Battle Report of "Y" Troop

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.

Lieut, R.M.
15 Apr 45