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Artillery attack on German Soldiers

Heroes Remember

Artillery attack on German Soldiers

I was in (inaudible), that’s where I got wounded. But in (inaudible), we set up a barrage of heavy, the heaviest we got. There was nothing heavier. There was nothing heavier, or I should say, on the globe of the earth. They were just big, long 9.11s, our artillery set-up. We manned a bridge there, which another field company built. We come to that bridge and we manned it, looked after it. That, on both sides of the bridge, for at least one mile, was our heavy artillery and it was heavy. When they banged, I’ll tell you what happened. They drove around with a jeep, the artillery guys. And a Colonel came by with two officers, “Got ear plugs?” “Well, we got some somewhere around." “You’ll get some. If you haven’t got ‘em, we’ll get some. Plug your ears." At 9 - 9 - 9, at nine in the morning, nine after nine and nine seconds, you’ll see the biggest barrage you’ve ever seen in Europe.” When they opened up on the forest, a lot of things happened. Well, I’ll tell you, the noise was something else, to hear all that. And the flack and flames that came out of that, out of the 9.11s and 5.9s, Holy Christ. It was something to see. It was ...ok, about three in the afternoon, these poor Germans came out of the bush. They were either 16-years old, or 70, either too old, or too young. And our paratroopers were in there bringing them out. That was one time I seen German soldiers face to face. We had to put them in trucks, you know, and then in a compound. That was one time I felt sorry for the German soldier. Interviewer: Why? I thought, I thought the banging was too much. Too much artillery went in there. But it was something like we got in February, you know. But it was a little heavier than that.

Mr. Schreyer talks about his first face to face encounter with German soldiers who he had to transport to POW centres after a fierce artillery barrage in Germany.

Henry Schreyer

Mr. Henry Schreyer was born August 30th, 1923 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was raised on the family farm in Beausejour, Manitoba where he lived through the Depression of the 1930s. Mr. Schreyer left the family farm and moved to Ontario where on Aug 6, 1941 he decided to join the Canadian Forces. His first choice was the Canadian Navy but, because he would have had to return home before they would take him, he joined the Canadian Army and was taken into service right away. Mr. Schreyer did his basic training in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and soon after was assigned to the Royal Canadian Engineers. He trained in Victoria, BC before travelling across Canada for deployment to Europe and active duty. He was part of the D-Day landings, served throughout the Normandy campaign, and spent time with the army of occupation in Germany at the end of the Second World War. Mr. Schreyer was released from the Canadian Army and travelled quite extensively, working in a variety of different occupations; farmer, mover and “beating the rods”. In 1952, Mr. Schreyer re-enlisted with the Canadian Army and joined the Royal Canadian Regiment. He served as an Honour Guard on Parliament Hill for the induction of the First Canadian Governor General. Mr Schreyer served as a volunteer in the Korean War. His journey took him via Japan to Pusan, then north to serve on the Jamestown Line. During his service, Mr. Schreyer was wounded and transferred from the front lines. Eventually, because of his injuries, he decided to leave the Canadian Army. After his service, he went back to his earlier occupation as a mover. He took up a career in packing and receiving and then as a transport driver.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Henry Schreyer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Engineer
Sapper (Private in the Engineers)

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