War Diary: 83rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

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

  1. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    June 1944
    CO: Lieutenant Colonel REH Hudson RA
    Location Field
    4th June – Loading Exercise

    Location: BWEF
    6th June – D Day. Lieutenant Lester wounded when attached to 53 Airlanding Light Regiment Royal Artillery.

    Location: Field
    12th June – Waterpoofing commenced.

    15th June – Advance Party leaves for Marshalling Area.

    17th June – Main Body leaves for Marshalling RAea.

    Location: BWEF
    20th June – 330, 460 and portion Regimental HQ embarked on SS Port McPherson and SS A Frank Lever.

    21st June – 329 Battery and portion Regimental HQ embarked on SS Samark.

    23rd June – Advance Party disembarks and arrived in Concentration Area.

    24th June – Aconvoy containing Regiment less Advance Party sails from Southend Roads for France.

    26th and 27th June – Regiment completed disembarkation.

    28th June – Regiment goes into action near Les Fiettees 7773.

    29th June – Lieutenant EW Brett (302298), Lieutenatn RWE Sparkes (308058), and Lieutenant DW Usherwood (308069) Posted to WE and 1st Rfts from Rfts Group.

    30th June – Regiment moves and in action near Bretteville L’Orqueillense 9273 to assist in consolidation of 8th Corps advance South West of Caen.
    E and F Troop 460 Battery registered Defensive Fire Task at 1850 . First round from the Regiment to fall in enemy Territory.
    Regiment receives orders to be prepared to relieve 131 Field Regiment RA in front line.

    July 1944
    CO: Lieutenant Colonel REH Hudson RA
    Location: Field
    2nd July – 1000 Regiment moves South to 900688 in support 158 Brigade taking over from Brigade 15th Scottish Division. Gun area taken over from 131 Field Regiment RA.

    2nd – 10th July – Regiment supported 158 Brigade with observation, DF and HF Fire on Brigade Front.
    10th July – 0500 – Regiment supported 43 Division in Operation Jupiter. Captured area Baron – Point 112, and 70 countour and junction with River Orne 9962.

    16th July – Regiment supported attack of 15th Scottish Division with 158 Infantry Brigade under command in Operation Greenline to capture line of Road Bougy 9160 – Evrecy 9259 and Maizet 8961.
    Also in support of attack 59th Division Operation Pomegranite to capture general line Etregy 8464 – Landelle – 8662 – Noyers 8862 Missy 8961.
    Lance Bombadier V Rose died of internal haemorrhage and Gunner FA Blackley killed by mortar splinter at 4 RWF Battalion HQ.
    1630 – Regiment in action at 9165 supported attack by 7 RWF on Evrecy 9259 at 2330 hours.

    17th July – Regiment supported attack by 6 RWF on Evrecy. Objective reached but had to withdraw. Some casualties.

    18th July – 0030 – Captain Whaley killed in action by enemy shell.
    0045 – Sergeant Bell killed in action on gun position.

    17th-23rd July – 1800 – Regiment fired 19,598 rounds HE 25 pounder.

    20th July – (186785) – Captain RE Winder injured in action by mortar splinter whilst at the observation post.

    21st July – 1450-2330 – Enemy counter attacked on 1/5th Welch position on left of Evrecy front. Casualties with our own troops (including prisoners) Counter attack finally dispersed by own arty fire.

    22nd July – 43 Div on our left, supported by three Divisional arties with this Regiment attackeked and captured Maltot.

    24th July – Regiment moved to area Mouen square 9465 when 158 Brtigade took over front reorganized by 43rd Division – Maltot – Etterville – Chauteau de Fontaine.

    29th July – 2130 – Regiment supported small attack of 2nd Mons (160 Brigade) on Evrecy. Seventeen prisoners taken. Successful attack.
    Sergeant EJ Couch, Lance Bombadier AW Gibson, Gunner LJ Shreeves wounded in action. Admitted to 202 Field Ambulance.
  2. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    August 1944
    CO: Lieutenant Colonel REH Hudson
    Location: Mouen 941642
    1st August – Lieutenant Clymow posted to CMP 53rd Div. Registation of Targets by AWOP for fire plan in support of Raid on Triangle Wood 970622.
    Weather very misty in the morning. Observation posts still established at 329 Battery 020628, 330 Battery at Etterville 985640, 460 Battery at Church Fleury sur Orne 022647.

    2nd August – 0545 –Raid on Triangle Wood started at 0610. Forward Observation officer reported forward troops had reached wood. Raid completed 0650 hours. Very successful. 2 prisoners taken and triangle wood cleared. Raid was supported by Divisional Arty and 72 Medium Regiment. Fire was reported as excellent. Captain Holme 330 Battery was the Forward Observation Officer with 4 RWF who carried out the Raid.
    1830 – Attack by fighting patrol 6 RWF on to Le Hamel 998615. Object was to discover strength of enemy. Enemy in strength attacking troops subject to cross fire from Start Line. Supporting fire completed by 1945 hours.
    2105 – Started Fire Plan in support of raid by 4th Welch on Evrecy. POWs taken. Raid successful. Completed firing 2220 hours.

    3rd August – Anticipation that enemy will put out on our front. Fired a number of HM Tasks. Extensive Patrolling to discover enemy movements.

    Location: Gavrus 927618.
    4th August – 1230 – Regiment fired 12 Propaganda Shells at crossroads 003571. Regiment moved to Gavrus. Battaions moved as follows. 6 RWF to Maltot. 7 RWF to Fevguerolle sur Orne 9961. 4 RWF in St Martin 9760. Extensive patrolling carried out.

    Location – Avenay 950590
    5th August – Reorganisation of Brigades commences. 4 RWF left for 71 Brigade replaced by 1st East Lancs Regiment. 6 RWF left for 160 Brigade replaced by 1/5th Welch. 7 RWF remained in 158 Infantry Brigade. Regiment moved from Gun Area at Avenay. Canadians on left restarted attack on May sur Orne. Observation posts were occupied near River Orne South East of Bully 9959. Bridgehead over River Orne formed by 59th Division between Brievx and Grimbosq 9551 and 9653.

    6th August – Fired Fire Plan “Woodcock” in support of 59th Division attack in Bridgehead. Lieutenant MH Baker wounded by premature on 460 Battery gun position. Evacuated.

    Location: Montigny 915534
    7th August – 1430 – Regiment moved to Montigny. 158 Infantry Brigade moved to Concentration Area at St Honerine du Fay 9356 in preparation for the crossing of the River Orne. 59th Division being heavily counter attacked in Bridgehead but held their position.

    8th August – Many Victory Targets were fired in support of 59th Division.

    9th August – Quiet Day fewer targets engaged. Brigadier GB Sugden MBE took over command of 158 Infantry Brigade vice Brigadier SL Jones, OBE, MC.

    10th August – 0800 – Recce Parties left area at Brieox recced for Regiment at 1600 hours. 330 Battery moved into positions across River Orne. First Artillery Regiment to take up position in Bridgehead. By 2115 hours, remainder of Regiment were in action.
    Location: Brieux - 960517
    158 Infantry Brigade together with this Regiment came under command 59th Division. Brigade HQ at Ginglais 983515,
    Lieutenant Lester posted in.

    11th August – 1430 – Regiment supported 7 RWF attack on Fresney Le Vieux 0048. Strong opposition withdrew for the night under OBOE Smoke Screen.
    2130 – Shot on Barrage ‘Bull’ in support of 59th Division West of Thury Harcourt 9446.

    12th August – 1100 – 1/5th Welch attacked and captured Fresney Le Vieux. 1st East Lancs at 1200 hours attacked and captured Bois Halbour 0146. 158 Infantry Brigade Group reverted under command 53rd Division at 0800 hours.
    Captains WF Simpson and AC Farrington wounded by shell fire in Foret de Cinglaie.
    2040 – 329 Battery fired red smoke as Target indication for Rocket firing Typhoons.

    Location: Fresney
    13th August – Lt G Lester promoted to A/Captain. Lt AM Davies promoted to A/Captain.
    Location: Le Vieux 006487
    1620 – Regiment moved and in action at Fresney Le Vieux.

    Location: Acqueville 020447
    14th August – 1315 – Regiment moved to Acqueville. Brigade moved to Bois Halbout. St Martin de Mieux and Mensil-Floux captured.
    Premature occurred in 329 Battery. Bombadier Eyres killed – gun damaged beyond repair.
    158 Brigade moved up to St Martin and then returned to Miette.
    160 Brigade carried on attack.

    Location: Martainville
    15th August – Recce Parties moved to area Martainville. Mines and Snipers encountered.
    1315 – Regiment in action. ZLs recorded.
    1415 – Engaged Fire Plan in support 160 Infantry Brigade. Fire reported effective.
    Infantry well pleased. Objectives at Pierrepont captured. Lieutenant Brett and Signalman Smalley wounded by mine.

    Location: Leffard 065384
    16th August – 1415 – 1st East Lancs passed through 2nd Mons at Leffard.
    1st East Lancs advanced beyoned Leffard. Recce Parties went forward to area near Noran L’Abbaye. 1st East Lancs withdrew from Miette to Norow.
    HF Tasks engaged from 2300 to 0130 hours 17th August.
    1/5th Welch took over Leffard.

    17th August – 0135 Engaged Fire Plan Wolf & Hound in support 7 RWF who captured Miette.
    Location: Noron L’Abbaye 093369
    1215 – Regiment moved to gun area near Noron L’Abbbaye.
    1623 – Engaged Fire Plan in support 71 Infantry Brigade. HLI RT, 4 RWF Lt [Page break?]St Martin de Mieux and Mensil-Floux captured.
    Premature occurred in 329 Battery. Bombadier Eyres killed – gun damaged beyond repair.
    158 Brigade moved up to St Martin and then returned to Miette.
    160 Brigade carried on attack.

    Location: St Martin de Mieux 119333
    18th August – 1845 – Regiment moved via Falaise to St Martin de Mieux.
    2300 – Regiment fired Victory Target to celebrate the destruction of German 7th Army.

    Location: St Clair
    19th August: 0700 – Recce Parties moved.
    1115 – Regiment in action in St Clair area,
    Brigade moved to St Clair.
    1 East Lancs moved to Point 183. 1731.
    1/5th Welch moved to Point 135. 1932
    7 RWF in reserve at La Moguette.
    1700 – Fired quick Barrage in support of attack by 4 RWF on Pierrefitte 1926

    Location: St Clair
    20th – 25th August – 53rd Division ordered to clear areas. 160 Infantry Brigade allotted task.
    158 Brigade resting. Regiment remaining at St Clair. Maintenance on vehicles and equipment. Most acceptable rest period was enjoyed by all.

    26th August – 936349 – Sergeant Kennedy wounded by Booby Trap – Evacuated.

    27th August – 0415 – Moved from St Clair to Hide at Bois Branger 7658. Arrived 1730 hours.
    Location: Bois Brander
    14000 – Moved from Bois Branger to Sebecourt 963646. Arrived 1730 hours.

    Location: Sebecourt
    28th August – 1200 – Moved to area Vieux Ville 3083 in action with no Observation Posts out. Prepared to support 15th Scottish Division in crossing River Seine.

    Location: Vieux Villez.
    29th August - 0700 – Moved to area 3385 – All in action 0915 hours. Lieutenant Trunchion and Lt JMT Saunders posted to Regiment.
    Location: River Seine
    1900 – Moved across River Seine
    2030 – Arrived in Hide area Muids 3190.

    Location: Muids
    30th August – 1300 – Regiment moved to area 404986. Arrived 1530 hours.

    Location: La Heronde
    31st August – 1725 – Regiment moved at new Hide 579100. Arrived 2030 hours.
    Regiment has not fired since occupying St Clair position. Advance very rapid. Artillery support has not been required.
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Appendix D
    83rd Fd Regt R Op Instr No 1 Secret
    3rd Aug 44

    • This order will not be taken fwd from Bty Comd Posts.
    • Div Front is now from BORDEL 8763 to incl MALTOT.
    • In the event of the enemy withdrawing, 12th Corps with RIGHT 59 Div and LEFT 53 (W) Div is to adv to general line R ORNE between both incl NEUMER 9450 and FEUGUEROLLES 9961.
    Inter Div Bdy
    • All incl 53 Div BORDEL 8763 – stream to junc with rly 972618 – line of rly to 875620 – rd to rd junc 876617 – rd and track junc 875615 – track to LE LOCHEUR 8859 – rd junc 898573 – rd to td junc 923560 – br 932554 – line of stream to junc with R ORNE 958554.
    • Two sets of circumstances may arrive:-
    Case A – general enemy withdrawl involving follow up on his heels.
    Case B- marked enemy weakening involving staged attack to break through his posn.
    • Trace showing the following is available at RHQ:-
    • Div RIGHT bdy
    • Inter Bde bdys for cases A & B
    • Bounds for Case B
    • Bde axes of adv for cases A & B
    Case A
    • If, as a result of active and continuous patrolling, it is discovered that the enemy is withdrawing, the battle patrols will immediately be pushed fwd to make good the lines:-
      Inter Dov bdy to NORTH of R ODON.
    • R GUIGNE to LE VAL JOPE 918568 to SOUTH of R ODON.
    [*]When patrols have reported on above lines, Div HQ will order:-
    • Area NOYERS – MONCEAUX – LE LOCHEUR to be mopped up by 71 Bde.
    • Firm base to be pushed fwd to incl:-
    The whole of the SAUSAGE (120 ring countor 9159) – SOUTHERN SLOPES of pt 112 feature – 70 ring contour 986 due SOUTH of MALTOT – FEUGUEROLLES.
    • When firm base on SASUAGE has been est battle petols of 71 Bde will adv to line of DAGGER on Trace.
    • When the patrols have reported on this line Div HQ will order firm base to be adv to incl MONDEVILLE feature – St Honorine Du Fay 9356.
    • Battle Patrols of 71 Bde will then adv to the line of R ORNE and then, on orders of Div HQ, firm base will be adv to area AMAYE SUR ORNE and 120 ring contour 9557. At same time 160 Bde will be ordered by Div HQ to clear Avenay and area around it within Bde bdys.
    • Final Div posn will be:-
      71 Bde – spur 950557 – AMAYE SUR ORNE – 120 ring contour 9557, with patrols along R ORNE within Bde Bdys.
    • 158 Bde – ST MARTIN – FEUGUEROLLES – MALTOT, with patrols along R ORNE.
    • 160 Bde – in res pt 112 area – Esquay – Avenay 9559
    [*]Every efford will be made to secure brs over R GUIGNE and R ORNE intact,m and hold them.
    [*]For case A each Bde will have under comd:-
    One A tk bty,
    One pl RE (incl one bulldozer each),
    One Coy MMGs
    One Coy Fd Amb
    and in sp:-
    One Regt 34 Tk Bde
    One Fd Regt
    • 1/5 WELCH will remain under comd 71 Bde for case A. The two sqns 59 Recce Regt will remain NORTH of R ODON and will revert to comd 59 DIV on orders from HQ 53 (W) Div
    Case B
    • Adv to following bounds shown on trace will be ordered by Div HQ:-
      CATAPULT – Clearing of area NOYERS – MONCAUX –LE LOCHEUR by 71 Bde
    • CROSSBOW – by 71 Bde
    • DAGGER – by 71 and 160 Bdes
    • GRENADE – by 71 and 160 Bdes
    • GUN – by 71 and 158 Bdes
    [*]1/5 WELCH and two sqns 53 Recce Regt will be comd in case B as in case A.
    [*]Final posn of 53 (W) Div will be as in case A.
    [*]Adv to CATAPULT will not be ordered until 59 Div has secured high ground to WEST. This will apply to successive bounds so that our RIGHT will normally be Ech behind LEFT of 59 Div.

    Bases A & B
    • Flank Protection
    71 Bde will be responsible for protection of Div RIGHT flank and for est tocuh with 59 Div on Inter Div Bdy.
    • 83 Fd Regt will give intimate sp to 158 Bde and also be prepared to sp attack made by 71 & 160 Bdes and 59 Div.
    • Ops – no change at present
    • Zones of Fire – no change in present posn. New Regt Area possibly in area of 9160 approx.
    Zones of Fire 2250 to 1050
    New Area enables sp to be given to 59 Div.
    Orders for recce of new area later.
    • Amn: 1st line. Surplus my have to be carried to new posn.
    All amn salvage to be cleared
    Pet: Res pet for 50 miles. All vehs and cans full.
    Sups: Two days res rations
    Gun sites will now be cleared and all salvage cleared or buried.
    • Div HQ will move to 923634 when MODEVILLE feature is captured.
    • 158 Bde HQ at 973659 moving fwd later, on route shown on frace.

    Capt RA
    Adjt 83 Fd Regt RA
    Method of Issue: DRLS
    Time issued to Sigs: 1700 hrs
    Time of Signature: 1545 hrs

    Distribution Copy No
    OC 329 Bty 1
    OC 330 Bty 2
    OC 460 Bty 3
    CO 4
    Capt OM 5
    R Sigs 6
    War Diary 7/8
    File 9/10

    To RHQ
    Reciept is acknowledged of 83 Fd Regt RA Op Instr No 1 dated 3 Aug 44.

    September 1944
    CO: Lieutenant Colonel REH Hudson RA
    Location: La Heronde - 529100
    1st September – Remained in Hide Area.

    2nd September – 0900 – Recce Party moved to recce new area North of River Somme.
    1400 – Regiment moved to new hide area across River Somme via Gournay, Poix Mollien Vidame crossing at Picquiny. Arrived at Hide at Berneuil 030808 at 0430 3rd September.

    Location: Berneoil - 030808
    3rd September – 1000 – Recce Parrty moved to recce area Beauvois 0912 but returned owing to change in plan.
    2130 – Regiment moved in support of 158 Brigade to contact enemy via Douliens Frevent, St Pol.

    Location: Grossat 489166
    4th September – 1115 – Regiment went into action at Grossat 1816 North of st Pol when enemy were contacted by leading troops in wood near Valhuon 205189.
    1130 – 460 Battery registered Mike Target on this wood which resulted in 100 Prisoners of War being taken.
    Resistance at Valhuon was determined at first but this was over come by close support of Infantry. Advance continued.
    Enemy were next found in Sains 172224 where they put up considerable resitance.
    1450 – Cauchy 250250 reported clear.
    1500 – Ferfay 230270 reported clear
    1515 – Amette 225280 reported clear.
    Location: Cauchy 250250
    1630 – 460 Battery in action at Caughy
    1715 – remainder of Regiment in action.
    March up from Berneuil was marked by very warm welcome from inhabitants culminating in an overwhelming reception at Cauchy.

    6th September – 0900 – Recce Party moved to Hide Area at L’Aventie 4936.
    1000 – Regiment moved to L’Aventie 493365 via Lilliers. Bethune and Cambrin carrying own infantry. Arrived 1400 hours and went into hide for night.

    7th September – It was now known that Brigade Group was to move to Antwerp. Journey to be done in two stages.
    0730 – Recce party moved to hide at Wervicq 6952.
    Location: Wervicq 702569
    0900 – Regiment moved carrying infantry to Wervicq via Armenteres, Messines, Warneton arriving at hide at 1300 hours having crossed Belgium Border at 1100 hours at Le Bizet North of Armentieres.
    1730 – Recce Party moved to deployment area south of Wervicq to cover Battaions located at Menin, Wervicq and Comines.
    2015 Regiment moved and deployed at 721528 between Wervicq and Menin.

    Location: Area 721528
    8th September – 0645 Recce Party moved to Antwerp
    Location: Antwerp 927672
    0830 – Regiment moved to Antwerp arriving at 2000 hours. Regiment taking over from 90 Field Regiment. Came under Command 11th Armoured Division till arrival of 53rd Div.
    2100 – Lieutenant HC Martin (RSO) and Gunner Beaumont were killed by enemy mine whilst carrying out survey for Regiment.

    10th September – 0800 – Recce party moved to new area Deurne 7095 on East side of Antwerp.
    0930 – Regiment moved to Deurne to support infantry holding dock area. Enemy at this time were holding ground West of River Scheldt and North of Junction Canal.

    12th September – 0915 – 329 Battery moved to Dock Area 654948 to give closer support.

    Location: Deurne 7095
    14th September – 1615 – 329 Battery moved back to previous location. Whilst in Antwerp Regiment was called upon to engage numerous enemy locations in Northern suburbs. Observation Potss were established in grain elevators, tall buildings and even in hotels. Most of the pleasures available in a large city were experienced by the Regiment. The inhabitants took great interest in the activities of the Regiment and were most hospitable.

    15th September – 0700 – Recce party moved to Hide Raea near Westerloo 0582 and Veerle 0678.
    Location: Veerle 064780
    0830 – Regiment moved to area Veerle. Arrived 1230 hours and came under Command 15th Scottish Division.

    16th Setpember – 1000 – Recce Party with CP recce moved to area near Lommel 3094.
    Location: Lommel
    1300 – Regiment moved to Lommel via Meerhout, Baelen, Bourg – Leopold. Came into action to support 158 Brigade for crossing of canal and building [of] class 9 Bridge.

    17th September – 1435 – Engaged target at 315983 in support 30th Corps.
    2244-2325 – Engaged Fire Plan Operation “Beecher” in support of 158 Brigade crossing the Meuse-L’Escaut Canal North of Lommel at 308978.
    Brigade successfully crossed canal on night 17/18th September. Some opposition encounted especially by 7 RWF but Bridgehead established firmly.

    Location: Area 303965
    18th September – 0800 Recce Party moved to area 3096
    1100 – 460 Battery moved to that area.
    1230 – Remainder of Regiment moved to that area to give closer support to Brigade who were exploiting North of Bridgehead.
    On night 18/19 enemy aircraft attacked bridges on canal. Regiment had unpleasant time during bombing. No casualties.
    Gunners Pearson and Vince killed in action crossing Escaut Canal.
    Major JA Sullivan attached pending posting

    19th September – 1315 – Regimetn engaged Fire Plan in support of attack by 4 Welch.

    20th September – 0700 – Recce Party moved to new area 3199 over the Dutch border.
    Location: Near Luyksgestel 313997
    0800 – Regiment moved and deployed in area 313997 crossing Meuse L’Escaut Canal into Holland.

    21st September – 0400 – Regiment moved with 158 Brigade carrying 1/5th Welch to area near Steensel 327108. Deployed at Hees 325108 having arrived at 0615 hours.
    Location: Hees 326108
    Fired number of Mike Targets. Restriction in ammunition expenditure.
    2nd Lieutenant RA Williams posted in from Depot RA via 54 RHU.

    Location:Hoogeloon 282130
    22nd to 30th September – 0700 – Regiment moved to Hoogeloon by Batteries. Move completed by 1300 hours.
    Our infantry holding Westelbeers 2518, Netersel 2414 Bladel 2410.
    Numerous enemy counter attacks were repelled by quick concentrations.
    Ammunition expenditure restrictued to 30 rounds per gun per day. Considerable enemy shelling experienced in area Netersel.

    25th September – Sergeant Champion received Shrapnel Wounds. Evacuated and struck off Strength.
    Regiment Strength approximately (Other Ranks 610) (Officers 37) all the month
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