RUR patrol captures prisoners.

Monday, 5 February, 1945

On the night 4/5 February 1945, the 2nd Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles sent its second patrol across the River Meuse to Hoeken. The patrol's mission was to capture a prisoner. At 2030 hours, Lt Beavan and 10 men paddled into the darkness in the direction of the enemy position at Hoeken.

Shortly after disembarking, the patrol approached an orchard in which they located an MG42 (Spandau) machine-gun emplacement and then observed the gun team being relieved. Having set an ambush on the track taken by the relieving detachment, the patrol waited; within minutes, two Germans moving on the track were promptly disarmed and taken prisoner. By 2330 hours, the patrol with its two dejected POWs was back in the Battalion area. As one of the prisoners was a company runner and therefore well informed about the local enemy units and dispositions, the patrol's success yielded very valuable intelligence.

The two prisoners were from the 11th Battalion of 1224 Grenadier Regiment in the 190th Division. The first prisoner was L/Cpl Zimmerman, aged 25 from Mannheim, a five-year veteran who had been wounded in Russia and had been in Holland for three months. The company runner, Grenadier Engel was from Cassel and had been in the army for three years. Both were aware that on the eastern front the Soviets were close to Frankfurt an der Oder and both were convinced that Germany would recover. According to the Interrogation Report, one remarked that Frederick the Great had defeated the Russians, even though Berlin had been lost.