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Battle of Bure

Article about: by londongirl1948 my dad was Major Andy Mcloughlin of 6th Airborne. He told us of this Battle when we were kids but my recollection is sketchy. Can anyone tell me more? It wasn't until I rea

  1. #1
    ?

    Default Battle of Bure

    65 years ago today British 6th Airborne was involved in the Battle of the Bulge , oh yes the British were there too !!!

    The British Airborne involvement was centred on the area south east of Dinant particulary in the area of Hotton and the town of Bure where the Panzer Lehr Divison was intent on making a final effort to breakout from the western tip of the Bulge.

    In late December 1944 6th Airborne was rushed from the UK , acros the channel and into the Dinant area. On 3rd January 1945 13th (Lancs) Bn Parachute Regiment began the assault on Bure together with C Company Ox andf Bucks Light Infantry and supported by elements of the 29th Armoured Brigade and the Belgian SAS. 7th ( LI ) Bn Parachute Regiment attacked Grupont on the left flank of the 13th at the same time.

    By late evening 5th January 1945 the Panzer Lehr were defeated and the last chance for the Germans to break out was gone.
    The fighting had been savage , Bure had been destroyed and casualties heavy.

    122 men from 6th Airborne and 3 from the Belgian SAS were killed in action, most of whom are buried in Hotton CWGC.

    This article is dedicated to my good friends

    A/ CSM Gill Thompson , C Company 2 Ox and Bucks

    Cpl John Montgomery A Company 7 (LI) Bn Para Regt

    Major Andy Mclaughlin 13 ( Lancs) Bn Para Regt

    All three were fighting in the Bure area 65 years ago as i pen this article.

    regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Nice to see that some one has put this right for a change.

    I remember my late grandfather telling me that the Guards Arm'd Division were also involved in some way, but you never see anything about it.

    Thanks Paul

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Very rarely gets a mention mate, most books on the Ardennes never include any British involvement
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  4. #4
    Pegasusred
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Hi Paul,
    I'm new to this forum but would like to thank you for mentioning the British contribution to the Battle of the Bulge. My great-uncle was a D-day veteran in 13th Parachute Bn., wounded on 10th June but recovered sufficiently to re-join his battalion in time for their rapid advance to the Ardennes late in 1944. He was killed in action on 4th January, 1945 during the savage fighting in Bure and now rests in Hotton CWGC - Pvt. David Hardy aged 22, R.I.P. About eight years ago my father and I visited Belgium to pay our respects to two members of our family who gave their lives in both world wars. We firstly visited the grave of my great-grandfather who was killed in action at Passchendale in October, 1917 and lies in Hooge Crater Cemetery and then drove across the country to the Ardennes to visit the area where my great-uncle was killed. Upon my return I endeavoured to discover more about the involvement of the Red Berets during the Battle of the Bulge but could only find scattered references, the odd paragraph here and there and more questions raised than answered. Since then I have been researching the contribution of Sixth Airborne Division to the Battle of the Bulge, contacting veterans and relatives of the fallen, sifting information at the Public Record Office, extracting information at the Imperial War Museum and any website with the slightest reference to the subject as well as taking part in one of the official pilgrimages. My aim, since those early days, has been to publish a book bringing to light the bravery of those young, airborne men who fought in the freezing winter of 1944-45 in the Ardennes, so that their contribution is not forgotten, those that did not return are honoured and hopefully that others will follow, in my amateur footsteps and undertake further research in years to come and produce other publications. I am a good way there so far but I am still eager for further eye-witness accounts and any information those on this forum may be able to offer.
    Just for the sake of historical accuracy, I would just like to add that 12th Parachute Battalion was also involved in some small part during the battle for Bure and that the 7th Parachute Battalion actually attacked Wavreille village on the 3rd January, 1945 - Grupont was the original objective of 13th Parachute Battalion after they had completed a clearing action of Bure which Intelligence stated was clear of enemy activity!!
    All the best
    Dave

  5. #5

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Paul, you do a great job of remembering the heros of all sides during the war. A very admirable quality of yours, thank you for helping us to remember. Recorded history has not been kind to the fine British troops that fought and died in the Bulge. I am embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of British Airborne's participation. But then again, my brain has been somewhat warped by the American version of reporting for that battle. I definitely need to do more reading. Dave, your family paid a terrible price in the two wars. Thanks for your story.

    Take care,
    Jay

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Quote by Pegasusred View Post
    Hi Paul,
    I'm new to this forum but would like to thank you for mentioning the British contribution to the Battle of the Bulge. My great-uncle was a D-day veteran in 13th Parachute Bn., wounded on 10th June but recovered sufficiently to re-join his battalion in time for their rapid advance to the Ardennes late in 1944. He was killed in action on 4th January, 1945 during the savage fighting in Bure and now rests in Hotton CWGC - Pvt. David Hardy aged 22, R.I.P. About eight years ago my father and I visited Belgium to pay our respects to two members of our family who gave their lives in both world wars. We firstly visited the grave of my great-grandfather who was killed in action at Passchendale in October, 1917 and lies in Hooge Crater Cemetery and then drove across the country to the Ardennes to visit the area where my great-uncle was killed. Upon my return I endeavoured to discover more about the involvement of the Red Berets during the Battle of the Bulge but could only find scattered references, the odd paragraph here and there and more questions raised than answered. Since then I have been researching the contribution of Sixth Airborne Division to the Battle of the Bulge, contacting veterans and relatives of the fallen, sifting information at the Public Record Office, extracting information at the Imperial War Museum and any website with the slightest reference to the subject as well as taking part in one of the official pilgrimages. My aim, since those early days, has been to publish a book bringing to light the bravery of those young, airborne men who fought in the freezing winter of 1944-45 in the Ardennes, so that their contribution is not forgotten, those that did not return are honoured and hopefully that others will follow, in my amateur footsteps and undertake further research in years to come and produce other publications. I am a good way there so far but I am still eager for further eye-witness accounts and any information those on this forum may be able to offer.
    Just for the sake of historical accuracy, I would just like to add that 12th Parachute Battalion was also involved in some small part during the battle for Bure and that the 7th Parachute Battalion actually attacked Wavreille village on the 3rd January, 1945 - Grupont was the original objective of 13th Parachute Battalion after they had completed a clearing action of Bure which Intelligence stated was clear of enemy activity!!
    All the best
    Dave
    Hi Dave and welcome to the forum It's nice to see someone else who knows about and is interested in Bure , i was due to take some vets over this year but so far we have had to put it off due to ill health , we are doing the Rhine Crossing as they did that as well. I take them to Normandy every year bu this year they wanted to go to Bure and Wesel.

    I am very freindly with a Belgian guy who has been researching this subject for many years also. I have lot's of info re the Btatle from vets some of which you may have some not such as.

    History of the Battle of Bure including personal acounts of Maj Jack Watson A Coy 13 Para , Arthur Laycock 13 Para , Major Clark C Coy 13 Para , Andy Mcloughlin 13 Para , Lt Steel- Brownlie Fife and Forfarshire Yeomanry , 29 Armoured Brigade , Dr David Clark 225 Para Field Ambulance.

    War diary of 13 Para at Bure , Roll of honour of 6th Airborne Div which includes your great uncle and the Belgian SAS in the Ardennes.

    Battel of Bure from the air , Flt Lt Noel Whaley RNZAF, plus the Battle from the viewpoint of the inhabitants of Bure.

    Very remiss of me not to mention the Yorkshire Bn as well.

    Best regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Quote by sitges1990 View Post
    Paul, you do a great job of remembering the heros of all sides during the war. A very admirable quality of yours, thank you for helping us to remember. Recorded history has not been kind to the fine British troops that fought and died in the Bulge. I am embarrassed to admit that I was unaware of British Airborne's participation. But then again, my brain has been somewhat warped by the American version of reporting for that battle. I definitely need to do more reading. Dave, your family paid a terrible price in the two wars. Thanks for your story.

    Take care,
    Jay
    Thanks as always for your comments Jay , unfortunatley not many people know about the Brtish and the Ardennes and what a vital Battle was fought at Bure , if the Panzer Lehr had broken out of the Bulge here things could have been very different and yet British Airborne and the attached forces got no crdit at all for what they achieved

    cheers

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  8. #8
    Pegasusred
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Hi Paul et al,
    Just looking over my research files it was also remiss of me to neglect the contribution of 8th(2nd Rifle Bn The London Rifle Brigade) Bn during the Battle for Bure as they were infantry support to the tanks of 2nd Fife & Forfar engaged in the battle and suffered two K.I.A. during the action. A short time ago I endeavoured to calculate the number of troops, artillery and armour involved on both sides during this short but fierce battle in a tiny, hillside village and came to the conclusion that it was a wonder that anyone survived!
    Also, as this is a war relics website does anyone know if the area around Bure has been searched for artefacts or if any of the locals have picked up finds from the ground over the years as I would be most interested to view any such material.
    All the best, Dave

  9. #9
    londongirl1948
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    my dad was Major Andy Mcloughlin of 6th Airborne. He told us of this Battle when we were kids but my recollection is sketchy. Can anyone tell me more? It wasn't until I read this piece that I realised it was the Battle for Buret. My mum told us it was the Battle of the Bulge.

  10. #10
    londongirl1948
    ?

    Default Re: Battle of Bure

    Hallo all, my dad was Major Andy Mcloughlin 6th Airborne. He did tell us about Bure when we were kids but my recollection is very sketchy - I was just about five then. Can anyone help me find out more? Is it right that the Battalion diaries are available somewhere? Thank you Mo

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