18th September 1944

War Diary of H.Q., 1 Airborne Division

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
ARNHEM 18 Sep 0600 During night operations developed according to plan. Pns of 1 Para Bde encountered stiff resistance on roads leading into ARNHEM. 7 K.O.S.B. met increasing opposition whilst making good their position to clear and hold 4 Para Bde’s D.Z. ‘Y’.
18 “ 0700 Div H.Q. moved to new location 665783 with a view to continuing movement Eastward along its axis. No comn so far established with 1 Para Bde or with G.O.C’s. rcver set.
18 “ 0820 Report received from 1 Air Ldg Bde that the Coy 1 Border was surrounded in RENKUM area 6276, but not in difficulties. Enemy also reported in HEELSUM 6477.
18 “ 0900 No information as to movements of G.O.C. Same time progress appeared to be slowing up and resistance very stiff in area OOSTERBEEK 7077 and NORTH of railway about LICHTENBEEK 7079.
18 “ 0915 Brig. Hicks, Comd, 1 Air Ldg Bde arrived Div H.Q. and assumed temporary command in absence of the G.O.C.
18 “ 0945 2 S. Staffords ordered to reinforce 1 Para Bde to assist their advance on the bridge at 7476.
18 “ 1115 Approx 20 M.E.109 Fs. strafed the D.Z. and L.Z. area and set several gliders on fire.
18 “ 1420 2 S. Staffords reported meeting strong opposition about 703783 and unable to continue move along main axis.
18 “ 1430 Acting Div Comd decided that remainder 2 S. Staffords coming on 2nd lift should reinforce the bn. which should then continue its allotted task + in addition, 11 Para Bn on arrival would support 2 S. Staffords by advancing along main axis as far as x roads 697784, thence to CHURCH 796773 and thence eastwards to hospital 729780.
18 “ 1500 GSO.1 and GSO.3 left for 1 Air Ldg Bde HQ to explain above plan, thence to 7 KOSB and to D.Z. ‘Y’ where Comd 4 Para Bde, who had just dropped, was informed of the change of plan for 11 Para Bn. He decided, however, to adhere to his original plan for carrying out his task which remained substantially unchanged.
18 “ 1500 Infm received through Dutch Liaison Offr that two coys Para Bn were in houses overlooking North end of br 7476.
18 “ 1515 4 Para Bde dropped and commenced move to East. 11 Bn detached to relieve 1 Bde on br. 2nd lift landed successfully, though slight enemy opposition on D.Z. and increased flak in L.Z. area. Bde HQ 634821.
18 “ 1525 Supply drop on D.Z. ‘X’, somewhat scattered.
18 “ 1605 2nd lift joined Div HQ incl GSO.2(I) and BM, RA.
18 “ 1700 Div HQ established HARTESTEIN 693784.
18 “ 2330 Offr from 2 S. Staffords report they are out of touch with 1 and 3 Para Bns, whose total strength is reported as being only 150 and under comd Lt.-Col. DOBIE. GOC and Comd 1 Para Bde reported with 2 Para Bn near br 7476. Also that leading coys 2 S. Staffords were pinned area 734779 by MG fire from South bank of river.
18 “ 2359 Div dispositions as at Trace ‘B’ attached.