Go to it Gunners

War Diary for 2nd Airlanding Anti-Tank Regiment R.A.

  

February 1945


22nd - Bulford
Formation of HQ 2 Arldg A tk Regt RA. Posting of T/Major F.E. ALLDAY RA from 53(WY) Airldg Lt Regt RA - to be Lt Col and Commanding Officer.

27th - Bulford
Received War Office Warning Order to mobilize for services overseas by 0001 hrs on 12 Mar 45.

 

March 1945

 

1st - Bulford
Received Warning that Regt will come under control S H A E F w.e.f. 14 Mar 45.

Posting of 847631 W/WO II (BSM) COLLECT H.A. to full WE of this unit to fill vacancy for WO I
(RSM).

9th - Bulford
Received War Office Warning Order re mobilization of 15 Airldg LAD (Type "B") REME to be completed by 0001 hrs 21 Mar 45

12th - Bulford
Mobilization of HQ 2 Airldg A tk Regt RA complete.

Posting of T/Capt T.H. ARGENT to full WE of this unit - to be Adjutant.

Posting of Lt J.F. MACGREGOR to full WE of this unit - to be Liaison Officer.

14th - Bulford
Under control SHAEF

16th - Bulford
Arrival of the following 1st Reinforcement Officers - Lt B.E. Shaw - Lt H.G. Barker and Lt R. Knowles R.A.

Operation Order VARSITY PLUNDER received. Anti Tank distribution and grouping for the Divisional task of seizing, clearing and holding the SCHNEPPENBERG feature 1646 and the village of HAMINKELN 2048 together with bridges over river ISSEL at 223485, 217497 and 216500 was decided as follows:- u/c 3 Para Bde on the left 1 6 pr tp, 3 Airldg A tk Bty. u/c 5 Para Bde in the centre 4 Airldg A tk Bty (8 x 17 pr - 8 x 6 pr). u/c 6 Airldg Bde on the right 3 Airldg A tk Bty (less two 6 or tps and 1 17 pr section) - total in support 6 17 prs. Divisional reserve 1 tp 6 pr and 1 section 17 pr from 3 Airldg A tk Bty plus, after link-up of land element, 6 A/L A tk Bty (4 17 prs and 12 6 prs) and 146 SP A tk Bty of 12 17 prs.

17th - Bulford
1200 Submission of AFs W3008 and 009.

18th - Bulford
Infm received that link-up of land elements with air-party would be as follows:-

                        

146 SP A tk Bty D + 1 (approx) 6 A/L A tk Bty


0800 Main Sea Tail party as in Appx "A" left for port of embarkation

20th - Bulford
0800 Dep of glider elements to Airborne Transit Camps - Shudy Camps M 079634 and Glevering Hall 
          750756 as at Appx "D". All personnel were sealed on entering the camps.

21st - Shudy
0930 Briefing room set up containing maps, aerial photos and defence overprints and the CO gave the initial

          briefing to offrs and ORs. BCs and Tp Comds carried on with briefing on tp and gun det basis.

21st - Glevering Hall
1400 CO and BCs briefing as above.

22nd - Shudy
0900
GOC 6 Airborne Division, Major General Bols, addressed all officers and men on the forthcoming

          operation and stressed particularly three points (i) Traffic (ii) Looting and (iii) realtions with German

          civilians.
1030 The Regt carried out all the tactical loading of tpt, guns and equipment at airfds DUNMOW,

          WOODBRIDGE and EARLS COLNE.

23rd - Shudy
Final briefing and preparations for the operation were concluded. All ranks were subjected to enforced rest with effect from 1900 hrs.

24th - Shudy
0115            Reveille.
0330            All airborne personnel proceeded to airfds in RASC transport. All ranks emplaned between 0600

                     and 0630 hrs.
0645-0730 Regt becomes airborne. Flight over East Anglia, Kent, France, Belgium and Germany.

24th - Germany
1000
P Hour after which landings were made by the Regt's gliders in the general area of HAMMINKELN EAST

          of the RHINE about four miles NORTH of WESEL. Moderate flak from ground AA units experienced and

          smoke from arty bombardment and the "screen" laid several days previously on the RHINE had drifted

          EASTWARDS preventing accurate tactical landings on LZs as planned.
1215 RHQ established next to HQ RA by CO and LO. Message received by wireless that 3 Bty (less 1 tp which

          landed separately with 3 Bde outside the Div area) had deployed in the 6 Airldg Bde area EAST, SOUTH,

          and in HAMMINKELN. Bty HQ est with Bde HQ.
1400 Message received by DR from 4 Bty that all guns available had been deployed in the 5 Bde area with

          task defence against attack by AFVs from the NORTH. Landings of gliders, personnel and equipment will

          be found as Appx "G".
1600 Visibility greatly improved - weather warm and summerlike. Div had secured all its objectives. 12 guns of

          the Regt (out of 32) were deployed on the ground. During hte night, two or three tanks or SP guns

          approached the bridge due EAST of HAMMILKELN but withdrew without hostile action.

25th - Tilbury
Follow up sea tail embarked.

25th - Germany
Div area remained intact and no hostile AFVs appeared.

1300 Link up by 146 SP A tk Bty having crossed the RHINE by rafts.

Return submitted to HQ RA giving particulars of key personnel required urgently for operational
purposes as follows:-

 


 BSM               1  Tp Sjts            2  Sjts Nos          1      10

 Gnrs (Layers and Gun Nos)

 44

 Driver Mechanics

 8

 Vehicle Mechanics

 1

 Fitters (Gun)

 1

 Unit Clerks

 2

 Signal NCO

 1

 Technical Storemen

 1

 Cooks

 2

 Bdrs (link Nos)

 4

 
 Nominal roll submitted to HQ RA of all killed, wounded and missing by ranks.

The 12 SP 17 prs of 146 Bty were deployed under comd OC 2 A/L A tk and used to strengthen A tk
dispositions on the NW sector of the Div area.

1400 RHQ moved its location to house at 214489
1700 CO sends message to btys as at Appx "C". Arrival of Major ROWAT, OC 6 A/L A tk Bty, during the

          evening who reported that his bty was across the RHINE.

26th - BLA
1200 Rear sea tail disembarked.

27th - Germany
1225
Deficiency list as at Appendix "E" fwd to HQ RQ. RHQ est in GRENZERKUST 2445. General mov of Div was

          a sidestep SOUTHWARDS and an advance on a 1 Bde front, 3 Para Bde leading with 3 A tk Bty u/c.

28th - Germany
53 A tk Regt (12 Corps) came u/c 6 A/B Div - OC Lt Col TAYLOR joined this RHQ with his Tac HQ. RHQ est SE of ERLE 3948.

29th - Germany
0800 RHQ move fwd to est near HQ RA at RHADE 4450. 3 and 4 Btys, the amalgamation of whom is now

          complete (necessitated by heavy landing losses in both personnel and equipment) continued to move

          u/c 3 Para Bde; 6 Bty, u/c 5 Para Bde.
          Following re-inforcement officers joined Regt:- Lt THOMPSON, Lt VAUGHAN, Lt WOOD, Lt KIND and Lt

          DUNN
1930 Message received that general adv would continue 30th. 3 and 6 A/L Btys to remain u/c 3 and 5 Para

          Bdes respectively.

30th - Germany
Party despatched to collect 4 6prs and 4 17 prs towers from Corps sources.

1700 RHQ moved in the Divisional column via COESFELD and BILLERBECK and est in farm 7578. Lt

          MACGREGOR interposted to 3 Bty vice Capt SAVIOUR deceased and appointed A/Capt.


31st - Germany
During the day fwd elements of the Div adv beyond GREVEN.

1800 RHQ adv with Div HQ from 7578 to new location WEST of GREVEN 8787. A possible threat from SE
          where MUNSTER was still in enemy hands led to the deployment of 1 tp 6 prs of 3/4 Bty to block the rd

          running SE from ALTENBERG 8183 to MUNSTER. Shelling from two SP guns in GREVEN 9188.

2000 Lt EDWARDS and 74 OR re-inforcements arrived from 31 RHU. Submission of AFs W3008 and W3009.

 

April 1945

 

1st - Germany
0800
CO and Adjutant interview all newly joined re-inforcements and personnel the major portion of whom

          are sent to 3/4 Bty so that 4 Bty can be detached from comd OC 3 Bty and re-formed as a bty proper u/c

          Capt ELLIOTT. Lt Edwards interposted to 4 Bty.
1400 CO and Adjutant move fwd to HQ RA at LENGERICH 0898. RHQ main body under LO move up to

          SCHMEDEHAUSEN 9789 as veh movemnt over DORTMUND-EMS CANAL is restricted.
2100 CO and Adjutant report HQ RA. Some shelling of LENGERICH and the Div Axis main rd running into

          LENGERICH.

 

Orders received from HQ RA that Atk grouping for 2 Apr would be 6 Bty less 1 tp u/c 5 Bde; 1 tp 17 prs 6 Bty u/c 6 Bde; 3 Bty u/c 3 Bde.

2nd - Germany
0300
Orders by DR from CO for RHQ and the Div res tp of 6 prs from 4 Bty ?tp? move and harbour area

          LENGERICH at 0700 hrs.
1000 Arrive ?vof? RHQ and 6 pr tp in location 062972.
1100 CO holds BCs conference. See Appx "A"
1400 CP gives orders for deployment of res tp 6 prs. Task to block rds up from MUNSTER to LENGERICH as

          MUNSTER remains in enemy hands.

4th - Germany
1000 LO goes fwd to recce new location near HQ RA in area BLASHEIME
1700 CO leaves for HQ RA at BLASHEIME 367123.

5th - Germany
0615 LO ambushed small arms fire in area 5009. Jepp rendered u/s and ?ev? AWD end LO sustains a "story

          book" escape - several bullets penetrating clothing but deflected from the heart by cigarette tin. US

          armd recce car unit contacted and area cleaned up.
0900 Adjutant with RHQ moves up Div Axis arriving BLASHEIN 1400 hrs.
1400 CO contacted at HQ RA - the latter are about to move to a new area SUDFELDE 7819.
1820 RHQ moved up Div Axis.

5th - Germany
2000 RHQ est new location 782198.

6th - Germany
0800 Adjutant to HQ RA - informed no likely move today so on return gave internal economy order.
0900 CO orders composite tps 17 prs 3 Bty to be at 15 mins notice to cross river WESER for consolidation if

          required of 5 Bde bridgehead.
1400 CO visits all btys. OC 6 Bty agrees to: (1) loan 4 jeeps and dvrs plus 4 gun nos to 3 Bty pending arrival

          of re-inforcements to the latter (2) hand over all 17 pr gun stores held by the 17 pr tp of 6 Bty at

          present equipped with 6 prs to 4 Bty.
1600 Message received from HQ RA composite tp 17 prs to move immediately over river WESER and deploy in

          bridgehead u/c 6 Airldg Bde.
1900 CO receives orders from HQ RA that 146 SP Bty comes under Regt comd also 6 Airldg A tk Bty. 3 A tk Bty

          remain u/c 3 Para Bde.

6th - Germany
1 tp 17 prs at present in sp 6 Airldg Bde to revert u/c 3 Bty on move of Bde fwd. 1 tp 146 SP Bty u/c 2 Guards Armd Regt with 3 Para Bde.

2000 OC 146 SP Bty reports this location having received orders from Bde and est liaison with 6 A tk Bty.

7th - Germany
0800
CO to HQ RA for orders.
0900 CO moves over river WESEW with 5 Bde. Wireless set on Regt frequency wiht flick to CRA.
1030 LO to HQ RA - informed no move expected before 0700 hrs 8 Apr but tac HQ may be called fwd at 1200

          hrs today.
1800 Out of wireless touch with Tac HQ RA - Adjt moves over river WESER to contact HQ RA at HAGENBURG.

          Submission of AFs W3008 & 3009.

8th - Germany
0730 CO moves fwd to Tac RA.
0800 LO brings fwd RHQ.
1300 RHQ est STEINHUDER 1029
1600 OC 4 Bty reports ordered by CO to send up two tps (each 2 x 6 prs and 2 x 17 prs) to from Div reserve.

9th - Germany
0830 CO to HQ RA for orders. CRA given composite trace of gun pos of btys.
1230 Two composite tps of 4 Bty arrived to harbour area ALTENHAGEN
1500 Adjt to 4 Bty with orders for deployment of two reserve tps - 1 tp each to two coys 13 Para Bn in sp of

          occupation of BRINK 2035 and SCHARREL 2338.
2000 CO receives orders that adv is to continue next day with btys in sp as follows: 3 Bty with 3 Para Bde; to

          area BISSENDORF 3738, MELLENDORF 3540 and BRELINGEN 3241. 6 Bty less 3 6 pr tps ie 1 17 pr tp

          only to go with 6 Airldg Bde.

10th - Germany
0900
CO moves fwd with 5 Para Bde - wireless on Regt frequency and flick CRA Comd Net.
1500 CO returns.
1600 4 Bty less 2 tps arrive location ALTENBURG.
1700 1 tp 4 Bty given orders to deploy by CO in BORDENAU area to cover EAST approaches to town.

11th - Germany
0900 CO receives orders from HQ RA that 15 Scottish Div are to pass through. CO gives orders for 3 Bty to be

          at one hours notice to move with 3 Para Bde; 4 Bty to be at six hours notice to move with 5 Para Bde; 6

          Bty no likely move and remain wiht 6 Airldg Bde.

12th - Germany
0900 Adjt to HQ RA.
0915 CO leaves to visit Btys.
1430 6 Bty HQ move to OBERENDE 268314

14th - Germany
1000 RHQ move in HQ RA column up Div Axis.
1600 RHQ est next to HQ RA in wood 673603.
1700 CO receives orders from HQ RA to prepare two parachute 6 pr tps to be in sp of special opplanned by 5

          Bde.
2100 BCs conference. 251/63 A tk Bty comes under Regt comd.
2245 Arrangements confirmed by message as at Appendix "C" 
          Submission of AFs W3008 and W3009.
2250 CO sends out message covering forthcoming events as at Appx "E"

15th - Germany
1045 CO gives orders for concentration of 2 Parachute Troops 6 pr as at Appx "F"
2355 Orders received for move 16th Apr. 4 Bty Residues, 251 A tk Bty 15 LAD to move and harbour area

          BOKEL 8971.

16th - Germany

0800 RHQ move in HQ RA column.
1300 RHQ est in NETTLEKAMP 919799.
1700 Information received that special task of 5 Para Bde to be held temporarily in abeyance and the Bde

          was to move to area NIENDORF.
1900 CO sends message to BCs to attend conference so that arrangements could be made for the temporary

          rescussitation of 2 tps 6 pr u/c Major WOODROW in order that the latter can sp 5 Para Bde in a

          temporary fd role.
2000 17 pr gun 3 Bty taking wrong route out of RATZLINGEN shot up by 88's. Quad destroyed but det

          escaped with inf of positions of enemy tanks which was passed to Div. 4 Bty tp shot at with SA fire by

          coachload of Germans entering MOLZEN from UELZEN. A tracked veh engaged with 1 rd HE entering

          MOLZEN from EAST and blown up. 17 pr (4 Bty) knocked out a tracked Panzer wagon at 927954. Tp 251

          Bty shot up germans with SA fire approaching from SOUTH towards MOLZEN.

17th - Germany
1000 CO an OC 251 Bty go fwd round gun positions and to call on Tac HQ RA at LEHMKE. Additional 1 tp 251

          Bty went fwd.
1200 A tk grouping now as follows: 3 Para Bde 2 tps (each 3 x 6 pr 1 x 17 pr) 2 tps (each 2 x 6 pr 2 x 17 pr) 2

          tps Crusader towed 17 prs. 6 Airldg Bde 2 tps (each 2 x 6 pr and 2 x 17 pr) 1 tp (6 prs). 5 Para Bde 2

          tps (each 4 x 6 pr).
1600 RHQ and HQ 251 Bty move from NETTLEKAMP to est in new location LEHMKE 953849. Wirelss

          communication to HQ RA and Btys est.
2100 CO to HQ RA - small adv to be made on 18 Apr - distribution of A tk tps remains unchanged.

18th - Germany
0900 CO to HQ RA
1000 15 LAD arrives this location

19th - Germany
2345 CO sends message to Btys with regard to a temporary regrouping during the prolonged wait for the 5

          Para Bde "Special Task" for which two Parachute Tps of 4 x 6 prs each have been formed and held in

          readiness. See Appendix "H".

20th - Germany
0900 Lt Hunter leaves for LZ areas near Rhine to trace if possible Major DIXON's glider, as no information of

          occupants of glider yet received.

1300 LO leaves with Div Recce party to new area WEST of LUNEBURG.
1400 6 Bty requested to change lettering of their tps. Tps now known as follows:-

3 Bty   A - B - C - D               4 Bty   E - F - G - H               6 Bty   I - J - K - L


21st - Germany
0900
CO visits Btys.
1200 10 reinforcements arrive from 61 A tk Regt. Allotted:-

4 Bty - 2 Gnrs.        3 Bty - 2 Bdrs and 6 Gnrs.


1700 Submission of AFs W3008 and W3009.

22nd - Germany
0900 LO leaves with Regt Recce party for WESSENSTEDT to allocate Bty areas.
1100 "W" Bty u/c Major WOODROW remobilizes and concentrates in are LEHMKE.
1400 HQ RA close down CRA's Comd Net. Major WOODROW attends conference at 5 Para Bde re Operation

          "ENTERPRISE".
1800 Movement Order No. 2 forwarded to Btys for Regt move to concentration are at WESSENSTEDT 825992.

          See Appendix "J"
2100 Regt Wireless Net closed down.

23rd - Germany
0800 251 A tk Bty moves independently from LEHMKE to LUNEBURG area and reverts to u/c 8 Corps reserve.
1300 Regt moves to WESSENSTEDT into Div concentration area 825992

24th - Germany
0800 Adjt to HQ RA. Letter as Appx "K" to HQ RA
1500 Lt HUNTER returns and reports to CO that he has discovered the 4 Bty glider containing Major DIXON, Lt

          BANNISTER and other Bty HQ personnel who are confirmed as killed in action.
1800 Op Instr No. 12 "Enterprise" received from HQ RA

25th - Germany
0900 CO to HQ RA
1200 Message to OC "W" Bty to send Lt HART as advance party to the airfd to inspect and report on the

          Halifax loads for the 5 Para special task.
1800 First round played in the Regt Inter-Tp Knockout football competition.

26th - Germany
0900 CO to HQ RA
1000 Regt Church Parade

27th - Germany
1030 CRA inspects Regt less 6 Bty
1045 OC "W" Bty reports that 5 Para Bde special task is cancelled and that he is returning to Div

          concentration area.
1530 "W" Bty move into Regt area1800 5 OR reinforcements arrive for the Regt

28th - Germany
0930 Rfts interposted - 3 Bty 3 Gnrs - 4 Bty 2 Gnrs.
1000 BCs Conference. BCs asked to note suitable personnel for permanent retention within the Regt. OC 6

          Bty to take over 1 17 pr each 3 and 4 Btys to make up his total holding of 17 prs to 6.
1700 Submission of AFs W3008 and W3009

29th - Germany
0900 LO to HQ RA who reports bridgehead est over ELBE
1000 CO to 5 Para Bde
1400 CO holds BCs Conference
1500 HQ RA advise that 5 Para Bde special task is cancelled
1600 CO and Adjt to HQ RA

30th - Germany
0900 Movement Order No. 4 as at Appx "N" issued to Btys

 

May 1945


1st - Lauenburg
0600
RHQ crossed River ELBE. Harboured in 8935 Nr. LAUENBURG
1000 25 ORs Re-inforcements arrived and were distributed to Btys and RHQ as follows: 11 to 3 BTy. 
          1 to RHQ 13 4 Bty.
1100 Received Op. Order No.94.
1900 LO to HQRA. 6 Airborne Div now under control 18 US Airborne Corps.

3rd - Wismar
0800
Cleaning up on arrival at WISMAR. LO to HQRA CO to HQRA.

4th - Wismar
0900
CO to HQRA
1130 HQRA. Advise Boundary agreed with RUSSIANS also instructed on relationship with the RUSSIANS.
1800 CO to HQRA.
1830 CO held BCs Conference.
2245 Adjt. to 6 Bty. CO advised 6 Bty they will assist RUR's in organising and controlling of POW Camp at

          MUHLEN EICHSEN 3279.

5th - Wismar
0800
CO to HQRA.
0800 Hostilities ceased at 0800 on 21 Army Group Front.
1000 CRA visits CO.
1015 CO instructs 4 Bty to send Offr & 6 ORs with knowledge of AA to proceed to WISMAR Goods Yard to

          immobilise Flak train.
1300 Sec of RE's sent to assist 4 Bty and in cleaning Flak train of Boobytraps.
1800 4 Bty report immobilisation of Flak train completed.

6th - Wismar
1100
Div Church Service at WISMAR. Representatives of the Regt attended.

7th - Wismar
0900 CO to HQRA.
1200 Fd. Marshall Montgomery and Marshal Rokossovsky meet at Div. HQ at WISMAR.
1400 CO visits POW camp at MUHLEN EICHSEN (6 Bty)

8th - Wismar
0900 CO to HQ RA
1000 CRA visits POW Camp at MUHLEN EICHSEN (6 Bty)

9th - Wismar
0900
CO flies to Denmark.
1000 Adjt to HQ RA.

10th - Wismar
0930 Adjt to HQRA
1530 Semi Final Inter Tp. Footbal Comp. 4 Bty versus 3 Bty. Result: 3 Bty. A Win.

11th - Wismar
0800
257 A. Tk. Bty reverts to command of 7:Armd. and move to Conc. are N. of HAMBURG.

12th - Wismar
0900
CRA visited the Regt. and inspected billets and working parties, trg, etc.

14th - Wismar
1000
Small Party (1 Offr and 6 ORs) were present at the investiture of the CRA Brig. FAITHFULL with the U.S.

          Silver Star by Maj. Gen. RIDGEWAY, U.S. Airborne Corps Commander.

15th - Wismar
0900
Mov. Order received to move to UK and for the despatch of a small adv party by air.

17th - Luneburg
0730
Regtl. Advance Party left for Luneburg Aerodrome at 1400 hrs. comprising the 3 'Q' Capts. and 4 Sgts.

          Arrived Netheravon (UK) 1830hrs. Bulford 1900 hrs.

18th - Wismar
0800 Regt moved from Wismar area by road to LUNEBURG during the day. Arrived approx. 1600 hrs. and 
          harboured for the night.

19th - Luneburg
1400 The Regt. flying party emplaned at LUNEBURG at 1400 hrs. Landed NIVELLE (Nr. BRUSSELS) at 1615 hrs.

          to refuel and arrived NEWBURY at 1840 hrs. Reached BULFORD 2000 hrs. The Regtl. Vehicle Party left

          harbour area LUNEBURG on the morning of 19 May 45 and started road journey to OSTENDE.

27th - UK
0100
The bulk of hte Regtl. Vehicle Party arrived in BULFORD from CALAIS during the early hours of the

          morning having crossed from CALAIS to DOVER the previous evening.

28th - UK
0900
Remainder of Regt. eligible to proceed to SEAC (A/S Gps 27 & over) went on 28 days leave. Rear Parties

          proceeded to check all equipment on Q 1098 in preparation for Mob. Orders.

29th - 31st - UK
The Regt. is on leave.