Eighth Army News No 68 Vol 4 June 6th 1944

EIGHTH A*MY NEWS Epic O f The Canucks SENDING us more stones from the front line, Fred Redman tells of Canadian gallantry in breaking through the ti.tler Line, and of a single German sniper who upheld a Guards Brigade. ¦jvro ONE who has seen *the might of the Hitler Line defences, the steel-lined pillboxes with their menacing guns, the wire, the minefields and the blackened hulks of the tanks they wrecked, will quarrel with those who compare our break-through with some of the epic battles of the last war. From the start It was plain that a price must be paid. And it was. Casual­ties in some of the bat­talions engaged were heavy. H gh-growing com and leafy trees made good cover lor«n rmy snipers. Defensive positions, naturally good. were made—so the Germans thought —impreg­nable by the skill of their e»« n-'ers PACE IWC SMILE I’d better find somewhere one o f the prisoners agave to shoot this from.” shout and they all dropped Prisoners said casualties from So prisoners and what Allied artillery were terrific remained of the escort chang: a The West Nova Scotia Regi- roles’ ment, joining in the attack Them day's bag of Boche the afternoon after underlying prisoners included a complete shellfire for six hours, used one pioneer platoon, w th officer, of the Jerry pillboxes as a The battalion boast that they had hot meals' throughout the battle. They were taken up to the trenches by jeep. Unflinching >UT the attack, supported by tanks, was strong and unflinching. As officers fell junior leaders look their place. A barrage of 500 guns sounded a tremendous over­ture lor the C-’n-idisn attack at •first -flgBt on May 23, and a famous permanent force battalion went within the first wave at 0800 hours. Their objective was the Ponteoorvo -Aquino road. To reach it they had to .pass the deathtrap of the Hitler Line’s outer de'ences. The Boches had a lo brought additional guns from the sou hand some Tigers and Mark IV-s from Aquino way. The wire, though not high, “was wide and fringed th'ckiy with ’’S ”mines. There were a’so box mines, up detect d when the area was swept the night before. ¦-Line Pierced A Sour lariKs came out of the woods into a e’ ea-ing on the narrow front that was open to them they were ¦engaged *)y Jerry S.P. guns, which took toll. Elements of the company, reaching the wire, werevpinned down by fire. But in the dust and the smoke and the mist *hat hu’ig over the battefront the Canucks gave as good as they got—and more. In bitter hand-to-hand fight­ing some of them got right into those ”impregnable ”pillboxes In one o f them ten Germans were found dead in a heap Late in the day resistance was sfill strong enough to give anxiety, but the Hitler Line was pierced and German trans­port was streaming west and north clogging the roads, Super Pillbox THIS Regiment thinks a lot of the ta-kmen. Tiny tell of one Churchill which turned a complete somersault an a intn-° and toept going. And of a gunner- who, jttiey say, ca’mly removed his weapon from a *?nocVed- out tank and said, "Well, command post Protected by three inch armour plating with about 10 feet of earth on top, it had electric lighting and a ‘ventilating system. It was a two-fisted day for the Nova Scotians. In a German counter-attack Sgt. Vinger, finding his tommy-gun out of action, jumped on a bunch of Boches in a slit trench and forwent them with his bare fists He won. Clearing a farmhouse, a platoon commander also used his mitts to good effect in a similar emergency. Pulling snipers out of trees was just like shooting a lethal kind of .bird, say the battalion. Protected by dense foliage snipers were inactive areas otherwise cleared. They were hard to hunt but one by one they were rooted out. Gallant Spirit HIGH grass, rain and mud rocky havens, they have taken were the big worries of heavy toll. E J N^ h ^ 0ti?h™ £h^One Guards Regiment was sfster battalion^ who had thp ,ar*et ** ,thi* wrtieu’ ar reached earlier’ objec'ives ^min i e r:h Item he the Hitler Line, to bethe first .ne^r th_ cre°t o theJgiM he to consolidate on the Ponte- *ad corvo-iiouHK) road. .-Officers mu his ¦For a time Jerry was in special targfct. front, on either side and Evidently his method was to behind, hut they hung on. watch for the"’ who appeared Artillery took on increased to be giving orders, imp-rtar.ee when an‘itank He did n„t Jve to tell guns and m ortalswere he d up the tale rf his expv_a,. One IJm UpHeld Guards WHEN the Guards ”Brigade stormed Monte Grande and Monte Piccolo, two hills overlooking Arce and the junction of Routes t >:id 82, they were upheld by one man. He was e sniper hidden on the western tip of Monte Grande. This country is a sniper’s paradise. Concealed in well- grown crops, in trees and in Blimey 1! Pineapples 1! Safeguard o four eons’ Skill Surgi DOCTORS in England must reach avery high standard of knowledge before obtaining recognition as surgeons. The special surgical diploma of Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons requires years of arduous practical and theoretical study. In this article DAVID THURLOW describes the history anti functions of the College. by a rver crossing. An O.P. officer, with a mach:ne-gun bullet t.^ro-’ -h the throat, refused to give up till relieved Tint wis typical of the Canuck spirit. Part of one company was When the Guar ’ s to'- the hill thev found h!m, kWed bv shel’fire. lying bes'de ®rifle with telescopic insights, a rock- shelter covered with scrub. The weapon was set to a taken prisoner. They w re range of 650 ya^ds and trained line¦'up aid marched away by 0I' bat/a1 on H.Q. He wore the the Ge-mans but Jerry’s sense camouflaged kit rf a pa-a- of direction went wrcng and the trooper and locked about 18. file ran smack into another The Guards buried him w'th Canuck company about 90 otho»' Boches found p »aisir.s wher^ they wre.<n n tv >~Sweeping for mines in a bomb and sheM mattered lUuian village. THE attainment of one o f the highest honours in the .medical world, the Diploma of Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, demands years of study and out­standing ability. Suceess i© passing this «x- aminatk:B permits a surgeon to add the letters F.R.CS. {Eng.) to his name, and opens the doors to the highest posi­tions in the profession of surgery. Without this degree, it is im­possible to bs elected to the surgical staff of any great hospital in England. Widle it is difficult to ac­quire the fund of knowledge '-d the background of experi­ence necessary before one can become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, it is even more difficult to be­come an Honorary Fellow of the College. Two thus honoured with­in the last year have been Mr. Churchill, and Madame C h ian g Kai-Shek, the U'lented wife of China’s Generalissimo. The number of "eilowrhips of the College is limited by Royal Charter io 50, and the only other lady Hon­orary Fellow is the Princess Royal. The great majority of Hon­orary Fellows are distinguished© r*c in f’omtries. WCfiK GOES ON IN 1941 a German bomb fell on the Surgeons’ College, and thousands of museum pieces were lost, among them 'he comparative osteology collection of 4,000 specimens, acknowledged to bethe finest in the world. The oldest mummy in the world, that of Ra Nefer, an Egyptian. nobleman, '-/ho is said to have died about 2,900 years before Christ, was also destroyed, along with the skeletons o f several kangaroos taken home to Britain from Australia by the famous explorer Captain Cook. The Council Room and the Lecture Theatre, as well as many other important parts of the College, were wrecked beyond repair. The work of the College, however, goes on unim­paired. Its business is still being conducted from what is left of the College premises in London. The salvaged specimens —and there were a great many— from the Hunterian collection have been reassembled, and already great strides have been made towards the eventual re-establishment of the College in a headquarters that will be worthy of its great name. As an indication of the regard in which the College and its Fellows are held in other parts of the world, one need only recall that within a few months of the bombing a gift of 2,000 pounds was received from the American College of Surgeons to help in the restoration of the English College. WORLD INFLUENCE' PELLOWS of the Royal *College of Surgeons of England can now be found in every country of the British Empire. When the Diploma of Fellowship of the College was instituted in 1843, it was regarded as one of the world’s highest qualifica­tions in surgery. It is still thus regarded. Those in control of the College 100 years ago were determined that in the interests of their fellowmen and of general science it was essential to secure that those engaged in the profession o f surgery should not be allowed to practise that profession until they could demonstrate that their knowledge and skill were of the. very highest grade. That exacting standard set so many years ago has been maintained ever since. A W M s founded R Q tight h A mi/ i LOOKING AHEAD AFTER thg-.natural exciteme caused by the Allied liberi tion of Rome, it is wise to cot sider that event and the futui of the Italian operations in pr< per perspective. Rome, as was outpointed i this column yesterday as a prij of great mortrHralue. Its militat significance is of less obyioi import. Its possession certain' does not mean that the 'rest <the Italian campaign is to be Roman holiday. W e must n <slip into a mood of easy opt in ism. Wherevet-^ie enemy decid< to make anew stand, the count) north of the Tiber is suitab for delaying actions and demol tions. As the. Eighth Army w< knows, the (iSsnans are not i the habit ol yielding grour until forced to do so. It we-u therefore %5-<jBJ -to predict tff Kesselring, despite the roug handling his forces? have r < ceived, will go helter-skelter f< prepared jj^tiotis far tot! north. "The succcss jlie ' It3T T :campaign does not-depend <mileage covered by the Alii but on the destruction of m i and material we can inflict <the enemy. It is also plain th any diversion to Italy of str tegic reserves which the Germ: High Command maybe cor pelkd to effect will tease task of General Eisenhowei forces in their assault on Wes ern Europe. In the hard fighting whi remains the. Eighth Army wi without doubt, repeat t triumphs of the past month a add more distinctions' to already superb record. Und General Alexander’s directic this offensive has provided fine example of the Eighth a :Fifth Armies working t gether towards the fulfilment a master-plan. In the E-igh itself, we have seen that sai comradeship and unity of pu pose between soldiers of ma nations. This is a spirit tl cannot but prevail. EPIC ^TRIBUTE is paid on Pa Two to the Canadians’ pin the present offensive. It by no accident that the wt ’’epic” is used in that connecti' Those who have fought aloi side the Canadians will be first to praise their valour s steadfastness. in tasks wh have made heavy demands both those qualities. The Eigl Army, which in its time 1 had many men from other Do inions in its ranks, is proud the contribution which the C adians have already made to history.
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