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The Battle of Devil's Hill

Article about: Hi Guys, one of my big interests is "OP Market-Garden", best known from the book and film, "A Bridge Too Far". The village where I always stay when I visit Holland each y

  1. #1

    Default The Battle of Devil's Hill

    Hi Guys, one of my big interests is "OP Market-Garden", best known from the book and film, "A Bridge Too Far".

    The village where I always stay when I visit Holland each year is called Beek. I have wrote a little about it on the forum before. See this thread:

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/after-batt...-then-now.html

    It is situated on the Dutch German border not far from Nijmegen, on the road to Kleve in Germany. It is set below the high ground which is covered with woodland.

    These are relics which I have found there on "Devil's Hill" just up the steep hill leading to the next village of Berg en Dal. They tell the story of the battle quite well, showing how the area changed hands in September 1944.

    An extract from the Book: The Siegfried Line Campaign: this will set the scene:

    Elsewhere in the 82d Airborne Division's sector, D Plus 2 was "a quieter day."3 Through most of the day the enemy had nothing in the Reichswald but Corps Feldt's 406th (Landesschuetzen) Division with but four battalions totaling about 500 men combat strength.4 When concentrated against an isolated outpost or in defense of a strong natural position, these Germans nevertheless could make a stiff fight of it. To this men of Company A, 508th Parachute Infantry, could attest after fighting through the afternoon to secure an eminence called Devil's Hill. This was Hill 759, a high point east of Hotel Berg en Dal overlooking the Kleve-Nijmegen highway. In a determined charge covering 200 yards, Company A drove the Germans from the summit, but the enemy recovered on the slopes and counterattacked repeatedly with the support of eight machine guns. By nightfall Company A controlled the hill at a cost of seven wounded and ten killed, but so persistently did the Germans infiltrate during the night that another company had to flush the area the next morning.

    In the meantime, Company B had less difficulty securing the village of Wyler, a mile and a half to the southeast. At the end of D plus 2, the 508th Parachute Infantry had firm control of the Kleve-Nijmegen highway at three points: Wyler, Devil's Hill, and Beek.5

    Another event on D plus 2 that bore heavily upon the fighting was continued bad weather. So inclement was the weather that little resupply could be effected and the 325th Glider Infantry, scheduled to arrive on D plus 2, could not be flown in. This situation was to prevail for several days. Since General Gavin now was diverting much of his strength to Nijmegen, the lack of the glider regiment left an acute shortage of infantry that was heightened by the casualties the parachute battalions had incurred in three days of fighting. Company A, 508th, for example, in the attack on Devil's Hill had but 2 officers and 42 men. The commanders even moved 450 glider pilots into the line, a measure that to many of the paratroopers underscored the shortage of infantry.



    Here are a couple of .45 cal bullet heads together with two press studs from webbing or a jacket and part of a US M57 fuse from a 75mm round.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 001.jpg   Devils Hill relics 002.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    The Germans fight back. Some rounds found on a footpath.

    Also shown is a shell nose cap. I cannot make out any marking due to the damage.

    A couple of these rounds had suffered from rough extraction and the rims were starting to tear off. Dated '42 and '43.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 003.jpg   Devils Hill relics 004.jpg  

    Devils Hill relics.jpg  

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    The US Paratroopers are relieved by the Canadians as evidenced here by these spent .303 rifle rounds
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 005.jpg  

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    Found in and a around a foxhole on the top of the very steep slope overlooking the main road.

    9mm "Sten" gun spent cases. A nice find of a US made shaving cream tube in the same foxhole.

    But this guy was lucky, as the Germans were shooting at him with a 20mm cannon I found three rounds next to his foxhole!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 006.jpg   Devils Hill relics 007.jpg  


  5. #5

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    End caps from a British/Canadian 2 inch mortar carboard carrying tube. We found lots of these, all burnt in layers of charcoal ash, as the tubes were great for making fires with.

    Metal corner reinforcing from a British ammo box, still with a bit of wood remaining.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 008.jpg   Devils Hill relics 009.jpg  


  6. #6

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    Large heavy peices of shrapnel, most likely from German shells
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 010.jpg   Devils Hill relics 011.jpg  


  7. #7

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    My final item which I cannot identify, but I would guess is from some kind of shell container?

    A few of shots of the type of trench and foxholes to be found on the hill taken in the rain at dusk. The woods have steep slopes and are hard to find your way around. I would not have liked to have been in there during night fighting. It would have been very easy to have got lost or fallen down.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Devils Hill relics 012.jpg   Arnhem 2005 067.jpg  

    Arnhem 2005 068.jpg   Arnhem 2005 069.jpg  

    Arnhem 2005 070.jpg   Arnhem 2005 071.jpg  

    Arnhem 2005 072.jpg  

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    I think this is the French MAS rifle or a Chatellroute mashinegun 24/27
    Regards,
    Dimas

    my Skype: warrelics

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    Hi Dimas, I had looked at these but never really compared them to German 7.92mm rounds before, until now. They are not the same. Good call!

    But I think, having now looked, they are US .30-06 rounds. Headstamps are DEN, RA, and DM.

    Cheers, Ade.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Battle of Devil's Hill

    There was a thread about this location a while back on a Dutch forum. They found some SS buckles and alot of helmets. I believe it's illegal to use a metaldetector in that area these days in Holland...

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