Dennis Davis - Battle of the Salient

Running time
2 min 10 sec
Date made
Copyright
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Transcript

Around about the 15th of May when they made another big attack and on this occasion there were sixty tanks and the instruction went out that the tanks were to be allowed through the that perimeter but on no account were any of the troops hiding behind, trying to get protection of the tanks, they were to be stopped.

There were a couple of antiā€”tank guns at the perimeter to put up a bit of a fight. You've got to realise that when the Germans are attacking like this, their sappers came in overnight and lifted all the mines so their tanks could get through. What they didn't know was we've got mines laid within the perimeter so when these sixty tanks came through and they hit this minefield and stacks of anti-tank guns and anti-tank rifles were there ready to knock them off. Seventeen tanks were knocked out and the rest turned and fled. That was what we call the Battle of the Salient.

And at that time we lost about four or five hundred thousand yards of the front line and the Germans captured a little hillock, probably not much higher than this hotel but it was just sufficient to enable them to look over quite a large area of the garrison, what happened then from then on we had to be very careful about how we gathered together. At no time if we were having a meal or something else did we ever gather in a group. More certain now after, we gathered in twos and threes because it wasn't worthwhile putting a shell over.

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