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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: December 1944

    The 260th Anti Tank Battery (65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment) December 1944 war diary covers the units time in Belgium and The Netherlands.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

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    Page 1 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1st0600Training and maintenance continued. BC inspected troops and attended a
    conference on Maintenance at RHQ.
    2nd0600Normal training carried out. Bty personnel re-organised and surplus crews
    sent to troops from A.Echelon.
    3rd0600A.2 and A.1 Echelons combined for simpler administration. Normal Training.
    4th0600Miniature range constructed for laying practice. Corps Cdr. visited RHQ
    and met all BCs.
    5th0600"J" Troop fired on miniature range during morning and "K" Troop during
    afternoon. BC gave "griff" talk to "A" Echelon personnel. Capt. "Q"
    inspected all A Echelon Vehicles.
    6th0600Practice on miniature range continued. Regtl M.O. gave lecture on "First
    Aid" to troops. BC went to Bourg Leopold Ranges to recce area for
    tomorrow's shooting.
    7th0600At 0500 hrs "L" Troop (less 1 - M.10 still bogged at Miniature Range)
    proceeded to Papenhoven (6278) under cnd 11 Hussars. One section of guns
    in action at Gebroek (6575). This section is in close contact with the
    enemy and will be changed every 24 hours. "J" and "K" Troops fired
    Reduced Charge H.E. only at Bourg Leopold ranges. Direct and Indirect
    laying was practised. Shooting was very successful in spite of apalling
    weather conditions. HE rounds fired at low elevations (1200 - 800 yards)
    with "CAP ON" failed to explode, after cap was removed no further trouble
    occurred. There were NO misfires.
    Page 2 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    8th0600BC visited "L" Troop at Buchten where they are u/c "D" Sqn 11 Hussars,
    1 section being in action at Gebroek (6575) and 1 section in harbour at
    Tp HQ in Buchten. Little enemy activity in area Gebroek, but some shelling
    usually at mid-day. Little movement though enemy outposts about 400 yards
    away. Bty under warning order to move to 52 Div area and come under their
    cmd for operation "Shears".
    9th0600BC visited "L" Troop and attended "O" group with 2 i/c Regt. at 52 Div HQ.
    Capt. "Q" and J" and "K" Trp Cdrs recced billeting area but Bty did not move
    as expected. at 2000 hrs message received that Bty would NOT move on 10 Decr.
    10th0600At 1430 hrs "L" Trp had shoot at suspected OP in Church in Susteren (679754)
    with one section of Guns securing 14 hits out of 22 rounds of H.E. and
    11 hits out of 19 rounds APCBC. Shoot was entirely satisfactory and there
    were no misfires.
    11th0600BC visited "L" Troop and found all in high spirits at success yesterday's
    shoot. Winter-grade oils were put into M.10s and "B" vehicles.
    BC spent night with 2 i/c Regt. at 52 Div HQ discussing operation "Shears".
    12th0600BC returned to Bty at 1700 hrs. One more M.10 in "J" Troop broke it's
    clutch housing, this is becoming too frequent and complete check up on
    drivers ordered by BC.
    13th0600Operation cancelled. Endeavours now made to re-join rest of the
    Regiment who are over the Maas in the Sittard area but the area is very
    crowded and it will be difficult to find room.
    Page 3 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    14th0600Orders received to recce for billets between Maesyck and Mechelen (5665)
    on the West of River Maas. The whole area is full of troops and none were
    15th0600BC recced Maesyck for billets and found some in a Convent and orders
    awaited from RHQ before moving.
    16th0600Nothing of importance within the Bty. Sittard was lightly bombed during
    night. Enemy air activity appears to be mounting.
    17th0600Nothing of importance within the Bty. The big German counter-attack into
    Southern Belgium seems to have caused increased enemy air acticity in this
    sector, Sittard was bombed for about 3 hours just after dark and there
    was some straffing of roads in the Bree area. BC visited "L" Troop who
    are still u/c 11 Hussars at Buchten. Advised to-day that we are not to
    move into Maesyck as it is not within the Div. area.
    18th0600News received at 1130 hrs that 15 LAA Regt had a Bty moving out of Dorne
    (5273) and that we could take over these billets. Recce party was
    immediately dispatched.
    19th0600"K" Troop moved to relieve "L" Troop in Gebroek and Buchten. Battery HQ
    and "J" Troop moved into Dorne (5273) where 1 section of "L" Troop
    rejoined the Battery, the other section to be relieved tonight. BC spent
    day on Div.front and received news that Battery may move to Limbricht.
    20th0600Day spent in improving billets and maintenance. BC and 2 i/c visited
    "K" Troop. Enemy tank movement was heard and this was engaged by 5 RHA
    Page 4 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    20th (Contd)as "M" Target. Orders received from HQRA to move into Geleen (6665)
    tomorrow. Section of guns of "L" Trp remained at RHQ for night.
    21st0600Battery moved at 0700 hrs, arriving at Geleen at 0915 hrs. Billets for
    Battery found in school at 658649. BC and Tp Cdrs proceeded on Tactical
    22nd0600"J" and "L" Tp Cmds recced areas with their Nos.1. BC and 2 i/c recced
    area to the East of main Sittard Road, contacting Btys of Corps
    Regt. as far East as 52 Div front. BC and Capt. "Q" recced area in
    23rd0600Further recces occupied most of the day, Tp Cmds and Nos.1 making
    themselves familiar with the emergency positions and routes.
    1 O.R. slightly injured by propaganda shell.
    24th0600"K" Tp stood to for approx 3 hours during the night 23/24 Decr as an
    enemy patrol was heard. Further recce carried out in area of Geleen where
    we have reserve posns with 9 DLI. 2 i/c visited "K" Troop.
    25th0600A very quiet Christmas Day. Battery - less "K" Troop - enjoyed a
    substantial dinner. CO visited Battery. Things were quiet in "K" Troop
    area and the men there also fed very well.
    Page 5 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    26th0600At approx 0630 hrs the enemy attacked GEBROEK. The attack was preceded by
    mortaring and machine gun fire, during which time a patrol car brewed up
    to show the enemy on top of the position. Enemy was engaged with Browning
    and Sten fire but quickly got amongst the buildings. As the 11 Hussars
    were withdrawing on foot, "K" Tp Cdr ordered his 2 guns to withdraw, which
    they did, engaging the enemy with and 36 grenades. The raid was
    abortive as far as the enemy was concerned as he took no prisoners and
    our casualties were negligible - no killed, 1 OR slightly wounded in "K"
    troop but remained at duty. Later in the day the position was re-occupied
    and three German dead (including a Sergeant) were found. Two were in "K"
    Tp area.
    27th0600A quiet night. 8 Hussars are to relieve 11 Hussare tonight. "K" Tp remains
    concentrated in BUCHTEN.
    28th0600Another quiet day. "K" Troop remains concentrated in Buchten u/c 8 Hussars.
    Progress was made with heavy maintenance including changing of injectors.
    29th0600Heavy maintenance continued.
    30th0600Baths for Battery during morning. Demonstration of guard duties held in
    31st0600BC and 2 i/c recced area of our reserve positions. "J" Troop relieved
    "K" Troop from their poins at Buchten and "K" Trp returned to Battery
    at Geleen.