Battle Report of "X" Troop

Battle Report of X Tp.
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.