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    War Diary: 65th Norfolk Yeomanry Regiment

    Month and year: October 1944

    The 260th Anti Tank Battery (65th Norfolk Yeomanry Anti Tank Regiment) October 1944 war diary covers the units time in Holland in the area of S-Hertogenbosch and Uden.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/921

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

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    Page 1 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    1st0600Bty non-operational from 0900 to 1100 hrs to enable troops to have baths.
    Church service at 1130 hrs. BC, 2 i/c, and Trp Cmdrs on recce during
    afternoon for gun posns. Bty being in Div Reserve may have to do one of
    three tasks - (1) protect field gun area (2) support 131 (Q) Bde lending
    depth to their posns (3) defend L of C on Veghel - Uden - Mistelrode road.
    Bty lay-out was sited on ground roughly in area of Rukven 4345 and 4344.
    Weather:- some rain but mainly fine.
    2nd0600Further recce by BC and Trp Cdrs in morning to co-ordinate Trp gun posns.
    Still in Div Reserve. Posns will not be taken up unless enemy counter-attack
    imminent. Weather:- Fine, cold.
    3rd0600"K" Trp, u/c 257 Bty, ordered to be part of a Task force to take ever from
    U.S. Paratroops in area of Heeswijk 4341. Trp posns recced and Trp moved
    into leaguer area in afternoon. BC recced possible enemy OPs on our front
    to be destroyed but none were found within range. Weather:- Fine, cold.
    4th0600Lt. FW Brown took over "L" Trp, Capt PD Balfour reverting to BHQ.
    BC accompanied CRA, CO and BC 257 Bty on inspection of layout of the
    area which included 257, 260 Btys and 1/6 and 1/7 Queens gun posns.
    Weather:- Fine, cold.
    5th0600"L" Trp had a shoot for GRA. Moved out of Bty area night 4/5th and moved
    to gun area - 422445 - at 0530 hrs. Target was Church at Doornhoek (386446)
    Range tried between 3600 yds and 3800 yds. The extreme range made accurate
    hitting difficult. A fire was started in front of the Church preventing
    its use for the day as an OP and some damage done to steeple.
    Weather: Fine, cold.
    Page 2 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    6th0600BC and CO visited gun layout of A.B.C. posns. 2 i/c visited "K" Trp
    in Heeswijk area and inspected gun posns. BC took "J" Trp out on Trp
    training in afternoon. Weather:- Fine.
    7th0600"J" and "L" Trps on trp training. Lt. Brown recced in front of FDLs to see
    if further firing at shorter range was possible on Doornhoek Church but
    found enemy too near to reasonably bring guns any nearer than the 3800 yds
    in the FDLs. Report presented to CO in afternoon.
    8th0600"L" Trp had shoot against Church & Steeple OP at Doornhoek (386446). This
    was a diversion to distract attention from 8 Hussars raid on Middlerode (4043)
    "L" Trp opened fire at 1345 hrs for half-an-hour claiming 90% hits at 3800 yds
    Enemy retaliated with mortar fire towards end of shoot. Weather:- Fine.
    9th0600Lecture by Education Officer to Bty in morning. BC attend CO's conference
    at 1700 hrs. "K" Trp relieved by "J" Trp at last light. "K" Trp returned
    to Bty concentration area. Weather:- Fine.
    10th0600BG visited in "J" Trp in new posns at Dinther. BG took "L" Trp on Trp exercise
    at 0830 hrs. CO gave lecture to Officers and NCOs of "K" & "L" Trps on
    new drill and deployment for SP when supporting infantry.
    Weather:- Heavy rain all day.
    11th0600Trp exercise for "L" Trp at 0830 hrs. Many useful lessons learned.
    "K" Trp on maintenance. Weather:- Fine, rain at night.
    12th0600Div.Catering Adviser visited Bty. "K" Trp on maintenance. "L" Trp on Trp Scheme.
    Page 3 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    13th0600"K" Trp on exercise from 0800 to 1200 hrs, object of exercise to train Nos.1
    in cross country movement and deployment. At 1700 hrs one gun of "J" Trp
    fired on house at Heeswijk (423409) which had been reported as an enemy
    amn dump, gun was fired from 425413. Results not entirely satisfactory as
    only the roof was visible, the walls being hidden by treas and canal
    embankment. 15 rds AP hit the house but the HE appeared to burst amongst
    the apple trees owing to the sensitive nature of the fuse. Whilst returning
    from this shoot Capt JA Hill, 2 i/c Bty. was accidentally killed.
    14th0600Capt JA Hill was buried in Dinther Church Yard in morning.
    No activity of any sort. "L" Trp relieved "J" Trp at 1800 hrs.
    Weather:- Fine, warm.
    15th0600No activity of any sort. M.10s radiators filled with Anti-freeze mixture.
    16th0600No activity of any sort.
    17th0600During night 16/17 1/5 Queens staged a series of harrassing shoots with
    all types of weapons, in which 3 RHA joined, to test enemy reaction. This
    was slight after 90 minutes. Enemy DF fire came down in area of Heeswijk.
    18th06001/6 Queens relieved 1/7 Queens. 258 Bty came under cmd 131 Bde and one trp
    of this Bty relieved "L" Trp at last light.
    19th0600Nothing to report.
    20th0600Nothing to report.
    Page 4 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    21st0600Preparations made for 131 Bde attack to aline 2 miles short of 'S Hertogenbosch
    Bty remains in Div. Reserve. 1 sec "J" Trp moved at 1600 hrs to house at
    427447 to move to firing posn at first light on 22nd to engage Doornhook
    Church Tower to prevent it being used as an OP. Attack in 3 phases -
    Phase I. 1/7 Queens attack onto Middelrode area at 0630 hrs. on completion
    of phase I 1/5 Queens attack to Doornhoek area 3844 - Phase III 1/5 and
    1/6 Queens onto final objective Berlikum Sanatorium de Loofert 365472
    22nd0600Zero hour for attack was 0630 hrs. counter-battery fire having been fired
    from 0200 hrs by Div. Arty. It was soon evident that enemy arty was not
    very strong although 1/7 Queens were fairly heavily shelled in area
    Middelrode. Sec. of "J" Trp opened fire in very bad visibility on Doornhoek
    at 0745 hrs. A number of hits were scored and subsequently a fire was
    started and the smoke obscured the tgt. Firing ceased and was not started
    again until 1500 hrs when 5 RHA reported the tower being used as an OP.
    More hits were scored and another fire started. At 1515 hrs firing was
    again stopped as own tps were approaching Doornhoek.
    23rd0600See "J" Trp returned to Bty,
    24th0600Preperations made for the forthcoming battle. "K" Trp left Bty at 1230 hrs
    to join "G" Bty 5 RHA. Major JH Boag MC., RA was called away to attend
    a FGCM and Maj. JJ Barclay MC - 2 i/c took cmd of Bty. Battery
    less "K" Trp moved to area 453367 for the night. Lt.R. Knowles and 3
    ORs posted to Bty.
    25th0600"J" Trp came u/c 8 Hussars. "L" Trg in reserve with RTR group. A very
    unexciting day. BHQ tac established for night at 344395.
    Page 5 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    26th0600"L" Trp moved up to area 328371. BHQ Tac moved to Helvoirt (267415) and
    "L" Trp moved with them. For the purpose of guarding Helvoirt during the
    night "L" Trp came under command 1/7 Queens, reverting to Bty cmd next
    27th0600Tac and "L" Trp moved up to Udenhout (198383) where "L" Trp took up posns
    round Tac Bde. BHQ Tac established for night at 202380.
    28th0600"J" Trp left 8 Hussars and came under cmd 1/6 Queens. "K" Troop had a shoot
    at Church tower at 156398 which was a suspected OP. Shoot was very
    successful, 36 hits being scored out of 37 shots. "J" Trp again came under
    cmd 8 Hussars at 1145 hrs. "K" Trp came under Bty cmd at 1630 hrs.
    BHQ Tac "K" and "L" Trps moved to Heikant (165354) and spent night there.
    29th0600"J" Trp deployed in area 144383 and given tasks to the West and
    South. "K" and "E" Trps moved to area 132353 for the night.
    30th0600"L" Trp joined 1/7 Queens at first light. BHQ Tac moved to area 071419
    where night was spent with "K" Troop. "L" Troop, with 1/7 Queens, were in
    area 035423 and "J" Troop at Dongen 067396. Major JH Boag, MC RA returned
    to Bty and took over cmd of Bty at 1630 hrs. 2 i/c returned to Heikant
    to reserve billets for Bty.
    31st0600"J" and "L" Trps came under cmd Bty at 0800 hrs. Bty moved to Heikant
    (168357) arriving at 1000 hrs and settled into billets.