Brotheridge and Smith's platoons headed for the bridge, while Wood's platoon moved towards the trenches on its north east side. The German defenders however were not on full alert and only two sentries were on duty when the gliders landed. The sound of a gunshot alerted the two sentries on the bridge. As Brotheridge's platoon attacked, one of the defenders ran off shouting "paratroops" while the second fired a flare gun to alert nearby defenders.
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Brotheridge shot him while other members of his platoon cleared the trenches and pillbox with grenades. Alerted by the flare, the German machine gunners opened fire at the men on the bridge, wounding Brotheridge as he threw a grenade.
The grenade silenced one of the machine gun positions and another was taken out by Bren gun fire. Number One Platoon crossed the bridge to take up a defensive position on the west bank. The Royal Engineers from No 1 glider searched for explosive charges and cut the fuse wires when they found any. Smith's platoon crossed the bridge next, exchanging fire with the German defenders, whereupon Smith was wounded by a grenade.
Using grenades and Sten gun fire, the platoons cleared the trenches and bunkers.groshearttireke.ga/in-the-night-count-the-stars-an-uncommon.php
By German resistance on the west bank of the canal bridge was over. Checking the area, the men of Brotheridge's platoon now realised that their leader was fatally wounded and he soon died of his wounds, becoming the first allied soldier to be killed by enemy action during the invasion.
On the east bank Wood's platoon cleared the trenches and bunkers with little opposition. Woods was hit in the leg by machine-gun fire as he ordered the platoon to storm the German defences.
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All three platoon commanders at the canal bridge were now either dead or wounded. Brigadier Nigel Poett commanding 5th Parachute Brigade and a small team accompanied them. Disoriented after landing, Poett heard Brotheridge's Sten gun and set off for the bridges with the only man he could locate. Fox's No 5 Horsa was the first to land yards from the river bridge later christened Horsa Bridge at while No 4 was reported missing.
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