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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: December 1944

    The 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment's 259th Anti Tank Battery December 1944 war diary covers the units time in Belgium and the Netherlands, including reports of German break-through in the American sector

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

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    Page 1 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    December 1st.0600 hrs.Recce Party left for new area. Battery moved off under Lt. J. Yates R.A. at
    1100 hrs. Concentrated in Area 5978. All men under cover in Troop Areas. Locations:-
    B.H.Q. 591796. "G" Trp. 588803. "H" Trp. 595799. "I" Trp. 609801.
    December 2nd.0600 hrs.A days maintenance and improvement of Billets. 2nd i/c visited Lt. R.W. Smith R.A.
    (wounded on 30th November) who though uncomfortable was cheerful. B.C. arrived
    back at 1930 hrs from his leave in Brussels. C.O. visited the Battery in the
    morning and inspected Billets.
    December 3rd.0600 hrs.Lt. S.E. Lealand R.A. and Sgt. Park A.F. attend a four days M.T. Course at R.H.Q.
    Baths in afternoon.
    December 4th.0600 hrs.A days training with a football match in the afternoon.
    December 5th.0600 hrs.Come under Comd of 131 Bde. 2nd i/c and B.S.M. recce new area. Capt. S.W. Felts
    R.A. joined the Battery as Capt. "Q".
    Operation Order no.6 attached
    December 6th.0600 hrs.B.C. and Troop Comdrs move off on recce to new area. Lttle else of interest.
    December 7th.0800 hrs.B.C. Capt "Q" and Troop Comdrs move off for new area. Battery moved off at 0830
    hrs with 2 White Scout Cars, given for "trying out" purposes. Crossed the Meuse
    at 6169 to SITTARD 6968. "G" Troop moved to 1/5th Queens area in wood 7469
    "H" & "I" to area SCHINVELD to hand guns over to 2 Troops 21st A.TK Regt. R.A.
    "I" Troop area HASTENRATH 7668 and "H" Troop area VINTELEN 7869 both in D.L.I. area.
    TAC H.Q. established at GANGELT 7867. D.L.I. and Devons had replaced 1/6th and
    1/7th Queens in the Bde. Also under comma one Troop 257 Bty deployed in TUDDERN
    7170 and MILLEN 7071. B.H.Q. established in SITTARD at 688677. Hand over
    completed after dusk. A little shelling in "G" Troop area, no casualties. Tech
    Adj joined the Bty to stay for a few days to examine the white scout cars.
    December 8th.0600 hrs.A quiet day, odd shelling in most sectors. Layout buttoned but rather a thin red
    line. Brig 131 Bde wanted gun to cover road north west from SITTARD, finally
    informed that someone else will look after it.
    December 9th.0600 hrs.C.O. visited all troops during the day, quiet on all sectors.
    December 10th.0600 hrs.Nothing of importance to report. A few words are due to our interpreter (Dutch).
    He joined us at BERKEL and by now is as smartly turned out as most. Affectionately
    known as "George" he can manage to produce most things and has quiet and firm line
    with any "doubtful" characters. His English, thanks to study in the evenings, is
    progressing by leaps and bounds.
    December 11th.0600 hrs.Nothing to report and all quiet. Some V.I. or V.II's seen going over during the
    Page 2 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    December 12th.0600 hrs.A party sent on leave to BRUSSELS and other men managed to get a bath. Tech Adj
    who is still with the Battery instructing men on the White Scout Cars. An
    unfortunate accident during the night resulted in the death of 3608020. Gnr Wood S.
    December 13th.0600 hrs.Gnr Wood S. buried in Bde Cemetry at WEHR 7267 by the Padre of the D.L.I's.
    December 14th.0600 hrs.Nothing to report.
    December 15th.0600 hrs.Another quiet day.
    December 16th.0600 hrs.Six men left the Battery to be posted to infantry.
    December 17th.0600 hrs.Two more men posted to infantry, all in 20 - 24 age group with not much battle
    experience. "I" & "G" Troops relieved in evening. Guns handed over to two
    Btys 21st A.TK Regt R.A. G.A.D. Concentrated in SITTARD. "H" Troop remained in
    position no relief available.
    December 18th.0600 hrs.Arrangements made to relieve "H" Troop by S.P's but orders cancelled at last moment.
    German breakthrough reported on 1st American Army sector. One gun from "H" Trp
    and one from "I" Trp taken over recently B.L.R'D.
    December 19th.0600 hrs.Plans remade for relief of "H" Trp guns. Assistance sought from tank squadron
    Grenddier Guards plus borrowed half track (with winch). Guns pulled out at last
    light in half an hour, good work done by all. "H" Troop concentrated in SITTARD.
    December 20th.0600 hrs.Orders received from C.O. for "G" Troop to relieve troop G.A.D. in Wood at WEHR,
    thus getting back their own guns which were still on the ground. Take over conpleted
    at last light. Two gun positions altered. Orders for defenge of SITTARD
    by "H" & "I" Troops.
    December 21st.0600 hrs."I" Troop moved in action North of SITTARD 6869 at first light. "H" Trp put two
    guns into action South East of SITTARD 6967 in conjunction with Corp A.TK Regt.
    Operation Order no.4 attached
    2nd i/o formed small TAC H.Q. in WEHR726681 commanding "G" Trp and "D" Trp (258
    Battery) (M.10's) in mobile reserve in wood 734687.
    December 22nd.0600 hrs.Div Comdr met B.C. and looked at gun positions of "I" Troop. Another gun of "H"
    Trp went into action. SITTARD "Stonked" by night.
    December 23rd.0600 hrs.B.C. moved up to TAC at WEHR. "I" Troop came under comd of 258 Battery. "A" Ech
    commanded by Capt. S.W. Felts R.A. remained in SITTARD. "H" Trp (in depth)
    remained under cond. Dingo Scout car arrived for B.C.
    December 24th.0600 hrs.Remaining gun of "I" Troop went into action with "H" Troop and so now Battery
    complete with one gun of "H" Trp under Comd of "I" Troop and one gun of "I" Troop
    under Comd of "H" Troop, Yanks holding German counter-attack Two Sgts from
    "G" Troop who had gone on leave to BRUSSELS kept their to defend the Capital
    rimour has it with M.10s
    Page 3 of 3
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    December 25th.0600 hrs.Christmas Day. Cold and hard bright sunshine. B.C. and 2nd i/c made a tour of
    all the guns. All having a Christmas Dinner plus one bottle of beer except one gun
    team of "H" Troop who had to shift their position to coincide with adjustment of
    Corps layout. So Christmas came and went white but very sober and all had hopes
    of a party when we get out of the line. Frank Gillard did a broadcast with the
    Queens from the wood where "G" Troop were in action.
    December 26th.0600 hrs.Nothing to report. Quiet day.
    December 27th.0600 hrs.Another quiet day, still cold, crisp and clear and good news from the German
    breakthrough front. The two Sgts from "G" Troop returned from defending BRUSSELS.
    December 28th.0600 hrs.Enemy attacked VINTELEN and KIEVELBERG 7769 and 7869 with a company in each case.
    This was on our right in the next Div area. The position was restored, the enemy
    losing 104 P.W' S including a Coy Commander to our one platoon.
    December 29th.0600 hrs.Nothing exciting to report. A few men each day going to baths, cinema, Div
    Pantomine and odd E.N.S.A. shows. Cold dry frosty weather continues.
    December 30th.0600 hrs."I" Troop changed places with "G" Troop, guns remained but personnel changed over.
    December 31st.0600 hrs.The enemy hotted up a shade between 0630 and 0700 hrs with 25 Pdrs, Vickers MGs,
    HAA, and LAA and Brens to warn him of doing any infiltrating tactics on the
    Queens front.
    So ended an eventful year and with hopes of finishing the Bosche off in the near
    future we come to:- 1945.