The Achilles was a British variant of the open turret US M10 tank destroyer up armed with the superior British Ordnance QF 17 pounder (76.2 mm) anti-tank gun which replaced the original US 3 inch Gun. The conversion involved installing a new gun mantle and a counterweight on the gun barrel. The Achilles was assigned to British, Canadian and Polish anti-tank regiments and was first used in combat in Normandy 1944. One particular British Achilles named “CHELSEA” for a short period of time was sort of famous, not with the British but with the Germans.
Achilles Chelsea of C Troop, 245 Battery, 62nd Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (Royal Artillery), British I Corps was knocked out southeast of Escoville (east of Caen) on 18 June 1944. The symbol on the rear hull is the marking for the British I Corps.
The 62nd Anti-Tank Regiment was formed in London in 1939 just before the start of war. This Achilles was probably named after the Chelsea district in London or a woman.
This photo shows the other side of Achilles Chelsea and the knocked out PzKpfw IV in the foreground belonged to Panzer-regiment 22 of the 21st Panzer-Division.
This is my close up. The census number on the rear hull side is partially faded and cannot be read.
Visible in the background is the knocked out Achilles Chelsea in the middle of the road. In the foreground are two grenadiers with a MG42 belonging to II./Pz.Gren.Rgt 125 of the 21st Panzer-Division manning a position on the side of the Bréville-Escoville road facing north.
In the spring of 1944, 245 and 248 batteries were equipped with M10 Achilles tank destroyers. On the evening of June 5, 245 and 246 batteries sailed from Tilbury while 247 and 248 batteries sailed from Southampton and on D-Day the regiment arrived off the Juno invasion beach in Normandy. The 246 and 248 batteries landed and were attached to the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division while the 245 and 247 batteries were initially held in reserve. The LST (Landing Ship, Tank) carrying 245 battery beached at Graye-Sur-Mer on the morning of June 8 and its 12 Achilles moved up to a reserve position on the Reviers-Tailleville road. Within 24 hours of landing, the 245 battery was transferred to the eastern sector of the beachhead to support the British 3rd Infantry and 6th Airborne Divisions.
The 51st Highland Infantry Division landed in Normandy on June 7 and spent a brief period supporting the 3rd Canadian Division. From June 11, elements of the division had crossed the Orne river bridges and took over positions along the southern front east of Caen, and by the June 14 the Highlanders took control for all the area between Longueval and Escoville. Southeast of Escoville, the 5/7 Gordon Highlanders of the 51st Division occupied a road triangle and made it a fortified strongpoint. To the northeast of the road triangle is the Bois de Bavent (Wood of Drool) which was defended by the 5th Paratrooper Brigade of the British 6th Airborne Division.
On June 16, Panzer-Aufklarungs-Abteilung 21 of the 21st Panzer-Division attacked to take Escoville and then north to Herouvillette. The strongly defended road triangle was a threat to the rear elements of the attack force that had advanced to Herouvillette and along with extremely heavy allied artillery fire to the west of the triangle, the Aufklarungs Abteilung was forced to withdraw from Herouvillette and Escoville. German artillery fire aided the unit’s withdrawal and two armoured vehicles and a halftrack were lost. From the south, II./Pz.Gren.Rgt 125 grenadiers renewed the attack on the road triangle and overran the foremost positions but the British counterattacked. Two PzKpfw IVs of Panzer-regiment 22 moved forward and were knocked out by a 6 pounder (57mm) AT gun. The 5/7 Gordons were weakened and eventually forced to withdraw north of the triangle. By midnight the road triangle was firmly occupied by the Germans. At 1730 hours, II./Pz.Gren.Rgt 125 supported by Panzer-regiment 22 panzers attacked from the road triangle northwest towards Escoville. A 17 pounder AT gun was knocked out but another 17 pounder AT gun knocked out two panzers and the attack stalled. At 1930 and at 2030 hours, renewed attacks also failed. At the end of the day, I. Abteilung, Panzer-regiment 22 lost 6 panzers and 6 more were damaged.
There was no fighting on June 17 allowing both sides to regroup and replace their losses. On June 18, II./Pz.Gren.Rgt 125 grenadiers supported by Panzer-regiment 22 panzers attacked along the weak boundary between the 51st Infantry Division and the 6th Airborne Division in the Bois de Bavent which resulted only in small gains where four British vehicles were destroyed. The 5/7 Gordons supported by 245 Battery, 62nd Anti-Tank Regiment counterattacked and in this action Achilles Chelsea was knocked out near the northeast intersection of the road triangle. On June 18, the 62nd Anti-Tank Regiment only listed a Lieutenant P. Loose as MIA. The area became stable and quiet for the next four weeks with only local patrolling by both sides.
The circle on this map shows the approximate area where the Achilles and PzKpfw IV were knocked out. The eastern road of the triangle which heads north was the boundary between the British 51st Infantry and 6th Airborne divisions.
This aerial photo shows the road triangle southeast of Escoville. The green arrow in the upper right corner is pointing north towards Le Mesnil and Bréville. The green arrow on the left center top edge of the photo points towards Escoville. The red circle is the northeast intersection of the road triangle.
This is my close up of the aerial photo. The red dot was the approximate location of where Achilles Chelsea and the PzKpfw IV was knocked out and the green dot was the location of the two grenadiers at the intersection MG post. The vehicles cannot be seen due to the trees in that area covering the road.
Achilles Chelsea then became an interest to the Germans where groups of officers and panzer crews examined it with interest. At the time, the Germans were not familiar with the Achilles, only the British Sherman Firefly which was also armed with the same 17 pounder gun and the Germans often mis-identified the Achilles.
This well known Bundesarchiv photo (Bild 101I-299-1818-05) has been published many times. Oberleutnant Schmidt, CO of the 1. Kompanie, Panzer-regiment 22, is pointing at the shell holes that penetrated the side of the turret. The photographer must had been standing in front of the knocked out PzKpfw IV to take this photo.
This is my close up of the 3 turret hits. Note the shell hole on the side of the turret mantlet just below the lifting ring.
Schmidt and crewman on Achilles Chelsea examining the shell holes in the turret. The remains of a crewman was still in the Achilles when these photos were taken.
Then Achilles Chelsea appeared in the German propaganda media. It appeared briefly in German propaganda film Die Deutsche Wochenschau 6 July 1944.
Photos of Achilles Chelsea appeared in German propaganda magazine Die Wehrmacht, issue number 15, 19 July 1944.
German propaganda described the engagement (in German) as this:
West, Duel at eight meters. In the area of Caen, a singularly unique tank duel took place, the end of which is reported by these images. A German tank, type Panzer IV, and one English “General Sherman” unexpectedly came face-to-face with each other in a forest, when both opened fire simultaneously, at a distance of only eight meters. For the two adversaries, the duel had an mortal conclusion: for the “General Sherman” as well as the Panzer IV.
(“West” is referring to the western front.)
Not able to find any information on this engagement. It is very unlikely that these two simultaneously knocked out each other. There are a number of possible scenarios which could leave them in those positions and Achilles Chelsea most likely was not attacking alone at the time of the engagement.
18 July 1944 Operation Goodwood
The British launched Operation Goodwood with the objective to complete the capture of Caen. This photo have been taken on July 18 or later after the area was retaken by the British. Three British soldiers were killed/wounded by mines and booby traps around the two knocked out vehicles.
Note that the Achilles is missing its front fenders, tow cable and the spare road wheels. The crewman remains was finally removed from the vehicle.
This photo shows the front of the destroyed PzKpfw IV on the road near Achilles Chelsea. Note that the PzKpfw IV has no shell hits in its front armour.
The red dot and circle marks the approximate location today.
This is the view down the same road today and the post position (most likely not the same post from 1944) can be seen on the right.
This is the view on the road facing east and the intersection can be seen in the background.
34 thoughts on “M10 Achilles Chelsea”
Hi Mike, can you contact me please. i have a original british map with original card inside. the point ” Le Pré Baron” from your research is crossed with pencil on my map, also a place on the coastline left from quistreham. Maybe possible to know who the card belonged to. regards Peter
Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Appreciate it!
My Granddad served under 62A-T.Rgt. when it was deployed at the S-W of the Netherlands in Nov.1944 to March 1945 in III./Netherlands Interior Forces Commando Brabant.(9-14.Coy). Their home base was Tholen Island,but they also change shifts and were deployed from Tholen Island to Moerdijk.
Do you have info of that period? In particular 247Bty.
my father served with 245 battery 62nd anti tank regiment as a gunner driver from juno beach till emb NWE for uk 12/12/45, having becoming a casualty admitted to 35ccs and 50 fds 19/07/1944. Would be grateful for any info on the Regiment
June 5 :Tilbury – Juno Beach
June 7 : Disembark Greye-sur-Mere, Reviers-Tailleville road.3.Brit.Div-6.Brit.Air.Div.
July 8 : Operation ‘Charnwood’ Canadian Sector , Caen.
07:30h : A-B Troop 8x M10’s Les Buisson – Buron ( H.L.I of Canada Rgt.),
6x M10’s OoA (4x recovered) 6KIA, 6WIA.
3x M10’s Buron- to left of Authie (Novia Scotia Highl.Rgt.)
? : C-Troop 4x M10’s Cussy (Canadian Scot.Rgt.)
Do you also want info about 62A-T.Rgt during Nov.1944 to March 1945 at Zeeland and S-W.Brabant (The Netherlands) ?
Hi Richard, thanks for reply. The other information would be a great help. I knew my father was in station in Breda but not the troop.
that would be great as I know he was in Breda for a while, thanks
245Bty was stationed at St.Philipsland,but it also changed shifts so sometimes relocated.
Stavenisse to Moerdijk is a stretch of about 60Km’s.
And it was actually the outer tip of the Western Front.
St.Philipsland was a peninsula,but is now part of Tholen Island.
Now the following data are rough estimations.
November 13 1944 First two Bty’s of 62A-T.Rgt. came under command of 18.CAR (XII.Mantiba Dragoons)
One at Tholen Island and one at Willemstad.
The ‘Orde Dienst-Tholen at that time was about 200 men
The ‘Orde-Dienst-St.Philipsland at that time about 70 men and resided under OD-Tholen.
62A-T.Rgt. and 18.CAR were deployed at the most vital points.
The rest was for the Resistance groups to guard.
Most of them were barely armed in civilian and dressed kin war torn surrogate clothing and had to make due to what could get,as nothing was issued on the Dutch Govermental (Exiled in London) orders.
Only during the Battle of the Bulge when all went into an alarmfase the Commander of 62A-T.Rgt provided them (most likely against those orders) with emergency food rations.
There were a lot of problems to the fact that most of Tholen Island and St.Philipsland were flooded and sufficient protected wear like shoes or fuel for cooking or warm themselves was not available.
Hence the expression ‘Guarding the outertip of the Western Front on wooden shoes with pitchforks’.
On December 16 to 22 1944 62A-T.Rgt first came under command of 22.CAR ( Canadian Grendier Guards ) as Brit.I Corps was underwent a major reorganastion.
Then 62.A-T.Rgt under command of 1.Polish Armoured Division.
On januari 1 1945 the Resistance Groups went over into 9-14.Coy’s of III.Btl./Netherlands Interior Forces of the regular Dutch Army that was raised.
Bare in mind that that didn’t change a lot for them as the Germans didn’t recognize them as Soldiars.
If caught interogation,torture and execution was there faith as they were still seen as citizens of the Third Reich and Allied collaberators.
At Tholen Island 9.Coy. of the III./ Btl.Netherlands Interior Forces ‘Commando Brabant’ was under command of 247Bty.
At St.Pilipsland 10.Coy. of the III./Netherlands Interior Forces ‘Commando Brabant’ came under command of 245Bty.
The Germans planned an simultanious attack to form a pincer movement during the ‘Bulge’ but it never happend most likely because of their fuel shortage.
See Fall ‘Braun’ / operation ‘Brown’.
There were several German raids on the ‘tip’ and casualties.
February 19 1945 9.Coy. of the III.Btl./Netherlands Interior Forces ‘Commando Brabant’ were assembled at Tholen City were the were demobed and sent home.
Never to hear from it again.
Only one casualty of a raid at Stavenisse received the Dutch ‘Resistance Cross’ by mail in 1991.
I don’t know if 10.Coy or the other Coy’s had a simular faith.
What I do know is that there is no mentioning about them in history books and there is hardly any info.
Here is footage of the OD-Tholen ferrying some +18 POW’s from Tholen City to Canadian lines at Halsteren and handing them over to 4.Canadian Armoured Division.
You can clearly see one para of Parachute Regiment 6 still wearing his smock.
And one with a dotted smock moving around like an Officer.
He is either most likely of Parachute Training and Replacement Regiment Hermann Göring or of the SS.17.th or 18.th Artillery Training Regiment that operated as 2nd Artillery Battery for Kampfgruppe Chill.
Some 50 to 70 POW’s must have been handed over that way.
All were a collaberate result of the OD-Groups Tholen,Halsteren,Lepelstraat,Steenbergen and St.Philipsland.
And all of them were taken behind enemy lines.
Battle Group Chill was a small Special Forces unit that was the most succesfull one at the Western Front.
And was responsable for over 1/3 of ALL Allied causualties west of ‘Hell’s Highway’ to Beeringen along the Albert Canal to Massenhoven (Antwerp) to Woensdrecht County to Willemstad.
Between September 4 and November 9 1944.
Film: De laatste Duitsers verlaten Tholen, bevrijding Tholen
I suggest you contact :
Archieves Tholen : https://archieftholen.nl/
Maczekmuseum Breda : firstname.lastname@example.org
Great, thanks for sharing this blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.
I enjoy reading through a post that can make men and women think.
Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!
I’m trying to hunt down some information on my grandad from 246 Bty 62nd Anti Tank. He was wounded in a tank (and he was a qualified M10 driver/mechanic) so we think it was an M10 around october 10th 1944 (found october 15th 1944). He was with the transportation command. I’m not sure the sources you investigated when researching this but I see a great discussion on this forum about the 62nd AFTER october, so perhaps someone might have some info around there. Perhaps you might have some photos of other M10s, if you had any of them around october, I’d be extremely interested!
Since the admin of this web page is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.
Hi Steven, The M10’s were on October 6 deployed as part of ‘Clarke Force’ to enlarge the Nijmegen salient.
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post.
Many thanks for providing these details.
I’m planning on doing an investigation on de Orde Dienst- Tholen, 9 to 14 Coy.Netherlands Interior Forces and 62.A-T.Rgt.RA under which they served after finishing our youtube series about their opponent.
As my Granddad belonged to both.
Hi Richard, just found an old picture of my dad who was a drver in 245 battery 62 anti tank rgt with m10 and crew in Holland 45 with names on the back. Do not know if any good to you, let us know
Yes it could, as I’m planning to on take on the whole outer tip of the ( over 60Km ) of Westen-Front for Nov.1944 to March 1945 if possible, as soon as I finish our youtube series.
Btw 62.A-T.Rgt.,R.A. and the Orde Dienst-Tholen will be included too at the end of the series.
So any kind of footage that we are allowed to use is welcome.
Also prior to to Nov.1944
To be quite frankly, nobody’s interested in a small Dutch Resistance Group so main tread in the series is German Parachute Regiment 6 and Kampfgruppe Chill.
It’s to show everybody who was the opponent of the Orde Dienst-Tholen from Oct.30 to Nov.9 1944.
Then we’ll do the 4,5 months of Frontline from Tholen Island to Moerdijk.
For that we literally need every piece of footage we can find, as there is almost nothing to find.
Maybe someone has a diary that give clues to certain things.
F.i. that’s how I discovered that someones father belonged to one of the 11 men of the Orde Dienst Stavenisse during Oct.30 to Nov.9.
Her own family never knew as the family was evacuated on German orders.
The diary survived the 1953 floods and they had to scrape of the mud of each page as it was found later in the attic after her father’s death.
Another problem is that the German Pillboxes and defence systems causing dykes to collapse from the inland outwards during the flooding.
All but a few had to be demolished for the new dykes being build.
156 Persons perished.
I had to reconstruct the complete system on one bleak high altitude airial recce photo and one during the flooding. with most of the system already destroyed
And one after the flooding, which gave some dimension of several objects.
Recently I received a black and white photo with most of the objects camouflaged, so I’m still trying to give the picture some dimension by colorizing it.
Which is a very difficult but proven process I developed.
Footage of :
Stormtrooper training of 1.Coy. /Netherlands Interior Forces somewhere in the beginning of Nov. 1944.
I could identify Jan Marinus van Dijke in this trainingfilm and his family contacted me after inquiry of the local newspaper, so I was able to give them my report on him being KIA during the night of Dec.18/19 1944 at ‘de Koldert’ near Wamel.
The never knew what actually happend.
Also at the end of the footage is the reburriel at Zuylen Cemetry Breda on Oct.31 1945 of Pte.Piet Avontuur (Petrus Antonius Marie Avontuur born 30 januari 1920 at Princenhage ) , Stormtrooper of 10.Coy./Netherlands Interior Forces and who was KIA on Jan.22 1945 at St.Philipsland under direct command of 245.Bty. 62.A-T.Rgt.,R.A. at that time.
For those who are interested:
As it would be to difficult to explain all about the Resistance Group my Granddad belonged to (some familymembers don’t speak Dutch) and about the German Parachute Regiment 6 they fought against, I desided to do a english youtube documentry series instead.
And explain all about it this way.
With the little means we have, Ruud and I finished the first 5 short episodes with surprising results.
Now we’re about to start the episodes during and after Operation ‘Market-Garden’.
Then we’ll go west to the north of Antwerp to the ‘Battle of Woensdrecht’.
After that Bergen op Zoom, Halsteren, Tholen Island (including the Orde Dienst-Tholen) up to Willemstad.
Then the ‘ Winter at the Outer Tip of the Western Front ‘ which will include 62.A-T.Rgt.,R.A. and several local Resistance Groups which will be reformed into 9. to 14.Coy./Netherlands Interior Forces on Jan.1.1945.
And served for 4,5 months at the 60Km frontline so Allied troops could be moved to the Nijmegen area in preparation of the summer offensive towards Germany.
All in all some 4000 served under Brtitish or American Command and many were killed in action, without even a footnote in Dutch history books.
After a short parade a large portion were sent on indefinite leave, never to hear from it again.
When completed this series will explain all there is to now about FJR.6 and the Dutch Resistance Group ‘Orde Dienst-Tholen’.
Fascinating – I have come across this site by accident and would be extremely grateful for more information about the movements and battles of the 62nd Anti tank regiment in Germany and Holland between D Day and early August 1944. My father, RBW Bethell, was commanding officer of the 62nd until 4th August 1944 when he was transferred to the 181st Field Regiment.
During the whole war he wrote home to my mother 2 or 3 times a week. The letters give a lot of detail of daily life but little clue of where he was or the conflicts in which he was involved.. The war diaries are not always easy to read/interpret.
CO.245.Bty.,62.A-T.Rgt.,RA Cpt.(signature) epresses his thanks and appriciation for the assistance given on the night of Jan.22-23 1945.
All reports of his Officers and NCO’s on the first real performance for 10.Coy. show real courage and ability.
CO.10.Coy./Netherlands Interior Forces 1.Lt.Th.N.J.Dankers reports to CO.III.Btl.Netherlands Interior Forces, Commando Brabant about his Coy, which was deployed since Jan.5 1945.
One spy was caught,arrested and handed over to Field Security
On the night of Jan. 22-23 a penitration of about 7Km by some 140 to 150 well camouflaged German Troops was repelled by halve his Coy. which resulted in 1 KIA, 1MIA, 1 WIA.
Unknown exact amount of German losses ( all must have been taken back) , but according to blood traces on various places an estimated 10 KIA, at least 25 WIA.
Only 2 Dutch SS men who were KIA were found left.
On the last 2 men.
Why were they left?
Rumour has it that one German Officer made to Roosendaal.
As it seems there was no reason going through the lines.
Were they some kind of special guard to this Officer?
I would like to point out that for 4,5months 62.A-T.Rgt.,RA was deployed over 65Km of the outer tip of the Western Front.
They were appointed doing a very ungratefull job with an assigned ‘ragtag’ “Orange Brigade” as some sort of infantry unit which was first comprised of small local Resistance Groups.
As such there is no mentioning of them in Dutch History books or even a decent report.
And many never received even the Dutch Resistance Cross, although serving for 4,5 month on the frontline.
They were under command of :
XII.Manitoba Dragoons(18.CACR) -10.Nov.1944 – 16.Dec.1944
Canadian Grenadier Guards(22.CAR) -17.Dec.1944 – 10.Jan.1944
1.Polish Armoured Rgt. -10.Jan.1944 – 16.Mar.1945
G-Trp,(under command of 47(RM) Commando would return under command of the Rgt. on Jan.8 )
To assist 1.Trp.of Shermans(1.PAR), 1.Motor.Pln.(PAD) & 1.Recce Trp.(less 2 Sections)(PAD).
With the sudden ‘Battle of the Bulge’ and the discovered German ‘Operation Brown’ for mid December 1944 a huge campaign and plea was made for Dutch Vollunteers to join the Netherlands Interior Forces in order to cope with desperate need for soldiars to cope with the huge Allied losses at that time.
In order to free up more Allied troops to be sent to the east for the offensive to enter Germany.
In the end a mere observer line was left, with barely armed men with war torn clothing and shoes manning the trenches and pillboxes.
They made do with an arae of pre-war Dutch, captured German or found Allied arms and most of the time just one round to fend off a German Raid.
F.i. Piet Avontuur of 10.Coy. (22/23.Jan1945 German raid at Anna Jacobapolder)
Although being alone, still trying to repell the attack and was later found KIA with only one bullet left in his stengun.
On 1.Jan.1945 changes took place .
Plan was to assign one Company of Netherlands Interior Forces to each individual Battery.
The first 2 sections by then called 9.Coy.Task.Trps./Netherlands Interior Forces were assigned on 5.Jan.1945.to 247.Bty.
The were to be mixed with own troops and be trained steadily.
One Section(10 men) deployed to I-Trp. at Stavenisse (Tholen Island).
One Pln.(less one Section) to ‘Bill’ Post (ref map 439403).
HQ’s 9.Coy.at Wouw.
These men were for the most part Resistance Fighter of the Orde Dienst-Tholen who were actually already under some sort of command of A.Trp./XII.Manitoba Dragoons since Oct.30 1944, were they were ordered to take and hold the ferry of Oud-Vossemeer (7Km, behind enemy lines) untill 4.Canadian Armoured Division would take Nieuw-Vossemeer.
In that action however they took the complete Island by everybody’s suprise and downsized 9.Coy./German Parachute Regt.6 into halve in an ambush.
In total 5 Coy’s (9-14) served under 62.A-T.Rgt.
From historical point of view it would be nice if some sort of reconstruction of each Battery and Coy.of NIF and their deployment could be possible.
Looking at the data and coordinates I concluded this:
Patrol of NCO and 3 men of H-Trp.(247.Bty, 62 Anti-Tank Rgt,R.A.) were ambushed at Molendijk near crossing with Moggerhilseweg ( 51°36’34.4″N 4°03’30.6″E ) at 22.30h on 17.Jan.1944 .
(Must be a typo in the war diary as it says 18.Jan.).
3 Men were KIA by enemy small automatic arms fire.
One men could escape and sound the alarm.
V.S.Rapley KIA Jan.17.1944
J.L.Brown KIA Jan.17.1944
E.Callan KIA Jan.17.1944
Really enjoyed this blog post. Really thank you! Great.
Footage made by de Mayor & CO.Orde Dienst Nieuw-Vossemeer, P.J van den Ban :
00:34-01:04 Sept. ’44 – Operation ‘Market-Garden’ Northern route (secretly taken footage)
01:04-01:45 Nov.4.’44 – Liberation of Nieuw-Vossemeer.
(Halftrack of Lake Sup.Rgt.Mot.Inf.Corps,- 4.Canadian Armoured Division ).
01:45-01:55 Jan.(>10 to 31) ’45 – Possibly a Troop of 62.A.-T.Rgt.,with part of a support unit of 1.Polish Tank Rgt.
Nieuw-Vossemeer 1945, deel 1
Colorized photo of a M10 Tank Destroyer. October 1944 at Oostburg,Prov.of Zeeland-The Netherlands.
NIMH 75 jaar Bevrijding Ingekleurde foto
Regarding ‘Chelsea’ as a name. All the M10’s in C troop had a name starting with C. My father Stanley Heath commanded C troop and his gun was called Camberwell (after the name Chingford was not liked much by the Major!).
Many stories if you would like. My given middle name is Chatfield after his great friend Lt, Chatfield who died in action, may have been A troop I think.
Film: SIK 042 – 1st Armoured Division in Holland – Breda 1944
1:30 – 3:19
6 Jan 1945 orders were issued that 1.Polish Armoured Division would take over the sector Moerdijk-Tholen Island from 22.CAR. Canadian Grenadier Guards on 10.Jan.1945
This included also the command of 62A-T.Rgt,RA and III./Netherlands Interior Forces (9-14.Coy).
Footage is a German KO tank at Moerdijk with the demolished bridges on the background.
And Polish HQ’s troop scouting the facinaty.
Footage most likely between 6th and 10th of Januari 1945 or first 2 weeks of November 1944
3:19 – 3:58 Zuylen Cemetry Breda november 1944
3:58 – 4:10 Battle footage of beginning november 1944 advance to Moerdijk.
4:10 Breda HQ’s
4:32 Guard : Dutch Resistance fighter (Orde Dienst-Breda)with red,white and blue cuff band and german helmet.
Film: Stoottroepen Brabant
Training and deploy of a Section I./Netherlands Interior Forces ,Commando Brabant between Leeuwen and Wamel.
Burial of a Trooper ( possibly P. Avontuur of 10.Coy. 31.Oct.1945 ) III./Netherlands Interior Forces,Commando Brabant at Zuylen Cemetry Breda.
10.Coy./Netherlands Interior Forces ,Commando Brabant was at that time under command of 245.Bty., 62A-T.Rgt. ,RA
Hi and thank you for the fantastic information in this article. I came across it by chance whilst trying to find out about my grandfathers time in the war. Any information you could give me with regards to this would be gratefully recieved. He was gunner Percy Thomas Burrett – 1730476 – 247 bty 62nd anti tank regt, and was injured on 14/07/1944. I have no other info on him or this injury, other than my grandmother told me years ago that he was was shielded by the resistance and she stayed in contact with them after the war. I have a letter from them that my grandmother received after his death in 1947, that I am happy to forward to you, if you could maybe shed some light on his time there. I thought my grandmother told me he was in Belgium, but it appears the letter is from a Dutch person, so he may have been in The Netherlands. I would love to contact this family if at all possible too. Thank you. Nicky.
Hi Nicola, just sent a copy and I’ll do my best. Greetings Richard
Hi Richard, thank you for replying. I have discovered that his injury was a blown out shoulder from a gun recoil, he recovered and ended the war with the same unit, and I would love to know their story. Can I email you the letter from his friends, please, as I have no idea how to add on here. Their surname was de Ruijter and at the time the daughter of the family was staying in Sint Odiliënberg, but that is not the home address. I am not certain that he was 247 bty, that was assumed by another person. I can also send a copy of the casualty list info.
Hi Nicola, I’m a bit hesitant posting my email in public, but if you sent me a message on my facebook account or via my youtube channel I could give you that.
Sint Odiliënberg is in the Prov. of LImburg.
From 2nd week of November untill mid March 62.A-T.Rgt.,RA was stationed at Tholen Island, The St.Philipsland Peninsula ( Anna-Jacobapolder) up to Moerdijk.
The whole time the local Resistance Groups called together ‘Orange Brigade’, which later became part of the 5 Coys of 3.rd Batallion / Netherlandse Interior Forces were under their command.
I’m not sure how many in the beginning (maybe 400) but since Januari 1945 some 800 men.
In total approx. 4000 men served on several frontlines, even beyond the Dutch border into Germany.
Recently someone from St.Annaland sent me a lot of info, but I haven’t had time to study yet.
At the moment we are busy with the 11th episode of our youtube series which is very importaint as there are no decent accounts for the 3 week Battle for Woensdrecht.
There are many reasons for that, but one is the different kinds terrain with their own specific difficulties.
When I just finished my school, I worked as a driller in Zeeland, West-Brabant up to Willemstad.
Hauling equipment all day through those muddy clay soil during rainfall is exhaust you to the limit.
When 62.A-T.Rgt.,RA arrived in november 1944 most of Tholen Island was still flooded after 8 months.
The Germans used it as an anti-airborne/seeborne precaution.
It will take some time to study all the new data and to translate it into maps or maybe revise some of the old ones.
Just received info about the raid at St.Philipsland that in my opinion places Dutch brengunner M.W.Hildernisse in the southern look-out post of Post David.
And in the brunt of the German Main Landing Force.
He had to send the 2 others of his section back to Post David as they both ran out of ammo to get more and return.
Post David was already taken from to NE, both unarmed men had to flee suddenly to avoid capture.
Not able to warn Hildernisse.
Still firing to the end, hoping for support and his buddies to return, he must have been captured from behind and become POW.
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I now can confirm that Lt. Bell died at one of the pillboxes of WN.337 at the Port of ‘De Sluis’ on the St.Philipsland Peninsula. He must have travelled by jeep at the first alarm to ‘t Hof van Rumoirt and picked up 2 NCO’s and then rushed to the water tower during the mortaring of that building. There he and 2 others were hit with 2 NCO’s where the remaining NCO decided to evacuate to WN.337.
Greetings Richard Binkhuysen