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    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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE1Busy day firing at GERMAN counter-attacks and in particular
    supporting 24 Lancers.
    Many HF tasks during night.
    2Church service held on gun position in morning.
    HF tasks fired PM and during night.
    3Fire plan fired at 1817 hours in support of recce force by
    11 RSF at JUVIGNY.
    48 Armd Bde withdrawn to rest and re-equip.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.
    5Counter Battery fire plan taken on at 1800 hours.
    6GOC 30 Corps visits Regiment AM. Inspects gun positions.
    Page 2 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    6431 Battery back in action 2000 hours.
    413 Battery to go to 'B' Echelon area to rest, re-equipt and carry
    out overhauls of equipment.
    7Local OP at Pt 103 carries out anti-mortar shoot in conjuction
    with OP of Flash-spotting Battery. Otherwise little firing
    during day or night.
    8A quite day with little firing.
    Commanding Officer inspects MT in afternoon.
    511 Battery go to 'B' Echelon area for rest and refit.
    9FOOs from 413 Battery join SRY for attack on HOTTOT.
    Little firing by day or night.
    10A quite day. Fire plan fired in morning in support of foray
    by 146 InfBde.
    511 Battery back in action 2200 hours.
    11Regiment takes part in Fire Plan in support of 231 InfBde
    Page 3 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE11attack on HOTTOT in morning.
    Regiment in direct support SRY.
    12Comparative calibration by Air OP in afternoon; 413 Battery
    13Anti-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.
    141400413 Battery shoot dow ME 109 over their gun position. Other-
    wise nothing to report.
    15Fire plan to "soften up" JUVIGNY - VENDES" area taken on in
    16Fire plans engaged throughout day in support of 59 Div attack.
    Barrage "Woodpecker" not engaged. "Partridge" 'H' Hour 1730.
    Page 4 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    16Extensive HF programme evening and night.
    17Regiment under command 8 ArmdBde 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"
    18Wireless 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.
    19Enemy Battery engaged; believed one gun destroyed.
    20One shell landed RHQ area about 2000 hours.
    Page 5 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE20Targets engaged by OPs during day. Mostly enemy infantry
    21Enemy 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.
    220600Enemy mortars and AFVs engaged at request 12 KRRC.
    1630Enemy OP successfully engaged by 511 Battery.
    1940Enemy infantry engaged by 413 OP. Casualties caused.
    23Enemy mortars and SP guns engaged during day, but results
    2050413 Battery OP engaged enemy infantry as M Target and caused
    240100Enemy MT moving in area BRIQUESSARD village was engaged by 511.
    Page 6 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE240100OP and fires were started.
    0400More movement reported in same area, but no results observed after engagement.
    0845Shells from 105 and 150 mm guns landed in RHQ and 511 Battery areas; 511 Battery
    suffered two casualties.
    1720413 Battery engaged enemy infantry with airburst and caused casualties.
    2245Fire plan engaged in support Coy attack by 12 KRRC. Targets registered by Air OP.
    250050Enemy MT heard in areas 739597 and 740596 and engaged by whole Regiment.
    0200Enemy infantry engaged at 740590 by 413 Battery OP and dispersed with casualties.
    0450431 and 511 Batteries fired on enemy positions at 747601, 752602 and 745602,
    where enemy activity had been reported.
    0855511 Battery OP engaged enemy SP gun at 748589 and forced it to withdraw.
    1100SP gun re-appeared at 756585. Again engaged and driven off.
    1330Enemy infantry at 769579 engaged and casualties inflicted.
    260610Engaged SP at 751584. SP moved to 788585
    0745Troop shoot on enemy vehicles at 785604. Results not observed.
    0755SP observed at 75835768
    Page 7 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE260930Battery target - enemy Infantry at 76055814 engaged. Casualties caused.
    1020Target 76055814 repeated with satisfactory results.
    HF fire put down during the afternoon on enemy cookhouse 738596 - no brew up
    1830Engaged fired plan 'MOONSHINE' as follows:- 1 Bty - enemy mortar posn744594;
    1 Bty - enemy mortar posn734593; 1 Bty - enemy cookhouse 738596; 12 KRRC
    (Mortars) A/Tk HQ at 73905990; 61 Recce (Mortars) MGposn at 73605964. At
    conclusion propaganda shells - one each Polish and German - fired.
    270615SP gun at 740598 engaged by 431 Battery.
    Regiment moved to new location SOUTH of LA BUTTE at 1030 hr. RHQ established
    744692; 413 Bty746689; 431 Bty746687; 511 Bty remains old location. OPs
    remain as before.
    1945431 Battery OP reported large enemy convoy moving WEST along road at 782565, and
    shot AGRA on to target.
    2120413 Battery reported enemy SP at 817587 and engaged with 511 Battery.
    Propaganda shells fired at last light by 511 Battery.
    Page 8 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    FRANCE280400511 Battery position shelled - no casualties.
    1315One Troop 413 Battery engaged enemy Infantry in area 761583.
    1500D Troop 431 Battery engaged active enemy mortars at 745604.
    1725A Troop 413 Battery engaged enemy in house at 758585 and bolted them.
    1930413 Battery destroyed enemy vehicle at 736596.
    2020Considerable enemy MT and half-tracks reported by 413 Battery OP at 812562.
    Propaganda shells fired at last light
    29No 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.
    30Regiment takes part in Operation 'BLUECOAT' in support 50 Div for first part of
    Operation and 43 Div, and in close support 8 ArmdBde. Extensive HF tasks
    FOOs with 4/7 DGs, 13/18 Hussars and Sherwood Rangers.
    31Operation 'BLUECOAT' continues. Again extensive HF tasks fired throughout day.