 11 H covering LEFT Corps bdy, and are continuing adv to objective tonight.
    b) 53 Recce Regt with under comd:-
    61 Recce Regt
    340 SP A tk Regt
    One MG coy 1 MANCH
    are to relieve and assists 11 H in protection of 12 Corps LEFT flank.

    3. The plan for 12 Corps adv remains as stated in RA 53 Welsh Div Opsum 5. 53 Welsh Div is to adv to take over the brheads formed by 7 Armd Div.

    4. 71 Inf Bde Gp is to conc at dusk 31 Aug to be at one hr’s notice from first light 1 Sep, and when ordered by 53 Welsh Div is to adv on BOTTLE route, probably coming under comd 7 Armd Div.

    5. If a second bde gp is required by 7 Armd Div, 160 Inf Bde Gp is to move by STAR route.

    6. 160 Inf Bde Gp incl –
    133 Fd Regt incl ‘A’ Ech
    one LAA tp
    283 A tk Bty
    Det 7 Svy Regt
    is to be at two hrs notice from first light 1 Sep.

    7. 53 Welsh Div less 71 Inf Bde and 160 Inf Bde Gp is to adv to R SOMME behind Bde Gps.
    158 Inf Bde is to adv on STAR route and HQ 53 Welsh Div on BOTTLE route. Further details later.

    8. Upon relief by 53 Welsh Div 7 Armd Div is to adv to Abbeville on NORTH bank of R SOMME and so seal off any GERMAN withdrawal from LEFT of 12 Corps.

    9. 53 Welsh Div is to occupy brheads in accordance with trace P att and be prepared:-
    a) to meet any GERMAN attempt to break out of pocket when GERMANS are driven NORTH by First Cdn Army.
    b) to adv to Auxi le Chateaux 9995 St Pol 1611 and Hesidon 9512.

    10. Policy
    a) Deployment areas
    Fd regts in inf bde gps will deploy inwards and be prepared to cover div front when occupying brhead.
    b) Svy
    One svy tp 54 Obs Bty is moving with 7 Armd Div and small svy det of 53 Obs Bty will move with 81 and 133 Fd Regts.
    53 Obs Bty less dets will move with HQRA 53 Welsh Div.
    c) Air OP
    C Flt 653 Air OP Sqn less two secs is in sp of 81 Fd Regt to whom 133 Fd Regt can make demands for sp if necessary.
    Remaining two secs will be in res under comd CRA 53 Welsh Div.

    11. Maps
    Maps were obtained by Air OP and delivered by air to 81 and 6 Fd Regts today, and should now be in possession of all units. As remainder of Div have NO maps the route will be marked by Pro 53 Welsh Div who require MICHELIN Guides to France to assist them. Units will therefore return three copies to this HQ as soon as possible.

    12. Admn
    Sup difficulties are increased by rate of adv and economy must be exercised in use of pet. To assist in this units will avoid using pet cookers unless absolutely necessary.

    13. Intercomn
    a) HQRA 53 Welsh Div will move with HQ 53 Welsh Div on BOTTLE route NOT before 010500 Sep.
    b) DRLS When bde gps are formed it is to be normal for DRLS to deliver to bde HQ for dissemination to units under comd or in sp. Units will therefore ensure that they are familiar with DRLS arrangements so as to avoid unnecessary delay in comn.

    Ack [from here on is crossed out] In future units will acknowledge receipt of documents by wireless or line and send ACK message by first available DRLS.
    Major
    BMRA 53 Welsh Div



    71st Anti-Tank Regiment, RA
    INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY SECRET
    25 Aug 44
    (Based on infm received up to 1600 hrs 25 Aug 44)
    Part I - General
    1. Operations
    Recent ops west of R Seine have considerably reduced the area West of the R Seine which has not yet neeb[?] over run by Allies, and which still contains such of the German 7th Army which has not already been destroyed or has not passed over the SEINE crossings.
    Considerable challenges have been made both in drivers EASTWARD and NORTHWARD and the enemy has been given no respite.
    In the South the Americans hold firmly between Gaillon 3332 and Evreux 1967. Louviers 2287 is captured and advanced elements yesterday reached Elbeuf 1298. WEST from EVREUX US tps are in AMANVILLE 0274.
    The advance Eastwards has made the same rapid progress resulting in crossings over R RISLE SOUTH of BRIONNE 8990 and NORHT of the confluence of RIVERS RISLE and CHARENTONNE, also over R CALONNE SOUTH of CORMEILLES 6598. In this area armour was last reported in contact with the enemy in the area of ST GEORGES DU VIEVRE 8096.
    To the SOUTH f these crossings our own Corps armoured C Regt were last reported operating on the general line LE NEUBOURG 0283 – CONCHES 0362. To the NORTH the line runs gen from CRIQUEPOEUF 4917 through 5112 to ST BENON D’HERBERTO 5806. HONFLEUR on the coast at 5618 has also been reported captured, but this is not yet confirmed.

    2. Enemy Situation
    Only in places have the enemy resisted at all strongly. Yesterday the enemy reacted vigorously to US forces which moved NORTH towards ELBEUF from LOUVIERS. This enemy move is not surprising since it is in this area of R SEINE that his and our chief interests centre. On the night 23/24 the enemy rush for the ferries began in earnest and continued yesterday, assisted by indifferent flying conditions., During the morning Tac R reported a long column of all arms including tanks moving North East from BERNAY and also vehs queuing for the ferries in the area ELBEUF. The main enemy crossing is MOULINEAUX 0805.
    In the evening Tac R reports showed considerable movement of M.T. moving EASTWRDS on the other side of the river in the direction of GOURNAY M6515.
    It is therefore not surprising that the enemy counter attacked in order to keep open his escape route. So far he has succeeded and his ferries are still working and there is no doubt that the has been getting tps away. To-day however there has been NO reports of any large scale enemy movement in this area.
    In the coastal area to the NORTH 711 and 346 Inf Divs have been fighting hard in an operation linked with the Elheuf counter attack, in its object of keeping us away from the SEINE and his escape routes for as long as possible.
    To the SOUTH weak rearguards hba been provided by elements of 24th Pz Div, 9 SS Div and 21 Pz Div with a varied collection of Inf intermixed.
    In the Elheuf area elts of the 17 GAF and 344 Inf Divs have been identified but it is not known who was responsible for yesterday’s counter attack. In MATES GASSICOURT br head elts of 18 GAF and 49 Inf Divs have been identified.

    3. Enemy Sit Gen
    A safe crossing over the R SEINE is not sufficient to restore the enemy’s fortune. At 1600 hrs 24 Aug the move into PARIS was reported to be progressing smoothly. SOUTH of the capital 2 br heads are firmly est over the R SEINE at CORBEIL 1215 and MELUN 2505. Further US tps are in the area of FOUNTAINBLEU 2790 where the enemy counter-attacked yester[day].
    Still further SOUTH EAST of PARIS the br head over the R YONNE (a tributary fo the SEINE) at SENS is being reinforced and Arm Os which yesterday penetrated to TROYES on R SEINE reported no opposition between the br head and TROYES.
    The enemy’s need in the WEST is for more tps.
    The cost of the withdrawal from the pocket has not yet been accurately measured; but when the count of MT and AFVs is complete, the figure will be found to be colossal. As an instance of the havoc in the former ‘gap’, observers estimate that in one area 3000 x 3000 west of CHAMBOIS 4031, there are at least 1000 MT and 60 AFVs.
    This force, which included elts of at least 1 SS Pz Div, 10 SS Pz Div, 12 SS Pz Div, and 2 PZ Div, attempted to move across country when roads in the area became checked with wreckage. Ditches and hedges made defies, and these, too, became blocked with burning vehs.
    It is estimated that about 50% of the vehs had enemy dead with them. There are some hundreds of dead horses, and horses wandering [loose] about the fields.
    This is but one area in a large battle fields from which the enemy has painfully withdrawn the mere skeleton of the Army that fought there.
    It is of more than passing interest to compare this sit with what was planned exactly a fortnight ago. Captured document confirms;- if confirmation were necessary – that the proposed breakthrough to AVRANCHES was ordered by Herr Hitler. It was pointed out that issues of vital importance depended on the outcome of this operation, and all offrs were to be made aware of “the unique significance of the whole situation.”
    Doubtless this is now fully appreciated.
    The 15th German Army across the SEINE now waits its trial. Its assets are much reduced, and instead of the array of Divs which garrisoned the Channel coast in JUNE there is now only a modest collection many of which have already been bled to provide drafts.
    For a moment, however, they constitute and Army.
    In Le HARVE (according to 2 Army Intell Summary No.80), some formation must have replaced GAF Div, but it is not yet known which, between the SEINE and the SOMME, 245 and 348 Inf Divs are still believed to be holding coastal sectors, and from the SOMME to the SCHELDT there may still be three: 49,47 and 712 Inf Divs. The first of these has almost certainly received orders to move to NORMANDY, and its Fus Bn has been reported identified in the BERNAY area, and elts in the area of NANTES. 182 Trg Div is in the ST OMAR region, and ?70, 719 and 347, Inf Divs complete the team, the last two coming from Holland, which is strictly speaking outside the Army area.
    Assuming that 49 Inf Div is already earmarked for either 5 Pz or 1 Army, the total available is 8 Inf Divs. No [a]rmour is known to be present, but there have been reports that 25 Pz Div after reforming in Denmark, has been sent to France and it may be found in the best Tank Country that estist in Frace under 15 Army Comd.
    But even if the total number of Divs is only 8, the enemy still has other tps to use in an emergency. Coastal Arty and Flak units may already have been drawn on to some extent, particularly the latter, but there remains a considerable body of tps to reinforce the somewhat slender resources of the small field Army divs.
    When all his assest have been marshalled, the enemy will still be short of tps and as the Allied adv goes forward the elastic method of defence, which has been the standby of German commentators for months will come to a point where it can be stretched no more. With one eye on his rocket installations on the channel coast and the other on the direct route to the REICH through EASTERN FRACE, the enemy must eye the future askance, and the next few days will show which of these two hve prior claim. There is not enough for both.

    4. Enemy Order of Battle
    At Appx ‘A’ held by [Div?] is a list of enemy regts in the WEST according to their allortment to Divs. It may be of assistance to I.Os for identification purposes.
    Cpatain RA,
    Captain, RA,
    Adjutant, 71st Anti-Tank Regiment, RA
     
  9. Drover

    Drover Junior Member

    Hi. Just come across your interesting posts.
    DRLS stands for Despatch Rider Letter Service.
    Cheers
    Drover
     
  10. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Magic, thats one confusion sorted!
     

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