November 26th 2020

The Battle of Geilenkirchen

Army personnel sitting on tank

Sgt George Dring and crew of Sherwood Forest Yeomanry

Jonathan Hunt, military historian and a previous member of Northamptonshire County Committee for East Midlands RFCA, has written a detailed account of the Second World War Battle of Geilenkirchen. This battle was a joint operation, involving both American and British forces, to clear a German salient that was a threat to Allied forces as they advanced into Germany in November 1944.


Army Sgt Sydney Collis and Crew with tank

Sgt Sydney Collis and crew

Of particular note to East Midlands RFCA members was the participation of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in Geilenkirchen, whose tanks had fought their way across Europe since landing in Normandy on D Day.

General Horrocks, who had them under his command from 1942 to 1945, stated of them that ‘no armoured regiment can show a finer record of hard fighting’.  In this battle, the first conducted by British forces on German soil since the Battle of Minden in 1759, the Sherwood Rangers lived up to their hard-won reputation. 

Read the full story of Geilenkirchen, complete with hand-drawn maps and in-depth descriptions.


"The low-lying ground was saturated with the heavy rain that had been falling for the past month ... The top surface, described as a 'sea of mud', consisted of a foot or more of sticky clay, and had been thickly sown with mines, making any movement .. treacherous at best." Jonathan Hunt