Citation:   The History of 3rd Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, 1939 – 1945.  (1945).  Liverpool, England: Northern Publishing Company.  pp. 300–303.
Editor's Note:   This web page con­tains about three pages from the above-​cited book for­mat­ted con­tin­u­ously.  The pho­to­graph and cap­tion at the bot­tom of this page have been added.  The ori­ginal page breaks are re­cor­ded in HTML com­ments that can be viewed in the source for this page.  Tool tips have been used to de­fine ab­bre­via­tions and acro­nyms and to clar­ify some terms.  The tip will ap­pear when the mouse cur­sor is placed over the term.  The 3rd Me­dium Regi­ment, Royal Ar­til­lery (of the Uni­ted King­dom), con­tained two bat­ter­ies of which one, the 2/11 Bat­tery, was in Ot­ter­loo for this bat­tle.  This bat­tery was formed by a pre­war amal­ga­ma­tion of the se­cond and ele­venth bat­ter­ies re­sult­ing in the slash in the bat­tery num­ber.  The 2/11 Bat­tery con­sis­ted of two troops, A Troop and B Troop.  The other bat­tery and regi­men­tal head­quar­ters were lo­ca­ted out­side the vil­lage at the time.


2/11 Battery occupied the pos­i­tion at Dee­len, but were not re­quired to fire from it, which was just as well as the C.P.O. went for­ward with the data for com­pu­ting “B” Troop's co-ordin­ates in his poc­ket!  At 1200 hours on the 16th Ap­ril, 2/11 Bat­tery re­ceived or­ders to move for­ward to the Ot­ter­loo area.  This area had been cap­tured by tanks but it was known that the enemy still occu­pied the sur­roun­ding woods in fairly large num­bers.  Ot­ter­loo is situ­ated some ten miles North-West of Arn­hem.
The recce par­ties duly set out.  The first sign of excite­ment was that the Bat­tery Ser­geant-Ma­jor cap­tured fif­teen Ger­mans shortly after his arri­val in the area.  “A” Troop Ser­geant-Ma­jor also suc­cee­ded in cap­tur­ing a pri­soner.
How­ever, by the time the guns ar­rived, Ot­ter­loo was fairly quiet and the occu­pa­tion was quite nor­mal.
Shortly after 1530 hours, there were se­veral bursts of Bren fire direc­ted at a trou­ble­some enemy sni­per in the woods.
At 1630 hours, the G.P.O. of the “B” Troop led a pa­trol into the woods to the left of his pos­i­tion, and emerged shortly after­words with twenty-two pri­son­ers to their cre­dit.  By 1700 hours there were estab­lished in the Ot­ter­loo area, one bat­tal­ion of Infan­try, one squad­ron of tanks, a Field Regi­ment, and a Divi­sional Head­quar­ters.
R.H.Q. was situ­ated about half-a-mile out­side the vil­lage.  The even­ing was quiet and the stage was set for an ex­tremely weird sort of bat­tle.
The first war­ning the Bat­tery had was an out­break of small arms fire in the cen­tre of the vil­lage.  This was quickly fol­lowed by a “Stand to” from R.H.Q. shortly after mid­night.  Double sen­tries were pos­ted; C.P.O and G.P.O.s re­mained in the Com­mand Posts; Troop Lea­ders were out on the guns; the Sig­nal Offi­cer manned the tele­phone ex­change, and the Bat­tery Cap­tain held a roving com­mis­sion.  The B.C. was with the Infan­try Bri­gade.
At about 0030 hours, both Troops repor­ted that all was well, in spite of con­si­der­able small arms fire on gun pos­i­tions, and light mor­taring on “B” Troop.  Shortly after this, the mor­taring be­came ex­tremely in­tense and all link lines were out.  Wire­less sets were opened up at Troop pos­i­tions, and the first tar­get, range 1900, was taken on twenty min­utes later.
Both troops suf­fered cas­u­al­ties in the first enemy on­slaught.
“B” Troop cook­house re­ceived a direct hit and “A” Troop No. 2 gun a very near miss.  Cas­u­al­ties were evac­ua­ted to the A.D.S. very quickly.
The Troop B.S.M. brought in “B” Troop woun­ded by jeep, while the Troop Leader super­vised the evac­ua­tion of “A” Troop woun­ded.
The Wag­gon Lines, adja­cent to “B” Troop, were also mor­tared and sus­tained cas­u­al­ties.
By this time the C.O. had ar­rived on “B” Troop pos­i­tion and visi­ted all guns and Com­mand Post, after­wards pro­cee­ding with the Bat­tery Cap­tain, around the Com­mand Post and “A” Troop areas.
A patrol crossed in front of “A” Troop, pas­sing within fif­teen yards of No. 4 gun.  Shots were fired, but the only damage was a punc­tured trac­tor tyre.  A “B” Troop sen­try shot a Ger­man Offi­cer at point-blank range.  “A” Troop, with one of their rounds, hit the vil­lage church spire when enga­ging a tar­get at short range, kil­ling twelve enemy who were found at the foot of the spire next mor­ning.
The guns continued to fire at ranges bet­ween 1,500 and 2,000 yards, with switches, any­thing up to 150 degrees right, and 40 degrees left of zero lines.  Mor­tar shells were con­sis­tently fal­ling and lan­ding around the two troop pos­i­tions.  There was also a con­si­der­able amount of sni­ping when tor­ches for lay­ing were switched on and when ligh­ting the direc­tor for chan­ging of zero line.  One gun was sniped every time the detach­ment took post.  All this con­tin­ued until about 0430 hours, when the mor­tar­ing seemed to les­sen.  At this time the Bat­tery Com­mand Post re­ceived some light but accur­ate mor­taring.  The small arms fire con­tin­ued una­ba­ted as did the firing of the Bat­tery guns.
The link lines had been kept through after their ini­tial breaks.  Sig­nal­lers had to be kept out on them con­stantly through­out the night.
All this time the Regi­ment was exchan­ging infor­ma­tion about the bat­tle with the Field Regi­ment and Divi­sion, on the Div. for­ward con­trol net.
As soon as dawn broke, stock was taken of the damage and cas­u­al­ties.  The total of five killed and seven woun­ded, with five vehi­cles out of action, might have been far worse.  Infor­ma­tion was now begin­ning to trickle in, and it ap­peared that a strong enemy at­tempt to break through the cor­ri­dor between east and west Hol­land had been frus­tra­ted.  In all dur­ing the night, the enemy had lost about one hun­dred killed, and four hun­dred pri­son­ers, inclu­ding fif­teen cap­tured by R.H.Q. at first light.
By 0800 hours the last mor­tar-bomb had fal­len, and the small arms fir­ing had ceased.  The Tanks and Infan­try soon did all neces­sary mop­ping up and Ot­ter­loo was quiet again. 
Whilst 2/11 Bat­tery was en­joying break­fast, the Divi­sional Com­man­der visi­ted the troop pos­i­tions and per­son­ally thanked the men for, as he ex­pressed it, “a damned fine show.”
Despite the undeniable seri­ous­ness of the sit­ua­tion, there were never­the­less, se­veral amu­sing inci­dents, one of which is well worth recor­ding.  At the ini­tial war­ning to “Stand to” Sig. Thomp­son, J.G., leapt from his downy couch and, being a lit­tle pushed, an unus­ual thing for him, grabbed the first pair of boots to hand, assu­ming them to be his, crammed his feet into them and went out to do his job, keep­ing the lines through.  This he did toge­ther with the rest of the sig­nal­lers in a man­ner beyond praise.  Unfor­tu­nately, the boots he had has­tily climbed into were not his, they were in fact, Sgt. Gray's.  What Sgt. Gray was doing for foot­wear his­tory does not relate, pro­bably dan­cing around in snea­kers, but what­ever he had on, he cer­tainly was not wear­ing his bee­tle crush­ers.  The Dol­cis agent in Mary­port has Sig. Thomp­son's size down in his books as eights (large), and the Wau­ke­zee mer­chant in Great Yar­mouth has Sgt. Gray's size as six.  Mathe­ma­tic­ians may argue, but in this case eight into six won't go, not for long, any­way!
So intensely were Sig. Thomp­son's pup­pies pai­ning him that when he ar­rived in “A” Troop C.P., hav­ing traced a break in the line through from the ex­change, he looked such a pic­ture of abject mis­ery that the G.P.O. imme­di­ately jumped to the con­clu­sion that he had been woun­ded, and took a lot of con­vin­cing that it was nothing more ser­ious than a lack of leben­sraum in the per­am­bu­la­tion dept.

Modern photograph of the old church in Otterlo showing the repaired spire
“Though I have fallen, I will rise.” (Bible: Micah 7:8).  This modern photograph of the old church in Otterloo (now Otterlo) shows the spire, shot off by the 2/11 Battery of the 3rd Medium Regiment, now repaired and replaced.  (photo by Jan en Christien, provided by