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More on the Liberation of Antwerp

Heroes Remember

More on the Liberation of Antwerp

The plan of attack was, from the 3rd Division point of view, was to cross Leopold Canal and push it’s way through up to Ijzendijke and so on up to Bresken. But, they lined up to help the 7th Brigade cross the canal. They lined up the Wasps, the flame thrower, the Bren gun carriers, which were flamethrowers. And they lined them up along the canal and they shot flame over the canals from about, I don’t know maybe. I don’t know how many carriers they used but there was a substantial number, maybe about 27 or something like that. I don’t know the exact number. But they give quite a broad coverage there so that they could hopefully get a foothold on the other side. Although, they did get across the canal, the fighting was treacherous, and the 7th Brigade suffered quite severely in that hand-to-hand conflict And so, knowing the intensity and the depth of the defences and the manner in which the German soldiers were fighting, they came up with another plan. And they’re, they developed a scheme to come up with another invasion. Come in from the rear on the right flank with, with Buffalos. A Buffalo is a big track vehicle like a tank but it’s made to float and be propelled in water. It could carry maybe a platoon of infantry or a carrier with a, with a section of men and they would drive off the, load up and drive down into the water and traverse across the water to whatever their objective was. The starting base for the attack, primarily the 9th Brigade led the attack and then our brigade, the 8th, followed behind them. The HLI and the Stormont Dundas, the Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, the Highland Light Infantry and North Nova Scotia Highlanders, they went on their Buffalo and the departure point was at, around Terneuzen, in Holland. And they were going through a little section of water crossing. I can’t remember the name, it was a Dutch expanded name, you know. But, they went in and they had two beaches that they were landed on. And you must remember that, across the way, there was still, on the opposite side, there was still the German territory, subject to considerable artillery fire and so on. But they, they went in and hid undercover and they got a strong foothold on and then, late in the afternoon, we went in, in behind the HLI. And, I always, you know, we hear about the Provost Corps, you know, we figure Provost Corps is a policeman and things like this, you know, but they’re also directing traffic on the beach, and I can recall this particular Provost Corps as we drove off that particular beach up from the Buffalo. And he’s standing there, he’s got his slit trench beside him and he’s directing the movement of the traffic and periodically we’re getting shells dropping in all around us, and he’s still there. I take a hat, a hat off to that guy, you know, he was a very brave man.

Mr. Ross continues his account of the liberation of the city of Antwerp.

Joseph William Ross

Mr. Ross was born in Montreal on February 15, 1925. His father served during the First World War and was seriously wounded at the second battle at Ypres. When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, Mr. Ross was only 14 years old, working as an office boy for six dollars a week. Later, he worked as an apprentice fitter in the aircraft division of Vickers, near Montreal. Mr. Ross enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday in 1943. After training in Quebec and Nova Scotia, he was sent as part of the reinforcement troops to England where he was assigned to ‘C’ Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. His overseas action included landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, and serving throughout both Normandy and Northwest Europe (Belgium and Holland). During an encounter with German forces, Mr. Ross sustained injuries from flying shrapnel.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Joseph William Ross
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Normandy
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

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