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Alwyne Diary
©2011 Heather Johnson
March 1945
29th Fairly nice day, over 60 degrees but rather unsettled. British tanks racing across N. Germany. Security black-out covering movements. Chaos everywhere. Old Jerry having last fling with doodles. Have had 9 raids since midnight 5 during night (one 3.30 - 6 a.m.) but did not get up and 4 during morning. A doodle went along this morning. 66 so far this month. Home until Tuesday.
28th Dull but mild 60 degrees. Great things happening on West Front. German front shattered. Everybody thinks war will soon be over. Raids 1.35 - 1.50, 2.35 - 2.50, 3.40 - 3.45, 6.5 - 6.15, 7.40 - 7.55, 8.40 - 8.55 p.m.
27th Better day. Great news. German resistance in West is collapsing. Montys troops have began breakout from bridgehead. Pattons armour reported 50 miles beyond Rhine. War may soon end. Raids 2.35 - 2.50, 3.50 - 4, 7.30 - 7.45 a.m.
26th Rained all day, cold. (Cousin) Clarice came for day. Battle going very well. Churchill has been over Rhine again and is now home. 5 Raids last night 12.35 - 12.50, 1.15 - 1.30, 2.20 - 2.30, 3.15 - 3.25, 5 - 5.10 a.m. Did not get up but heard a lot of gunfire and some bangs. Lloyd George dead. (David Lloyd George, U.K. Prime Minister of a war-time coalition 1916-1922. Leader of the Liberal Party 1926-1931. Died of Cancer).
25th Dull, wet evening. Rhine crossing going well. Bridgehead now 30 miles long and 7 miles deep. 10,00 sortees flown yesterday for loss of 90 aircraft. Americans have broken out of their Remagen bridgehead. Pattons tanks have also advanced 27 miles East of Rhine. Raid 7.40 - 8 a.m. Heard 2 doodles go along in distance and heavy gunfire. Churchill been over Rhine.
24th The great attack across the Northern Rhine has begun. Woke up this morning and heard planes going over low, jumped out of bed and saw great gliders going over and knew that the big day had come. First crossings were made at 9 last night. The airbornes were landed at 10 this morning in 1300 gliders and 200 troop transports. Good progress being made. 4 bridgeheads secured and advance of 3 miles. Glorious day, sunny all day 61 degrees. Did over hydra bed for 1st time and pruned roses. Mother bad with her leg. Alerts 3.5 - 3.15, 7 - 7.20, 7.40 - 7.55 a.m. Churchill at Montys H.Q.
23rd Glorious day of unbroken sunshine. 60 degrees. The push over Rhine has not started yet but it can't be much longer. Huge air attacks east of Rhine. Stuff being moved from Kelvedon dump. Raids 10.45 - 11.5 p.m., 3.15 - 3.25, 6.55 - 7, 7.15 - 7.25 a.m. 39 this month.
22nd Another lovely day 58 degrees. Big attack not started yet but more huge air blows on Germans across Rhine. Had a noisy time last night, rockets and sirens all night. Alerts 11.55 - 12, 3.30 - 3.40, 6.20 - 6.35 a.m. Heard guns and doodles blow up each time, got up. Huge rockets kept going off in between. Raid this evening 7.40 - 8 p.m.
21st Glorious sunny day. Terrific air attacks on German airfields and railways across Rhine opposite Monty. Our troops been under smoke screen all day. Lorries at Kelvedon loading up from the dump. Believe the big attack will start tomorrow. Germans in Saar completely routed and in disorder. Alert 3 - 3.20 a.m. Have just heard a huge rocket. Some planes over last evening. Mothers leg bad.
20th Nice sunny day. Had teeth scaled. Alerts 1.40 - 2 a.m., 9 - 9.50 p.m. All quiet. Germans collapsing in Saar region. Think we shall cross N. Rhine soon. Mandalay captured. (Central Burma). Big increase in number of lorries at the Airborne dump. (Kelvedon).
19th Dull. Had 5 raids this morning 3.30 - 3.45, 5.45 - 6, 8.10 - 8.20, 8.30 - 8.45, 9.10 - 9.25 a.m. Doodle came over at 8.10 and we rushed out and tried to see it but think it was in the clouds. 28 raids so far this month. Peas and lettuce up.
18th Sunny day but rather cool wind. Warnings in night 2.45 - 3 a.m., 6 - 6.10 a.m. Got up 1st time and saw a doodle shot down. Heard the doodle shot down 2nd time but did not get up. Biggest daylight raid of war on Berlin today by 1300 U.S. heavies. 2700 tons.
17th Rather dull but not bad. Did some gardening. Cut hydra lower for 1st time. Set 1st beet and carrots. 30 bombers lost over Germany last night. Alert 9.30 - 10 p.m. Planes over.
16th Rain early but broke out nice day. Mother and Vera in bed with flu. Alerts 3.45 - 4 a.m., 4 - 4.15 p.m. Heard some gunfire in night. Vera too ill to get up. Germans have made peace offer in Stockholm. R.A.F. lost 13 out of 900 last night.
The wartime diary of
Alwyne Garling
93 London Road

brought to us by
Heather Johnson

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