War Diary: 147th Essex Yeomanry

Month and year: July 1944

The July 1944 War Diary of the 147th Essex Yeomanry covers the units fighting in Normandy engaging SP guns, enemy aircraft and infantry.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/995

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Page 1 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 1 Busy day firing at GERMAN counter-attacks and in particular
supporting 24 Lancers.
Many HF tasks during night.
2 Church service held on gun position in morning.
HF tasks fired PM and during night.
3 Fire plan fired at 1817 hours in support of recce force by
4 8 Armd Bde withdrawn to rest and re-equip.
Solitary ME 109 attacks F Troop gun position about 1400 hrs.
One SP equipment holed in two places; fighting efficiency
341 Battery go to 'B' Echelon area for equipment, overhauls and
maintenance - Battery out of action wef 2000 hours.
5 Counter Battery fire plan taken on at 1800 hours.
6 GOC 30 Corps visits Regiment AM. Inspects gun positions.
Page 2 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
6 431 Battery back in action 2000 hours.
413 Battery to go to 'B' Echelon area to rest, re-equipt and carry
out overhauls of equipment.
7 Local OP at Pt 103 carries out anti-mortar shoot in conjuction
with OP of Flash-spotting Battery. Otherwise little firing
during day or night.
8 A quite day with little firing.
Commanding Officer inspects MT in afternoon.
511 Battery go to 'B' Echelon area for rest and refit.
9 FOOs from 413 Battery join SRY for attack on HOTTOT.
Little firing by day or night.
10 A quite day. Fire plan fired in morning in support of foray
by 146 Inf Bde.
511 Battery back in action 2200 hours.
11 Regiment takes part in Fire Plan in support of 231 Inf Bde
Page 3 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 11 attack on HOTTOT in morning.
Regiment in direct support SRY.
12 Comparative calibration by Air OP in afternoon; 413 Battery
13 Anti-mortar shoot conducted by Air OP in the morning.
Gun position shelled by German HF about 1400 hours - no
Comparative calibration completed pm with assistance of Air OP.
14 1400 413 Battery shoot dow ME 109 over their gun position. Other-
wise nothing to report.
15 Fire plan to "soften up" JUVIGNY - VENDES" area taken on in
16 Fire plans engaged throughout day in support of 59 Div attack.
Barrage "Woodpecker" not engaged. "Partridge" 'H' Hour 1730.
Page 4 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
16 Extensive HF programme evening and night.
17 Regiment under command 8 Armd Bde as from 0900 hours.
RHQ moved to area 740671 pm. In position by 1500 hours.
Guns reported in action in new area by 2200 hours.
Wireless to be used as little as possible.
OPs in observation, One from each Battery.
413 Battery in support 61 Recce Regt;
431 Battery in support 12 KRRC;
511 Battery in support 2 Glosters.
appx "B"
18 Wireless communication to be kept to a minimum.
One SP gun knocked out by 413 Battery after shelling 8 Armd
Bde HQ.
LO maintained at 50 (N) Div RA.
19 Enemy Battery engaged; believed one gun destroyed.
20 One shell landed RHQ area about 2000 hours.
Page 5 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 20 Targets engaged by OPs during day. Mostly enemy infantry
21 Enemy positions engaged during day.
Shells landed RHQ area 0700 hours. No damage or casualties.
Heavy rain during day - Air OP unable to engage enemy battery
responsible. Engaged by AGRA under order CBO pm. No
further trouble.
22 0600 Enemy mortars and AFVs engaged at request 12 KRRC.
1630 Enemy OP successfully engaged by 511 Battery.
1940 Enemy infantry engaged by 413 OP. Casualties caused.
23 Enemy mortars and SP guns engaged during day, but results
2050 413 Battery OP engaged enemy infantry as M Target and caused
24 0100 Enemy MT moving in area BRIQUESSARD village was engaged by 511.
Page 6 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 24 0100 OP and fires were started.
0400 More movement reported in same area, but no results observed after engagement.
0845 Shells from 105 and 150 mm guns landed in RHQ and 511 Battery areas; 511 Battery
suffered two casualties.
1720 413 Battery engaged enemy infantry with airburst and caused casualties.
2245 Fire plan engaged in support Coy attack by 12 KRRC. Targets registered by Air OP.
25 0050 Enemy MT heard in areas 739597 and 740596 and engaged by whole Regiment.
0200 Enemy infantry engaged at 740590 by 413 Battery OP and dispersed with casualties.
0450 431 and 511 Batteries fired on enemy positions at 747601, 752602 and 745602,
where enemy activity had been reported.
0855 511 Battery OP engaged enemy SP gun at 748589 and forced it to withdraw.
1100 SP gun re-appeared at 756585. Again engaged and driven off.
1330 Enemy infantry at 769579 engaged and casualties inflicted.
26 0610 Engaged SP at 751584. SP moved to 788585
0745 Troop shoot on enemy vehicles at 785604. Results not observed.
0755 SP observed at 75835768
Page 7 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 26 0930 Battery target - enemy Infantry at 76055814 engaged. Casualties caused.
1020 Target 76055814 repeated with satisfactory results.
HF fire put down during the afternoon on enemy cookhouse 738596 - no brew up
1830 Engaged fired plan 'MOONSHINE' as follows:- 1 Bty - enemy mortar posn 744594;
1 Bty - enemy mortar posn 734593; 1 Bty - enemy cookhouse 738596; 12 KRRC
(Mortars) A/Tk HQ at 73905990; 61 Recce (Mortars) MG posn at 73605964. At
conclusion propaganda shells - one each Polish and German - fired.
27 0615 SP gun at 740598 engaged by 431 Battery.
Regiment moved to new location SOUTH of LA BUTTE at 1030 hr. RHQ established
744692; 413 Bty 746689; 431 Bty 746687; 511 Bty remains old location. OPs
remain as before.
1945 431 Battery OP reported large enemy convoy moving WEST along road at 782565, and
shot AGRA on to target.
2120 413 Battery reported enemy SP at 817587 and engaged with 511 Battery.
Propaganda shells fired at last light by 511 Battery.
Page 8 of 8
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
FRANCE 28 0400 511 Battery position shelled - no casualties.
1315 One Troop 413 Battery engaged enemy Infantry in area 761583.
1500 D Troop 431 Battery engaged active enemy mortars at 745604.
1725 A Troop 413 Battery engaged enemy in house at 758585 and bolted them.
1930 413 Battery destroyed enemy vehicle at 736596.
2020 Considerable enemy MT and half-tracks reported by 413 Battery OP at 812562.
Propaganda shells fired at last light
29 No shooting. Moved to 733624. Came under command 43 Div.
One gun of 413 Battery receives direct hit from enemy artillery during night -
out of action. Two casualties to detachment.
30 Regiment takes part in Operation 'BLUECOAT' in support 50 Div for first part of
Operation and 43 Div, and in close support 8 Armd Bde. Extensive HF tasks
FOOs with 4/7 DGs, 13/18 Hussars and Sherwood Rangers.
31 Operation 'BLUECOAT' continues. Again extensive HF tasks fired throughout day.