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    War Diary: 5th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: July 1944

    The 5th Royal Tank Regiment (5 RTR) July 1944 War Diary starts with the unit moving to Ellon to form an open leaguer before crossing London bridge (over the Caen Canal) and fighting in the Grenthville/Bourguebus area

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/867

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

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    Page 1 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    ELLON1 - 3Regt moved to ELLON ref 803735, formed open leaguer.
    41000Visit from GOC 7 Armd Div Maj Gen GWEJ Erskine CB DSO.
    5-6Tk crews re-organised and made up to strength from a
    very small reserve.
    7Regt courses, Wireless, D and M and Gunnery commenced
    in tk crews.
    8-16Recce carried out for defensive positions in area
    Casualties - 15th L/Cpl Lambert, Sgmn Williams (att
    personnel) and L/Cpl Goodman wounded by A/A shell
    landing in the leaguer.
    17Leaguer shelled in early hours of the morning, thought
    to be SP guns shelling newly constructed Air-field
    close to Regts location.
    Regt moved to CULLY area 9076 where Bde concentrated
    for big attack E of CAEN in which the Gds Armd Div,
    11 Armd Div and 7 Armd Div were all taking part.
    Casualties - Killed - Cfn Davies (LAD)
    Wounded - S/Sjt Turner (LAD)
    L/Cpl Giles (LAD)
    Cpl Lynn and Tpr Harrison.
    CULLY180930Regt moved over London bridge immediately behind
    Northants Yeo, the last regt of 29 Armd Bde. CL took
    shape over open going to SUVERVILLE and then to
    DEMOUVILLE where the leading Sqn, "B" was ordered to
    deploy and move up abreast of Northants Yeo. The
    first incident was when an enemy tk 800 yds E of
    DEMOUVILLE opened up and knocked out a Firefly of
    "B" Sqn reserve tp and a Honey from Recce. Fire was
    immediately returned and enemy brewed-up. The CL
    was directed on GRENTHVILLE 0864 and advance continued
    to MESNIL FREMENTIL where several British tks were
    "brewing" including one from "B" Sqn. Meanwhile
    PsW had been coming in small groups to the number of
    80. It was soon established that there were 4 Panthers
    in FOURS 0968. "A" Sqn were accordingly directed
    against GRENTHVILLE 1200 yds NW of FOURS and "C" Sqn
    came into position where they could watch and shoot
    into FOURS if necessary. "B" Sqn came into reserve
    "A" Sqn reached GRENTHVILLE and after short action
    against enemy inf, established themselves in the
    southern outskirts. The enemy re-acted strongly and
    attacked from FOURS with 2 Panther and 2 MkIVs. A Sqn
    lost 2 Tks and "C" Sqn KO'd 2 enemy tks the remainder
    Page 2 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    18"A" Sqn remained in GRENTHVILLE and the Regt leagured
    after dark in area MESNIL FREMEN TIL. Some shelling
    during the night.
    Casualties -
    Killed - Cpl Attle, L/Cpl Garratt,
    I/Cpl Needham.
    Wounded - 2/Lt D.J.Clarke, Sjt Hill,
    L/Cpl Ferguson, L/Cpl Sumners
    Tprs Rooke, Thomson, Watson,
    Trent and Lewis.
    Own -
    1 Firefly
    1 Honey
    4 Cromwells

    Enemy -
    3 Tks
    80 Psw.
    GRENTHVILLE19"B" Sqn plus 2 Platoons of "I" Coy 1 RB passed
    through "A" Sqn who had formed a firm base at
    GRENTHVILLE, and pushed into SOLIERS, clearing
    minor inf opposition on the way, which they then
    made firm. Spasmodic AP fire came from the
    direction of the left flank (direction of FOURS)
    but nothing was seen of the tks or SPs. "B" Sqn
    were ordered to put 2 tps in BOURGUEBUS which
    arrived in the outskirts after carefully working
    there their way there. A few minutes before, 3 Tigers and
    2 Panthers came into the village. In the ensuing
    fight 2 Tigers and 1 Panther were brewed up for the
    loss of 1 Cromwell. The enemy then withdrew and
    at last light the 2 Tps of "B" Sqn returned to
    SOLIERS where the son leaguered for the night.
    Casualties -
    Killed - 2/Lt P. Alexander, L/Cpl Taylor
    Wounded - Sjts Squires and Onions,
    Lt J.Peel, Lt J.P.Roberts,
    2/Lt K.R.T.Crocker,
    L/Cpl Barker, Tprs Pariss,
    Heyes, Baudry, Bramley, Dodd
    Pearce, Spenceley, Waterson,
    and Wood.
    Missing - Tpr Sayell.
    Own -
    1 Firefly
    2 Cromwells

    Enemy -
    2 Tigers
    1 Panther
    20"B" Sqn at first light moved into BOURGUEBUS and
    after a short fight in the outskirts a Tiger was
    brewed up. There was no other enemy in the village
    except 2 abandoned Panthers one of which was brewed
    up the other being towed back to Bde Wksps also 4
    abandoned Nebelwerfers. The enemy continued to
    The Gds Armd Div by now had established themselves in
    FOURS. Later in the day, a "B" Sqn Firefly succeeded
    in stalking a Panther and 'Brewed it up', 800 yds
    17008 Hussars relieved the Regt and open leaguer was
    formed near DEMOUVILLE. It was under observation
    and very heavily shelled.
    Page 3 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    DEMOUVILLE20Casualties - Wounded- Sjt Bennet (REME)
    L/Cpl Fry, L/Cpl Donald

    Losses -
    Own - NIL
    Enemy - 1 Tiger
    3 Panthers (1 intact)
    4 Nebelwerfers
    21Sqn locations were adjustéd and an attempt made to
    maintain and re-organise. A1 Ech moved to the
    factory area in CAEN where the fitters were able to
    work without interruption.
    Casualties - Wounded -
    Sjts Kershaw, Tatum, Stokes,
    Cpl Topp, L/Cpl Adamson.
    Tpr Lewis

    2 Vehs brewed in A2 Ech.
    22-24The Regt in reserve, maintenance carried out though
    there was a certain amount of shelling during the day
    and fairly heavy AP air raids at night.

    Casualties - Killed - Sjt Harbin
    Wounded - Cpl Bell, L/Cpl Booth,
    Tprs Moulton and Bayer.
    IFS250515Bde moved in support in area IFS 0463. The Bde
    was "two up" with the Regt in reserve behind 1 R Tks,
    4 CLY. No progress was made and positions were
    prepared against what seemed a very probable counter
    Casualties - Wounded - Tprs Sayer and Clarke J.
    Losses - Own - 1 Humber Scout Car.
    VERRIERS26Regt took up position of 1 R Tks and a Sqn was sent
    into VERRIERS in support of Royal Hamilton Light
    Infantry. Verriers was shelled badly and enemy
    attempted to infiltrate back into the village. Both
    tks and inf had several good shoots.

    Casualties - Killed - L/Cpl Hearne
    Wounded - Tpr Gowan
    IFS27-29Regt moved to area 1/2 mile NE of IFS and remained in
    reserve. The Sqns in VERRIERS being changed daily.
    There were several good shoots.
    Casualties -
    Wounded - Tpr Manning.
    Losses - Enemy - Mixed bag of MT. 1 SP.
    301600Regt moved back to ELLON, their positions being
    taken over by a Cdn Armd Bde, leaguering at MR 8073.
    31Regt placed under Comd of 131 Bde and at night
    made an approach march to CAUMONT area.
    7F1, 6F2, 6F4, 6F3

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