Veteran Stories:
Allan Michael MacDonald

Army

  • Poster showing Formation Signs, 1945.

    Michael Allan Macdonald
  • Allan Michael Macdonald, Miramichi, New Brunswick, November 2009.

    Historica Canada
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"The Canadians were all on one side of the boat and injured German soldiers from the Falaise pocket were all on the other side."

Transcript

I ended up in the Royal Regiment of Canada, a unit from Toronto and they were very short of people because they had been involved in an attack on Verrières Ridge outside of Caen and they had a lot of casualties. So I went with them and was involved in the breakout on the 8th of August, 1944. That’s the front of the Canadian area and the British area was pretty much of a stalemate because of the strength of the German army and the strength of their armoured forces. So there was a breakthrough on the eighth of August. And that led to the action in the Falaise pocket and so on. And I remained with the regiment until we almost reached the Seine River, at a town called Elbeuf and the woodlands in the loop of the Seine. The Germans had a delaying action and the 4th Brigade of which the Royal Regiment was a member became pretty much involved with this rearguard on the German army. And we marched and counter-marched and so in the woods there for a couple of days. Then there was an attack on the 29th of August. I didn’t last too long there, you’ll see and I just stood up and said, let’s go and I was hit. And down I went. And I was shot through the left arm and my left loin there was quite troublesome. So I had a field dressing put on and that was the end of the attack, period. So it was about 12 noon, so all that afternoon, several of my people were killed and some were wounded, as I was. The regiment withdrew and the few of us that were left, were left alone. And in the course of the afternoon, you could see the German troops - most of the fire was machine gun fire. And you could see them laughing and dancing and they were having a ball. Anyway, to make a long story short, after dark, we, there was a couple of us, we got out of that spot and got back in the rear behind where we had been. And it was dark by this time and we moved back, further back out of the woods, into a clearing. By this time, there were half a dozen of us I think from other platoons in the same regiment. And there were casualties there and the people in charge had wrapped them in their blankets, they were all dead. And it was getting cold, so we took the blankets and we spent the night there. I was operated on that night, 10:00 I guess it was, just to clean up what was - a lot of my jacket and my web belt had got into the, this hole in my side. And so they probably had to clean it up. And that was my first experience with Pentothal and it was wonderful. I stayed there I think just one night and they put us on Tank Landing Craft and sent us to England. The Canadians were all on one side of the boat and injured German soldiers from the Falaise pocket were all on the other side.
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