Stacey, Colonel C.P. (1960). The Victory Campaign The Operations in North
West Europe 1944-1945 (Official History of the Canadian Army
in the Second World War, Volume III). Ottawa, Canada:
The Queen's Printer. pp. 578–579.
· · ·
the Germans were impelled by the necessity of getting their forces from the
Apeldoorn sector back to the temporary security of the Grebbe Line.
This anxiety, together with our extended line of communication from Arnhem
to Voorthuizen, produced early on the morning of the 17th
the so-called “Battle of Otterloo”.
The German withdrawal, left too late, degenerated into a disorganized retreat
along three principal axes:
west through Voorthuizen (the movement blocked by the British Columbia Dragoons),
north-west towards Nijkerk, Putten and Harderwijk (whence some sailed across the
Ijsselmeer to Amsterdam),
and south-west towards Otterloo.
This last group estimated to be between 600 and 900 strong, was composed of
remnants of a great variety of units, all under the commander of the 952nd
Hoping to escape through Otterloo, it was quite unaware that Headquarters
5th Armoured Division was then in the village.
An intercepted wireless message had warned
of the possibility of attack and he therefore retained The Irish Regiment of Canada
to cover the road from Hoenderlo.
Also in the area, and participating in the subsequent mêlée were
the tanks of divisional headquarters,
the 17th Field Regiment
R.C.A., and the
of the 3rd Medium Regiment R.A.
Shortly after midnight a German patrol “suddenly came racing into Otterloo,
yelling like a gang of fanatics and firing their automatic weapons madly”.
This incursion quickly developed into an assault supported by artillery and mortars.
Although the Irish
and the gunners of the 17th bore the main brunt, all headquarters
personnel were soon involved.
The guns fired over open sights
(the mediums demolishing a nearby church-tower
in their efforts to shorten the range) as the enemy infiltrated into our positions.
However, at daybreak the headquarters tanks and the Irish counter-attacked, driving
the invaders back, and “Wasps”
completed the enemy's demoralization.
By mid-morning the situation was under control.
The Germans had suffered possibly 300 caualties, with between 75 and 100 killed.
Our own losses were much lower.
The Irish and the 17th Field Regiment had 22 and 25 casualties respectively;
in addition, the artillery had three guns knocked out and several vehicles