25th September 1944

War Diary of H.Q., 1 Airborne Division

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
ARNHEM 25 Sep 0605 C.R.E. arrives back from South bank with a letter from Comd, 43 Div for G.O.C. This letter explained that 2 Army plan was not now to form a bridgehead West of ARNHEM. 1 Airborne Div would be withdrawn South of the river by arrangement between Comds, 1 Airborne Div and 43 Div, when 1 Airborne Div could no longer hang on. The withdrawal would be known as Operation ‘BERLIN’. C.R.E. also confirmed that one Bn DORSETS and 3 Bucks had crossed the river 1000 yds (?) West of our posn, but had not joined up with us.
25 “ 0808 G.O.C. informed 43 Div ‘BERLIN’ must be tonight.
25 “ 0840 L.O. from 4 Dorsets arrived Div H.Q. and explained that two coys DORSETS were were in approx area of Lt Regt and LONSDALE Force and two near the ferry West of our posn. The two parties were not in contact with each other nor had his party contact with his Bn H.Q. Location of the C.O. was unknown.
25 “ 0940 Maint Sitrep to Airtps Rear. No resup 24 Sep. Understand med stores, rations, some amn sent over river by ducks, but unable distribute owing to enemy action and lack of trnasport. No sups now for 3 days. Water still scarce. Gun amn now very low. Div effective strength approx 2500 excl Poles 120.
25 “ 1030 Div Comd held conference of all Comds and gave out his orders for ‘BERLIN’.
25 “ 1800 A quieter day than yesterday, despite several local attacks, one of which drove in 156 Bn. Infiltration, however, went on steadily and by evening enemy was firmly established in wood 795777 and at other points inside the perimeter. Most units were therefore to some extent encircled and cut off from their neighbours.
25 “ 2145 First units to withdraw crossed starting line on rd junc 792774 and CHURCH 796774.
25 “ 2200 Crossing over river started, covered by very heavy pre-arranged arty concentration.
25 “ 2230 Last tps of Div H.Q. moved out. Wounded under the care of Lt. RANDALL, RAMC, MO to H.Q., R.A., were left in the cellar of Div H.Q. A.D.M.S., other M.Os and Senior Chaplain remained with wounded in M.D.S.