Courage? Whata word that is !

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by swordman, Sep 1, 2013.

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  1. During the battles in North West Europe, following D day and beyond. I witness many courageous deeds that were never recognised. Or in many cases, not even known about.
    So ? What is you more most courageous experience that you witnessed, or took part in.
    To start it off ... Let me describe a true act of courage. The Sappers that were engaged in removing the explosive charges from the beach obstacles on D day. The tide came in faster than expected. But the Sappers continued to do their job, and in some cases, drowned doing it. They knew that their heroism would not be recognised. But they did it anyway. Bless Them....
    That is just one of many deeds of courage....
    What is yours?
    Swordman
     
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  2. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    From the official history of 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars 1939 - 1945. How appropriate that the OC was Major Courage (who I believe was either the author or his brother - don't propose to check it out right now). Imagine every consecutive crew thinking the enemy would work out how to aim off just as they drove by?

    Early morning 2 April 1945

    While this highly successful A Squadron (15/19H) operation was going on, C Squadron was ordered forward to pass through A Squadron and to try to establish itself on the top of the Teutobergerwald by the road running north from Brochterbeck - a formidable task. The object of this was to assist 3 Mons, whose attack had made little progress along the ridge, where there was now a stalemate. It was felt that if we could succeed in getting to the top behind the enemy - and it was not thought seriously that we should succeed - we should ease the situation and compel the enemy by a coup de main to give way.

    C Squadron did not move through the village, which was still being cleared, but followed the trail of the A Squadron Troops over the railway and round the north-west of the houses. When we got there we saw the railway line, which had made a loop, one hundred yards ahead with an arch under which ran the road up the hill. There were a few cottages round the crossing and the line, and visibility was limited to twenty yards up the road past the bridge.

    It did not look very promising. 4th Troop (Lieutenant R. F. Leslie) was in the lead and was ordered to advance carefully, each tank supporting the next, up the hill and to establish itself at a cross-roads at the top. The Troop found a twisty but fairly wide road and the tanks went slowly forward. A Boche on a horse suddenly appeared and galloped off east along the railway line. Sergeant Kennedy in the leading tank soon reported a bazooka shot at his tank, after he had gone about two hundred yards. His excited tones on the air proclaimed that the man was a bad shot and that he was concealed in the trees which stood thickly all round about twenty yards from the road. The sides of 'the gorge' (as this defile came to be known) were very steep and thickly wooded and it was impossible to get off the road; it was a veritable paradise for the bazooka man.

    Evidently this was no place in which to hang about. So Major Courage ordered 4th Troop to move at maximum speed up the hill to the top. This it did with great dash and energy. This policy gave the tanks the best chance against bazookas in the defile and undoubtedly was the best course. Each of the following Troops went flat out, when their turn came, and although our friend fired bazooka after bazooka at us-he must have had a large pile of them by him, for they are single-shot weapons-he mercifully failed to hit any of our tanks. It was later calculated that he had fired at every other tank and tank commanders reported seeing the bomb bursting harmlessly behind them. It was indeed fortunate that this German had not properly learnt the rules of 'aim off,' for the range was nil and had he hit a tank the road would have been blocked and the crew would have been certain casualties.

    Our speed undoubtedly saved us. Despite the bends in the road, our tanks put up a surprising turn of speed! But we did not rely exclusively on this evasive action and we all fired our Besas into the hillside as we went. Such fire, though necessarily erratic, helps to keep the enemy's head down. The bazooka man must have had an uncomfortable quarter of an hour, but credit must be given to him for keeping in action until the end.