Liévin, February 4, 1918

Monday     Fairly clear & mild tho’ observation none too good Fritz shelled quite a bit during the day. between 7:30 & 8:30 our artillery was very active. Heinie came back but weak, we raided his trenches, & did a little firing, much quieter now am well.

The raid is carried out by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade. It was to be a stealth raid, with the artillery standing by for support if necessary. (1) And it is necessary. “The enemy were waiting for our men and put up a brisk resistance with bombs.” (2) There are two raiding parties, each consisting of one officer, two scouts, and 24 other ranks; on the left only three soldiers manage to get into the enemy trenches; on the right, twelve succeed. Their supporting sections being held up on the enemy wire, however, the leading parties of raiders withdraw, (2) without obtaining “prisoners or identifications.” (3)snippet 3rd infantry battalion feb 4 1918.JPG

To summarize, of the 54 raiders, 3 are missing and 12 are wounded, one fatally. One more will die tomorrow. (3) That’s approaching a thirty-percent casualty rate.

The 13th Artillery Brigade can congratulate itself that artillery support was given very quickly and effectively. (4)

(1) War Diary of the 13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. Vol. 13:12. Appendix 109: Operation Order 24. February 3, 1918. Library and Archives of Canada.
(2) War Diary of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion. Vol. 37: 26. Raid Report. February 5, 1918.
(3) War Diary of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion. Vol. 37: 5. February 5, 1918.
(4) War Diary of the 13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. Vol. 13: 4. February 4, 1918.

Copyright 2018. See “More about this project.”
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