Operation Veritable +65 years

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Owen, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  2. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    The Artillery Plan from the Regt Diaries

    OPERATION, “VERITABLE” would commence on the morning of the 8th February, at 05.00hrs.
    Almost certainly the biggest artillery operation of WW2 the scale of artillery engagement for the XXX Corps assault to clear the great REICHWALD FOREST, the breaking of the SIEGFRIED LINE and clearing the HOCHWALD FOREST defences consisted of; 7Divisional Artilleries, 5 AGRA’s, the 2nd Can, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th British, plus elements of 2 Anti-Aircraft Brigades used in a ground role, and the 1st Can Rocket Unit.
    Starting at 05.00hrs there would be a 5 hour period of Artillery engagement. This would include a deceptive smoke screen along the entire front, from 07.30hrs until 07.40hrs, then for the next 10 minutes there would be a complete lull across the whole front. All guns would be silent; but at 07.50hrs the whole Artillery preparation would open fire with renewed fury.
    In addition to this gigantic artillery plan, a “Pepperpot” was to absolutely soak the enemy’s front line as well as the flanks of the attack with fire from small arms, Mortars, Light Anti-Aircraft, and Tank-Gun fire.
    A total of 938 Field, Medium, Heavy and Super-Heavy guns would be deployed, plus 96 Heavy Anti-Aircraft guns used for ground fire. In the pre H Hour programme these guns would fire 2,666 tons of shells.
    The enemy’s 72 guns of Field and Medium calibre, which could be brought to bear on the Allied Front, would give an Allied superiority of approximately 14 to 1.
    On D Day 108 sorties would be flown by artillery reconnaissance and air observation aircraft.
    Including reserves, 3,401 tanks would be used for the operation, with a main armament total of 276,750 rounds of ammunition.

    The Corps Fire Plan as follows:

    24 Field Regiments 576

    20 Medium Regiments 320

    3 H.A.A Regiments 72

    19 Heavy Batteries 76

    I Super Heavy Regiment 6

    Total: 1050

    In addition were:

    12 Thirty-two barrel projections of 1st Canadian Rocket Unit.

    05.00 - - arty preparation starts

    07.30 - 07.40 - smoke screen starts

    07.40 - 07.50 - complete silence including Pepper-Pot

    07.50 - - arty fire recommences

    09.15 - - smoke screen N.W edge REICHSWALD starts

    09.20 - - intense CB as a result of info from smoke screen

    09.20 - - opening line of barrage (mixed HE and smoke)

    10.00 - - complete barrage starts

    10.30 - - H Hour and first lift
    Owen likes this.
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Owen -
    according to my history books - this battle was pushed back owing to the Battle of the Bulge taking many British Divs away from Veritable- might have made a difference had it gone ahead on schedule !
  4. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Original Phase 1 Fire Plan and Codes.

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Kleve had been 'taken out' on the night of 7th/8th Feb by 285 Lancasters led in by 10 Mosquito Pathfinders dropping 1384 tons of bombs on it.


    The German town of Kleve, photographed from a low-flying Auster aircraft, a few days after the major Bomber Command raid on 7-8 February 1945, carried out as a prelude to Operation 'Veritable', the British and Canadian advance across the Rhine.

    The devastated town of Kleve, Germany, photographed from an Auster AOP aircraft, after capture. The wrecked railway station and yards lie in the foreground. The fortified town was heavily bombed by 285 Avro Lancasters of No. 1 Group, led by 10 De Havilland Mosquitos of No.8 Group on the night of 7/8 February 1944, and captured the following day by troops of the Canadian 1st Army.
  6. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Veritable 5th Dec 44

    At two stormy meetings between Montgomery, Eisenhower and the U.S Commanders, which saw Montgomery take over control of the U.S Ninth Army, on the 5th December at MAASTRICHT they agreed the plan for the resolution of the situation, by a major operation for British Forces to cross the River Maas, and capture the whole of the area up to the RHINE bridgehead by mid December, OPERATION “VERITABLE” would be the British assault, followed two days later by OPERATION “GRENADE” for the Americans.
    As plans moved ahead for the operations, monitoring of German wireless transmitions reviled the movement of German troops and armour in the area, east of the ARDENNES FOREST, this was thought to have little significance by the Allied Command at the time, as they assumed the Germans could only muster enough strength for a few localised counter attacks and no major offensive could come through the ARDENNES region at this time, because of the atrocious weather conditions.
  7. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    I remember the interview with Horrocks in World at War where he talked about the bombing of Cleve. He said that when he was asked if he wanted Cleve bombed, afterwards he felt like a murderer.

    I went to that part of the world some years ago on a civic visit to Duisburg, our hosts took us on a day trip out to the Cleve, Goch, Kevelaer region. From what I can remember its very flat and low lying.
  8. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Veritable - Original Phase 2&3 Fire Plan and Codes.

  9. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    My Father (and many other vets) always said that the "Bloody Reichswald" was some of the bloodiest and worst fighting they were ever involved in, from Africa to Germany. My Father was in D Company which led 5th Camerons in on 9th February. The fighting was so severe that 5th Cams ran out of ammunition more than once and the ensuing Hand to hand fighting was at its bloodiest, killing enemy at close quarters with trenching tools.

    Attached description of the Forest from 5th Cams regimental History.

    Attached Files:

    stolpi and Owen like this.
  10. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    3 Maps of the area might be of interest.

    Attached Files:

  11. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    How ironic.

    Just been converting Map Refs from 102 LAA War Diaries and the movements of 337 Battery who used the Land Mattress. Will try and post them on here if I can.
  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    The Canadian's Report into Operation Veritable published in 1947. It is a downloadable pdf file.

    DHH - CMHQ Report Details
  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Movements during Operation Veritable of of 337 Battery, 102 LAA Regt, RA who were attached to 1st Canadian Rocket Bty

    08/02/1945 - South East of Nijmegan
    10/02/1945 - East of Nijmegan
    14/02/1945 - Reichswald Forest
    15/02/1945 - Forest of Kleve
    18/02/1945 - Reichswald
    18/02/1945 - Target Goch
    19/02/1945 - Reichswald Forest
    21/02/1945 - South East of Maasbree
    25/02/1945 - West of Louisendorf
    27/02/1945 - Between Louisendorf & Kappeln
    27/02/1945 - North East of Keppeln
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This map is from Essame's 43rd Wessex Div history, showing the situation at 23.59 on 10th February 1945.

  15. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Sitrep 10th Feb.

    Progress had been slower today due to extremely bad road conditions more than enemy activity. Further recces were made for gun areas in the vicinity of NUTTERDEN but again no move could be made as they were unable to get space on the roads. By night the 3rd Can Inf Div had cleared most of the area north of the railway track to the RHINE. 43rd Div had passed through the 15th (S) Div and were fighting in CLEVE. The 6th Guards Tank Brigade had by-passed CLEVE and were heading for EMMERICH. 51st Div were on the outskirts of GENNEP and were held up by flood conditions.
  16. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Veritable - RA Order of Battle XXX Corps 2/2/45 (1)

  17. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    Veritable RA (2)

  18. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Have made a numer of walks in the Reichswald, and at some places there is still evidence of slittrenches
  19. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Some pics etc from this publication, published by the REs in Germany in 1946:


  20. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

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