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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: October 1944

    The 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment's 257th Anti Tank Battery October 1944 war diary covers the units time in Holland to the East of s-Hertogenbosch and Tilburg

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

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    Page 1 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text1The BC and 2 IC visit all guns at Stand-To as a result of which certain
    changes in lay-out are made. At 1200 hrs the BC is called to a conference
    with 1/6 QUEENS the result of which is a complete change in our deployment.
    "A" Tp is back under our comd and 1/7 QUEENS are coming in on our Right to
    link up with 22 Armd Bde. The complete lay-out will now be roughly as
    follows:- (1) An AMERICAN airborne Bn around HEESWIJK (4241) (2) 1/6 QUEENS
    in area on their Right 4244 (3) 1/7 QUEENS on Right of 1/6 QUEENS in area
    4246 (4) 22 Armd Bde on right 1/7 QUEENS and responsible for the area from
    the bridge at VINKEL (423473) to OSS (4754). We have one tp ("A" Tp) in
    support of 1/7 QUEENS and two tps ("B" & "C") in support of 1/6 QUEENS.
    Final dispositions are not completed until dusk and there probably will be
    slight revisions to be made at first light to-morrow. Tp HQs are now as
    follows:- all in farm bldgs, "A" 427457, "B" 436445 and "C" 423438. We
    bed down early the night is punctuated with Arty fire - most of it ours.
    Reveille is ordered for 0500 hrs with Stand-To at 0515 hrs.
    as above2Further slight alterations in lay-out are made but on the whole we remain
    in our previous general areas. One Tp of 258 is placed under our comd
    and is sited in our Right locality in area 1/7 QUEENS. So also is a Tp
    of 260 Bty placed under comd and is sited on our left flank in support of
    1/6 QUEENS. Intermittent Arty fire from both sides throughout the day
    but nothing very serious from either side. Night patrolling on an
    offensive scale is carried out by both the enemy and our own infy.
    as above3The weather to-day shows signs of deterioration and of winter setting in.
    The rain is heavy and the resultant mud is very deep. One gun of "B" Tp
    is moved out to a depth posn but otherwise the dispositions remain the same.
    Arty active - mostly enemy to-day, but well to our Left flank. Night
    patrolling again continues on a largish scale.
    Page 2 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text4Nothing to report to-day. Rather quieter than usual from the arty aspect
    and patrolling is on a small scale only. The weather continues to be wintry
    with rain and cold winds.
    as above5The Med Regt and Bty of Heavy Guns (155 mm s) were very active last night.
    They are sited immediately behind us and many of the windows of the bldg we
    occupy are either broken or cracked. Patrolling on quite and extensive
    scale is again undertaken by the opposing infy but apart from the odd
    exchange of fire nothing developes. The weather is slightly better to-day
    and the sun shows itself.
    as above6Stille there is no change in the situation. Weather is again poor and with
    tk patrol activity the tracks are very bad. Fortunately our guns are sited
    near farmhouses and the detachments are able to take cover from the rain.
    The detachments which are not sited near houses have dug themselves in and
    waterproofed the dug-outs. Digging in this soil is very easy, the soil
    being very light.
    as above7We learn that 1/6 QUEENS are being relieved by 1/5 to-morrow but existing
    localities are remaining unchanged except for a few odd platoon sections.
    Throughout last night enemy arty was again active but still on our Left
    and mostly falling in the DINTHER area. It seems that we are liable to
    remain here for a further seven to ten days just holding the area.
    Patrolling is to be continued on an offensive scale.
    as above8The relief of 1/6 QUEENS by 1/5 takes place during the afternoon and we
    are obliged to alter one of our gun posns and this however fits in with our
    general plans for the BC decides that our fwd guns must now be moved to
    alternative posns. Tp Comds are instructed to take the necessary action
    at last light to-night. Alternative posns are being dug during to-day.
    Arty activity is on a smaller scale and patrols less extensive.
    Page 3 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text9We dedide that it is time to move our own HQ and find a suitable farm bldg
    in the LOOSBROEK area at 455450. Tac HQ moves amidst rain at 1600 hrs.
    We learn to-day that we might be required to do some night firing in the
    form of harassing fire. One gun per Tp will do this on successive nights
    out targets being fixed by HQ 131 (QUEENS) Bde. This is good news and the
    detachments are all very keen to "let fly".
    As above10Arty fire from both sides was very plentiful last night. Patrolling was less
    extensive. Tonight we are to carry out our first harassing fire task on the
    road from S HERTOGENBOSCH (3246) to cross roads 3645. We are assisted by
    the surveyors of 3 RHA who select a gun site for us at 444428. "C" Tp
    provide a gun and detachments. A programme is constructed which indludes
    both AP and HE amn and which commences at 2000 hrs and finishes at 0500 hrs
    11 Oct 44. We evolve a drill for night firing and give instruction to the
    detachments on the use of the Fld Clinometer.
    as above11Last night's shoot went off very well indeed and increased the morale of the
    detachment concerned 100 % Whilst we cannot claim any "brews up" it must
    have been very unpleasant at the receiving end judging by the resounding
    bang of the HE exploding and the weird noise created by the AP whisling
    over. Apart from this, there is little fresh to report. All guns in the
    Bty have now been moved to alternative posns and the more fwd detachments
    changed round to have a spell on a depth gun. We are again to carry out
    another harassing shoot to-night.
    above12"A" TP provided the gun and detachment for last night's shoot and the gun
    posn used was the same as before and the target the houses in the area of
    BEKLIEUM which is known are occupied by enemy tps. The shoot, on this
    occasion commenced at 2015 hrs and terminated at 0335 hrs 13 Oct. HE and AP
    were again fired and a total of 68 rds in all. A most successful shoot.
    Page 4 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text12 (Cont)A most successful shoot in which we were able to claim at least one "brew
    up "of a fairly large size. A further shoot is to take place to-night
    with "B" Tp providing the gun and detachment. Again there is nothing
    fresh to report.
    13Another successful shoot from a posn which was surveyed for us by a "pukka"
    survey section. We had three targets - rd junctn 368462, road from 375457
    and road from 378455. Our posn is at 437460. Altogther 63 rds were fired,
    including both AP and HE. Although there were no "brews up" seen there was
    plenty of noise and it must have caused the enemy another unpleasant night.
    There is no fresh developement on our front during the day. Offensive
    patrolling is again to carried out during the night by both 1/5 and 1/7 QUEENS.
    14We have one offr and five ORs attached to-day from 63rd (Oxfordshire Yeo)
    A tk Regt RA for a period of nine days for "battle innoculation". The offr,
    a Capt, is to remain on Tac HQ whilst the ORs are attached to the three Tps.
    They are apparently to take over from a Corps Regt in due course and are
    at the moment concentrated in the area of LOUVAIN without any equipment.
    We are visited by the 2 IC of 259 Bty., who are to continue the good work of the
    harassing fire, and the visit is to get the shooting fixed up. We hear also
    that the 1/6 QUEENS are likely to relieve the 1/7 QUEENS on the Right of our
    151/6 QUEENS do in fact relieve the 1/7 QUEENS during the evening of to-day.
    During the morning 1/7 QUEENS sent out a very successful fighting patrol
    which bumped into a strong enemy patrol or patrols and succeeded in inflicting
    12 casualties on the enemy without loss to themselves. A carrier section of
    this Bn also had a good shoot against an enemy patrol during the early hours
    of this morning, killing 1, wounding 3 and taking 1 PW. "A" Tp's gun posns
    Page 5 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text15 (cont)"A" Tp's gun posns are re-organised to-day as the S.P. Tp of 258 Bty
    deployed in this area are to be withdrawn out of the posns and used as a
    mobile reserve in the event of an alarm. Fresh posns are dug during the day
    and will be occupied at first light to-morrow morning
    16Nothing fresh to report - a quiet day. "A" Tps new posns are occupied at
    first light. We are given vacancies for two ENSA shows at UDEN (5242) which
    are allotted on the basis of four per Tp - 2 Tac HQ and 2 A Ech. Shelling
    is intermittent throughout the day and some 88s or 75s drop in "A" Tp's
    area causing no damage or casualties.
    17Tac HQ again moves - only if matter of a 100 yds - but better accomodation
    is found in another bldg. Nothing fresh to report.
    18258 Bty HQ moves into our area during the day and their Tp under our comd
    reverts to their own comd. Also a Tp of this Bty relieves a Tp of 260 Bty
    on our Right. We hear rumours of a forthcoming attack in the
    S HERTOGENBOSCH area but so far they are not in any way confirmed. Arty
    activity again heavy but again to our Left in the DINTHER area.
    19We learn that an attack is definitely going to take place with a push
    towards S' HERTOGENBOSCH area and that it is likely to start on SUNDAY 22
    Oct. No orders have yet been received but there are elements of the
    15 SCOTTISH Div and 53 (W) Div in our area and it is obvious that
    something is about to happen. Activity along the front is not great apart
    from a small amount of mortaring during the night.
    20BC attends an "O" Gp at 260 Bty where our CO gives the general picture.
    131 (QUEENS) Bde is to attack towards S' HERTOGENBOSCH on SUNDAY 22 Oct.
    Objectives are limited. On our Right will be 53 (W) Div and on our Left
    Page 6 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in text20 (Cont)and on our Left 51 (H) Div. 53 (W) Div is to put in an attack at the
    same time as us but an attack by 51 (H) Div will not take place until
    MONDAY. We shall be in support of 131 Bde and probably in reserve as 258
    Bty will do the actual support whilst the attack is materialising, apart
    from this, there is nothing further to report.
    21The BC is called to an "O" Gp with the Colonel at 1200 hrs. During the
    morning there is much movement in our area with Fld Guns, Tks etc., moving
    up in preparation for to-morrows attack. BC calls his own "O" Gp at 1415 hrs
    from which we learn that the attack is to be made in four phases. First
    an advance by 1/7 QUEENS to take MIDDELRODE (3943) - followed by 1/5 QUEENS
    on their Right directed on DOORNHOEK (3844). If these two attacks are
    successful 1/6 QUEENS will follow through on Right 1/5 QUEENS. This Bty
    will become Bde reserve and 258 (SP) Bty will support the attack with one
    Tp with 1/5 QUEENS and two Tps with 1/6 QUEENS. The arty programme is
    large and commences with CB on a known enemy gun areas at 0200 hrs to-morrow.
    22We are awakened early with the sounds of heavy gunfire as our guns start
    their pre-arranged shoot at 0200 hrs. 1/7 QUEENS attack commences at
    0630 hrs and progresses slowly but surely. 1/5 QUEENS start operations
    at 0900 hrs and also gain quite a lot of ground but the advance is delayed
    by extensive mining which has been carried out by the enemy. 1/6 QUEENS
    do not start operations to-day therefore but concentrate in area 403452 to
    commence their attack to-morrow morning. There posns on the ground have been
    taken over by 1 Sqdrn 8 Hussars and "A" Tp who are principally concerned
    are to leaguer with 8 Hussars to-night. Our remaining 2 Tps will remain on
    the ground as infy are now well in front of them. Tac HQ remains in same
    posn though BC will spend the night at Tac HQ 8 Hussars.
    Page 7 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text23The attacks by 1/5 and 1/6 QUEENS proceed well and by mid-day both Bns have
    tps on their final objectives. We learn too that the attack by the 53
    (W) Div on our Right is going along very well and that their line is at least
    level with ours if not ahead. The arty preparation for the attack by 51(H)
    Div on our Left started this morning. The attack seems to be going along
    very well and there does not seem to be quite such heavy opposition as was,
    at first, expected. Our own activities change little - "B" and "C" Tps
    are leaguered about 1600 hrs in their own areas. A Tp remains in posn
    with 1 Sqdn 8 Hussars who are to be relieved by 1 Coy of Royal SCOTS FUSILIERS
    of 15 (Scottish) Div. This Coy does not arrive however until about 2100 hrs
    so that 8 Hussars remain in posn and "A" Tp leaguers with them on the same
    basis as last night. 2 IC sleeps at 8 Hussars' Tac HQ. The night is quiet.
    24"A" Tp remain in posn until 1230hrs when the Infy Coy is withdrawn. "B" and "C"
    Tps are concentrated in the area of LOOSBROEK with Tac HQ and are joined by
    "A" Tp at 1500 hrs. At 1600 hrs "B." Tp is sent out on a job with 1/7 QUEENS.
    1/7 QUEENS are to come under comd 22 Armd Bde on the next stage of the
    operations. They expect to move at first light to-morrow. Otherwise,
    maintenance and general cleaning up becomes priority jobs for HQ "A" and "C"
    25We spend a quiet night. At 1000 hrs we receive a warning order to move.
    The Regt., less 260 Bty and "B" Tp of this Bty are to move at H plus 532
    H Hour being provisionally fixed for 1000 hrs. As the day wears on, however,
    H Hour becomes gradually more delayed as the bridgehead established by
    51 (H) Div across the river DOMMEL is meeting strong local resistance.
    Finally 8 Hussars do go across on recce but find the opposition strong.
    22 Armd Bde, therefore, find crossings elsewhere farther South and cross
    during the late hours of the afternoon. 1/7 QUEENS with "B" Tp under comd
    Page 8 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text25 (Cont)with "B" Tp under comd move out just before last light. In the meantime,
    the Regt, less 260 Bty and "B" Tp concentrate in our area at LOOSBROEK for
    the night. The C.O. dines at Tac HQ.
    26Another quiet night with NTR. Recce parties are called for at 0830 hrs
    and proceed to a new area just NORTH of BOXTEL (3234). A suitable leaguer
    area is found around house at 320363 where Tac HQ is established. The
    Bty moves about 1300 hrs and arrives in the new area about 1530 hrs. We
    are not required this night and settle down again. Route used by the Bty
    is as follows:- DINTHER (4341) HEESWIJK (4241) SCHUNDEL (4137) -
    cross roads 3736 - BOXSTEL (3334) - new area 3236.
    27No orders for a move are received so we continue with maintenance. The
    battle is going well büt it seems that there are no enemy tanks in our
    area. We remain in present situation with NTR.
    28Another quiet night with an equally quiet day. Maintenance and general cleaning
    up continues. "B" Tp remain under comd 1/7 QUEENS who to-day are just outside
    LOON OP ZAND (1440) They have two guns in action as civilian reports
    indicate two tanks in the area. These later turned out to be SP guns as
    was thought in the first place.
    29Recce parties go off at 0900 hrs to find a new leaguer area for the Bty.
    Lieut HEPPEWHITE takes over comd of "B" Tp from Lieut ARNOLD who is
    proceeding on a course at the School of Arty LARKHILL. BC proceeds on two
    days leave to BRUSSELS. We finally move out at 1340 hrs and proceed via
    the following route to area ENSCHOT (1934) BOXTEL - BEST - OIR ESHOT (3215)
    MOERGESTEL (2230) OISTERWIJK (2234) cross roads 223360 road junc 200338
    Tac HQ is established in the area 193340 with "A" and "C" Tps and "A "Ech
    concentrated around it.
    Page 9 of 9
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    As stated in Text30Lieut HA ARNOLD R.A. proceeds to join his course in ENGLAND via 33 RHU.
    The Bty remains in its present location and is not committed operationally,
    less "B" Troop who remain under comd of 1/7 QUEENS. They are deployed in
    an area short of OOSTERHOUT. One of their gun detachments took a PW this
    morning - they found him cowering in a farm bldg.
    31"B" Tp revert to the comd of the Bty to-day and come back into the Bty
    concentration area at ENSCHOT, The whole Bty had baths to-day at the
    No. 1 Mobile Bath Unit, this included "B" Tp on their way back to the Bty.
    A slight alteration in billets is made and Tac HQ moves to the Vicarage at
    198343 - this makes an excellent BHQ. The BC returns from his short
    leave at BRUSSELS. Maintenance continues throughout the day. 50 ORs are
    permitted to attend a picture show at TILBURG.