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Leader Magazine
JULY 1961.
Our historian has again been looking at the names of the platoons of the Regiment, and has found the following stories, covering three wars and two centuries.
A village of Bavaria, situated on the Main, was the scene of the Battle of Dettingen on the 27th June, 1743. The battle was fought by the English, Austrians and Hanoverians under George II, against the French. Early in the battle the Allies were completely out-manoeuvred and were faced with the prospect of defeat. However, part of the French forces attacked at the wrong time and threw away the advantage they had gained. An infantry battle developed and the Allied Infantry gradually gained the upper hand and finally routed the French, partly driving them into the Main. Dettingen was the last battle in which a ruling English Sovereign took part.
During the 1914-18 war, the town of Ypres in Belgium was of great strategic importance, and in the battles fought for possession of it, it was utterly devastated and later had to be rebuilt. In October and November of 1914, it was involved in the British defence of the Channel Ports. Although the Germans failed to break through, it cost 55,000 British lives. During the Spring of 1915, the Germans used poison gas for the first time but the Allies held their ground, as soon as they had recovered from the initial shock of this new type of warfare. In June of 1917, Ypres figured in the disastrous Allied advance over the Flanders swamps. Costing well over a quarter of a million casualties, the heights of Passchendaele were secured, but within a few months all the land so gained was voluntarily abandoned to the Germans.
After the Tobruk disaster in June, 1942, the British Eighth Army withdrew to El Alamein. At once they were heavily attacked but the line was held. Rommel's attempts to invade Egypt had thus been halted in the Western Desert of North Africa. After elaborate deceptive measures, the allies mounted the offensive in October, 1942. Although not starting as well as expected, steady progress was made despite repeated counter attacks. Fresh Allied troops were introduced and, after re-grouping, the attack was renewed. The battle was completely won by 2nd November. The enemy forces had lost 55,000 men, 1,000 guns and 450 tanks, in one of the most decisive battles in history.
In August, 1944, on the Western front, several German divisions tried to drive through the Allied lines to the coast at Avranches. After five days of heavy fighting and relentless air attacks from the Allies, the Germans tried to withdraw and reform. By this time the Allies under Montgomery had trapped the Germans on three sides of the "Falaise Pocket". The "Pocket" closed on the 19th August after severe fighting during which some German armour managed to escape. The "Pocket" was eliminated by the 22nd August, by which time the Germans had lost most of two Panzer and eight Infantry divisions.





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