Saturday, 6 November 2010

1st to 12th October 1944 - Cuyk

We left Deurne at the end of September and moved up to the little village of Cuyk on the West bank of the Dutch Meuse. At this point we were no more than 5 miles from the German frontier though actually facing Boche on the opposite bank of the river.

We thought at this time that our Division was to be employed in the attack across the frontier, and preparations had reached the stage of reconnaissance by Commanding Officers of the ground over which the battle was to be fought. But this attack was postponed by very high authority and soon we heard that 3 British Infantry Division was to deal with that pocket of enemy resistance that remained West of the Meuse and based on Overloon, Venray and Venlo.

The days of Cuyk were spent largely in rest, as we knew that we would soon be in battle in whichever direction it was decided to send us. Mortaring and shelling was very intensive when we first arrived and casualties were suffered by two companies A and D - in the town, but gradually the Boche on the far bank of the Meuse was pushed further and further South until eventually their shells worried us little.

We had to remain watchful, however, because being so close to the German boundary fifth column work became more of a probability. We had one positive piece of evidence of this.

One morning at about 0500 hrs a volley of shells from a heavy German artillery piece landed without warning in the area of the Battalion Headquarters, one shell scoring a direct hit upon the Command Post, fortunately injuring nobody, but the position of Headquarters was changed with great speed.

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