Hill 195, Normandy.

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Owen, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Taken from Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada website.http://www.ashofc.ca/ASHFRAME.htm

    We visited this area in October 2005.


    HILL 195 is the highest piece of ground on the road from CAEN to FALAISE. In the summer of 1944, the Canadian Army in France was advancing down this road as part of OPERATION TOTALIZE. Naturally, HILL 195 was identified as vital ground and an attack was organized to take it.
    HILL 195 - THE ARGYLL ATTACK
    By 10 August 1944, the Argylls were in the village of LANGANNERIE just a few kilometres north of HILL 195. The order came down from brigade HQ that the Argylls were to take the hill that night. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Stewart, chose an unorthodox plan. Following a well-reconnoitred route, the battalion would set off single file through the dark, slip through German lines and silently occupy the hill before the Germans knew they were there.
    The Argylls crossed the start line at 0001 hours (12:01 am) on 11 August 1944 and were on HILL 195 by 0430 hours (4:30 am) following a circuitous route to the east and northeast of the hill. Most of the surprised German garrison of about 50 were taken prisoner without a shot being fired. The hill was taken without a single Canadian casualty. "C" and "D" companies dug in on the forward slope; "A" and "B" companies dug in on the reverse slope.
    In the half-hour of darkness before dawn, the Argylls worked madly (assisted by their German prisoners) to consolidate their position. It was soon discovered that one foot down in the soil was an impenetrable layer of chalk. The Argylls were to hold the hill from some very shallow trenches. Vehicles towing 6 pounder and 17 pounder antitank guns made their way through the dark to link up and support the unit before first light.
    At first light, the Germans (surrounding HILL 195 on three sides) reacted immediately. Soon heavy mortar fire was falling on the Argylls. A German counter attack on the "A" Company position failed and 27 German prisoners were taken.
    The tanks of The 22nd Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Canadian Grenadier Guards) were supposed to pass through the Argylls and exploit the breach in the German lines. The ferocity of the German counter attacks stopped these efforts cold. At noon, the tanks of The 21st Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Governor Generals Foot Guards) were sent forward to assist in the battle and would remain in the fight for the remainder of the day.
    In the afternoon, heavy artillery and air support was made available to the Argylls and the Germans suffered many casualties as a result. The last German counter attack was beaten off at 1930 hours (7:30 PM). At 2100 hours (9:00 PM), the Argylls were relieved by The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. The Argylls had lost seven killed and 24 wounded holding the hill.
    Noted military author and historian Lieutenant Colonel JA English has called the battle at HILL 195 the most impressive single action executed in OPERATION TOTALIZE.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    We went here back in October 2005.
    It's taken until now to take a digital photo of our album so I can post it here.

    I believe a Canadian production company is currently making a film of this action.
    Found this on the Web.
    In early November 2004 he (Rob Child) was signed by veteran Canadian producer Dick Nielsen
    to direct and co-produce Nielsen's forthcoming Canadian theatrical release,
    Hill 195. The project, which has the support of the Canadian government,
    begins filming in Southern Ontario in 2006. Hill 195 is a multi-million dollar
    World War II era action-feature, which showcases the heroic actions of a
    single Canadian regiment just weeks after D-Day


    I'm in touch with a Veteran of ASH of Can who was there from Normandy until the end.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. ComradeRomain

    ComradeRomain Member

    wow i didnt know that....maybe ill be able to see the movie soon on CBC?
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Found this interview with my Veteran friend from another website.
    here
    Northwest Historical Association (NWHA) - WW2 Reenacting Society



    "Hill 195 was the first real action that I was involved in. We sneaked up
    that hill in the middle of the night [August 10/11, 1944] and were dug in
    before the enemy knew we were there. It was quite an exciting occasion. The
    ground was so hard that digging in was almost impossible. I remember that
    my slit trench was about 10 inches deep despite all efforts to enlarge it.
    That was barely enough to protect the crown jewels. And there was plenty
    of metal flying around once they realized we were there."

    "We watched with awe as the tanks of the Canadian Grenadier Guards tried
    to advance, only to be knocked off one by one. Typhoons were very active
    trying to knockout the enemy tanks in Quesnay Woods, just off to our left,
    and they got at least one of them as we saw the cloud of black smoke rising
    after their attack. We couldn't (or didn't) do much but sit and take it all
    in and try to avoid their moaning minnies. It was a long day."

    "Prior to becoming an Argyll, I had served with the Stormont Dundas and
    Glengarry Highlanders - from June 1942 till January 1944. I was with C Company,
    14 Platoon, of the Glens, and we had a platoon Sgt. named Sacco Hummell,
    who had a voice that only his mother could love, and once heard would never
    be forgotten. He was a great guy. Late on the night of August 10, 1944, we
    were notified that we would be relieved soon and would be withdrawing back
    to where we had started the previous day. It was quite dark when our relief
    arrived on the scene and of course we could only tell that some bodies had
    appeared by the shuffling and mumbling that we could hear from these new
    arrivals. Needless to say we were delighted that we were getting out of that
    hell hole and didn't really care who our relief was, just as long as they
    relieved us!! Well, can you imagine my surprise when the group relieving
    our platoon approached and I immediately recognized the voice of good old
    Sacco directing his men to their respective locations. Yes, we were relieved
    in that dark night on Hill 195, during a lull in the shelling by 14 platoon
    of the Glens. During the brief period in which they took over our trenches
    I was able to contact three or four other old comrades from my former outfit-
    in the middle of the night and in the middle of the war. A memorable experience."


    "We moved back several miles that night to reorganize, and found ourselves
    about two hundred yards in front of a battery of medium artillery. It was
    not a very quiet place to be. They were firing right over our heads and the
    enemy were firing back trying to knock them out. One enemy shell hit what
    must have been a powder supply for one of the guns (55's) and I can still
    see one of the Artillery types running across the field with his clothes
    on fire. Would you believe that we thought that it was funny at the time
    and laughed at the poor guy's misfortune?? We stayed there for a couple more
    days and prepared for what became known as Operation Totalize."
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    http://brisbois.halisp.net/index8.htm

    From that site.

    Adam Sherrif Scott's painting of the Canadian Grenadier Guards 22nd Armoured.
    Battle for Hill 195 on 10 August, 1944.
    It is my understanding from reliable sources that the soldier in the fox hole beside the soldier with the outstretched arms is my father Gdsm. Kenneth Brisbois D26851. He and his crew were knocked out during the battle and rejoined later in another tank
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Kieran Bridge

    Kieran Bridge Junior Member

    I believe a Canadian production company is currently making a film of this action.
    Found this on the Web.
    In early November 2004 he (Rob Child) was signed by veteran Canadian producer Dick Nielsen
    to direct and co-produce Nielsen's forthcoming Canadian theatrical release,
    Hill 195. The project, which has the support of the Canadian government,
    begins filming in Southern Ontario in 2006. Hill 195 is a multi-million dollar
    World War II era action-feature, which showcases the heroic actions of a
    single Canadian regiment just weeks after D-Day

    I contacted Rob Child and he advised that the film production is not going ahead.

    I suggested a film showing both sides' perspective on the Battle of the Falaise Gap, but did not hear back from him.

    Kieran
     
  8. Trevster

    Trevster Junior Member

    Very interesting Owen, thank-you.
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Cheers for the update Kieran,
    Shame that they're not going to make the film. :(
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This is how the battle is described in the ASH of C history.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    When I started thread I didn't have a scanner, now I have I may as redo the memorial plaque so it is easier to read.
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36042&d=1284065508
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Medic7922

    Medic7922 Senior Member

    I noted in the War Diary the "Lincoln & Welland Regiment" I have never heard of them I have tried to Google but no luck, I am only guessing could this be a Canadian Regiment.
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I noted in the War Diary the "Lincoln & Welland Regiment" I have never heard of them I have tried to Google but no luck, I am only guessing could this be a Canadian Regiment.
    Yes, indeed they are.
    Orbat of 4th Cdn Armd Div here.

    4th Canadian (Armoured) Division - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There is a book called The Lincs by Geoffrey Hayes that outlines their war.
    The Lincs: A History of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment at War, by Geoffrey Hayes
    [​IMG]
     
  15. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Medic7922
    You might enjoy this book..."Because We Are Canadians, a Battlefield Memoir" writen by Charles D. Kipp. Sgt Kipp was with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment from Normandy through to Germany. Wounded 9 times.
    ISBN 1-55054-955-3
     
  16. Dog green 1

    Dog green 1 Member

    Very interesting topic. Many thanks for posting.
     
  17. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Noted military author and historian Lieutenant Colonel JA English has called the battle at HILL 195 the most impressive single action executed in OPERATION TOTALIZE

    Innovative and successful actions like that of the Argyll's don't seem to merit much historical attention. Other than the quote from JA English, I've seen no other examination or assessment of those events.
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Sucessful actions don't make the headlines like failures & defeats.
    Excellent action, glad I went there & correspond with someone who was there back in '44.
     
  19. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Well said Owen, couldn't agree more. I am sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of outstanding actions, both large and small, perhaps individual actions even that very few people have ever heard of for some reason or another.
    In many cases the lack of an Officer present was, I believe, reason enough for what were outstanding acts of gallantry not to be recognised. See the few occasions where an 'enemy' Officer cited individual acts for awards. I know this happened several times for Allied awards but did an Allied Officer ever cite an enemy serviceman for an award?

    Mike
     
  20. Art Bridge

    Art Bridge WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Taken from Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada website.http://www.ashofc.ca/ASHFRAME.htm

    We visited this area in October 2005.


    HILL 195 is the highest piece of ground on the road from CAEN to FALAISE. In the summer of 1944, the Canadian Army in France was advancing down this road as part of OPERATION TOTALIZE. Naturally, HILL 195 was identified as vital ground and an attack was organized to take it.
    HILL 195 - THE ARGYLL ATTACK
    By 10 August 1944, the Argylls were in the village of LANGANNERIE just a few kilometres north of HILL 195. The order came down from brigade HQ that the Argylls were to take the hill that night. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Stewart, chose an unorthodox plan. Following a well-reconnoitred route, the battalion would set off single file through the dark, slip through German lines and silently occupy the hill before the Germans knew they were there.
    The Argylls crossed the start line at 0001 hours (12:01 am) on 11 August 1944 and were on HILL 195 by 0430 hours (4:30 am) following a circuitous route to the east and northeast of the hill. Most of the surprised German garrison of about 50 were taken prisoner without a shot being fired. The hill was taken without a single Canadian casualty. "C" and "D" companies dug in on the forward slope; "A" and "B" companies dug in on the reverse slope.
    In the half-hour of darkness before dawn, the Argylls worked madly (assisted by their German prisoners) to consolidate their position. It was soon discovered that one foot down in the soil was an impenetrable layer of chalk. The Argylls were to hold the hill from some very shallow trenches. Vehicles towing 6 pounder and 17 pounder antitank guns made their way through the dark to link up and support the unit before first light.
    At first light, the Germans (surrounding HILL 195 on three sides) reacted immediately. Soon heavy mortar fire was falling on the Argylls. A German counter attack on the "A" Company position failed and 27 German prisoners were taken.
    The tanks of The 22nd Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Canadian Grenadier Guards) were supposed to pass through the Argylls and exploit the breach in the German lines. The ferocity of the German counter attacks stopped these efforts cold. At noon, the tanks of The 21st Canadian Armoured Regiment (The Governor Generals Foot Guards) were sent forward to assist in the battle and would remain in the fight for the remainder of the day.
    In the afternoon, heavy artillery and air support was made available to the Argylls and the Germans suffered many casualties as a result. The last German counter attack was beaten off at 1930 hours (7:30 PM). At 2100 hours (9:00 PM), the Argylls were relieved by The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. The Argylls had lost seven killed and 24 wounded holding the hill.
    Noted military author and historian Lieutenant Colonel JA English has called the battle at HILL 195 the most impressive single action executed in OPERATION TOTALIZE.
    Hello Moose;
    I just found this item, and I remember it well!!!
    Art Bridge,ASHCAN
     

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