War Diaries of 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/1/1945|| 0900 – A Sqn with RHQ Tank Tp under command moved to MEZZANO
to take up position in support 1st KRRC. B Sqn with Bde Protection Tp
under command in support 1st Welch Regt. C Sqn under direct command 5th
1300 – 9th Armd Bde Op order SYRIA received. Intention 1st KRRC with A Sqn in support to secure start line for 11th Canadian Infantry Bde advance to the North, and to cover the left flank after they have passed through.
|2/1/1945||0500 – a Sqn supporting 1st KRRC successfully carried out first phase of the operation. 1700 – C Sqn received orders to carry 2/6th Queens Regt in support 2nd RTR in operation CYGNET. Intention to clear the bulge North of FAENZA.|
|3/1/1945|| 0600 – 4Tp A Sqn when moving into position before first light
found C Coy 1st KRRC position completely surrounded by strong enemy fighting
patrol. The leading Tank opened fire at 50 yards range and drove off the
enemy, leaving 13 PoW and 25 killed and wounded. Own casualties nil.
0800 – The enemy launched a large scale attack against the 1st KRRC positions, the main thrust being directed against C DI MEZZO where A Sqn 12th Lancers in a dismounted role and under command 1st KRRC had relieved C Coy 1st KRRC. The attack was also directed against the house at 475470 held by A Coy 1st KRRC. 4Tp, this time in support of A Sqn 12th Lancers, again moved up to engage the enemy. Unfortunately owing to the darkness, the leading Tank was put out of action by a bazooka, but the other two Tanks continued to fire at the enemy at close range until their ammunition was exhausted, whereupon the Tp Ldr leapt out of his Tank, picked up a German automatic rifle and engaged the enemy with it from his turret. In the meantime, a Stuart Tank from SHQ had been sent up with ammunition for the Infantry and Tanks, and after delivering this ammunition, joined in the battle with its .5 Browning and Bren gun. Later 3Tp A Sqn moved up to support 4Tp and was soon engaged in the battle. This was highly successful and 3Tp killed or wounded about 40 enemy in a ditch just ahead of their position. During the course of this battle, the enemy had managed to infiltrate North of A Coy 1st KRRC and had reached area 486403 before C Coy in reserve, with 1Tp in support, and with the help of Canadian Infantry on the right, counter attacked and drove the enemy back. The Tanks in this action had a very successful shoot and the Infantry and Tanks between them killed or captured nearly all those who had infiltrated, 150 PoW and 100 estimated killed or wounded. Own casualties 3 ORs killed and 2 wounded, 1 later died of wounds.
|4/1/1945|| 0200 – C Sqn with 2/6th Queens move to concentration area.
0800 – 1Tp in support of C Sqn 2nd RTR moved to start line and thence to 315302, where they cleared the Xroads and houses of the enemy. Having completed this they moved to 324325. Movement at all times was confined to cross country as the roads and tracks were heavily mined. 2Tp moved up to start line, their task was to clear the East bank of the river SENIO and houses in area 303311. One section was despatched, supported by a Tp of Tanks, to clear enemy in houses at 306309, and was completely successful. 3Tp supporting 10th Hussars moved up to the start line but shortly after starting came to an A/Tk obstacle which held them up until early afternoon.
1300 - 2Tp supporting A Sqn 2nd RTR were ordered to secure vital bridge at 333336. The Kangaroos went into the Vino factory with Infantry firing their weapons. The enemy was so surprised that they surrendered without firing a shot (bag 20 PoW). They then moved to the final objective, only to find it had been blown the previous night. The whole operation was a complete success. Many lessons were learnt – this being the first operation in which the Sqn used their new equipment.
|5/1/1495||A quiet day.|
|6/1/1495||C Sqn returned to ROCCO and dumped 2/6th Queens.|
|7/1/1945||C Sqn returned to former billets at FORLIMPOPOLI. Rain during the past 36 hours made replenishment of A & B Sqn forward Tps difficult.|
|8/1/1945||Quiet day. Extremely cold with snow making replenishment even more difficult.|
|9/1/1945||Nothing to report.|
|10/1/1945||Heavy shelling of A Sqn, HQ hit, 2i/c recced new area for Tac HQ.|
|11/1/1945||Re-shuffling of Tps in A Sqn preparatory to Italian Div taking over. 1Tp drawn into reserve. Deserter from 16th SS Div came into 4Tp area. Sqn heavily shelled. C Sqn wheels moved to RAVENNA. Kangaroos (less 2Tp), rejoined Regt at RAVENNA.|
|12/1/1945||Only 4Tp A Sqn still in the line. 1Tp and 3Tp in area 471425 to give indirect fire if required. RHQ Tank Tp moved to new location 488400.|
|13/1/1945|| Tac HQ moved to new location 488400.
1200 – Warning order received ref distribution of Tps. 2330 – Orders issued:- A Sqn less one Tp in support 1st KRRC. B Sqn plus Bde Protection Tp in support 1st Welch. RIDFORCE, consisting of two Tps and one Comd Tank under command Capt A Ridley-Thompson, in support 27th Lancers. C Sqn to man 3 bridges with 4 NCOs and 12 ORs at each – 426423, 434419 and 453410. Heavy shelling of A & B Sqns throughout the day.
|14/1/1945||Intermittent shelling on forward areas. C Sqn in position on bridges at 1400 hours.|
|15/1/1945||Continuous shelling on A Sqn area.|
|16/1/1945||Accurate shelling on A Sqn HQ. 1000 – Recce for new position for HQ – West of LAMONE.|
|17/1/1945|| 0530 – Enemy Infantry attacked right forward position of
1st Welch. 4Tp B Sqn moved forward to support Infantry in CASA RASPONI.
Enemy engaged with effect but close country and marshiness of ground hampered
0600 - Enemy infiltration had house surrounded and the enemy were digging in. 1Tp ordered to relieve 4Tp which was running short of ammunition. Lt RA Hibbert, 4Tp Ldr, had his Tank hit. Kit etc caught fire but he put the fire out and was later evacuated suffering from wounds and slight burns. Permission was given for Tp supporting 27th Lancers also to engage, and Bde Protection Tp on the left also engaged.
0830 – The situation appeared to have been restored, but the Sqn Ldr visiting the Infantry Comdr in CASA RASPONI observed the enemy massing for a second attack from the SENIO flood bank. This attack was not so determined. By 1130 hours the enemy had been cleared from South of the SENIO except for the two houses 401445 and 405447. It was later learnt that this attack was intended to clear the 1st Welch from the whole of their front on the SENIO at all costs. The attack was at Btn strength. Enemy casualties are reckoned at 50%. Artillery on concentration area North of the SENIO and Tank co-ax fire accounting for a great proportion of this.
|18/1/1945||000 – B Sqn supporting B Coy 1st Welch attacked S. ANTONIO, fired a number of 75mm rounds at short range and dislodged the enemy. Casualties inflicted – 2 killed and 1 wounded, 2 PoW. Later they attacked house 401445 firing 30 rounds of 75mm at 50 – 100 yards range. The enemy immediately evacuated leaving 4 dead and 7 PoW. About 30 of the enemy escaped. 1030 – 4Tp A Sqn engaged targets, firing indirect. OP conducted by Royal Artillery. Good results.|
|19/1/1945||0600 – 4Tp A Sqn assisted in driving off enemy patrol, but not before it had bazooka’d the Infantry forward position in the house.|
|20/1/1945||0915 – 1Tp A Sqn shelled a house believed to be an enemy forward OP. A number of direct hits observed. C Sqn withdrew guard on bridge at 453410; Bde Major decided unnecessary.|
|21/1/1945|| 0130 – Orders issued for operation BOLSTER. Intention to
reinforce CASA RASPONI, used as a forward position by 1st Welch. Two Kangaroos
to carry necessary RE materials to house, unload and return immediately.
Fighter support to strafe West bank of SENIO to make enemy keep to his
dugouts so that Kangaroos could go up without being seen.
1400 – A Sqn shelling of OP at 451459. House was partially destroyed. Mortar position at 451463 reported by RA were engaged with good results.
1510 – B Sqn had 8 direct hits on house 381441 with 105mm. House destroyed. Target 382439 produced clouds of black smoke similar to that of burning oil and lasted for 2 minutes.
|22/1/1945||0700 – Operation BOLSTER completely successful. RAF gave a very creditable performance to the great delight of all concerned in the operation.|
|23/1/1945||Quiet day, very little shelling.|
|24/1/1945||Shelling of A & B Sqn areas.|
|25-26/1/1945||Nothing to report.|
|27/1/1945||Warning order received that A & B Sqns would be relieved by Queens Bays. Verbal orders issued to OC C Sqn to move to new Regtl area at PESARO. Heavy shelling during the night.|
|28/1/1945||Nothing to report.|
|29/1/1945||C Sqn Echelon moved to PESARO.|
|30/1/1945||Nothing to report.|
|31/1/1945||A Sqn relieved by 2nd Armd Bde Protection Tp.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/2/1945|| 1300 – B Sqn relieved by Bays.
1400 – Bridge guards relieved by 10th Hussars and 9th Lancers.
|2/2/1945||A & B Sqn Tanks and RHQ Tank Tp move South of RAVENNA.|
|3/2/1945||0800 – A, B & RHQ wheeled vehicles moved to PESARO. 2300 – A, B & RHQ Tanks transported to PESARO.|
|5-28/2/1945||Individual training. D&M and Driver/Ops course at RAC TD. Leave: 230 ORs had leave in either FLORENCE or ROME. 1Tp C Sqn training with 56, 78 and New Zealand Divs.|
|Summary:- By 4th February the Regt had been relieved and less 1Tp C Sqn was assembled at PESARO. It was forecast that by 15th March the whole Regt would be re-equipped on a basis to carry two Btns of 4 companies each and an Infantry Bde HQ as well as provide a protective Sqn of HQ and three Troops. As over 340 ORs had not had any leave in the preceding 6 months, and a much greater number of Drivers and Operators would be required in addition to the many replacements necessary for those proceeding to UK on termination of 4½ years service overseas, a leave programme and individual training were started. C Sqn continued to maintain one Tp of Kangaroos at FORLI where 55 Div and 78 Div are sending their Infantry Btns, Coy by Coy, to train with Kangaroos. 9th Armd Bde, less 4th Hussars and Bde Workshops, moved during the month to PERUGIA area for specialised training thus making us 156 miles from our parent formation.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1-8/3/1945||Re-equipping of A Sqn.|
|9/3/1945||31 WOs, Sgts and ORs departed on PYTHON.|
|10/3/1945||Regtl courses and training.|
|16/3/1945||A Sqn moved to new location 522270.|
|17/3/1945||B Sqn moved to new location 531304. RHQ moved to new location GAMBELLARA.|
|18/3/1945||C Sqn moved to new location FILETTO.|
|19/3/1945||A Sqn trained with 5th Royal West Kents. C Sqn trained with 24th Gds Bde.|
|20/3/1945||A Sqn trained with 5th RWK. C Sqn trained with 2nd Coldstream Guards. 1200 – One Kangaroo carrying Guardsmen of the 2nd Coldstream exploded on a dump of mines causing the complete wreckage of the Kangaroo and killing 3 Guardsmen and wounding 5. The Comdr was killed and the driver seriously wounded.|
|21-25/3/1945||A & C Sqns trained with Infantry with B Sqn as Armd protection.|
|26/3/1945||Orders issued to B Sqn:- SHQ and 2Tp will relieve Sqn of 9th Lancers in support of 38th Infantry Bde. 1Tp and 3Tp will relieve Sqn of the Bays in support of 11th Infantry Bde. Relief to take place before first light 28th March.|
|27/3/1945||C Sqn trained with 167 Bde.|
|28/3/1945|| 0400 – B Sqn moved from Regtl area to positions in the line
in support of 11th and 38th Infantry Bdes and came under command 78 Infantry
0730 – B Sqn 105’s were surveyed into position by 138 Regt RA, and the OP was in a church tower in BAGNACAVALLO. Indirect shoots were carried out during the day on enemy positions on the SENIO flood bank with considerable success. 1Tp destroyed dugouts on reverse slope.
|29/3/1945||A Sqn carried 6th RWK in exercise HOSANNAH, the Armd protection supplied by 9th Lancers.49 WOs, Sgts and ORs departed on PYTHON. Shoot carried out by B Sqn 105’s on enemy positions. 1Tp engaged enemy positions on SENIO bank at 355336 with success.|
|30/3/1945||1Tp B Sqn took part in minor operation EASTER EGG. Object to coax enemy to disclose his mortar positions – several positions engaged with success. 2Tp engaged suspect sniper position on SENIO bank at 365368.|
|31/3/1945||0730 – 2Tp B Sqn in reply to enemy movement near railway line at 363377 – 362382 and dispersed the enemy. 1610 – 3Tp B Sqn engaged enemy positions on North side of river, firing through blow in flood bank – several positions were destroyed.|
|Summary:- By the 15th A Sqn was equipped with the long promised Priest Infantry carriers and on the 16th the Regt started to move up into an area where it could train Infantry units of 56, 78 and 8 Indian Divs as they were available from tours in the line. For the last 4 days of the month B Sqn, though only 3 Troops strong, was put in the line to support two Infantry Bde of 78th Div, to relieve two four-Tp Sqns of the Bays. Though this prevented training of our own protective armour with Kangaroos, it enabled B Sqn to get some valuable practice shooting live targets. All this month the ground has been dry enough for tracked vehicles to deploy and move across country. A high standard of driving and map reading has been attained.Owing to impending major operations all leave was stopped on arrival in the new training area. The remaining personnel due for repatriation after 4½ years service abroad, left on 29th March, and amongst them were many who had given outstanding service to the Regt.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/4/1945||4Tp A Sqn carried 43rd RM Commando in Op ROAST and were extremely successful, 43rd Commando being responsible for 420 of the 1000 PoW taken by the Commando Bde. One Kangaroo was hit by 50mm but was recovered. No casualties. B Sqn, HQ and 2Tp in support of 38 Infantry Bde. 105’s successfully engaged enemy spandau positions on COTIGNOLA railway embankment.|
|2/4/1945||A Sqn carried 2nd LIR on 2nd Armd Bde exercise, Armd protection by Queens Bays. B Sqn 2Tp engaged enemy position and tunnel openings on SENIO bank and CASA MANZON. 3Tp shot up bastion and blow in river bank on 6th RWK front.|
|3/4/1945||A Sqn carried 5th Buffs on 2nd Armd Bde exercise, Armd protection provided by 9th Lancers. B Sqn 3Tp shot up with considerable success enemy positions opposite 6th RWK.|
|4/4/1945||B Sqn returned under command Regt and moved to Regtl area. Regt, less C Sqn came under command 2nd New Zealand Div.|
|5/4/1945||A & B Sqns moved to GODO area.|
|6/4/1945||Preparation for Op BUCKLAND.|
|7/4/1945||Nothing to report.|
|8/4/1945||Tac and HQ Sqn moved to GODO area.|
|9/4/1945|| A SHQ moved to area 420385. 1Tp and 3Tp to area South of BAGNACAVALLO
to operate under command 21st Tank Bde. 2Tp and 4Tp to area North of BAGNACAVALLO
to operate under command 19th Infantry Bde. B Sqn moved to concentration
area at BAGNACAVALLO.
1300 – C Sqn moved to assembly area to tie up with 27th New Zealand Btn of 9 Bde.
1700 – Tac HQ moved to 414411. 1920 – Op BUCKLAND commenced.
1930 – HQ Tp A Sqn carried the bridges to span the river SENIO. One OR wounded.
|10/4/1945||A & B Sqns crossed the SENIO. C Sqn with 27th New Zealand Btn crossed the SENIO and leaguered NW of COTIGNOLA.|
|11/4/1945|| 0600 – B Sqn joined North Irish Horse in sweep northwards
to area 3345, during which 30 PoW were taken. Own casualties 2 ORs killed
and 1 wounded.
1400 – Tac HQ and A Sqn moved to outskirts of LUGO.
1630 – A Sqn 2Tp and 4Tp carried Gurkha Rifles, 1Tp and 3Tp carried RFF Rifles in an advance to the banks of the river SANTERNO. 2Tp and 4Tp went extremely well, unfortunately after 1Tp and 3Tp dropped their Infantry and were turning around they encountered A/Tk mines. Six carriers of 1Tp were damaged and one of 3Tp. No personnel casualties. C Sqn still in reserve.
|12/4/1945||0800 – Capt AP Ridley-Thompson in command RHQ Tp of 6 Priests reinforced A Sqn. B Sqn joined Regt near LUGO. Regt, less C Sqn came under command 78th Infantry Div. 1500 – A Sqn married up with the LIR whom they are to carry tomorrow in 2nd Armd Bde Grp breakthrough from bridgehead across SANTERNO. B Sqn married up with 9th Lancers Sqn to provide additional Armd protection for Kangaroos. Both Sqns concentrated in area 352400.|
|13/4/1945||A & B Sqns moved off with 2nd Armd Bde and passed through the bridgehead. Advance went very well as far as the canal crossing 315535 where the bridge was blown causing the advance to be held up. Considerable mopping-up was done on the way by the Priest borne Infantry. C Sqn moved North of the SANTERNO to pick up Infantry. 1Tp, 3Tp and half of HQ Tp formed TONIGROUP. 2Tp, 4Tp and the other half of HQ Tp formed STRAWGROUP. 9 Bde advanced parallel to Route 9 in a NW direction beyond MASSA LIMBARDA. The advance was made by Div cavalry on the left carried by STRAWGROUP and the 22nd Btn on the right carried by TONIGROUP. At first the advance was rapid but later Kangaroos met many ditches which slowed them down considerably. A number of PoW were taken. Own casualties one NCO killed and 2 wounded. The Sqn was subjected to very heavy shell and mortar fire during the whole of the day.|
|14/4/1945||2nd Armd Bde advance. A Sqn entered LAVEZZOLA to advance North to RENO bridge which on arrival was found to be partially blown. Considerable mopping-up was done by all troops during the day. Strong opposition was encountered from the North bank of the river RENO. B Sqn advanced through CAVAMENTO across Route 16 to river RENO.|
|15/4/1945||All Sqns spent the day reorganising and doing maintenance.|
|16/4/1945|| 1100 – CSqn moved across the SILLARO. STRAWGROUP picked up
27th Btn, TONIGROUP 22nd Btn. Limited objectives were planned but on arrival
it was found that our own Infantry were in possession. Kangaroos took
advantage of this and pushed on without difficulty, putting heavy pressure
on enemy rearguard.
1200 – A Sqn moved across river RENO to area 331581 and contacted 11th Infantry Bde – awaited instructions. 1900 – B Sqn moved across RENO to area 331581.
|17/4/1945||A & B Sqns married up with LIR and 9th Lancers and concentrated in area 331581. Intention, immediately the ARGENTA Gap was broken the Grp would advance North. Waited all day while others battled to break through ARGENTA Gap. C Sqn with same Infantry pushed on to within 1000 yards of T. GAIANA. From there to the bank was a flat bare expanse of ground very suitable for defence against Tanks. Intelligence reported there would be no opposition South of the EDICE. Kangaroos were ordered to speed to the bank by sections, the Infantry to dismount and Kangaroos to withdraw. These orders were carried out, only to find the bank was strongly held by paratroops. STRAWGROUP has one Kangaroo bazookad and one ditched which had to be abandoned under very heavy shellfire. TONIGROUP was more fortunate although they came under intense fire from all kinds of weapons. They suffered no losses. Own casualties 2 ORs killed and 1 wounded.|
|18/4/1945||A & B Sqns forming part of 2nd Armd Bde Grp advanced to form bridgehead across FOSSA SABBASOLA at 240665. B Sqn in reserve. A Sqn worked hard all day to be rewarded with excellent results. RHQ Tp on the CL did bulk of the work but suffered 2 Kangaroo casualties. Air bursts over the 2i/c’s Honey badly wounded 2 of the crew. In general the enemy were taken by surprise. Many SPs and Mark IVs were encountered but in conjunction with excellent fighter-bomber support throughout the day the majority were destroyed. Bag estimated to be 5 SPs, 8 Mark IV and five 88’s. towards evening the Grp captured artillery personnel with their 105’s intact. Sqn leaguered in area 252668. Major Ogier, OC B Sqn was wounded and evacuated. One OR killed and three wounded.C Sqn Kangaroos were used to ferry supplies to troops on the bank of the GAIANA and to bring back the wounded.|
|19/4/1945||At first light C Sqn picked up same Infantry, crossed the GAIANA and advanced to deposit them on the bank of the OUADERNA at dusk. 9th NZ Bde went into reserve. Kangaroos came back to leaguer in area 1 mile East of MEDICINA. B Sqn relieved by 56th Recce Regt on canal diversiva and returned to leaguer in area 238678. A Sqn less 2Tp resting. 2Tp had exciting day at PORTO MAGGIORE and had a Priest struck which had to be abandoned owing to very heavy shelling. 4Tp heavily shelled in rest area. Tp Ldrs Priest hit and was evacuated. One OR wounded.|
|20/4/1945||During the night three HQ Tps Kangaroos loaded and conveyed KAPOK bridging. One OR wounded. C Sqn resting. 0900 – BARNEFORCE created consisting of B Sqn 4th Hussars, B Battery RHA, B Sqn 56th Recce Regt and D coy 5th Northants and commanded by Lt Col AM Barne. Intention to pass through PORTO MAGGIORE and create bridgehead around river crossing at 259703 to enable engineers to erect a bridge. B Sqn were to go forward in 3 bounds and as they passed each bound they would call forward Infantry to consolidate. Before B Sqn could reach second bound they were very heavily shelled and were completely pinned down by fire from high velocity guns. The Infantry receiving support from the Tanks were able to consolidate on bound number 2. Any movement of the Tanks brought down very heavy fire. When dusk came there were still some enemy dug-in on the river bank. A very successful day. Total bag of PoW was 176. Casualties: Major Archer was wounded, 1 OR killed and 3 wounded.|
|21/4/1945|| 0300 – On information from 2nd Armd Bde that enemy was pulling
out, BARNEFORCE advanced to MOTTA.
1100 – B Sqn returned under command 2nd Armd Bde.
1300 – B Sqn moved to 209733 and advanced North with the Grp as reserve Sqn.
1300 – B Sqn still carrying LIR passed through bridgehead made by the Bays Grp to 190730 and made very rapid advance to 189821. An excellent run, and though the enemy were completely disorganised, there were isolated pockets of resistance. Casualties generally were very light and the run did not end until 0200 hours. Casualties: 1 Officer and 1 OR wounded.
|22/4/1945|| 0050 – Echelon, who had been brought well forward to replenish
Tanks after this long run leaguered in GUALDO area. Shortly after arrival
the area was heavuly shelled, which continued for 5 hours. At dawn a civilian
reported a German Officer and 2 NCOs had a field telephone 500 yards from
leaguer. They were duly collected by the Recce Regt.
0600 – C Sqn carrying 9th New Zealand Bde advanced to VILLA BEATRICE, more than halfway to the RENO. A & B Sqns resting in area CONA.
|23/4/1945||0600 – C Sqn continued to advance and by 1400 hours had crossed the RENO having met little or no opposition. They leaguered in area NE of CENTO. A & B Sqns resting.|
|24/4/1945|| 0500 – A & B Sqns moved to concentration area 239868
to tie up with 2nd Armd Bde Group.
1300 – A & B advanced with the Grp, 3 Armd Sqns up. Object to clear all enemy resistance East of a line drawn North to South from river PO to FERRARA. Exciting mop-up, 8 Mark IVs and 2 SPs knocked out and 160 PoW taken.
2300 – B Sqn withdrawn to CROSSARI DOPPIA and standing by to take part in a new plan. A Sqn continued mopping-up.Casualties: 4 ORs wounded.
|25/4/1945||0200 – B Sqn moved NE through LA PAVONARA turning right at 174923. Object to reach river PO. Advance with Infantry support went well. 1Tp reached river PO at BORGO at approx 0800 hours. Sqn consolidated and was relieved by C Sqn 9th Lancers at 1300 hours. PoW 20.|
|26/4/1945||All Sqns resting.|
|27/4/1945||A, B & HQ Sqns at 24 hours notice to cross river PO.|
|28/4/1945||Nothing to report.|
|29/4/1945||C Sqn crossed the PO and Adige.|
|30/4/1945||C Sqn moved to PADUA.A, B & HQ Sqns still in area 155904 awaiting to cross the river PO.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|2/5/1945||C Sqn moving to PADUA.|
|3/5/1945||C Sqn arrived ALBANO near PADUA.|
|6/5/1945|| 1700 - HQ, A & B Sqn wheeled vehicles moved to PADUA, arriving
1800 – A & B Sqn tracked vehicles left for PADUA.
|7/5/1945||0900 – Tracked vehicles arrived PADUA.|
|8/5/1945||B & C Sqns moved to MAIANO.|
|9/5/1945||HQ Sqn moved to MAIANO.|
|11/5/1945||HQ and B Sqn Echelon moved to PATERNION in AUSTRIA.|
|12/5/1945||Established PoW Camp at MOLZBICHL.|
|14/5/1945||Regtl Camp started on WEISZEN SEE.|
|15/5/1945||Verbal orders received from 78 Div to establish PoW camp at FERNDORF for 500 PoW.|
|21/5/1945||C Sqn tracks arrived MOLZBICHL.|
|26/5/1945||A Sqn tracks arrive FERNDORF.|
|27/5/1945||Regt came under command CRA 78th Div. The Div Comdr, Major General RK Arbuthnot CBE DSO MC, took the salute at the Victory Thanksgiving Service. The Regtl Band was in attendance under the direction of the Bandmaster CH Jaeger.|
|29/5/1945|| Kuhweide and friend came to Schloss at PATERNION and reported that
Kreisleiter Hugo Herzog and another man were hiding in a hut on Weiderschwing
Peak. K reported that 5 of his men armed with pistols had surrounded the
hut and would shoot the men if the attempted to go away. A 4th Hussars
party was organised consisting of Lt WK Hedley and Sgt Sowler armed with
Tommy guns, with K and his friend. On reaching the top of the peak, K
went ahead to the hut. Sgt Sowler went to the back of the hut and Lt Hedley
entered through the front and both men, though armed, surrendered without
a struggle. The second man proved to be Kreis Propaganda Leiter Freidrich
Plob. They were arrested and taken to prison at PATERNION where they were
held until taken over by Capt Willett, 78 Div Provost Staff.
1800 – E reported that 2 SS men were hiding at STOCKENBOI No. 34 disguised as agricultural workers. 2300 – These two men were arrested and gave their names as Seigfried Kummerer and ? Schutz.
|30/5/1945|| 1500 – Both men were interrogated and Kummerer admitted to
being a Cpl in the SS with 6 years service. He had served 2 periods at
DACHAU and protested that he took no active part in any “atrocity
duties” at that camp. Schutz was released.
2200 – Kummerer volunteered a statement to the effect that one SS Gruppenfuhrer and three SS Sturmbannfuhrer and one other SS man and two women were hiding in a hut on the MOSSLACHER ALM. An expedition comprising two Officers Special Force, Major Ramsey and Lt Birkett, and three Officers, Major Quarmby, Capt Wheeler and Lt Hedley, with 12 ORs 4th Hussars, was therefore organised to go to this hut to which Kummerer was willing to guide the party.
|31/5/1945|| 0430 – The party arrived at the hut.
0500 – Hut surrounded.
0510 – The door at the front was opened by Major Ramsey who had entered through a loft window. The door at the back was forced by Major Quarmby and Lt Hedley. Four men were found in the front of the house. Interrogation began at once and all men except the Gauleiter and SS Sturmbannfuhrer Lerch denied any knowledge of the SS. The women were allowed to remain in the hut, but arrangements are in hand (1430 hours) to arrest them. Dr Rainer, Lerch, three unidentified suspects and a fourth man who gave references in KLAGENFURT were brought down to the prison at PATERNION.
0715 – Schutz re-arrested on accusation of Kummerer.
1130 – The man suspected of being Glovocnik was trapped into acknowledging his name by a slight movement of his head when Major Ramsey shouted his name across the courtyard. He was ordered into arrest and poisoned himself with Prussic acid while walking the 150 yards between the Castle yard and the prison. Capt MM Leigh RAMC attempted to revive him but was unsuccessful. It was considered that he had had this poison concealed in his mouth from the moment in which the first alarm was raised at the hut as he consistently refused all form of refreshment. Three suspects on viewing the body confessed their identities as:-Sturmbannfuhrer der SS Michaelson,SS Sturmbannfuhrer Hoffle,Oberscharfuhrer Karl Hellesberger SS in TRIESTE.
1245 – all eight prisoners were removed by Capt Willett, leaving only Schutz in detention and under further investigation.
|Summary:- The German Army in Italy surrendered on the 2nd of May and in Europe generally the war finished on 8th May. The Regt was collected together on the night 7/8th May but C Sqn moved off before an informal parade, addressed by the CO and a short service was held. The command Tank, which is one of the original Tanks that came to the Regt in October 1943 was used as a dais. On 11th May the Regt moved up to PATERNION in Austria and for sometime was scattered with the Horse Party South of the PO, C & A Sqns at MAIANO, B & HQ Sqns at PATERNION. During the rest of the month Sqns gradually closed up on HQ and all ranks were busy engaged collecting, escorting and guarding prisoners, sorting out surrendered personnel, displaced personnel, refugees, slave workers, infiltrating elements of Yugoslavs and Italians, rounding up Hungarians, Cossacks, Russians, partisans of all nationalities and horses of every shape, colour and condition; also assisting local authorities with civil Admin and police problems.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/6/1945||Three SS men arrested and sent to PoW cage SPITTALL.|
|2-4/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|5/6/1945||The Regt was visited by Field Marshall Sir HRLG Alexander GCB CSI DSO MC ADC.|
|6-8/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|9/6/1945||SS Obersturmfuhrer der Kriminal Polizei Karl Peer arrested.|
|10/6/1945||Acting on information a party of 2 Officers and 6 ORs arrested 5 members of the SS including the Deputy Gauleiter of Carinthia, Freiderich Thimel, in a hut at 5686. The SS men carried arms but offered no resistance. A search produced a Solbuch in the name of Hauptsturmfuhrerer Fredrich Ahrens. Becker, Dahl and Burdorf admitted their identity but Steuer said he was only a Cpl in the Army. His Soldbuch was found later and he admitted his identity. Equally divided among the packs was the sum of approx 1.5 million Lire which was alleged by Steuer to be his Regtl funds. 1,400,216 Lire paid into the appropriate bank in VILLACH on order of the Property Control Office. Names of captured personnel:- SS Standartenfuhrer Frederich Thimel, Obersturmfuhrer der Waffen SS Freiderich Steuer, Oberscherfuhrer Ernst Dahl, Oberscherfuhrer Albert Burdorf, Unterscherfuhrer Albert Becker|
|11/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|12/6/1945||Ruth Doering, a secretary of the SS Staff in TRIESTE arrested and sent to KLAGENFURT.|
|13/6/1945||Obersturmfuhrer Fritz Jochim and Emmi Mokry both of the SS staff TRIESTE arrested and handed over to the appropriate authority for investigation.|
|14/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|15/6/1945||Small dump of MT found at C6592.|
|16-17/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|18/6/1945||Major RR Archer returned from hospital and took over command of HQ Sqn.|
|19-20/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|21/6/1945||Major JLE Ogier MC returned from hospital and took over command of B Sqn.|
|22/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|23/6/1945||11 SS men arrested and sent to PoW cage SPITTAL|
|24-25/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|26/6/1945||Adam Kappeller, former Kreiskassenleiter SPITTAL arrested.|
|27/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|28/6/1945||Karl Kirschbaumer arrested and handed over for investigation.|
|29/6/1945||Nothing to report.|
|30/6/1945||The Regt held a horse show. Major General RR Arbuthnot attended.|
|Summary:- During the month the Regt continued to be engaged in guarding surrendered personnel, displaced personnel and horses. The Regt continued to collect information concerning SS men and other badly wanted characters. A number of arrests were made. In general the situation in the Regtl area was quiet and there were no incidents. The Regtl horse show attracted approx 400 entries and was a great success.|
CO: Lt Col RCH Kidd
|1/7/1945||Nothing to report.|
|2/7/1945||Johann Pontasch, Bannfuhrer of Hitler Youth was arrested.|
|3-4/7/1945||Nothing to report.|
|5/7/1945||Five SS ORs arrested.|
|6/7/1945||Four SS ORs arrested.|
|7/7/1945||Three SS ORs arrested.|
|8/7/1945||Regt moved to area GRAFENSTEIN coming under command 26th Armd Bde in the 6th Armd Div. A and C Sqns were now re-equipped with Staghound ACs and the Recce Tp with Greyhound ACs. B Sqn was re-equipped with five Tps of Shermans, each Tp having 2 with 76mm guns and one 17pdr.|
|9-207/1945||Nothing to report.|
|21/7/1945||Major JG Vaughan assumed command of the Regt, the CO went on leave to the UK.|
|22-26/7/1945||Nothing to report.|
|27/7/1945||The Regt, less B Sqn, moved to ROTTENMANN taking over part of the zone evacuated by Russian forces of occupation. The Regt received a tremendous welcome from the civil population. Major RR Archer MC, commanding HQ Sqn, received and answered an address by the Burgemeister. A Sqn was established in TRIEBEN and C Sqn in ADMONT.|
|28/7/1945||Sqns employed in recces of Regtl area, finding several hundreds of derelict enemy vehicles.|
|29/7/1945||On dissolution of the 8th Army, Regt became part of British Troops, Austria.|
|30/7/1945||Capt AS Wells was transferred from C Sqn to command B Sqn vice Major JLE Ogier who was detached from the Regt to become Commandant of 6th Armd Div Farming School. B Sqn remained in area GRAFENSTEIN.|
|31/7/1945||A special message was received from the Army Commander on the occasion of the dissolution of 8th Army.|
On the Regt ceasing to be under command 78 Div on July 8th all guard duties
ceased. Immediately on coming under command 6th Armd Div the Regt was
extremely busy refitting with ACs instead of Kangaroos, all of which were
handed in before leaving 78 Div. Apart from refitting, all Tank and AC
crews were busy learning to drive and master the maintenance problems
of the new equipment. This was completed by July 22nd.On arriving in
the Regt was immediately busy providing check posts on the northern border
of Styria, sending out patrols to locate dumps of Wehrmacht equipment
and to check civilian identities.
[From this point on routine patrols without incident will not be reported. All names and unit movements are reported in full]
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/8/1945||Sqns engaged in check patrols and recces in their areas, listing enemy equipment and establishing permanent road blocks and guards on the main roads and the railway entering the Regtl area at ADMONT, LEIZEN and TRIEBEN.|
|2/8/1945||B Sqn Tanks moved from GRAFENSTEIN to WEISSKIRCHEN.|
|3/8/1945||Nothing to report.|
|4/8/1945||B Sqn Tanks moved to WEISSENBACH camp.|
|5/8/1945||Major RR Archer MC, Major CR Hidden and Capt AG Curwen with 47 ORs were posted to UK on PYTHON.|
|6/8/1945||Lt Col KE Saville DSO, G1 of 6th Armd Div visited the Regt.|
|7/8/1945||About 350 Polish and other Allied Displaced persons were moved into camp at 051081 where C Sqn maintained guard over enemy stores.|
|9/8/1945||At ARDNING station 60 AUSTRIANS attempted to enter Regtl area through rail tunnel from American Sector without necessary passes. Were turned back.|
|10/8/1945||Brigadier D DAWNAY Comdr 26th Armd Bde visited Regt accompanied by Major AS Bullivant 16/5th Lancers.|
|11/8/1945||Capt DW Waddingham MC and Capt JG Quarmby MC reverted to Union Defence Forces to return to Union of South Africa.Capt CC Thompson posted to UK on PYTHON.|
|12/8/1945||After a shooting incident in ADMONT DP camp the camp was searched and found a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition. B Sqn moved to LEIZEN.|
|17/8/1945||70 NCOs and men posted to UK on PYTHON. Following arrests carried out:-Johann Fric (Czech) of KLAM for hiding large quantities of Wehrmacht equipment. Hollinger of LASSING for same. Primoschitz, Hitler Youth organiser LEIZEN area. Anton Kowar, Orstgruppenleiter from GRAZ area. An SS man holding an FSS pass.|
|18/8/1945||Trouble in ADMONT DP Camp between Poles and Yugoslavs. Dealt with by C Sqn.|
|19/8/1945||Advance party of A Sqn moved to TUNIS Camp, ULM, on overland leave route.|
|20/8/1945||Frontier posts of B & C Sqn began to handle large influx of AUSTRIAN soldiers bearing American control form B2 and allowed to disperse to their homes pending general demobilisation.|
|21/8/1945||Nothing to report.|
|22/8/1945||A Sqn main party left for ULM to relieve a Sqn of 17/21st Lancers in admin of camp. Rear party commanded by Lt Balfour remained at TRIEBEN to guard ACs.|
|25/8/1945||CO returned from leave in UK. Major FS Fryer moved with recce party to new Bde area at VICENZA, Italy in preparation for move of Div to Italy.|
|26/8/1945||Major JLE Ogier MC appointed ADC to Winston Churchill, Colonel of the Regt, during his holiday at LAKE COMO. Lt ADD Rogers commanded a guard of honour at the villa.B Sqn Tanks moved to JUDENBERG to load onto transporters for the move to Italy.|
|27/8/1945||One German SP employed by B Sqn escaped.|
|28/8/1945||Capt KE Hedley with 2 Sgts, 4 Tprs and 2 Civil Police went to investigate a local report of an armed man at BARNDORF. The man, Emmerich Pollheimer fired on the patrol in area 029027 and Sgt Sowler was hit in the right shoulder. The patrol could find no cover on the open hillside and therefore retired. The Civil Police were instructed to recce the area and a standing patrol from A Sqn of 1 Cpl and 4 ORs was set up in BARNDORF. It was stated by villagers that POLLHEIMER is a lunatic.|
|30/8/1945||B Sqn Tanks arrived PALMANOVA, new Bde area having been changed from VICENZA to PALMANOVA.|
|31/8/1945||Civil Police report still no sign of Pollheimer.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|3/9/1945||At 2245 hours a report was received that Pollheimer had returned to house at 029027. Capt RA Hibbert, with Lt RL Balfour, 2 Sgts, 7 ORs and 2 Civil Police raided the house. He was not found but a shotgun identified as his was found in a barn, where obvious signs of a hasty departure were discovered.|
|4/9/1945||Pollheimer gave himself up to 2 ORs of the Regt after Reveille. Case was put in the hands of AMG.|
|6/9/1945||Lt Col AM Barne returned from LAKE COMO after a brief holiday with the Rt. Hon Winston Churchill, Colonel of the Regt.|
|8/9/1945||One Belgian ex PoW, Henri Phillipet, was discovered in ROTTENMAN hospital and taken under care of the Regt. The numbers of trains running between the American and british zones began to increase from this date. Many civilians without passes attempted to travel on these trains, an average of 50 per day were intercepted and returned to their correct zones.|
|9/9/1945||It was discovered that no American check-point was established on the railway. C Sqn was therefore providing the only check-point on the railway from the Danube to the Italian frontier.|
|10/9/1945||Lt C Cranswick left the Regt to return to Rhodesia for release from the Army.|
|14/9/1945||Regtl advance party under Capt SJ Saunders moved to new Regtl area PALMANOVA Italy.|
|15/9/1945||All prisoners held in the prison camp ROTTENMAN were evacuated and the camp closed. The guard provided by HQ Sqn was withdrawn.Major Kuhweide and his detachment of 20 German soldiers who had been assisting the Regt in its hill patrols since June, were evacuated to Germany for demobilisation. All surrendered personnel who had worked with the Regt in lieu of personnel absent on LIAP were returned to SP Camps.|
|16/9/1945||Civil Police at ADMONT discovered a corpse of an American soldier in river EMS, Malcolm B Rouse of B Troop, 41st Cavalry Recce Sqn. Case reported to Americans.|
|17/9/1945||Main Regtl party left for Italy.|
|18/9/1945||Main party arrived PALMANOVA. The following were attached to the Regt:- Lt J Paterson, Lt P Kerven, Lt NA Miscampbell.|
|19/9/1945||Regt settled into barracks and Officers and Sgts Messes were established for the first time since the Regt left Egypt.|
|20/9/1945||Major AS Wells left the Regt to return to England for release. Capt AP Ridley-Thompson assumed command of B Sqn.|
|24/9/1945||A Sqn handed over Tunis Camp ULM, to a Sqn of 6th RTR. Capt IH Harris, Capt RC Arculus and Lt AC Lloyd were posted to England to be released from the Army in Class B.|
|25/9/1945||Major JG Vaughan left on PYTHON for the UK.|
|26/9/1945||A Sqn rejoined the Regt.|
|27/9/1945||Lt Adely, 1st DY and Lt Morrison, Recce Regt, joined the Regt.|
|28/9/1945||Lt Jackson obtained a Class B release whilst on LIAP.|
|30/9/1945||The departure of the Regt from Austria is generally regretted. However the Regt has benefited from the move with its first taste of peacetime barrack life. This month has seen the departure of several Officers who have given much gallant service to the Regt during the war years. Major JG Vaughan being the most prominent.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|1/10/1945||Major JJ O’Brien left to go on a course in UK, also 14 days leave. Warning order received that the Regt will move to TRIESTE and become Recce Regt in 56th (Lon) Div in lieu of 44th Recce Regt. Capt A Smith rejoined the Regt from 26th Armd Bde.|
|2/10/1945||Capt A Smith admitted to hospital as a result of a fall whilst on riding school.|
|3/10/1945||Preliminary recce of new area by the QM and Capt Hedley.|
|7/10/1945||Major Wheeler (Adjt) left for UK on an Airborne course.|
|8/10/1945||The Regt was inspected by the Corps Comdr Lt General Sir John Harding KCB CBE DSO MC. Capt CN Jones, 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry joined the Regt.|
|9/10/1945||Lt Rogers returned from duty with the Rt. Hon Winston Churchill.|
|10/10/1945||Capt Hibbert left the Regt on Class B release. Capt Ridley-Thompson was admitted to hospital.|
|11/10/1945||Capt A smith was discharged from hospital and appointed Acting Adjt.|
|12/10/1945||Tpr G Jones MM and Tpr W Buckley were knocked down and killed by an unknown vehicle on the UDINE – PALMANOVA road. Major Clements MC and Lt Romney MC rejoined the Regt having been PoW in Germany. Major Clements MC was appointed 2i/c the Regt.|
|13/10/1945||A Sqn 7th Hussars arrived PALMANOVA and were billeted in A Sqn lines.|
|14/10/1495||7th Hussars relieved the Regt.|
|15/10/1945||Lt Romney was promoted Capt and appointed 2i/c A Sqn.|
|18/10/1945||Capt Ridley-Thompson discharged from hospital.|
|21/10/1945||Advance party of 2 Officers and 16 ORs moved to VILLA OPICINA and were accommodated by 10th Hussars.|
|23/10/1945||Regt relieved 10th Hussars.|
|25/10/1945||The CO left for VIENNA to attend a conference of all Cavalry Regt COs to discuss the future of the RAC.|
|26/10/1945||Regt now under command 56th (Lon) Div.|
|29/10/1945||The Int. Officer, Capt PWB Adeley paid a visit to the Tank Sqn of the Yugoslav detachment.|
|30/10/1945||CO returned from VIENNA.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne
|3-4/11/1945||Regt confined to barracks and precautionary measures taken within the unit during the ‘pro-Italian’ and communist meetings held on the 3rd and 4th.|
|5/11/1945||Major RSG Smith rejoined the Regt after having been away nearly 4 years, most of which time he spent as a PoW.|
|19/11/1945||Capt HHB Greenwood joined the Regt from 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry. The Regt took over a guard of 2 NCOs and 6 men from 6th Btn Cheshire Regt at the broadcasting station TRIESTE.|
|Summary. The month has been spent in settling down in the new barracks and taking over the new vehicles and equipment. Peace time soldiering and barrack life is returning. The Sgts Mess is centralised for the first time for nearly two years and the men’s messing is now centralised. The Regt has been allotted an area about 10 miles long bordering the sea and has certain VP’s to guard in the event of civil disturbance. Other commitments are German PoW Camp, petrol depot and coal dump in the docks. There is very little available in the way of sports and games, but the town of TRIESTE offers a good deal of attractions in the way of welfare, cinemas and dances.|
CO: Lt Col AM Barne OBE
|2/12/1945||Capt Romney MC proceeded to UK for a course at AFV School Bovington.|
|5/12/1945||Major RFJ Hosken left the Regt and was discharged under Class A release.|
|6/12/1945||Capt SJ Saunders was promoted Major and appointed OC HQ Sqn.|
|8/12/1945||Capt CN Jones was appointed Tech Adjt.|
|13/12/1945||Lt Col AM Barne was appointed an Officer of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Italy.|
|18/12/1945||Regt was visited by GOC 56th Div, Major General JY Whitfield CD DSO OBE.|
|25-26/12/1945||Both days were holidays for almost everyone in the Regt, only duty Officers and skeleton staffs remaining on duty.|
|29/12/1945||Regt relieved 192 Battery 57th A/Tk Regt in the Morgan Line and B & C Sqns were place under command 169 Infantry Bde for operations. Major ST Eve left the Regt for a course at the AFV School Bovington. Major SJ Saunders and 87 ORs left the Regt on PYTHON|
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