131st Field Regiment Royal Artillery

War Diary for January 1945

Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.M. Hailey, DSO RA
Place Date Hour Summary References to Appendices
MAASBREE 8307 Jan 1 Almost at the stroke of Midnight, both our own infantry and the enemy proceeded to see the new year in with a storm of mortar bombs, very lights and fireworks. Later in the day several enemy aircraft, mostly F.W. 190s flew over the regt area at zero feet. These were engaged by LAA troop in sp of this unit. A direct hit was observed on the nose of one a/c and several others were also claimed.
3 Front continued to be fairly quiet Enemy mov was observed and engaged by arty. Cyclists and HD tpt were engaged and scattered.
6 Hy traffic was heard in the area 8705 and engaged. At 1600 hours one gun (believed LAA) shelled 320 Bty OP with 2 GORDONS; only one rd hitting the OP doing no damage and the gun was engaged and stopped.
10 Lt-Col JM. Hailey relinquished command of the regiment to take up appointment as GSO I 15 (S) Div Lt-Col HD Stewart TD RA took over comd of the regt, with Major JA Oliver MC RA as 2IC
11 Heavy snowfalls and severe frosts have been prevalent. It was necessary several times to fire rounds on known enemy locations to warm the guns.
12 Satisfactory shoot carried out on hostile guns on the river bank with the aid of SR Tp.
13 A few propaganda shells were fired into the regt area, containing leaflets calculated to cause dissent between British and US troops. The leaflets met with derision- troops being more interested in the "pin-up" picture than in the printed blurb on the reverse.
15 Lt CE Montague fired on outside his OP, spent bullet passing between his arm and ribs without touching him.
16 Slight desultory enemy shelling, incl some airburst over area at about 1930 hours. No damage or cas. Retaliatory fire put down on BELFIELD area from fwd bty.
23 The harassing fire bty position at 822045 was abandoned, as so many rounds had been fired from the main gun area as to render the fwd position valueless. Throughout the month, until this day, numerous HF, DF, CB CM tasks, observed and unobserved, were fired, but there has been very little activity among the enemy.
GOIRIE 1428 24 Regt left defensive location at 8307 (MAASBREE area) and went to rest area at GOIRLE, near TILBURG (map ref 148280). All troops accommodated in billets in the village. The regt remained in rest area for the remainder of the month.
31 T.E.W.T. at Bde HQ attended by CO, 2IC, and Bty Comds.
Commanding Officer: Lt-Col J.M. Hailey, DSO RA
Second-in-Command: Major J.A. Oliver, M.C. R.A.