BLOODY ISLAND

November 21st, 2013
by andrzej

old dog tags

This is the last action of the British commando Polish soldiers from the 1st Armored Division.In November 1944 the 1st Armoured Division under the command of General Stanislaw Poppies was directed to master the Dutch port of Moerdijk at the mouth of the River Meuse. Polish pancerniacy had to fire their tanks strike transition in concrete dams Terraced few fit to travel the road dug causeways and running on the flat, pre-cut channels in which Germany is almost completely flooded with water. They joked that instead of Sherman and Cromwell should be equipped with submarines to overcome the extreme disadvantage of the armored area. dog tags

 

November 9, 1944 , after bloody battles Poles won fortified przedmościa Moerdijk, but unfortunately the Germans managed to blow up within that area of the two bridges . At that time, Polish forces reached the Meuse Division in the area to the east of Moerdijk ( separate battalion Tatra ) and in the area of Geertruidenberg – Dongen ( grouping of 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade ) . Boje of Moerdijk exhausted forces division , which was for him a very dynamic and fruitful armored raid by France and Belgium . At Moerdijkiem Poles lost 84 officers and 1,325 privates.From November 10th division focused on controlling the Meuse, taking supplements and training. Staying in the UK I Corps ( Canadian 1st Army ) , dozorowała 25 -kilometer stretch of the river – from the west ” neighboured ” with the Canadian Armoured Car Regiment 18 , and to the east of the Canadian 4th Armoured Division . It quickly became clear , however, that not count here for a quiet ” winter quarters ” .December 16 , the German counteroffensive launched a “last resort ” in the Ardennes . Using unfavorable for aviation aura armored armies of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt struck in the Malmedy and Bastogne, to separate the American and British forces . Surprised Americans initially suffered heavy losses , but their defense quickly solidified and the German attack began to lose momentum . After 1 January 1945 the weather improved enough that the game returned to Allied aircraft and the Germans could only dream of a repeat of the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940.

Because of the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes was to regroup the troops stationed in the region of the 1st Armored Division . The commander of the British I Corps moved from the front four Canadian Armoured Division to his odwodu , and its section on Dec. 20 took the Poles , strengthened doborowym UK 47 Royal Marine Commando and 1315 Company of the Royal Air Force Regiment .At that time, as a result of enemy activity was carried out a few rearrangements and finally at the end of December, Mozy surveillance section is divided into three sectors: western cast 47 Royal Marine Commando , middle grouping of three fixed- Polish Brigade and Squadron 10 Rifle Regiment , East 1 Artillery Regiment piercing and one Dywizjonowi Przeciwlotniczemu of Polish armored division . Then began a guerrilla war . On the one hand patrols shooters General Kurt Student’s paratroopers were trying to infiltrate from the north bank of the Meuse , on the other scorers Polish and British commandos hunted the notorious saboteurs with 150 Armoured Brigade SS Otto Skorzeny . It was a very arduous service , which struggled nerves and exhausted forces soldiers. Most patrols went on to recognize the position of the enemy. Soldiers selected for such shares have exactly all pockets are empty , so it remained the only dog tags around their necks . Took off their shoes and substituted for them gymnastic slippers . Walking on the Meuse shafts were particularly dangerous because it was difficult to surprise the enemy such as the German gunners parachute , known as Green Devils . Well known for fighting subversive and often allied patrols ended in failure and losses in their own ranks .

Most Active Military 1st Armored Division , section Meuse surveillance accounted for as of January 1945. The most difficult area for these activities was the backwater of the Old Meuse, in the area of the island Kapelsche Veer ( between Breda and Tilburg ) , which in November 1944 were unable to master the Canadian pancerniacy . The German gunners parachute przedmościa organized here on the shaft of the river , pulling a small outpost south of duds Old Meuse . Hence, organized trips to Polish institutions spread in the neighboring towns. In addition, this depressed area , flat as a table and almost completely covered in ice , was under fire from enemy mortars and guns . Division Headquarters therefore decided to eliminate the annoying ” spike ” in episode surveillance .On the night of December 31, 1944 January 1, 1945 until the attack on both przedmościa went 9 Rifles Battalion (no two companies ) supported by three regiments of artillery. Poles came under crossfire and their attack failed – 13 soldiers were killed and 37 were wounded . January 5 action performed by which they wanted to provoke the Germans to betray their positions of artillery and machine-gun nests . Under the cover of smoke patrols Riflemen przeprawiły to the north shore of the Meuse , but failed to detect only a few positions machine-guns . On the night of 6 to 7 January , once again the German przedmościa the Kapelsche Veer moved nine Battalion Rifle shooters , but this time they did not give the board the Green Devils general student .

 

After many failures, it was decided that the attack on the German bunkers in the area Kapelsche Veer will go ” najwaleczniejsi of valor ” in the British Army – Commandos 47 Royal Marine Commando. Island getaway planned for the night of the 13th to 14th January 1945 , and the preparation for the British crossing was supposed to Poland 10 Band Engineers of the 1st Armored Division .January 13 , even during the day , the Polish sappers under the cover of fog they marked the transition to the channel that separates the island from the ” Allied ” coast and prepared a portion of the bridge kapok , which at night was to be moved into place and there renewed. When it becomes dark group of commandos and sappers moved in the direction of the channel , carrying boats landing . At the same time , also came from the footbridge kapok branch on his shoulders. When the boats were on the water, we found that a strong wind , wave and backward sheet of ice just below the surface very difficult to maneuver . Increased stocking rowers and boats Sapper proved insurmountable to the other shore , dragging the rope at the same time that facilitated the crossing . At the same time put walkway .Instantly aligns to the train commandos , which seemed to go after the ” bridge ” is safer than handling in wet and torn wind boats. Equally quickly disappointed … The first ” najwaleczniejszy of valor ” stood precariously on chyboczącym in all directions kapok , which under his weight almost completely submerged in water , a soldier without a word turned around. When I saw the other commando colleague opposite , did not even try to enter the walkway . The third walked boldly forward, and when he beat half the distance , stood helplessly . To keep his spirits , followed by one of the Polish sappers who carefully past him and British commandos proved that you can go on the catwalk . Then they went to meet the elite Green Devils . As Lieutenant Joseph Jarosz says : ” He started to move on the catwalk . Watching seen how people reacted variously to see her ! Some crossed themselves , putting his foot on the kapok , often hear the curse , and there were and are many who feel more confident , walking on hands and feet . ” Boats , therefore, quickly returned to favor commandos ( it was planned that some of them will flow from the banks of the river and hit the Germans from the rear ) .On the other side of the channel 47 soldiers of the famous Royal Marine Commando regained vigor and attacked the shooters parachute commandos as befits – with daggers in their teeth and grenades in their hands . Parachute in anything they did not yield to – well fortified bunkers in their decimated the British murderous machine-gun fire . As Polish shooters a few days earlier , at dawn they returned ” to their ” on their own , only a few commandos . Wounded were transported in boats Polish sappers who have left the shores of the island at the end.This was the final action of the British commandos together with the Poles – 47 Royal Marine Commando was excluded from the composition of the 1st Armored Division . The German gunners parachute – originally trained for the tasks offensive – once again proved to be the masters of defense.January 16, 1945 the Allied command to Kapelsche Veer threw two squadrons of Spitfires , but the Air Force failed to fire machine guns to break the German defenses . Scorers parachute General Student maintained their positions on Kapelsche Veer until January 26 . Then they attacked the Canadian infantrymen of 4 Armoured Division (which has since returned to the area ) . Canadians with the support of artillery corps and two platoons of tanks floating Buffallo for the price of high losses captured German bunkers buried in the Meuse bulwark . The defending here reinforced rifle company parachuting was to January 31 stamped right to his feet.” Winter Lair ” on the Meuse were the 1st Armoured Division too quiet . Arduous service patrol , in which the soldiers repeatedly cursed ” damned Rundstedt ” numerous rearrangements and clashes claimed 180 killed, 441 wounded and 30 missing persons. With spring coming , however, a new victory over the agonizing ” one thousand ” Third Reich . Another rally Polish armored division led to a ” nursery herds wolf ” – Navy base in Wilhelmshaven .

Posted in Old Dog Tags | Comments (4)

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