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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: November 1944

    The 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment's 257th Anti Tank Battery November 1944 war diary covers the units time in Holland, Belgium and entering Germany for the first time.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

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    Page 1 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text1B.C. returned from leave. Training in A & C tps starts to-day whilst "B"
    Troop are engaged on maintainance. The weather is extremely cold - quite
    the coldest we have experienced yet. Officer's Mess established in the
    vicarage, which although a nice place, suffers from the absence of certain
    windows - removed by enemy shelling.
    as above2Training continues in "A" & "C" Tps whilst "B" continues with its maintainance.
    C.O. inspected our "A" and "B" Echelon vehicles and personnel to-day with a
    satisfactory result. During his inspection a Flying Bomb flew overhead
    and with its motor still going, crashed N.W. of TILBURG. A discussion is
    held within the Bty based upon a questionnaire on the 17-pr and recent user
    experience. Tp Comds, Tp Sgts and Nos 1 attend as a result of which certain
    suggestions are are submitted to RHQ. Capt PD Balfour R.A. joins the Bty
    to replace Capt VR Minney RA who is posted to 260th Bty.
    As above3Training in all Tps proceeds to-day. We are informed that one Tp will be
    required to shoot in an indirect role in support of an attack being put in
    by 51st (H) Div across the AFTWATERINGS CANAL. "C" Tp is selected to
    carry out this task. Visits to TILBURG and the JERBOA CLUB start again.
    As above4Training during the morning continues with a half day break to follow.
    "C" Tp's Gun Area is recced in the morning and at 1400 hrs the Tp proceeds
    to take up its posn. The BC works out shooting programme and remains at
    HQ 131 (Q) Bde to conduct the shoot. This is quite successful in every
    way and "C" Tp leaguer for the night 4/5.
    Page 2 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text5"C" Tp returns during the morning whilst the reminder of the Bty occupy
    themselves with personal maintainance. We prepare a Bty Training Programme
    which will commence to-morrow. The day is otherwise quiet with NTR.
    as above6Training commences on a Bty basis and goes along very well. BC and 2 IC
    visit all tps and see training and lectures going on. The weather makes
    a few alterations in the programmes necessary. Nothing further to report.
    as above7Training proceeds uninterrupted by the weather. The CRA visits the Bty
    and tours the area during the af ternoon and had a few words with each Tp.
    He left the area at 1445 hrs.
    as above8Training to-day is hampered by very bad weather, being particularly cold
    and wet. Another discussion on 17-pr, both towed and SP, is held within
    the Bty as a result of which our suggestions and ideas are forwarded to
    RHQ. Social functions arranged by 260 Bty and CMP 7 AD were attended by
    ORs and Officers respectively. Warning order for a move received at 2000 hrs.
    as above9Recce parties proceed to new area at 0830 hrs and the Bty proceeds on its
    arranged Training Programme. The weather is again very bad and we have
    our first fall of snow and sleet.
    as above10The Bty moves at 1300 hrs. Regt Order of March is 257 Bty, RHQ, 259 Bty
    258 Bty and 260 Bty. Route used is as follows:- TILBURG - POPPEL -
    Rd Junction 108162 - Cross Rds 3493 - OVERPELT (3892) - Cross Rds 393948 - To next sheet.
    Page 3 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text10 (Cont)- ST HUBERT (4294) - PETIT BROGEL (4088) - PEER (4084) + Dispersal Pt
    408839. Recce parties meet the Bty at DP and lead it to the new area.
    We are four Quads and Guns short but these can all be accounted for as
    having mechanical trouble en route. The CO visits the Bty at 2300 hrs.
    Tac HQ is established in a Bldg at 555843 with Tps concentrated around.
    11By 1130 hrs all our strays from yesterday have turned up. Maintenance
    continues throughout the day and by evening everything is reasonably ship
    shape. Nothing further to report.
    122 IC proceeds on his 48 hrs leave in BRUSSELS. Bty remains in present
    concentration area and continues with maintainance and training. The
    weather is very bad with heavy rain throughout the day.
    13An attack to gain ground up to the RIVER MAAS is being put in to-morrow.
    It will concern two Corps, but as far as this Div goes only 131 (Q) Bde
    will be used. The Bty's 12 guns will be used to fire in support. Gun
    areas are recced during the day and the programme is constructed by the BC.
    14Despito very bad weather the operations are not delayed and will commence
    at exactly "H" hour - 1600 hrs. All three troops carry out successful
    shoots. The Gun Drill was noted to have been very good indeed. Out of
    360 rds fired there were 48 mis-fires, made up of 26 HE and 22 AP. The
    infy attack was successful and all objectives were gained in good time.
    1/7 QUEENS suffered high casualties - 7 Offrs and 50 ORs, incl 1 Offr killed.
    Page 4 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in text15Maintainance and training are continued. EME conducted an inquiry into
    our mis fires and comes to the conclusion that the fault mainly lies with
    the weak striker springs, which he will arrange to be replaced. A S/Sgt
    from I.O.O. also inspects the amn and primers in question.
    16Training continues but the bad weather forces us to conduct most of it
    under cover upon it Troop basis. The CO will visit us to-morror to inspect
    billets and check on the programme of training.
    17CO visit was successful and "B" tp were specially congratulated on the
    standard they had achieved. The improved weather permits training
    can be carried out in the open.
    18We send two ORs from "C" Tp to the JERBOA CLUB at EINDHOVEN. Training
    continues. Regt plays the Div Sigs at soccer and won 3 - 0, this Bty
    is represented by two men.
    19Capt C Briggs, the Regtl Chaplain conducts a service for the Bty at 1030 Hrs.
    Time during the morning is devoted to Internal Economy and the remainder
    of the day is treated an a holiday.
    20Training continues in bad weather. The LAD have begun to replace weak
    strike springs in the Firing Mechs. Otherwise NTR.
    Page 5 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text21As there is still no indication of any movement the BC decides to begin a
    short Cadre Class for the Junior NCOs. The 2 IC prepares suitable
    Training Programme. Weather is still very poor with continuous rain.
    22Cadre Course commences but all outdoor activity has to be postponed owing
    to the very poor weather. Lectures constitute the greater part of the
    training. Bty concerns itself with SA training mainly.
    23Training continues. An uneventful day with NTR.
    24The White Scout half-track has been modified by the LAD to become the
    Bty's comd veh and we have taken it over to-day. The Crusader TK, the
    previous comd veh has been transferred to 258th Bty. Training continues.
    25An improvement in the weather permits a good morning's maintenance.
    The junior NCOs cadre is active with gun drill and re-drilling.
    26Bty Parade at 1000 hrs - very high standard of turn-out was achieved.
    The BC accompanied the CO to select a gun area for another indirect shoot
    by the Bty. This time the object of the shoot is to test the new springs
    in the Firing Mechs, each gun is to fire.3 rds HE and 3 rds AP. We have
    now drawn up low velocity HE amn which reduces the maximum range of the
    gun for indirect shooting to about 6,900 yds. Shooting programme is
    prepared and laid on by Tp Comds.
    Page 6 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text27"C" Tp start shooting at 0900 hrs. By 1220 hrs all guns in the Bty have
    fired and five mis-fires, all HE, are reported out of a total of 69 rds fired.
    One gun of "A" Tp is only able to fire its HE rds as a fault developes with
    the breech mechanism. Upon return to the Bty concentration area the time
    is devoted to maintenance.
    28It is decided that the gun of "A" Tp which developed breech trouble will
    gun be fired to-day - the trouble was found to be due to a faulty inter-mediate
    cocking link. The shoot started at 0830 hrs and fired five rds HE and
    five rds AP - all rounds being quite satisfactory. The C in C, Fld Marshall
    Sir Bernard Montgomery KCB DSO is holding an investiture to-day for the
    Div. The Bty is selected to provide a number of men to attend. Lieut
    S Honeyman RA of "A" Tp and 28 ORs are selected by the BC. The party
    parades at RHQ at 1015 hrs where the CO selects 20 men. The turn-out of
    the men was excellent and the Bty is congratulated upon the high standard
    achieved. Four ORs are allotted vacancies at the Rest Camp in BRUSSELS
    for 48 hrs leave. The weather has improved and the sun has shone.
    There is the possibility of a move and recce parties are called to meet
    the Regtl 2 IC at 0815 hrs to-morrow.
    29Recce parties proceed to an area around SITTARD (6968). The area is at
    present occupied by the GUARD ARMD DIV, whom, it is understood, we are to
    relieve. We trod on GERMAN soil for the first time in the area TUDDERN
    (715698). Tp areas are recced and billeting area fixed. Recce parties
    return to the Bty area in the evening. The day has been devoted to
    training and maintenance. All offrs attend an address given by the
    new Div Comd at 1000 hrs.
    Page 7 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    As stated in Text30Orders are issued for the Bty to be prepared to move by 1400 hrs. Packing
    commences at 0900 hrs. We are warned that the GRA will visit Tp areas
    during the course of the morning. BC attends "O" Gp at 22 Armd Bde (of
    whom we are now under comd) at 1100 hrs but the situation remains vague
    and the chances of a move to-day remain doubtful. The CRA, during his
    visit, confirms this and later in the afternoon we receive a signal
    ordering us to revert to the comd of the CRA. A further party of
    5 ORs are allotted 48 hrs leave vacancies at BRUSSELS.