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D-Day Minus One
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Background Info Vocabulary. World War II. More Dates in History January. More Events on this Date Tetris Released.
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Related Resources. It got a bit noisy. The germans had woken up and dropped a few mortars and machine guns and that sort of thing. We just had to make sure that they didn't get onto the DZ dropping zone.watch
D-Day Minus One
That was where they were meant to land. The gliders that came in the afternoon did well. They came in where we'd expected them to. That was our gliders anyway. We met them, went to the rendevous and were then being divisional troops what that means is that we didn't belong to any brigade and whoever needed some backup would have to ask the divisional headquarters who you may or not send us depending on the battle situation.
Having been told that we were regarded as an expendible force, but it was hoped that we would remain operation for 48 hours, we did rather better than that and we're still operational up to September when we returned to Larkhill where we re-equipped and made up our numbers to replace the casualties. We resumed training and we were then on standby for Arnhen, a big battle in Holland with the first airborne division.
Of course the Americans were there, but we didn't end up going. Of course, Arnhen was a complete disaster. In fact, out of about 10, men of the first division, they lost and the remnants came back. We just carried on with our training on the Salisbury Plain until December when we were hustled off by land and sea to the Ardennes. Of course the poor old American land forces got into trouble there. The Germans had driven a wedge into them, the battle of the bulge. We went there to kick them out.
That was carried out successfully. We had a nasty battle over the Christmas period. And fairly early in the new year, we returned to the United Kingdom. Again we re-equipped, made up our numbers and resumed training until the 24th of March when we went by air for the final crossing of the Rhine at Hamminkeln, Germany reasonably near Koln.
I had a bad landing there. Our glider got hit as we came in. We lost the wing on one side and the two pilots were killed and we landed upside down. We were inside the tank in the glider upside down. The problem was how to get out because of course you get in through the top. We sort of hung there standing on our heads. We released our harness and with a bit of struggling and grabbing one thing or another so that we were at least upright.
The driver had undone his harness and he'd got his exit open and with a bit of kicking and shoving from us we got out through the driver's door. With him pulling and the other members of the crew pushing we got everyone out. Of course the only weapons we had were a pistol and fighting knives.
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The casualty rate was so heavy that it didn't take us long to take a weapon off someone who had been killed. On that day we lost men.