Line ve mark reall fecam
He attacked a tank single-handed at El Alamein, and engaged in personal duels with the Germans which he had no right to survive.Long afterwards, his commanding officer, Lt-Col Robin Hastings — no relation, alas — said to me: ‘You know, I think Hollis was the only man I met in the whole war who felt that winning it was his personal responsibility.As it exploded, he ran around the back and burst inside.He met two dead Germans, and a cluster of others who promptly surrendered.Almost everybody else, if they found some bloody awful job had to be done, would mutter, “Please God some other poor b****r will do it”.’D-Day found Stan Hollis a sergeant-major in a landing craft approaching Gold Beach, firing a Lewis gun at the German defences.Just before they lurched to a halt inshore, he rashly grabbed the gun by its white-hot barrel, giving himself a burn which proved his most agonising wound of the morning.
Others designed what were known as ‘the funnies’ — tanks modified to swim, or carry fascines (rolled-up bundles of wood) to bridge ditches, mortars to destroy pillboxes, flame-throwers and flails to explode mines.
Having controlled the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, he now directed the huge fleet of warships, transport and landing craft which bore the armies to France.
A sapper named Captain Scott-Bowden and Sergeant Bruce Ogden Smith, a member of the Special Boat Section from a famous family of fishing-tackle makers, probed the sand with auger drills within yards of German sentries before returning home bearing samples so it could be established whether the target beaches could take the weight of the tanks.
But when he added: ‘The things that I did, if I hadn’t done them, somebody else would have done them’, we may doubt his word.
No army can win its battles without a few, just a very few, amazing men like Stan Hollis.