View Map
Map here
Overlay transparency


    War Diary: 3rd Bn Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: June 1944

    The 3rd Bn Royal Tank Regiment June 1944 war diary covers the units disembarkation at JUNO beach and their advance inland and actions in the area around Colleville.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/866

    All diaries for this unit:

    Please use the contact us page to report any errors or inaccuracies.

    Viewing map locations

    Many of the location in this diary have been geocoded, these locations are highlighted clicking on them will display them on a map. Many location also have historical maps and aerial photographs of the area available.

    « Return to war diaries

    Page 1 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    2nd 3rd1000-130060 O.Rs went to RMC Sandhurst to watch Passing out parade
    They were also shown round the OCTU Instructional Bldgs.
    5th0930Conference held by C.O. Following attended Capt Dixon,
    Major Johnson, Capt Atkins and Capt Dear - Agenda -
    Admn in the Field - Rec to LAD area.
    1400Major Johnson and Gapt Balharrie attended conference at Bde
    re Admn in the Field.
    All day - Gas chamber test for all ranks.
    6th0915C.O. attended conference at Bde.
    0930Film Show for 300 O.Rs "Battle of Britain" and Tunisian
    7th0930Maj Gen. G.P.B. Roberts GOC 11 Armd Div addressed all
    Officers - General situation in France - Div roles.
    After briefing - O.C. Adv party - Major H.I. Upcott-Gill
    received trace, routes ect. to Div Concentration Area
    for use on disembarkation.
    1200Capt Hamill reported to HQ Aldershot Dist and
    returned with orders for move of Light party to Marshalling
    Area on 8 June.
    1500Unit conference held on the submission of returns in the
    field - Maj Johnson, Capts Dixon & Dingwall, Morris, Dear
    Atkins, Balharrie. Lts Maloney, Hehir, Cpl Clark, Sgt
    8th0530Lt Party under Comd Capt Dixon left for Marshalling Area.Appx A.
    1200Orders received from Aldis for move of Adv Party on 9 Jun.
    1900Orders received from SECO that move of Adv Party was
    postponed 24 hours.
    Page 2 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Aldershot9th1000Orders received from SECO move of Adv. Party postponed
    for 24 hours.
    1200Capt Hamill sent to Aldis for move orders. Returned with
    move orders for Main Party to move 10 June.
    1400Sqn Comds conference - Adm - Order of March.
    1730C.O. addressed all officers on tactics and general points
    for operations.
    2300Message received from Bde that move of Main Party was
    postponed 24 hours.
    10th1730Adv Party moved to marshalling Area under Comd Major H.L.Appx B
    11th0815Main Party moved under Comd Major Burr to Marshalling Area,Appx C
    C.O. & Adlt went ahead to RCRP.
    1130Main Party divided into Craft Loads and allotted to Camps
    by Mov Control.
    0855141300RHQ arrived at Camp A 11.
    1"-1 mile 1321800C.O. visited Camps A2 and A13 where remainder of Main pty
    were located.
    Most drivers and Comds reported with badly inflamed eyes
    due to dusty conditions of roads.
    12thStowage of vehs and general preparation for embarkation
    and Stage II waterproofing carried out.
    13th1200C.O. and I.O. went to Emb Area H.Q.
    14th1700C.O. and Adjt visited Emb Area H.Q. C.O. informed Unit Serials
    in camp. All would move in two or three hours.
    2030RHQ moved from Camp A 11 to Embarkation Area.
    Gosport2230Arrived Emb Area - Stage III waterproofing practically
    15th0800RFQ moved from Emb Area to "Hards" for embarkation.
    Stokes Bay0830RHQ embarked on LCT. Total load 4 Sherman Vs 1 Sherman
    Page 3 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Stokes Bay15th0900LCT anchored. Sea calm. Sun shining.
    1900LCT left anchorage and joined convoy.
    Remainder of Main Party embarked from PORTSMOUTH Area
    during the day.
    JUNO Beach16th0900RHQ disembarked.
    918768 1/50.000/ 7F11200RHQ arrived in Div Con Area. Recce Tp AA Tp and 5 tanks
    of A Sgn. Lt Party and Adv Party had already arrived.
    Bn in open leaguer round edge of hedges and orchards.
    F Ech - Veh cooking. A1 & A Ech - Cookhouses.
    A1 Ech - 400X SW. A Ech 1000X SW
    Maintenance, Stowage etc.
    1500C.O. reported to Bde HQ and saw Brigadiere..
    17th1000Maj-Gen G.P.B. Roberts DSO MC GOC paid unofficial visit and spoke to C.O.
    Remainder of RHQ, majority of A & B Sqns arrived during the
    day. Majority of C Sqn arrived late evening.
    Maintenance and rest.
    18thAll DayChurch services in village Church and unit lines.
    1000C.O. attends conference at Bde, also Majors Burr, Close,
    Johnson. Capt Dingwall and Adjt.
    1700C.O. attends conference at Div HQ, C in C Gen Montgomery
    addressed all C.Os in Die
    1800Sqn Comds, RHQ, AA, Recc Tp, 2IC, IO, attended conference.
    Points from C in C's address given outo General training
    All A & B vehs of unit arrived in Conc Area.
    19thNormal routine - Sqn Trg - Map reading.
    0900C.O. visits 7 Armd Div area.
    1400C.O. visits C.O. 4 KSLI. inf cooperation
    Page 4 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    918768 1/50,000 7F119th1800Conference with Sqn Comds and C.O. G Coy 8 R B. with Pl Comds
    G Coy 8 R.B. Discussion regarding co-operation with Mot Coy.
    20th0930Discussion with C.O., 2IC, Adjt, Coy Comds 4 KSLI regarding
    tank/inf co-operation. CO, 2IC, Adjt Sqn Comds (ABC),Recce
    Tp, RSO attended.
    1400Discussion in Sqn gps on inf/tk co-operation with Tp/Pl Comds
    from 4 KSLI. Demo Verey Lights - Sigs.
    1700CO, 2IC, Adjt,OsC ABC Sqns, Recce Tp inspect knocked out British
    tks. Talk by Brigadier on lessons to be learnt. Gen MC Dempsey GOC Second
    Army met C.O.
    2000Conference - CO,2IC,Adjt, OsC ABC Sqns, Recce Tp, RHQ, AA Tp,
    A & A1 Eche. - Admn.
    Maintenance and Sqn training.
    21st1000CO attended conference at Bde.
    1200Adjt attended "Q" conference at Bde. Agenda- Returns in Field.
    1400All Tk Comds attended demo of action of Tp of Tks and Mot Pl
    on contact. Demo given by G Coy 8 R.B. and C Sqn. O.C. 8 R.E.
    1800Sqn Comds conference. Following attended - CO, 2IC, Adjt,
    ABCHQ Comds, IO. OC G Coy 8 R.B. General plan of
    forthcoming 8 Corps operation discussed.
    Maintenance & Sqn training.
    22nd1000CO visited C Sqn TEWT.
    1400 - 1700Bn Sports Meeting in Bn Area. G Coy 8 R.B. also participated.
    Shield for highest No of points went to G Coy.
    Increased aerial activity (Allied)
    Maintenance and Sqn training.
    23rd1800CO attended conference for all Officers down to Lt Col at
    HQ 8 Corps. Maintenance & Sqn training.
    Page 5 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    91876824th164529 Armd Bde O.O. No 1 received. Contained orders for 8 Corps
    operation "EPSOM" Intention - 8 Corps to break out of
    beachhead perimeter. 29 Armd Bde seizing crossings R. ORNE.
    Maintenance & Sqn training.
    25th08003 R Tks O.O. No. 1 issued.APRX.D
    0845CO and Adjt attend conference at Bde. General layout of Op
    1400CO holds orders Gp - Op "EPSOM"
    1600CO addresses all TK Comds and Senior NCOs from Echs.
    Maintenance and preparation for move 26 June.
    26th1300Moved out.
    9187351350Halted - Odd shells.
    1400Moved on again.
    9187091430Arrived in assembly area.
    1515Received orders to move SOUTH of LE MESNIL PATRY 8970
    1530Started to move to LMP
    1615Halted. A Sqn engaged 3 or 4 Mk V1 tanks.
    27th1000Moved to take up posn at MOUEN.
    9346661230C Sqn leading. Ran into small A/TK & TK screen - engaged them.
    General line of screen 944670-940663-930661.
    Approx strength 3 - 6 A/Tk guns, 6 - 9 Tks.
    1630RHQ 930668
    1800Attacks by rocket planes on aerodrome buildings 9667
    1950Orders received to move to area 9361 in support of 23 H.
    To be relieved in present posn by Sqn of 4 Armd Bde.
    21003 CLY arrive to take over.
    2130Take over completed.
    2230Orders received to leaguer in area COLLEVILLE.
    Page 6 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    0430Broke leaguer and advanced from COLLEVILLE by road to area
    933622. Responsible when in this area for protection W & SW.
    0630Arrived area 933622 A & C Sqns engaged with enemy A/Tk guns
    and Tks numbers unknown. G Coy sent out a patrol and had
    1 Officer killed and 12 O.Rs wounded.
    1230Relieved by 2 F & F Yeo and ordered to proceed to high ground
    at 9562 and come up on the left of 23 H.
    12401 A Sqn tk runs over pile of mines in BARRON Village and
    blocks main road. Rest of unit then goes across country.
    1330Posn of observation in area 9562.
    1500Moved up to 956626 to relieve 23 H.
    1530Took over from 23 H.
    2100Posn shelled intermittently for 15 minutes.
    2130Very heavy MG fire and some medium A.P.
    2230Firing ceases.
    95162929th0130Leaguered 951629 - 3 leaguers RHQ,& C, A & B. Tp A/Tk Bty
    under comd and G Coy
    0430Broke leaguer and moved back into open defensive posn.
    Remained in posn of observation to SE SOUTH and SW all day.
    B Sqn on left in support of 3 R.B.
    Intermittent shelling all day.
    1010RAF support - 12 rocket planes.
    Engaged about 12 Tiger and Panther and about 6 SP guns
    during the day.
    2250Orders received to move N of river during night.
    2300CO to Bde for Orders.
    Page 7 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    29th2330Bn less B Sqn leaguered in 2 leaguers at 951629.
    30th0300B. Sqn join C Sign learner after having covered withdrawl
    of 8 R.B.
    0330Bn moves to Bde assembly area. Arrived assembly area
    005692. Moved to area 915685 to be ready to take up battle
    posn to SOUTH and S.W.
    1000Area surrounded by gun posns.
    1400Moved to area 923693.
    1430Arrived in area 923693. Intermittent shelling about 500x
    NE of leaguer area.
    2200CO to Bde for orders.
    2230Orders Gp. Unit to be prepared to move next morning from
    0530 hrs. To be at 1 hours notice from that time. Task -
    to support 2 Bn Welsh Gds in counter attack role CHEUX area.
    22302IC with Lt Goom to report to HQ 2 Bn Welsh Gds at 0530 hrs
    1 July for liaison purposes.
    Summary of Unit casualties.Appx. E
    Summary of Enemy losses, claimed by unit.Appx. F