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ISSUE No. 172 View larger

ISSUE No. 172

(Code A172)

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OPERATION 'BLOCKBUSTER'. Major Fred Tilston, VC. Prisoner of War at Brest.

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OPERATION 'BLOCKBUSTER' — Colonel Charles P. Stacey tells us how on February 26, 1945, having fought its way through the dreaded Reichswald forest, the First Canadian Army launched Operation 'Blockbuster', a continuation of the massed offensive aimed at securing the Rhineland as far south as Xanten and linking up with the Americans coming up from the south. Major Fred Tilston, VC — On Thursday, March 1, 1945, at the height of the battle for the Hochwald Gap, Major Fred Tilston of the Canadian Essex Scottish launched his under-strength C Company into an attack on the enemy-held Hochwald forest. Showing extreme courage, Tilston led his men across 400 metres of fire-swept open ground and into the German positions. Despite being wounded twice, he personally knocked out an enemy machine-gun nest. Having survived this and further actions, he was awarded the VC. The story is told by W. Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker. Prisoner of War at Brest — Lt. Paul R. Stevenson tells his remarkable story. Having been captured by German Fallschirmjäger just north of the city, he was taken inside encircled Brest, spending 20 days in a small prisoner of war camp before making a daring escape with three other Americans across the water back to American lines.

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