I had just started my two-hour shift as duty officer (shared with the S.O., Adjutant and Battalion Second-in-Command) at Battalion HQ, when an anxious voice on the field telephone asked "Is that Mr Broon, sir? Well I have a compass bearing of a mortar firing tracer!" I noted the bearing and contacted a number of other forward positions and they, too, had used their compasses because of the impact of the Nebelwerfer's fire. When I charted the bearings on the map there was a clear intersection where the air intelligence map had noted '(?) possible site of Nebelwerfer'. I asked the artillery officer attached to us if we could have some fire on the target, and then quickly woke up the C.O. when our artillery regiment in support decided it would make it a major target and use all its field guns not already committed to fixed targets. Our response had to be quick as the Nebelwefer could speedily re-locate itself.
The C.O. now gave permission that I could try and arrange to go up with the Lysander aircraft the next morning and see if I could determine the effect of our artillery fire on this target. I undertook my third flight in the air: the first was on a five-shilling trip during an air circus when I was 17 years of age and flew round the hills of Peeblesshire; the second was made in a glider when we were being trained for our air-transportable role; and now this trip in a Lysander. It was an eerie feeling flying over the enemy in such a flimsy aircraft; I was careful about how I moved my heavy army boots in case they pierced the thin-skin of the aircraft's frame. I was able to gain information about the extent of the German defensive wire and then we looked for the previous night's Nebelwefer; there was a clear pattern of shell craters but it was not possible to determine if we had caught the Nebelwefer in its firing site but it looked as we might have as the location was totally pulverised. We were about to turn away from the 'target scene' when the pilot spotted some partly obliterated tracks in the snow and spotted enemy tanks in a wooded area near-by. The pilot circled round the area to confirm that there were no more about, and in doing so attracted some ineffective fire.

At the time of the Ardennes break-through a number of officers were called to a briefing by General Montgomery. We gathered in a large hall and after being warned not to smoke, we were called to attention as Montgomery arrived. He then told us to have a good cough, and then no more of it! In his clipped


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