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48 CDO - Operation Infatuate - Walcheren

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Unit/ Formation: 48 Cdo RM

Location: Westkapelle

Period/ Conflict: World War II

Year: 1944

Date/s: 1 November 1944

On 1 November No 48 (RM) Commando, under Lt-Colonel J L Moulton DSO, would come ashore south of the gap. From there, they would advance on Zoutelande, two miles to the south.

No. 48 Commando disembarked from tank landing craft and, under German shell fire, captured their first objective, a row of concrete gun emplacements on the southern shoulder of the gap where they encountered a battery of 150mm guns.

The leading troop commander was killed and several men wounded in an attack on the position. In response to another assault on the gun emplacements, the enemy released an enfilade of intense mortar fire.

Supporting fire from field batteries in the Breskens area, together with Typhoon attacks, considerably softened up the battery allowing another troop, under cover of smoke, to reach the centre of the battery, putting it out of action.

Radar Station at 51°31'20.6"N 3°26'32.6"E

They then moved on to their next objective, a radar station that had been abandoned by the German defenders.

The Commandos then regrouped at Zouteland and a two-day pause ensued while they re-supplied.

The remaining enemy resistance was concentrated in the area north-west of Dombug. Nos 4 and 48 Commando set off on foot, although they used LVs to cross the gap at Westkapelle, in order to reinforce No 10 and No 41.

While No 41 assaulted the last remaining battery, W19, No 4 cleared the Overduin Woods and pushed on to Vrouwenpolder opposite North Beveland. No.48 remained in reserve.

What would you have done when hordes of mad soldiers with green berets came screaming at you?

German Officer to George Hawkins 48 Cdo when asked why they surrendered with so many guns and so much ammunition left.

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