Citation:   Marteinson, John and Scott Duncan.  (2002).  The Governor General's Horse Guards: second to none.  Toronto: The Governor General's Horse Guards Foundation.  pp. 244–247.
Once Arnhem was taken by the 49th Divi­sion, 5th Ar­moured Divi­sion was brought in to carry out a rapid thrust to the north­west — through Ot­ter­loo and Bar­ne­veld to Nij­kerk on the Ijs­sel­meer (Zui­der Zee) — to com­plete the clear­ance of the Ger­mans bet­ween Arn­hem and the Ijs­sel­meer up to an old north-south defen­sive line known as the Grebbe Line.  A secon­dary pur­pose of this move­ment was to en­sure that the large body of Ger­mans still hold­ing out in the hills east of Apel­doorn could not es­cape west into the part of Hol­land still occu­pied by the enemy.  (As an aside, there was a tacit agree­ment with the Ger­man com­man­der in Hol­land that he would not des­troy the dykes and thus flood a large part of the coun­try below sea level pro­vi­ded the Allies did not attack his forces in wes­tern Hol­land.)
Operation “Clean­ser” got under way early on 15 Ap­ril when the 8th Hus­sars and the Bri­tish Co­lum­bia Dra­goons ad­vanced on the vil­lages of Dee­len and Ter­let, much of the way through heavy woods.  That after­noon the Strath­conas pres­sed on toward Ot­ter­loo, ham­pered by close coun­try, halt­ing at last light just east of the town.  In the mean­time 11th Bri­gade, sup­por­ted by ‘A’ and ‘B’ Squad­rons of the Horse Guards, was brought for­ward to clear out enemy which had been by­passed by the ar­moured bri­gade.  Unfor­tu­nately, while pas­sing through Arn­hem Lieu­ten­ant John Clarke was crushed bet­ween two tanks and killed.  “There was lit­tle work for the tanks”, noted the war­time his­tory, but that even­ing in Ter­let a Ger­man 88mm SP gun fired on a ‘B’ Squad­ron tank, wound­ing Major Bud Baker, Lieu­ten­ant Or­mord and three others.
Very early the next morning, 16 Ap­ril, the Strath­conas moved on to Ot­ter­loo.  There were sev­eral short, sharp, pit­ched bat­tles before they got through the vil­lage, but once be­yond they pushed on at top speed to Bar­ne­veld, where they en­coun­tered in­creas­ingly heavy resis­tance.  On the right, the BCD got as far as the south­ern out­skirts of Voor­thui­zen before being stop­ped.  Meanwhile, ‘C’ Squad­ron moved to Ot­ter­loo with the Irish Regi­ment to carry out a thor­ough clear­ing of the town and the woods to the north east.  In the early after­noon, ‘A’ Squadron, carrying a company of Perths on their back decks, cleared the high ground north-east of the vil­lage of Lun­teren, 10 kil­o­met­res west of Ot­ter­loo.  Later that day, ‘B’ Squad­ron ad­van­ced with the Cape Bre­ton High­lan­ders to a fea­ture east of Bar­ne­veld so as to be in pos­i­tion for an as­sault early the next morn­ing.  The en­tire oper­a­tion ap­peared to be pro­gres­sing much as expected, and dur­ing the day Gen­eral Hoff­meis­ter's 5th Divi­sion head­quar­ters moved into Ot­ter­loo.
As with all rapid, nar­row thrusts into enemy-held ter­ri­tory, poc­kets of enemy troops of var­ying size re­mained on all sides of the divi­sion.  Three kil­o­met­res north­east of Ot­ter­loo, for example, it was known that there was still a size­able Ger­man gar­ri­son in a bar­racks on the south side of a place known as Haar­skamp.  A pa­trol con­sis­ting of a pla­toon of the Irish and a troop of tanks had at­temp­ted to clear the town dur­ing the af­ter­noon, but found it too strongly held.  During that small ac­tion, a Mark IV tank fired on the Horse Guards tanks and hit one of them, but ap­par­ently because of the welded track no damage was done.  The com­man­ding offi­cer of the Irish Reg­i­ment de­ci­ded to mount a de­lib­er­ate at­tack on this pos­i­tion early next morn­ing, employing his ‘C’ Com­pany and three tank troops, and he gave his or­ders at 2000 hours.  An infan­try pla­toon and Fourth Troop were sent to a wood on the north side of Ot­ter­loo as a stand­ing pa­trol.
At 2330 hours, Major Cros­bie ga­thered the ‘C’ Squad­ron offi­cers at his head­quar­ters, an old vil­lage church, to go over de­tails of the plan for the morn­ing attack.  He was still giv­ing or­ders when the pro­ceed­ings were in­ter­rup­ted by loud shout­ing and bursts of small-arms fire just out­side the church.  It was soon de­ter­mined that a strong enemy pat­rol had infil­tra­ted into the town, and that even more Ger­mans were on their way down the main road.  Thus began a night of con­fus­ion and great gal­lan­try.  As the squad­ron of­fi­cers were cut off in the church, the tank troops were led the whole night by ser­ge­ants and cor­por­als, and they did a mag­ni­fi­cent job.
Somewhere between 600 and 900 Ger­mans, rem­nants of a var­iety of units try­ing to es­cape from the Cana­dian at­tack on Apel­doorn, poured into Ot­ter­loo.  It was a cha­otic scene, Ger­mans and Cana­dians mixed up in the dark.  Fairly early on the Irish asked that a tank drive up and down the streets to in­timi­date the Ger­mans.  The wartime history relates:
Sergeant Wood set out in a Squad­ron Head­quar­ters tank, mov­ing up the road to the east, from which direction the enemy was ad­vanc­ing.  As the Irish and Ger­mans were closely in­ter­min­gled, the tank was or­dered not to fire, but sim­ply moved up and down, with Ger­mans run­ning be­side it shout­ing “Cana­dians Sur­ren­der, Cana­dians Sur­ren­der”.
We were also re­ques­ted to cover the road junc­tion just east of Ot­ter­loo and First Troop was or­dered to seize it.  Ser­geant John­ston led the troop to the pos­i­tion, dis­cov­er­ing that it was then held by the enemy.  He was at once en­gaged by ba­zoo­kas, and al­though he was him­self woun­ded in the head by a rifle bul­let, none of the ba­zoo­ka bombs scored and he con­tin­ued con­trol­ling his troop.
Two members of First Troop re­ceived gal­lan­try awards for their con­duct that night.  Cor­poral Her­bert Dixon Stitt was awar­ded a Dis­tin­guished Con­duct Me­dal, the only one won by a mem­ber of the Regi­ment dur­ing the war.  His cita­tion reads in part:
Corporal Stitt was ordered to pa­trol up and down the main road ... and to clear the enemy who by this time com­man­ded the road.  As his tank moved out on to the road it was im­me­di­ately en­gaged by Span­dau and ba­zooka fire.  One ba­zooka bomb scored a dir­ect hit on the tur­ret ring and com­pletely des­troyed the tra­verse mech­an­ism.  Al­though the enemy were only ten yards away, Cor­poral Stitt im­me­di­ately climb­ed out of his tur­ret and tra­ver­sed the gun onto the enemy by pul­ling it around by hand.
During the ensuing three hours of dark­ness, Cor­poral Stitt con­tin­ued to at­tack the enemy up and down the road, clos­ing with them to point blank range.  Through­out this per­iod, he calmly re­mained on the out­side of his tank, con­stantly ex­posed to enemy fire, pul­ling the tank guns onto the enemy by hand and en­gag­ing them with gre­nades and pis­tol.
Lance Corporal Donald Archi­bald Spence, a gun­ner in the troop leader's tank in First Troop, took com­mand of his crew in the offi­cer's absence and got the tank into action.  Spence re­ceived an im­me­di­ate award of a Mili­tary Me­dal.  His brav­ery is des­cribed in the cita­tion for the de­cor­a­tion:
His tank was surrounded by enemy cal­ling upon the crew to sur­ren­der.  He re­plied with gre­nades and suc­cee­ded in driv­ing the en­emy off.  For the next three hours he con­tin­ued to at­tack the en­emy wher­ever he could find them, always at ranges of from ten to fif­teen yards.  So keen was he to press home his attack that on se­veral oc­ca­sions he took his tank through heavy ba­zooka and ma­chine gun fire right into the en­emy, crush­ing them be­neath his tracks.  Al­though he had no pre­vious ex­peri­ence as a crew com­man­der, and had re­ceived no di­rect or­ders, Lance Cor­poral Spence's ini­tia­tive and ag­gres­sive­ness were re­spon­sible for pre­ven­ting any fur­ther in­fil­tra­tion into the vil­lage from the eas­tern end.  ...  His cour­a­geous lea­der­ship was an in­spir­a­tion to those he com­man­ded.
Squad­ron Ser­geant Ma­jor Wil­liam Cy­ril Clark­son also re­ceived the Mili­tary Me­dal, in part for his ab­so­lute de­vo­tion to duty un­der dan­ger­ous and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions through­out the cam­paign, but in part also for his con­duct at Ot­ter­loo that night.  An ex­cerpt from his cita­tion reads:
The enemy coun­ter-at­tack had met with ini­tial suc­cess and the sit­ua­tion was fast be­com­ing cri­ti­cal.  It be­came ap­par­ent that the ex­ist­ing sup­ply of ammu­ni­tion would be inad­e­quate.  Squad­ron Ser­geant-Ma­jor Clark­son im­me­di­ately vol­un­teered to take a lorry back to re­plen­ish the sup­ply.  Hav­ing just ar­rived on his nor­mal nightly trip, he was fully aware that the route to the rear had been cut by Ger­man infan­try.  He per­son­ally drove and or­dered other per­son­nel in the ve­hicle to fire into the dug-in pos­i­tions on both sides of the road.  He suc­cee­ded in reach­ing the regi­men­tal ech­elon and re­turned with the badly nee­ded ammu­ni­tion, en­ab­ling the squad­ron to re­main in ac­tion for the re­main­der of the night.  But for the Ser­geant-Ma­jor's de­ter­mined ac­tion, the de­fen­sive oper­a­tion would have been ser­i­ously pre­ju­diced.
As an historical foot­note to this bat­tle, not far away from the fight­ing by the Irish Regi­ment and the ‘C’ Squad­ron tanks, the main head­quar­ters of 5th Ar­mour­ed Divi­sion also came under heavy at­tack, al­though it is very un­likely the Ger­mans had any idea what was there.  Gen­eral Hoff­meis­ter took part in the close-in fight­ing in the early stages of the en­emy in­fil­tra­tion, but know­ing that he had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to main­tain com­mand of the whole divi­sion, he locked him­self in­side his ar­moured com­mand vehi­cle un­til the en­emy had been dri­ven off.
The situation had changed sig­ni­fi­cantly by first light, in large mea­sure be­cause of the su­perb lea­der­ship of Ma­jor Cros­bie dur­ing the coun­ter-at­tack and the sub­se­quent oper­a­tion to clear the Ger­mans from the vil­lage.  The mop­ping up turned into an ab­so­lute rout for the Ger­mans when the Irish brought in their Bad­ger flame-throw­ers, fit­ted on a Ram chas­sis.  Those Ger­mans that were not burn­ed to death fled in ter­ror, only to be shot up by ‘C’ Squad­ron tanks.  There were nearly a hun­dred Ger­man dead when it was over, and sev­er­al hun­dred more woun­ded.  For his in­spired lea­der­ship, Ma­jor Cros­bie was awar­ded the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Or­der.
The Regi­ment suf­fered a great tra­gedy that morn­ing when Cor­poral Herb Stitt was un­for­tun­ately kil­led when he was run over by a truck while sleep­ing be­side his tank. The Dis­tin­guished Con­duct Me­dal he so greatly de­serv­ed had to be a pos­thu­mous award.