War Diaries of DD (Jerboa) Battery, Royal Horse Artillery



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January to March 1942



The following entries of DD (Jerboa) Battery Diaries are included the 4 Regt RHA's Diaries for April to August 1942

April 1942

Commanding Officer: 




Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices



Training Area EL GUBI.


Battery moved Soith of BIR HACHEIM. “D” Troop moves independently toa assist 4 SAAC Armd Cars in their role of harassing the enemy between ROTUNDA MTEIFEL and ROTUNDA SEGNALI/


C Troop moved to support 12 Lancers. SW. SEGNALI. Split into sections but did not come into action.


Some engagements with enemy columns with C Troop operating as two sections.


Battery harassing enemy movements in area 2004 – 2020 and 4004 – 5080.

C Troop Left Section has successful open sight action with enemy column of a few tanks and armoured cars later known as “THUGS” Column.


In action area 4508; fired on working parties and patrols. D Troop had a successful week operating with the 4 SAAC and established firm friendship with them.




May 1942

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

1st May 43.

to 2nd

Moved back to RHQ 4 Regt RHA ara at 7511 - Maintenance..

3rd to 15th

Harassing enemy was battery's role from static positions 6440.
  No attacked on position. With 2 KRRC 1 Troop 170 Lt AA Bty and a Troop of 95 A.Tank Battery formed March Column under command of Lieut-Colonel, SISMAY

16th to 24th.

Battery resting at the sea at JERBOA BAY, near TOBRUK - one troop at a time. Two Free French Officers attached to Battery for a week.  


Relieved E Battery, 1 RHA in AUGUST Column.  


Large enemy movement in later afternoon East towards MTEIFEL. Bty moved in stages through night in area 380840/  


Dropped into actiob EL GUBL, awaited information. At nightfall moved to area 442383 to protect FMC.  


Enemy E and NE of EL ADEM. Remained in over-night position to await orders. Move 423401 ; no sign of enemy. Moved W but no contact made with enemy.  


Remained 423399 on wheels ; later came into action in area 394418 and engaged enemy moving SE to NW. Leaguer area bombed that night.  


In action slightly W of previous day's position. Moved W and SW to KNIGHTSBRIDGE area. In action against enemy on MTEIFEL RIDGE.  


Leaguer area again bombed.  


Bty back in reserve. Night march to BIR HACHEIM.  

NB. Although the above state  43, the events are for 1942.



June 1942

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

                  1st June.

Moved to area ROTUNDA MTEIFEL and came into action. Later moved W, in action B 19 firing N. Good targets of MT and guns engaged,


Move W and in action at B 24. BIR HACHEIM being attacked from SE and Bty was ordered to the area to aid Free French. Thick duststorm hindered movement.


Bty in action against enemy guns at 367370. Fired East all day. Moved three miles W to leaguer in evening.


Bty back in action in same area. OPs had trouble all day from enemy a/cs. Bty ended up in area 3536.


In action 359375. Much firing ENE. Gun positions heavily shelled and force to move back 1000 yards.


Move forward : came into action 358365. Frequent targets. Much enemy movement in preparation for attack on HACHEIM.


In action same area. Not much shelling : rather a quiet day.


Gun area 370368. Intermittent enemy shelling. OP and a-tk escort attacked by 4 Folkswagen who were driving off after one had been knocked out.


Fairly quiet morning. Bty moved fwd to 370388 to support tanks : put down intermittent barrage for about an hour. HACHEIM heavily attacked and bombed.


Same positions. Some enemy shelling with single gun. HACHEIM to be evacuated tonight.


In action SW of previous position. Enemy a/cs and guns engaged.

Bty move to 394352 firing W.


Rest and maintenance in area 394352.


Bty moved into action 401394, prepared to engage large enemy column moving SE. Enemy gun position and small party of enemy tanks engaged with some success.


Moved fwd to 41 Grid. Many derelicts about. Guns moved N, in action 390408. Enemy attack on ACROMA.


In action at 406402. Engage large enemy column. Bty withdrew to 402346. Large enemy column, incl 80 tanks, then moved S. Bty moved to 412397, engage enemy with ineffective reply from the enemy. Attack on EL ADEM developing. Finally at 421388.


In action at 425381. Considerable haze – not much firing. “D” Trp A/Tk gunners very active against enemy a/cs.


Fwd into action 435375. Engage parties of enemy. Engaged enemy column escorts by Mk IV tks. Battle developing to NE, moved back E about 12 miles.


In action at 435375. Ops and gun positions shelled by MkIVs and 105 mm guns. Bty moved to area 457369. C Tp moved fwd to shell enemy concentration. Back eight miles to leaguer.


Move into action 462371 ; quiet morning. Large columns moving along TRIGH CAPUZZO and E and S of EL GUBI.


Occupied same gun position – did not fire. Moved W to 461379 and then N to 469389, and again to 465395. No firing.


Started morning in action at 448395, then moved to 439399. No firing. Moved off on long march S, then SE to pick up Echelon.


Into action 483363. Quiet day until evening when enemy column engaged by Bty. Shelled gun position. Move S throughout the night : uncertainty as to enemy’s location made progress difficult.


In action close to enemy at 483347 : engaged 100 MT, also guns. Withdrew through frontier wire at EL BEDA gap. Engage enemy column advancing along wire. Withdrew E and marched through the night : reached area 5330.


Enemy still close. Bty went into action in area 545304. Echelon at last arrived, after being attacked in leaguer moved to area 588320.

Engage concentration of 1000 MT. Bty moved back to 612328. Again engaged enemy column. Then moved S three miles into action : no firing.


Bty moved off E, in action 675816. Moved back two miles to leaguer.


Moved SE at first light, then back into action 695298, but did not fire, In action again at 685203, engaged targets to NW. Shelled column of three thousand MT, which moved off W. Sound of tk battle to N. Moved ESE for 15 miles.


Moved 35 miles E to 776283. A quiet day.


Moved W into action 768282, then on to 754285. Engaged 100 MT.


Started out W, but ordered to go ESE. Reached edge of QATTARA depression, turned N attempting to link up with 7 Motor Bde.

Reached 825262, then on again in moonlight, hurrying to get E of EL ALAMEIN line.




July 1942

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices


Halted a mile South of New Zealand Box at QARET EL ABD; preparing to remain on their southern flank, but Column ordered SE to take up position near HIMEIMAT.


Role of Column was to act as rearguard for that part of of Eighth Army scheduled to withdraw to CAIRO down the barrel track in the event of a breakthrough in the North.


Ordered to move North about Mid-day after 24 hours out of action on Barrel Track. In action South of JULY COLUMN (425265).

 4th to 7th.

In action SOUTH of Pt. 98 (861269) role, harassing Northwars. New Zealanders wiped out an Italian Leaguer capturing about 40 guns.


New Zealanders took over role of Column at Pt. 98. Column moved about 10 miles SOUTH preparing for a long march WEST.


Role of Column was to go West to Pt 108 (880278) contact and engage the enemy. Meanwhile the Sappers from MARCH COLUMN were blowing up dumps in the New Zealand BOX at QARET EL ABD. Battery had an exciting morning engaging tanks, chiefly Italian, both open sight and observed shooting.

By Midday a heavy attack had developed to the WEST, which force the Column to withdraw. During the afternoon both troops were firing WEST, leaguering back EAST as the enemy infantry advances along the ridge running SE from KALAKH. During the night the Battery put down harassing fire. For his action during the day as OP Officer particularly against the tanks during the morning, Lieut A.A. Banks. RHA was awarded the MC.


Thing morning with the enemy installed on GEBEL KALAKH the Battery was forces to move from one positions to another through shell-fire.

Eventually it moved NORTH and came into action in a crowded position among JULY COLUMN. The Column was heavily shelled during the day. About an hour before dark as infantry and tank attack developed and the battery had some excellent targets. By dark the attach was definitely repulsed. There followed an appalling march to the leaguer area through very soft sands.


Battery moved NORTH towards to Pt 98 to protect left flank of the New Zealanders, but did not come into action,


Battery in action (861269) SOUTH of Pt 98 firing harassing shoots against MET and tanks.


The Column was visited by the Corps Commander (13 Corps). General Gott and Major-General Renton, the Divisional Commander

13 - 16th.

For these three days the Battery had a very quiet period in this area during them has as guests two War Correspondents from “PARADE”. The result of their visit was an excellent article on AUGUST COLUMN.

17 - 25th.

Column moved WEST in the depression DEIR EL ANGER (875267) and spent the period harassing the enemy in the old NZ BOX QARET EL ABD.


At last light the Battery fired a series of concentration in support of a highly successful attack by a fighting patrol from 2nd Rifle Brigade on an Italian post at 868268.


Column spend two days in the area at Pt 116 (879267) then returned to DEIR EL ANGER for five uneventful days, until the end of the mouth.




August 1942

Commanding Officer:

Hour     Place     Date

Summary of Events and Information

References to Appendices

DEIR EL MUHAFI. 1 -3 Aug Column went into reserved position for 10 days North or Deir el Muhafi 18892651 under Command ROYAL SCOTS GREYS  


13th August column relieved by March Column in DEIR EL MUNASSIB.  


There was a lack of good targets during this period. General B.L. Montgomery, the new Army Commander visited the column twice.


 Major-General Maxwell. MGRA Middle East, visited the Battery during the day.

During the night 30/31 August the enemy attacked, and the Battery fired SOS Tasks all night on to and in front of the minefield.


Until 0900 hrs the battery remained in position diring continuously at the advancing enemy tho the O.Ps were forces to come in closed to the guns.

By this time the enemy had driven a wedge in the minefields south of the column and a strong force of tanks was SE of the Battery. While the Column was withdrawing this task force started to turn NORTH but before it could cut the column off halted for a brew. Battery withdrew to positions in area 435868, no contact with enemy until dark.



September to December 1942



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