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    War Diary: 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: August 1944

    The 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment August 1944 war diary starts with the unit moving from the leaguer area at Ellon and advancing through Normandy to Louviers

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/865

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    Page 1 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 6F/41 Aug0800Regt moved from leaguer area ELLON to leaguer area 725595 arriving at 1200 hrs
    1/50,0001500Regt moved behind 131 Bde through CAUMONT 705594 and then SE. through
    2200CAHAGNES 732566 and on to ROBIN X Rds 758533 where they leaguered for the night.
    Sheet 7F/32 Aug0530"B" Sqn adv East to the area SAUQUES775520 where determined opposition was
    1/50,0001100encountered: there was much A.P. fire and mortaring and at about 1100 hrs
    "B" Sqn had to withdraw, It was then decided to put in a small set piece attack
    1700with Artillery and Inf cooperation. This started at 1700 hrs and a feature
    2000N of SAUQUES at 780526 was taken by C Sqn. The tanks remained in this
    position during the night, while the rest of the Regiment leaguered at
    2300"ROBIN" X Rds 758533.
    3 "0530Reveille. 5 R Tks took over from the Unit in the Area SAUQUES and continued
    to push on East against determined opposition, The Regiment remained in reserve
    at "ROBIN" X Rds with "B" Sqn in the area 761524 maintaining observation to
    the S.W. The day passed quietly.
    2300Regiment leaguered in same area as previous night.
    Page 2 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 7F/3 1/50,0004 Aug0530Reveille. Regiment remained in reserve at "ROBIN" X Rds. 5 D.Gs made some
    progress to the East around HERMILLY 7954 and good progress was made by
    43 Div towards ONDEFONTAINE 7848. There were indications that the enemy
    was pulling out.
    2300Leaguer in the same area as previous night.
    5 Aug0530Reveille. The enemy was thought to have pulled right out to the East and
    22 Armd Bde was to follow up in the direction of AUNAY SUR ODON 8251.
    1000The Regt moved from "ROBIN" X Rds to LA POSTE 7956 and thence through
    8649, to the Ridge BUTTE DE LA RUEKKE in Squares 8548 and 8648. A &.B. Sqns
    took up positions on this ridge where they remained for the night
    2300RHQ and C Sqn leaguered at 858495. There had been no contact during the day,
    6 Aug0530Reveille When the morning mist lifted, A & B Sqns pushed on, A Sqn to the
    1200X Rds L'ACCARD 872458 and B Sqn to the area of the village CAMPANDRE VALCONGRAIN.
    861461. There was very heavy mortaring of both these possitions and also of
    Page 3 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 7F/36 Aug1200the road, from VALLEE 8847 Westwards. RHQ was at 868475. No further
    1/50,000progress was made and the Sqns stayed in position for the rest of the day.
    2300RHQ leaguered with the 1/7 Queens RHQ at 868475.
    7 Aug.0530Reveille. The plan for today was for 22 Armd Bde with 8 H leading, to push
    on S towards CONDE SUR NOIREAU. The Unit remained in position as on the
    previous day as a firm base, and were shelled and mortared intermittently
    all day. 8 H encountered heavy opposition and could only progress to the
    area of CAUVILLE 8742.
    2200Orders were received for 22 Armd Bde to pull out at first light on the
    following day for a rest.
    2300Leaguer as for previous night,
    8 Aug0500Reveille,
    0590Unit moved through CAMPANDRE VALCONGRAIN 8646 and ROUCAMPS 8347 to rest
    area N. of MT. PINCON835465 where it arrived at 1000hrs,
    Remainder of day spent on maintenance.
    Page 4 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 7F/39 Aug0600Reveille. Normal Field Routine. Maintanance and refitting.
    1/50,00010 "0600Reveille. Nomal Field Routine.
    11 "1000Unit was visited by Lt Gen HORROCKS, Comd 30 Corps, who talked to officers
    and senior NCOs on the general situation in FRANCE. He said that it was
    highly encouraging.
    12 "0600Reveille. Normal Field Routine.
    1400Unit was visited by the new Bde Comd, Brigadier MACKESON who talked to each
    Sqn in turn on the War Situation.
    13 "0600Reveille. Normal Field Routine.
    14 "0600Reveille. Normal Field Routine, Orders were received that the Unit was to
    go under Comd 1 Cdn Corps, and to move on the following day to the area East
    of CAEN.
    Sheet 7F/315 "0600Reveille,
    and 7F/41000Unit moved from MT PINCON to X Rds. L' ACCARD 871458, VALLEE 8747 ST HONORINE
    2000DUE FAY 9356, LARE LAVILLE 0157, CINTHEAUX 0754 to a leaguer area at 105545
    where it arrived 2000 hrs.
    Page 5 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 7F/416 Aug0600Reveille, Unit stayed all day at leaguer area ST. SYLVAIN, Normal Field Routine.
    17 "0600Reveille, Normal Field Routine Lt Col E. H. GIBBON D.S.O. left the Regiment
    and Lt Col, P.R.C. HOBART M.C. assumed Comd.
    Commanding Officer :- Lt Col, P.R.C. HOBART M.C.
    18 "0600Reveille.
    1400Regiment moved East through MAIZIERES 1749, ERNES 1949 to 215493, where it
    arrived at 2100 hrs.
    2200Leaguered for the night at 215493.
    19 "0600Reveille.
    1400Regiment moved from leaguer area ST PIERRE SUR DIVES to a leaguer
    1800area at CAREL260478, arriving at 1800 hrs. All vehicles in the area were
    continuously and effectively straffed by RAF planes during the afternoon,
    despite all attempts to stop them through higher formations,
    2300Bombing attack by G.A.F. Many anti personnel bombs dropped in the leaguer
    area, causing a number of casualties.
    Page 6 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 7F/420 Aug0800Regiment moved from CAREL to BOISSEY 3275 arriving at 1100 hrs.
    1400Regiment moved on, as 131 Bde (Queen's) Bde were pushing on steadily towards
    1530Arrived at LIVAROT. 4672 and received orders to push on East as far as
    possible before night.
    Sheet 8F/31600Advanced from LIVAROT, "A" Sqn leading. Regiment followed 5 R Tk to
    X Rds 509754 and then went N to Pt 182. 495794. Sqns found very little
    opposition and carried on after dark to reach the objective about midnight.
    Sheet 8F/121 Aug0500Reveille. "CW Sqn now pushed on to the area S.MICHEL DE LA LIEUE at 5284,
    which they reached about 1200 hrs. Considerable damage was inflicted on the
    1400enemy. B Sqn were then ordered to take the high ground in Sq 5585 and to
    secure crossings over the stream. They pushed on to the high ground but could
    get no further owing to much A/T fire and they stayed on the high ground for
    the night,
    2300A & C Sqns leaguered on either side of the rd., in sq. 5183.
    Page 7 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 8F/122 Aug"C" Sqn was ordered to push up through the town of LISIEUX and try to get
    on to the high on the E Side in Sq. 5488. This operation was not a
    success, as the town was far from clear. C Sqn managed to got to the Start
    Line, the N - S rd., running through 537880, but after some casualties, they
    came back to their previous position and the situation remained as before.
    23 AugThe plan was now for the 57 (Highland) Div. who were pushing into LISIEUX from
    the N, to clear the town which they were to do by 0700 hrs. A &.C Sqns then
    were to push up through the town. to the high ground to the E.
    0900This operation started, and was successful. The tanks established themselves
    around 545880 and 543874 with B. Sqn remaining on the ridge at 535842.
    LISIEUX was still not clear all day however, and there were many. M.G. posts
    and snipers there,
    2200There were indications that the enemy withdrawing and the Squadrons
    remained in position all night. they
    Page 8 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 8F/124 Aug0600Reveille. All indications were that the enemy had pulled out of LISIEUX.
    0700RHQ moved forward to 534865.
    100022 Armd Bde were ordered to follow up the enemy as fast as possible. 5 D.G.
    were to lead the advance and 1 Tks to follow the Bde, in Reserve.
    1500Regiment moved through LISIEUX and East along the main road to X Rds 703863
    where it turned N through ST AUBIN DE SCELLON 716890, LE FAVRIL 759900,
    Sheet 8F/2GIVERVILLE 787912 to area NOTRE DAME D'EPINE 820908 where leaguered
    for the night,
    25 Aug0530Reveille,
    1400B Sqn was ordered to the area N of ST GEORGES DU VIEVRE, and around LE QUESNEY
    840000 some quite determined opposition was encountered, thought to be from the same
    SS troops as were around LISIEUX.
    1800After sustaining some casualties, B Sqn was ordered to pull out S from the
    thickly wooded area in which they were operating and maintain observation from
    the area ST PIERRE DES IFS 835988.
    Page 9 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 8F/225 Aug2200B Sqn leaguered in ST GEORGE DU VIEVRE 8096. Remainder of the Regiment
    leaguered in the same area as previous night,
    During the night 1 R Tks was put u/c 131 (Queen's) Bde and the plan was to
    push on over the R. RISLE to ROUTOT 9210.
    26 Aug0600Reveille
    Sheet 8F/6???0830Unit moved to cross R. RISLE at PONT AUTHOU 8895, thence to 928962. At 1300 hrs
    Regt was ordered to push through GLOS SUR RISLE 8798, MONTFORT SUR RISLE 8601,
    and thence to cut rds leading E from ROUTOT. Opposition was encountered by
    C Sqn in area 8807 and A Sqn which moved around to the East was also
    held up. A & C Sqns leaguered in battle posns, RHQ and B Sqn area 8806.
    27 AugFighting all day in the area SW of ROUTOT. Opposition was determined and
    casualties fairly heavy.
    2200At nightfall, the Sqn Leaguers were all N of the main lateral road and one troop
    of B Sqn had reached the road running E from ROUTOT at 910105.
    There were indications that the enemy was pulling but.
    Page 10 of 10
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Sheet 8E/628 Aug0515Reveilles
    0530At first light the Sqns moved out to their positions of the previous night
    and it became evident that the enemy had pulled out. The Sqns remained in
    position during the day and patrols reported the country clear as far N as
    the edge of LA FORET DE BROTONNE.
    1500The Regiment began to pull out for a short rest in the area 783922 Sh. 8F/1.
    2000Move completed and maintenance in progress.
    Sheet 8F/429 Aug0600Reveille. - Maintenance continued. Orders received to move during the afternoon,
    1430Regiment moved to the village of BOSLON 0778 arriving at 2000 hrs and there
    leaguered for the night.
    30 Aug0600Reveille. Maintenance and Normal Field Routine, Plans were being made for
    a long move across the SEINE and the SOMME Rivers. These went forward all
    day and orders were issued by the C.O. as 2300 hrs. The tanks were to carry
    40 gallons of tinned petrol on the engine covers. Move to start at 0530 hrs
    Sheet No 7. 250,000 ROUEN-PARIS31 Aug0530Regiment moved through LOUVIERS 28 - LYON LA FORET 40 to W of GOURNAY 61.