- Operation Date
- 11-13 April 1945
40 ROYAL MARINE COMMANDO
Ref Map :- ITALY 1:50,000 (Sheet 89 IV ALPHONSINE)
Operation 'Impact' was carried out by 169 In Bde with tk and arty spt. The op commenced on the night of 10 Apr 45. 40 RM Cdo were to move under cover of darkness along the ARGINE running from UMANA Pump House 494556 to MENATE Pumping Station 423607 - after securing these objectives to exploit along rd STR DELLA PIOPPA running from br at 421596 and thence to Bde right flank protection.
2. Tps of 2/5, 2/6 and 2/7 Queens were to move up in first light in fantails - 2/5 on the R. to take over the br thence to secure MENATE 4158 to arrive at the br approx 0830 hours 11 Apr 45. 2/6 on L. to assault and capture LONGERSTRINO 4157. 2/7 as Bde res.
3. The blow in the ARGINE at 455592 and the mouth of the dyke 426604 were to be crossed in 6-men rubber asslt boats which were to be carried by the leading Tp. It was expected to find the blow at 455592 mined. Tg was carried out the day and night previous to the op in the ferrying of tps in rubber dinghies across a dyke - this was found to be a slow process, but apart from one or two punctures reasonably satisfactory.
TPS UNDER COMD.
1 Sec Fd Coy R.E's
2 'Little Johns'.PLAN.
5. In the forming of the plan 4 main pts had to be considered:-
(a) Time to ferry unit across the blow and mouth of the dyke.
(b) Time to lift any minefields.
(c) Time to be in posn for attack.
(d) Time for the passage of 'Little Johns'.
(e) Time for the passage of Hy Wpns.
(2) Minefields - No accurate inf was rcd except from Partisan sources who said they thought the ARGINE was mined.
(3) L of C - SAA, rations and batteries. If Bde were late only L of C was ARGINE so it was decided to tow stormboat which was SAA and rations.
(4) Importance of Br and plan to secure and hold it.THE OPERATION.
6. 40 RM Cdo moved up to the assembly area at 525528 at 1630 hrs, 10 Apr 45 where we married up with attached tps at 1900 hrs. Movement rcvd from the assembly area to the FUP at the UMANA Pump House was not allowed in daylight as the route was under observation - the route being one way a great number of vehs were not allowed, so the tps moved from the Assembly Area to FUP by march route, and stores, hy wpns, 'Little Johns' and boats were moved up in vehicles under the cover of darkness. The Cdo was formed up at Assembly area in the correct order of march and was then ferried across the RENO - this was not expected and took considerable time; the unit being ferried over 30 men at a time - however, the unit was formed up again on the far bank of the RENO and proceeded to the FUP arriving at 2115 hrs and moved to a posn 500 yds along tje ARGINE. The loading store truck became bogged and no boats had arrived; however six asslt boats were included in the stores. After a certain amount of towing pulling and pushing vehs began to trickle through - Q Tp had been warned that they may be required to paddle asslt boats if rubber boats did not arrive. The asslt boats were rigged and placed in the water - two leaked badly and another not quite so badly. Stores and 'Little Johns' were loaded on to Stormboats. Time was getting on and it was decided to push on leaving Hy Wpns Tp to follow up. Stormboats carrying 'Little Johns' could not manouvre in the shallow water and were left behind. The Cdo commenced to move forward at 2330 hrs - Order of March :-
R.E's covered by 3 Bren Guns of "Y" Tp who were advance guard were to assist in the clearing of mines.
"P" Tp with task of securing br.
"X" Tp with task of securing Pumping Station.
"A" Tp res.
Main HQ (incl RAP and stores in Stormboats).
"Q" Tp as boat party.
Owing to the late start the march became a speed march. RAF marker flares dropped for the bombing of LONGERSTRINO and MENATE became an embarrassment as the Cdo moved fwd. The blow was reached at 0130 hrs. Sappers and "y" Tp tested depth and found it too deep and muddy to wade. "y" Tp commended to ferry and were landed 50 yds past the blow. At this juncture leading elements hit the trip wire of a minefield causing 9 casualties (2 officers, 6 Mnes and 1 RE). A lane was made in the minefield and at 0300 hrs, "Y", "P", "X" and Tac HQ passed through and force marched to the end of the ARGINE leaving Main HQ, "A" and "Q" Tps to follow up. Boats were left well behind and "P" Tp, covered by "Y" Tp, pushed through and over the dyke to their objective.
7. About this time the Cdo became subject to hy and accurate 88 mm, 75 mm, 81 mm mortar, spandau and sniper fire. Fire was brought down on enemy posts by the F00s.
8. "P" Tp went on to their objective under hy arty, spandau and sniper fire.
9. Further attempts were made by "X" Tp to cross the dyke but were held by accurate crossed spandau and sniper fire.
10. "P" Tp were desperately short of ammunition and were right on their objective when an enemy SP gun crossed the br followed by infantry. The SP Gun moved to the Pumping Stn. "X" were ordered to attack under cover of a RAF fighter/bomber stonk this they did, wading the dyke, assaulting the Pumping Stn taking 33 PW. "X" Tp were ordered to move up to the br. "Q Tp taking over the Pumping Stn. "X" Tp captured the SP Gun intact which was used with some effect against the enemy.
11. Fantails with the 2/5 Queens aboard began to arrive at the br and were shot into their posns by "A" Tp and the remnants of "P" and "Y" Tps. A further 14 PWs were taken by "X" Tp. "X" Tp were still fresh with few casualties and were moved to take up their posn as Bde Rt Flank Protection. "A" Tp were moved up with a counter-attack role.
12. The Cdo then went into the role of holding br and Pumping Stn and patrolling to 2/5 Queens on the left - contact was made at 04.00 hrs 12 Apr 45.
13. At 1600 hrs, 12 Apr 45, "A","X" and "P/Y" Tps were moved to MENATE Area with task of holding MENATE Br at 417586 and original br 421596. "Q" Tp were in their original posn holding the Pumping Stn.
14. At 1600 hours 13 Apr 45, twenty-four ton TCV's arrived and said that they were to be used to return 40 RM Cdo to RAVENNA. This was checked with 169 Inf Bde and the unit moved out of the area at 1945 hrs arriving PORTO CORSINI 0230 hrs 14 Apr 45.
|KILLED||3 (incl 1 Tp Comd)||2||2||8||16|
|WOUNDED||4 (incl 3 Tp Comds)||-||3||8||30|
17. Enemy equipment captured:-
2 Semovente 75 SP Guns
2 Enemy Asslt River Craft
Quantities of small arms and SAA.
Tps Battle Reports.
Codes and Places
Lieut Colonel, R.M.
Cdg 40 R.M. Commando
|110530B||Sitrep first light. Going to asslt now. Challenged by sentry at STROUD. Otherwise NTR.|
|110915B||At 0910 hrs tk with enemy tps arrived at STRANGE taking approx 15 our men PW.|
|111000B||STROUD captured 0945 hrs but unable to reach STRANGE which still intact.|
|111615B||Siterep 1600 hrs. Strong opposition sniping and mortars delayed capture of STROUD until 0945 hrs. 33 PW. STRANGE reached 0830 hrs after hy casualties from mortaring and sniping but enemy tk and inf captured our tps 0900 hrs. Own casualties approx 90 Bn Queens crossed STRANGE 1030 hrs. Hy shelling and mortaring areas STEWARD STRANGE SHOWELL intermittent all day. Now exploiting TAYLOR occupying STROUD. Tonights intentions -----.|
|120630B||Sitrep first light. STRANGE shelled 1700-1930 hrs and A tk gun fired on ARGINE DURANA from 405590 1930-2002 hrs. 10 cas suffered on minefields on TAYLOR last night. Patrol contacted QUEENS approx 410597 0400 hrs. German tk fully serviceable captured yesterday STROUD now receiving German sigs on WT set. Report follows.|
|121000B||Tk reported in first light sitrep is SEMOVENTE 75/34. Enemy handset found STROUD 1000 hrs has following words on cover Quote Leopold PBH. Gesangwerein I 9. Patriarch N A Diogenes 2 N A Unquote.|
I.O. 40 R.M. Commando
|SHIPTON||X rds and canal junc||416586|
|SHOWELL||rd and track juncs||43155895|
|STEWARD||bend in rd||423599|
|STRANGE||xing rd and canal||421595|
|TAYLOR||Strada dell PIOPPA||395598|
Battle Report of "A" Troop
BATTLE REPORT OF "A" TROOP
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
|Set off from SAN ALBERTO||2000 hrs|
|Arrived FUP||2300 hrs|
|Arrived at the first gap in the dyke||0145 hrs|
|Tp arrived behind Tac HQ||0500 hrs|
|Throughout the forenoon the Tp was under Spandau fire, airburst, Mortar, shellfire - from SP or arty, snipers.|
|Moved up to second gap in dyke||1400 hrs|
|Complete Tp was across the gap by||1445 hrs|
|Tp arrived at STRANGE at||1615 hrs|
|Arrived at "X" Tp posn approx 250 yds from "Cdo" br||1700 hrs|
|Capts Belbin and Pook to HQ||1945 hrs|
|Cries for help were heard||2115 hrs|
|Capts Belbin and Pook were found wounded in mined area||2215 hrs|
|Stretcher parties were working until||0430 hrs|
|Arrived back in TAYLOR at||0450 hrs|
|Laid up on bank till||1600 hrs|
|Arrived CASA BANZI, MENATE area||1730 hrs|
15 Apr 45
Battle Report of "P" Troop
Battle Report of "P" Troop.
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
At 0500 hours the advance halted and a runner reported that "Y" troop had been challenged approaching the river. Major Porter called Lieut Pegrum and myself forward and impressed on us how important it was that the river be crossed. "Y" Tp would provide covering fire whilst "P" Tp with the attached "Q" Tp patrol would storm the river wading across. Lieut Pegrum and myself returned to our Secs. No 4 Sec was on the lake side of the dyke and to join with Major Porter, it was necessary to cross over. Rifle and MG fire was by this time coming down the dyke.
Major Porter, Lieut Wedgewood with 3 Sec and Tp HQ proceeded down the benk towards the bridge, at the "blow" Lt Wedgewood attempted to cross the river, but found it was too deep.
The blow was then crossed and using the river bank as line of approach to the bridge, advanced. It was now becoming quite light.
Twelve Germans were seen crossing the bridge from the South side making for the buildings. Bren and rifle fire was brought to bear and casualties inflicted. The Germans in the Farm house North of the river returned fire. The advance towards the bridge continued using the river bark as cover. Bren Gps were detailed off to cover the building North of the river, riflemen firing on the North side of the bridge to stop any Germans from blowing it. Lt Wedgewood was wounded but carried on. Further fire came from the buildings on the south side of the bank into the rear of the SpGps. The Aslt Gp under L/Cpl Vickers was to carry the bridge. Major Porter and Lt Wedgewood stayed with the Sp Gp endeavouring to keep the enemy in both buildings down. Lt Wedgewood, although wounded again, continued firing his pistol. One by one the Sp Cp in an exposed position from the rear was picked off. Also Sgt Hill's party 20 yards from the "blow" received casualties. The bank was completely covered by fire from the posns South of the bridge and the farm buildings, and any movement was fatal. The "blow" itself was covered with MG fire. The Aslt party proceeded to the Assaulting position. On a given word they began to assault. Small arms fire from the West side of the bridge wounded L/Cpl Vickers. A message was shouted back that it was impossible to cross the bridge which afforded little or no cover. About this time Major Porter was killed and shortly afterwards Lieut Wedgewood was shot through the head, after being wounded three times. Th Germans began to counter-attack to blow the bridge, the demolition wires having apparently been cut with Bren fire from Mne Punton who was firing into the bridge. What remained of the men kept firing on to the bridge until there was no ammunition left. Cl/Sgt Harvey attempted to withdraw, but enemy fire made it impossible and he too with Sgt Scott were killed. The remaining men of the Tp were picked off by small arms fire and Mnes Harwood and Mullins were taken prisoner. The Germans informed them that several Mnes had already been taken prisoners. About this time "Fantails" appeared and the Germans panicked. Harwood and Mullins picked up rifles and demanded their surrender. One German attempted to use a MG but was prevented from doing so.
No 4 Sec began moving over the dyke leaving the West side and began to move forward to the river bank to join Major Porter. "Y" Tp Mnes said that the remainder of "P" Tp had dashed down the bank towards the bridge.
It was becoming light and about this time heavy shelling commenced. A direct hit on the rear of the Sec resulted in the death of Cpl Woodall and L/Cpl Sutcliffe and wounding two other Mnes. Cpl Corcoran and Mne Moody were sniped and I ordered the sec to dig in as it was impossible to move. Fire was now coming down from the direction of the bridge and the slightest movement brought down accurate fire. In the lulls there was a certain amount of duelling took place on the bank with grenades and 2" Mortar. Two more Mnes were wounded by Small arms fire.
Later in the morning a tank approached the Pumping Station and disappeared in the buildings.
At a time not known, aircraft attacked the house and "Y" Tp began to withdraw. I ordered 4 Sec to do the same and what remained of the sec withdrew behind the dyke.
Later in the morning Mnes Burrows, Harwood and Millins returned from Tp HQ and No 3 Sec.
In the afternoon during the mortaring of the dyke, Mnes Day and Millins were wounded and evacuated.
W.W.Sandford, Lieut R.M.
Battle Report of "Q" Troop
Battle Report of "Q" Troop.
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
At 2000 hours 10 Apr 45, Two stand patrols of 1 officer and 14 ORs and 1 Sgt and 7 Mnes moved with P Tp from the forming up area at 494556. Remainder of Tp moved off from forming up area at 494556. Patrols arrived at Rice Factory at 2115 hours. Remainder of Tp, the boating party arrived at Rice Factory at 2130 hours.
Boating party moved off in the Aslt boats alongside of the dyke arriving at the gap at approx 0215 hours, when "Y" Tp was ferried across immediately to cover the advance of the remainder of the Cdo. Boating party remained at the gap until S and A Tps came up to be ferried across.
By 0400 hours the complete unit was across the gap and boating party proceeded up to carry out its intention of ferrying troops across the canal.
At 0520 hours the battle had commenced before the boating party could reach the canal, due to mud and weed in the lake. Boating party came under shell fire at 435598 and took cover on seaward side of the dyke, where message was received that canal could be negotiated without assistance of the boats.
The Boating party assumed role of being in reserve at 0545 hours and took up defensive posn at 433597. At 1330 hours the party received orders to come up to join Tp HQ and the patrols at 426603 and the Tp as a whole took up defensive posns on seward side of the main dyke 100 yards North of Tac HQ.
Patrols moved off from left side of dyke to right side at 0530 hours and were heavily shelled and sniped sustaining 7 casualties. They withdrew under intermittent shell fire and accurate SA fire at 0545 hours, to Tac HQ sustaining a further 6 casualties.
At 1730 hours Q Tp, as a whole occupied the Power House which had been cleared of the enemy before by X Tp, established standing patrols on the dyke at 424608 and at the head of the rd at 423607 and protected the right flank. This was completed by 1830 hours.
At 1815 hours 150 civilians arrived to take shelter in Power station. At 1915 hours the Standing patrols were withdrawn.
At 1930 hours Q Tp withdrew with the Cdo to rest area.
13 Apr 45
Battle Report of "X" Troop
Battle Report of X Tp.
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
On the evening of 10 Apr, 'X' Tp moved into the forming up area with a strength of 2 officers, 1 WO, 4 Sgts, 6 Cpls and 40 Mnes.
'X' Tp moved up the dyke in the rear of a section of 'Q' Tp attached to 'P' Tp.
On reaching area 426604 at 0630 hours the Tp came under heavy fire and went to ground on the lake side of the dyke. Movement was made almost impossible by two snipers, one in the house at 423607 and the other in house at 421598. The sniper in the house at 423607 was engaged with Bren fire with ineffective results.
At approx 0930 hours four Spitfires bombed and machine gunned the area of the house and pumping station at 423607. Under cover of this the Tp crossed the canal at 425604 with the aid of toggle ropes. Capt Belbin crossed first with the rope and secured it to the far bank. The canal was about 3 ft deep and the bottom was thick mud which made the crossing difficult.
Assault parties immediately moved up the dyke and captured the objective at approx 1000 hours. 3 officers and 16 ORs were taken prisoner. 1 German was seen to retreat northwards up the dyke.
Enemy documents, 1 SP gun Italian type and quantity of small arms were captured.
The position came under sporadic small arms fire from house at 421596. At 1146 hours Own troops were soon in area. A patrol of 1 NCO and 4 Mnes was sent off at 1200 hours to contact the troops in the houses. On arrival the patrol found the house in enemy hands, but being surprised from the flank, the Germans surrendered. Fourteen prisoners were taken. The area came under heavy shell fire and the patrol was unable to return.
At 1300 hours approx, on orders from the CO, the troop moved up and exploited road running West from Cdo Bridge.
A platoon of the Queens was already in position at 416597. The Tp dug in around house and road and track junction.
At 1645 hours, a 2 pdr Little John moved up in the area of the house and was knocked out by a SP gun firing from approx 1,000 yards away. This gun opened up again at 1800 hours and hit the house, causing one casualty, Cpl Leyshon, who remained at duty until ordered by the MO to proceed to hospital the next morning.
At 2100 hours on Stand Down, Mne Waylen was hit by burst of TSMG fire from unknown firer.
At approx 2100 hours, message was received on WT from 'Q' Tp that the 2 IC wanted to see Capt Belbin and Capt Pook at 'Q' Tp location straight away. It appears that the party crossed the bridge and turned down track 422596 and set off a mine, on attracting attention and being carried back, one of the stretcher party set of another mine. Csualtios fror this, in the Tp were, Capt Belbin, and Mne Smith R. wounded. Cpl Pitt died of wounds.
Battle Report of "Y" Troop
BATTLE REPORT OF "Y" TROOP.
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
"Y" Tp formed up on the dyke in readiness to precede the Cdo as Advance Guard moved off along the dyke at about 102330 hours.
There were no difficulties at first and the gap in the bank dyke 55592 was reached at approx 110130 hrs. Word was passed back to that effect and a position was taken up to cover the Bren Sec under Lt Atkinson. The gap was too muddy and Capt Thomson asked for the asslt boats to come up. These came up on the right and the Tp started to cross the gap and formed up on the right of the bank.
A few minutes later a mine exploded. This seemed to throw the boat sec into some confusion and Lt Parker went forward to see what had happened. Capt Thomson had been brought back across the gap and was lying on the bank, wounded. He said that he could not go on and that Lt Parker would have to take over the Tp. Lt Parker went forward across the gap and found that the entire Bren Sec including Lt Atkinson wore lying wounded about 50 yds across on the bank. They were told to wait there and the Sappers started prodding a path towards them and the Sick Bay attendant and stretchers were sent for. Tp was re-organised and the front Bren Gunners replaced.
In order to ferry the Cdo over the gap, all the asslt boats were joined in the manner of a pontoon bridge. The sappers were told to advance past the casualties and continue their lane along the top of the bank. This they did but reported heavy mining which they did not think they could cross before daylight. They were ordered to press on as fast as possible and the Sgt Major was told to take the Tp across the gap. This was reported back to the CO. Sappers said that they were meeting heavy mining still and they were told to cut the trip wires only. They did this and after a time came to a small wire fence which they crossed. The Tp was moved on as fast as possible and again this was reported back by runner.
The Tp approached the dyke and the Bren Sec was challenged by an enemy sentry on the far side of the dyke. Sgt Cooper immediately moved his Bren guns into position to cover the Tp. This was investigated and "Y" Tp took up a position on the bank.
Major Porter came up and it was decided that "Y" Tp would move over on the left handside of the dyke and move into posn there. Major Porter said that he would come up on the left. "Y" Tp moved forward and came under fire and rushed the bank and got into posn to cover Major Porter, who came up with one sec. Major Porter and Lt Parker then recced the dyke and it was decided for "P" Tp to try and cross with covering fire from "Y" Tp. Major Porter then moved off to the left. Hy fire was exchanged with the enemy and in turn the Cdo came under hy enemy small arms, mortar and shell fire, sustaining casualties and having the Tp wireless set temporarily knocked out. Grenades were exchanged across the bank and EY air bursts and 2" Mortar fire was put down.
"P" Tp were moving up to the br by fire and mov and there was quite a lot of fire from their direction. They were given Bren gun fire across on to the house on the opposite side of the river to their posn. The enemy were getting into their stride with their snipers by this time and more casualties were sustained, but they could not be reached or evacuated, even with the aid of counter Bren fire and 2" mor smoke, owing to the heaviness and accuracy of the enemy fire. Communication was established and a Medical orderly and Red X flag were asked for. Pte Calder came up and walking along the bank under fire spoke to the German NCO across the bank telling him not to shoot and then started to evacuate casualties. The stretcher party was fired on, Cpl Wickstead being hit in the shoulder. The wireless set was again hit and put out of commission. "P" Tp were out on the left and fire was still hy. The posn was held in order to cover "P Tp.
A little later on a tk moved up to the br and after a short but hy Fire Fight, about 8 to 10 Mnes were taken prisoner. The PLAT had been knocked out so the tk was unable to be engaged. The tk noved to the Power House. The enemy then moved up 2 MG 42s on the Tp's left flank which was completely exposed. It was decided to move over to the opposite side of the bank to obtain more cover.
Sgt Cooper was ordered to get a Bren gun in posn and cover the Tp over the bank. This he did being wounded on the way but carrying on to engage the eremy sniper and spandau at close quarters with his Tommy gun.
The aircraft went into the attack at the same time, The Tp moved to the Right side of the bank - "X" Tp were then moving in to the asslt. "Y" Pp was halted with the intention of giving "X" Tp covering fire, but the CO ordered the Tp back behind his HQ and to dig in and re-organise.
"Y" Tp then became casualty clearing sce and HQ def "P" Tp. A party went to "P" Tp with two boats and after fetching in one load found fire far too heavy to continue.
This posn was occupied until the move back to MENATE.
15 Apr 45
Battle Report of "S" Troop
Battle Report of "S" Troop.
11/12 Apr 45.
11/12 Apr 45.
The Tp moved up to Cdo FUP by march route arriving there at approx 2200 hours. The weapon stores were brought up on a 3 ton lorry.
Difficulty was experienced on getting stores loaded on a stormboat, this delayed the Tp considerably. It was then found that the stormboat could not navigate the channel from the URMANA Pump house to the lake. The boat as lightened and the TP finally moved off from the FUP at 0045 hours. Slight shelling of the area was in progress during this time.
The main body of the Cdo was eventually contacted at about 0230 hours about 500 yards short of the gap in the Floodwall. There was considerable delay here and as "S" Tp was last Tp to be ferried across the gap the rest of the Cdo had pushed a long way ahead.
The Tp continued past the Gap, but at 450594 the boat became stuck in the mud and could not be moved on. By this time it was after First light and the dyke came under heavy shell fire.
We dug in in this posn and at 0730 hours I moved forward to contact the CO at Tac HQ. I arrived at A Tp posn and found that movement beyond was very difficult owing to sniping, I contacted HQ by A Tp 18 set and was instructed to remain in my posn.
At about 1400 hours a party from the Tp was supplied as stretcher bearers. Two other parties were supplied and several casualties were evacuated from the forward posns to the stretcher Jeep at the gap.
At 1100 hours on 12 Apr the Tp moved forward to support "Q" holding the posn at Stroud 423608. MMG taking up posn at 423603 with DF taken along the ARGINE. Mortars at 427602 with similar DF tasks.
O.C. "S" Troop
Ref Map:- ITALY 1:50,000 Sheet 89-IV ALFONSINE.
|101900B||Cdo moved off from Start Pt 525528 by March Route.|
|102100B||" at FUP - UMANA Pump House 494556. Loaded asslt boats.|
|102330B||" moved off along ARGINE DI BURANA 493556; order of march - "Y", "P", "X", Tac HQ, Main HQ, "A", "S" and "Q" loading and manning boats.|
|110130B||Cdo halted by breach in ARGINE 455592, commenced crossing by asslt boat raft, leading Tp with att RE gp encounter minefield, sustaining 9 casualties.|
|110230B||Cdo RE Gp cleared path through minefield, lifting 150 mines.|
|110300B||Cdo passing through cleared path.|
|110530B||Leading Tp reached end of ARGINE 426604, where challenged by enemy at opposite bank of MENATE Canal.|
|110535B||Short fire fight at canal mouth, as "Y" Tp try to cover movement of "X" to cross canal and "P" Tp to br 421596.|
Cdo now lying along both banks of ARGINE from 426604 - 428597 and first light making observation possible.
|110555B||Enemy arty cone is sea area 430605 - air bursts.|
|110600/0620B||Light rifle fire from br and MENATE Pump House 423607.|
|110630B||Fwd tps engage Pump House and FDLs with 2" and Bren.|
|110635/0820B||ARGINE subjected to hy and accurate mortaring from Soth and Cdo suffered hy cas, owing to difficulty of diffing in in water-logged sides of ARGINE. Meanwhile accurate sniping from enemy inflicted many casualties on tps on NORTH side of ARGINE. "X" and "Y" Tps engaging enemy across Canal, as "P" Tp approach br along EAST bank of MENATE Canal.|
|110825B||Own 25 pounder arty engaging enemy posns 42105910 - 41735932.|
|110830/0855B||Again mortared heavily and accurate sniping from Pump House, while enemy in posns around br engage "P" Tp and ARGINE with Spandaus and SA fire.|
|110900B||Enemy SEMOVENTE SP 75 mm Gun followed by enemy inf appeared on br, "P" Tp all appeared to be casualties, and German Medical orderlies seen hurrying across br down to canal bank with many Red X flags. Shortly afterwards about a dozen of "P" Tp and att REs seen being marched away by enemy, their hands above their heads, disappearing over rd at WEST end of br.|
|110920B/0945B||Spitfires bombed and straffed Pump house, while "X" Tp wade through canal holding rope.|
|111000B||"X" Tp attack and capture Pump House, taking 23 PW and the SEMOVENTE 75 intact, finding many civs taking refuge there. Killed approx 5 enemy.|
|111030B||Inf from Bn Queens approaching br, covered by hy Bren, SA and 2" mortar fire from remainder of Cdo still in posn on NORTH bank of ARGINE.|
|111100B||ARGINE and area 4358 shelled from SW.|
|111119/1145B||Enemy 88 mm shelling area 4260.|
|111155/1205B||Enemy 88 mm shelling ARGINE 425595, while own arty firing smoke markers on our posn. Casualties suffered from former only.|
|111220B||Agrine 425595 again shelled.|
|111235/0240B||Br shelled by enemy, some near misses.|
|111330B||"X" Tp exploit along Str PIOPPA for 500 yds to approx 412597, no contact with enemy.|
|111600B||"Q" Tp occupy Pump House area, taking up all-round def posn.|
|Enemy shelling br area and area 4359 without effect.|
|111835B||CO to O Gb with Brig 169 Bde at 427586. "X" Tp join up with "A" Tp.|
|111930B||A Tk gun from 405590 firing low over ARGINE, bursting in VALLE DEL COMMACHIO. Remnant "P", "Y" and "S" Tp dug in in ARGINE.|
|120445B||"A" Tp report that OCs "A" and "X" Tps and 10 ORs mine casualties area 423597 late last night on way to O Gp at Pump House, evac by Army Medical personnel. (it appears from map ref that they had either lost their way , or were searching for "P" Tp cas)|
|120805B||Cdo HQ from ARGINE to Pump House.|
|121600B||"S" Tp manning ARGINE, "Q" Tp def Pump House area, "A", "X", "P/Y" MENATE as Bde flank protection and counter-attack gp.|
Pump House area shelled by 210 mm gun from NW - no cas.
|131500B||Cdo Burial service at ADS cemetery il Belvedere 427586.|
|131800B||Cdo conc for return to RAVENNA.|
|131945B||Cdo left by veh convoy for RAVENNA.|
|140200B||Cdo est PORT CORSINI in billets.|
I.O. 40 R.M. Commando.
Fire Plan at Call For 40 RM Cdo
FIRE PLAN AT CALL FOR 40 ROYAL MARINE COMMANDO.
|SALT||4166 5868||Stonk axis 360 degrees|
|MUSTARD||4235 5998||CONC One Tp.|
|OBOE||Smoke screen at call|
|PICKLE||422 590||Bearing 305 degrees. 4 pts of origin 200 yds|
|ROSE||4258 5952||- 4220 5913|
|PAM||4210 5910||- 4173 5932|
Roll of Honour
- 11th April
Bustard, Leslie Mears
Colby, Gordon David
Coomber, Arthur William George
Corcoran, James Ernest Bertram (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Foster, Ronald Thomas
Hamstead, Edward Oliver
Harvey, William Joseph Alphonso (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Hays, Robert Griffen
Hill, Henry William
Hobbs, Victor Frederick
Little, William Armstrong
McGlashon, Dennis Patrick
Moody, Edwin John (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Mole, Geoffrey E. (attached 40 RM Cdo)
Pain, Leonard James
Pegrum, John David George (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Porter, Norman Maund (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Scott, William James (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Sutcliffe, Kenneth George (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Wedgewood, Paul Neville (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
Woodall, John William (see Battle Report of "P" Troop)
- 12th April
James, George Henry
Pitt, Edward Albert (see Battle Report of "X" Troop)
- Op.Impact (11/12 April)
Military Medal - Hope, William MorganThe above named N.C.O. was told to cover the movement of the Troop from the left to the right-hand side of the bank with a Bren Gun. He moved up the bank and on reaching the top was hit in the body; despite this he continued over the bank and although wounded and under heavy fire, engaged the enemy sniper at a few yards range with his Tommy Gun. He knelt in the open firing one magazine; he then placed another magazine on the gun firing that also and proceeded to reload with a further magazine. He opened fire again killing the enemy sniper, but was hit in the hands, losing two fingers from each hand, Despite this he still attempted to fire his Tommy Gun, but was pulled back into the slit trench under cover after the bank had been crossed.
By his magnificent courage and determination he enabled the Troop to move from one position to the other without casualties, inspiring the men to move confidently under fire.
Military Medal - Kinnear, Ernest ArthurDuring the early stages of the attack the patrol attached to 'P Troop found themselves in exposed positions on the left of the main dyke.
Heavy and sustained S.A. fire was brought to bear on their positions from enemy positions on their left.
S.P. and mortar fire was also brought to bear, the position being well and truly straddled.
The O.C. patrol ordered his men to the sheltered side of the dyke, as many casualties had been received.
The A/m N.C.O, with total disregard for his own safety made three separate trips over the dyke under accurate and withering cross S.A. and mortar fire to try and pull out the wounded who were still lying on the exposed bank of the dyke.
Heavy shell fire was also in progress.
In the new position the patrol were under accurate sniping from 50 yards and Spandau fire from 150 yards. The patrol were ordered to withdraw, to a better and less exposed position. Sgt. HOPE remained with the wounded men; he continued moving amongst them, cheering them on and tending their wounds. During this time the sniper continued to fire, two of the wounded men being hit again. Finally Sgt. HOPE jumped on to the bank, completely exposing himself to the enemy in an endeavour to stop them firing on the already wounded.
The enemy continued to fire and shelling commenced once again. Sgt. HOPE remained with the wounded giving what assistance he was able. When eventually medical aid arrived only one wounded man remained alive, the remainder having been either killed by sniper fire or shelling.
Throughout the entire action this S.N.C.O. displayed the utmost bravery and complete disregard for his own life. His devotion to duty and encouragement to his section on the death of his section officer was an inspiration to all around him.
Sgt Kinnear was acting in the capacity of Troop Sergeant Major during Operation 'IMPACT' 10-13 Apr 45, and became at once an outstanding figure on the battlefield. In the area of MENATE the Commando met stiff enemy opposition on a narrow front, with the additional hazards of deeply sown minefields. Heavy toll was taken of unit personnel. During this critical period, with morale badly shaken and the success of the operation in the balance, Sgt KINNEAR emerged as a leader of the highest qualities. Tirelessly applying himself to the welfare of his men he moved freely through his section positions, succouring the wounded and exhorting tired men to renewed effort. In so doing he was repeatedly exposed to enemy SA fire, but by demonstrating complete disregard for his own safety he so stimulated the Troop that it was able to resume the attack and capture the objective.
During the many operations carried out by 40 (RM) Cdo from SICILIY to ARGENTA, Sgt Kinnear has been conspicuous by his gallantry.
During an operation on the DALMATION Island of BRAC in June 1944, he was again acting as Troop Sergeant Major. When heavy casualties had been sustained he went out alone over open ground to evacuate many of them under fire. Again in the same action he evacuated two casualties from the middle of a Schu minefield, and later returned to the summit of a hill within easy range of the enemy positions to evacuate wounded left behind in the withdrawal, although he was forced to retire by accurate sniping.
Within his troop and within the unit, Sgt KINNEAR has been a tower of strength. With always a helping hand for the weak, a word of encouragement to the faint hearted and above all, by his own shining example he has upheld the highest traditions of his Corps and of the British SNCO.