The Great War Part 181, February 2nd 1918

482 The Great War Canadian War Records. STRONG GERMAN GUN EMPLACEMENT. Enemy gun emplacement taken by the Canadians in a village near Lens in which district the Germans had in the houses and underground made much use of such masses of concrete as this in their defences. Headquarters and informed that the Germans were in his rear. A lies was denying this strange fact in rather emphatic language he sud­denly broke off the conversation, saying :“My God here they are !”For two hours and a half there was no further telephone connection with that colonel. A fterw ards he resumed conversation and informed his chief he had rallied the battalion staff batmen, signallers and orderlies ordered them to fix their bayonets and charge the enemy. The awkward squad did their work so well that they re-established their line soldered their flanks onto the neighbouring battalions and enabled their commander to return calmly to the telephone. number of flame-throwers tried to burn the Dominion troops out of the large area of ground they had won. Behind the men carrying on their backs lifebuoys full of petrol which they pumped out alight from nozzles they held in their hands there rushed some ten thousand of the best storm troops that Ludendorff could spare from the Ypres battlefield. The scheme completely failed. The Canadian riflemen and m achine-gunners most gallantly stood to battle when -the flame fell on them. They shot at the distant end of the flam e-jets brought all the flame-throwers down and then maintained such a m achine-gun and musketry barrage that the German shock troops could not move and live through it. Later in the night another very violent attem p twas made to reach the southern flank of Hill 70 b y aflame and shock attack upon Cite St. Emile. A t the same time a northern thrust against the hill was attempted at Hugo Wood. While these two flanking operations were proceeding another general assault along the entire eastern front was undertaken at about half-past one in the morning. The Canadians had fierce and prolonged fighting on all three sides of Hill 70 and the ground westward in their rear was flooded with poison gas subtler and deadlier than the chlorine fumes their veterans had first breathed in April 1915. When the enemy at last drew back in the flaming, thundering poisoned darkness of the Canadians repel summer night another grand victory was counter-attacks toadded the list of the men of the Dominion. They still held Hill 70 and all the captured ground in front of it. Four broken German divisions drew away from them in none of which there could have been left more than three thousand men still fit for Inaction. all the Germans appear to have made sixteen powerful counter-attacks. Only a few of them penetrated the Canadian advanced positions at certain points. In these affairs the Canadians did not trouble to use their hand-bom bs. They forwent the enemy with the bayonet and according to their own reckoning killed more Germans with steel in a couple of days than they had done in a years fighting between the Somme campaign and Vim y Ridge victory and the opening of the Lens campaign. One battalion commander in an advanced position did not know that anything was happening to his men until he was called up b y telephone from Brigade Canadian .War Record REST AND REFRESHMENT FOR THE WOUNDED. Outside a Canadian Y.M.C.A. hut where work was carried on within rifle range of the enemy. Wounded men just out ot the line welcomed its refreshment before starting for the fuller comforts of abase hospital. After breaking the last fresh German counter­attacking force— -the 220th Division— the Canadians once more attacked the weakened enem yearly in the morning of August 21st and thereby created a remarkable situation. The Germans had arranged an important storming operation a few minutes before dawn. The Canadian commander had also fixed his attack exactly at that time. Each artillery opened a whirlwind bombardment at the same moment. Simultaneously the infantry on both sides scrambled over parapets and out of redoubts and followed their barrage. A nearly autumn mist clung to the damp earth and blurred the faint light of daybreak. Each storming force was partly smashed b they opposing barrage and then the equally surprised survivors met inN o Mans Land. The Canadians showed more presence of mind. Yelling like madmen they drove with the bayonet upon the grey forms struggling towards them ,and between the two walls of deafening shell explosions the extraordinary conflict was fought to the death. The Germans were desperately brave. They attempted 110 retreat but struggled onto the end. Y e tit took abut quarter of an hour to overcome them.
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