War Diary: 3rd Battalion IRISH GUARDS, Jan - Dec 1945

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 171/5148

     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1945 January 1
    Attenhoven
    The C.O. issued a directive to govern the course of training during the ensuing weeks while the Bn was non-operational. Tactical trg was left on a coy level while T.E.W.T.S. and sand table exercises were organised centrally. The programme was a flexible one, in as much as it could be discontinued at any given moment & recommenced later without destroying the sequence.

    1945 January 2
    Attenhoven
    -

    1945 January 3
    Attenhoven
    -

    1945 January 4
    Attenhoven
    -

    1945 January 5
    Attenhoven
    Nos 1 & 2 Coys did a field firing exercise at BOURG LEOPOLD which was watched by the Div Cmdr. The type of experience obtained from these exs with live amn is invaluable and essential in view of the fact that a large percentage of the Bn have had no previous experience of active service conditions.

    1945 January 6
    Attenhoven
    A mines course for Offrs and NCOs was started today, run by the Pioneer Pl Cmdr. It is later intended that the infm acquired in this manner shall be passed on to Coys by students of the course.

    1945 January 7
    Attenhoven
    -

    1945 January 8
    Attenhoven
    I.O. & Lt. WARNOCK attended a Div security course which dealt with the action to be taken in GERMANY in dealing with the civilian population.

    1945 January 9
    Nos 3 & 4 Coys did a Fd firing ex at BOURG LEOPOLD & the A/Tk Pl fired their guns at LOMMEL.

    1945 January 10
    All Offrs attended a lecture by Maj P.F.I. REID on the organisation and working of a British Armd Div.

    1945 January 11
    The C.O. left for ENGLAND in order to attend an interview at Regimental Head Quarters.

    1945 January 12
    -

    1945 January 13
    -

    1945 January 14
    -

    1945 January 15
    There was a lecture during the morning at the Div theatre TIRLEMONT by an Offr of the 79TH ARMD DIV on the subject of “S.P. Amd Equipment.”

    1945 January 16
    All Offrs attended a lecture by the Signal Offr on the subject “19 Set procedure”. During the morning the I.O. attended a conference at Bde on the present Military situation. We learned that we were likely to remain in the present area for training for a further three weeks.

    1945 January 17
    All Offrs attended a lecture by the I.O. on the subject of “German Minor Tactics”.

    1945 January 18
    A Bn sports conference was held in the evening, at which a programme of sports was compiled to cover the period during which we were likely to remain static. Owing to the bad weather conditions - some inches of snow have been on the ground for a week past - it was not possible to provide facilities for every type of contest. It is hoped however that conditions will have improved before we leave the area.

    1945 January 19
    -

    1945 January 20
    -

    1945 January 21
    -

    1945 January 22
    A R.E.M.E. inspection team visited the Bn for two days to advise on the state of the vehicles. During the evening all Offrs attended a lecture on R.T. Procedure by Signal Offr.

    1945 January 23
    -

    1945 January 24
    There was an Offers’ practice in the use of the 19 Set during the evening. The C.O. & Coy Cmdrs went to the 2ND BN GREN GDS for a conference & discussion on Tk & Inf cooperation.

    1945 January 25
    A W.T. Circus visited the Bn to deal with any wireless problems which might have arisen during the past few months. In the evening all Offrs attended a lecture on the “Characteristics of Sp Coy weapons”.

    1945 January 26
    Capt HENDRY conducted a sand table exercise on “Attack across open country” which was attend by all Offrs.

    1945 January 27
    Lt. J.J. KIRKPATRICK attended a Div Gas Course.

    1945 January 28
    -

    1945 January 29
    A Bn sports competition was held during the afternoon, & in spite of bad weather went off satisfactorily.

    1945 January 30
    There was a lecture & discussion on “Street Fighting” in the evening which Offrs of the 2nd and 3rd Bns both attended.

    1945 January 31
    During the afternoon there was a sand table T.E.W.T. on “Advance in close Country”, which was again attended by Offrs of both Bns.
     
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Attenhoven

    1945 February 1 - 2
    Training continued as usual in slightly better weather conditions. -

    1945 February 3
    During the morning the Commanding Officer attended a planning Conference for an Operation in which the Battalion was to take part in the near future. -
    In the afternoon there was an Intelligence Conference at Divisional H.Q. on the same subject and planning maps were issued.

    1945 February 4
    The Commanding Officer held a Conference for Company Commanders at which they were told the outline plan of the Operation, and enabled to study the maps and photographs of the area over which we were to operate. -

    1945 February 5
    Advance parties under the Second-in-Command left for the area of TILBURG where the Division was to concentrate before moving up to the battle area. -

    1945 February 6
    The Battalion left ATTENHOVEN at 0500 hours and, in spite of bad road conditions, were established in the new area by 1500 hours. -


    Tilburg

    1945 February 7
    A Conference was held at 5th BRIGADE H.Q. and we were told that owing to unexpectedly adverse weather conditions we were unlikely to be employed until considerably later than had originally been intended. -
    The Battalion was placed on 6 hours’ notice to move.

    1945 February 8 - 10
    The Battalion continued in the TILBURG area.
    The constant rain and terrible state of the roads had slowed up the attack very considerably, but planning went on ? the basis of the original intention.

    1945 February 11
    At 0400 hours we were informed that the Division had been re-grouped with the Infantry and Armoured Brigades separate.
    We were therefore now in 32nd Brigade and were ordered to move at 1400 hours to the NIJMEGEN area.
    The Battalion was in its new Concentration Area by nightfall.


    Nijmegen

    1945 February 12
    The Battalion remained in NIJMEGEN as a counter-attack reserve in the event of an enemy breakthrough.


    Nijmegen - Groesbeek

    1945 February 13
    At 0800 hours the Battalion received orders to move for ? reasons to the area GROESBEEK (76??) -
    We arrived in this bleak and desolate village, of which no house was undamaged and few boasted an upper storey, by 1600 hours.
    At 2000 hours we were informed that there would be a Brigade ‘O’ Group at 2300 hours for a Battalion attack on the following day South of the River N?

    1945 February 14
    H hour was eventually appointed at 1700 hours.
    The Battalion attacked two companies up:-
    Left No. 1 Company
    Right No. 3 Company
    and apart from skirmishes on entering the village itself during which approximately 50 prisoners were taken, the objectives were reached successfully and without loss.
    A ‘scissors’ bridge was placed over the canal and permitted the passage of armour.
    The Battalion’s position was consolidated satisfactorily.
    The shelling on the Battalion on the Battalion area was light.


    Hommersum

    1945 February 15
    The morning saw a marked increase in enemy artillery activity.
    Any movement of vehicles in the village drew heavy concentrations of fire.
    At about 1200 hours it was decided that a patrol from No. 2 Company commanded by Lieutenant R. TENNISON should go to see whether the houses South of the village were clear of enemy.
    The patrol and had cleared some houses successfully, capturing about a dozen prisoners, when about 70 or so infantry were observed forming up to the South of them.
    This proved in fact to the first phase of any enemy counter-attack which developed simultaneously from South and East.
    Extremely heavy artillery concentrations preceded and accompanied it, and were directed mainly on to the area of the bridge.
    The patrol was most unfortunately cut off by this attack and had to make its own way back individually.
    Four of them were missing, two of whom were believed to be Prisoners of War.
    The Patrol Commander was wounded in the heel but was evacuated satisfactorily.
    By 1900 hours the attacks had been broken up by artillery fire and all was quiet again.
    They were not resumed.

    Hommersum
    1945 February 16
    At 1000 hours the Intelligence Officer attended at conference at 5 COLDSTREAM GUARDS HQ to learn the plan of the attack which they were to make SOUTH of us at 1300 hours with the object of capturing the hamlet of MULL 6245. In order to assist them in their initial advance, a patrol under Lieutenant B BERKELEY was sent to clear the houses immediately NORTH of their centre line. Unfortunately the enemy holding them were stronger and more determined than had been expected and the patrol was unable to accomplish its mission. The patrol Commander and two Other Ranks were wounded and it was only with difficulty that they were able to be evacuated before the artillery support for the COLDSTREAM attack began. The 5 COLDSTREAM GUARDS met fairly strong opposition but succeeded in capturing their objectives. During the afternoon, which again brought very heavy enemy shellfire on the bridge area. Recce parties from 1 WELSH GUARDS came up to look at our positions through which they were to advance at 0400 hours the next morning to capture HASSUM 8543. During the evening things once again became much quieter.


    1945 February 17
    The 1 WELSH GUARDS attacked at 0400 hours and captured their objectives without opposition. The Battalion was thus squeezed out into a position in reserve.

    1945 February 18 - 19
    The Battalion remained in reserve in the area HOMMERSUM and was able to clean up and reorganise after the past operation during which about 50 casualties had been suffered.

    1945 February 20
    The Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officials were called to a Brigade O Group at 1000 hours and informed that on the following day the Battalion would attack and capture the area VRIJ 853416 and the bridge slightly to the NORTH of it.

    The day was spent in tying up the artillery fire plan and arranging for supporting arms. Owing to the boggy nature of the ground and terrible state of roads it was impossible to have tank support, and SP guns, carriers etc were confined to the tracks. The Commanding Officer held an O Group at 1830 hours when the final plans were co-ordinated. The Battalion was to attack on two centre lines about 400 yards apart. Left No. 1 Company, followed by No. 3 Company. Right No. 4 Company, followed by No. 2 Company. Owing to the nature of the ground, HQ Group and supporting arms were compelled to employ the right centre line. H Hour was to be 1300 hours.

    1945 February 21
    During the morning the Battalion handed over the area HOMMERSUM to 2 SCOTS GUARDS and assembled for the attack just WEST of the Anti-Tank ditch that was the start line. This was crossed at 1300 hours behind a heavy artillery concentration and for about 2000 yards the advance continued unhampered. Then, however, difficulties began to arise everywhere. The wireless carriers on both centre lines were either bogged or “brewed-up” on mines. Re-course had therefore to be made to the No. 18 sets which rapidly proved unsatisfactory and for most of the rest of the operation the left-flanking Coy were out of wireless communication with Battalion HQ. On the right, No. 4 Coy almost succeeded in reaching its objective when it was confronted by very heavy Spandau fire from both flanks. Unfortunately it had inadvertently by-passed further opposition on the SOUTHERN flank which proceeded to engage No. 2 Coy and Battalion HQ. Mines and craters were found in profusion on both centre lines and the further progress of vehicles was out of the question. Moreover No. 4 Coy had suffered such heavy casualties that the Commanding Officer decided to withdraw them to a position about 200 yards EAST of No. 2 Company. At the time it was not appreciated, by reason of the failure of communications, exactly how things were going on the NORTHERN flank. The last message which had been received over the air had indicated that Nos 1 & 3 Companies were closing satisfactorily on to their objectives. It was therefore provisionally decided to consolidate a position based on them. We discovered however when contact was regained that although they had in fact reached their objectives they had been very heavily opposed and driven back by enemy many times their number. Major G.E FISHER ROWE commander of No. 1 Company and Major D.M. KENNEDY MC commander of No. 3 Company had been either killed or fallen badly wounded into enemy hands. No. 1 Company had by this time been reduced to about 60 and No. 3 Company to about 30 men. After these had been re-organised, the Brigade Commander was consulted, and in view of the Battalion’s weak position and the impossibility of supplying us by the existing routes, ordered a withdrawal to HOMMERSUM. This was accomplished with some difficulty but by 2200 hours the Battalion was back in its old location. Casualties during the day amounted to about 8 Officers and 130 Other Ranks.


    Hommersum - Nijmegen
    1945 February 22
    The Battalion received orders to move back to the NIJMEGEN area to regroup with the Armoured Brigade. This move was completed by 1600 hours.

    Nijmegen - NW of GOCH
    1945 February 23
    Recce parties proceeded at 1130 hours to 15 SCOTTISH DIVISION HQ NORTH of GOCH 9043 where the Division was taking over a piece of the line.
    The Battalion was to take over an area in immediate reserve where it was hoped we would have the opportunity to rest and reorganise. The Battalion moved at 1300 hours and were established in the new area 937464 by 2000 hours.

    Nijmegen - NW of GOCH
    1945 February 24
    Apart from a certain amount of shellfire, the Battalion spent a quiet day in the new area and proceeded with the re-organisation. At 1630 hours the Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer attended an Operational conference at Brigade HQ where they were told the plans for the immediate future.

    Nijmegen - NW of GOCH
    1945 February 25-28
    The Battalion in its present area for rest and re-organisation in Corps reserve. On the morning of the 26th the Canadian Army attack passed through our positions towards UDEM and we were then completely out of contact. On the 18th the Battalion received a draft of 5 Officers and 77 Other Ranks which brought the Battalion up to strength again. We had already absorbed 3 Officers and 53 Other Ranks from the Reinforcement Holding Unit.

    DSC05310.JPG
    DSC05311.JPG
    3IG Feb 45, 20-21.png 3IG Feb 45, 21-23.png

    DSC05314.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    1 April 1945
    The Battalion Group moved off at 0700 hours with the HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY REGIMENT leading. 2 Anti-Tank guns which were discovered en route were dealt with by Typhoons and it was not until we reached the outskirts of ENSCHEDE (4203) that we met any serious resistance. Here the Germans had left several Self-Propelled guns guarding the line of the railway and it was necessary to make a considerable diversion to the East and by-pass the town. About 2 miles further on more resistance was encountered from withdrawing Self-Propelled and 88mm. guns and as night was drawing on, it was decided to harbour where we were (447038).

    2 April 1945
    At about 0230 hours a party of some 60 German infantry who were withdrawing Northwards ran unexpectedly into one of our Platoon areas where the darkness caused some considerable confusion. The situation was quickly restored however and some 20 prisoners were taken. At 0700 hours we continued the advance through OLDENSAAL (4514) without incident and then turned Eastwards towards BENTHEIM (6011) and SCHUTTORF (6514). Just after having crossed the frontier an enormous crater was discovered in the road which it was estimated would take some 5 hours to repair. We attempted to loop left and right but without success and it rapidly became evident that we were up against a strong and determined crust of enemy. The village of WESTENBURG (5412) was cleared by No. 4 Company and we [were] then able to push on to the outskirts of GILDEHAUS (5711). Here however concealed Self-Propelled guns and determined infantry succeeded in inflicting heavy casualties on the tanks, and as night was now drawing in, the Commanding Officer decided to enter the village with 2 infantry companies while the remainder of the Group harboured to the West of it. This was accomplished successfully, and at 2200hrs the Brigade Commander informed us that on the morrow the Grenadier Group were to pass through directed on BENTHEIN and SCHUTTORF. A considerable number of prisoners were taken during the day including some members of the staff of H.Q. 8 Para Division.


    3 April 1945
    The GRENADIERS met heavy opposition almost as soon as they left the outskirts of the village and the Battalion therefore remained in the harbour area all day. The 32nd Brigade had succeeded however in forcing a crossing of the EMS RIVER near LINGEN (7137) some 20 miles NORTH of us, and it was decided that we should move up as a Brigade to join their Centre Line. In the evening however we were told that this manoeuvre would not take place until the 5th of April, and in the meantime we were to remain harboured in our now peaceful area.

    4 April 1945
    The Battalion remained in the harbour area. At about 1500hrs we learned that no move was likely before the morning of April the 6th.

    5 April 1945
    At about 1400hrs we received orders to move to a harbour area SOUTH of NORDHORN (547268) preparatory to a breakout from the LINGEN bridgehead.

    6 April 1945
    The Battalion remained in harbour as the bridgehead was not yet sufficiently deep to permit the employment of armour.

    7 April 1945
    The Battalion moved at 0900hrs and passed through the 32nd Brigade who were turning NORTH in the area of THUIN (834339). The opposition in this area was, as usual, infantry with Bazookas, supported by a few Self-Propelled guns. The commanding Officer decided to do a left-flanking attack on the little village of LOHE (855326) some 3 kilometres distance, where 2 Self-Propelled guns were reported. This operation was undertaken by No. 4 Company, 2nd Squadron Group, and was completed satisfactorily by 1900hrs. At about 15oohrs the Tactical H.Q.s Group came under shellfire from a Battery of 3-10-5mm guns from the SOUTH during the course of which Lt-Col. G.A.M. VANDELEUR, commanding 2nd Bn IRISH GUARDS, was slightly wounded and had to be evacuated. At nightfall No. 2 Company, 3 Squadron Group had pushed forward and had succeeded in cutting the main road leading NORTH out of FREHEN (859325), thus making the enemy withdrawal a difficult undertaking.

    8 April 1945
    During the hours of darkness patrols into FREREN had reported no opposition and accordingly at first light No. 3 Company, ? Squadron Group attacked the village preceded by an artillery concentration. The objective was occupied uneventfully and No. 4 Company, 2nd Squadron Group was then pushed forward to continue the advance along the Centre Line. After going about 3 miles opposition of the same kind as before was once again encount[ered] - in woods flanking the main road, and an infantry attack was needed to dispose of it. The trouble was successfully cleared up but opposition of a more serious nature was again encountered about 2,500 yards WEST of FURSTENAU (958359). No. 2 Coy, 3 Squadron Group was again sent forward to cut the road running NORTH out of the town which it succeeded in doing. Towards nightfall No. 4 Coy, 2 Squadron Group were moved round NORTH-WEST of the town in order to attack it at first light the following morning.

    9 April 1945
    Patrolling during the night gained the information that the railway line WEST of the town appeared to be defended by infantry and accordingly it was under artillery concentration that the attack was mounted. Most unfortunately the Company Commander, Major M.V. Dudley, was killed by a sniper very early in the attack together with the Company signallers, with the result that they were out of wireless touch with Bn H.Q. It was not until the Tank Squadron in support had pushed forward most boldly that the situation was again restored and we succeeded in entering the town without meeting further opposition. At 0900hrs the town was able to be reported clear and at 1030hrs the Grenadier Group passed through. The rest of the day was spent in the area FURSTENAU in reorganisation.

    10 April 1945
    At about 1500hrs the Battalion received orders to move forward to a concentration area in the village of VECHTEL (9341), ready to pass through 32nd Brigade on the completion of bridges over the RIVER AASE. The Battalion was established in the new area by 2100hrs.

    11 April 1945
    The Battalion remained in the concentration area throughout the day. At 2300hrs we received an order to move up to the RIVER AASE at 0900hrs the following morning.

    12 April 1945
    There was a Brigade Orders Group at 1000hrs at which the Battalion Group was ordered to capture the high ground in the area of the road (3369). We passed through the COLDSTREAM GDS at about 1100hrs and immediately were held up by mines and road blocks. These were however, swiftly cleared and the Bn was able to push on towards ESSEN (138581). The Commanding Officer decided to by-pass the village to the NORTH, as it was known to be a centre of enemy resistance. Against opposition from infantry in small pockets we succeeded in making our way to the village of HERBERGEN (115618). From here No. 4 Coy, 2 Squadron Group was able to push on fast through SUHLE (125654) to the village of HEMMELTE (158650) which it reached as darkness fell. The Battalion Group accordingly spent the night in this area.

    13 April 1945
    Patrolling during the night disclosed enemy positions WEST of the railway line in several places, and No. 2 Coy, 3 Squadron Group attacked at dawn and made good the village of WARESTEDT (195651). Here however, 2 Self-Propelled guns and some determined infantry were encountered and 3 tanks were knocked out. While this trouble, which included road blocks, was being dealt with, a NORTH hook was attempted by No. 4 Coy, 2 Squadron. In spite of enemy infantry opposition many of whom were taken prisoner, this drive succeeded by 1400hrs in reaching the village of SEVELTEN (224685), from which a rapid advance was made to occupy CAPPELN (255685), which was not held. The remainder of the Battalion Group succeeded in reaching the village from the SOUTH at about 1800hrs. From here the advance was continued and in spite of mines on the road, EMSTEK (284709) had been entered before dark. Here however, very accurate sniping was encountered, in the course of which 2 Tank Commanders were hit and a number of Guardsmen from the Rifle Coys were wounded. By means of setting fire to every house in the Western end of the village this menace was however rapidly stopped, and the leading Coy, Squadron Group pushed on through the gathering dusk without opposition to DRANTUM (315699), only 2,000 yards from our final objective, where we harboured for the night.

    14 April 1945
    At 0700hrs the Commanding Officer held an Orders Group at which 2 Coy, Squadron Groups were told to advance on the final objective. This was accomplished swiftly and uneventfully. The Battalion then concentrated in the area SUHREN (327680) where we were to remain for 3 days before moving to SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN. The remainder of the day was spent in reorganisation and rest.

    15 April 1945
    The Battalion remained concentrated in the area of BUEHREN for rest and reorganisation. On the evening of April the 16th we were told that the Division was coming under the command of 12th Corps for an operation between BREMEN and HAMBURG. We were to operate on the left of the 7th Armoured Division to cut the enemy’s communications between the 2 cities.

    16 April 1945
    The Battalion remained concentrated in the area of BUEHREN for rest and reorganisation. On the evening of April the 16th we were told that the Division was coming under the command of 12th Corps for an operation between BREMEN and HAMBURG. We were to operate on the left of the 7th Armoured Division to cut the enemy’s communications between the 2 cities.

    17 April 1945
    At 1400hrs the Battalion crossed the Brigade Start Point for a move to the area HETHEN (1165) where we were to concentrate for the night. It was a distance of some 60 miles and the Battalion was not in its new area (005637) before 0100hrs

    18 April 1945
    Towards evening there was an Orders Group SOUTH of SOLTAU at which were told that the Brigade Group would concentrate in that area for the night, before striking WEST to TOSTEDT the following day with the object of capturing ZEVEN and cutting the Autobahn linking BREMEN and HAMBURG.

    19 April 1945
    The Grenadier Group, who were in the lead, crossed the railway lne in TOSTEDT at 1400hrs, and only minor opposition succeeded in cutting the Autobahn and pushing on to within 3 miles of the final objective. The Battalion Group, moving up behind, took over the responsibility for the area SITTENSEN and the Autobahn crossings NORTH and WEST of it, where we remained for the night.
    20 April 1945 - The Grenadier Group set off at first light for ZEVEN but soon met heavy opposition and were compelled to halt. Meanwhile the Battalion Group had been ordered to send a Company, Squadron Group to ELSDORF. Apart from a few mines the village was occupied without incident and patrols were sent to WISTEDT and WEHLDORF. The latter patrol being on the main ROTENBURG-ZEVEN road, obtained a satisfactory shoot at enemy transport moving NORTH from ROTENBURG. By evening the Autobahn from SITTENSEN to ELSDORF was clear and in use. A number of prisoners were taken during the day mostly from the Grossdeutschland Brigade.

    21 April 1945
    A strong counter-attack, which was subsequently proved to have been made by the 2 Battalions of 104 Panzer Grenadier Regiment (15 Panzer Grenadier Division), was launched, supporte by Artillery, Mortars, and Self-Propelled guns, on to the area ELSDORF-WISTEDT shortly after first light. The situation was serious for a time, as a Platoon and Troop occupying WISTEDT were surrounded and cut off from the main body. Only one tank with the Tank Commander and Platoon Commander with 4 men managed to get back to the Company area. Elsewhere in spite of bitter fighting and heavy shelling on our forward areas, the enemy attack had been beaten off by midday. Another Coy/ Squadron Group moved to FRANKENBOSTEL and Battalion HQ to RUSPEL. At about dusk 16 bombs were dropped on ELSDORF fortunately causing very few casualties. The firing of Verey lights from the ground seemed to be co-ordinated in the tactical picture, but it was not followed by any counter-attack.

    22 April 1945
    At about 0200hrs a Self-Propelled gun made a demonstration to the EAST of ELSDORF but when the Defensive fire tasks were fired, it quickly withdrew again. Apart from active patrolling by our troops which ensured that the enemy were still in the area, the day was a quiet one with no sign of enemy activity on the scale of the previous day. Prisoners taken during the day tended to confirm the impression that an enemy withdrawal was imminent.

    23 April 1945
    At about 0300hrs a single German with a Bazooka hit and destroyed a tank in the Squadron HQ in ELSDORF. Apart from this remarkable incident and for some sporadic shelling on FRANKENBOSTEL during the early hours, little was seen or hear of the enemy. The clearing of ROTENBURG by the 32nd Guards Brigade and the approach of the 53rd Welsh Division from the south seemed to have provoked a general withdrawal towards BREMEN.

    24 April 1945
    The Battalion continued to fulfil its operational rold in the area ELSDORF. During the day the Grenadier and Coldstream Groups attacked and captured ZEVEN assisted by a demonstration by No 4 Coy from the area FRANKENBOSTEL.

    25 April 1945
    No. 4 Coy / Squadron Group cleared SOUTH as far as WISTEDT in company with the 5th COLDSTREAM GUARDS further to the WEST. During the afternoon the 53rd WELSH DIVISION advancing from the SOUTH linked up with us, and the Battalion became non-operational. The Coys were able to move comfortable areas for rest.

    26 April 1945
    The Battalion remained resting throughout the day and towards evening we learned that und 32nd Guards Brigade we were to clear NORTHWARDS on the morrow from the SCOTS GUARDS advance to HEPSTEDT (900195) to capture and consolidate OSTEREISTEDT (958243)

    27 April 1945
    The Battalion set off at 0930hrs with No 4 Coy/ Squadron Group in the lead and passed through our Forward Defence Lines at about 1100hrs. Progress from there was slow, owing more to enemy mines and demolitions than to actual opposition. However by nightfall we had succeeded in capturing our objective. For the first time we came across mines on the outside of the village which did not go up until the third or fourth vehicle had passed over them. This made the detection of the mines extremely difficult, and the Coys had to go forward on foot while the laborious business of checking the roads was under way. The enemy showed no signs of counter-attacking and the night was uneventful.

    28 April 1945
    The Battalion reverted to the command of 5th Guards Brigade on the relief of the last Coy by 5th COLDSTREAM GUARDS, which took place at about 1600hrs. We moved to a harbour area at SEEDORF (995295) behind the GRENADIER GUARDS GROUP who were attacking NORTHWARDS towards BREMERVORDE (935446).

    29 April 1945
    At about 1200hrs the Battalion received orders to take over from the GRENADIER GUARDS NORTH of BEVERN (960398) and push on to capture HESEDORF (972426) and bounce the bridge at BREMERVORDE should it still be intact. The advance to HESEDORF was completed almost without incident and against very little opposition. When however we began to meet heavier opposition almost at once a prisoner of war stated that the whole of 351 Marine Bns was against us strung out in line before BREMERVORDE. This subsequently proved to be true, but by dark we were able to try to rush the bridge site with No 2 Coy / Squadron Group. The attempt was unsuccessful owing to extensive cratering of the roads and the fact that the bridges had already been blown. About 40 prisoners were taken during this attempt, and during the night clearing operations by No 4 Coy produced a further 80. The remainder of the Bn withdrew to concentrate around HESEDORF.

    30 April 1945
    We learned that the 51st HIGHLAND DIVISION was to pass through and attack BREMERVORDE. During the morning No. 3 Coy / Squadron Group moved forward to clear the river bank and obtain information about the state of the approaches for the Commander of the Assault Brigade. During the afternoon the 51st HIGHLAND DIVISION arrived and we were able to concentrate in the area of HESEDORF.
     
  5. pmt500

    pmt500 New Member

    Has any of the 3rd Battalion Irish Guards War Diary post 30 April 1945 been posted. Interested particularly in early May as they may have been involved in POW liberation then?
     
  6. Michael Hilton

    Michael Hilton New Member

    My granfather was 3IG and was wounded/battle accident on 10th March 1945, there seems to be a month gap in the reports, I'd dearly love to find out what happened (battle accident was noted as 10/03/45 in his service record - is it possible he was left for dead and later discovered alive) - service records state battle accident suffered severe burns during fire in farm building.
     

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