22nd Dragoons - 4th May 1945

Mikal

ADC
22D War Diary

4​
0800​
51 (H) Div Op Instr No. 60 received at Tac HQ. This states that Sqns are for the time being to remaining situ, and that in the future they are likely to be released for other tasks in company with their Inf Bns by another Bde.
1000​
The Commanding Officer visits Sqns. The fighting has now passed well beyond them both to the North and West and so far there has been no sign of a future task for the Regt.
RHQ move with 51 (H) Duv to Ebersdorf (8749). Tac HQ remain in Hesedorf as before.
1200​
A significant detail in the fighting is that according to reports the town of Bederkesa (7359), which is still held by the Germans, is in the process of being surrendered. Its significance lies in the fact that this is the one of the first towns over which any proposal surrenders have been made on our front, and though the Germans appear still to be fighting on doggedly as before, this new development may be symptomatic of a larger trend.
1800​
N.T.R.
2100​
The staggering news is heard over the BBC wireless that the Germans have surrendered their forces opposite 21 Army Gp. Though it might have been awaited for long, this news came now rather unexpectedly since the Germans had continued fighting long after any hope of success could be entertained.
2300​
The night is filled with strange noises, lights and flares. The war is over. Celebrations can be heard and seen everywhere.

From C Sqn diary (Maj. Tim Whewey MC)

C.O. arrives and tells us we are to do the attack on Bremerhaven as soon as orders are through. Thank God it did not materialise, because the whole road was mined with 1000lb delayed action bombs.

2000 hrs. The great news came through that the war was over. One did not quite know whether to shout, sing, get drunk, set off all the guns or what, but somehow we just felt rather relieved and really after the very gruelling time we had had since crossing the Rhine, we were quite happy to just sit down, in fact we were all feeling worn out, as the 51st H.D. were ripping off guns in all directions, we thought it safer to sit down to a quiet game of poker. This we did and played for 2 days.
 
as the 51st H.D. were ripping off guns in all directions,
After what happened to them at St Valery-En-Caux in June 1940, I think they could be excused a little high spirits at the end.
 

Mikal

ADC
I'd have indulged in a spot of looting and illegal fraternization myself …..

A Sqn lost their 2iC, Capt. PTS Sadler MC, to a stone (mortar stonk) in the jugular two days earlier on 2nd May.

B Sqn tangled with some Elefants resulting in both Sgt Jock Stirling and Tpr James Taylor being KIA also 2nd May.
 
B Sqn tangled with some Elefants resulting in both Sgt Jock Stirling and Tpr James Taylor being KIA also 2nd May.

Were they escaped from the Local zoo?

I ask as the only two Elephants tank destroyers left at that point in the war were fighting in Berlin, after accompanying a T-35 and attacking either the 2nd Polish Army or a Guards Tank Brigade south of Berlin.
 
Last edited:

ches

LE
Were they escaped from the Local zoo?

I ask as the only two Elephants tank destroyers left at that point in the war were fighting in Berlin, after accompanying a T-35 and attacking either the 2nd Polish Army or a Guards Tank Brigade south of Berlin.

Indeed. Apart from the few in Berlin I thought the others were mainly deployed in Italy & Austria. Quite a rare beast on the battlefield.
 
Indeed. Apart from the few in Berlin I thought the others were mainly deployed in Italy & Austria. Quite a rare beast on the battlefield.

Full history of the last Elephants is here:

No where near UK forces I'm afraid. Its likely that Elephant in this case was just regimental shorthand for SP Atk, and could cover anything from a Stug to a Jagdtiger.
 
22D War Diary

4​
0800​
51 (H) Div Op Instr No. 60 received at Tac HQ. This states that Sqns are for the time being to remaining situ, and that in the future they are likely to be released for other tasks in company with their Inf Bns by another Bde.
1000​
The Commanding Officer visits Sqns. The fighting has now passed well beyond them both to the North and West and so far there has been no sign of a future task for the Regt.
RHQ move with 51 (H) Duv to Ebersdorf (8749). Tac HQ remain in Hesedorf as before.
1200​
A significant detail in the fighting is that according to reports the town of Bederkesa (7359), which is still held by the Germans, is in the process of being surrendered. Its significance lies in the fact that this is the one of the first towns over which any proposal surrenders have been made on our front, and though the Germans appear still to be fighting on doggedly as before, this new development may be symptomatic of a larger trend.
1800​
N.T.R.
2100​
The staggering news is heard over the BBC wireless that the Germans have surrendered their forces opposite 21 Army Gp. Though it might have been awaited for long, this news came now rather unexpectedly since the Germans had continued fighting long after any hope of success could be entertained.
2300​
The night is filled with strange noises, lights and flares. The war is over. Celebrations can be heard and seen everywhere.

From C Sqn diary (Maj. Tim Whewey MC)

C.O. arrives and tells us we are to do the attack on Bremerhaven as soon as orders are through. Thank God it did not materialise, because the whole road was mined with 1000lb delayed action bombs.

2000 hrs. The great news came through that the war was over. One did not quite know whether to shout, sing, get drunk, set off all the guns or what, but somehow we just felt rather relieved and really after the very gruelling time we had had since crossing the Rhine, we were quite happy to just sit down, in fact we were all feeling worn out, as the 51st H.D. were ripping off guns in all directions, we thought it safer to sit down to a quiet game of poker. This we did and played for 2 days.
As an addition to this cracking bit of Regimental history the Patrick Delaforce collection of Brigade/Divisional war diaries are outstanding.
I indulged in a bit of browsing through Monty's marauders of the Black Rat 4th Armoured Brigade diary, it was utterly sobering and the casualty state horrific right up to the cease fire. The resistance put up by some of the SS reserve and training Bns was formidable.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Reminded of this, a few weeks earlier. From History of 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars 1939-45.

14 April 1945

It had been perhaps the hardest and most exacting day's fighting which the Regiment had in the whole war. The enemy resistance had been determined and tough, only equalled by that met in the Rhineland fighting. The (Kriegs)Marines had used their SA weapons and bazookas with skill and they had been well backed up by the large number of guns sited in support of them. Their 88-mm guns were well sited and difficult to spot in the thick country which was admirably suited to defence. The one which had given the most trouble was afterwards found to be well dug in and almost impossible of detection from the A or C Squadron positions. We found too that the first guns which had been met were 75-mm bored out to 80-mm and firing a hollow charge projectile through a smooth bore. This was a new weapon and, although it was not thought to be effective over about five hundred yards, it was an interesting example of German improvisation.

Allowed me to edit this Wikipedia entry


which had believed that the PAW600 had never been used in action.
 

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