View Map
Map here
Overlay transparency


    War Diary: 5th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: October 1944

    The 5th Royal Tank Regiment (5 RTR) October 1944 War Diary covers the units time in the Netherlands

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/867

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

    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 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NISTLERODE1The Bde for an indefinite period was to be employed on a
    watching role in protection of 30 Corps CL. It was
    therefore decided to give the Regt as much opportunity
    of re-organisation and maintenance as possible.
    One Sqn only was to be actively employed at a time
    'C' Sqn being the Sqn on duty. The regt moved to
    NISTELRODE. The regt right and left bdys were the
    BARRIERE - WETTERING Canal 405475 to 445475 and the
    HEESH - S'HERTOGENBOSCH rd respectively. The enemy was
    known to hold posns roughly along the 40 Easting.
    'I' Coy 1 RB was placed under comd and formed together
    with 'C' Sqn a strong point at HUNNEKINS VINKEL 455482.
    Inf patrols were sent forward to investigate enemy posns
    by night and reported hearing enemy patrols in area
    413495. Maj S. P. Wood assumes comd of 'B' Sqn.
    Tpr Pidgeon Wounded
    2B' Sqn relieved 'C' Sqn otherwise no event.
    VEGHEL3Regt HQ plus 'B' Sqn who were relieved by 'C', Recce Tp
    moved to VEGHEL 4837 to take over defense of the town
    and safeguard the area between the canal and the river
    4 Fd Sqn RE were placed under Comd to act as Inf and
    later took over American Paratroop posns along the rly.
    4A Canal running from 449399 to 438391 prevented veh
    recce from going further NW. Recce Patrols went out
    but no sign of eneny. However, enemy were confirmed to
    be in woods at 451385. Indirect shoots were carried out
    by 'B' Sqn.
    5In conjunction with 131 Bde a feint attack was carried
    out and 'B' Sqn sent two tps down the canal bank as fer
    as the 44 Easting and destroyed houses on the southern
    68 H took over posns and the regt gp returned to
    NISTELRODE. 'A' Sqn reverted to regt comd and also
    returned to NISTELRODE.
    NISTELRODE7C' Sqn were relieved by 'B' Sqn who were billetted
    in NISTELRODE. The remainder of the regt carry out
    maintenance and trg,
    8Tpr Carson 'C' Sqn killed on a minature range erected
    by 'C' Sqn.
    9A' Sqn relieved 'B' Sqn. Enemy patrols active.
    Morter fire reported.
    10No event on the regt front excepting a "Stand-to"
    at approx 2300hrs due to enemy activity.
    11A' Sqn relieved by 'C' otherwise no event.
    120600Recce Tp took over the responsibilities of 'I' Coy
    1 RB Carrier Pl for 3 days.
    13 14No event other than patrols.
    Page 2 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    NISTELRODE15B' Sqn relieved 'C' Sqn otherwise no event.
    16I' Coy 1 RB took over posns from Recce during which a
    Boche Patrol was captured and passed back to RHQ.
    Losses: - Enemy 7 PsW Own:- NIL
    170300I' Coy 1RB clashed with enemy patrols laying mines at
    MR 421483 enemy patrol withdrew. Unfortunately it was
    not noticed that this patrol had laid mines with the
    result being that one Cromwell moving up on the usual
    patrol was badly damaged. There were no casualties to
    personnel. A further incident during the day was a very
    concentrated "Stonk" directed on the HQ at MANNEKENS VINKEL
    from three separate gun areas. The whole conc landed
    two to three hundred yards E of HQ. The enemy probably
    found out location through the medium of civs. Casualty -
    Wounded - Tpr Chitty
    18A vigorous Counter Bty programme was carried out during
    which HQ ' ' Sqn with 'I' Coy 1 RB moved forward approx
    1,000 yds.
    19No events other than 'A' Sqn relieving 'B'
    20The Regt less Recce Tp and Two Sqns ('B' and 'C') under
    comd 53(W) Div prior to the attack on S'HERTOGENBOSCH
    No events on 'A' Sqn front.
    1420The CO Lt. Col. C. A. Holliman lectures to all ranks
    on "Forthcoming Ops" in the Catholic Hall
    21Final arrangements made by liaison with 71 Bde for
    the attack on S'HERTOGENBOSCH. Quiet day on 'A' Sqn
    front but towards evening the enemy men-handled an
    88mm A/Tk gun into posn and brewed up One Cromwell this
    gun was however KOd the following day.
    Losses: - Enemy :- Nil Own;- One Cromwell
    During the evening 'B' Ech was subjected to a quick
    enemy air attack using AP Bombs.
    Casualties:- KILLED - 2/Lt. Derbyshire
    Tpr Lewis
    Tpr Perkins
    Tpr Taylor
    Tpr Jackson
    WOUNDED: - Capt (QM) A.E. .Thompson
    Tpr Hearty
    Pte Williams (ACC)
    22The first phase of the main S'HERTOGENBOSCH begen at
    0630hrs. 'A' Sqn after careful and detailed planning
    with the 4 RWF moved across the start line in sp of
    them. Progress along the 40 grid Easting was good
    having been preceeded by a hy arty barrage. The country
    in this area towards the final objective was extremely
    thick and contained a considerable number of enemy
    snipers. The upshot of this sit was that One Coy of the
    4 RWF lost all their offrs but few ORs. Also an
    Offr Tk Comd of 'A' Sqn (Lt. J. Collinge) was shot
    through the head. 'A' Sqn fired a great deal of amn into
    the suspected areas and by last light had inflicted hy
    cas making it possible for the inf to clear the whole
    area East of the 40 Easting.
    Losses:- Enemy: - 1 x 75mm A/Tk KOd
    1 x 20mm SP KOd
    1 x Simetre Mortar KOd.
    Cas - Killed - Lt. J. Collinge
    Page 3 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    TISTELRODE23A' Sqn and RHQ back under comd 22 Armd Bde and conc as a Regt in NISTELRODE.
    241600Regt moved to new area MR 448371 and leaguered for the
    448371251100It was anticipated that the Regt would have to cross the
    canal by one of two brs at 321401 or 403379 in which a
    move via HELVOIRT - UDENHOUT would have to be made.
    A sec of 4 Fd Sqn RE under Comd of the regt with a
    scissors br secured a crossing at 321401 but opposition
    a 1,000 yds further on was too strong to allow a break
    through. The regt leaguered the night in St. MICHELS
    GESTEL Area MR 325384.
    32538426The 51 HD having accured a br-hd at 304378 the Regt was
    ordered to cross and proceed to HELVOIRT via MOLESTRAAT
    'C' Sqn leading reached MOLESTRAAT without opposition.
    At this point the leading tp was fired on by an SP gun
    but no damage was done. The SP WELS thought to be in the
    area 1,000 yds due West of MOLESTRAAT and 'C' Sqn set about
    stalking it. At this stage 'B' Sqn was passed through 'C'
    Sqn to make firm the X-rds 270383 and exploit to the next
    X-rds. The 1 R.Tks were then passed through 'B' and
    'C' Sqns directed on UDENHOUT. 'B' and 'C' Sqns changed
    direction and advanced SW. 'B' Sqn reaching MR 250383
    before being fired on with AP. 'C' Sqn with no opposition
    reached HOLEINDE MR 247369. Good progress was maintained
    until nightfall when the regt leaguered in Sqn boxes
    at area 2538. Day's bag:- 6 killed 20 PsW
    253827Regt now placed under Comd 131 Bde. 'B' & 'C' Sqns ordered
    to proceed to MR 230400 and 219309 respectively supporting
    1/6 Queens protecting the Div CL - main rd HELVOIRT - LAIP
    UDENHOUT. Rt and left Bdys being the rd GUILDENBERG
    259419 to HELVOIRT and the 20 Easting. During the
    afternoon 'A' Sqn reported some mortaring and enemy inf
    movement MR 215400. At night RHQ leaguered in HELVOIRT,
    'A' Sqn in defensive posns at MR 213370 plus 'A' Coy 1 RB
    'B' Sqn at 216372 'C' Sqn at GUILDENBERG.
    51 HD recce reported possibility of enemy cutting the CL.
    HELVOIRT281/6 Queens and a Sqn of the 11H now under comd the regt gp
    who in turn was placed under direct comd 7 Armd Div still
    carrying out the role of CL protection. 1/6 Queens posns
    'A' Coy 215401 'B' Coy 225405 'C' Coy 239409.
    'A' Sqn were in immediate sp to 'A' Coy. 'B' Sqn in res
    at 230309. 'C' Sqn at GUILDENBERG. Night patrols reported
    enemy approx str One Coy at 215412 also Mortar and Spandau
    fire from this area.
    29A plan made to clear the enemy from area 215412
    and to est 'B' Coy 1/6 Queens and 'B' Sqn in this area.
    This op was successful and completed in 1 1/2 hrs. 'B' Sqn
    having destroyed a number of houses containing enemy inf
    inflicting hy cas. Country extremely thick and difficult.
    An A/Tk gun located at MR 235438 withdrew after exchange
    of fire enabling 'C' Sqn to proceed through the village
    of GUILDENBER The outskirts were found to be heavily
    mined One Cromwell being lost, this Tk being commanded
    by Lt. Jones. Cas:- Lt. Jones wounded. Killed:- Tpr Mackinson & L/C Carter. Enemy cas:- 6 Killed 22 PsW
    Page 4 of 4
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    GUILDENBERG30At first light the area having been completely cleared
    the regt conc and moved to take over posns held by 4 Armd
    Bde in the vicinity of REIGEN 0537. The route being
    HELVOIRT - TILBURG - REIGEN. 1/6 Queens remained under
    comd and with Recce Tp carried out extensive recces proving
    area for 2 miles West of line X-rds 0535 to 0539 clear
    of enemy. The Royal Netherlands Bde now under our comd.
    The 1 Polish Armd Div was also contacted their HQ being
    at GILZE. Locations: - RHQ HULTEN X-rds 'A' Sqn 068342
    'B' Sqn 033346 'C' Sqn 053962.
    HULTEN31Regt now under comd 22 Armd Bde. The regt was est by
    1400hrs at HORST MR 035423.