Major Gordon Wood. (1946).
The Story of the Irish Regiment of Canada 1939-1945.
Netherlands: no publisher named.
This web page contains approximately one page from the Wood book
on the Irish Regiment history.
The original page breaks are recorded in HTML comments that can be viewed
in the source for this page.
Abbreviations and acronyms have been spelled out and some terms
have been clarified.
The move described in the first paragraph below took place
· · ·
· · ·
set out for Arnhem, crossing the great pontoon bridge which
had been already erected.
After a night spent in the heart of the deserted and
looted city, the Regiment, under Lieutenant-colonel
Payne, set out with the remainder of the 5th Division
in an armoured drive, in the true sense of the word.
It was a swift drive north from Arnhem to the Zuiderzee,
also called the Ijsselmeer,
designed to cut the opposing forces in two.
On the 16th of April the unit moved into Otterloo,
and proceeded to clear the area,
which was just above the wooded hills where the paratroopers
had made their gallant stand some months before as part
of Operation Market Garden.
During this clearing-out task
of B Company was killed by a sniper.
That night, around midnight, a German officer and about 25 men
rushed into Otterloo and attacked the tactical headquarters.
This was the first intimation of a strong counter-attack which
was already moving against us.
By 0130 in the morning a large force could be seen in front
of B and C companies.
Divisional headquarters down the road was also under attack,
and asked for a platoon from the Irish Regiment.
In the field beside the town, the 17th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian
Artillery, was firing over open sights at the enemy infantry as they
infiltrated among the guns.
By 0430 on the morning of the 17th the attack was on in earnest, preceded
by a heavy shelling of Otterloo, during which Captain Nat Shawand
and Sergeant-major Bill Hemmings were severely wounded.
B Company under Major Bill Elder was doing a fine job in beating
off the forward wave of attackers.
Corporal Walter (Red) Asseltine of Support Company sallied forth
with his Wasp flame-throwers and burned the enemy as they advanced along
the ditches of the road leading into the village.
For this feat he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Morning revealed 200 dead Germans heaped about the approaches
to the village, while only 22 had the good fortune
to be taken prisoner.