Lieut. Archibald dug himself out and despite the continuous shelling organized
the evacuation of the wounded and personally pulled the ammunition
from a burning trailer, preventing a further explosion and loss of life.
He suffered severe burns but with a total disregard for his own safety,
by his own efforts,
his coolness and organization undoubtedly saved the lives of his men and enabled the
guns to be fired despite the continuous shelling”.
HITLER LINE - 23 May 44
The barrage was fired and 1 Canadian Infantry Division broke through the main
HITLER line defences on the 23 May.
During this battle the first
target in the history of the Royal Artillery was engaged with 19 Field Regiments,
9 Medium Regiments and 2 Heavy Regiments.
The target was 600 yards of road near ACQUINO and was fired
resulting in approximately 74 tons of metal arriving
in the area in slightly over a minute.
Once the PONTE CORVO — ACQUINO line was breached 5 Canadian Armoured Division passed
through 1 Cdn Infantry Division and the battle proceeded
at a heart-breaking pace.
parties went forward and found themselves following the tail of the
mopping-up infantry, engaging in the sniper hunts themselves.
The guns began the move to the PONTE CORVO position at 2000 hrs on the 24th May and
arrived at 1200 hrs 25th May after a move of 4 miles through a terrific
By the time the guns arrived they were out of range and the Recce parties cracked off again.
The tanks had been calling for artillery fire and the 17th was given road priority
over everything except ambulances but even so the unit had to make its own road
across the fields.
The new position was just short of the
The gun area was more or less in the open fields and very little firing was done from
here except for the occasional target by the air