1st Canadian Parachute Battalion
The weekend of January 16-18, I joined up with the men of B Company of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. We drove down to Camp Clark outside of Nevada, Missouri for the 137th Infantry Regiment's annual Battle of the Bulge tactical. This was my sixth time attending this battle and I was glad to be getting back to it. We got down around 1630 on Friday and got squared away in the barracks. Then it was off to the town of Nevada for some chow. We spent the remainder of the night preparing our gear and doing some rifle drilling. It was lights on at 0600 to get our Saturday started. After a quick breakfast, the 1st Canadians were out in the field drilling and doing rifle inspections. Our first battle kicked off at 0900 as we pushed through some dense brush and wooded areas. After what seemed like an eternity we finally made contact with German forces who were defending a small town. After sweeping the town, we moved on to clear another patch of woods, routing out some well concealed Germans. After a convoy ride to our next point of departure we downed some rations in the field... it was sardines for me! We crossed plenty of open country before coming upon our next objective which was the town of Recht. After sneaking up on the town from the southwest, we encountered heavy German resistance and had to sweep the enemy out in a series of deadly house to house raids. Our Mills grenades were very effective in helping us accomplish our task. Our last objective of the day was to capture an intact bridge, however, by the time we reached the bridge it had already been blown by the Kraut defenders. The tactical portion of the day ended sooner than in years past and we were back at the barracks by 1500. After some hot showers and a quick rest, it was off to a hearty dinner of spaghetti, green beans, bread, cookies and lemonade. Our last night was filled with storytelling and some more cleaning and organizing. We headed back to Omaha before sunrise on Sunday morning. It was another great reenacting weekend and I felt very fortunate to fall in with the men of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
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