View Map
Map here
Overlay transparency


    War Diary: 4th - 7th Dragoon Guards

    Month and year: September 1944

    The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards September 1944 War diary covers the units advance from Amiens through Belgium and into the Netherlands.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/838

    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 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1Early start in accordance with last night's orders at 0730 hrs.
    The Regiment crossed the SOMME (no opposition) just W of AMIENS
    at 1100 hrs. and then diverted on to the left route. First
    opposition met by "B" Sqn. at VIGNACOURT where some Infantry
    and 3 tanks were reported. In this area a lot of horse
    transport was shot up and some P.W. taken. VIGNACOURT was
    cleared and we pushed on to CANAPPLES where "B" Sqn. was pulled
    up by 88 mm A/Tk gun. which was eventually shot up. "B" sqn.
    brewed up one panther, captured one 150 mm horse drawn gun.
    Another Panther brewed itself up on our approach. "B" sqn.
    claims for the day were 5 A/Tk guns, one panther and a lot of
    transport, and "A" sqn. got a S.P. RHQ also had a shot at a
    Mortar and men just through CANAPPLES. Opposition occurred at
    FIENVILLERS which had to be by passed. In the meantime the
    rest of the Brigade pushed on through DOULLENS on the right
    Page 2 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1 Contd.route of the Bde. Harbour area near REBREVITTE The Regiment
    completed their tasks and were all in Harbour by midnight N. of
    DOULLENS with the rest of the Bde.
    2O Gp. 0930 hrs. 11 Armd.Div. reported up at BEL
    and that we were to continue the move to BRUSSELS. No orders
    for actual move given out. The rest of the day spent by "A"
    and "B" Sqns. in maintenance while "C" Sqn. went out on BOCHE
    killing expedition taking a few prisoners and killing a few
    Boche. The Regiment was now in the midst of the flying bomb
    sites, two not being mo re than 3 miles away at LA BONNIERE and
    3The Regiment moved at 0830 hrs. at early notice on route for
    ALOST. We passed through ARRAS and LOOS, 8 Armd.Bde being with
    30 Div. and the Regiment leading the Gp. with "A" Sqn. No
    trouble at all was met until a Bridge just E. of LOOS which was
    Page 3 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    3 contd.found to be blown; a diversion was made. Then opposition in the
    form of A/Tk. guns was met at HOUBLIN and "A" sqn. were ordered
    to deal with the trouble crossing a small river obstacle
    through SECLIN to the S. of the Bridge. However, the
    opposition was well covered with some A/Tk. guns and "A" Sqn.
    had a sticky time having 3 tanks knocked out and Major
    J.A.d 'Avigdor Goldsmid and Captain A.C. Hawkins wounded and
    Tpr. Catlow killed. Meanwhile "B" and "C" Sqns. with "A" Coy.
    12 K.R.R.C. were pushing on to LILLE which they liberated
    without opposition. They were completely mobbed by the
    inhabitants of LILLE and dirty and tired tank crews were
    embraced and given a tremendous welcome by the French. They
    were withdrawn to Harbour just W.of SECLIN in the evening,
    "A Sqn. remained out all night with the 9 D.L.I. who were to
    clear up the enemy pocket in the HOUBLIN area.
    Page 4 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    4O Gp. 0630 hrs. Reported that 11 Armd.Div. had crossed into
    BELGIUM. We were to continue advance in the 50 Div. Gp.
    towards BRUSSELS being ready to move by 0830 hrs. though "A" Sqn.
    still had a Troop operating with the D.L.I. These orders were
    later cancelled and no move took place till 1400 hrs. when 8
    Armd.Bde. were iven the role of blocking the routes running
    S.E. from LILLE to prevent any pockets of the Hun escaping from
    the N. "B" and "C" Sqns. were grouped with the 12 K.R.R.C. and
    8 D.L.I respectively for this purpose. "A" Sqn. remaining with
    RHQ. Sqns. escorting their Bns. to the blocking areas whence
    they pulled back and remained in support. RHQ moved to area
    near Tac Bde. just S.E. of CYSOING.
    5No move for anybody and no enemy seen though many wild reports
    of even up to 4,000 Huns reported in various places.
    2000We received orders for move to area S.W. of BRUSSELS commencing
    Page 5 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    5 contd.mid-day to-morrow. - Harbour parties to leave early.
    6Harbour parties left at 0615 hrs. and the Regiment followed
    leaving at mid-day, "A" Sqn. leading and crossing the frontier
    into BELGIUM at 1300 hrs. where we went into Harbour at
    7O Gp.held 1045 hrs. The Regiment is coming under command of
    69 Inf.Bde. and we should move to their location at ALOST by
    1230 hrs. taking A2 Echelon with us as 8 Armd. Bde were to
    remain in their present area near WOLTHAEEM. The Regiment
    moved out at 1130 hrs. "C" sqn. leading going via SLETTIN, 3457,
    KIRKCKEN - ALOST. At ALOST we joined with 69 Inf. Bde. "C" Sqn.
    moving on ahead with the 6 Green Howards. All along the route
    and especially at ALOST civilians gave us a great welcome and
    showered us with apples and tomatoes.
    1600Orders were changed and we returned to 8 Armd. Bde command moving
    Page 6 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    7 contd.on to AARSCHOT going via WILLEBROCK and MECHLIN, harbouring
    N.E. of AARSCHOT for the night. The commanding Officer gave
    out orders 2230 hrs. Our intention being to cross over the
    Bridge on the ALBERT CANAL at BEERINGEN (which had been captured
    by the Guards Armd.Div.) turning left and exploiting the
    Bridgehead and getting behind the enemy who are holding the
    crossings over the N.W. thus helping 50 Div. to obtain some
    Bridges. "B" Sqn. to lead with "A" Coy. 12 K.R.R.C. under
    command. Bridgehead at BEERINGEN was only half a mile deep.
    80700The Regiment moved out and halted with our head short of
    BEERINGEN at PAIL where we stayed until just after mid-day.
    while going down a steep hill in DIEST, Lieut.J.H.G.Ford's
    Crusader lost its air pressure and crashed into a pylon
    carrying electric cables which caused a great display of sparks
    in the wires and bringing the Pylon to the ground. The tank
    Page 7 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    8 contd.and its occupants were unhurt.
    1110o Gp. Information. The Guards Bde. have reached BEVERLOO
    Intention. "B" Sqn. will push on through BEVERLOO to OOSTHAM
    and then to OLNEEN and shoot up Germans retiring from the canals
    "A" Sqn. would send a patrol to HEPPEN. RHQ to move behind a
    Coy of the 12 K.R.R.C. deploying at BEVERLOO.
    1345,Brigadier gave us orders to move on and the Regiment crossed
    the Bridge at BEERINGEN- After some opposition had been dealt
    with "B" Sqn. reached GENNEBERG, two miles N. of BEVERLOO and
    there were confused civilian reports as to what was in OOSTHAM.
    However it appeared that there was one S.P. and a lot of German
    Infantry in the village and in the woods round it. "B" Sqn.
    brewed up one S.P. near OOSTHAM and shot up a lot of German Inf.
    in the woods.
    1800."B" Sqn. got another S.P. which had, however, knocked out a "B"
    Page 8 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    8 contd.Sqn. tank. All the crew of this tank became lost including
    Sergt. West who had been a Troop Sergt. in "B" sin. and in action
    ever since "D" Day.
    The Hun definitely intended to hold OOSTHAM as in the evening
    3 lorry loads of Infantry were observed coming into the village
    from the EAST.
    2015"A" Coy, 12 K.R.R.C. were nearly in the middle of the village after
    quite a bit of fighting. By darkness the village was in our
    hands, "B" Sqn. remaining with "A" Coy, 12 K.R.R.C. throughout
    the night in the village.
    9Just after it became light a party of Germans consisting of a
    Lt-Col. and 40 men of a Suicide Squad to reach and destroy the
    Bridge at BEERINGEN at all costs, attacked the Bde A1 Echelon
    at close quarters which had the previous evening crossed the
    Bridge over the Canal. Some thirty lorries in the Bde. 13 of
    Page 9 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    9 Contd.them our own and "A" Sqn's Jeep and a 15 cwt. W/T were
    destroyed and 2 O.Rs killed, 10 missing including SSM. Knox of
    "C" Sqn. and SSM.Rattenbury of "B" Sqn. a big blow. However,
    the Echelon saved the day and the Bosche attack never reached
    its objective. The Commanding Officer held O GP. at 1000 hrs.
    Information- situation very confused in this area as we have
    succeeded in cutting off a lot of Bosche who were holding the
    Canal, their only line of retreat being due N. past OOSTHAM.
    "B" Sqn. were ordered to remain with the 12 K.R.R.C. and
    establish themselves at OOSTHAM, and "A" and "C" Sqns. and RHQ
    were to send Patrols to watch the road from BEVERLOO - GENNEBERG-
    OOSTHAM ready to shoot up any Bosche trying to get out. "B"
    Squadron had quite a shoot during the day, and 431 Bty. 147
    Fd.Regt. landed at least 5 shells right in the middle of a
    concentration of about 60 enemy. A lot of snipers in OOSTHAM
    Page 10 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    9 contd.and occasional shelling and mortaring by the enemy.
    1845O Gp. Information - warning to evacuate OOSTHAM and not to
    attempt to extend the Bridgehead any further in this direction.
    8 Armd.Bde. were now under comd. Gds. Armd.Div. and were to move
    to-morrow to S. of BOURG LEOPOLD covering the left area of the
    Gds.Armd. Div. Intention - We were to move to the area
    BEARMAUS WOOD in the morning, taking up position covering the
    N. edge of that wood and holding an important feature of high
    ground to the S.E. of BOURGLEOPOLD. This town was still in enemy
    hands. "B" sqn. and "A" and "C" Coys of 12 K.R.R.C. withdrew in
    the late evening from OOSTHAM and the enemy quickly followed our
    departure into the village. The Recce Tp. took one prisoner
    during the night - a Cpl. of an A/Tk. Regiment - who strayed
    towards our lines and was knocked down by one of the Recce.
    Tp. N.C.OSs.
    Page 11 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    10The Regiment moved in accordance with last night's orders to
    take up it's new position S. of BOURG LEOPOLD. Conflicting
    reports ere received as to whether or not BOURG LEOPOLD is held.
    This modern town had been occupied by SS Tps. and in May that
    portion of it had been almost totally destroyed by the RAF in
    which raid it is understood nearly all the SS were
    killed numbering over 1,000, and it is also understood there
    had been imprisoned in BOURG LEOPOLD some 300 Belgium political
    In the evening "C" Sqn. were ordered to send a patrol in from the
    East to find out whether the village was held or not, and if
    not to go in. A Patrol of two Tps. under the Sqn. Ldr. carried
    out this task and when within about 800 yds. of the East end of
    the town, two tanks of "C" sqn. were quickly brewed up and one
    other had it's track knocked off (Lieut.N.S. Wide's tank). by a
    Page 12 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    10 contd.S.P. gun which we were unable to spot, A considerable amount of
    shooting was done into the area where the S.P. was thought to be
    and some Bosche who were seen were shot up. A very high O.P.
    tower which it was thought might contain a Bosche O.P. was shot
    up by "A" squadron and it was later discovered that a Bosche
    O.P. in it had been killed. In the evening "C" coy of the
    12 K.R.R.C. entered the East end of the town from the South
    in an attempt to stalk the S.P. However they found
    nothing at that particular end and withdrew. "C" squadron
    also came back to their Harbour in the late evening. Civilians
    reported that the Bosche was carrying out atrocities against
    women and children in the town and implored us to help them.
    11A watching patrol of "A" Sqn. to the East of the town was
    posted and 13/18 H were to the West of BOURG LEOPOLD. A
    Belgian Gp. was put under command of 8 Armd.Bde. with the
    Page 13 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    11 Contd.intention of sapturing BOURG LEOPOLD in the afternoon.
    However, there were reports that the Hun had evacuated the town
    during the night, retiring N.W. and the Belgians supported by
    "C" Sqn. entered the town quite unopposed in the afternoon.
    There were enemy, however, to the N.W. of it in the area of
    HEPPEN and their existence was confirmed by an Armd. car Patrols
    "C" Sqn. stayed the night in BOURG LEOPOLD.
    12Situation unchanged. 8 Armd.Bde still under command Gds. Armd.
    Div. who had by now not only got a crossing (in the nick of
    time) across the ESCAULT CANAL but had also got Patrols across
    DUTCH border.
    13"B" Sqn. relieved "C" Sqn. of their duties at BOURGLEOPOLD.
    It was reported that the SRY had had a day of heavy fighting
    in GHENT area on the 11th when a large number of enemy
    fanatical SS Tps. attempted to break out. very many were
    Page 14 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    13.Contd.killed, some even standing up, shouting "I die for the Fuhrer".
    The SRY had 11 tanks knocked out in this action, but the Bosche
    attacks all failed. 50 Div. on the left in the GHELL area
    were relieved by 15 Scottish Div. and moved down into our area,
    and 8 Armd.Bde. came under comd. 50 Div. once again. "A" Sqn.
    carried out a patrol N. from the road running East out of
    BOURG LEOPOLD across the Artillery Range and discovered no
    signs of the enemy, and other reports indicate that he is
    pulling out behind the ESCAULT CANAL.
    14The Regiment moved with A1 Echelon into BOURG LEOPOLD itself
    for 3 or 4 days maintenance and refit. Most of the men were
    found houses or buildings in which to be billeted. Our only
    operational commitment now was to maintain 24 hrs. watch from
    an O.P. tower N.E. of the village.
    15Back to semi peace time rule. Sqns. did maintenance and
    Page 15 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    16Squadrons at disposal of Sqn.Ldrs. The commanding officer
    having attended Corps Commander's conference in the morning
    at which the plan for future operation was outlined, spoke to
    all Officers and NCOs in the afternoon.
    Squadon Leaders conference held at which Commanding Officer
    outlined forthcoming operations. Airborne landings were to be
    made in the area EINDHOVEN - NIJMEGEN - ARNHEM on 17 Sep.
    with the object of securing the Brs. at these places. Gds.
    Armd.Div. followed by 43 div. with the Regiment under comd.
    214 Bde. were to drive through over the ESCAULT Canal through
    EINDHOVEN - NIJMEGEN - ARNHEM, the Gds. having as their
    objective Zuyder Zee.
    17,18,19,No move yet made. Regiment still remains resting at BOURG
    Page 16 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    20Lt.Col. R.G.Byron DSO who had been in comd. of the Regiment since
    December 1941, to-day handed over comd. to major G.K.Barker.
    Lt.Col. R.G. Byron DSO who completed his 3 years as Commanding
    Officer on the 19th September had commaded the Regiment during
    possibly one of its most event ful and historical periods, and
    his departure would be much regretted. He took comd. from
    Lt Colonel L.E.Misa DSO during the difficult period of training
    in England after Dunkirk, then the conversion DD, and then
    finally commanding the Regiment in its assault landing on D Day
    and on through the Normandy campaign and up to this date.
    The following changes were to be made on his change of commands-
    2nd in comd - Major W.N.D.Barlow (on posting from F.& F.YEO).
    O.C."A" Sqn. - Major I.G.Gill MC (Major J.A.d'Avigdor Goldsmid
    not having yet recovered from his wound).
    O.C. "B" Sqn. - Majors.R.M.Jenkins (who is acting 2nd-in-Comd.
    Page 17 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    20th contd.until the arrival of Major W.N.D.Barlow),
    O.C . *C" Squadron - Captain W.P. Riley.
    Captain D.J.B. Richards was in command of "B" Sqn. while
    Major S.R.M. Jenkins was acting as 2nd-in-Comd.
    Commanding Officer held O 1000 hrs. to tie up our departure
    on Operation MARKET.
    This Operation was part of the Airborne landings made on 17 Sep.
    and the whole consisted of a great drive by 30 Corps across the
    ESCAULT CANAL to GRAVE, across the WAAL at NIJMEGEN and the
    Lower Rhine at ARNHEM. 30 Corps was to be led by the Gds. Armd.
    Div. with 43 Div. following, the Regiment being under comd.
    214 Inf.Bde. (Brigadier Essame DSO). The Gds. Armd.Div. had
    already got through to NIJMEGEN and linked up with the 101 US
    Airborne Troops at EINDHOVEN. If the Bridge over the Rhine was
    blown, i.e. thus proving the failure to force the crossing,
    Page 18 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    20th contd.43 div. were to come through, their operation being divided
    into 4 Phases as follows:-
    Phase 1. 130 Bde. capture the south bank of the River.
    phase 2. 214 Bde. with the Regiment in support carry out an
    amphibious operation in Duxks crossing west of the Bridge.
    Phase 3. 214 Bde. clearing the houses and down the other side
    of the River.
    Phase 4. Crossing the River at ARNHEM, the two Bdes. and 20
    tanks of the Regiment were to be put into barges at NIJMEGEN
    sail up the Rhine and then turn North and then west along the
    Lower Rhine to a point of landing on the North bank on some
    concrete landing stages which were known to be in existence
    at ARNHEM. Fire power of the tanks, if necessary, to be used
    during the voyage.
    The Regiment, "A" Squadron leading was scheduled to leave
    Page 19 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    20th.contd.BOURG LEOPOLD at 1200 hrs. but time of departure was postponed
    until we actually moved out about 1700 hrs. Driving all night
    we passed up the only Corps route arriving at a place North of
    EINDHOVEN at day break on the 21st.
    21After breakfast the column moved on preceded by Harbour parties
    over the Bridge at GRAVE to a Harbour area about 3 miles
    further on where Squadrons went into own areas.
    1430Commanding Officer held. O Gp. having attended at 8 Armd.Bde.
    for orders. Intention - 30 Corps to liberate the 1st British
    Airborne Div. who landed in the ARHEM area on 17 Sep. This
    Division though still fighting was reported running short of
    supplies and coming under heavy enemy pressure. The guards
    have captured NIJMEGEN and we hold the two Bridges and a small
    Bridgehead to the North of the WAAL about 1 mile deep. The
    504 US Para.Bde. being in possession of this Bridgehead which
    Page 20 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    21st Contd.the Guards are going to enlarge. There was extremely grim
    fighting for the road bridge at NIJMEGEN, but the American
    Paratroops after crossing the River in small boats succeeded
    in capturing the Bridge intact although the enemy had laid
    remote charges the night before, but the fuse wires to these
    had been cut during the night by a sapper party especially
    detailed for the job. We, with the 147 Fd. Regt. all under
    comd. 214 Inf. Bde. were to cross the River by the Railway
    Bridge, turn West after crossing the Bridge and then move
    North skirting ELST to the west making for ARNHEM. The SLI
    with "A" Squadron under command and a Battery of the 147 Fd.
    Regt. and two sections of our Honeys were to form the advance
    guard of the Bde. Next were to come the DCLI Gp. and the
    Worcs.Gp. "B" and "C" Sqns. returning the Regimental command.
    The advance guard will not be allowed across the other side
    Page 21 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    21 Contd.until sufficient space had been obtained by the Guards and
    Americans enlarging the Bridgehead.
    2000The Regiment harboured in woods immediately East of the Main
    road one mile south of NIJMEGEN. The commanding officer had
    great difficulty in finding 214 Bde. in the dark for an O Gp.
    not getting back until 0130 hrs. morning 22nd September.
    220630O Gp. Yesterday's orders stood with the addition of a barrage.
    Bridgehead had been slightly enlarged and yesterday's plan to
    be proceeded with. the SLI crossing at 0730 hrs. and the 130
    Bde. were to attack due North up the road towards ELST, 214
    Bde. going West through OOSTERHOUT and then North through
    WAALBURG. "A" Squadron moved out of their location near
    Railway Bridge at 0630 hrs. followed by RHQ 1 hour later, and
    "B" and "C" Squadrons took up position to the South part of
    the town some 4 hours later.
    Page 22 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    0800SLI over the River, "A" Squadron at Southern edge of Bridge
    starting to go across.
    Report received that Guards last night contacted elements of
    the 1st British Airborne Div. thus proving that a patrol of
    the Household Cavalry had actually reached the Southern bank of
    the Rhine linking up with the Polish Para.Bde. and meeting some
    of the British Div. who had come across the River. A large
    number of Bosche appeared to be in the area of OOSTERHOUT, and
    it was appreciated that once this crust was broken then an
    armoured drive could successfully be made up to DRIEL on the
    Southern bank of the Lower Rhine. The supply situation of
    Airborne Division was now critical and it was decided that
    once the SLI and "A" Squadron had cleared the Bosche from
    OOSTERHOUT a column consisting of "B" Squadron the the DCLI
    Page 23 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    22 contd.with supplies in Duxks should make a dash up to DRIEL. "A"
    Sqn. battle with the SLI was still going on at 1700 hrs. but by
    now the attack was going very well, a lot of Bosche had been
    killed, and "A" Sqn. had destroyed 2 Mk. IIIs and at least two
    A/Tk. guns. At 1830 hrs. "B" Sqn. were ordered to start
    their drive through. The Worcs. were crossing at this time
    and "C" Squadron and RHQ were to follow after and go into
    harbour the other side of the River. The commanding officer
    stayed the night at the 214 Inf.Bde. HQ just West of NIJMEGEN
    The news of "B" squadron's advance was listened to with much
    excitement and everybody was delighted to hear that they had
    reached DRIEL in darkness late that night although it was not
    known what success the Duxks had had in getting any supplies
    across. Later it turned out that the column was in fact cut
    by two enemy tigers which joined it in the darkness West of
    Page 24 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    22 Contd.ELST. These Tigers were destroyed by a very gallant Infantry
    man who fired a Piat at them at so lose range that he himself
    suffered severe burns. The leading Troop of "B" Squadron
    which led this drive was commanded by Lieut.Simmonds and the
    leading tank by Cpl.Raybould. On reaching DRIEL they linked
    up with the Polish paratroops, but also, unfortunately, shot
    up an armd. car belonging to the Household Cavalry, this
    happening in the failing light, the leading tank not
    expecting to see any friendly AFVs on the road. Thus "B"
    Squadron had completed the attempt to relieve the Airborne
    Forces, but the supplies could not be got across the River.
    23"A" and "C" Squadrons were to carry out at attack to-day
    against ELST, the attack scheduled to commence in the morning
    "C" Sqn. with the Worcs. "A" Sqn. with the SLI, "A" Sqns.
    party was postponed until 1500 hrs. owing to enemy being in
    Page 25 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    23 Contd.the axis of their advance. "C" Sqn. started at 1200 hrs. with
    the Worcs.
    13001 Panther reported captured by the Worcs.
    1315"C" Sqn. reported 3 Panthers ditched and 1 Tiger brewed up,
    the ditched Panthers were destroyed by us when we came across
    1400"C" Sqn. still helping the Worcs on to village of LIENDEN
    immediately West of ELST. "A" Sqn. still waiting for the
    word go.
    1500LIENDEN now clear. "A" Sqn. and the SLI commenced their
    attackk, they were going through the Worcs. direct on ELST
    1730"A" Squadron attack still going well and they later reached
    their objectives with the SLI which were the centre and
    southern half of the town of ELST.
    Page 26 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    2100"C" Squadron returned to harbour near RHQ whi ch had now moved to
    field south of WAALBURG. "B" Squadron remained near DRIEL
    with the DCLI and "A" Squadron stayed out the night with the
    SLI on the West side of ELST.
    Great air supplies were seen to be dropped by parachutes in the
    ARNHEM area, but it was not known how much of these fell into
    our own Troops hands.
    24It was proved to-day that yesterday's joint claims of ourselves
    and the Infantry in the ELST battle were 6 Tigers and 2 panthers.
    "A" and "C" Squadrons continued their advance in the ELST area
    with the SLI and Worcs. starting at 0800 hrs. The reserve Troop
    of "A" and "C" Squadrons were each committed to support the 129
    Bde in their advance North along the main road to ELST. 129 Bde.
    advance had been held up completely and had not progressed much
    Page 27 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    24further than the perimeter won by the Guards and U.S. Airborne
    1000Lieut.N.S. Wide (Troop Leader of "C" Squadron Troop with 129 Bde)
    reported that he had scuppered five dual purpose 75 mm guns,
    and they had taken a number of Prisoners of War. These two
    Troops returned to the Regiment at 1300 hrs. going into reserve
    again. "A" Squadron Troop co-operated with the 4 SLI and "C"
    Squadron Troop with the 4 Wilts.
    1200The Commanding Officer visited "B" Squadron in the DRIEL area
    where they were now a coming under some hARRASsing artillery
    fire from the North side of the River Rhine.
    1400"B" Squadron escorting DC LI to new position further SE to form
    a defence flank facing ELST. This move was made with no enemy
    opposition. The Luftwaffe turned out about fifty planes, all
    fighters, FW 190 and ME 109s though they did not attack our
    Page 28 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    24 Contd.positions, but were seen machine gunning what appeared to be
    the Airborne Div. positions. It was proved later that most of
    their efforts were directed to shooting up a wood which had a
    parachute caught on top of a tree which they evidently thought
    marked the British positions. In actual fact it was in enemy
    ground. A number of these fighters were shot down during the
    day by our Spitfires.
    250845The Commanding Officer held O GP. He recapitulated the events
    of the last few days saying that our activities, particularly
    of "B" Squadron in their drive on to DRIEL had been much
    appreciated (account of part played by "B" Squadron is at
    Appx."A"). The first Gds. Ardd.Bde. were to take over this
    area and the Bde and 50 Div. should take over the area from
    ELST to NIJMEGEN BRIDGE. The Regiment would then move about
    4 miles to the West near area of HERVELD. Lieut.J.H.G. Ford was
    Page 29 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    25 Contd.sentmon recce.
    Admin.points were then dealt with. Tech.Adjt. would set up
    recovery point near RHQ where he would base himself with the
    3 ARVs and Fitters half tracks and one LAD recovery vehicle.
    The supply line was continually cut N.of EINDHOVEN and although
    we would never be short waste was to be avoided. RAF were
    landing considerable quantities of supplies near GRAVE by
    Dakotas. Lastly great attempt by 130 Bde to establish small
    Bridgehead over the Lower Rhine (The Leck) would be made to
    enable as many as possible of the 1st British Airborne to be
    evacuated. "A" and "C" Squadrons will still help SLI and
    Worcs in ELST area and in the evening the BOSC he appeared
    definitely to be pulling out of the area, our Troops
    reaching the Railway line. "A" Squadron had a Troop shot up
    Page 30 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    25 a Panther (all three tanks in a row on a road),There
    were no personnel casualties.
    26Position unchanged. "B" Squadron now back in Regimental
    area leaving a Troop with the DC LI and "C" Squadron had one
    Troop out with the Worcs. "A" Squadron remaining in Harbour
    with the exception of one Troop which was sent out in a flap
    to the 12 KRRCs in the West near ORPHEUSDEN where a strong Hun
    patrol had apparently crossed the river from the North and run
    into the 12 KRRC. This flap quietened down and the patrol
    withdrew, some prisoners being taken by the 12 KRRC. At least
    X1,500 of the Airborne Div. were evacuated successfully across
    the river last night; all these passed through the
    Divisional ADS which was next door to RHQ. There was slight
    enemy air activity in the morning and aftemoon, no attacks
    made on our position. All Squadrons were concentrated in
    Page 31 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    26 Contd.Harbour near RHQ for the night.
    270800Commanding Officer held O Gp. The Regiment was to concentrate
    in area OOSTERHOUT, and we would be moving in the afternoon.
    Harbour parties were sent by Squadrons in the morning. Certain
    Admin. points were also dealt with.
    1300Flap order received to despatch Squadron to assist 214 Inf.Bde.
    in an attack to be put in in the afternoon against some enemy
    who had crossed over from North to South in the area of
    RANDWIJK. "C" Squadron were silected to follow as reserve
    Squadron to work with the Worcs. "A" and "C" Sqns. therefore
    with the usual half of RHQ proceeded to concentration area at
    ANDELST where "A" Sqn. joined up with the SLI, "C" Sqn. with the
    Worcs. The attack started from ZETTEN due North of RANDWIJK
    with the main road as the Axis. The attack went very well.
    We had no casualties and the SLI very few and some two or
    Page 32 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    27 three hundred Bosche were accounted for. "A" and "C"
    Squadrons returned to Harbour at HERVELD and half of RHQ also
    stayed out with 214 Inf.Bde.
    280800The Commanding Officer attended Bde O GP. (8 Armd.Bde) and
    then briefed O.C. "C" Squadron who would remain out in that
    area under comd. 214 Bde. while the rest of the Regiment
    would return to OOSTERHOUT. RHQ and *A" Squadron were back
    in OOSTERHOUT area by 1100 hrs.
    As a matter of interest the tank state for the three Sabre
    Squadrons to-day was as follows (this was the average state for
    this period) :-
    "A" "B" "C"
    Sherman 75 mm 10 12 11
    Sherman 17 Pdr. 4 3 4
    Squadrons were organised on 4 Tp. basis and where possible
    Page 33 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    28 Contd.four tanks per Troop having one 17 Pdr. in each Troop, and if
    possible one 17 Pdr. in reserve with SHQ
    29Major S.R.M. Jenkins went back to 2nd Army via the Forward
    Delivery Squadrons The day spent quietly, but there were no
    baths or cinemas possible because a number of the enemy (about 14)
    during the night swam 15 miles down the river and blew a NIJMEGEN
    Bridge. These Bosche apparently had been trained at the one man
    submarine school in VENICE brought and briefed at UTRECHT, equipped
    with rubber swim suits, oxygen apparatus and extensions in water
    proof containers. They swam nearly all the way for 15 miles, then
    placed their charges, and then swam on to turn into the wrong creek.
    Most of them were taken Prisoner of War in the hands of the Recce
    30The Commanding Officer held a conference for Squadron Leaders at
    0900 hrs. and issued orders for "A" Squadron to relieve "C" Squadron
    Page 34 of 34
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    30 Contd.of their duties with 214 iNF.Bde. in the HERVELD area at 1700
    hrs. to-day and "B" Squadron was to be prepared to support, in
    case of a flap, the 5 DCL I to the East side of the Island
    towards BEMMEL. Apparently Hitler has given personal orders
    that we are to be kicked out of the Island (i.e. above NIJMEGEN-
    Captaln, Adjutant, 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards.