War diary’s April 3, 1945

Newspaper clipping

Quite a lot of firing

6 Canadian Field Regiment RCA
FMRs moved north-west and met some opposition on the bank of IJSSEL, west of our position. We engaged with one battery. Enemy were driven north along the main road East of IJSSEL towards ZUTPHEN. Three M targets fired in support of 4 Cdn Inf Bde. Three bombards and four U targets fired. H F fire during the night and we fired approximately 12 rouds per gun. SSRs and Cameons moving up.

Toronto Scottisch Regiment (MG) CIC
Weather cloudy with showers in the morning and afternoon. Bn HQ moved off at 0945 hrs following Main convoy, route Terborg Doetinchem, Regelo  to the new posn at MR 023880. Inf advaced some 15 miles yesterday and coys are beyond there isue of 1/25,000 maps are shooting from 1/50,000. A coy HQ had an unusual day, in that they dit not move. 1 and 3 pls remained in their posn. 2 pl located at MR 024965 where they fired 160 bombs at 13 targets. 4 pl are near Almen at MR 017065 from which point the scored direct hits with their first bombs on 2 enemy guns. 5 and six pls crossed the Twenthe Canal today and are located at MR 005981 and 017978. 7pl remained in its same posn today and fired in sp of 4 bde when it was counter attacked twice between 1830 and 2100 hrs. the attacks were repulsed. D coy moved to new posn in town of Vorden MR 025905, pls conc in that area also. Town of Doetinchem cleared today. 3 Div advancing towards Zutphen, 4 and 6 bdes are at Twenthe Canal, east of Zutphen. Some of their tps crossed the canal but were recalled awaiting advance of 3 Div as the rt flank was unprotected. Enemy had intende to make a stand in the woonds south of the canal but the Dutch resistance stepped in and while no actual fighting took place the enemy withdrew to the other side of the canal.

1 Bn The Royal Regiment of Canada
B Coy reported enemy digging in on their right. 3” mortar fire was brought to bear on enemy posn. Enemy tps were reported moving north-west in area MR 042985 at 0955 hrs.
During the night a class 40 raft was built by engrs and was in op, bringing over SP tps by 1000 hrs.
The Brig visited Tac HQ to tell of bridge being built at MR 013975. Essex Scots and RHLI to move across tonight.
CO met Coy Comds at A Coy to outline ops to come and suggest improvements in present posns.
Bn area was subjected to heavy shelling starting at 1400 hrs.
An “O” Gp at Bde at 1530 hrs to co-ordinate. ops.
Enemy mounted several counterattacks in A and C Coy areasm but were beaten off with a number of enemy killed.
Engrs had to halt work on the bridge at approx 1730 hrs as shelling was heavy and accurate.
The raft was smashed by direct hits at about 2100 hrs. RHLI crossing was held up til raft repaired.
Our arty and tanks took over enemy guns about 2200 hrs and shortly after the raft was repaired and the RHLI continued crossing.
Strong counterattack was driven off at 2230 hrs.
Casualties today were 3 ORs killed, 4 missing, 23 wounded.

1st. Bn. Black Watch (RHR) of Canada
969797, Ref Sh 3903, Steenderen
3rd. April, Tues.
Weather – warm and sunny. Quite a number of prisoners were taken in the attack on the town, and during the night many more were brought in from the various areas around the town, and from the town itself. From interrogation the C.O., Maj. E. MOTZFELDT, elicited the information that the enemy had moved 320 men into the area yesterday afternoon. Many of these are now prisoners, and our bag for this attack is in the neighbourhood of 150. The men were able to relax somewhat today, and wash and clean up. From many civilian and Dutch underground sources information was tendered today on the dispositions of the enemy in the area. The leader of the resistance movement in the area was most helpful in drawing sketches of the area and in the vouchsafing of information – all of which was immediately passed on to Bde. During the morning the 4th. Bde. pushed on beyond us and established a bridgehead across the canal. Tac H.Q. was a most busy place today, seeing a constant procession of visitors – local inhabitants offering information and representatives from other formations seeking it. At 1800 hrs. Maj.E. MOTZFELDT, the Acting C.O. called an O Gp. to give details for a move scheduled for early tomorrow morning near NOORDINK. 

The Calgary Highlanders
3 Apr 45
Most of the morning was rather hectic in that civilians were a big problem. Everyone wanted to help or be helped and as a result the “I” Section,  in particular Sgt Willems was harrassed from every side.
Brig. W.J. Megill visited the Bn and gave the C.O. particulars for a move to a new area to concentrate for a new job. Coy Comdrs were called in and route and order of march were laid on with a recce party under Cpt. R.J. Kerfoot to leave in advance. At approx 1400hrs the Bn moved off in TCVs and after a short delay on the road arrived in the new area at about 1600hrs with Bn HQ at Hengelo. A few minor patrols were laid on and at 2000hrs a civilian policeman reported a sending set at Nickmond and the information was passed on to Bde.
Weather – Cold and showery

5 Cdn Fd Regt RCA
3 Apr
Rained quite a bit last night and again to-day although it cleared up for a short time this afternoon – it even hailed at times during the different rain squalls – recce parties left this morning and we will now proceed tot  4 CIB area -engaged several “U” tgts in sp $ CIB who were being counter-attaked on the other side of the canal – engaged several ML tgts at 2007, 2010, 2135 and a couple of bombards – the new locn of RHQ 058948 sheet 3804 LACHEM 1/25000 – amn exp 52 rpg’s.

4 Canadian Field Regiment R.C.A.
3 Apr 45
Weather – Rain
Activity – Fairly quiet until about 1030 when a flurry of “M” Tgts came down and for the balance of the day we were busy. About 1500 hrs we began to move, by Btys, to another new posn, an adv of about 3 Km, and settled as follows: – RHQ 048949 A 028946 B 029946 C 032950 D 032952 E 035942 F 037941. There was quite a lot of firing from the new posn until about 2300 hrs. Gnr Locke, H.W., OP Sig was killed in the afternoon, 20 HF tgts during the night.

1st Bn. The Essex Scottish Regiment Canadian Army (Overseas)
3 Apr 45
The weather was murky and overcast. During the morning a recce party under the command of Lieut. Fraser went to feel out the enemy near ZUTPHEN and ran into trouble. We suffered one killed and three wounded and Lieut. FRASER himself, was missing until the evening when he returned under cover of darkness, wounded i the shoulder, and gave us valuable information of enemy positions. At 1630 hrs. the CO and IO went to Bde and received the movenment order which was to take us over the canl by ferry to a new concentration area in the RRC lines. Around 1730 hrs. the CO passed his orders on to the Coy Commanders.  In the meantime, our ‘B’ Coy took over from ‘B’ Coy RHLI to release it for the crossing of the canal and strengthen the bridgehead. The crossing was delayed due to enemey activity and we finally got across with our Company intact about 0245 hrs.

8 Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment (14 CH)
029946 Holland
3 Apr 45 Weather:- Cloudy with slight rain .
Our intentions to move this morning have been cancelled for the moment. “I” Section personnel are gradually loosing their hair, after changing the setting of maps about four times, due to the fact that there seems to be a general mix up in the intention of our next rolle. Lieut.-Col. Alway is away to see the G.O.C. Nouw, (1200 hrs) We hope he will return with something  a little more concrete. “B” Squadron is trying to pass their people over the TWENTE Canal now, but it will probably take some time, as they are using a raft. Major Good left for # 1 C.A.C.R.U. to-day for a tour of duty as Instructor. In the afternoon “B” Squadron got about half the Squadron over the TWENTE Canal, and bumped the enemy about 20 minutes later in Square 0498. Unfortunately lost 4 vehicles, and at 2000 hrs 6 men were still missing. Some of them are believed to be wounded. As contact had been lost this is still unconfirmed. Jerry’s sent in 4 tanks at approximately 2100 hrs, which were reported as Panthers. The Fort Garry’s knocked out at least one, but are not sure of the second. “C” Squadron have returned from udner command of the 3rd Cdn Division. They apparently put on a damn good show by taking more prisoners in one day than the rest of the 3rd Division.

10 Cdn Armd Regt (Fort Garry Horse)
3 Apr 45. Rainy, cool day. Bridgehead over canal established with two troops of B sqn on the other side. A sqn stayed in harbour all day. C sqn moved from Doetinchem making a harbour at AO 035929. In the evening plans were firmed for B sqn to complete move over canal and for A and C sqns to follow in the morning.

43rd Reconnaissance Regiment
0130 C Sqn released from flank protection. Revert to Regt control at 1200. Regt responsiblity ceased during afternoon, due to advance of Canadian Forces, positions made redundant. Orders to Sqns, probably cross TWENTHE CANAL on 4th 

Garnet William Eldridge

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Auteur: Jan Braakman

Jan Braakman is journalist en schrijver. Hij publiceert regelmatig korte biografische schetsen van geallieerde soldaten die in Nederland gesneuveld of begraven zijn.

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