A barrage of 75mm shell fire from Hussar M4 Sherman tanks signalled the start of the battle. The Axis defenders furiously returned fire, immediately knocking out Lieutenant Bill Spencer’s tank. Lorne Fraser and Harper were subsequently killed. Other tanks fared better, with enemy armour-piercing shells bouncing off their turrets. Around 12:00 noon, under heavy anti-tank and mortar fire, Major Howard Keirstead ordered No. 2 troop to move about a kilometer and a half to the left of the main force and mount a flanking maneuver.
However, the fighting was far from over and stubborn enemy resistance remained firmly entrenched in the town. By the afternoon, Point 253 had fallen to the combined attack of the Irish Regiment and C Squadron from the 8th Hussars. The stage was set to move into the town of Tomba de Pesaro. While staging for the main attack, the tanks came upon several hidden concentrations of German infantry. They proved no match for the heavy Canadian armour, and some seventy soon surrendered.
To find out more, visit the 8th Hussars Museum, 66 Broad Street, Unit 3, Sussex, New Brunswick.