From Normandy To The Rhine Jesses Grandfather in WW2 I RHINELAND 45


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Hi! Everyone This Is Jesse! I Am Back

in the pandemic lockdown studio of the Great War Channel in my living room here in Vienna and I’m here today because I want to talk to you guys a little bit about the Rhineland 45 project that we are crowdfunding right now. This is our next big project and it’s about the Rhineland campaign in February and March of 1945 on the Western Front at the end of World War Ii and one of the aspects that caused us to choose this battle for this project was the fact that I recently learned that my grandfather participated in this campaign and so I want to tell you a little bit more today about my grandfather and about his unit’s role in the Rhineland campaign in 1945. my grandfather’s name was James. He was born in the village of Carleton, place near. Ottawa in Ontario in 1920 and in the summer of 1940 when France is falling and it’s a crisis for the allies.

He And His Younger Brother Decide

to join the army. He originally wanted to join the navy, but one of his friends was going to Ottawa to sign up with the infantry. So he just decided to join his buddy and he joined the locally-based infantry unit known as the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, and he would serve with that unit right up until the end of the war. Now what is he doing in the infantry. He’s not let’s say your regular foot soldier in a way with just a rifle.

Hes Part Of A Unit The Cameron Highlanders

that is equipped with universal carriers commonly called Bran gun carriers that’s what he always used to say and so their job is to be mobile machine. gun support so they had a machine gun team. He was the driver of the carrier and they would be able to move to whatever infantry unit needed their fire support and bring their machine gun to bear. So he saw a lot of frontline fighting. He told me a lot of stories a lot of memories about it So.

After Training In England, He Joined His

unit in Normandy. The unit actually landed on D-day on the Canadian beach, but he was on a training course so he missed the D-day landings. He told me he wasn’t sorry about that since it was kind of a risky affair. He was involved in the very heavy fighting in Normandy, especially at Kapike Airport around the city of Khan and then trying to close the Thales gap, and he had lots of vivid memories of the fighting there that he told. In particular the fighting against the twelfth Vapham Ss Hitler-eugene Division, which was quite an unpleasant experience as he had to basically fight against teenagers, which makes the normal battle trauma that much more difficult.

The Next Major Campaign That He Fought In

they hopped along the coast of France, liberated some port cities, but it was the battle for the Shelt estuary in Belgium. The objective was to liberate the port of Antwerp, so that the allies could bring in supplies. This was a flooded low-lying area full of water, which made for a lot of difficult infantry fighting in in the water with dykes kind of a swampy muddy type of terrain, and during this fighting he was wounded. Now he doesn’t know exactly what happened he might have been hit by a German shell. He might have driven over a mine in the carrier, but he was wounded in the face.

He Lost All Of His Teeth And He

had to spend some time in hospital towards the end of 1944, but by February 1945, when the Rhineland campaign is about to open, he had healed and had rejoined his unit in time for the start of the Rhineland battles. Now one of the challenges that my grandfather as an individual veteran soldier faced but that the Western allies were facing in general in particular the British and Canadians at the beginning of 1945 was a lack of trained infantry replacements so what they did was they brought in men from other branches of the service. Other branches of the army who didn’t really have adequate training to try to fill the gaps. And this is something that my grandfather told me about as a veteran. soldier who knew what he was doing in combat By this point, he was very frustrated and um afraid of the consequences of having to integrate these not very well trained and not experienced fighting troops into his unit.

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So He Said That They Really Didnt Have

much of an idea what they were doing and that he and the other veterans did their best to protect them and to teach them the ropes of how to not get themselves killed and how to become more effective infantrymen quite quickly, which was no easy task. When Operation veritable began on February 8th that’s the first phase of the reinline operation for the first Canadian Army. My grandfather’s unit was just behind the assaulting waves, providing them with indirect machine gun support. So basically the idea is you’ve got heavy artillery and medium artillery bombarding the German lines before the attack. But you also have a whole bunch of smaller weapons, anti-aircraft guns and machine guns.

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Like My Grandfathers Team Had That Would Just

harass the Germans and spray their lines with fire and this was nicknamed the so-called Pepper Pot and so my Grandfather’s team contributed to this harassing fire to try to keep the Germans heads down while the other infantrymen advanced straight into the enemy lines. So my Grandfather’s unit was part of the third Canadian Division and that division’s job in operation veritable was to clear the left flank of the Allied advance. Now normally this would be a flat flood plain next to the Rhine River. But in the spring of 1945 there had been extremely heavy rains plus the Germans had blown some of the dikes in the area, so it was entirely flooded and as the fighting was going on the waters would continue. Which caused the soldiers a few problems, so what happened was the villages that they were supposed to capture had now become little islands and they had to get to the villages by being transported in special amphibious vehicles like the Buffaloes or the weasels of the British 79-th Armored Division, so they would transport the Canadian troops in who would then attack these flooded villages and then be brought out again on the amphibious vehicles Quite a difficult type of warfare and the third division was assigned this difficult task because they had experience fighting in flooded areas back in the previous fall when they were trying to clear the shelt estuary and the official historian anyway at least of the battalion says that it was at this point during the reinline campaign that the division was given the nickname the Water Rats.

Once The Third Canadian Division Had

cleared this flooded area. They were withdrawn and eventually a little bit later put back into the fighting. Later in Operation Veritable add quite an infamous action for Canadians anyway at the Hochvald Gap, which was turned out to be Canada‘s biggest armored battle in our history, and it was quite a difficult and bloody affair. Several carriers from his unit hit mines and and were damaged or destroyed luckily. His was not one of them and once again they were providing covering machine gun fire for the infantry attempting to take the forest.

So By March 1945 The West Bank

of the Rhine had been cleared and the allies were preparing to the Rhine after the 51st British Highland Division and they were then operating in the area around the town of Emery. Now once that operation had finished up the third Canadian Division. was shifted back to fight in Holland until the end of the war. So my grandfather’s role in the Rhineland campaign and the crossing of the Rhine came to an end somewhere around Emery in March 1945. so that’s pretty much what I know so far about his involvement in the Rhineland campaign.

There Are A Lot Of Open Questions.

In particular because the way that his unit worked it was divided up. The carriers were sent to work with different infantry units to support them. So it’s a little bit difficult to tell exactly where he was at any one particular moment in time. I’m not exactly sure what platoon he was in yet I’ve got to narrow down what company he was in now.

He Told Me That Usually He Was

assigned to support a Canadian infantry battalion. Also from Quebec from my region called the regiment de. La should but it’s not for sure that he was always with them. So I can’t be precise about all the locations yet but that’s the kind of thing that we’re going to look into a little bit more and I hope to know more as we progress in the research and preparation for the film that will be Rhineland 45. now My grandfather’s story is just one of the stories that we want to tell in this film and the more support we get for our crowdfunding campaign The more we can do with the film so if my grandfather’s story made you curious about Rhineland 45 and about the stories that we want to tell check out realtimehistory.

Net Rhineland45 And Please Support Our Campaign.

Hi-I’m Jesse and this is flo and we are real-time history over the past six years. We have been covering the first world. In its aftermath in over 700 episodes over on our Youtube channel The Great War, a project that would have never been possible on traditional Tv and we also crowdfunded our World War Ii documentary series 16 days in Berlin with the help of over 4 000 supporters from around the world and it was released earlier this year on the 75-th anniversary of the battle Today We are back to work with you again. We are making a documentary about one of the most decisive yet often overlooked World War two battles in the west.

We Are Covering The Battle Of The

Rhineland. In 1945, British Canadian and American troops launched a massive assault on the German army’s final line of defense in the west the mighty Rhine River. There was bitter fighting in the mud and in the forests and finally a massive airborne assault to open the way into northern Germany. We’ll cover the fighting on the ground in the air and on the river with original battle footage unreleased material and sources from all sides of course, we have access to the battlefields and will work with an international team of historians and experts to cover the brutal combat and the plight of the civilians caught up in the crossfire and while researching the battle. I recently learned that my very own grandfather also participated in the Rhineland campaign, which he didn’t talk about very much.

He Was A Machine Gunner With

the Cameron highlanders of Ottawa and his story is just one of the many personal stories that we will bring to you. In this documentary. We need your support to make Rhineland 45 heredity no. TV station or broadcaster would allow us to make such an ambitious in-depth documentary about the war.

We Want To Show History As It Really

was and with Youtube‘s content restrictions. We would never be able to release it there with your help. We can once again bring together our expert team and make sure that we can preserve the history and the legacy of this crucial battle here at the tank museum we’re going to.


Jesse’s grandfather served in the Rhineland campaign in 1945 on the Western Front at the end of World War Ii . Jesse recently learned that his grandfather participated in this campaign and so I want to tell you a little bit more about my grandfather’s role in the campaign . He was born in the village of Carleton, place near.& Ottawa in Ontario in 1920 and in the summer of 1940 when France is falling and it’s a crisis for the allies. He and his younger brother decide to join the army. He joined the locally-based infantry unit known as the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, and he would serve with that unit right up until . end of the war. He was the driver of the carrier and they would be able to move to whatever infantry unit needed their fire support and bring their machine gun to bear. So he saw a lot of frontline fighting. The unit landed on D-day on the Canadian beach, but the unit actually landed on . the Canadian ….. Click here to read more and watch the full video