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21 Battalion

German Staff Car Appears

German Staff Car Appears

‘Dispositions having been decided, the sadly-depleted companies proceeded to dig in and in due course Bob Nicol, Cliff Vause and I went forward to find a suitable observation post. Other members of the “I” section nosed around getting an idea of the place and making ground maps for use by company and platoon commanders. The sun wastes no time in rising in those parts and by the time we had found what we wanted—a bomb hole with an excellent field of vision and adequate cover for messengers to slip back—the day had warmed up. D Company was on our right rear, a distance of perhaps 400 yards.

‘We had just decided to enlarge our observation post when, without warning, a German staff car, travelling slowly from the direction of the escarpment on our left, crossed our front scarcely 200 yards away. This did not necessarily mean that it was manned by Germans as by then both sides were driving each other's vehicles with complete impartiality. But all saw the peculiar flat caps of the occupants at the same moment.

‘No sooner had I given my version of a fire order than Bob and Cliff opened up. Now both are pretty marksmen and the effect page 445 of their opening rounds, which followed each other like lightning, was simply bewildering. The car stopped dead and simultaneously three figures leapt from the car and disappeared from view—obviously into a handy slit trench. We then proceeded to wage a private little war which was interrupted by some bursts of well meant machine-gun fire from the more distant D Company.