This Day in History: 1945-04-07

Germany. Supported by flame-throwing tanks, 1st East Lancashires battle forward to the banks of the Ems-Weser canal but suffer a further 12 casualties. Only 21 prisoners are taken as the Nazi cadets opposing them prefer death to capture. Exposing themselves to the full blast of machine-guns or flame-jets from the Crocodile tanks, and obstinately determined to die for Hitler, they chant Nazi slogans to the last. In the words of the Regimental History, ‘They died as they wished – but it was not a pleasant party for anybody.’