The Second World War

The Second World War through primary sources.

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The wartime diary of Capt. H Maskell, Royal Armoured Corps.

Captain Maskell was charged with the task of ensuring that fuel and ammunition reached the tanks on the front lines. He kept a diary for only a short period of the war, from September 1944 until January 1945. Maskell was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the night of his last diary entry. He survived the war and returned to his wife in Yorkshire. These documents have been made available by the late Captain Maskell's son, and are reproduced with the families permission.

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September 2nd 1944. Supplies to frontline troops in the Rouen area are discussed. September 4th 1944. The whole column of vehicles is refuelled as the advance continues. September 1944. 9000 Gallons of fuel are supplied, but only one load of ammunition.
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280 miles from the docks at Dieppe to the front make it difficult to supply the advancing tanks. October, 1944. Things go wrong for the Captain's men. Evacuations are called for and men are injured. October 22nd, 1944. Enemy attacks are light as there is a lull in the advance.
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October 28th, 1944. Supply vehicles are refitted. 4th November, 1944. Negotiating canals in Holland proves to be a tricky task. 18th November, 1944. Impassable ground causes more headaches.
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January 3rd, 1944. The action in the Ardennes has brought the most staggering problems of forward replenishment. A fault lies in our organisation. What is it? Capt. H Maskell. His determination to supply tanks whilst under fire on the night of January 4th/5th 1945 resulted in him being awarded the Military Cross. The citation may be viewed here. (Jpeg image)