Irish Guards Group / Guards Armoured Division, Aalst, nr Eindhoven, 18 September 1944

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    War Diary, 2nd Armoured Battalion IRISH GUARDS

    1944 September 18
    The Bns were ready to move behind HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY Squadron, but were delayed until 10.00hrs by the report of one JAGD PANTHER and 2 Self Propelled guns covering the road to AALST. We rang up the Station Master there and he confirmed their presence by the church.

    The leading Squadron (No. 2) pushed on and saw a Self-Propelled gun just S of AALST which Lance Serjeant COWAN immediately knocked out. NORTH of AALST however the HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY REGT were held up by four 88s covering the main road bridge over RIVER BOMMEL and reconnaissance and infantry holding houses on a side road to the left of the main road. A map found on the knocked out Self-Propelled Gun confirmed these positions, and heavy artillery fire was brought down on them. The crews, however, showed more spirit than their comrades of yesterday and manned their guns, firing at any tank that edged too far forward. Near the guns Spandau teams behind a concrete wall kept off the infantry.

    No. 1 Company and No. 1 Squadron were ordered to try a circling movement on the left to get in behind the enemy defences and seize the bridge on the side road. The afternoon was passed in the reconnaissance and in No. 2 Squadron exchanging shots with the 88s.

    The Divisional and Brigade Commanders visited Battalion HQ to find out the situation and give further orders. The AMERICAN AIRBORNE TROOPS were now in control of most of EINDHOVEN and the GRENADIER GUARDS who had tried to loop well to our left, had been unable to get on owing to the dykes and bad bridges. We discovered that the telephone system was still working and though we could not get anyone in EINDHOVEN, Major J.S.O. HASLEWOOD had a long conversation with an AMERICAN MAJOR at ZON who informed us that the bridge was blown but the approaches easy for rebuilding.

    A prisoner was captured by No. 1 Squadron from the 88 Battery who said his friends had been ordered to withdraw and had done so gladly a short while before. He himself had been left behind in the general scramble. The Divisional Commander, therefore, ordered us to advance and we met no further opposition. The 88s were found deserted and pitted with shrapnel.

    We entered EINDHOVEN cheered by the Dutch and Americans alke. A very satisfactory reception. By 20.00hrs we were harboured by the side of the main road at ZON with two Troops out in support of the bridgehead guards. Orders were received from Brigade to continue the advance next morning, but in reserved behind the GRENADIER GUARDS.


    War Diary, 3rd Battalion IRISH GUARDS
    1944 September 18
    After a quiet night, we were due to resume the advance early, but were delayed by the infantry battalion of 50 DIVISION which was to take over from us and did not arrive until about 09:00 hrs.

    However, we got under way again and advanced along the Centre Line as far as AALST where again we encountered a nest of A Tk and MG posts in concrete emplacements supported by infantry.

    Unfortunately, owing to bad weather, we were unable to obtain air support but the gunners did good work and at 17:00 hours the enemy decided to withdraw after destroying their weapons, and we were able to have a clear run through EINDHOVEN 4219 to the WILHELMINA Canal. Here we found troops of a U.S. AIRBORNE DIVISION who were guarding the canal where the Germans had blown the bridge. The Bn group accordingly harboured the night SOUTH of the canal, during which time an excellent bridge was constructed by the REs.
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  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD guards/start/48

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  4. dbf

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    'Now' photos are never very thrilling, this one isn't even recognisable. But the empty building lot on the right of the photo is right next to house in the previous post.
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  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    I wasn't just pleased to find a location for these images, even though it took a while. It was also great to be able to recognise one person in the photo, seated highest, in the turret.

    Serjeant Samuel McComish, MM from Belfast was one of my father's good friends. He is also featured in a video clip when he was POW for a few days from the 2nd April 1945, and before the GAD overran the place where he was being held. McComish is seen at the end of the clip shaking hands with the Coldstream Guardsman.

    2721063 War Substantive Sergeant Samuel McCOMISH, 2nd Battalion IRISH GUARDS
    5th Guards Brigade, Guards Armoured Division, 30 Corps

    This Non-Commissioned Officer has shown a consistently high quality of leadership. In NORMANDY, on 3 August 1944, Sergeant McCOMISH was in command of a troop watching the rear of the Battalion position. A counter-attack delivered by tanks and infantry destroyed his other two tanks. Although completely exposed, Sergeant McCOMISH fought this tank and by accurate High Explosive fire kept the enemy infantry from concentrating and closing in. For three hours this continued, until the enemy withdrew.

    At AALST in HOLLAND, on 18 September, 1944, when the Squadron in which Sergeant McCOMISH commanded a troop was held up by Anti-Tank guns, he led his tanks round the left flank and engaged them with great success, knocking out two in co-operation with the gunner O.P.

    In April 1945, after crossing the RHINE, Sergeant McCOMISH was Troop Sergeant of a troop sent to try and get round the flank of the enemy holding a position at GILDEHAUS. His Troop Leader was seriously wounded, and Sergeant McCOMISH immediately moved his tank forward into an exposed position from which he could cover his Troop Leader and allow him to be evacuated. He did this under heavy fire from a S.P. and two Anti-tank guns, and although his tank was almost immediately exhausted all his ammunition. Sergeant McCOMISH then covered his crew while they withdrew, and did not withdraw himself until they had all got back.

    His determination and pugnacity throughout the campaign in EUROPE have been outstanding.

    Recommended for Periodic M.M.

    LG 24 Jan 1946


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  6. dbf

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    . 6ac32714-f0ca-4a19-b961-e57976c7adaf_zpse10dbdc4.jpg
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  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD guards/start/20

    Now photo, as in post below
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    Now, as in next post
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    dbf Moderatrix MOD guards


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    dbf Moderatrix MOD guards


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  17. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Some lovely then and nows Diane. Thank you for posting.

  18. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks for commenting Lesley.

    For those with an interest in Irish Guards and GAD, the full album is worth a look. Plenty of good images of faces.
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Great Stuff ...As ever, shame there's none of your father though, I think I'd be rather chuffed knowing he was somewhere near by if one of his mates are in the pictures.
  20. borneo72

    borneo72 Junior Member

    Lovely comparison photo's. Must have taken some time and effort to compile.


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