flitched9000 (flitched9000) wrote,

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Operation ELEPHANT, 30 January

First light saw the two Shermans at GRAPES opening fire on what was left of RASPBERRY just 100 yards away down the dyke, and found that their Brownings had seen so much use during the battle that the barrels had been worn smooth. New guns had to be brought over, delaying further operations, and the Argylls did not move forward until 1115. They were quickly driven to ground by automatic weapons fire, and once on the ground were mortared from north of the Maas. Another attempt at 1500 to cross the 100 yards to RASPBERRY was also beaten back, and at 1530 the Germans respected a Red Cross flag that appeared as the Canadians went forward to pick up their wounded. A third attempt was supported by two more Shermans that had crossed the "Dream" and over the diversion past the Stuart. With four tanks in support firing 75mm HE and .30 calibre machine guns, the Germans were forced to call down smoke from their mortars to obscure the tank crews' vision - but too late, for the Argylls had taken RASPBERRY and searched desperately for an opening into the German tunnel complex. Unable to find it, they used demolition charges on every hole they found under the rubble, and turned to driving west the last few hundred yards to link up with the L&W.

The L&W, for their part, were unable to assist, with their three bogged Shermans blocking the fourth one in. The tanks supported the Argylls as best they could. The Argylls tried to advance past RASPBERRY but were driven back. One of the Shermans on the east side of the island tried to move forward of the infantry at 1800 just as light began to fail, and was stopped by a Panzerfaust; two of the crew were cut down by small arms as they bailed out.

The two houses had been taken, but for now, the two groups of Canadians were stopped short of each other.

Tags: history, war economy, мелкобританцы

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