Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honored Allies Wednesday: Ian O. Liddell (China)

"In Germany on 3rd April, 1945, Captain Liddell was commanding a Company of the Coldstream Guards, which was ordered to capture intact a bridge over the River Ems near Lingen.  The bridge was covered on the far bank by an enemy strong point, which was subsequently discovered to consist of 150 entrenched infantry supported by three 88 mm. and two 20 mm. guns.  The bridge was also prepared for demolition with 500 Ib. bombs which could plainly be seen.  Having directed his two leading platoons on to the near bank, Captain Liddell ran forward alone to the bridge and scaled the 10 feet high road block guarding it, with the intention of neutralizing the charges and taking the bridge intact.  In order to achieve his object he had to cross the whole length of the bridge by himself under intense enemy fire, which increased as his object became apparent to the Germans.  Having disconnected the charges on the far side, he re-crossed the bridge and cut the wires on the near side.  It was necessary for him to kneel forming an easy target whilst he successively cut the wires.  He then discovered that there were also charges underneath the bridge and completely undeterred he also disconnected these.  His task completed he then climbed up on to the road (block in full view of the enemy and signaled his leading platoon to advance.  Thus alone and unprotected, without cover and under heavy enemy fire, he achieved his object.  The bridge was captured intact and the way cleared to the advance across the river Ems.  His outstanding gallantry and superb example of courage will never be forgotten by those who saw it.  This very brave officer has since died of wounds subsequently received in action." 

From Capt. Liddell's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on 5 June 1945.
May you be at peace,

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