The Attack on Hill 355

Hill 355, known as "Little Gibraltar", had been the scene of bitter fighting since the area was first occupied during Operation Commando in October 1951. The most notable Canadian action had been the defence by the 2nd R22eR of the positions on the Hill 227 saddle, on November 22-25. Since early September 1952 the Royal Canadian Regiment had guarded the Hill. Five company areas lay within its boundaries.

The enemy prepared for the attack with a heavy bombardment for the first three days of October, primarily on Area II which lay immediately east of the saddle between Hill 355 and Hill 227. Between October 17 and 22, the bombardment was renewed. Consequently, when "B" Company took over the area on October 22, it found the defences badly damaged, telephone wires cut and weapon pits caved in. Enemy shelling made effective work on defences and lines of communication impossible.

Shortly after six o'clock on October 23, the enemy put down another heavy artillery concentration – and then attacked. Under heavy attack and with communications cut off, "B" Company withdrew to "A" Company's area. The battalion commander ordered tank and mortar fire on the lost areas as well as on Hill 227, on the area west of Hill 355 and on the valley to the north. He then called for a counter-attack. The counter-attack by "D" Company went in toward midnight. The left-hand platoon encountered considerable resistance and suffered some casualties, but succeeded in reoccupying the position.

The divisional front was relatively quiet for the remaining days of the brigade's tour of duty. Thus ended one of the brigade's most difficult periods of the war, and certainly its most costly – in less than three months the RCR had suffered 191 casualties, the PPCLI 18, and the R22eR 74.

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