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Captain Darryl Hollands – Steamroller Farm 1943

Weapons and Warfare

The previous evening a German counter-offensive had cut the road between El Aroussa and Medjez el Bab. The commander of Y Division, a scratch force holding this sector of the front, had no idea of the enemy’s strength and he decided to probe the area of Steamroller Farm, four and a half miles to the north, and the pass lying immediately beyond. The troops detailed for the task included a company of the 2nd Coldstream Guards, A Squadron 51 RTR, equipped with Churchills, and a troop of field guns. Hollands, a quiet man with immense resources of physical courage, had already been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal when, as a sergeant, he had rescued a pilot from a burning aircraft at Dunkirk; now, he was commanding A Squadron’s 1 Troop.

As the force approached Steamroller Farm it was apparent that it was heavily defended and the squadron came under fire…

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