58th Light Aid Detachment
Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
This page contains a transcription of the war diary of the 58th Light
Aid Detachment of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers for the dates of the battle of Otterloo.
This light aid detachment was assigned to the 17th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian
Artillery, and was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the field
Those items damaged beyond local repair were sent to workshops farther back.
Minor spelling and punctuation errors in the original have been
corrected and large numbers of abbreviations and acronyms
have been spelled out.
Military ranks and unit names have been spelled out.
One overstruck date and one incorrect date in the original have been rendered
This transcription was made from a photograph of the original war diary
located at Library and Archives Canada and contained in box 16296
of record group 24.
Breakfast was at 0700 hours.
We moved with the regimental headquarters of the 17th Field Regiment
at approximately 0830 hours for a new location.
We set up in a new location in what used to be a German barracks but only remained
here for a few hours.
Dinner was served and the order to prepare to move came.
We moved at approximately 1500 hours to a location in Otterloo.
The men were made comfortable for the night.
Stand-to came at approximately 2340 hours and the battle for Otterloo started.
In a short while small arms fire became intense and mortars began to fall
in the area.
At 0100 hours small arms file is still whistling through the trees and mortars
are landing in the area.
Everyone is a little on the jittery side as the enemy draws closer and the evening
We are laying down a withering small arms fire but the enemy still continues to draw
closer to our position.
At 0200 hours orders came down to hold fire and fire only when necessary.
Word was received that the Irish Regiment of Canada and tanks are coming to our
assistance and everyone is determined that the enemy will not break through
until aid comes.
The hours drag by and the enemy machine gun fire becomes more intense.
First light breaks at 0530 hours and still no tanks but the Irish Regiment of
Canada is reported to have come up on our left flank.
Shortly after daybreak tanks came to our assistance and with flame throwers
put the enemy to flight while parties were detailed to carry out mopping up
duties behind the tanks.
We all breathed much easier and caught a few winks of sleep.
In the afternoon Assistant Quartermaster Sergeant Heywood inspected the damaged
guns and vehicles and made arrangements with the advanced workshop detachment
of the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade to pick up the damaged equipment.
The wagon line vehicles of Fox Troop of the 17th Field Regiment were
a complete loss.
The evening was spent in preparing defences for another attack if it should come.
Phones were installed from different defence locations so that we could be in touch
with the regimental headquarters of the 17th Field Regiment at all times.
The evening remained cool and quiet.