History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

MARKET-GARDEN Sep 44

(Arnhem)

BERLIN Nov 1944

(Nijmegen)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Bazentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

Flers-Courcelette

15-22 Sep 16

Thiepval

26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Cambrai, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Putot-en-Bessin

Putot-en-Bessin was a Battle Honour granted to units participating in battles following D-Day during the Battle of Normandy, the first phase of the North-West Europe campaign of the Second World War.

Background

D-Day on 6 June had left the three British and Canadian beachheads reasonably secure, thanks to a slow German response and lower than anticipated casualties, yet the gap between the British 3rd Division and the 3rd Canadian Division was troublesome.  There had been no counter-attack during the night of 6-7 June because the Germans were simply not ready for such an enterprise. The 7th Canadian Brigade was ordered to resume the advance at 0600 on the morning of D+1 (June 7) in order to gain their D-Day objective, a phase line code named OAK, running along the road Bayeux-Caen.1

 

Early Actions on D+1

The 7th Brigade's only significant contact during the night was the capture of 19 enemy soldiers of a patrol by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. The brigade moved off in a two battalion formation at staggered times; the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on the right stepped off at 0615 while the Regina Rifle Regiment moved out an hour later with the Canadian Scottish Regiment in reserve. There was little resistance offered by the remnants of the 716th Infantry Division still in the area. By 0850, brigade headquarters had felt there was no danger to be had and ordered the reserve in, pressing all three battalions to "go flat out for their final objectives." The official history reports it was "about noon" that the Winnipeg Rifles were in Putot-en-Bessin and the Reginas in both Bretteville-l'Orgueilleuse and Norrey-en-Bessin. The 1st Hussars, whose two assault squadrons on D-Day had been depleted such that they were amalgamated into a single squadron, were not able to provide support, but resistance had been so slight, and limited to "groups of snipers" (in the words of the official history) that "tank support was not needed."2

The Battle

The Brigade was deployed for battle with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in Putot-en-Bessin - a unit that had suffered heavy casualties the day before in the assault landings, losing 128 men. The Regina Rifles in Bretteville, with the Canadian Scottish in Secqueville-en-Bessin, less a company that was despatched to the Cairon area to cover the gap between the 7th and 9th Brigades, along with a troop of ant-tank guns and a squadron of tanks of the 1st Hussars. Brigadier Harry Foster established his headquarters in Le Haut de Bretteville. In his words:

I was proud of them. The easy part was over. So far we still held the advantage because the Germans had fumbled the ball. Now it became a matter of hanging on to what we'd captured while both sides brought in their reserves. Ours were still coming ashore as fast as ships could bring them from England; theirs were racing to reach the coast. But even matching the Germans division for division, man for man, they still held an enormous advantage: experienced front-line leaders..."3

The brigade passed another quiet night; while the divisional commander planned how to attack troublesome radar stations to the east that had were also D-Day objectives, and contemplated another attack on Buron after the events there during the fighting at Authie the day before, the 7th and 8th Brigades were told to remain in place. Even as these orders were coming down, elements of the 7th Brigade had been under enemy attack for some time.

At 0630 a small party of enemy troops had tried to cross the railway line into Putot and was driven off by "A" Company of the Winnipeg Rifles.4 These troops had included soldiers of the 5th Company of the 26th SS Panzergrenadier Regiment (a component of the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend)) which was supported by armoured halftracks and a Panzerkampfwagen III tank of the 3rd Battalion of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment. No. 8 Platoon of the Winnipegs, supported by guns of No. 3 Platoon of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, backed by artillery and anti-tank fire, pushed the attackers back about an hour after the assault began.5

German snipers inside the town, however, were able to apply pressure on the Canadian defenders, and were able to assist infiltrators to get between the companies during a series of running battles lasting throughout the day.6 South and west of Putot, "A" and "C" Company of the Winnipeg Rifles came under attack by the 2nd Battalion of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment under SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Mohnke. The 6th and 7th Companies made a series of attacks during the day:

Like their counterparts at Authie, however, Mohnke's troops were openly disdainful of the heavy Canadian fire and just kept on coming, moving forward recklessly, arrogantly, inexorably. By late morning, they were being supported by a battery of self-propelled artillery, which pummelled the Winnipeg's positions under the weight of a thundering barrage. Still more difficulties ensued when the Germans successfully infiltrated a number of small parties into Putot itself. From strongholds in private homes and behind ruined buildings, the SS troops sniped at and rained down mortar shells on the Canadian positions, inflicting many casualties and wreaking havoc with the Winnipegs' attempts to get more ammunition to their beleaguered forward units. Things got so bad that even the Winnipegs' headquarters was under siege for part of the day.7

In the confusion, the Winnipegs reported that tanks had cut off three of their companies - though the official historian surmised that it was "doubtful" German tanks were ever involved. A history of the 12th SS mentions no tanks either, instead confirming that:

Although hammered by enemy artillery and machine gun fire, the grenadiers of the 2nd Battalion pressed their assault with vigor, infiltrating into Putot-en-Bessin and taking many prisoners. Assisted by numerous snipers in Putot, the German infantry brought the defenders...under steadily increasing pressure; by noon, more grenadiers had worked their way into the town and around the Canadian light machine gun posts and slit trenches, which were now under direct German artillery and mortar fire. By 1:30 p.m. "A", "B" and "C" Companies of the Winnipegs were completely surrounded, with most of their automatic weapons knocked out and ammunition running low; immediate tank support was not available. The beleaguered companies attempted to pull back under cover of artificial smoke, but few men escaped to battalion headquarters, located due east of Pitot, where the nearly intact "D" Company established a defensive position.8

The 3rd Battalion of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment were the last elements of the regiment to go into action, with No. 11 Company stepping off from the rail line between Putot and Brouay after 0800 to be met by fire from No. 7 Platoon of the Winnipegs. It took until mid-morning for them to reach Brouay, where No. 10 Company joined them. No. 9 Company moved from Cristot to link up with the divisional reconnaissance battalion. By early afternoon, this placed a number of objectives in German hands - Brouay, La Villeneuve, and with the retreat of the Winnipegs, Putot.9

The capture of Brouay had given the Germans a tactical advantage, providing cover for the final attack on Putot. Lieutenant Ashman's No. 3 Platoon of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, which had been forward with their Vickers machine guns, was cut off in the fight there as well. Asherman himself was captured, evaded his escort when a British tank appeared, and eventually rescued. He was later awarded a Croix de Guerre.10

Casualties and War Crimes

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles had lost 256 men killed, wounded and missing - in fact, 150 were taken prisoner. Most had been taken when No. 7 Company of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment surrounded "B" Company of the Winnipegs in an orchard north of Putot. A handful came from "C" Company, and the rest from "A" Company, who had attempted to reorg in a location a few hundred yards to the east of railway bridge at Putot. The latter had any route of escape cut off by No. 6 Company. A few men who managed to slip away fell into the net descending from the direction of Brouay and the arrival of the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment. Over 100 of the prisoners were turned over to the German military police and arrived at the battalion command post at Le Haut du Bosq that afternoon. Close to forty others, however, were sent to a farm in Putot. They were then ordered further back down the custody chain, and started marching under escort the one-and-a-half mile distance to the regimental headquarters. An officer stopped the column and ordered the guards to kill the prisoners; after which the column resumed its march towards a road junction near Fotnenay-le-Pesnel, where the prisoners were herded into a grassy area and sat down, among them at least two men on stretchers. An execution squad with machine pistols joined the prisoner escorts, who turned their rifles on the prisoners and opened fire. Thirty five men were murdered in cold blood, and five managed to escape.11

Another group of 26 prisoners in the custody of the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment was marched to Pavie for transfer to the 12th SS Division's reconnaissance battalion. Included in the group were the company commander of "A" Company of the Winnipeg Rifles, 23 of his men, and two British soldiers captured at Brouay. Once in his custody, SS-Sturmbannführer Gerhard Bremer interrogated several men of this group, gained no information, then ordered them summarily executed. They were taken away in small groups for execution by gunshot; the killings were interrupted by a British attack, but later resumed. All 23 men were eventually found murdered.12

On 11 June, a private of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and two sappers of the Royal Canadian Engineers, who had been out laying mines in front of Putot before the battle had begun on June 8, were captured by the Germans. They had gone been cut-off from Canadian lines and spent three days surviving on emergency rations and drinking from streams. They were taken to the headquarters of the 26th Panzergrenadier Regiment, and interrogated in the presence of SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Mohnke. After the interrogation, the Canadians were marched a few yards from the regimental command post, had their identity tags stripped from them, were taken into nearby woods, and were shot at close range by a military policeman.13

Counterattack

In the wake of the loss of Putot, Brigadier Foster ordered a counter-attack with the brigade reserve.14 The attack was given strong support in the form of a squadron of the 1st Hussars, gunfire from the 12th and 13th Field Regiments, Royal Canadian Artillery, and elements of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, the divisional machine gun battalion, most notably No. 14 Platoon, who fired both high explosive and smoke with their 4.2-inch mortars.15 The detached company in the gap at Cairon was returned to battalion control for the attack, set for 2030hrs.16  A creeping barrage was laid on, and at 2045 reports indicated good progress. The tanks covered the approached of the right flank while the battalion's carrier platoon covered the left.

By his personal dash and example Major Plows, leading "A" Company and carrying the remnants of "D" along with hum, hurtled into the enemy and routed them...Lt Bernie Clarke whose heroism and initiative on D-Day had knocked out a key pillbox and captured 50 prisoners did it again at Putot. He (led) a rare and wild bayonet charge that overran three machine gun posts, killed many and captured another 18.17

At 2100 the left company was reported on the objective, and by 2130 brigade headquarters received reports the battalion was "mopping up." While Putot itself was back in Canadian hands, never again to be occupied by the enemy, the line of the railway was yielded. Two days of fighting on June 8 and 9 (the official historian notes that book-keeping inconsistencies may have caused casualties from the counterattack on the evening of June 8 to have been recorded as occurring the next day) cost the Canadian Scottish 125 casualties, of which 45 were killed.18

For their part:

The SS defenders resisted furiously, but were unable to maintain their positions in the face of a numerically superior opponent. (SS-Sturmbannführer Bernhard) Siebken's companies (of the 2nd Battalion, Panzergrenadier Regiment 26)had already suffered heavy losses, and they lacked anti-tank weapons in sufficient numbers with which to contest the enemy armor. By 9:30 p.m., Putot was once again in Canadian hands, the Germans having retired to the rail line on the southern fringe of the village. Later that night, Siebken pulled back his infantry an additional 200-300 yards to gain a more effective field of fire and dug in.19

Aftermath

The remnants of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles now went into brigade reserve. The German attack at Putot is summed up by one historian as follows:

The advance of the Hitlerjugend's 2nd Battalion had yielded nothing. Hubert Meyer states that German losses amounted to 19 dead, 58 wounded and 21 missing — the 6th Company being effectively halved. These statistics are almost certainly too low. On the other hand, the Canadian Scottish suffered 125 casualties, while the Winnipeg Rifles incurred 256. The fighting for Putot had taken on a First World War dimension — heavy attrition for limited gains. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment had failed to dislodge the Canadian 7th Brigade from their defensive position, and the proposed route of advance to the sea remained shut.20

A history of the 12th SS concurs:

Thus ended the baptism of fire for the 26th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The sacrifice on both sides had been great. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles alone had suffered 256 casualties, including 105 dead, in their unsuccessful defence of Putot. German losses totalled 137 personnel, of which at least 30 were fatalities; and while the cost had been high, the results were meagre. Mohnke's battalions had attacked piecemeal and without tank support; except for the short-lived success at Putot and the capture of Brouay, which was undefended by the enemy, they had failed to reach their objectives.21

The 3rd Canadian Division was in Putot to stay. As with the 9th Brigade at Authie, the Canadians had learned hard lessons and taken costly losses, but the 12th SS had also been made to suffer reverses. While this drama was being played out, the Regina Rifles were fighting against Panther tanks at Bretteville.

Battle Honour

The following Canadian units were awarded the Battle Honour "Putot-en-Bessin" for participation in these actions:

Image:2tankbde.gif 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade

  • 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)

Image:3gif7bde.gif 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade

  • The Royal Winnipeg Rifles

  • The Canadian Scottish Regiment

Notes

  1. Stacey, C.P. Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War: Volume III: The Victory Campaign: The Operations in North-west Europe 1944-45 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1960) p.125

  2. Ibid, p.126

  3. Foster, Tony Meeting of Generals (Methuen Publications, Agincourt, ON, 1986) ISBN 0-458-80520-3 p.310

  4. Stacey, Ibid, p.135

  5. Margolian, Howard Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON, 1998) ISBN 0-8020-4213-9 p.79

  6. Stacey, Ibid, p.135

  7. Ibid, p.79

  8. Luther, Craig W.H. Blood and Honor: The History of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitler Youth", 1943-1945 (R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose, CA, 1987) ISBN 0-912138-38-6 pp.157

  9. Margolian, Ibid, p.80

  10. Ibid pp.80-96 Margolian concludes the officer in the staff car was Wilhelm Mohnke.

  11. Ross, Richard M. The History of the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (MG) , p.44

  12. Ibid, pp.82-89

  13. Ibid, pp.100-101

  14. Foster, Ibid, p.319

  15. Ross, Ibid, p.44

  16. Stacey, Ibid, pp.135-136

  17. McKay, A. Donald Gaudeamus Igitur "Therefore Rejoice" (Bunker to Bunker Books, Calgary, AB, 2005) ISBN 1894255534 p.139

  18. Stacey, Ibid, pp.136

  19. Luther, Ibid, p.157

  20. Haller, Oliver "The Defeat of the 12th SS 7-10 June 1944" Canadian Military History Quarterly, Volume 3, Issue 1

  21. Luther, Ibid, p.160 - Luther further breaks down the German casualties as 1st Battalion: 5 dead, 20 wounded; 2nd Battalion: 19 dead, 58 wounded, 21 missing; 3rd Battalion: 6 dead and 8 wounded.


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