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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
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 6F/4 1 Aug 0800 Regt moved from leaguer area ELLON to leaguer area 725595 arriving at 1200 hrs
1/50,000 1500 Regt moved behind 131 Bde through CAUMONT 705594 and then SE. through
2200 CAHAGNES 732566 and on to ROBIN X Rds 758533 where they leaguered for the night.
Sheet 7F/3 2 Aug 0530 "B" Sqn adv East to the area SAUQUES 775520 where determined opposition was
1/50,000 1100 encountered: 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
1700 with Artillery and Inf cooperation. This started at 1700 hrs and a feature
2000 N 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 " 0530 Reveille. 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.
2300 Regiment leaguered in same area as previous night.
Page 2 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 7F/3 1/50,000 4 Aug 0530 Reveille. 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.
2300 Leaguer in the same area as previous night.
5 Aug 0530 Reveille. 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.
1000 The 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
2300 RHQ and C Sqn leaguered at 858495. There had been no contact during the day,
6 Aug 0530 Reveille When the morning mist lifted, A & B Sqns pushed on, A Sqn to the
1200 X 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
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 7F/3 6 Aug 1200 the road, from VALLEE 8847 Westwards. RHQ was at 868475. No further
1/50,000 progress was made and the Sqns stayed in position for the rest of the day.
2300 RHQ leaguered with the 1/7 Queens RHQ at 868475.
7 Aug. 0530 Reveille. 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.
2200 Orders were received for 22 Armd Bde to pull out at first light on the
following day for a rest.
2300 Leaguer as for previous night,
8 Aug 0500 Reveille,
0590 Unit moved through CAMPANDRE VALCONGRAIN 8646 and ROUCAMPS 8347 to rest
area N. of MT. PINCON 835465 where it arrived at 1000hrs,
Remainder of day spent on maintenance.
Page 4 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 7F/3 9 Aug 0600 Reveille. Normal Field Routine. Maintanance and refitting.
1/50,000 10 " 0600 Reveille. Nomal Field Routine.
11 " 1000 Unit 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 " 0600 Reveille. Normal Field Routine.
1400 Unit was visited by the new Bde Comd, Brigadier MACKESON who talked to each
Sqn in turn on the War Situation.
13 " 0600 Reveille. Normal Field Routine.
14 " 0600 Reveille. 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/3 15 " 0600 Reveille,
and 7F/4 1000 Unit moved from MT PINCON to X Rds. L' ACCARD 871458, VALLEE 8747 ST HONORINE
2000 DUE FAY 9356, LARE LAVILLE 0157, CINTHEAUX 0754 to a leaguer area at 105545
where it arrived 2000 hrs.
Page 5 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 7F/4 16 Aug 0600 Reveille, Unit stayed all day at leaguer area ST. SYLVAIN, Normal Field Routine.
17 " 0600 Reveille, 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 " 0600 Reveille.
1400 Regiment moved East through MAIZIERES 1749, ERNES 1949 to 215493, where it
arrived at 2100 hrs.
2200 Leaguered for the night at 215493.
19 " 0600 Reveille.
1400 Regiment moved from leaguer area ST PIERRE SUR DIVES to a leaguer
1800 area at CAREL 260478, 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,
2300 Bombing attack by G.A.F. Many anti personnel bombs dropped in the leaguer
area, causing a number of casualties.
Page 6 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 7F/4 20 Aug 0800 Regiment moved from CAREL to BOISSEY 3275 arriving at 1100 hrs.
1400 Regiment moved on, as 131 Bde (Queen's) Bde were pushing on steadily towards
1530 Arrived at LIVAROT. 4672 and received orders to push on East as far as
possible before night.
Sheet 8F/3 1600 Advanced 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/1 21 Aug 0500 Reveille. "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
1400 enemy. 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,
2300 A & C Sqns leaguered on either side of the rd., in sq. 5183.
Page 7 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 8F/1 22 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 Aug The 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.
0900 This 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,
2200 There were indications that the enemy withdrawing and the Squadrons
remained in position all night. they
Page 8 of 10
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 8F/1 24 Aug 0600 Reveille. All indications were that the enemy had pulled out of LISIEUX.
0700 RHQ moved forward to 534865.
1000 22 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.
1500 Regiment 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/2 GIVERVILLE 787912 to area NOTRE DAME D'EPINE 820908 where leaguered
for the night,
25 Aug 0530 Reveille,
1400 B 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.
1800 After 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
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 8F/2 25 Aug 2200 B 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 Aug 0600 Reveille
Sheet 8F/6??? 0830 Unit 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 Aug Fighting all day in the area SW of ROUTOT. Opposition was determined and
casualties fairly heavy.
2200 At 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
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
Sheet 8E/6 28 Aug 0515 Reveilles
0530 At 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
1500 The Regiment began to pull out for a short rest in the area 783922 Sh. 8F/1.
2000 Move completed and maintenance in progress.
Sheet 8F/4 29 Aug 0600 Reveille. - Maintenance continued. Orders received to move during the afternoon,
1430 Regiment moved to the village of BOSLON 0778 arriving at 2000 hrs and there
leaguered for the night.
30 Aug 0600 Reveille. 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-PARIS 31 Aug 0530 Regiment moved through LOUVIERS 28 - LYON LA FORET 40 to W of GOURNAY 61.