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The Algonquin Regiment in Holland ww2

Christinal

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Pte. Norman L. Brown was killed in action on October 25, 1944 and is buried in Bergen op Zoom in the Canadian cemetary. How would I find information regarding the regiment movements regarding the day he died? Thanks for any help !
 

Christinal

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Mariomike - thank you for responding so guickly to my question. The links you provided do not appear to be working?
 

Michael OLeary

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War Diaries for the Second World War are not yet available on line at Library and Archives Canada. Ordering through the LAC's photocopy services can be very slow and expensive (40 cents per page plus postage last time I used their service. I would recommend hiring a local free lance researcher to go into LAC and photograph the files for you (or the specific sections you want).

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/freelance-researchers/pages/freelance-researchers.aspx

My personal recommendation is for Arnold Kay - cef.research@rogers.com
 

George Wallace

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Christinal said:
Mariomike - thank you for responding so guickly to my question. The links you provided do not appear to be working?

Many sites, especially government sites, have a bad habit of changing their addresses when they do updates to their site.  If you can figure out what keywords to use for a broken link, Google may give/find you the new site.
 

klambie

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You might try a posting on this thread:
http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/algonquin-regiment.34998/

Appears members there have access to the regimental history and possibly the entire war diary.

If that doesn't pan out, advice in the 5 Field Ambulance thread applies.

 

daftandbarmy

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Christinal said:
Pte. Norman L. Brown was killed in action on October 25, 1944 and is buried in Bergen op Zoom in the Canadian cemetary. How would I find information regarding the regiment movements regarding the day he died? Thanks for any help !

FYI.... They were with the 10th Bde in the Scheldt campaign. This is a good high level summary.

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/campaigns/northwesteurope/scheldt.htm

I have walked much of that ground during a couple of battlefield tours. Looking a the ground and the enemy resistance, it is amazing what they were able to accomplish.
 

Petard

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The Algonquin's history in WW II was captured well in the book "Warpath", written by Major G.L. Cassidy, a former OC in the Regt during WW II.  This one will definitely tell you the detail of what the unit was doing, but not so much what was going on around it. Still, it is well worth the read if you're interested in the unit's history.  The problem will be getting a copy, they can run  well over $100 for a used one in fair condition, so might be better to try and get one the old fashioned way through the library

Another source, for that time period, is the book "Maple Leaf Route: Scheldt", written by Terry Copp and Robert Vogel. New is hard to come by, but you might be able to pick a good used one up for about $50.  It is the 4th in a series of 5 books on the Canadians' North West European Campaign. There is incredible detail, including contemporary aerial photographs, war diaries, with a very engaging synopsis of each phase of the campaign. While it does not cover the Algonquin's specifically, I do recall it does cover them in critical battles, and I'd say the authors do a far better job acknowledging the Algonquins contributions than I've seen in other books covering that time period.  That series will give you a better idea of the context of what was going on around the Algonquin's at that time, besides being a very good read
 

Chispa

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Let’s see; VRI Mag Incognito gone Rogue narrative for The Algonquin Regiment main page.
http://regimentalrogue.com/battlehonours/bathnrinf/34-algr.htm  The Scheldt, Breskens Pocket and The Lower Mass. :bravo:

Like stated only at LAC U can dig it up, however can get very expensive, lets see what I have on file from the olden days.

Algonquin Regiment, R.C.I.C. Pte. Norman Leslie Brown KIA October 25, 1944, with seven more of his regimental brothers died on that date. In Oct., you had battle of Breskens Pocket (Oct., 11 – Nov., 3rd 44), South Beveland ( Oct 24-31st) and The Lower Maas (Oct., 20 – Nov., 7th). Algonquin Regiment, R.C.I.C. participated in the Battle of the Scheldt, Breskens Pocket, in The Lower Mass engaged with 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment, The Canadian Grenadier Guards, 1st Hussars, Governor General's Foot Guards, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Lake Superior Regiment, North Shore Regiment South Alberta Regiment, British Columbia Regiment, Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment, The Lincoln and Welland Regiment.

4th Armoured Division, 10th Infantry Brigade.

From LMH Archives: The 4th Canadian Armoured Division landed in Normandy in July of 1944 as a reinforcement for the Allied effort in the Normandy Campaign. The composition of an armoured division differed from that of an infantry division, in that an armoured division was composed of Sherman and Churchill tanks with supporting infantry. The order of battle for such a division was as follows: 1 armoured brigade, which included 3 armoured regiments, 1 infantry brigade, also composed of 3 regiments. Artillery formations included 2 field regiments, as well as 1 anti-tank regiment and 1 light anti-aircraft regiment. Divisional troops included engineers, signalers, a reconnaissance regiment, supply/transport and medical personnel. The total strength on paper for an armoured division was 14,964 Officers and Other Ranks. This series contains the war diaries for this division in July and August, as well as the diaries of every brigade and regiment within it.

War Diaries missing from our online collection may be viewed on Library and Archives Canada’s sister site, Héritage. Their collection is organized by LAC reel numbers. To determine which reel a particular unit’s diaries are on, follow LAC’s instructions here.

Note check link for the Archives Folder for Algonquin Regiment http://lmharchive.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/The-Algonquin-Regiment.pdf

http://lmharchive.ca/canadian-divisions-of-the-normandy-campaign/4th-canadian-armoured-division/


DHH 2, -Col. Stacey Battle for the Scheldt: In the meantime the 4th Canadian Armoured Division's 10th Infantry Brigade had taken a hand. The Algonquin Regiment fought its way into the enemy pocket through the narrow land gap between the east end of the Leopold Canal and the head of the Braakman Inlet, and subsequently the Argyll and Sutherlands crossed the canal itself east of the original bridgehead. The aim was now to link up the 8th and 9th Brigades with the 10th. This was effected on 14 October when the Queen's Own Rifles from the north made contact with the Algonquins.

On the 22nd the Canadian armour captured Esschen, about eight miles north-east of Woensdrecht. This advance shook loose the Germans in the latter area. On the 23rd it was finally reported that the isthmus was completely sealed, and next day the 2nd Division began the advance against South Beveland.

The Taking of South Beveland and Walcheren: We must now return to the north side of the Scheldt and the 2nd Canadian Division. By 23 October, we have seen, this formation was in a position to attack along the isthmus towards. South Beveland; while progress south of the river had been such as to remove the possibility of interference by enemy guns from that shore. The plan was for the 2nd Division to thrust along the isthmus and obtain bridgeheads over the formidable Beveland Canal, which cuts across the peninsula from north to south. This advance was to be coordinated with an amphibious assault delivered west of the canal from the south side of the Scheldt.

The 4th Infantry Brigade began the advance along the isthmus on 24 October. The main road and the one secondary one had been badly broken up, and the ground off the roads was flooded. Nevertheless, an advance of two-and-a half miles was made this day, and by the 27th the Division had reached the banks of the Beveland Canal. That night the assault boats went into the water and the 6th Brigade2 established bridgeheads at two points. At a third, very heavy enemy shelling prevented a crossing. The engineers immediately set about bridging the 300-foot canal. Already British troops of the 52nd Division had made their waterborne assault in Buffaloes across the Scheldt from Terneuzen, landing west of the canal on the morning of the 26th and making their lodgement good. This diversion weakened the enemy's resistance to the Canadian advance from the canal and on the 29th British and Canadians linked up. The technique of SWITCHBACK had been repeated, and with like success. The rest of the peninsula was now cleared very rapidly; by the morning of 31 October South Beveland was ours, save for a tiny enemy bridgehead at the east end of the causeway leading to Walcheren. The 8th Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment had in the meantime passed a squadron across on Dutch barges to the neighbouring island of North Beveland, where it conducted a "private war" and picked up nearly 500 prisoners.



The remainder of 4 Division had followed to the Antwerp area by 17 October and came under command British 1 Corps. Together with three other divisions, their role, Operation Suitcase, was to thrust northwards and cover 2 Canadian Division's rear as it attacked westward to take South Beveland. 4th Division attacked northwards on the morning of 20 October, directed on Esschen before swinging north west towards Bergen op Zoom. Esschen fell on 22 October but it took until 26th to capture Wouwsche Plantage to the north west. Bergen op Zoom fell the following day.

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30077667


C.U.
 

Chispa

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Service No. F/3456 Pte. Norman L. Brown 24 years old, Son of Harry and Agnes M. Brown, of Cambridge, Hants Co., Nova Scotia.

His Headstone is a cross it writes as fallows:

Blessed
Are the pure in heart:
For they shall see God.
  St. Matthew V.B.


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On October 25 the Regiment was north of Huybergen
During the night the Regiment split up and took 3 different routes:
1) From Plantage Centrum towards Zurenhoek via a dirt road called Nieuwe Dreef.
This route went straight through a Kriegsmarine Defence Line that ran towards the anti-tank ditch of Roosendaal.
It was occupied by Kampfgruppe Dreyer's Batallion 'Pohl' (Parachute Training and Replacement Regiment 'Hermann Göring') who was part of K.G.Chill.
Lt.Col.Dreyer was the side-kick of Lt.Col.von der Heydte of Parachute Regiment 6 in K.G Chill.
K.G.Chill was called "Student's Firebrigade" and was sent to all the 'hot spots' during Market-Garden as part of the German 1st Parachute Army.
Dreyer was to cover the left flank to Roosendaal,while von der Heydte was in Woensdrecht on the right).

The other 2 routes ran to another part of the Kriegsmarine Defence Line.
2) from Plantagebaan towards Wouwse Plantage.

3) first leg also Plantage baan, but then east via Schouwenbaan towards east of Wouwse Plantage.

The Defence Line from Hildernisse to Wouwse-Plantage was a no-go zone during the war and you'll need a local expert to show and explain all to you ,otherwise you'll never find it.
It's all skillfull hidden in the landscape.



 

Petard

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From the book "Warpath", it looks like the Regt as a whole was doing advance to contact through typical lowland country, generally flat and in that particular area they were at, South of Centrum Belgium, they were often going through thick pine forests that were criss-crossed with dirt roads and ditches. The soil was sandy, which might have made it easy for digging, but unfortunately easy for planting mines too. The enemy had been busy too, preparing numerous dug in fall back positions, principally along main roads. The weather was cool, with steady rain through the night of 24 Oct, but by morning of the 25th a high pressure ridge moved in bringing sun and slightly warmer temperatures, the night of 25 Oct was clear and cold. The soldiers would of been quite tired by this point, with constant up/down advances to try and clear the Scheldt estuary.

I don't see anything in the book that specifically identifies when Pte Brown might have been killed. There is a description though about how they were setting up defensive positions into the night,  D Coy in Centrum (a cluster of buildings in the heart of a plantation) and B Coy north of them in a pine forest that overlooked a West-East road running towards Bergen Op Zoom. A and C Coy were patrolling towards Wousche Plantage, had made contact with the enemy, but there's no mention of casualties. A and C Coy's went firm where they were in preparation for a deliberate attack the next morning (the Argyle's eventually did that attack)

Sometime through the night, B Coy's CSM Burns with Pte's Broomfield and Allard disappeared while on route to D Coy lines in the Coy jeep (the abandoned jeep would be found the next morning). D Coy sent out a patrol to establish contact with B Coy, but made contact with the enemy and took two casualties. It became evident the enemy were infiltrating between D and B Coy, through the thick pine forests, and by the morning of the 26th would delay the Algonquins advance in the area, to the point B Coy had to withdraw back into Centrum.

Other than the CSM and the two Pte's, no other casualties are mentioned for this time period, so I would assume Pte Brown was one of the those casualties from the patrol that tried to establish contact between B and D Coy. It had been a grisly experience for the Algonquins, from the time they took the line in Hubert Folie Normandy in late July to 5 Nov 44, a period of 97 days, 75 days had been in action, and they'd suffered 816 battle casualties.
 

Petard

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Correction to above, Centrum is in Holland, 51°27'43.9"N 4°22'32.3"E
 
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