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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
March 1945
1st Turned colder. Heard big rocket in night. Munchen Gladbach captured (Munchengladbach, North Rhine, Germany). D.S.T. to begin on Easter Monday. (Daylight Savings Time. During WW2, Britain adopted British Double Summertime (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time). The aim was to save energy. Clocks reverted back to British Standard Time at the end of the war, in 1945). Got 18 eggs today. Dad started digging yesterday. 600 R.A.F. heavies and 1200 U.S. heavies attacked Germany today.
February 1945
28th Rather dull but mild 50 degrees. Went for walk after tea and found street lamps were alight at top of by-pass. Monty has put security blackout on progress of U.S. 9th Army. Only 8 miles now to Cologne which is now under gunfire. Goebells threatens increased V weapon attacks over wider area. (Paul Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda). Have managed to get through Jan and Feb without suspicion of a cold. No sirens in Feb.
27th Glorious day, sunny and nearly 60 degrees. Offensive in West going well. Only 10 miles to Cologne, up to 9 mile advance today. German defences cracking. Churchill makes Commons statement on Crimea conference.
26th Nice day and lovely evening. Offensive going well. Has now gained 11 miles. 12 miles to Cologne. 1200 U.S. heavies made biggest daylight raid on Berlin. 1100 tons of H.E.'s and million incendiaries dropped. (H.E. = High Explosive - fragmentation effect upon detonation).
25th Dull and rather cold and windy. U.S. West offensive now gained 5 miles, 18 miles to Cologne. No rockets today. Great air offensive continuing. George a very good boy.
24th Nice fine day. Went for walk down Bergholt Rd. The great attack in the west has started. U.S. 9th and 1st Armies have crossed Roer River and advanced up to 4 miles. (Described as a harrowing attack across the swollen River Roer, after months of preparation). Eisenhower says aim is to destroy all Germans west of the Rhine. Big air attacks. 12 lost out of 1100 last night. Turkey and Egypt declare war on Germany and Japan. Egyptian premier shot at and killed. (Egyptian Premier Ahmad Mahir Pasha was shot and killed in Parliament after reading a decree - he had been appointed Prime Minister after King Farouk removed Mustafa an-Nahhas Pasha. The new premier called for new elections but opposed members of the Muslim Brotherhood standing as candidates. Immediately after this announcement in parliament, he was assassinated).
23rd Wet afternoon. Had a rocket drop at Chelmsford this afternoon at 5 o'clock. Fell at Rainsford Road. Made no end of a bang. Cannons window broken. Germans say big offensive has started. Between 8,000 and 9,000 planes took part in yesterdays railway attacks.
22nd Fine 50 degrees. Biggest air attack of war on German railways today by 6000 planes. 14,000 500lb bombs dropped. 39 of 100 R.A.F. bombers lost last night.
21st Fine day. 1200 R.A.F. attacked Germany last night, 20 lost. 1200 U.S. heavies out today. Not much happening. Felt sick in night and got up and got myself some soda.
20th Lovely day, sunny. Dr. came this evening for last time. Had loud rocket this afternoon at Ingatestone. 2 this evening. Went for walk this evening.
19th Mild again 59 degrees. Churchill home from Crimea. Looking for Dr.
18th Glorious spring day 60 degrees. (62 in London). Warmest February day this century. Got right hot and tired. Went for walk after tea.
17th Mild but dull. Went for walk, swept lawn. Japan still being attacked. Had a very loud rocket at Chelmsford this morning.
16th Dull and cold and misty. 1000 U.S. heavies out again today. 1500 Carrier Aircraft have attacked Japan today.(USS Hornet's planes attacked Tokyo). Have just heard 2 big rockets. George got all sooty again.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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