War Diaries of J Battery, Royal Horse Artillery



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January to November 1944 



December 1944 "J" Bty. RHA. 3rd Regiment R.H.A.

Commanding Officer:  Lt-Col J.A. NORMAN, D.S.O., RHA.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
MANESTRATT 1 Dec   The Battery is still at MANESTRATT. Our O.Ps have been relieved by 5 R.H.A. and we are standing down. 1/7 Queens have been disbanded and 2 Devons have taken their place   
      Amn. Exp. Nil.  
MANESTRATT 2 -5 Dec   These were four very quiet days during which no firing was done, The Battery is still standing down  
NEEROETEREN 6 Dec   After a quiet morning the Battery moved to a leaguer area NEEROETEREN.  
NEEROETEREN 7 Dec   Recce parties went to SITTARD and spend the night there.  
LEIJENBROEK 8 Dec   A wet day. The Battery moved of at 1030hrsm and went south, crossed the MAAS at BERG and came into action at LEIJENBROEK. "J" Battery relieved a Batteru of 55 Fld. Regt. (Guards Armd Div). TAC HQ was established with Bn HQ 2 Devons at OVERHOVEN. Capt. Smith occupied O.P, in the tower of KASTEEL MILLEN. Shooting was confirmed to registration  
LEIJENBROEK 9 Dec   The guns has difficulty in getting into this position, particularly "C" Troop, This morning, therefore, work was begun on the improvement of the approaches to the gun positions  
      Capt. Smith was relieved by Lt. Foster at the Battery O.P.. A certain amount of observed shooting was done - largely registrations and harassing of enemy diggings. We also took part in two Mike targets on enemy mortars, one south of SUSTERN and one south-west of HAVERT. Amn. exp, 80.  
LEIJENBROEK 10 Dec   The C.R.A. visited the Battery this morning. We engaged M and ? targets during the afternoon but there is little of interest to report, Amn.exp. 170  
LEIJENBROEK 11 Dec   Another fairly quite day, with little observed shooting on suspected O.P. Amn. exp. 150. Lt Holmes has been posted to "M" Bty  
LEIJENBROEK 12 Dec   The Battery was engaged on M targets throughout the day.  
      Work still continues on the improvement of the gun positions. Amn/ exp. 166.  
LEIJENBROEK 13  Dec   A very quiet day with nothing to report. Amn. exp. 21.  
LEIJENBROEK 14  Dec   A Corps counter-battery programme was organised today to cover all know hostile batteries on the Corps front. Otherwise little firing was done. Amn. exp. 198.  
LEIJENBROEK 15  Dec   Lt. Griffiths took over the O.P. today. We fire two retaliations targets today in replay to enemy shelling of the MILLEN - OVERHOVEN areas. A quiet day. Amn. exp. 101  
LEIJENBROEK 16  Dec   Lt. Griffiths occupied the Battery O.P. again today. The morning was occupied with a counter-battery programme. We joined in Uncle targets on ISENBRUCH and KONINGBOSCH and "C" Troop engaged an enemy occupied house west of NIEUWSTADT.  
      Two more retaliation targets were engaged and the O.P. registered two houses believed to be occupied by the enemy. Lt. Brown too over the O.P,.in the afternoon. Amn. exp. 100.  

From 0300 to 0530 hrs we stood to, ready to engage a short fire plan in support of a fighting patrol sent out by 1/5 Queens, but no fire was asked for. Using "C" Troop Lt. Brown engaged a house and enemy diggings. A Q target was also fired on an 88mm, north-east of SCHALBRUCHT . The Battery took part in five M targets on hostile batteries. Lt. Anson took over the O.P. at 1600hrs. Amn. exp. 276

LEIJENBROEK 18  Dec   A very quiet day with no shooting. Capt. Stokes relieved Lt. Anson at 1700hrs. The Battery moved to EINIGHAUSEN at last light. Amn. exp. NIL.  
EINGHAUSEN  19  Dec   Capt. Stokes fired two Q targets - one behind an enemy smoke screen and on an area of small arms fire. The Battery took part in M, U and V targets on enemy guns.  
      Amn. Exp. 104.  
EINIGHAUSEN  20 Dec   DF tasks were engaged during the night. Capt. Stokes fires a retaliation target this morning and also harassed a working party and an area of enemy movement. U & V targets were fired on enemy guns. Amn. Exp, 253.  
EINIGHAUSEN  21 Dec   Quite a busy day. Mortars were engaged near HONGEN, tracked moverment at ANN DEN POPELAAR, and an hostile battery north of SUSTEREN. Lt J.M.L Brittain R.A. has joined the battery as "C" Troop Leader, The Padre - Rev. G.R. Charlesworth is staying with the Battery for one week. Amn, exp. 140.  
EINIGHAUSEN  22 Dec   Two targets were engaged near HONGEN - a mortar and a working party. We also took part in two V targets, and then the Battery indulged in a little retaliation for enemy shelling on our immediate front. Amn. exp, 226.  
EINIGHAUEN  23 Dec   The Battery took part in V targes on SAEFFELEN and KONINGSBOSCH and in bombards on hostile guns and mortars. Otherwise a quiet day, Amn. exp, 126.  
EINIGHAUSEN  24 Dec   The day passed with a little miscellaneous shooting including a V target on SUSTEREN.  Lt. Quilter was evacuated sick. Amn, exp. 192.  
EINIGHAUSEN  25 Dec   This was a very quiet day, the only shooting being one V target. "D" Troop and half of headquarters were off duty and had their Christmas diner today. The B.C. attended both  Troop dinners and contributed to the festivities by singing two songs. Amn. exp. 38.  
EINIGHAUSEN  26 Dec   "D" Troop and the other half of BHQ. are off duty today. Firing was again limited to one V target. Amn. exp. 21  
EINIGHAUSEN  27 Dec   This was another quiet day. 2 Devons were relieved by 9 DLI and moved back to rest. The O.Ps and TAC HQ returned to the gun area. The Battery joined in two counter-battery bombards, but apart from that there is nothing to report. Amn. exp, 22.  
EINIGHAUSEN  28 Dec   We engaged an U target on SPAAMSCHJUISEEN, a V target south east of KONINGSBOSCH and a Q target north of HEILDER. Otherwise it was quiet again. Capt. J.W. Dowdeswell M.C. R.A. has joined the Battery as Battery Captain. Amn. exp 76.  
EINIGHAUSEN  29 Dec   There was a light fall of snow overnight. A number of M and V targets were engaged during the day. The targets were mainly enemy guns. Amn. exp. 96.  
EINIGHAUSEN  30 Dec   The Battery was visited by the C.R.A. this morning. The days was a quiet one on the whole. Amn. exp. 26  
EINIGHAUSEN  31 Dec   Capt. Lawrence has been posted to Div HQ as SCRA.  
      We fired two V and one U targets during the day. Then from 1900hrs onwards we were standing to in support of two fighting patrols one from 9 DLI and one from 1/5 Queens. We fired in support of the latter at approximately 2000hrs and in support of 9 DLI at 2045hrs.   
      Later in the evening we fired an U target on trench systems and finally closed the old year and brought in the new one with a V target on SCHALBRUCHT at midnight. Amn/ exp. 265.  



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