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Actually within perhaps 20 minutes from the time they had stepped from their planes they had closed in on the pillbox after overcoming protecting land mines and silencing snipers...Highly dangerous work, even in the training scheme, starts when the heavy barbed-wire entanglements have to be demolished. Two paratroopers crawl slowly, pushing a Bangalore torpedo that looked like a big rocket on a long pipe, wriggling close to the ground, they inch it forward into the thickest section of the wire, under covering fire from comrades they withdraw quickly.

Seconds later there is a roaring blast. The barbed wire has disappeared. The sharp explosions of the torpedoes destroying the wire around the pillbox end. The hand grenades hurtle in. Under well-placed protection two or three men of a special demolition detail among the paratroopers appear from nowhere and creep like cats to the pillbox...The charge is set and dark figures move quickly across the shaded part of the clearing, taking advantage of deep grass, small bushes - even shadows - to place distance between themselves and the pillbox. Within a few seconds the explosion occurs.

By March of 1943 Canada had its elite Battalion.

While the Canadian parachutists completed their training in the United States, discussions were underway in England about the employment of this new unit. The Battalion would be part of the Canadian element in the United Kingdom, but under command and equipped as a British parachute battalion in the 6th Airborne Division.

Some of the possible roles for which the 1st Canada Parachute Battalion was trained for included: seizing ground which dominated a bridgehead and holding it until the next formation arrived, delaying the movement of enemy reserves located inside, or outside the original bridgehead and to operate with direct-cooperation with seaborne assault divisions.

Training run without equipment at Bulford, Lt GH Macdonald is leading.


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