24th September 1944

War Diary of H.Q., 1 Airborne Division

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
ARNHEM 24 Sep 0120 Continuous mortaring of Div H.Q. till about 0300 hours.
24 “ 0535 Sitrep from 2 Army via PHANTOM. 214 Bde attacked 1700 hrs to clear ELST. 129 Bde held up by enemy; no change in location. Intention 130 Bde will assault river during night using two bns in area 6876. R.E. will then build Class 40 br. 129 Bde on relief by 69 Bde under comd Gds Armd Div will cross into the bridgehead established by 130 Bde in area 6876. 214 Bde will clear and hold right flank on line from 7070 – 7076.
24 “ 0620 Polish L.O. arrives Div H.Q. and confirms that one Bn less H.Q. Coy is now across the river: Comd Polish Bde not across.
24 “ 0707 200 Poles allotted to 4 Bde to reinforce N.E. perimeter; remainder under comd 1 Air Ldg Bde.
24 “ 0710 B.B.C. correspondent goes through German lines under Red Cross flag to fetch water for wounded. On returning reported that there were 150 German troops collecting in the hospital.
24 “ 0740 Brig. Hackett, Comd, 4 Para Bde wounded. Lt-Col Murray, Comd, No, 1 Wing Glider Pilot Regt., assumes command of 4 Para Bde (HACKETT FORCE).
24 “ 1527 Report from 4 Para Bde that GERMANS threaten that unless we move clear of the M.D.S. they will shell it. G.O.C. orders stand fast.
24 “ 1652 A.D.M.S. at M.D.S. reports that Germans are evacuating our wounded to ARNHEM.
24 “ 1900 21 Indep Para Coy report that Germans agree that provided we evacuate the house next to the M.D.S., they will remove their SP gun from the x roads beside the M.D.S. This was agreed locally.
24 “ 1900 A day of very heavy shelling and mortaring and desperate fighting on all sectors. Many attcks of first achieved some penetration, but the situation was almost always restored, and by nightfall the perimeter was substantially the same. Never was darkness more eagerly awaited. Shortness of serviceable weapons, particularly Ps. I.A.T. for dealing with tanks and SP guns, becoming a very serious handicap.
24 “ 2225 Airtps Rear report no sup by air possible owing to weather over the Channel.
24 “ 2359 Dispositions of Div.