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    War Diary: 4th - 7th Dragoon Guards

    Month and year: May 1944

    The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards May 1944 War diary covers the unit during training exercises and preparations for Operation Overlord Transcribed from hand written document, although every care has been taken to for an accurate transcription some inaccuracies may be present.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/838

    The "References to Appendices" column for this document was empty so has been omitted.

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    Page 1 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Southampton1A&R HQ??? tanks loaded at midday to-day on to LCT.
    transport taking part in exercise Fabius II were loaded on to LST II yesterday
    a number of lorries were returned to squadron as they had not
    been waterproofed. - which was in order - but Movement
    Control had sent second tide vehicles to load on to Tide 1
    LST. The weather was wam and calm.
    LCTs, tied up in the dock after loading.
    2Exercise postponed 24hrs owing gale warning.
    Troops on board were allowed ashore for the P.T. on the
    dockside, football etc. A &RHQ tank troop personel
    were shown over a battleship (HMS Revenge) in the afternoon.
    3The Force sailed to-day, B&C Sqn at 1030 hrs., A&RHQ
    at 1600 hrs going though the Solent we then turned south
    & went about 12 miles, then altered course to
    4the east and did a practice landing on HAYLING ISLAND
    Page 2 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    HAYLING ISLAND4B&C Squadrons came in well and A &RHQ were to time.
    From a tactical point of view the exercise ended as far as
    the regiment the was concerned immediately after landing
    as tank could not move inshore further than the
    esplanade. Squadrons were normally in support of
    the usual infantry battalions of the 69 Inf Bde ,ie.
    A Sqn - 7 Green Howards, B Sqn 6 Green Howards, C Sqn - 5
    E. Yorks.
    all wheels under 9 tons returned to billet by road
    driving straight up north through HAYLING ISLAND, all
    tanks and M14s (1/2 Tracks) reembarked on to L.C.T.s
    at about 1630 hrs and were brought back and disembarked
    at Stanwood and Southampton.
    And RHQ tanka got back to billets about 0010 hrs 5 May.
    51715The I.O. held a short instructional class for Squadron Leaders
    Page 3 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEW MILTON5C.O. adjutant 2I/C Tech Adjutant QM&RSM on a new
    map reference code.
    Squadrons proceeded with de-waterproofing vehicles after Fabius II
    & B and C are now in the throes of receiving new DD tanks
    Sherman IIs, (whirlwinds) and getting rid of their Valentines.
    6A Sqn fired two new Fireflies at Lulworth to-day.
    7Nothing to record.
    8The CO held a Squadrons Leader conference in the afternoon.
    9 & 10B& C Squadrons embarked & carried out a land and shoot at STUDLAND in perfect
    weather with their new Sherman DDs. Some of the sealing was
    found defective and two deflated too soon
    thus partially drowning four tanks necessitating
    evacuation workshops.
    9The D.R.A.C. & Major General Evetts (A.C.I.G.S)
    accompanied by the Brigadier visited us in the afternoon & inspected
    Page 4 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEW MILTON9the Scout cars while they were being waterproofed, AA Crusaders
    and Stuarts. The weldware??? for Stuarts only
    arrived to-day and all vehicles up to D+6 are to be
    waterproofed by 10 May 44 for Overlord.
    10Nothing to record except B & C Squadrons shoot noted above.
    111700The CO and Major Jenkins attended a conference on
    tank and infantry cooperation at HQ 6 Green Howards.
    12The C.O. 2i/c adjutant and I.O. attended a talk at
    Brigade HQ. by the B.M (Major Biddle S.R.Y.) on
    Battle Drill in the Brigade.
    BROCKENHURST13The CO (acting as Brigade Comd. of 8 Armd.Bde)
    2 i/c (acting as C.O.) Squadron Leaders, two other
    offices for Squadron and 270 OR, of the regiment
    paraded for inspection together with similar party from
    the 24L and S.R.Y and the units of 50(N) Div. at
    Page 5 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    BROCKENHURST13BROCKENHURST for inspection by General D. Eisenhower
    the supreme C in C of the allied Invasion Forces in Western
    Europe. The parade was drawn upon three sides of a
    hollow square and the general before making a speech
    had senior officer introduced to him and then walked
    round between the ranks.
    NEW MILTON131000The adjutant attended a conference at Brigade HQ on the
    move of the second & last Residuals and first line
    reinforcements which takes place early next week.
    at very short notice a party of 70 men were dispatched to
    the 552 Coy R.A.S.C. to assist in collecting the
    first line ammunition to the Brigade.
    14First line ammunition started arriving in the afternoon.
    15The CO took Squadron Leaders through a preparatory cloth
    model discussion on Overlord at Brigade HQ in the afternoon
    Page 6 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEW MILTON15Personel & vehicles known as second and last assault
    residue (ie due to land D+7 to D+12 and D+17 to D+21)
    departed to-day to concentration area at CARKHILL Bustand
    camp in charge of 2/Lt. O. Holmes.
    16The CO, 2 i/c & Squadron Leaders attended 'G' Briefing
    by the Brigadier at Brigade HQ all morning. In the evening
    the CO. attended a conference with Captain Vallance R.N. & Brigadier
    Knox (Comd. 69 Inf Bde) at Southampton.
    Some first line reinforcement crews departed to the 265 Fwd
    Dely Sqn and to the 254 Corps Delivery Squadon: we now
    have eight Sherman crews and Stuart crews at the
    265 F.D. Sqn and 6 Sherman crews and remaining first
    line reinforements including Capt Harker at the 254
    Corps D. Squadron.
    171000The CO. lectured to all crew comds of A & HQ Sqn on Battle drill.
    Page 7 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NEW MILTON17The I.O. visited Squadrons & carried out a Quiz test on
    continental maps. In the late afternoon orders for the
    more of all D Day personnel & vehicles to HURSLEY (C13
    camp) and to Toothill (C22 camp) of all D+2 to D+6
    personel & vehicle, arrived; this represents the move of the
    D day personel or assault part and first assault residues
    to the final concentration area.
    18B & C remaining in their area at STANSWOOD All (less
    their transport) A&HQ moved to HURSLEY and
    Toothill as described above; RHQ set up at HURSLEY.
    all these camps are run on the Hotel system ie all cooking
    and admin is done for us by static staff.
    The Adjutant attended a conference at Bde HQ in the evening
    19The C.O. attended 69 Inf Bde briefing conference in the
    morning & the adjutant the now daily conference at 8 Armd Bde HQ in the evening
    The Brigade Commander visited A&HQ at HURSLEY.
    Page 8 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    HURSLEY20A&HQ carried on with sealing of their vehicles.
    The CO attended the British C in C's conference at
    Southampton in the morning.
    21The C.O. and Major Jenkins and Major Bell attended a
    R.E. demonstration at LEPE (near STANSWOOD) in the early
    morning showing destruction of underwater obstacles.
    B & C did a "land & shoot" at STUDLAND Bay in the
    afternoon to shoot in their new guns. The Tech Adjutant
    while crossing from sandbanks to STUDLAND sank the
    amphition jeep belonging to the S.R.Y. which we had borrowed,
    or rather, it sank through a plug being missing in the hull: it
    was later salved and towed back to camp.
    22The C.O. attended 151 Inf Bde briefing conference with O.C. Sqns.
    Craft. B. Godfrey Buxton spoke to all officers in HURSLEY C13 Camp
    (ie A&RHQ) on H.M the Kings call to the Bible.
    Page 9 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    HURSLEY23Nothing to record.
    24Nothing to record.
    25The CO 2 i/c and Sqn leaders attended the 50 (N) Div Comds
    (Major General Graham) final briefing conference which lasted
    all morning.
    26The Corps Comd (of 30 Corps) Lt. General Bucknall accompanied
    by his A.D.C. Major G. Hastings (4/7RDG) visited C13
    camp in the morning and walked round the vehicles of all 3
    regiments in the Brigade during maintenance.
    at 0001 hrs the camp was sealed and nobody except
    certain personel with special passes were allowed in or out.
    The C.O. and Sqn leaders attended 69 Inf. Bde briefing in the
    27-31Nothing to note except preparation for move to hards & extensive
    briefing conference down to all personel (on bogus names)