here is an act of gallantry that i think is very impressive..this man won a VC for his actions..well deserverd methinks...
Cain appeared to have developed an intense loathing of tanks after the bitter experiences of his Battalion on Tuesday 19th, and he personally saw to
it that as many were destroyed as possible. If ever armour approached then he would grab the nearest PIAT and set out to deal with it himself. On one
occasion, two Tiger tanks approached the South Staffords position, and Cain lay in wait in a slit trench while Lieutenant Ian Meikle of the Light
Regiment gave him bearings from a house above him. The first tank fired at the house and killed Meikle, while the chimney collapsed and almost fell on
top of Major Cain. He still held his position until it was 100 yards away, whereupon he fired at it. The tank immediately returned fire with its
machinegun and wounded Cain, who took refuge in a nearby shed from where he fired another round, which exploded beneath the tank and disabled it. The
crew abandoned the vehicle but all were gunned down as they bailed out. Cain fired at the second tank, but the bomb was faulty and exploded directly
in front of him. It blew him off his feet and left him blind with metal fragments in his blackened face. As his men dragged him off, Cain recalls
yelling like a hooligan and calling for somebody to get hold of the PIAT and deal with the tank. One of the Light Regiment's 75mm guns was brought
forward and it blew the tank apart.
Half an hour later though, Cain's sight returned, and against doctor's advice he refused to stay with the wounded and declared himself fit for duty.
He also refused morphia (which was in very short supply) to ease the pain he had. Instead he armed himself with another PIAT and went in search of
tanks, frequently alone. Tigers continued to harass the Lonsdale Force, and upon hearing that one was in the area, Major Cain raced out to an
anti-tank gun and began to drag it into position. A gunner saw him and ran over to assist, and the two men succeeded in disabling it. Cain wanted to
fire another shot to make sure that it was finished off, but the gunner informed him that the blast had destroyed the gun's recoil mechanism and it
could no longer fire.
On Friday 22nd, his eardrums burst from his constant firing, but he continued to take on any tanks he encountered, contenting himself with merely
stuffing pieces of field dressing into his ears. Nevertheless he never ceased to urge his men on, and was seen by his driver, Private Grainger, giving
a man his last cigarette.
Monday 25th saw very heavy fighting in the area occupied by the Lonsdale Force. Self-propelled guns, flame thrower tanks, and infantry took great
interest in Cain's position. By this time there were no more PIAT's available to the Major. Undeterred, he armed himself with a two inch mortar and
added further trophies to his collection, while his brilliant leadership ensured that the South Staffords gave no ground and drove the enemy off in
complete disorder. By the end of the Battle, Cain had been responsible for the destruction or disabling of six tanks, four of which were Tigers, as
well as a number of self-propelled guns.
As the Division was about to withdraw, some men were encouraged to shave before crossing the river, determined to leave looking like British soldiers.
Robert found a razor and some water and proceeded to remove a week's growth of beard from his face, drying himself on his filthy, blood-stained
Denison smock. His effort was noticed by Brigadier Hicks who remarked "Well, there's one officer, at least, who's shaved". Cain happily replied
that he had been well brought up.
i think the only reason we got the freedom we got now is because of these heroes...its a shame todays generation have a different type of hero
[edit on 10-3-2005 by Heratix]