C"lens"liness is next to Godliness

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Guy Hudson, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    25th January 1945
    The night otherwise quiet, was enlivened by an element of comedy. The air photographs issued on a lavish scale before the attack, revealed what was apparently a huge crater on the Heinsburg road. Much Sapper effort had therefore been put into the construction of a very large Bailey bridge on sledges and named, with no great subtlety, "Sydney" after the famous bridge in Australia, The unfortunate Sapper in charge of this unwieldly contraption duly arrived and drove up and down the road all night, at no small risk to himself from mines. To his astonishment, no crater could be found.
    Seldom in the history of the campaign can a spot of dust on a camera lens have caused so much inconvenience to the branch of the Army least celebrated for its sense of humour.

    The 43rd Wessex Division at War 1944-1945
    Major General H.Essame
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    SRY - War Diary -

    24th January 1945
    At dawn 4th K.O.S.B. went into HEINSBERG, A Sqn had to cross 800 yards of open ground covered by SP’s before they could support the infantry in the built up area. They lost 3 tanks trying to get in but at last succeeded in getting the troop forward under Sgt Lanes*. HEINSBERG was utterly destroyed and derelict.

    * Sergeant James (aka "Johnny" ) Lanes MM...
    Recommendation for Award for Lanes, James Rank: Acting Serjeant Service No: ... | The National Archives

    25th January 1945
    B Sqn moved forward from SELSTEN at 04.00 hrs and formed up north of HEINSBERG for an attack on KIRCHHOVEN. There was no opposition in that village and the Germans appeared delighted to see us. Their houses were full of ammunition and rifles but there was no ??????pt to use them. RHQ moved up to LAFFELD and secured an undamaged house.



    26th January 1945
    Sqns remained concentrated all day except 1 troop of A Sqn which picketed HEINSBERG. Maj.
    (Basil) Ringrose visited the regiment.

    27th January 1945
    Operation “Black Cock” now completed for 8th Armd Bde, regiment ordered to return to Holland for rest. Maj. Lord Leigh left with recce party to look for billets.

    The Sherwood Rangers in January 1945

    Roer Triangle.JPG-1.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Not sure, from this below - of the "story" - it doesn't exactly spell out that it was a joke but....

    Tripsrath - For the second time (January 1945) - Worcestershire Regiment

    There was much amusement one night when the following story was told:

    A huge crater was revealed on one of the many air photographs, which was issued before the attack; and the Sappers constructed a very large Bailey Bridge on sledges and named it "Sydney" after the famous bridge in Australia. The unfortunate sapper in charge was ordered to lay it across a bomb crater on the Heinsberg Road. He drove this unwieldy contraption up and down the road all night, at the risk of being blown up by mines. To his astonishment, he could not find the crater and eventually decided to return back to base. After investigation it afterwards turned out that the crater was actually a speck of dust on the camera lens !

    ----- x ---- x -----

    (Might collect) some links on Heinsberg....

    Heinsberg - Wikipedia

    Some IWM pictures / media content of/on Heinsberg.... there's a combination of those online/those not yet online (but nevertheless with object description) - see - Search | Imperial War Museums

    WW2Talk Heinsberg tags... heinsberg | WW2Talk

    WW2Talk Heinsberg search... http://ww2talk.com/index.php?search/11539236/&q=Heinsberg&o=relevance
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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