IV. THROUGH THE SIEGFRIED LINE
The Battalion reached NIJMEGEN after a long night march from TILBURG on Saturday February 3rd and the next four days, during which the Commanding Officer rejoined us from England, were spent in making plans for the big offensive which was to clear the REICHSWALD, cross the SIEGFRIED LINE and reach the RHINE near WESEL. The whole town was full of troops, army vehicles of every sort were parked in every square and open space and it is difficult to imagine that enemy reconnaissance was unaware that a large-scale assault was in preparation. There was however some chance that the use of CHURCHILL tanks would not be expected on account of the very unsuitable nature of the ground to be traversed. All signs had therefore been removed both from vehicles and battle-dress and troops were confined to their billets.
The ground over which the attack was due to take place consists of the flood-plain of the RHINE, bounded to the South by the wooded hills of the REICHSWALD. Across this marshy plain and skirting the edge of the high ground, runs the road from NIJMEGEN to CLEVE, some 20 miles to the South-East, passing successively through the villages of WYLER, KRANKENBURG and NUTTERDEN. Near the last of these villages it swings away North-East to avoid the hills, which here crowd down to the road, and, for its last few miles, steep, wooded slopes overhang its right-hand verge up to the outskirts of CLEVE itself. Just where the road makes its change of direction and about mid-way between KRANKENBURG and NUTTERDEN lay the Northern extremity of the SIEGFRIED LINE.
The plan was briefly as follows. On our left flank, in the marsh-land, two Divisions of CANADIANS were to operate between the road and the RHINE. On our right 46th BRIGADE, supported by the COLDSTREAM, were to seize the heights of the REICHSWALD. Between the two, with the main road as our axis, 227th BRIGADE and ourselves were to push straight ahead for KRANENBURG, while the GRENADIERS, with 44th BRIGADE, were to follow up and, during the night, to start breaching the SIEGFRIED LINE between the road and the hills.
At a quarter to five on the morning of February 8th we moved out along the WYLER road until, at a point just north of BERG-EN-DAL, we struck Southwards along a narrow lane between thick woods. About dawn we passed through the gun area and were greatly heartened by the colossal noise of the preliminary barrage. We halted at half-past seven in our Forwards Assembly Area in NEDERIJKSCHE WOOD (7457). To have reached this without incident must be regarded as a very satisfactory start to the operation, for the road looked very doubtful and if a tank had broken down it would have been impossible for those behind to get past.
At a quarter past nine ‘S’ Squadron debouched from the wood and started to move Eastwards. From the start it was clear that the going was to be the trouble and very soon all the Flails were bogged in the area short of the GROESBEEK-WYLER road, where, despite great efforts, they remained throughout the operation. ‘S’ Squadron however managed to get on through the American mine-field where the mines were lying on the surface, to cross the Start Line, with their infantry, immediately behind the barrage and to reach the edge of the German minefield. Here it seemed likely that the whole plan would break down; for there were no Flails and very little Sapper assistance while the leading Infantry, who tried to walk through, suffered considerable casualties. Unless something could be done quickly the barrage would be lost for good. Lieutenant STEVENSON who commanded the leading troop of ‘S’ Squadron was not however to be beaten. Spotting a tiny track that he thought might indicate a gap, he led his troop along it. The tanks exploded many “Schu-mines” as they went and the infantry and the remainder of teh tanks were able to follow through in his tracks with the loss of only two tanks. Once through the minefield the infantry and tanks contrived to close up behind the barrage in good time and the advance continued. So far enemy ground opposition had been crushed by the speed with which our leading troops had followed up the heavy barrage and many prisoners began to come in. Small arms fire had been light and shelling negligible.
Right Flank now started to move up on the left; but they had great trouble with the going, which was now very bad indeed, and in finding the minefield gaps. They lost two tanks on mines before they found their way through and were able to catch up their infantry. However they were in time to shoot them into the forward edge of KRANENBURG (8056). Here they found to their surprise that the bridge on the main road (806563) was intact. They were therefore able to pass Lieutenant SCOTT-BARRETT’s troop into the town to help in mopping up. The ground just short of the bridge however was very boggy and 8 tanks got stuck. Some resistance was offered in the town itself but on the whole the opposition on this flank was not strong and it seems that the enemy were so overcome with the weight of the barrage and so surprised by the appearance of tanks in such impossible country that they gave themselves up without a fight. Much the same story can be told of the Right Flank where, largely owing to the determination of the Squadron Leader, Major FARRELL, and of Lieutenant STEVENSON, ‘S’ Squadron managed to get five tanks on to their final objective - a very fine performance. By fire o’clock in the evening the infantry were firmly established on their objectives and nearly 300 prisoners (including Officers) had been taken. We had only lost one tank - that of Lieutenant CAMPBELL in Left Flank which struck a mine, presumably attacked to an aerial bomb. The tank exploded and Lieutenant CAMPBELL died later of wounds. Several other tanks however were so deeply bogged that they were never recovered.
At nightfall Battalion HQ moved up with HQ 227th (H) BRIGADE to the hamlet of HETTSTEEG (799557) about a mile west of KRANENBURG: Right Flank rallied beside the bridge on the main road and ‘S’ Squadron at the Railway Station South of the town.
Meanwhile the GORDONs had not yet advanced beyond the Start Line and Left Flank, after advancing as far as the German minefield, had once more withdrawn to rejoin the infantry. During the night they moved up along the WYLER-KRANENBURG road and their attack which had been scheduled to start in the evening of the 8th eventually went in at eight o’clock on the morning of the 9th. The axis of the attack was up the main road. But this means the Anti-Tank ditch was easily crossed and NUTTERDEN was reached with little opposition. In the village itself, it is true, there was a certain amount of resistance, but Left Flank had no casualties and lost no tanks while quite a number of Germans were killed and about 200 prisoners taken. It is believed that by this action the Squadron had the first British tanks through the SIEGFRIED LINE. In the evening Right Flank moved up with the HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY to the hamlet of WOLF-sB (844545) [pencil note in margin - WOLFSBERG?] on a spur of high ground South of NUTTERDEN. They were shelled on the way by an SP gun in the forest and Captain J.W.O. ELLIOTT was wounded.
During the night of 9th/10th February plans were made for the capture of CLEVE. The town was to be cleared by the ARGYLLs and ‘S’ Squadron on the right and the GORDONs and Left Flank on the left. Right Flank and HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY were to remain in their positions. The FUP was to be just this side of the Look-out Tower (881560) on the Western edge of the town. Its left flank and the way up to it, which lay through a narrow “isthmus” of the REICHSWALD were to be protected by the Reconnaissance Troop. Accordingly ‘S’ Squadron and Left Flank, carrying the ARGYLLs and GORDONs, were formed up on the main road by eight o’clock in the morning; but the congestion of traffic, caused by 43rd DIVISION (who failed to clear the road when ordered) made progress very slow. Eventually when the leading tanks had just reached the narrow neck of wood (at 855556) orders were received to halt and get off the road. Meanwhile the Reconnaissance Troop had gone on ahead and had taken up their positions on the edge of the wood by the Look-out Tower. Here they met sharp opposition and bazooka fire. Two HONEYs were knocked out and Serjeant RAMSAY died of wounds he received. The remainder of the Troop withdrew when it was clear that their presence was no longer necessary. They had killed many men and forced the enemy from several entrenched positions. ‘S’ Squadron remained near the neck of the wood for the night, Left Flank returned to NUTTERDEN and Battalion HQ moved up to some buildings just short of the village.
Early on the 11th February Left Flank were ordered to advance with the GORDONs on the axis of the main DONSBRUGGEN-CLEVE road; Right Flank were to follow them up with HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY and eventually pass through and clear the town. At the start Left Flank had some trouble with bazookas from the wooded slope on their right but this ceased when a troop was sent up into the wood. At the cross-roads (893564), near the entrance to CLEVE, Right Flank and the HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY passed through into the town just as it was getting dark. There was little opposition but some confusion with 44th BRIGADE who had simultaneously entered the town from the South. Eventually fighting ceased. Right Flank rallied back to a point just North of the Cross-roads; Left Flank harboured on the main road a quarter of a mile behind; ‘S’ Squadron lay at ZU DONSBURGGEN (863567) and Battalion HQ at HAYSENHOF, two and a half miles to the rear.
For the next three days no move was made. The two forward squadrons were subjected to some shelling; but the real problem during this period was one of communication with the rear. Our ‘B’ Echelon was still at TILBURG in central Holland and we were hardly less cut off from ‘A’ Echelon in NIJMEGEN; for the country to the North of the road back was now a vast, inland lake stretching away to the RHINE. By the 12th of February the road itself was flooded to a depth of three feet and the next day was impassable except to DUKWS. A DUKW point for the BRIGADE was therefore established at the Railway Station in NIJMEGEN and each Battalion was allowed to make two trips a day with supplies. ‘A’ Echelon, under Major Sir Charles MacLEAN, never failed us and the work of the D.R.s at this time was especially good in spite of the shocking conditions. Handicapped by a temporary absence of maps and forced to make long detours to the South through the REICHSWALD, they invariably found their destinations by day and night. Meanwhile the tanks which had been bogged near KRANENBURG and had not yet been extricated disappeared completely under the waters - though not before essential kit had been extracted from them by boarding them from a WATER-WEASEL.
On the 14th of February - on which day Field Marshal MONTGOMERY visited the HQ of 227th (H) BRIGADE which were alongside us - a plan was made with 227th BRIGADE for an advance to capture some high ground about seven miles away near the village of CALCAR (0050) but on the next day the Battalion was put instead in support of the 7th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE and a new plan was made for an advance in the same direction.
On this side of CLEVE (into which Battalion HQ now moved) three main roads radiate. The first runs South, skirts the Eastern edge of the REICHSWALD crosses the R. NIERS after 8 miles at the small town of GOCH (9143) and runs on, through WEEZE and KEVELAER to GELDERN 21 miles away. The second runs out South-East, keeping roughly parallel to the RHINE through CALCAR and MARIENBAUM to the old town of XANTEN. Between the two runs a lesser road to the fortified village of UDEM and WINNEKENDONK. The large wedge of sandy country bisected by this road is for the most part open and agricultural. At its Northern tip however it is constricted between the old Forest of CLEVE to the South of the town and the woods around MOYLAND which fringe the CALCAR road; while further South the valley of the NIERS is thickly wooded and to the East great stretches of wooded upland, known as the HOCHWALD and BALBERGER WALD (and believed to be strongly held), cut it off from XANTEN and the RHINE.
The plan was to attack between the CALCAR and UDEM roads. Right Flank were to advance to a small lump of high ground (964495) a mile South of MOYLAND; Left Flank, withe the WINNIPEG RIFLES in KANGAROOs, were to come up on their right and seize the village of LOUISENDORF (961488) while ‘S’ Squadron and the REGINE RIFLES were to move up on the Left, along the Southern fringe of MOYLAND Wood to a knoll (976487) above the hamlet of ROSSKAMP.
Accordingly on the 16th the Battalion moved out beyond the village of BEDBURG. The morning was very misty but it cleared about mid-day. The attack started about half-past one. Right Flank reached the village and held it alone for some time until the WINNIPEG RIFLES came up. The shelling was the heaviest that the Battalion had ever known. At its height Captain R.W.O. BURNETT set a magnificent example of bravery. He got out of his tank and went on foot from KANGAROO to KANGAROO, encouraging the infantry to dismount and guiding them to their positions. He was killed by a shell a few minutes later. But his splendid leadership had its effect: the WINNIPEG RIFLES entered the village, some 90 minutes after the tanks, and by dark they were firmly established there and on the high ground which, for two hours, Right Flank had been holding alone.
Meanwhile ‘S’ Squadron and the REGINA RIFLES had met very heavy opposition, including counter-attacks from the woods on their left. The infantry in the wood had heavy casualties and made no progress but the tanks reached their primary objective. After dark all squadrons rallied back somewhat along the line of the road. All the objectives on the right had been gained against very stiff opposition and very heavy shelling, but the left flank was very vulnerable. Many Germans had been killed and about 300 prisoners - mainly paratroops - captured. Our own casualties were Captain BURNETT killed, the Adjutant, Captain P.E.G. BALFOUR, Lieutenant C.J.O. CLARKE, the Technical Adjutant, Captain I.S.R. BRUCE and Captain D.L. BANKES wounded. The last two however were not evacuated. Two Other Ranks were killed and five wounded. One tank only had been knocked out.
All through the night the shelling was very heavy. In the morning ‘S’ Squadron shot the REGINA RIFLES into the wood immediately South of MOYLAND, but the infantry attack in the wood was not a success. At two o’clock Right Flank with the CANADIAN SCOTTISH were ordered to attack the Knoll above ROSSKAMP (976497). The wood on the left was to be smoked off. The attack went in at 4 o’clock supported by fire from the other two squadrons. It was a complete success through the machine gun fire and Anti-Tank fire was very strong and the shelling very heavy indeed. About 150 prisoners - again mainly paratroops - were taken. Lieutenant SCOTT-BARRETT’s tank broke down on the objective. It was towed back about a mile but finally had to be abandoned. It was found to have an 88 mm shell embedded in it: there were no other casualties.
The Battalion, with the exception of Left Flank, was released in the afternoon of the 18th and moved back into the ruins of CLEVE for much needed rest and maintenance: Left Flank rejoined during the night. The town was subjected to regular shelling but we suffered no casualties though one shell went straight through the building which the Battalion was suing as an Officers’ Mess.
On 21st February the Battalion less Left Flank was put under command of the 46th BRIGADE of 15th SCOTTISH DIVISION and very early in the morning of the next day moved off, carrying 9th CAMERONIANs, in the direction of GOCH. For the next ten days we were to be engaged in pushing down South-East to clear the enemy out of the wooded country between this town and WINNEKENDONK.
‘S’ Squadron with 9th CAMERONIANs and 7th SEAFORTHs successfully established a “bridgehead” in the woods across the GOCH-UDEM railway in the face of severe shell and mortar fire. This done, 2nd GLASGOW HIGHLANDERS with two troops of Right Flank completed the job by clearing some houses on the right flank of this “bridgehead” overlooking the R. NIERS and destroying an ammunition dump in the woods there. Left Flank meanwhile with 227th BRIGADE were guarding the left rear in the region of the GOCH-CALCAR road. About 100 prisoners were taken. The next day Left Flank sent two troops to support 2nd GORDONs in occupying SCHLOSS CALBECK just short of the railway. The other squadrons returned to GOCH for maintenance where they were joined on 24th February by Left Flank. For the next two days shelling of our area was considerable but maintenance was proceeded with and no casualties occurred.
Our next task was to help the 9th INFANTRY BRIGADE of 3rd BRITISH DIVISION in an advance through the woods South-East of SCHLOSS CALBECK to cut the WEEZE-UDEM road. In preparation for this Captain PEMBER and an Officer of the ROYAL ENGINEERS carried out an extremely hazardous night patrol to ensure that a small bridge in the wood was intact and would carry CHURCHILLs. To do this they had to thread their way through a Schu minefield in which five lives were subsequently lost; but the answers they brought back were encouraging. Before midnight Right Flank moved out of GOCH and harboured in a V-shaped night in the woods North of SCHLOSS CALBECK, the ruins of which were to be Battalion HQ next day. The plan was for 2nd LINCOLNs, covered by Right Flank, to secure a bridgehead over the stream near the farm of KRUSHECKS-HOF (957418) and then for the 1st KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS on the right and 3rd ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES on the left, each supported by two troops of the Squadron and following a barrage, to advance through the bridgehead to cut the WEEZE-UDEM road. Right Flank accordingly moved off at 5.15 a.m. on an eventful march. For an hour the narrow track was completely blocked by the ROYAL ENGINEERS Tanks of 11th ARMOURED DIVISION coming in the opposite direction on a route to which they had no right. In addition, despite the work of Sappers throughout the night, the prepared tank track proved impassable owing to mines and mined vehicles. An unreconnoitred route had therefore to be taken, but luckily proved clear, and the shoot in was successful after a very difficult journey. By great determination the Squadron managed to get across the stream by a very narrow causeway and bridge in time to form up for the second phase. This attack went extremely well and our tanks effectively silenced the main opposition which was from the houses in a clearing on the right. Approximately 300 prisoners, including a number of Officers, were captured, and many more Germans were killed, and by one o’clock the infantry were firm on their objectives. It was now decided that one Company of the KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS should push further forward still and seize a bridgehead over the tributary of the River NIERS called MUHLEN FLEUTH at a point near WETTERMANSHOF (973397) half a mile South of the main road. A quick fire plan was arranged - a concentrations from two batteries for ten minutes. In the event, owing to the haste of the planning, nearly all the shells landed short and gave trouble to the infantry as they formed up. As the tanks and infantry debouched from the road they were met by the heavy close range fire of Spandaus and three SP guns, situated near WETTERMANSHOF. Two tanks were knocked out, and three others bogged in full view of the enemy but were recovered later. At the same time the infantry received heavy casualties and the force was withdrawn into the wood. The Gunners now redeemed themselves handsomely by laying an extremely accurate smoke screen. This was arranged by a Forward Observation Officer who was forced to bale out from his own tank but immediately jumped on to another as it withdrew and, fully exposed to enemy fire, coolly directed our own guns. The whole incident however must, it is confessed, be regarded as an excellent example of the folly of attempting too much too hastily with too little. During the afternoon ‘S’ Squadron were called out with the object of going through to KERVENHEIM (990383) with 2nd LINCOLNs, but after the failure of the KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS attack this plan was abandoned and ‘S’ Squadron harboured in the big clearing in the wood. Right Flank harboured close by.
On 28th February our HQ moved up to the village of STEIN (968417) and Left Flank moved up to the houses in the clearing. We were shelled intermittently throughout the day and the next day which were given to maintenance and rest. It had now become apparent that the enemy had strong positions along the line of the MUHLEN FLEUTH from WEEZE to KERVENHEIM. A plan was made on 1st March for forcing these, seizing BERBERH Wood (9936) and finally capturing the town of WINNEKENDONK. ‘S’ Squadron and 1st KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS were first to break out of the bridgehead secured the day before by 2nd WARWICKs at WETTERMANNSHOF and attack behind a barrage to capture the strongly held German position in the woods and houses about REYSHOF crossroads (979371). Left Flank with 2nd ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES in KANGAROOs were then to seize the BERBERH Wood. The enemy grip on KERVENHEIM would by then, it was hoped, be loosened sufficiently for Right Flank and 1st LINCOLNs to capture WINNEKENDONK before dark. Since the enemy were known to be paratroops and fierce opposition was expected, a barrage was also arranged to cover the attack on this place. The day started well, as in spite of every tank in ‘S’ Squadron bogging before the stream was reached, the bridge which had been reported unusable was found to work and ‘S’ Squadron crossed the Start Line on time and the objective was reached by nine o’clock without difficulty. Some difficulty was then experienced in getting the KANGAROOs up to the ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES, but they eventually crossed the Start Line on their feet at half-past twelve. It had been arranged for TYPHOONs to engage targets in BERBERH Wood, but since the wood appeared clear of enemy as viewed from the Start Line, the ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES had asked for the air attack to be countermanded. Unfortunately, owing to a misunderstanding, it nevertheless took place. The aircraft came in from East to West and their “overs” strafed the leading tanks and infantry as they approached the wood. However no serious damage resulted and by two o’clock we were firmly in possession of the West end of the wood. ‘S’ Squadron and the KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS moved over at once to capture the East end of the wood, but, though they succeeded in doing so, they were prevented from exploiting to BRUCH, as had been intended, by a vast crater at the far end of the only ride. So far ground opposition had been slight but shelling and mortaring had been growing steadily heavier and it was obvious that stiffer opposition lay ahead. Left Flank on the right had considerable trouble in the hamlet of BLEICKSHOF which they shot up. In the meantime Captain PEMBER with two HONEY patrols was told to moved down both the East and West edges of the wood to find out what opposition there was in WINNEKENDONK. The right-hand patrol got held up by a very large crater on the road and got bogged getting round it. The left-hand patrol got down to the tip of the wood and reported that the wood was clear but BRUCH held. At that moment Serjeant BROWN’s HONEY was knocked out by an SP gun from near the road-junction North of the town. The crew baled out unhurt but were in an exposed position in the open. Captain PEMBER in the other tank, went into the open, under a smoke screen (which was beautifully placed by Lieutenant FEARFIELD’s troop and the HQ tanks of Left Flank), and rescued them. It was now four o’clock and there seemed just enough time to put in an attack on WINNEKENDONK. 1st LINCOLNs who had only just been released from 185th BRIGADE in KERVENHEIM were linked up with Right Flank at the North-West corner of the wood, a quick reconnaissance was carried out and it was decided to attack at a quarter to six. Only the previous provision for a barrage enabled such a hastily prepared attack to succeed. The plan was to attack due South astride the main road with two troops of Right Flank leading followed by two companies of infantry who were in their turn supported by the remaining two troops of tanks. Right Flank reached the Start Line over very difficult ground with 30 seconds to spare, and all went forward behind the barrage. For the first 400 yards things went smoothly but immediately the leading tanks came into the open South of BRONKSHOF they were met by a hail of armour piercing shot from the front and flanks, with plenty of high-explosive shell thrown in. All three tanks of the right forward troop, commanded by Lieutenant MacDONALD-BUCHANAN, were hit by AP, one tank no less than five times, and the F.O.O.’s tank which was close behind blew up. In spite of this and extremely heavy going those who could do so continued steadily on. Seeing the plight of his right forward troop, the Squadron Leader, Major the Earl CATHCART, ordered the supporting troop forward to engage the SPs and guns firing from the right. Lieutenant RUNCIE immediately took his troop right forward in the open, which was the only place from which he could see, and engaged to such effect that they knocked out two SPs and one 88mm Anti-Tank gun. They also dealt with a number of Spandaus holding up the infantry on that side, and thus enabled the LINCOLNs to get on and into the town.
On the left, although there was some trouble from BRUCH and the shelling and mortaring was very heavy indeed, the tanks and infantry pushed ahead, over ran an 88 mm gun and several 50 mm guns, and entered the town.
It was now quite dark. Very close hand to hand fighting took place with a large number of paratroops in the streets and houses. Lieutenant MacDONALD-BUCHANAN’s troop, though several times Bazooka’d and grenaded, shot the infantry right up to the back end of the town and stayed with them there. One tank fell into a bomb crater and had to be abandoned. The crew were making their way back when it was discovered that the Slidex Card had been left behind and Lieutenant MacDONALD-BUCHANAN and Guardsman HUNT went back through the enemy-infested town to retrieve it. The crew then returned to the forward rally on the other tank of the troop: on the way they were Bazooka’d and sniped and fought hand to hand in the narrow streets. By nine o’clock the situation was under control and the Squadron was able to concentrate for the night around the LINCOLN’s HQ, in the houses near the road junction North of the town.
All through the night and the next morning prisoners continued to be brought in, the final count being 250, all from the PARA LEHR REGIMENT. They had fought fanatically and then suddenly given up. But it was not until the next day that the strength of the position was fully realised. In addition to the two 88 mm and two SP guns knocked out tracks of other SPs were discerned and six dug-in 50 mm Anti-Tank guns were found: two more 88s were captured at the back of the town and the haul of Spandaus and infantry weapons of all kinds was very large. For it appears that one Battalion of the PARA LEHR REGIMENT and a Fortress Battery had been holding the place and that it was regarded as a Key point in the German defence scheme. Indeed, so open was the approach, so strong the Anti-Tank screen and so well dug in the infantry that it was hard to believe that one infantry Battalion and a Squadron of tanks could have captured it against the pick of German troops. The speed with which the attack was launched, the pre-arranged barrage and the magnificent courage and success which will surely rank as one of the finest small-scale tank-infantry battles ever executed.
By dawn on the 3rd March when Left Flank and the ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES put in an attack to capture the big wood South of WINNEKENDONK the enemy offered no further opposition, the wood was occupied and the way was clear for the ARMOURED DIVISIONS to exploit.
The only other incident of note on this final day of our share in the advance occurred when the Corps Commander, at 11.30, urgently requested a report on whether the bridges over the NIERS at KEVERLAER and WETTEN would carry Class 40 tanks. This entailed a 6 mile patrol by Serjeant FRASER into enemy territory which came close to linking up with the American drive from the South. In a little over an hour affirmative information was in the Corps Commander’s hands and the patrol could claim some successful skirmishes as well.
Thus ended the 3rd Battalion’s share in the Advance to the RHINE now only some 10,000 yards away. It had entailed twenty-four days in the line, during which fifteen actions by a Squadron or more were fought and a total of over 1500 prisoners was captured by the Battalion and the units with which it worked!
Edited by dbf, 20 June 2011 - 03:51 PM.