Operation Mickey Finn

This was a Canadian raiding patrol operation in North-West Europe (7/8 December 1944).

During the winter 1944/spring 1945 period the Canadian and other Allied armies undertook major programmes of patrol and raiding operations with the objects of gathering tactical intelligence, honing the skills of their own men in small unit operations, and keeping the German ground forces off balance. Raiding parties in strength greater than one platoon were always allocated well-defined objects, were carefully rehearsed, and were generally supported by a prepared fire plan based on the use of artillery and other supporting weapons, including machine guns, mortars and the divisional counter-mortar organisation.

A typical example of this well-organised practice was ‘Mickey Finn’, which was a Canadian operation undertaken near Knapheide, to the south of Groesbeek near the Dutch/German border, by the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, one of the three battalions of Brigadier W. J. Megill’s 5th Brigade of Major General A. B. Matthews’s 2nd Division. It is estimated that this company-strength raid killed some 25 German soldiers as well as capturing one man for interrogation. The Canadians lost nine men killed.