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The Attack of Stanley Village on Xmas Day (Part 2)

Heroes Remember

The Attack of Stanley Village on Xmas Day (Part 2)

On Christmas day after we were pinned up in the Stanley Peninsula, we received an order to attack Stanley Village and retake it from the Japanese. Totally exhausted, in broad daylight without any artillery support or any heavy machine gun support, the Canadians attacked Stanley Village and there, in my platoon, I think, in my company that day I think we had 82 percent casualties. But we took our objective, we inflicted tremendous casualties on the Japanese and I tell you this story just to give you some idea that even the Japanese were shocked at how these Canadians who for this whole period had suffered reverse after reverse, were exhausted running out of food and ammunition, who had launched such an attack instead of surrendering and trying to save their lives would come out of their fortress on the peninsula and attack the Japanese in broad daylight at one o'clock in the afternoon came as a shock and a surprise to the Japanese. But that'll give you some idea of the spirit and the desire to live up to our orders of the Canadian troops. Now on that day when I received the orders in the morning that I was to assume the platoon command of #18 Platoon and that my company of D company was going to attack the village, I realized that this would be my last day on earth, that there would be no return. The Japanese were behind cover, they were totally prepared and we were outnumbered by five, ten to one, God knows what the... The idea of attacking that Japanese position in broad daylight was simply madness. So when I told my platoon of some 35 men this is what we're going to do at one o'clock, there was stunned silence. Almost... and I explained what our mission was and what we were going to do and I expected the groans and I expected those who were already wounded to say, “No, I've had enough. This is ridiculous.” Not a single soldier objected. Not a single word of complaint. We cleaned our weapons, loaded up with grenades and prepared ourselves for the attack at one o'clock. The wonder of it is that these young Canadians were completely prepared to carry out this ridiculous order.

As platoon commander, Mr. MacDonell tells of the horrific order received to attack the village and how his soldiers kept up the fight and strength to defend showing no signs to surrender.

George MacDonell

Mr. MacDonell was born in Edmonton, Alberta on August 15, 1922. He lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his uncle and family. In 1939, he ran away from home and made the decision to join the army. Mr. MacDonell served as Company Sergeant Major during the Battle of Hong Kong and in 1941 was captured and was a POW for four years. Post-military, Mr. MacDonell earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto and went on to have a successful business career. Mr. MacDonell is very active in his city and very proud of having served. Mr. MacDonell is retired and resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George MacDonell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Vehicle Technician

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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