VERITABLE 1945: 3rd Canadian Division in Op Veritable

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by stolpi, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The best I can do

    The bombardment continued to rage, as the Regiment left Nimegue and proceeded towards a brick factory designated as the assembly area. Along a dike, the only route not flooded, it took 14 hours to reach this place and was found to be half full of bricks. The shelters were rapidly improved but as the level of water rose it was necessary to evacuate some of them.

    They all waited impatiently for H hour, but to take advantage of nightfall it was delayed until 20:00. The assault craft in sufficient numbers to transport 2 companies at a time, were at the makeshift quays. Companies 'A' and 'D' were the first to embark, their objectives were to seize the village of Leuth and a dike leading to a fortification baptised 'Little Torbruk'. The men of the 'Support' company became boatmen and under the skilful direction of Lt E Carrier, the flotilla manoeuvred through bushes, houses, fences and the fire of 200mm [don't quite understand this], which fortunately fired over the boats [them]. There was however an annoying exception: one of the boats was hit by shrapnel, in which was Capt L Larose, second in command of 'A' company, Sargent Major G Nadeau, and soldiers L Provencal, J Roy, M Boucher et V Blondin. The group went hurriedly towards a half submerged house, but at the moment the men caught the second floor, the boat sank. It will be an amusing story to tell the children that it was the imposing stature of Capt Larose that attracted the enemy fire! The operation was done under torrential rain and [frost] pushed by a strong easterly wind. The darkness was total, so we needed to resort to powerful projectors and the light from which reflected on the clouds creating 'artificial moonlight' that weakly lit the ground.

    After 3 hours the assault companies had reached their objectives, except 'Little Torbruk', which they decided to ignore for the moment, knowing that once the troops had established themselves in Leuth, the enemy would abandon their little mini Gibraltar; in fact the enemy retired earlier that morning.

    Before dawn companies 'B' and 'C' intervened and crossed the village of Leuth. But unfortunately for them, the Germans having blown up the other dikes, the water rose by more than 1 metre, which prevented them from reaching their objectives. Nevertheless they succeeded in occupying advanced enough positions to allow the Queens Own Rifles, mounted in Buffaloes to go and assault Millingen. Towards midday the first stage of operation Veritable was finished. The Regiment rejoiced in having accomplished its mission with minimal losses.

    The day of the 9th February was however less happy. The enemy made numerous other breeches in the dikes, inundating the positions held by the Battalion. By the end of the day the troops found refuge on the first floors of empty houses, then finally in the attics, as the water continued to rise at a rate of 20 centimetres per hour. In some place they needed to take to the roof. Fortunately about 10:00 in the morning the flooding stabilised. They started to dream of evacuating these places. This was only to be made possible with the help of Buffaloes. And so at about 18:00 the regiment returned to Nimegue, occupying the same quarters, as prior to their departure, until the 18th February

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  2. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    February 9th, 1945

    Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

    Feb 9 1945 – Assembly Area Factory Square 755644

    Reveille – Fair and Mild.

    Water has receded slightly during the night.

    0845 “A” Coy moves up to Embarkation Area MR 754627, after NSR have embarked. Coy is embarked by 1000 hrs, and capture five prisoners before reaching start line.

    0900 “C” Coy prepare for embarkations, debark at 1210 hrs, and cross S.L. In direction of MILLIGEN. “C” Coy will approach MILLIGEN from North Side, owing to change of plan by Col S.M. Lett. Coy arrives northern outskirts of MILLIGEN after meeting no opposition and taking ten prisoners.

    1430 “A” Coy arrives in MILLIGEN meeting no opposition, and contacts “C” Coy. “B” Coy at objective in MILLIGEN at 1530 hrs, meets no opposition, captures one PW and two civilians. Coy assembles in area ship yards in MILLIGEN and takes up defence role. “D” Coy house clearing according to plan.

    • Minefield trace Appx 13
    • Mortar fire plan Appx 14
    • Admin orders “Veritable” Appx 15
    • RCA task table & Amendments Appx 16
    • Arty trace Appx 17
    • Illumination areas in Sp 7&8 Cdn Inf Bdes Appx 18
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Fragment from the Regt History of the Queens Own Rifles of Canada:

    QOR 1 Veritable.jpg QOR 2 Veritable.jpg
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  4. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    Great Then and Now picture, after bicycle tour almost three years ago, we found the image from that time.
    Made during a Battlefield Tour organized by Ralph Gault, in October 1945 "Tour along the battlefields, back to Juno Beach"
    40 Canadian of the "Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders" Cornwall, Ontario, Canada and 1 Dutch,
    Gerard Niestadt a at that time, famous photographer. He was begged Captain Gault to join them. Gault made a deal with him, if he could use his Leica he can join.

    Thanks to Wigger
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    New (Dutch) book:

    Last weekend local historian Hans van der Wiel, of the local history circle 'De Duffelt', presented his new book (184 pp.) on the Canadian operations in the river-flats during Nov 44 - Feb 45, entitled "Water als Wapen, de Ooijpolder en Duffelt" (or: "Water as a Weapon, the Ooijpolder and Duffelt"). The author, who has a wealth of local knowledge, delves into the military operations of the Canadians during the winter of 44/45 and the role of the inundations in the Canadian assault during Op Veritable.

    Particularly interesting are the water management data he uses for this work, which give a good insight in the 'ups and downs' of the water level in the Waal River during that last winter of the war and demonstrate the relative value of water as a weapon. For example, when the Germans breached the Waaldijk on 21 December 1944 near Erlecom they were too late, the water level in the Waal River, which peaked at record levels in early December, had receded and did not rise again until the first week of February 45. All that time the Canadian occupied Erlecomse and Ooijpolder remained dry. From February 4th onwards a mighty spill of water from the swollen Waal started to flow through the breaches into the low lying area held by the Canadians. By the start of Veritable the entire area west of the Querdamm and Duffeltdijk was submerged ... then the lock gate at the southern end of the Querdamm broke.

    As usual, the water acted as a two-edged sword; it seriously hampered the Canadian advance, but it also isolated the German defenders in the flat countryside and rendered their trenches and AT-ditches useless.

    Recommended to anyone with interest in the Rhineland Battle ... and another book that quotes the WW2Talk site ;)

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
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  7. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Hans took some artistic license with the water colour. Looks more like a Caribbean beach than the muddy variety the Canadians encountered. :)
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  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  9. Pen and Dagger

    Pen and Dagger Junior Member

    very well researched threat! Thanks...Erik

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