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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – War Diary March 1945

1st March 1945

Commanding Officer and party on recce to 2/8 Ghurkhas.

2nd March 1945

All platoon commanders on visit to 2/9 Ghurkas and sleeping there in preparation to taking over on 3rd March.

3rd March 1945

Major Millman takes over command of the battalion.

1030 Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer on recce to 2/8 Ghurkas.

1500 Tac HQ established 384364 (89 III SW 1/25,000)

2350 Locations. Tac HQ 384364 (89 III SW).

X Company HQ 369369. Platoons 366367, 372366. Sections on river bank at 36463680, 36463675 (88 II SE).

Z Company HQ 369365. Platoons at 366364, 37203635. Sections on river bank (Senio) at 36443640, 36443636, 36403630.

Y Company HQ 368358. Platoons at 368358, 365362. Sections on river bank 36383618, 36403616, 36423612 (88 II SE).

S Company HQ at 38453620 (89 III SW).

2359 Z Company report a deserter surrendered, passing him back to Tac HQ.

4th March 1945

0600 Quiet night except for light shelling on X Company.

1030 Deserter taken last night identified as from 2 Company, Fusilier Battalion 98 Division.

1230 X Company report small mortar landing in their area.

1250 X Company report grenades thrown over bank on to their positions. No casualties.

1500 Heavy concentration of shells on our right neighbour, 1 London Scottish. Casualties caused.

1700 Z Company report Red Cross flag observed on bank at approximately 364366.

1830 Light Spandau fire on front during day.

1900 X Company report mortaring and grenades at bastion 364366. Artillery support asked for.

5th March 1945

0600 Fairly quiet night but a party on our right (1 London Scottish). Contact patrols carried out. Nothing to report.

0800 Cabrank bombing 362367.

0940 Brigade report new enemy footbridge over river 36403682.

1030 Tanks under our command carried out shoot at bastion 364366. Results of shoot not observed.

1630 X Company report small mortar falling in area 364371 and also south 364371.

1830 Quiet Day on battalion front except for light shelling and Spandau fire.

1930 X Company report change of location company HQ. Now at 36883690 (88 II SE).

2200 Companies report change over of forward positions, completed without incident.

2250 Z Company report Spandau firing from approximately 364365.

2300 X Company report smoke grenades thrown over bank 365368, also small mortar bombs falling in area.

2330 All companies send in flash bearing of Nebelwerfer firing.

6th March 1945

0130 X Company report Spandau firing from 364368.

0200 Exchange of grenades by X Company’s forward positions and Bosche on bank, no casualties. MGs firing harassing fire in support of X Company.

1800 Z Company report enemy seen being evacuated from approximately 364366.

2300 Relief of forward platoons carried out without trouble. Spandau fire again from bastion 364366. Royal Artillery engage.

7th March 1945

0200 MGs fire in support of X Company.

0215 X Company report a patrol to 1 London Scottish positions on river bank observed footbridge at approximately 364369.

0300 Battle Patrol report Nebelwerfer fire shells falling 100 yards from house.

0600 Y Company report quiet night; fired 2-inch mortar propaganda bombs during the night.

0630 Z Company report slight activity during the night. Spandau firing from bastion 364366 engaged by our own mortars, also grenade exchange with enemy by forward platoon.

0700 Contact patrols during the night nothing to report. Z Company standing patrol nothing to report. Y Company fired 2-inch propaganda bombs during the night.

1230 X Company report enemy seen on bank with periscope at 364368.

1330 X Company report heavy shells failing in area of HQ.

1800 Light Spandau fire during day otherwise quiet on battalion front.

2330 Reliefs of forward positions completed ok.

8th March 1945

0010 X Company report forward positions being mortared. Our artillery plus 4.2-inch mortars engage likely positions.

0325 X Company listening post; voices and Schmeisser heard 364366.

0350 Z Company listening patrol; nothing to report.

0600 Z Company quiet night, with rifle exchanges. 2-inch mortar fired (propaganda).

0620 Y Company report four heavy shells fell on forward positions. No casualties. Spandau and mortar activity during the night.

0630 X Company report quiet night.

0730 Bosche observed waving Red Cross flag left of forward platoon of X Company.

0900 Snipers with Z Company claim two Bosche killed or wounded.

1600 Patrol from Y Company up path on bank 364363 forced to withdraw owing to grenades.

1800 Little enemy shelling or mortaring today.

2300 Relief of forward positions complete.

2350 X Company report platoon on bank having a grenade battle. Royal Artillery engage.

9th March 1945

0025 X Company listening patrol. Four enemy seen, also digging heard.

0105 X Company report grenade battle on forward positions.

0500 Z Company listening patrol. Nothing to report.

0600 Usual contact patrols. Nothing to report.

0915 Snipers claim five enemy killed at bastion.

1530 X Company report two PoW captured area of bastion from 7 Company 117 Grenadier Regiment. X Company fired 2-inch mortar propaganda bombs.

1900 Two prisoners captured by X Company confirm claims by our snipers.

2300 Reliefs of forward platoons carried out. No trouble.

2310 Y Company report that two men of forward platoon dug through bank at 36373616 and came out enemy side into what was formerly a Jerry dugout. They moved down this through a gap in the wire (interlaced 18-inches high and eight feet deep) to positions below wire. River is only eight foot wide and very little water flowing.

10th March 1945

0600 Y Company report further wiring carried out during night, very little Spandau fire. Contact patrols nothing to report.

0610 X Company report hearing noises of working party in little bastion otherwise quiet night, nothing to report.

0630 Z Company also have a quiet night.

0900 Sergeant Jackson and Corporal Tomlinson of Y Company recce up river bank 364363, slung grenades over bank and claim two Germans killed. After calling on three others at the bottom of the bank to surrender were fired on from far bank. They withdrew; in doing so Corporal Tomlinson had a foot blow off by a Schu-mine.

0930 Y Company report Red Cross flag on bank where previously grenades had been thrown.

0958 Heavy mortars falling between Y and Z Companies.

1030 Z Company take a prisoner of 7 Company 117 Grenadier Regiment. Taken from bastion 364366.

1530 X Company area being mortared.

1630 Heavy calibre shells fall in area of Y Company HQ.

2200 Relief of forward positions carried out. Nothing to report.

2230 Heavy mortar stonk on X Company, own artillery and mortars engage.

2330 X Company report forward positions fired on by bazooka.

11th March 1945

0010 Z Company listening post to 36383636 returns. Nothing to report.

0030 X Company ask for artillery support.

0700 Fairly quiet night on battalion front, normal contact patrol, nothing to report.

1015 X Company report two Bosche on bank 364366, engaged by 3-inch mortars.

1200 Tanks carry out a shoot on bastion 364366.

1430 X and Z Companies report Spandau fire on forward positions.

1800 Relief of battalion by 5th Buffs of 78 Division commences.

2200 Relief completed.

Battalion conveyed in TCLs to new area (Bertinoro - Sheet 100 III Meldola 1/50,000)

12th March 1945

Free day.

13th March 1945

Free day.

14th March 1945

Free day.

15th March 1945

Free day.

16th March 1945

Inter-platoon football and tug of war arranged and first games take place.

17th March 1945

Training commences, afternoons devoted to sport.

18th March 1945

Battalion has a representative in the 56 Division rugby trial at Forli stadium.

19th March 1945

Normal training.

20th March 1945

Cinema show held in AMG building in the evening.

21st March 1945

Battalion all ranks dance held in AMG building. Commenced 1900hrs, finished 2400hrs.

23rd March 1945

Normal training.

25th March 1945

Battalion on assault training.

26th March 1945

Battalion on battle training.

27th March 1945

Battalion on battle training.

28th March 1945

Normal routine.

29th March 1945

0900 Z and X Companies under command of Major Dale DSO, MC leaves for unknown destination for security work.

30th March 1945

Normal training.

31st March 1945

Commanding Officer attends Brigade Commander’s conference. Lieutenant-Colonel Cleghorn assumes command of the battalion having returned from leave in England.

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