National Archives catalogue number WO 171/593.

 

Abbreviations

141728

2IC

2/858

3/346 Eng Bn

52 LI

6-pr
AA

Accn

Adjt

Adm

Adv

Airldg

Amb

Amn

Arty

ASSU

A.Tk

Att

Bde

Bdy

BM

Bn

BOWO

Br

BRASCO

Bty

BW

CB

Cdn

Cdo

CF

C in C

CMO

CO

Coln

Comd
Comn

Conf

Coy

CRA

DAA & QMG

Def

Det

Disposns

Div

DZ

Eng / Engr

Est

Evac

Ex

Excl

Fd

FDL

Fmn

FOB
FOO

FUP

FW

Fwd

G1

GOC

Gp

HA

Hy

I

IA

Incl

Inf

Instr

Int

IO

Junc

LMG

LO

Lt

MDS

Med

MG

MO

MR

NTR

OC

Offr

OO

Op

OR

Org

Pl

Posn

Pro

PW

Pz

QM

RA

RAC

RAP

RASC

RC

Rd

RE

Regt

Rep

Res

Rfts

Rly

RM

Rpm

RUR

RV

SA

SC

Seaf

Sec

Sigs

Sigmn

Sit

Sitnor

SL

SLO
SO

SP

Sqn

SS

Str

Strat

Tac

Tk

Tps

Tpt

UX

Wef

WT

X rds

X tracks

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

2 Kompanie, 858 Grenadier Regiment

3 Kompanie, 346 Engineer Battalion

52nd (2nd Ox & Bucks) Light Infantry

6-pounder

Anti-Aircraft

Accommodation

Adjutant

Administration

Advance

Airlanding

Ambulance

Ammunition

Artillery

Air Support Signal Unit

Anti-Tank

Attached

Brigade

Boundary

Brigade Major

Battalion

Brigade Ordnance Warrant Officer

Bridge

Brigade Royal Army Service Corps Officer

Battery

Black Watch

Counter-battery

Canadian

Commando

Chaplain to the Forces

Commander-in-Chief

Chief Medical Officer ?

Commanding Officer

Column

Command / Commander

Communication

Conference

Company

Commander Royal Artillery

Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General

Defence

Detachment

Dispositions

Division / Divisional

Drop Zone
Engineer

Established

Evacuated

Exercise

Exclude

Field

Forward Defended Locality

Formation

Forward Observation Bombardment

Forward Observation Officer

Forming up place

Focke-Wulf

Forward

General Staff Officer 1

General Officer Commanding

Group

Heavy Anti-Aircraft

Heavy

Intelligence

Inter-Allied

Including

Infantry

Instruction

Intelligence

Intelligence Officer

Junction

Light Machine Gun

Liaison Officer

Light

Main Dressing Station

Medium

Machine Gun

Medical Officer

Map Reference

Nothing to Report

Officer Commanding

Officer

Operation Order

Operation / Observation Post (if upper case)

Other Ranks

Organisation

Platoon

Position

Provost

Prisoner of War
Panzer

Quartermaster

Royal Artillery

Royal Armoured Corps

Regimental Aid Post

Royal Army Service Corps

Royal Corps

Road

Royal Engineers

Regiment

Representative

Reserve

Reinforcements

Railway
Royal Marines

Rounds per minute

Royal Ulster Rifles

Rendezvous

Small Arms

Staff Captain

Seaforth

Section

Signals

Signalman

Situation

Situation Normal

Searchlight

[Senior?] Liaison Officer

Staff Officer

Self-Propelled

Squadron

Special Service

Strength

Strategic

Tactical

Tank

Troop

Transport

Unexploded

With Effect

Wireless Telegraphy

Crossroads

Crosstracks

 

Month and year: June 1944

Commanding Officer : Brig S.J.L. Hill DSO, MC

 

5th June 1944

Place: Field

 

2320 - Bde HQ flew to DZ "V" near VARAVILLE.

 

6th June 1944

Place: Northern France

 

0056 - Bde HQ dropped, sticks scattered widely.  Bde. Comd. wounded.

 

0600 - Lt HAIG THOMAS, 4 Cdo att, killed near BAVENT.

 

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0900 - Bde HQ opened area LE MESNIL X-rds area 141728 (Sheet 75/2 1/50,000).  1 CDN PARA BN in same area protecting HQ.  Bde Comd wounded in early morning by bomb fragment.  Maj W.A.C. COLLINGWOOD, BM;  Maj A.A.K. POPE, DAA & QMG;  Rev. J. McVEIGH, CF 4th Class;  Capt W.E. CHURCH, MO,  and Lt D.J. KIPPIN, SLO, missing.  Capt J.T. WOODGATE assumes duties of DAA & QMG, and Capt A.T. WILKINSON duties of BM.  Capt J.A. WILKES, Sigs Offr 1, and Lt S. GYTON, Provost, missing.  Strength (Bde HQ) 9 Offrs 12 ORs; (Def Pl) 1 Offr 26 ORs.  9 PARA BN under comd 1 SS Bde.

 

2300 - BM and SLO rejoin having come in with glider force.

 

0400 - Considerable number of PW taken from BREVILLE area together with approx 40 rifles of varying types, 1 MG 34 and amn.

 

7th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0900 - Total PWs number 152, chiefly POLES and RUSSIANS; sent to Div.

 

1400 - Commandos withdraw from VARAVILLE forcing us to withdraw Cdn Coy under cover of darkness from ROBEHOMME.

 

1700 - Div Comd arrives, orders patrols to TROARN on infm of CSM 13 Bn.

 

2100 - Enemy snipers in vicinity, no casualties sustained.

 

8th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0200 - 9 Para Bn return to comd of this Bde.

 

0900 - Enemy resumed sniping and minor attacks on 9 Para Bn and 1 Cdn Para Bn.

 

1315 - VARAVILLE bombed and shelled by cruisers.

 

1400 - Capt WILKINSON, IO, killed during counter-attack on enemy.  SLO takes over IO.

 

9th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

1630 - Arrival of sea-borne party, less tpt.

 

1725 - Large force of FWs flying over area.

 

1930 - Attack on HEROUVILLETTE and RANVILLE by two Bns repulsed.  BDE HQ stood to.

 

10th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0730 - 2-Bn attack on 9 Para Bn and 1 Cdn Para Bn posns.  Enemy infiltrate between Cdns and 9 Bn with Inf Guns. and armour.  Driven out by fire.

 

1330 - Situation in hand.

 

1200 - BOWO, Cdr DAGGITT, wounded whilst endeavouring to fetch amn.

 

1430 - Visit by CO 5/7 GORDONS and CMO 153 Bde.

 

1830 - 7 Para Bn arrives at Bde posn.

 

2230 - 5 BLACK WATCH arrive and move to 9 Para Bn posn prior to attack on BREVILLE.  9 Bn capture Chateau to give BW. start line.  5/7 GORDONS and 1 GORDONS proceed to 8 Para Bn area.

 

11th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0400 - Shelling of BREVILLE by 64 Med Regt.

 

0430 - 5 BLACK WATCH attack BREVILLE.  Attack did NOT succeed.

 

1100 - 5 BLACK WATCH reform in rear of 9 Para Bn.  Chateau area.

 

1600 - LO from Div arrives with forecast of battle.

 

12th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

Up to 1500 hrs an exceptionally quiet day.

 

1500 - Hy bombardment heard from BLACK WATCH area.  Kept up for 1 hrs with strong mortar and SA fire.  Message from BLACK WATCH said they had drawn in one coy but had left A.Tk gunners and PIATs at CHATEAU.  LO from 9 Para Bn said that though situation was severe posn could and was being held.  Bde Comd ordered up "C" Coy 1 Cdn Para Bn and he with Bde IO went up to put them in posn.  FOO and FOB fired on wood near BREVILLE.  Numbers of BLACK WATCH found in Bde HQ area.

 

1700 - Cruiser fire by FOB of 64 shells.

 

1915 - Two tps Sherman tks 13/18 Hussars and 2 Secs 3 Para Sqn RE left Bde HQ for CHATEAU area.  4 Shermans K.O.

 

2145 - Attack on BREVILLE by 12 Para Bn, 1 Coy DEVONS and 1 Sqn 13/18 HUSSARS; this completely stabilised the front.

 

2245 - Bde Comd's party returned, Bde Comd to Div.

 

13th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0200 - IO to 9 Bn with orders for relief of 9 Bn and BLACK WATCH.  Collected guides from own tps.

 

0630 - 52 LI relieved 9 Bn and BLACK WATCH and came under comd 3 Para Bde.

 

1100 - 9 Bn arrived Bde area.

 

1500 - G.1 arrived with orders for move.

 

1935 - British aircraft (Typhoons) shot up Bde HQ and MDS with 20mm cannon fire and rocket projectiles.  2 Cdn Offrs wounded and 1 French female civilian killed.

 

14th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0200 - Bombed by hostile aircraft.

 

1230 - Seaborne tpt and party arrived (D plus 4 party).  Day very quiet.  Bde Comd confined to bed.

 

1700 - Gen BROWNING arrived for visit, left for 6 Airldg Bde.

 

2145 - 3 Prisoners arrive, 1 German, 1 Polish, 1 Russian.

 

15th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

1200 - Patrol conference.  All COs attended.

 

1400 - 3 PWs from 8 Para Bn arrive wounded.

 

16th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0430 - Hy mortaring and shelling of Bde posns.  Direct hit on goose pen killing broody goose.  Sgt LANE wounded in leg and evac.  Attacks on all fwd Bn fronts though very undetermined.  S.P. guns cause some damage to 8 Para Bn and 1 Cdn Para Bn.

 

1430 - Generals BROWNING and GALE arrive, talk of impending move to 5 Bde area.  Div Comd orders 4 6-pr A.Tk guns to be loaned to us from 12 DEVONS.

 

1915 - Capt FIELDER (SC) Lt SMITH (Sigs Offr) and Acting IO proceed to 5 Bde HQ to recce take over.  5 Bde party arrives 3 Bde HQ.

 

17th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0800 - 8 Para Bn starts to move to HEROUVILLETTE.

 

1400 - Last party of Bde HQ leave LE MESNIL (Bde Comd and IO).  Bde HQ strength 7 Offrs 15 ORs, Def Pl 1 Offr 25 ORs.

 

Place: Ranville

 

1415 - HQ set up in CHATEAU MR 113733.

 

18th June 1944

Place: Ranville

 

0900 - COs arrive for tour of posns with Bde Comd.

 

1200 - Brig. H.J.K. MONEY, 44 Bde, arrives to see Bde Comd.  BM take him to 8 Para Bn.

 

1245 - Maj Gen MacMILLAN met at LE MARIQUET X-rds by LO to be taken to 8 Para Bn.

 

1345 - COs of Bns in 15 (Scottish) Div taken round area by LO 8 Para Bn and S.C. (Acting).

 

1400 - Brig. H.J.K. MONEY lunched with Bde.

 

1715 - Shelling in area - 4 Cdns wounded.

 

1815 - Pte CLINTON, Bde Def Pl, killed by mortar bomb.

 

2130 - Maj Gen R. GALE arrives to see Bde Comd.

 

19th June 1944

Place: Ranville

 

1000 - All quiet.  Bde Comd recce's rest area.  Previous plans changed - 153 Bde now to relieve us.

 

1300 - Bn Comds to lunch.

 

1430 - COs and BM visit rest area.

 

1700 - Bde Comd and IO visit 224 Para Fd Amb and 5 Para Bde.

 

20th June 1944

Place: Ranville

 

0615 - "SITNOR" to Div.

 

1000 - All prepared for move to new area.  BM, SC, IO, Sigs Offr and Def Pl Comd visit area.

 

21st June 1944

Place: Ranville

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

Place: Ecardes

 

1000 - Bde HQ moves to area 113760.

 

22nd June 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1300 - Lt Gen CROCKER, Comd 1 Corps, visits Bde HQ and leaves a CAMEMBERT cheese.

 

2100 - Party for all Coy Comds and Bde HQ Offrs.

 

23rd June 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

0835 - Dud shells lands by Bde HQ stores.  Removed by excavation and sent to C.B. HQ.

 

1100 - 8 Para Bn ordered to stand by to move (not before 1300 hrs) to Div area owing to change in 152 disposns.

 

1405 - Gen CRERAR (?) visited 1 Cdn Para Bn.

 

1500 - 8 Para Bn move to new area.

 

2030 - Bde Comd visits 8 Para Bn in new location, then visits GOC.

 

2345 - Bde to move to LE MESNIL 25 Jun 44.

 

25th June 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.  S.L.O. appointed I.O. promoted Cpt. w.e.f. 8th June.

 

1000 - Various parties visit beaches from Bde HQ.

 

Place: Le Mesnil

 

1100 - Bde returns to Le Mesnil.

 

1800 - COs Conference.

 

26th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1000 - COs for patrol conference.  Fairly consistent mortaring and shelling.  RASC driver wounded at 8 Para Bn whilst with Bde RASC Offr.

 

1200 - Bde Comd to Conference at Div on patrolling.

 

27th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.  All quiet.

 

1100 - It is agreed that Bde Def Pl may be used by OC 9 Para Bn for patrols.

 

2145 - Bde Comd and IO to 8 Para Bn, on Bde Comd's return from Div, to listen to 8 Bn fighting patrol.

 

2335 - Return to Bde HQ.

 

28th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1030 - Bde Comd to Bns re patrolling.

 

1415 - Def Pl recce patrol.

 

2300 - Def Pl patrol to capture prisoner.

 

29th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1000 - Bn Comds to Bde Comd for patrol meeting.

 

1930 - Mortar from enemy posn wounded Pte Moxham, Offrs Mess Cook.  Unexploded bomb (81mm) in DRs' line, removed after bearing (of 130) being taken.

 

2000 - Mortar bomb wounded Capt FIELDER, Lt SMITH, Lt JONES (SC, Sigs Offr and Def Pl Comd), L/Cpl Little (Bde Comd's batman), Pte CARTER (BM's batman); 2 French civilians also wounded.  BM, IO and SLO received superficial wounds when another bomb exploded whilst they were carrying casualties to RAP.

 

2115 - Conference to sort out Bde HQ personnel.  LO to take over SC, SI PARKER - Def Pl Comd, Adjt Div Sigs coming to take over Sigs Offr temporarily.

 

2359 - Sundry shells and mortar bombs on HQ.  Enemy aircraft overhead.

 

30th June 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1000 - Col DAVIES, WTSF, 2nd Army, arrives to discuss points re weapons.  To be shown round Bns between 1600 and 1700 hrs tomorrow.

 

1100 - Conference on Adolf Hitler Day.  Gen GALE visits conference.

 

2300 - Slight mortaring.  SITNOR.

 

Str: Bde HQ 6 Offrs 16 ORs.  Def Pl Nil Offrs and 23 ORs.  Sigs Sec Nil Offrs 50 ORs.

 

 

Month and year: June 1944

Commanding Officer : Lieut. C.G. Stringer

 

7th June 1944

Place: Bulford

 

0015 - Unit D plus 6 transport for operation OVERLORD left this location.

 

9th June 1944

Place: Bulford

 

0600 - Bde HQ D plus 4 transport for operation OVERLORD left this location.

 

28th June 1944

Place: Bulford

 

1600 - Brig. R.G. Parker addressed all available officers of 1 Cdn Para Bn Residues and 1 Cdn Para Trg Coy on the actions so far fought by the 6 Airborne Div in Normandy.

 

29th June 1944

Place: Bulford

 

1030 - Brig R.G. Parker addressed all available officers of Bde HQ Residues and 8th and 9th Para Bn Residues as above.

 

Bde HQ Strength State.  1 Officer (Attd from D & S AF)  25 ORs.

 

 

Month and year: July 1944

Commanding Officer : Brig S.J.L. Hill DSO, MC

 

1st July 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.  Intermittent mortaring of Bde Area & HQ.

 

1100 - Bde Comd visits Div for SUNRAY Conf.

 

1200 - 1 Coy RUR under comd.

 

1345 - Final conf on Adolf Hitler Day attended by COs, BM, RA.

 

1800 - Bde Comd to Div for Conf.

 

2030 - Bde Comd returns, Adolf Hitler Day cancelled.  Fairly heavy mortaring and shelling all night.

 

2nd July 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1000 - BM to beaches to recruit offrs.  Brig Flavell and Poett visit.

 

1145 - Bde Comd to Bns.

 

1200 - Visit by Maj Gen E.E. Down, Lt Gen Crawford & GOC.

 

1300 - Visit by IO 5 Para Bde, who relieve us 4 Jul 44.

 

1600 - Visit by BM 5 Para Bde.

 

1745 - Visit by Lt Gen F.A.M. Browning.

 

1900 - Bde Comd visits Bns re stealing of 200 yds of ground tonight.

 

3rd July 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

0945 - Brig Poett visits Bde.  BM to 5 Bde re details of move.  Very quiet little shelling.

 

1630 - General Gale visits Bde HQ.  Very pleased, with 300 yds stealing of ground.

 

2100 - Meeting, regarding move tomorrow, of Bde HQ Offrs.

 

4th July 1944

Place: Le Mesnil

 

0600 - SITNOR.  Fairly noisy night.  Preparations to move to EXCARDES.

 

Place: Ecardes

 

1100 - Bde less 1 Coy Cdns arrive ECARDES.

 

1700 - IO to MDS.

 

5th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1630 - Reinforcements arrive.  1 'I' man, one clerk, & Capt Tomlinson (att for temporary duty).  Capt Kelland 8 Para Bn (att for temporary duty).  Capt Hart, SO1 from Div & Lt Watts RC of Sigs takes over SO2.  Sigmn arrives.

 

6th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1100 - IO returns from MDS.

 

7th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

SITNOR.

 

8th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

SITNOR.  IO visits 6 Airldg Bde & 5 Para Bde.

 

9th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

Bde Comds inspection.  IO recces training area & visits Lincolns on COLOMBELLES Bridge.  New BM Major R.W. GORDON takes over from Major W.A.C. COLLINGWOOD.

 

10th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

SITNOR.

 

11th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

SITNOR.

 

2000 - BM 5 Bde visited Bde.  Comd visited GOC.

 

2200 - 8 Bn warned for move to LE MESNIL.

 

12th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

1400 - 8 Bn moved to LE MESNIL.  7 Bn returned.  8 Bn under comd 5 Bde.  7 Bn under comd.  Capt Pearson, Airborne Forces Security Fund Officer visited Bde.  Bde Comd to Div.

 

13th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0900 - Bde HQ on nine mile route march.

 

14th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

0820 - Doodle bug flying SSE.

 

1430 - Capt Whitley visited Bde HQ to discover news of his brother.

 

1630 - Chester Wilmot BBC visited Bde and Bns.

 

15th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

2100 - Ordered to get all Bde trenches bomb & shell proof by 0900 hrs 16 Jul.

 

16th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

1215 - Bde Comd to Div to lunch with C in C 21 Army Group.

 

2230 - Bombs near Bde area.

 

17th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

1300 - Lt Col Harris 2 RUR visited Bde and sent to Lt Col Pearson 8 Para Bn to obtain full information on Brickworks Touffreville & Troarn.

 

1415 - Sunray, Seagul Conf at Div.

 

1745 - Conf for COs at Bde re new areas.  Bde at 1 hrs notice to move to RANVILLE.

 

18th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.  Hy Bombers over FAUBERG DE VAUCELLES.

 

0830 - Hvy day bombers over area SOUTH of ESCOVILLE.  Hvy traffic over bridges.  Battle in progress.

 

19th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - Battle still proceeding well.  Still at one hours notice to move.  Provost Sec lent to Corps Cage to help marshall prisoners.

 

20th July 1944

Place: Ecardes

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

21st July 1944

Bde moves to area below 5 Para Bde, excl X tracks 139720 to excl triangle 140707.

 

22nd July 1944

Comd Post from Bde still only in operation.  Bn posns att in trace.

 

23rd July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

1000 - Main Bde HQ arrive area.

 

2245 - Machine gunned by plane.

 

24th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0600 - NTR.  4 mortar shells in area.

 

1800 - Practice alarm.

 

25th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

1000 - Bde Comd, BM, DAA & QMG to Div for conf.

 

1615 - GOC arrived & stayed to tea.

 

1700 - Lt Col Andrews 2 Seaf arrived to be shown 9 Bn area.

 

26th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0930 - Bde Comd to Div then on conf with Lt-Col Pearson.

 

1700 - BM 152 Bde to tea.

 

27th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0130 - Bombing of area.  Trucks to our West blown up.

 

0900 - BM and IO to Div.

 

1430 - IO visits 2 Mx to see about loan of Panzer Werfer.

 

2100 - Recce of area for broadcast in Cdn lines.

 

2300 - Broadcast finally cancelled owing to breakdown of machine.

 

28th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

1730 - Conference of Bn Comds, CRA Reps from 152 and 5 Para Bdes regarding 3 Para Bde "Shoot" 29 Jul.

 

29th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

0930 - Conference ref proposed rest area.

 

1000 - Capt Kippen removed to hospital, temporary relief Lt Fitzgerald.

 

1100 - Bde Comd visits 9 Bn.

 

1230 - Bde Comd returns.

 

1400 - Bde Comd & recce party visit proposed rest area.

 

1710 - Cpl Walker - Chief clerk, wounded by mortar bomb - and evacuated.

 

1730 - Bde Comd & Bn CO's and 2ICs see demonstration shoot of Panzer werfer.  Note:- The Bde shoot referred to 281730 cancelled.

 

1915 - Intermittent mortaring and shelling of Bde area.  8 Bn report one killed.

 

2015 - Visited by Bde Comd 154 Bde.  (154 are taking over from 152 Bde on our right flank).

 

2030 - Col Sinclair again visited Bde HQ and stayed night.

 

30th July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0600 - SITNOR.

 

0840 - Mortar bombs fell in Bde area.  No casualties.

 

0945 - 9 Bn reports Snipers from fwd pl saw four enemy leaving slit trench at 146713.  Patrol organised to investigate possibility of enemy having moved fwd during night.

 

1145 - 2 mortar bombs fell in Bde area, no casualties.

 

1200 - 8 Bn report patrol went fwd to 147717 without making contact with the enemy.

 

1800 - 9 Bn report Patrol to 146713 and surrounding area found no signs of enemy and no trench.

 

2035 - Spitfires flew over and one bomb was dropped, believed to be in 154 Bde.

 

2040 - Observer states 2 spitfires were over enemy area BOIS de BURES.  Enemy HA fire seen to burst close, one spit turned and bomb was jettisoned on our posns.  Leading plane was seen to land 3 miles NW of Bde HQ.

 

31st July 1944

Place: Bois de Bavent

 

0040 - LO 6 Airborne Div arrives with orders for move.

 

0055 - BM leaves for conf at 6 Airldg Bde.

 

0245 - Issued following Instr:- To 1 Cdn Para Bn (1) LO to report here as soon as possible (2) Bn ready to move at 1 hrs notice from 0800 hrs onwards (3) In the light on (2) suggest breakfast at 0630 hrs.

 

0420 - Cdn LO arrives.

 

0530 - Bde Comd holds conf with Bn Comds.

 

0550 - Conf of officers Bde HQ.

 

0710 - Recce Party from 1 SS Bde arrive.

 

1130 - Rear Party depart for new location 129700.

 

1400 - Bde Comd meets Div Comd at RV 137707.

 

1530 - Change over completed.

 

1850 - Mortar bombs fell in Bde area at intervals till 2000 hrs.

 

 

Month and year: August 1944

Commanding Officer : Brig S.J.L. Hill DSO, MC

 

1st August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0600 - N.T.R.  Intermittent mortaring of Bde & HQ area.

 

1030 - Bde Comd visits Bns.

 

1145 - ASSU tentacle on listening watch allotted to this Bde.

 

1150 - Two pls of Corps Def Coy under comd.

 

1600 - G2(Int) visits HQ.

 

1640 - Bde Comd to Div for Conf.

 

2100 - G1 visits HQ.

 

2nd August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0600 - N.T.R.  30 bombs fell in Bde HQ area for period extending over hr.

 

1000 - Bde Comd visits Bns.

 

1400 - A little shelling.

 

1800 - Int Offrs conference.

 

1815 - Camouflage Offr visits Bde.

 

2245 - 3 Germans give themselves up to 9 Bn.

 

3rd August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1230 - Considerable mortaring and shelling in area.

 

1320 - "C" Sqn 148 RAC reverts to comd 148 RAC.

 

1830 - HQ shelled.

 

2100 - Propaganda shoot.

 

4th August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0025 - Aircraft drops flares in area.

 

0035 - Aircraft (enemy) drops bombs, some fall in own F.D.L.S.

 

0100 - Propaganda broadcast.

 

0340 - Bde HQ shelled.

 

1200 - A tk & Carrier pls from 1 Bucks under comd.  Bde Comd visits Bns.  Op instr attached as per Appx 'I'.

 

1600 - Int Offrs conf re patrols.

 

2000 - Slight mortaring Bde HQ area.

 

2115 - Propaganda shoot.

 

2130 - 7 deserters who heard our talk, arrive in 146 Bde area.

 

5th August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0135 - Propaganda speech.

 

1515 - Div IO visits re propaganda speech.

 

2050 - 1.SS Bde report deserter from 3/346 Eng Bn.

 

6th August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0600 - N.T.R.  1 Hy Regt, 4 Med, 5 Fd shoot on RONDEVILLE - LE MESNIL rd.

 

1200 - Int Offrs Conf.

 

1300 - Bde Comd visits Bns.

 

2100 - Lt/Col Pearson DSO, MC, visits Bde.

 

7th August 1944

Place: 129700

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

Place: 138698

 

0800 - Move to 138698.

 

1800 - Bde Comd's Conf for COs.

 

2115 - Bde Comd to Div.

 

8th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0100 - Shells in Bde HQ area.

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1000 - Bde Comd to Bns.

 

1830 - SPITFIRE crashed about 3 miles away after continually circling posns.

 

1930 - HQ area shelled & mortared.  Mortar amn dump hit.  Bde Comd's Conf.

 

9th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1200 - Locations of Bns (1) 8 Para Bn 131701 (2) 9 Para Bn 144697 (3) 1 Cdn Para Bn 136707.

 

1300 - HQ mortared.

 

1800 - Bde Comd's Conf of COs.

 

10th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1130 - 2 deserters from 3 pl 2/858.

 

11th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0340 - Propaganda speech.

 

0450 - HQ area mortared.

 

1130 - UX shell in Sigs area.

 

1600 - 2 German deserters from 2/858.  Specialist reinforcements arrive today incl QMs and MG Offr.

 

1800 - Bn IOs to HQ for Conf.

 

2100 - Slight mortaring of Bde HQ.

 

12th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

13th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

0900 - Bde Comd's Conf of HQ Offrs re discipline.

 

1400 - Bde Comd views enemy posns from Air O.P.

 

1600 - Visit by Lt Col Pearson DSO MC.

 

1730 - Bde Comd's Conf with COs re patrols.  Capt Kippin resumes duties of IO, Lt Fitzgerald becomes Bde S.L.O.

 

1740 - Bde HQ area mortared.

 

14th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

15th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1200 - 1 Bucks Carrier & A tk pl revert to comd 1 Bucks.  A tk guns replaced by 4 A tk Bty.  One carrier lost by mortaring during move.

 

1400 - G2 (Int) brings two Maquis to be briefed for journey thro' enemy lines to PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

16th August 1944

Place: 138698

 

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1400 - 5 hrs notice to move.

 

2000 - Stand by for "PADDLE".

 

2200 - G.O.C. arrives.  Patrols from all Bns out to probe enemy & to see if he is with-drawing.

 

17th August 1944

0200 - "PADDLE" Comd Post to 9 Bn HQ.

 

0515 - 9 Bn take BIRCH.

 

0601 - 8 Bn take LARCH.

 

0630 - 8 Bn on WINCH.

 

0900 - Bde Comd & BM move adv HQ to 202698.

 

1600 - Maquis men pass through lines.  8 Bn push in strong rearguard at St RICHER.

 

18th August 1944

0600 - Posns as in Appx 'B'.

 

1600 - COs called for conf for attack on river.

 

2215 - Attack commences.  Lt Fitzgerald killed, shell kills 2 & wounds 7 in Bde HQ.

 

19th August 1944

0200 - All objectives taken.  Posns in Appx "D".  PW advise Maquis men captured.

 

2200 - Bde Conf of HQ Offrs.  Bde Comd visits 8 & 9 Bns.  GOC congratulates Bns on exploits.

 

20th August 1944

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1400 - Conf of COs on move fwd.

 

21st August 1944

0700 - Move fwd on foot towards ANNEBAULT.

 

1800 - Bde Adm Area est area LE BOURG 3174.

 

2300 - ANNEBAULT captured by 8 Para Bn.

 

22nd August 1944

0530 - 9 Bn march to LA HAIE TONDUE.  Bde HQ est area 446016.  Posns in Appx "F".

 

23rd August 1944

1400 - Warning order for Parachute Operation to take place at dawn 25 Aug 44.

 

1600 - COs Conf.

 

2300 - O.O. for Ex. "BRICK".

 

24th August 1944

0215 - Ex "BRICK" cancelled.

 

0800 - All Bns move to area TOURGEVILLE.  Comd Post est same area.

 

1200 - Bns ordered to cross River TOUQUES and march to St GATIEN.  1 Cdn Para Bn to cross by ferry and 8 & 9 Bns on foot bridge.  Bde Comd ferried over.  Remainder of Comd Post arrived via PONT L'EVEQUE.

 

25th August 1944

0500 - Arrival of BM with orders to march to Cross roads 601703.

 

0800 - IO meets G.O.C. at Cross Roads and receives orders to seize and hold BEUZEVILLE to prevent enemy withdrawing through town.  Little opposition expected.

 

1000 - 8 Bn bypassing BEUZEVILLE to South.  Opposition stiff.  8 Bn fighting steadily forward.

 

1300 - 9 Bn ordered to high ground NW of BEUZEVILLE to patrol vigorously with the object of discovering a crossing of River.

 

1900 - 9 Bn attack ridge with arty support.  Attack successful.

 

1930 - Cdns called on to follow through.

 

2130 - Comd Post follows Cdns.  8 Bn in posn.

 

2300 - Comd Post est with 9 Bn.  Orders received that 1 SS Bde will arrive to pass through at 0100 hrs.  9 Bn and Cdns will push on to LA ROCHE & MON MAUGER, respectively.

 

26th August 1944

0430 - 9 Bn in posn.

 

0930 - Cdns in posn.  Posns as in Appx "H".

 

27th August 1944

All units resting.

 

28th August 1944

Units cleaning and issuing clothing.  Bde HQ at 603078.  Bde HQ strengths - HQ 9 and 22, Def Pl 27 ORs, Sigs 2 and 44.

 

29th August 1944

Warning order received for move to England.  COs Conf at HQ at 2100 hrs.

 

30th August 1944

0600 - N.T.R.

 

1930 - BM and IO to 8 Bn for dinner.  Visit of Brig HERBERT DSO (S.D. 21 Army Gp).

 

31st August 1944

0800 - Recipients of decorations despatched to Tac HQ 21 Army Gp to receive ribbons from General MONTGOMERY.  N.T.R.

 

 

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer : Brig S.J.L. Hill DSO, MC

 

1st September 1944

Place: 603076

 

Advance Party for U.K. of Captain H.E. Smyth and CQMS Dixon leave for ARROMANCHES.

 

4th September 1944

Main Party leave by road to ARROMANCHES - Advance Party arrive in BULFORD.

 

5th September 1944

Main Party spend second night in transit camp.  Road Party of Jeeps and Trailers leave under Captain Cooper (BRASCO).

 

6th September 1944

Main Party spend night on board.

 

7th September 1944

0830 - Arrival of Main Party at SOUTHAMPTON Disembark, and rail move to BULFORD.

 

8th to 10th September 1944

Checking of clothing equipment etc Submitting of indents.

 

11th to 24th September 1944

14 Days Bulk leave (Disembarkation) for Brigade.

 

 

Appendix "B"

 

APPRECIATION OF SITUATION

by

Brigadier S.J.L. Hill, DSO, MC. Comd 3 Para Bde at Bulford, on 14 Apr 44.

 

NEPTUNE

BIGOT -

TOP SECRET

TS/211/G.

Copy No 9

 

Ref Maps: (FRANCE 1/100,000 sheet 7F.

                 (FRANCE 1/50,000 sheets 7E/5, 7E/6, 7F/1, 7F/2.

                 (FRANCE 1/25,000 sheets 40/16, NE, SE, SW, NW.  Sheets 40/18 SE, SW.

 

OBJECT

1. In order of priority.

    Priority 1. (a) Silence enemy bty at 155776 by H minus 60 mins.

                    (b) Demolish brs:- TROARN 176680, BURES 173798, BURES 175702, ROBEHOMME 195727, VARAVILLE 186358.  Brs to be demolished by H plus 2 hrs.

                    (c) Deny enemy use of rds:- TROARN - BANNEVILLE LA CAMPAGNE 1367.  TROARN - ESCOVILLE 1271.  ROBEHOMME - LE MESNIL 1372.  VARAVILLE - LE MESNIL.  FRANCEVILLE PLAGE 1578 - calvary 156768 - BREVILLE 1374.  FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - RANVILLE 1173.

 

FACTORS

2. GROUND.

    (a) Relief.

        (i) ORNE and DIVES valleys are divided by narrow BOIS de BAVENT ridge 180 ft high running NORTH SOUTH from LE PLEIN [Map reference unreadable] to TROARN 1667.  This ridge is thickly covered with woods and orchards.

        (ii) Between this ridge and the ORNE valley to WEST ground is open and after a steep start slopes away gradually.

        (iii) Between ridge and DIVES river to EAST ground slopes away gradually to flooded or waterlogged river valley and is enclosed wooded or orchard country.

        (iv) Ground to WEST of R.ORNE is open and rises gradually but does not reach height of BOIS de BAVENT ridge for 12000 yds.

        (v) Ground to EAST of DIVES valley rises steeply to 400 ft.  This ground is 9000 to 10000 yds from BOIS de BAVENT ridge.

        (vi) There is a small ridge running EAST WEST from PR BARON 132705 to COLOMBELLES 0870.

        (vii) Ground to SOUTH of line CAEN - TROARN is generally open with no high features but is wooded near TROARN.

            Deduction 1.

                (a) BOIS de BAVENT ridge and LE PLEIN feature must be held to protect RANVILLE brs and to prevent observation over br-head.

                (b) There is danger of observation from high ground EAST of DIVES valley and from WEST of R.ORNE.

    (b) A Tk Obstacles.

        (i) BOIS de BAVENT feature is thickly wooded and enclosed orchards and is not suitable tk country.

        (ii) WEST - R.ORNE and CANAL DE CAEN are a complete tk obstacle.

        (iii) EAST - DIVES valley whether flooded or not is a tk obstacle except on rds.  Best tk approach in this area is rd DOZULE 2673 - TROARN.

        (iv) SOUTH - country is generally open and good tk country.

            Deduction 2.

                (a) Best tk country therefore main tk thrust from SOUTH and SE.

                (b) Owing to close country paratps in BOIS de BAVENT area can effectively deal with any tk thrust with own weapons, Gammon bombs and 75 grenades will be of great value.

                (c) Any main tk attack will be in open area NE of CAEN - inf attack in area BOIS de BAVENT.

    (c) Rds.

        (i) Main.

            (1) Coastal rd CABOURG 2179 - FRANCEVILLE - RANVILLE.

            (2) (a) CABOURG - VARAVILLE - LE MESNIL - HEROUVILLETTE 1272 - CAEN.

                (b) PERIERS EN AUGE 2776 - VARAVILLE - LE MESNIL - HEROUVILLETTE - CAEN.

                (c) ROBEHOMME - BAVENT 1673 - HEROUVILLETTE - CAEN.

            (3) DOZULE - TROARN - CAEN.

            (4) ARGENCES 1761 - TROARN - HEROUVILLETTE - RANVILLE.

            (5) LISIEUX 5488 - ARGENCES - CAEN.

        (ii) 3 and 5 are GERMAN No.1 priority rds and are most probable line of adv from EAST by Pz and other fmns.  TROARN, HEROUVILLETTE, and VARAVILLE are centres of comns.

        (iii) All rds will have rd blocks and may be mined.

            Deduction 3.

                (a) Brs successfully blown on rds 2 and 3 will impede enemy movement across flooded area into br-head from EAST.

                (b) Holding of key points TROARN - rd junc 1470 - rd junc LE MESNIL 1473 - high ground LE PLEIN will further comd rds 1 to 4.

                (c) HEROUVILLETTE is a key centre of comn and must be held.

                (d) Rd ARGENCES - CAEN is out of range of bde.

 

3. RELATIVE STRENGTHS AND DISPOSITIONS - ENEMY.

    (a) Coastal Sector.

        (i) 716 Inf Div right bdy 180790.  HQ in CAEN.  Two regts each of three bns in beach area.  726 Inf Regt WEST.  736 Inf Regt EAST.  736 Inf Regt two bns on beaches.  Right bdy 180790 - left bdy 050830.  Res bn in CAEN.  Right bn has one coy area FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - one coy area river mouth 1179.  Deduction 4.  This div will be contained by 3 Br Inf Div from H hr.  Prior to that res bn may counter attack 6 Airldg Bde at brs BENOUVILLE 0974, RANVILLE from WEST of river.

        (ii) 711 Inf Div left bdy 180790.  This div comprises two regts, has many Russians.  One bn CABOURG HOULGATE area 2179 with possibly some tks.  Res bn 731 Gren Regt area DOZULE.  Deduction 5.  This div will not influence our op until area of main br head landing is located, when res bn may be immediately committed.

        (iii) CAEN.

            Garrison: HQ 716 Gren Div. - 152 men.

                           res bn 736 Gren Regt. - 850 men.

                           742 Eastern Bn. - 850 men.

                           one bn 193 Local Def Regt. - 850 men.

                           marines. - (over) 200 men.

                           det tks. - (about) 20 tks.

                           AA and SL. - 550 men (20 Lt AA guns 7 SLs).

            Marines - primary task will be def of CAEN CANAL and R.ORNE.  This def comprises mainly of key points on waterway, jetty, wharfs etc.  It can be supported by E boats berthed in canal and river.  Deduction 6.  Will not affect our area.

            one bn 193 SICHERANG (Local Def) Regt.  This regt has some tpt.  Prime task def of CAEN.  It may however be called upon to man A Tk ditch and defs to NORTH of CAEN.  Deduction 7.  One coy will probably be detailed for immediate mobile anti-airtps role in area round CAEN.

            742 Eastern Bn.  Unlocated Russian bn is reported in area CAEN.  Role uncertain but reported to have counter attack role under comd 716 Inf Div.  This bn might well have task of manning A Tk ditch and defs to NORTH of CAEN leaving bn 193 Regt for def of city.  Deduction 8.  This bn may well be used in a counter attack role against the airborne ldg after first light D day.  In addition it will have at least one coy detailed for immediate anti-airtps role.

            res bn 736 Inf Regt.  Primary task counter attack of beaches with four coy areas to WEST of R.ORNE and two coy areas to EAST and at mouth of R.ORNE.  Dug in posns seem to have been prepared for this bn area high ground WEST of BEUVILLE 0675.  Deduction 9.  Bn will have minimum of one coy for immediate anti-airtps role around CAEN.  Regt comd is unlikely to commit whole bn in anti-airtps role to EAST of river when main responsibility lies to WEST.

            Tks.  A small force of approx 20 tks (believed to be FRENCH).  Role uncertain, but thought to be a res under comd 716 Div.  Deduction 10.  Likely to support res bn in counter attack role but will not be used in initial anti-airtps action during night.

    (b) Local Defs in Area.

        (i) Coast def bty MERVILLE 155776.

            Armament.  Originally 4 x 150mm (5.9 in) gun hows. (calibre may be increased).  This bty is under reconstruction.  Range 14600 yds - 90 lbs shell.  Rate of fire 4 rpm.  Mounted in concrete casements covered with earth.  Thickness of concrete approx 6' 6".  It is thought that entrance to casement can be by steel door in rear.  Emplacement and casements face NW.  Arc of fire 90 - 120 degrees.  A Tk ditch under construction to NW.  4 x 20 mm lt AA guns.  One located within bty on mound 156775.  Two in area 154781.  3 LMG's - These may well be increased.  Personnel.  Approx 120 - 160.  Large proportion low category consisting of elderly German or foreign conscripts.  Accn.  MERVILLE FRANCEVILLE.  On alert accn in casements and concrete shelters 154782.  OP.  138789.  Comns buried cable and wireless.  Deduction 11.  Garrison unlikely to sally from posns.  One para bn gp required to silence bty.  Explosives and AP weapons essential for penetration of posn and destruction of guns.  If anti-tk ditch is completed round posn and further wire erected it is for consideration whether small coup de main party of 2 gliders may be needed.

        (ii) Def posns 132766 SALLENELLES.  Believed to be small HQ.  Deduction 12.  Will not affect op against bty but covers movement on rd FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - RANVILLE.  Therefore must be liquidated.

        (iii) Def posn 180767 VARAVILLE - buildings 167753.  CHATEAU de VARAVILLE 178756 expected to be HQ.  Def posns in area is pl post primarily sited for def of HQ from coast.  Buildings 167753 may be signal exchange.  Deduction 13.  These overlook DZ 3 and will have to be dealt with by coup de main party.  Size one coy.  Valuable infm may be obtained from this HQ.

        (iv) TROARN br 176680.  Possible pillbox to WEST of br - steel rd block to EAST of br.  Deduction 14.  Small def post must be dealt with prior to demolitions.

        (v) General.  In view of isolated posn of enemy in area and army bdy.  It was to be expected that res coy would be found in area VARAVILLE - BREVILLE.  No trace of the existence of this coy can be found.

    (c) Mob Res.

        (i) 10 SS Pz Div.  It is reported that this div has probably been replaced by 12 SS Pz Div (HITLERJUGEND) from BELGIUM.  Org identical.  Centred around LISIEUX.  Formed 1942.  80% personnel.  100% guns and tks.  83% fire power.  This div appears to be split in two equal battle gps covering a large area.  WEST battle gp would appear to have gren elements in area VIMONT 1561 and MEZIDON 2555 area.  Deduction 15.  This div is placed for use in an EAST or WEST direction.  It will be used against 1 Corps br-head.  Pz Gren elements will have a minimum force of one coy for immediate anti-airtps role in area NW of VIMONT.  Battle gp is unlikely to be used WEST of CAEN canal on D day, but it is likely to be directed on to the brs at RANVILLE and to securing BOIS de BAVENT ridge.

        (ii) Mobile Fd Force Div area GAUMONT 7159.  Little is known of this fd force div.  Div is held in res with counter attack role in 716 Gren Div area.  Deduction 16.  This div will not influence airborne op in early stages.

    (d) Arty.

        In our immediate beach area the following guns can bring fire to bear on the sea, beaches and in our area.  4 super hy.  18 hy.  22 med.  4 fd.  Ground EAST of R.DIVES suitable for OP over bde area.  Deduction 17.  Entrenching tools not sufficient but main task will be shipping off coast.  Prominent landmarks, x rds and enemy posns will probably be registered and should be avoided as a permanent def locality.  Btys are being shelled and bombed.

 

4. RELATIVE STRENGTHS AND DISPOSITIONS - OWN TPS.

    (a) 3 Para Bde with under comd:- one sec 4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA.  3 Para Sqn RE.  one tp 591 Para Sqn RE.  sec Pro.  det 22 Indep Para Coy.  det Glider Pilots.  Deduction 18.  This is a force of 2000 men possessing few hy sp arms or A tk equipment.  It should outnumber any inf fmn which may be used against it in the early stages.  Infiltration is easy through wooded areas.  Strong patrols will be needed.  It cannot hope to impose long delay on enemy armour which may be brought against it in open areas but by making use of a tk proof localities in conjunction with vigorous and aggressive patrolling, delay and uncertainty will be imposed upon the enemy.

    (b) 6 Airldg Bde less one bn with under comd:- 3 Airldg A Tk Bty RA.  det 591 Para Sqn RE.  det 195 Airldg Fd Amb.  will be operating in area astride br BENOUVILLE - RANVILLE.  Deduction 19.  (a) Will prevent interference by enemy from WEST of river.  (b) Will tend to draw off and engage enemy elements generally in open country NE of CAEN.  (c) Will ensure our comns with assault 3 Br Inf Div is secure.

    (c) 1 S.S. Bde, less 4 Commando, will be operating in beach area to NORTH of our posn from H plus 6 hrs.  Deduction 20.  1 S.S. Bde will neutralise enemy in beach area and relieve us of responsibility for area to NORTH of line incl VARAVILLE - incl rd junc 158739 - incl BREVILLE - incl Quarry 113749.

    (d) 3 Br Inf Div are assaulting over WEST of canal with objective CAEN from H hr and are planning to reach RANVILLE br area by H plus 5 hrs.  Deduction 21.  This div will not affect airborne op until it relieves 6 Airldg Bde on brs at H plus 5 hrs.  When the area of the main beach assault is known to enemy this div will tend to draw off main enemy counter attack in def of CAEN.

        General Deduction 22.  This bde sp by other units of div is immediately superior to enemy mobile units of about four coys and can effectively deal with possible res coy in bde area.  Static defs can be expected to put up strong resistance and can be dealt with by carefully planning and vigorous action.  Occupation of key anti-tk def localities combined with active offensive patrolling throughout area is vital to success of op.

 

5. AIR

    (a) A/C

        Div allotment for Bde Gp. - 135 Para A/C (C.47's from 46 Gp RAF).  6 Glider Tugs.  (38 Gp RAF).

        Para A/C load capacity. - 5600 lbs per A/C (20 men, 4 containers 4 kitbags approx).

        Deduction 23.  This is not an evenly balanced allocation between para and tug A/C to ensure correct eqpt of tps on ground for tasks to be done.  9 Para A/C will have to be surrendered for 9 extra tug A/C.  Leaving - 126 Para A/C.  15 Glider Tugs.

    (b) Air Plan.  Para A/C are flying on bomber stream principle in one stream over each DZ at 6 A/C per min.

    (c) RAF Requirements.  For protection against night fighters and FLAK A/C must be as conc in air as possible in one stream stepped up of all types of A/C both glider tugs and para A/C.  Deduction 24.  DZs must be few in number and in approx same line of flight.  Gliders must be loosed from approx 2000 ft.

 

6. DZs.

    (a) See Appx "A".

        (i) Pink area is reserved for LZ's for 6 Airldg Bde and Div Tps.

        (ii) DZs must be within striking distance of tasks.  Distance within 2 miles ideal, 3 miles maximum.  All possible areas within this radius have been marked 1 to 5.

        DZ1.

            Country.  Ideal DZ - large flat area no obstackes.  Good RV to EAST especially TOUFFREVILLE 1368 from which good tracks radiate to tasks 4 and 5.  Distinguishing marks high avenue of trees 135682.  Enemy.  No sign of military activity can be seen in adjoining villages.  RAF.  Easy to find.  Could drop simultaneously with tps on DZ 3 and 5.  Flak.  Nil except over coast.  Gliders.  Suitable for gliders.

        DZ2.

            Country.  Undulating country covered in small degree by village of BAVENT together with numerous orchards on WEST flank.  Floods cover EAST side.  Enemy.  Unconfirmed reports of enemy occupying some houses near BAVENT.  RAF.  Easy to find but considerable accuracy would be required in dropping.  Can not drop simultaneously with other DZs.  Flak.  NIL except over coast.  Gliders.  Up to six could be brought in at NORTH end.

        DZ3.

            Country.  Good DZ - wide flat.  RVs easy to identify can be found to EAST, NW and SW.  Enemy.  Post is established at VARAVILLE, possible signal exchange area 167752.  RAF.  Ideal - wide and easy to find.  Could drop simultaneously with DZ1.  Flak.  Except over coast NIL.  Gliders.  Very suitable.  Obstacle.  Small 120 volt power cable or lattice poles.

        DZ4.

            Country.  Close country with many hedges and small orchards.  Reorganisation after dropping difficult - containers difficult to find.  RV difficult to identify.  Enemy.  Signs of small def preparations in houses and wooded country to NE of DZ.  RAF.  Wide - difficult to find.  Flak.  Bad - line of flight over bty and river mouth.  Gliders.  Difficult but possible.

        DZ5.

            Country.  Good DZ flat with few obstacles in NORTH, more trees and hedges in same area.  RV should be reasonably easy to identify, deep pond 144765 important landmark.  Reorganisation should be fairly easy.  Enemy.  DZ in close proximity to bty at 155776 also to HQ area 132766.  There is no sign of enemy occupation of houses in immediate DZ area, but enemy HQ at SALLENELLES.  RAF.  Difficult to hit off owing to very close proximity to coast and narrow.  Could drop simultaneously with DZ1.  Flak.  Very bad - line of flight over bty and river mouth.  Gliders.  Suitable.

    (b) Proximity of DZs to Tasks.

        DZ 3 is only DZ within 2 miles of tasks 1, 2 and 3.  DZs 2 and 4 are the next most suitably placed.  DZ 2 is within 2 miles of task 4 and 3 miles of task 5.  Deduction 25.

        (a) DZ 1 and 3 are the best for the RAF.  They are easy to find - simultaneous dropping can be carried out with one streams of A/C on each DZ.

        (b) They are the most suitable DZs from army point of view in respect of topography and proximity to various tasks.

        (c) Flak in area is reduced to minimum.

        (d) DZ 3 is most suitable for launching attack on bty where time and ground are vital.  Enemy posts VARAVILLE must be neutralised prior to arrival of main body.

        (e) Power line can be immobilised by adv party.

 

7. AIR SUPPORT AND DIVERSIONS.

    (a) Bombing prior to arrival of airborne force.

        (i) Hy bombing of bty posns along coast prior to D day incl bty MERVILLE 155776.

        (ii) Hy bombing of btys MERVILLE 155776 and OUISTREHAM bty between H minus 3 hrs and 50 mins and H minus 3 hrs 40 mins.

        (iii) Neutralising of SL's and interference with flak posns in area between H minus 5 hrs 10 mins and H minus 4 hrs 10 mins.

        (iv) Distraction of SL's and flak CAEN area H minus 5 hrs to H minus 4 hrs.

            Deduction 26.

                (a) Plan must not count on silencing of guns or destruction of defs by hy bombing.

                (b) Capt TROWBRIDGE party must recce posn for gaps in def as result of bombing.  Plan must be sufficiently fluid to accept openings.

                (c) The morale of the garrison will not have been improved.

    (b) Diversions are being arranged to draw off 10 SS (or 12 SS) Pz Div and res units of 711 Div together with local res in CAEN at the time of 6 Airborne Div ldg.  Deduction 27.  These may delay immediate counter attack by enemy mobile colns.

 

8. TIME AND SPACE - OWN TPS.

    (a) 3 Para Bde.

        Task No.1  Bty 156776.  Infm see para 3(b)(i).  DZ 3.

            (a) Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

            (b) Task to be completed by.  H minus 1 hr.

            (c) Time available.  3 hrs 30 mins.

            (d) Org at RV.  Topography should greatly assist finding RVs.  Opposition on DZ can be expected.  Some members of sticks will drop in flooded area and in orchard to SOUTH of DZ.  This will slow down re-organisation.  2 hrs.

            (e) Moving from RV to FUP.  Distance approx 1 miles.  Possible enemy interference might come from res coy if present in area.  Mobile coys from SOUTH should not affect this force, therefore 1 mph should be maintained.  1 hr.

            (f) Forming up and assault.  The final mopping up may require longer, but guns must be silenced within this time.  45 mins.

            (g) Total time required.  3 hrs 45 mins.

                Deduction 28.  Without any margin for unforeseen circumstances, estimated time required must be reduced by further 15 mins.  This can only be gained at RV.  Owing to congestion on this DZ guide parties must be dropped with coup de main party and bn must be given every priority to assist its re-organisation.  All opposition on DZ except at unit RV must be responsibility of other tps incl opposition from res coy if in area.

        Task No.2  Phase I: Destruction of enemy post VARAVILLE.  Phase II: Blowing of br at VARAVILLE.  Infm see para 3(b)(iii).  DZ 3.

            This task is in two phases.  Phase I (the destruction of enemy post) must be well under way before main body are dropped when Phase II starts.

            Phase I:

            (a) Drop.  H minus 5 hrs.

            (b) Posn to be neutralised by.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

            (c) Forming up on DZ for immediate assault.  15 mins.

            (d) Move to the assault of assault party and movement into posn of neutralising weapons (PIATs, mortars etc).  10 mins.

            (e) Mopping up of posn.  20 mins.

                Deduction 29.  It is vital for the attackers to be within def perimeter prior to arrival of main body.  As this is difficult it is for consideration whether the first two sticks down should not be dropped within the def of the post.  The final mopping up can be undertaken during the arrival of main body.  Drill for execution of plan must be simple and well rehearsed.

            Phase II:

            (a) Drop.  H minus 5 hrs.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins (RE).

            (b) Br to be blown by.  H plus 2 hrs.

            (c) Time available.  6 hrs 30 mins.

            (d) Org of RE party at RV and move to br should be simple.  Distance to be covered approx 1 mile.  2 hrs.

            (e) Demolition of br.  3 hrs.

            (f) Total time required.  5 hrs.

                Deduction 30.  This task should be comfortably accomplished with 1 hrs to spare.

        Task No.3  Destruction of br ROBEHOMME 195727.  Infm NIL.  DZ 3.

            (a) Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

            (b) Br to be blown up.  H plus 2 hrs.

            (c) Time available.  6 hrs 30 mins.

            (d) Org at RV.  Opposition is likely to be encountered.  Battle may be in progress to EAST and WEST of DZ.  RE Stores should be easy to collect in event of gliders arriving.  2 hrs.

            (e) Move to br.  There is a possibility of enemy res coy in area.  This is however likely to be engaged by main force.  Force for this task will be small and will therefore probably get through unhindered.  Distance 3 miles.  Rate of adv under above conditions 1 mph.  Navigation easy.  2 hrs 15 mins.

            (f) Demolition of br.  3 hrs.

            (g) Total time required.  7 hrs 15 mins.

                Deduction 31.  Time of demolition of br must be reduced by 45 mins.  Time of move cannot be reduced further.

        Task No.4  Destruction of rd br BURES 173698 rly br BURES 175702.  Infm - NIL.  DZ 1.

            (a) Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

            (b) Br to be blown by.  H plus 2 hrs.

            (c) Time available.  6 hrs 30 mins.

            (d) Org at RV.  Owing to open nature of DZ and country to WEST this should not prove difficult.  Three enemy mobile coys from CAEN and one from VIMONT could be in DZ area 20 mins after dropping, if they are not drawn off towards 6 Airldg Bde or in other direction by diversions.  This might lead to difficulty in extracting force from RV.  2 hrs.

            (e) Move from RV to brs.  There are good tracks and side rds through BOIS de BAVENT.  Enemy interception is unlikely, although force delegated for task might be harried during move.  Distance is approx 3 miles.  Rate of adv will be 1 mph.  The difficulties of navigation must be taken into account.  2 hrs 30 mins.

            (f) Demolition of br.  3 hrs.

            (g) Total time required.  7 hrs 30 mins.

                Deduction 32.  Time of demolition of brs must be reduced by 50 mins.  Time of move by 10 mins.

        Task No.5  Destruction of main rd br TROARN 176680.  Infm see para 3(b)(v).  DZ 1.

            (a) Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

            (b) Brs to be blown by.  H plus 2 hrs.

            (c) Time available.  6 hrs 30 mins.

            (d) Org at RV.  Owing to open nature of DZ and country to WEST, this should not prove difficult.  Three enemy mobile coys from CAEN and one from VIMONT could be in DZ area 20 mins after dropping, if they are not drawn off towards 6 Airldg Bde or in other direction by diversions.  This might lead to difficulty in extracting force from RV.  2 hrs.

            (e) Move from RV to br.  There are good tracks and side rds through the close country between TOUFFREVILLE and TROARN.  Enemy interception is more likely for this force than the one proceeding to BURES owing to its proximity to the main CAEN - TROARN rd and to the known elements of 10 SS (or 12 SS) Pz Div at VIMONT.  Navigation should be comparatively easy owing to rly, and rd ESCOVILLE - TROARN.  Distance 3 miles, speed 1 mph.  2 hrs 10 mins.

            (f) Demolition of br.  2 hrs.

            (g) Total time required.  5 hrs 10 mins.

                Deduction 33.  20 mins is in hand for destruction of enemy post if occupied and if not already done by fast moving party specially detailed for purpose.

        General Deduction 34.  It will be seen that in considering tasks 1 to 5 the time factor has been cut to the bone with no allowance left for emergencies.  Time taken to reorganise on DZ and for move across country to objective must be further reduced.  It is vital therefore that containers on DZ are reduced to minimum, they constitute the greatest delay to reorganisation at night.  This can be done by maximum use of kitbags and use of gliders for bulk loads such as explosives.  Guide parties for RVs must be dropped with pathfinders.  Speed across country can be increased by use of Jeeps for carrying hy loads.

    (b) 6 Airldg Bde.

        Times of ldg.

            Coup de main party. - H minus 5 hrs.

            Main body. - H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

                Deduction 35.  Airldg Bde will provide protection as in para 4(b) concurrently with our arrival.

    (c) 1 S.S. Bde.

        Time of ldg.

            Will not influence battle in our area until H plus 5 hrs when Bde gp conc area LE PLEIN.  After H plus 5 hrs 1 S.S. Bde will relieve det VARAVILLE and assume responsibility for area to NORTH of line incl VARAVILLE incl rd junc 158739 BREVILLE 1374 incl Quarry 1137[69?].

                Deduction 36.  These timings may be delayed if brs at RANVILLE and river crossings are under fire.  On arrival of S.S. Bde, 3 Para Bde will be able to concentrate by SOUTHWARD move of bty bn and by withdrawal of det from VARAVILLE.

    (d) 3 Br Inf Div.

        Should relieve 6 Airldg Bde of responsibility of brs area BENOUVILLE - RANVILLE at H plus 6 hrs on D day.  Its objective is to capture CAEN by move WEST of R.ORNE on evening of D day.

            Deduction 37.  This will enable 6 Airldg Bde to expand br head in a SOUTHERLY direction, and protect our SOUTH and SW flank.

 

9. TIME AND SPACE - ENEMY.

    (a) 716 Gren Div and Local Defs.

        Enemy will know that invasion is imminent together with general destination of invading forces.

            Deduction 38.  All def posts outlined in para 3 will be manned and ready to engage airtps.  Mobile colns will be at 30 mins notice to move.  Immediate orders for this move may be given at H minus 5 hrs on arrival of coup de main parties.  Mobile colns could be on DZ area 20 mins after drop of main bodies.

    (b) Res bns area CAEN.

        In view of interval of 5 hrs between first airborne ldg and H hr and exact point of invasion uncertain, Garrison comd might commit one bn for attack on airtps posn at first light D day.

            Deduction 39.  Units must be prepared to meet this threat at first light.

    (c) 711 Gren Div.

        It will be obvious to Div Comd at H plus 2 hrs that his front is not directly threatened.

            Deduction 40.  Res bn area DOZULE may be ordered to move against our posns covering tasks 2, 3, 4 and 5 from that hr.  Further elements of this div may move against us on evening of D day.

    (d) 10 SS Pz Div (or 12 SS Pz Div).

        Fwd elements of this div are in area VIMONT - MEZIDON 5 miles SOUTH of our posns.  Bulk of WEST half of div or battle gp may well have conc prior to D day some 15 to 20 miles from our area.

            Deduction 41.  As soon as area of sea ldg is apparent value of high ground BOIS de BAVENT and of RANVILLE brs will be appreciated by enemy comd.  WEST battle gp of div may well be instructed to deny above ground and brs to us at H plus 2 hrs.  Strong recce elements may be expected in area by H plus 3 hrs, assault by force of all arms by H plus 6 hrs.

 

COURSES

10. Enemy.

    (a) In both the following courses immediate vigorous offensive action will be taken in our area by a minimum of four coys of lorried inf radiating from CAEN and VIMONT and active def will be put up by all static posns.

        Course A.  To strike will all possible speed and maximum available force in area he considers main thrust i.e. main allied br-head WEST of CAEN.  On evening of D day the following mobile fmns would be available 10 SS (or 12 SS) Pz Div and one mobile Fd Force Div.  During move of 10 SS (or 12 SS) Pz Div to conc area recce and gren elements would be detailed to protect right flank of move which Airborne Div will threaten.

        Course B.  To appreciate that it is not possible to drive br-head into sea until large counter attack force from Strat res is conc.  During this move he will endeavour to contain the br-head in the smallest possible area, hinging on R.ORNE and CAEN in EAST.  To do this he is likely to employ a strong battle gp from 10 SS (or 12 SS) Pz Div in conjunction with units of 711 Inf Div and attempt to seize high ground BOIS de BAVENT and to deny use of brs over R.ORNE and CAEN CANAL.  In the event of capture of CAEN being imminent he will reinforce will all available res.  Pz Res Div and one Mobile Fd Force Div will attempt to contain br-head from SOUTH.

    (b) I consider he will adopt course B.

 

11. Own Tps.

    (a)

        (i) In considering these courses there is no alternative to the accomplishment of objectives (a) and (b).

        (ii) One bn gp is required to neutralise bty at 155776.  It must be protected by other unit from counter attack from its SOUTHERN flank.  The brs at VARAVILLE and ROBEHOMME owing to their relative posn require to be dealt with by dets of one bn.  The brs at TROARN and BURES owing to their relative posn require to be dealt with by another bn.  It will thus be seen that in accomplishing objects (a) and (b) there is a separate task for each bn in the bde gp.

        (iii) The alternative courses open to us therefore and dependant on the accomplishment of object (c).

        Course A.  A strong perimeter def on all main approaches.

            one bn task.  (i) Bty 155776.  (ii) Hold area MERVILLE incl rd junc 147783 and x rds 156774.

            one bn task.  To hold area VARAVILLE and ROBEHOMME in strength with Bn HQ and res coy area houses 162743.

            one bn task.  To hold TROARN in strength and cover the approaches to the brs at BURES and TROARN.

                Advantages.  (i) Provided the enemy adheres strictly to the rds outlined in object 3, he will be held up.

                                     (ii) Maximum covering force is in immediate vicinity of RE working parties.

                                     (iii) Enemy approaches down rds in question is held at maximum distance from br-head area.

                Disadvantages. (i) There is no res in hand to meet any unforeseen emergency.  There is no firm base on which to reorganise is event of things going wrong.

                                        (ii) SOUTH flank of Bty Bn is not protected.

                                        (iii) There is no res to prevent enemy infiltration through Bde posns.

                                        (iv) High ground BOIS de BAVENT is left open.

                                        (v) Bde Gp is completely scattered and units could be attacked in detail.

        Course B.  A firm base with strong outposts on all main approaches.

            (a) one bn task.  (i) Bty 155776.  (ii) Seize high ground area LE PLEIN.  (iii) On relief by 1 S.S. Bde move to area HEROUVILLETTE.

            (b) one bn task.  (i) Destroy enemy post and br at VARAVILLE.  (ii) Destroy br ROBEHOMME.  (iii) Protect SOUTH flank of Bty Bn.  (iv) Hold area rd junc LE MESNIL.

            (c) one bn task.  (i) Destroy br TROARN.  (ii) Destroy brs at BURES.  (iii) Seize area rd junc 1470.  Bn in paras (b) and (c) above will cover demolitions.

                Advantages.  (i) Same res is in hand to meet unforeseen eventualities, such as (a) Failure of 9 Bn to silence bty.  (b) A bn pinned to ground.  (c) Failure of 6 Airldg Bde to capture brs.

                                     (ii) Bty Bn is protected from interference from SOUTH.

                                     (iii) BOIS de BAVENT ridge held.

                                     (iv) All tasks are carried out.

                Disadvantages.  Covering parties for demolitions are weak.

    (b) I propose to adopt course B.

 

OUTLINE PLAN

12. 8 Para Bn.

    (a) Tasks.  (1) Destruction of br TROARN 176680 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolitions.  (2) Destruction of brs BURES 173698 and 175702 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolitions.  (3) Deny to enemy high ground area rd junc 1470.  (4) Deny enemy movement of rds TROARN - BANNEVILLE LA CAMPAGNE, TROARN - ESCOVILLE.  (5) Offensive patrolling to line of flooding JAUVILLE 1865 - brs 1764 - EMIEVILLE 1364 with object of deceiving and confusing enemy as to str and dispositions of left flank of Army Gp br-head.

    (b) Tps.  8 Para Bn with under comd:- 3 Para Sqn RE less one tp.  one sec 224 Para Fd Amb.  6 Jeep and 6 trailers (two for carriage of RE stores to brs one for Med).

    (c) DZ 1.

    (d) Time for Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

    (e) Subsequent Action.  After blowing brs it is anticipated that bn, less one coy area TROARN and det area BURES will be required in area rd junc 1470.

 

13. 1 Cdn Para Bn.

    (a) Tasks.  (1) Secure DZ for remainder of Bde Gp by destruction of enemy HQ and signal centre area VARAVILLE.  (2) Destruction of br VARAVILLE by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolitions.  (3) Destruction of br ROBEHOMME and cover demolitions.  (4) Cover move and assault of 9 Para Bn on bty posn and from interference from SOUTH.  (5) Hold high ground area LE MESNIL rd junc 141729.  (6) Offensive patrolling as ordered.

    (b) Tps.  1 Cdn Para Bn with under comd:- one tp 3 Para Sqn RE.  one sec 224 Para Fd Amb.  3 Jeeps and 3 trailers (one Jeep for carriage of RE stores to be ROBEHOMME).

    (c) DZ 3.

    (d) Time of Drop.  One coy H minus 5 hrs.  Bn Gp less one coy H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

    (e) Subsequent Action.  Bn, with small det ROBEHOMME will hold x rds LE MESNIL.

 

14. 9 Para Bn.

    (a) Tasks.  (1) Silence enemy bty 155776 by H minus 1 hr.  (2) Seize high ground LE PLEIN.  (3) Destroy HQ at SALLENELLES 132766.  (4) Assist conc 1 S.S. Bde in area LE PLEIN.  (5) Deny enemy movement on rds FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - RANVILLE and RANVILLE - FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - calvary 1576 - BREVILLE.  (6) Offensive patrolling area bottleneck MERVILLE.

    (b) Tps.  9 Para Bn with under comd:- one sec 4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA.  one tp 591 Para Sqn RE.  one sec 224 Para Fd Amb.  3 Jeeps and 3 trailers.

    (c) DZ 3.

    (d) Time of Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

    (e) Subsequent Action.  On relief by 1 S.S. Bde after H plus 5 hrs move to area HEROUVILLETTE.

 

15. Bde HQ.

    (a) Main - area LE MESNIL.  Adv - with Cdn Coy protecting flank of 9 Para Bn.

    (b) DZ 3.

    (c) Time of Drop.  H minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

 

16. ACK.

 

[Signed S.J.L. Hill]

Brig.

Comd 3 Para Bde.

 

 

Appendix "C"

 

3 PARA BDE O.O. No.1

 

NEPTUNE - BIGOT

TOP SECRET

Copy No 29

18 May 44.

 

Ref Maps:- (FRANCE 1/100,000 sheet 7F, 8F.

                  (FRANCE 1/50,000 sheets 7E/5, 7E/6, 7F/1, 7F/2.

                  (FRANCE 1/25,000 sheets 40/16, NE, SE, SW, NW.  Sheets 40/18 SE, SW.

 

INFM

1. Enemy

    (a) Coastal Fmns.

        (i) One bn 731 Inf Regt (711 Div) area CABOURG 2179.

        (ii) Res bn 711 Inf Div area DOZULE 2673.

        (iii) One coy Inf Regt area FRANCEVILLE PLAGE 1578.

        (iv) Res bn Inf Regt, 742 Eastern Bn, one bn 193 Local Def Regt are in area CAEN 0368.

        (v) Med Coast Bty (4 x 150mm guns) area MERVILLE 1577.

        (vi) Def posns believed to be HQ - VARAVILLE 1875 - BAVENT 1673 - SALLENELLES 1377 and WT sta 196693.

    (b) Mob Res.

        (i) 12 SS Pz Div area MEZIDON U25 - BERNAY Q77 - DREUX Q33.

        (ii) Armd force - size and identity uncertain - possibly 21 Pz Div - area BRETTEVILLE U[03?].

        (iii) 352 Fd Div - AUNAY T85 - GANISY T45.

        (iv) Mob inf bde area COUTANCES T2455.

    (c) For detailed infm see 6 Airborne Div Summary of Infm No.1.

 

2. Own Tps.

    (a) 3 Br Inf Div. is ldg on beach WEST of OUISTREHAM 1079 at H hr and is to capture CAEN by H plus 12 hrs.

        8 Inf Bde to relieve 5 Para Bde at RANVILLE 1074 NOT before H plus 5 hrs.

    (b) C Sqn INNS OF COURT are carrying out deep recce and may enter area from SOUTH.

    (c) 6 Airborne Div with under comd 1 SS Bde.  Is protecting left flank of 3 (Br) Inf Div by denying to enemy use of area between R ORNE and R DIVES NORTH of rd TROARN 1667 - SANNERVILLE 1368 - COLOMBELLES 0770.

    (d) FORCE 'A'

        Comd.  Brig J.H.N. POETT.

        Tps.  5 Para Bde Gp with under comd:-

                D Coy, two pls B Coy 2 OXF BUCKS

                591 Para Sqn RE less one tp

                4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA less one sec

                one pl 249 Airldg Fd Coy RE

                one sec 286 Airldg Fd Pk Coy RE

                    and in sp:- One cruiser HMS MAURITIUS.  One destroyer.

        Tasks.

                (i) Seize intact brs 098748 and 104746.

                (ii) Hold area BENOUVILLE 0974 - LE BAS DE RANVILLE 1073 - RANVILLE.

                (iii) Silence enemy post at 107765.

                (iv) Patrol to line COLOMBELLES - CUVERVILLE 1069 - X rds 123706.

        Bn Areas.

                (i) 7 Para Bn - BENOUVILLE to est brhead WEST of CANAL de CAEN a la MER until relief by 8 Inf Bde.

                (ii) 12 Para Bn - LE BAS DE RANVILLE to est brhead EAST of R ORNE with battle patrol at X rds 122755.

                (iii) 13 Para Bn - RANVILLE with covering posns at rd junc 122748 X rds 126739

                    and battle patrols at X rds 133725 ) after clearing LZs, probably not before H plus 8 hrs.

                                                 rd junc 121723 )

        Time of ldg.  Br Assault Party - P minus 5 hrs.

                            Main Body less Glider Elements - P minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

                            Glider Element - P minus 2 hrs.

        Subsequent Role.  Less 13 Para Bn, Div res area RANVILLE.

    (e) FORCE 'C'

        Comd.  Brig The LORD LOVAT, DSO, MC.

        Tps.  1 SS Bde comprising:-

                3 Commando (Comd Lt.Col. P. YOUNG, DSO, MC.)

                4 Commando (Comd Lt.Col. R.W.P. DAWSON.)

                6 Commando (Comd Lt.Col. D. MILLS-ROBERTS, DSO, MC.)

                45 (RM) Commando (Comd Lt.Col. N.C. REIS, RM)

                    with under comd:- 1 and 8 Tps 10 (IA) Commando, det RM Engr Commando.

                    with in sp:- Up to four 4.7" gun destroyers.

        Task.  Mop up and secure area incl FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - excl CABOURG - all incl VARAVILLE 1875 - LE PLEIN 1275.

        Commando Areas.

                (i) 3 Commando - Coastal area from excl LE GRAND HOMME to excl CABOURG.

                (ii) 4 Commando with under comd:- 1 and 8 Tps 10 (IA) Commando - SALLENELLES - DESCANNEVILLE 1677 - GONNEVILLE SUR MERVILLE 1676 - HAUGER 1275.

                (iii)  6 Commando less Cycle Tp and Hy Weapons Tp - LE PLEIN - BREVILLE 1374.  Cycle Tp VARAVILLE.

                (iv) 45 (RM) Commando less Hy Weapons Tp - Coastal area from incl FRANCEVILLE PLAGE to incl LE GRAND HOMME 1778.

                (v) Hy Weapons Tps 6 and 45 (RM) Commandoes - LES COINS 1675.

        Timings. (i) 45 (RM) Commando and 6 Commando arrive approx H plus 4 hrs 30 mins.

                     (ii) All 1 SS Bde task completed and all Commandoes less 4 Commando in posn by H plus 8 hrs.

                     (iii) 4 Commando in posn by H plus 13 hrs after destroying bty at OUISTREHAM.

    (f) FORCE 'D'

        Comd.  Brig The Hon H.K.M. Kindersley, MBC, MC.

        Tps.  6 Airldg Bde Gp less 12 DEVON with under comd:- 13 Para Bn on arrival of Bde Gp in area.  Force likely to be supplemented by arrival of 12 DEVON less one coy on D plus 1.

        Task.  To secure firm base area ST HONORINE LA CHARDONERETTE 0971 - ESCOVILLE 1271.

        Bn Areas.  Subject to situation at time of ldg.

                (i) 1 RUR - ST HONORINE LA CHARDONERETTE.

                (ii) 2 OXF BUCKS - ESCOVILLE.

                (iii) 13 Para Bn - area SOUTH of LE BAS DE RANVILLE.

        Time of ldg.  2100 hrs D day on LZs area 1174 and 0976.

    (g) FORCE 'E'

        Comd.  Col. R.G. PARKER.

        Tps.  1 Airldg Recce Regt

                 coy 12 DEVON

                 211 Bty, 53 (WY) Airldg Lt Regt RA.

                 tp 3 Airldg A Tk Bty RA

        Task.  To est base area CAGNY 1064 and act offensively to SE and EAST.

        Time of ldg.  2100 hrs D day on LZ area 1174.

    (h) FORCE 'B'

        Comd.  Brig S.J.L. Hill, DSO, MC.

        Tps.  3 Para Bde Gp with under comd:-

                one sec 4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA )

                3 Para Sqn RE                         ) Until completion of initial tasks.

                one tp 591 Para Sqn RE          )

                det 516 Lt Comp Coy RASC

                det REME

                det 6 Airldg Div Pro Coy

                det FSP

                det Glider Pilot Regt

                det 22 Indep Para Coy.

                    with in sp:-

                        6 FOO dets

                        3 FOB dets

                        HMS ARETHUSA (6in Cruiser) Range 25,000 yds.

                        One Destroyer (4.7" guns) Range 17,000 yds.

 

3. Topography.

    See 6 Airborne Div Summary of Infm, Sec I.

 

4. Met.

    Timings will be issued later.

 

INTENTION

5. 3 Para Bde Gp will:-

    (a) Capture enemy bty at 155776 by P minus 30 mins and destroy the eqpt.

    (b) Demolish brs:- TROARN 176680, BURES 174698, BURES 176703, ROBEHOMME 195727, ROBEHOMME 199739, VARAVILLE 186758 by H plus 2 hrs.

    (c) Deny enemy use of:- TROARN - BANNERVILLE LA CAMPAGNE 1367.  TROARN - ESCOVILLE 1271.  ROBEHOMME - LE MESNIL 1372.  VARAVILLE - LE MESNIL.  FRANCEVILLE PLAGE 1578 - rd junc 156767 - BREVILLE 1374.  FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - SALLENELLES.

 

METHOD

6. 8 Para Bn (Comd Lt.Col. A.S. PEARSON, DSO, MC.)

    (a) Tps.

        8 Para Bn with under comd:-

                3 Para Sqn RE less No.3 Tp (until completion of tasks (i) and (ii))

                One sec 224 Para Fd Amb

                Five jeeps and five trailers - 716 Lt Comp Coy RASC

                Det REME

                One FSP

                    with in sp:- FOO det No.2.

    (b) Tasks.

        (i) Destroy br at TROARN 176680 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolitions.

        (ii) Destroy brs at BURES 174698 and 176703 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolitions.

        (iii) Seize and hold high ground area rd junc 140703.

        (iv) Deny to enemy movement on rds:-

            (a) TROARN - BANNERVILLE LA CAMPAGNE.

            (b) TROARN - ESCOVILLE.

        (v) Offensive patrolling to line JAUVILLE 1865 - LA RAMEE 1764 - EMIEVILLE 1364 with object of deceiving and confusing enemy.

    (c) DZ.  DZ 'K'.

    (d) Time of Drop.  P minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

    (e) RV.  As decided by OC 8 Para Bn.

    (f) Subsequent Action.  After blowing brs gp less dets covering demolitions and executing tasks (iv)(a) and (v) will hold area rd junc 140703.

 

7. 9 Para Bn (Comd Lt.Col. T.B.H. OTWAY).

    (a) Tps.

        9 Para Bn with under comd:-

                One sec 4 Airldg A Tk Bty RA )

                One tp 591 Para Sqn RE          ) Until completion of task (i)

                One sec 224 Para Fd Amb

                Three jeeps and three trailers - 716 Lt Comp Coy RASC

                Det REME

                    with in sp:- FOB dets No.91 and 92.

    (b) Tasks.

        (i) Capture and destroy enemy bty at 155776 by P minus 30 mins.

        (ii) Seize and hold high ground LE PLEIN until relieved by 1 SS Bde.

        (iii) Destroy HQ at SALLENELLES 132766.

        (iv) Deny enemy movement on rds FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - SALLENELLES.  FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - rd junc 156768 - BREVILLE.

    (c) DZ.  DZ 'V'.

    (d) Time of Drop.  P minus 4 hrs 30 mins.

    (e) RV.  Area 170758 - Colour RED.

    (f) Subsequent Action.  Of relief by 1 SS Bde NOT before H plus 5 hrs move to area BOIS de BAVENT as ordered on ground.

 

8. 1 Cdn Para Bn (Comd Lt.Col. C.F.P. BRADBROOKE).

    (a) Tps.

        1 Cdn Para Bn with under comd:-

                No.3 Tp 3 Para Sqn RE (until completion of tasks (ii) and (iii))

                One sec 224 Para Fd Amb.

                Three jeeps and three trailers - 716 Lt Comp Coy RASC.

                Det REME

                One FSP

                    with in sp:- FOO det No.1

    (b) Tasks.

        (i) Secure and protect DZ during ldg of Bde Gp by destruction of HQ area VARAVILLE and neutralization of enemy if occupying houses area 167753.

        (ii) Destroy br at VARAVILLE 186758 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolition until relieved by 1 SS Bde NOT before H plus 5 hrs.

        (iii) Destroy enemy brs ROBEHOMME 195727 and 199739 by H plus 2 hrs and cover demolition.

        (iv) Cover move to and assault on bty by 9 Para Bn from interference from SOUTH.

        (v) Seize and hold area rd junc 141728.

    (c) DZ.  DZ 'V'.

    (d) Time of Drop.  One coy - P minus 5 hrs.  Bn Gp less one coy P minus 4 hrs 23 mins.

    (e) RV.  Area 167753 - Colour ORANGE.

    (f) Subsequent Action.  Bn Gp less det ROBEHOMME will hold area rd junc 141728 and carry out offensive patrolling as ordered.

 

9. 3 Para Bde HQ and 224 Para Fd Amb less three secs.

    (a) DZ.  DZ 'V'.

    (b) Time of Drop.  Adv Party - P minus 5 hrs.  Main Party - P minus 4 hrs 24 mins.

    (c) RV.  Area hedge junc 171754 - Colour GREEN.

    (d) Route to Objective.  With 1 Cdn Para Bn less two coys.

    (e) Location.  Comd Post with A Coy 1 Cdn Para Bn protecting move and assault of 9 Para Bn.  Main - Area houses 139732.  224 Para Fd Amb - Area houses 137729.

 

10. Allotment of A/C and Timings.

    See 6 Airborne Div Air Movement Table already issued.

 

11. Arty.

    (a) Allotment of FOO's and FOB's.

 

8 Para Bn

9 Para Bn

1 Cdn Para Bn

HQ 3 Para Bde

Para FOO

1

-

1

2

Airldg FOO

-

-

-

2

FOB

-

2

-

1

 

No.2 det.

FOB dets 91 and 92.

No.1 det.

FOB det 93.  Para FOO dets Nos 3 and 4.

    (b) FOB tasks - for detail see Appx 'A'.

    (c) For RA build up and areas of fire see trace X.

 

12. A Tk.

    (a) One Offr 4 Airldg A Tk Bty will fly in gliders allotted 9 Para Bn.

    (b) Sec 4 Airldg A Tk Bty will revert to comd 4 Airldg A Tk Bty area rd junc RANVILLE 114735 on capture of bty 155776.

 

13. RAF.

    (a) Hy OBOE (100 Lancasters) bty 155776 - P minus 4 hrs 50 mins to 4 hrs 40 mins.  This is more than greatest tonnage dropped on LONDON during German Blitz in one night.

    (b) Neutralization of Flak and SL.  Attacks on flak and SL by low flying fighter A/C will assist in covering the passage of the para and glider A/C over the coast line.

    (c) Deception.  Dummy paratps, delay battle noise simulators, flares and other issue-confusers will be dropped to SW of CAEN and on high ground EAST of R DIVES from P minus 4 hrs 45 mins to P minus 4 hrs 25 mins.

    (d) Bombline.  Will be issued later.

 

14. RE.

    (a) 3 Para Sqn RE.

        3 Para Sqn RE after completion of initial tasks will revert to comd CRE.  3 Para Sqn RE less 3 Tp will conc area rd junc 140703, 3 Tp will conc area rd junc 141728.  On reversion to comd CRE, RE units and sub units will be under comd bn comd in whose area they are working for local def only.  3 Para Sqn RE will carry out following tasks in 3 Para Bde area.  Mine rds:- area rd junc 140703, area X rds 141728, area rd junc 123705, area X rds 134744, area rd junc 136773.  In the above areas the REs will recce suitable diversions for jeep tpt.

    (b) Tp 591 Para Sqn RE after completion of initial task will revert to comd 591 Para Sqn RE area br at RANVILLE.

    (c) RE tp 1 SS Bde will construct demolition belt from VARAVILLE to rd junc 170792.

 

15. 22 Indep Para Coy.  DZ 'K' - conc under comd 8 Para Bn.  DZ 'V' - conc under comd HQ 3 Para Bde.

 

16. Glider Pilots.  Will remain with units until first light when they will conc area wood 113735.

 

ADM  See separate 3 Para Bde Adm order No.1 dated 18 May 44.

 

INTERCOMN

17. HQs

    (a) 6 Airborne Div area 106736 from P minus 1 hr.

    (b) 5 Para Bde - 110745 from P minus 4 hrs 45 mins, then 106739 from P minus 3 hrs.

    (c) 1 SS Bde area LE PLEIN NOT before H plus 5 hrs.

    (d) 6 Airldg Bde area to be notified NOT before H plus 15 hrs.

    (e) 3 Para Bde - Comd Post with A Coy 1 Cdn Para Bn protecting move and assault of 9 Para Bn.  Main area houses 139732 NOT before P minus 2 hrs 30 mins.

 

18. LO's.

    (a) 6 Airborne Div.  Will drop with 3 Para Bde HQ and report to Div HQ after P hr.

    (b) 1 SS Bde.  One LO with 3 Para Bde HQ to meet 1 SS Bde on arrival at RANVILLE brs.  One LO 45 (RM) Commando with 9 Para Bn to meet 45 (RM) Commando on crossing CANAL DE CAEN.

    (c) Bn LO's.  Will join HQ 3 Para Bde as under:-

            8 Para Bn - When bn leaves RV.

            9 Para Bn - When bn leaves RV.

            1 Cdn Para Bn - When bn is ready to leave RV.

        All bn LO's and batmen will jump with folding cycles.

 

19. Success Sigs.  Will be issued later.

 

20. Recognition.

    (a) Ground to ground.  Celanese triangles.  1 SS Bde will wear green berets for move to LE PLEIN.  C Sqn INNS OF COURT will show celanese triangles if fired on when approaching area.

    (b) Ground to Air.  Celanese strips.  10 triangles sewn together.  Ground strips.

 

21. WT

    (a) Diagram att Appx B.

    (b) Wireless Silence.  Wireless silence until H hr except:-

        (i) When in contact with enemy on objectives.

        (ii) FOB sets NOT before H minus 90 mins.

 

22. Line.

    (a) Will be laid as soon as sit permits.  Existing lines will not be used.

    (b) On ldg all existing enemy lines will be cut.  Exchanges, cable junc points will not be permanently wrecked.

 

23. Pigeons.  Bns will carry pigeons for emergency comns with base.

 

24. Passwords.  See Appx C att.

 

25. Jargon Code.  Will be issued later.

 

26. P hr - H hr.

    P hr. - Civil twilight D day.

    H hr. - Time of seaborne ldg.

 

ACK

 

[Signed Collingwood]

Maj.

BM 3 Para Bde.

 

 

Appx 'A' to 3 Para Bde OO No.1 Dated 18 May 44.

FOB TASKS AND INSTRS

 

1.  Fire sp:-

     3 Para Bde - Cruiser ARETHUSA and one destroyer.

     5 Para Bde - Cruiser MAURITIUS and one destroyer.

     1 SS Bde - Up to four destroyers.

 

2.  Primary task is neutralization of bty 155776 if not captured by P plus 30 mins (timing liable to amendment) FOBs will be responsible for informing HQ Ship Naval Comd Force S and cruiser ARETHUSA directly bty is captured or bringing neutralizing fire to bear on bty from P plus 30 mins (time liable to amendment).

 

3.  LO 9 Para Bn with report to Bde HQ the state of FOB dets at RV.  In event of all dets becoming casualties Bde will apply to Div for rfts to be drawn from 5 Para Bde.

 

4.  FOB det with Bde HQ will move with Bde Comd Post from RV.

 

5.  Two 22 sets for use by FOBs in event of unsatisfactory transmission on 68 net will arrive at Bde HQ with Airldg FOOs after P hr on D day.

 

6.  FOB dets 91, 92, and 93 will all remain on ARETHUSA frequency until primary task is completed.  92 will then est comn with destroyer.  93 will have three crystal frequencies, one for ARETHUSA, one for destroyer, one spare.  5 Para Bde FOB acting as a res will be provided with crystals for ARETHUSA frequency.

 

 

Appx 'C'

APPX C TO 3 PARA BDE OO NO.1 DATED 18 May 44.

PASSWORDS

 

The following will be used.  They will NOT be issued below bn HQ more than 24 hrs ahead.

 

Commencing

0200 hrs on.

D day

D plus 1

D plus 2

D plus 3

D plus 4

D plus 5

D plus 6

D plus 7

D plus 8

D plus 9

D plus 10

Ending

0200 hrs on

D plus 1

D plus 2

D plus 3

D plus 4

D plus 5

D plus 6

D plus 7

D plus 8

D plus 9

D plus 10

D plus 11

 

Challenge

V
HANDLE

FISH
LAUREL

BED
SALUTE
NERVO

BACK
BREAD
BUBBLE
MUSTARD

 

Answer

FOR VICTORY

WITH CARE
AND CHIPS

HARDY

BREAKFAST
THE SOLDIER
KNOX
FRONT
BUTTER

SQUEAK

CRESS

 

 

Appx 'D'

ADDENDA TO 3 PARA BDE OO No.1 DATED 18 MAY 44.

 

METHOD

1. A/C.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 10)

    A/C priority and Air movement timings see Appx E att.

 

2. RAF.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 13)

    (a) FRANCEVILLE PLAGE and locality 138790 will be heavily bombed shortly before H hour.

    (b) Bombline.

            P hr to H plus 1 hr.  MOUTH of CANAL DE CAEN A LA MER 119789 - SOUTH edge of FRANCEVILLE PLAGE 155786 - br 219761 - EASTERN bank of R DIVES to br 177681 SOUTH of TROARN 1667 - SOUTH side of rd to rd junc 135674 - NORTH side of rd to SANNERVILLE - CUVERVILLE 1069 - rd junc 085700 - thence direct to EAST side of BLAINVILLE 0873 - bend in rd at 076746 - ST AUBIN D'ARQUENAY - COLVILLE-SUR-ORNE.

            H plus 1 hr to H plus 4 hrs.  As above except line WEST of the river where the line will run CAZELLE 0276 - BEUVILLE 0675 - SW edge of BLAINVILLE 0873.

            H plus 4 to H plus 5 hrs.  As above except that the town and outskirts of FRANCEVILLE PLAGE to be incl in prohibited area.

            H plus 5 hrs onwards.  Line of coast from mouth of R ORNE to mouth of R DIVES, then along EASTERN bank of river to br 219761, thence as above.  For bombing inside the above areas "local bombline" will be used.

 

3. Minefds.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 14)

    (a) Clearance of enemy minefds will be carried out by bns on orders from Comd 3 Para Bde.

    (b) Marking of minefds.  Standard red and white gap signs will be used.  Cleared carriage ways of the rds will be marked by pairs of gap signs every 200 yds.  Cleared verges will be marked by notice boards at 400 yds, and gap signs moved out from carriage ways.  Verges will be cleared to 10 ft width only.  RIGHT verges will be cleared in priority to left.  Line laid through gaps in a minefd will be laid on RIGHT of gaps facing enemy.

    (c) Rd Blocks.  In addition to the rd mining shown in Para 14(a) rds may be blocked [?] temporary rd blocks within bn areas.  Blocks on the following routes will be as arranged that traffic can easily pass after being examined.  This will be done by having a removable rd block or a concealed diversion covered by an anti-tank weapon.

            Route I.  LE PORT 098754 - br 099748 - rd junc 108744 - RANVILLE 114735 - BREVILLE 133744 - rd junc 140728.

            Route II.  Rd junc 140728 - rd junc 133726 rd junc 133744 - rd junc 112732 - LE BAS DE RANVILLE 106735 - rd junc 106745.

            Route III.  Rd junc 109742 - SALLENELLES 132769 - LE PLEIN 129753 - rd junc 128746 - BREVILLE 133744.

 

4. C Sqn INNS of COURT.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 2(b) and 20(a))

    Certain portions of C Sqn INNS of COURT may move into 6 Airborne Div area from SOUTH WEST of CAEN during D or D plus 1 day.

            Troops to be expected.  Two patrols each of one Daimler Scout Car and one Daimler Armd Car.

            Probable Route.  CAGNY - DEMOUVILLE - LE BAS DE RANVILLE.

            Recognition Signs.  Cars will be flying Blue pennants from aerials.  If shot at cars will display yellow celanese triangles and fire yellow smoke.  6 Airborne Div Tps will display yellow celanese triangles in answer.  This must be done carefully so as not to disclose the posn to the enemy.  After identification cars will be guided to Div HQ.

 

INTERCOMN

5. HQs.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 17)

    5 Para Bde  Comd Post - 113745.

 

6. Success Sigs.  (3 Para bde OO No.1 para 19)

    (a) Code Words - See Appx M Part I to 6 Airborne Div Op Instr No.1 att.

    (b) Smoke Sigs.  (to be used if wireless fails)  Yellow smoke will be let off at the bty posn 155776 at intervals of NOT less than 5 mins from P plus 30 mins.  Spotting aircraft will be over approx P plus 30 mins and every effort must be made to ensure that the smoke is displayed when this aircraft is overhead.

 

7. Wireless Security.  (3 Para Bde OO No.1 para 21)

    (a) Code Signs, Slidex Keys and Maplay Codes will be issued separately.  These will only be carried in flight by R Sigs Offrs and Adjts and IOs with Bns [?] application for extracts will be made when HQ are est.  All Code signs, Slidex and map ref codes will be used in line comns as well as wireless while area remains a danger zone.

    (b) Netting.  Netting, while enabling all stations on a gp to tune in accurately will enable the enemy to do the same.  Netting will be undertaken by using wavemeters on R Sigs sets.  Other sets will NOT transmit before wireless silence has to be broken or is ordered to be relaxed.

 

8. Passwords.

    Passwords will change 1200 hrs B D plus 1, thereafter daily at 1200 hrs B.

 

9. Jargon Code.

    See Appx M Part II 6 Airborne Div Op Instr No 1.

 

[Signed Collingwood]

Maj.

BM 3 Para Bde.

APO ENGLAND.

25 May 44.

 

 

Appendix

3 Para Brigade Operation "PADDLE"

 

1.  3 Para Bde, having successfully held the bridgehead over the ORNE since "D" day has at last been given the opportunity of pursuing the German.  At 2300 hrs on the 16th August the GOC 6 Airborne Division visited this HQ and gave the necessary authority for 3 Para Bde to advance if and when it was certain that the enemy were withdrawing.

 

2.  The operation commenced at 0300 hrs.  9 Para Bn gained their objective - the hedgerow running North through the Shrine, and immediately 8 Para Bn were pushed through.  Shortly after 6 oclock, Col Pearson reported that he was on the SPUR which was the second objective, and by 0630 hrs the leading troops of this Battalion were in BURES itself.  No enemy were encountered during this advance, and no booby trapping was encountered in this sector.

 

3.  While this advance was going on, 1 Cdn Para Bn took over a larger section of the Brigade front, and at approximately 0700 hrs was ordered to sweep through the BOIS DE BAVENT.  This Battalion suffered ten casualties from booby traps during this advance.

 

4.  The Brigade had now reached the line of the River DIVES and was confronted with a difficult obstacle as all the bridges had been thoroughly demolished.  In a remarkable short space of time 8 Para Bn had found a route passable to infantry, had forced a crossing of the DIVES and during the morning reported enemy position at ST RICHER 1969.  It was one thing for the infantry to get across, but was quite a difficult problem to get any vehicles across.  It was early apparent that considerable work would be necessary before even jeeps would be able to get up to the forward troops.  9 Para Bn followed 8 Para Bn across the river and 1st Cdn Para Bn came into a concentration area to the West of BURES.

 

5.  At 1700 hrs, after a truly magnificent days work, 3 Para Sqn RE reported that a passable route only for jeeps had been completed over the DIVES.  Shortly after this, 1 Cdn Para Bn also crossed the river and the problem of administration now became acute.  By various means, mortars, machine guns, ammunition and food were ferried forward and casualties were evacuated over the DIVES only with difficulty.  By night-fall on the 17th August, the Brigade was firmly established with 8 Para Bn in the area of GOUSTRANVILLE 2271, 1 Cdn Para Bn in area 2172 with 9 Para Bn in reserve in area 2171.  Brigade HQ was established in ST RICHER.

 

Operation PADDLE II.

"Hardly Planned"

 

6.  Reports from 8 Para Bn on the evening of the 17th August left hope that the main bridge at 237720 had not been blown.  Unfortunately, at about 0500 hrs on the 18th August, the bridge was demolished.

 

7.  Before continuing with the operation, it was essential to appreciate the nature of the ground.  The country round DOZULE entirely dominated the positions of 3 Para Bde and any movement in daylight was bound to be hazardous.  As a result it was decided to postpone any further move forward until dusk on the evening 18th August.  The plan was as follows. - At 2145 hrs the 1 Cdn Para Bn was to seize the river and ascertain which of the four bridges were passable to infantry or vehicles.  There were, on the front, 4 bridges which were labelled A, B, C and D running from North to South.  9 Para Bn working on the information which would be sent back by 1 Cdn Para Bn were then to cross the river and seize line of the railway.

 

8.  Zero Hour was 2145 hrs and by 2200 hrs 1 Cdn Para Bn reported that they had seized bridge 'A' which was passable to infantry.  Commander 3 Para Bde waited for further information regarding bridges B, C and D before committing 9 Para Bn.  By 2245 hrs, as no further information had come in, 9 Para Bn was ordered to cross the river via bridge 'A' and seize the line of the railway.  Before dealing with this attack, it should be mentioned that by 2350 hrs all the bridges on the line of the river were in our hands and 'D' bridge was fit for light traffic, the Cdn Bn having successfully liquidated two enemy coys in well fortified posns.

 

9.  9 Para Bn then started to cross the river via bridge 'A'.  This was an extremely difficult operation as it meant walking through over four feet of water.  The first company required 45 minutes to cross the river.  The Commander of 9 Para Bn received many instructions ordering him to hurry, but the full difficulties of the operation were not appreciated till later.  By 0245 hrs 9 Para Bn reported that the railway line was in their hands and also the station, the remainder of one enemy Bn having been outflanked and put in the bag.  Casualties during this stage of the battle were remarkable small, but 9 Para Bn were extremely wet and uncomfortable.

 

10.  8 Para Bn, during this operation remained in reserve in the area of GOUSTRANVILLE.

 

11.  By dawn on the 19th August, the line of the railway and river were firmly in our hands but as soon as the Germans were able to get observation, heavy mortaring and shelling began from the high ground which dominates both these positions, and the 9 Para Bn began to suffer fairly heavy casualties.  To some extent it was possible to reduce the enemy fire with our own artillery, but it would be obviously necessary to seize and hold the high ground to the East before the mortar and artillery fire can fully be stopped.

 

12.  The operation continues.  5 Para Bde has gone through followed by the 4 S.S. Bde and the 1 S.S. Bde.

 

13.  As a result of the action of the Brigade, enemy rear-guards were successfully driven on along 'Island' feature to where obstacles were crossed with a loss to the enemy of 1 Bn of 744 Regt.  In addition, many prisoners were taken.