National Archives catalogue number ADM 202/82.

 

Abbreviation

135773

2 i/c

AA

Amn

AP

Arty

Att

Bde

Bn

Cas

Cdo
Cdr

CO

Conc

Coy

DF

Div

DR

Fd

FDL

Fmn

FOB

FOO

FUP

Fwd

HE

Hy

IC

Inf

Instrs

Int

Junc

Med

MFC

MG

MMG

Mor

Mov
MT

Obj

Offr

OP

Ord

Pdr

Pl

Posn

Psn

RA

RAP

Rd

Rds

Ref
Regt

Rfmt

RM

RN

R/T

Sigs

SB

Sec

SL

SP

SS

Stn

SWB

Tk

Tp

Tpt

Veh

WT

X rds

Map Reference

Second-in-Command

Anti-Aircraft

Ammunition

Anti-Personnel

Artillery

Attached

Brigade

Battalion

Casualties

Commando

Commander

Commanding Officer

Concentration

Company

Defensive Fire

Division

Despatch Rider

Field

Forward Defended Locality

Formation

Forward Observation Bombardment

Forward Observation Officer

Forming Up Place

Forward

High Explosive

Heavy

In-Command

Infantry

Instructions

Intelligence

Junction

Medical

Mortar Fire Control

Machine Gun

Medium Machine Gun

Mortar

Movement

Motor Transport
Objective

Officer

Observation Post

Orderly

Pounder

Platoon

Position

Position

Royal Artillery

Regimental Aid Post

Road

Rounds

Reference

Regiment

Reinforcement

Royal Marine

Royal Navy

Radio Telephony

Signals

Stretcher Bearer

Section

Start Line

Self-Propelled / Support (if lower case)

Special Service

Station

South Wales Borderers

Tank

Troop

Transport

Vehicle

Wireless Telegraphy

Crossroads

 

Month and year : June 1944

 

6th June 1944

0910 - 45 RM Cdo landed at LA BRECHE WEST of the R ORNE as part of the 1 SS Bde.  The Bde was to push inland and contact the 6 Airborne Div who were holding the bridges across the CAEN CANAL and the R ORNE.  By 1415 the Bde had reached the bridge over the CAEN CANAL and contacted the 6 Airborne.  Snipers were proving themselves a nuisance in this area and while 45 RM Cdo was between the two bridges LT.COL. RIES was wounded in the left leg by a sniper and MAJ GRAY took command of the Cdo.  After crossing the R ORNE 45 RM Cdo now swung NORTH to its objective, to clear the enemy out of FRANCEVILLE-PLAGE and hold a defensive position to the EAST of the village.  On entering SALLENELLES the Cdo came under fire from a strong point in the area of the SPIT 135773.  As time was getting on the C.O. decided to by pass this position and push on to FRANCEVILLE.  Word was then received from Bde not to proceed further than MERVILLE but to dig in and consolidate for the night.

 

7th June 1944

In the morning on instrs from Bde the Cdo withdrew from MERVILLE and dug in SOUTH of SALLENELLES.  Casualties to date were one other rank killed, Lt.Col. Ries and 16 other ranks wounded, and Lt. Nelson Sigs Offr, Lt Kennedy Int Offr, and Lt. Winston and 28 other ranks missing.  During the morning the Cdo came under fire from mortars in the area SPIT 135773.  At 1300 hrs the Cdo was warned to move again to its objective FRANCEVILLE and when it moved at 1300 hrs came under heavy shell fire.  A 6 pdr gun and 4 MMGs gave us covering fire while passing SALLENELLES.  At 1705 hrs the attack on FRANCEVILLE commenced and two troops managed to get to the Northern end of the village.  The enemy counter attacked with Mortars and MMGs at 2100 and as the Cdo had lost its 3" Mortars through casualties and also its Bde set it was impossible to get any support so it was driven back to MERVILLE.  That night three men were sent back to Bde to report the situation.  They returned in the morning with another Bde set and orders that MERVILLE must be held at all costs.

 

8th June 1944

During the morning the position became worse.  Two heavy attacks had been driven off.  The enemy had also brought up an anti-tank gun and was shelling and mortaring our positions.  At 1700 hrs orders came from Bde to withdraw through enemy lines and join up with Bde at AMFREVILLE.  By 2000 hrs the Cdo had successfully broken through silencing two MMG posts on the way and capturing one 81 mm mortar while suffering only two casualties.  The Cdo rested in a church in AMFREVILLE for the night.

 

9th June 1944

The Cdo moved into a defensive posn in area AMFREVILLE with 6 Cdo on left and Bde HQ on our right.  Slight enemy activity was encountered in the morning but the rest of the day passed quietly with the Cdo digging in.  Snipers still proved themselves a nuisance, especially in the village.

 

10th June 1944

There was slight enemy air activity over our positions in the early morning but no bombs were dropped.  Between 0800 and 1100 hrs the enemy began an attack on our lines but was driven off.  45 RM Cdo suffered no casualties but helped to inflict severe casualties on the enemy.  By 1100 the enemy had moved round to No 4 Cdo posn.  Prisoners taken were identified as of the 3 Bn 858 Regt.  A vehicle believed to be a mobile mortar was spotted about 1515 and after F Tp had put down a 10 minutes shoot one patrol of A Tp went out and found it was only an ordinary truck.

 

11th June 1944

At 0415 hrs the enemy shelled and mortared our positions heavily, causing some casualties.  At 0515 hrs an attack was opened on E Tp but was driven back.  Until about 1030 the enemy kept up a continuous barrage of mortar and shelling.  A Tp was detached to No 3 Cdo as a fighting patrol.  In the afternoon and evening the enemy kept sending out patrols to probe our positions but were all driven back with heavy casualties.  A large patrol of 3 Offrs and 100 Other Ranks commanded by Maj I.N.N. Beadle went on to BREVILLE.  Patrol successful killing a great number of Germans.

 

12th June 1944

Enemy activity was again reported early this morning between 0800 - 0430 hrs.  It was believed the enemy was trying to infiltrate our lines but met with little success.  At 1055 he began lobbing more shells into the area of Cdo HQ but there was no damage or casualties.  A Tp was asked to supply 1 Offr and 20 Other Ranks to air infantry attack on BREVILLE.  At 2145 an arty barrage on BREVILLE commenced and between 2200 - 0030 the enemy began a counter barrage causing casualties and damage in the Bde area.  At least 33 shells fell in the area.  The attack on BREVILLE was successful.  The village being pounded to dust.

 

13th June 1944

The fighting patrol from A Tp returned.  Capt E.E.D. Grewcock and three Other Ranks were killed.  Enemy aircraft were active in the vicinity.  Allied shelling was replied to by the enemy.  Allied aircraft were very active, bombing the GONNEVILLE-SUR-MERVILLE and CAEN areas.  Enemy aircraft bombed tpt in the early evening.

 

14th June 1944

Apart from slight enemy air activity the night was uneventful.  Shells were dropped SOUTH of our positions, believed to be our own guns ranging.  Allied bombers bombed CAEN, and bombed and straffed enemy positions SOUTH of BREVILLE.  Arty shelled the GONNEVILLE area.  Supplies were dropped by glider and parachute, and the enemy started shelling the area, also the Bridge over the R ORNE.  A patrol, sent out by C Tp to investigate a light in the gliders, found it to be an A.A. gun.  Flares for aircraft were seen over the enemy lines.

 

15th June 1944

Enemy aircraft were again active during the night.  Enemy shelling of our positions continued at intervals during the day.  Our arty shelled CAEN continuously.  Small arms fire was heard in the vicinity of No 6 Cdo, and along our front.  It proved to be an enemy patrol, which soon withdrew.  Occasional shots were heard in B Tp area.  Heavy guns continued to shell.

 

16th June 1944

We received warning of a possible attack from the SOUTH, where white flares were seen.  Our position was shelled and mortared.  The attack was made along the front of the Airborne Tps, on a battalion scale.  It was halted between ESCOVILLE and HEROUVILLETTE, heavy casualties being inflicted on the enemy.  The enemy shelled the bridge area, and woods SOUTH of the bridge.  Naval guns bombarded enemy positions.  Enemy guns were later heard firing out to sea.  The enemy was reported to be using para-troops uniforms to gain access through our lines.  C Tp was ordered to send out two patrols to observe the enemy strength and to what degree he was digging in.

 

17th June 1944

Enemy aircraft straffed the valley and our positions, choosing a time when the RAF was absent.  An enemy shell fell on B Tp positions, killing two sergeants.  The shelling continued for half an hour.  Allied dive bombers bombed enemy positions, also to the NORTH.  Allied arty was very active, shelling the CAEN area and other enemy positions.  Enemy return barrage was very weak.

 

18th June 1944

A patrol from B and E Tps went out with the intention of neutralising three machine guns and taking prisoners for identification purposes.  It had to be cancelled because of failure of communications with arty.  Aircraft straffed enemy tpt.  Arty shelled enemy positions, the enemy reply being spasmodic.  Supplies were dropped in our positions, with fighter escort.  4 SS Bde made an attack on the SALLENELLES area.

 

19th June 1944

The patrol went out again, and this time it was successful.  The machine guns were wiped out, several enemy were killed and one prisoner taken.  No casualties were sustained by our troops.  Enemy shells fall in our area intermittently during the day.  A very heavy barrage from our arty replied to them.  Enemy patrols and arty were active all night.  C Tp was taken out of the line and rested in the church.

 

20th June 1944

Enemy aircraft straffed the area, appearing out of the low clouds.  Enemy shells fell all around the area during the day.  Allied guns opened up in reply.  An allied truck hit a mine between A and C Tp positions.  It was believed to be a German anti-tank mine.  A great column of smoke was seen coming from enemy positions, as a result of Allied dive bombing.  Enemy guns were still shelling around the area.  Allied arty opened up on a position to our EAST.  Our aircraft were active most of the night.  The C.O. visited Bde HQ and 4 SS Bde HQ to discuss reinforcements.

 

21st June 1944

Aircraft was overhead during the hours of darkness.  Both Allied and enemy arty were active most of the day.  Weather was overcast.  There was spasmodic small arms fire during the day.  Allied aircraft were active over enemy territory.  The Brigadier visited Cdo HQ.  Spitfires straffed and bombed enemy positions.

 

22nd June 1944

No 6 Cdo made an attack on an enemy strong point, covered by an arty barrage.  One man was killed and 11 seriously injured by shells which fell short.  A fire was seen in the area of the road, believed to be a dump in a quarry.  The enemy shelled that area at intervals the whole day.  Arty on both sides was active all day.  A large force of bombers passed over, heading in a SSE direction, and a large force bombed CAEN, hitting a factory.  A large cloud of smoke came from the area.  The Brigadier and Lt. Col. Phillips visited 45 RM Cdo.

 

23rd June 1944

Enemy arty was very active during the day.  Allied aircraft straffed enemy positions, and heavy bombers passed over on their way SOUTH.  A big tank battle took place on the ESCOVILLE - ST HONORINE road 17 Mk IVs being destroyed.  A fighting patrol went out from B Tp, with the intention of finding the enemy FDL.

 

24th June 1944

The patrol was successful, it being established that no enemy were fwd of the road.  Enemy and allied arty were very active all day.  Allied aircraft were overhead constantly, and one enemy bomber, flew over at about 10,000 ft, possibly photographing the area.  There was some small arms fire to the S.E. of our position.

 

25th June 1944

Enemy aircraft were active over the beach head during the night.  A report from our O.P. stated that a large number of troops were moving from RANVILLE to the SSE.  Enemy arty was not very active during the day.  The CO of 3 Cdo visited 45 RM Cdo HQ.  Our CO visited 104 Corps Reception Camp.  The evening was very quiet.

 

26th June 1944

The enemy put in a very heavy attack on the BREVILLE area.  This was beaten off and heavy losses inflicted on the enemy.  Enemy arty was active during the day, shelling the bridge area and the glider area.  Enemy aircraft put in an appearance, straffing the bridge area.

 

27th June 1944

Allied and enemy arty were active as usual.  The enemy's multiple mortars were in action again.  Allied aircraft attacked enemy positions with cannon and rockets.  A recce patrol went out from A Tp.  Small arms fire was heard to SE of our position.  The CO visited Bde HQ and No 3 Cdo.

 

28th June 1944

Enemy aircraft were overhead during the night.  Parachute flares were seen in the CAEN area.  Allied aircraft were overhead all day.  Arty on both sides was spasmodic.  Major General Sturges visited the unit accompanied by the Brigadier.  The usual copy of 'Pegasus' arrived - the troops look forward to its arrival.

 

29th June 1944

A fighting patrol from this unit went out and was very successful.  See Patrol report.  Allied aircraft were very busy straffing the enemy, meeting with a little AA fire.  Enemy mortars also opened up.

 

30th June 1944

A very heavy AA barrage was put up against enemy aircraft which were in this area during the morning.  Four ME 109s straffed the glider area, one being shot down by AA fire.  Allied aircraft straffed enemy positions, being met by enemy AA.  Allied and enemy arty were very active during the day.  The multiple mortars opened up again.  They usually fired once a day.  Allied mortars fired on the enemy positions.

 

ARRIVALS - OFFICERS

Ty. Lt. H.G. RILEY, R.M.         )

Ty. Lt. D.R. NEWTON, R.M.   ) Joined 45 RM Cdo from RHU 9 Jun (1st rfmts)

Ty. Lt. E.Y. MACDONALD, R.M.   )

Ty. Lt. B.C. SAMAIN, R.M.             ) Joined 45 RM Cdo from HOC 27 Jun

Capt (A/Maj) I.D. De'ATH - Joined 45 RM Cdo from SS Gp 27 Jun

Ty. Lt. J.P. NORMAN, R.M.   )

Ty. Lt. E.H. THOMAS, R.M.   ) Joined 45 RM Cdo from HOC 4 Jul

Ty. Lt. D.J. GEEVES, R.M. - Joined 45 RM Cdo from 4 SS Bde 6 Jul

 

DEPARTURES - OFFICERS

Lt. P.M. Dunkerley, R.M.    Missing 7 Jun.

Ty. Lt. (A/Ty/Maj) J.N. RUSHFORTH, RM   Wounded and evacuated 8 Jun.

Ty. Lt. A. GALE, R.M.   Missing 7 Jun.

Ty. Lt. P.S. WINSTON, R.M.   Missing 6 Jun.

Ty. Lt. P. NELSON, R.M.   Wounded and evacuated 6 Jun.

Capt (A/Lt.Col.) N.C. REIS, R.M.   Wounded and evacuated 6 Jun.

Lt. J.E. DAY, R.M.   Wounded and evacuated 12 Jun.

Ty. Lt. (A/Ty/Capt) E.E.D. GREWCOCK, RM   Killed in action 12 Jun.

Ty. Lt. B. LINSCOTT, R.M.   Wounded and evacuated 11 Jun.

2/Lt. W.E. KENNEDY, R.M.   Killed in action 6 Jun.

Ty. Lt. A.J. SUDBOROUGH, R.M.   Evacuated sick 2 Jul.

Ty. Lt. E.H. THOMAS, R.M.   Evacuated sick 9 Jul.

Ty. Lt. (A/Ty/Capt) A.A.B. SCOTT, R.M.   To HQ SS GP 27 Jun.

Ty. Lt. A.R. BROWN, R.M.   To HQ SS GP 7 Jul.

 

 

Month and year : July 1944

 

1st July 1944

Patrol activity during the night.  Verey lights were used by the enemy.  Enemy aircraft came over our area taking advantage of low clouds, they were met by our AA fire.

 

2nd July 1944

Shortly after midnight on the 1st the enemy started shelling our area.  An enemy attack in the area of BREVILLE was beaten off.  A naval bombardment of BAS DE RANVILLE area took place.

 

3rd July 1944

Pilotless aircraft were seen on two occasions - one was seen to fall.  Allied tanks were moving around the R ORNE bridge area.  Naval guns were again in action.

 

4th July 1944

A loud speaker attempt was made to talk with the opposing enemy in order to induce them to desert, but the speaker failed to function.  The enemy made an attack on BREVILLE but were beaten off.

 

5th July 1944

Allied tanks were moving around the bridge area for more than two hours.  One enemy plane came into our area but was chased out by Spitfires.  Our fighters straffed enemy positions in the CAEN area.

 

6th July 1944

Enemy aircraft were very active during the early morning.  Allied planes straffed enemy positions.  Some enemy shells dropped in our area.

 

7th July 1944

Enemy aircraft bombed and straffed posns near BREVILLE.  In the evening Allied heavy bombers bombed CAEN.

 

8th July 1944

A very heavy arty barrage in the early morning on CAEN was followed up by medium bombers.  During the day the enemy's multiple mortars were more active than usual.

 

9th July 1944

At 0700 hrs CAEN was heard to have fallen.  A heavy arty barrage was laid down on enemy tpt.  A and E Tps went out on a fighting patrol with the intention of inflicting as much damage as possible on the enemy.

 

10th July 1944

The patrol returned, not having achieved its main object, but having established that a more aggressive enemy held the posns.

 

11th July 1944

Allied arty shelled the factory for 1 hrs a prelude to an attack by 51 Div.  Enemy aircraft bombed and straffed in this area.  Multiple mortars were active in the factory area.  Enemy aircraft straffed Allied posns in the afternoon, 3 were shot down.

 

12th July 1944

Allied and enemy arty were active during the early morning and the multiple mortars again fired a few salvos.  Enemy aircraft straffed the area one being shot down.

 

13th July 1944

Enemy planes again active during the early morning and again at night.  Two heavy explosions were heard and two of the factory chimneys were seen to have disappeared.

 

14th July 1944

Two pilotless planes passed over flying SOUTH.

 

15th July 1944

Enemy aircraft were very active over the CAEN area - bombs and flares were dropped.  Allied aircraft bombed and straffed enemy lines.

 

16th July 1944

A pilotless plane was heard heading SE.  The enemy shelled the rd owing to tp and tk mov.  An amn dump was hit and a fire started in the glider fd.

 

17th July 1944

Allied tks were moving on the rd all night.  Allied aircraft straffed enemy concs.  Enemy planes bombed the rd area.

 

18th July 1944

At dawn waves of Allied bombers came over and dropped bombs, HE and incendiary on the factory area and TROARN.  Tks followed by inf then went into the attack.  The battle raged all day on the CAEN plain.  Multiple mortars were in action.  Late in the evening a force of enemy bombers came over and dropped bombs in the area.  Two amn dumps were hit and a glider set on fire.

 

19th July 1944

Enemy aircraft flew over on recce and were engaged by AA.  They were over again at night and a red glow was reported in the TROARN area.

 

20th July 1944

Arty laid down barrage on TROARN area during thunderstorm.

 

21st July 1944

Enemy half track vehs were reported moving in the SALLENELLES area.  Our arty registered hits on strong points in that area.  Enemy shells fell in front of B Tp posns.  Allied arty laid down a heavy barrage of the BOIS DE BAVENT area.  Rain continued.

 

22nd July 1944

Another day of arty activity.  Enemy shell hit amn truck.

 

23rd July 1944

Arty activity on both sides.  Enemy planes in the evening bombed the beach area.  The CO went on a recruiting campaign.

 

24th July 1944

Enemy arty and multiple mortars were in action SOUTH of BREVILLE.  Fmns of Allied aircraft passed over during the night.

 

25th July 1944

Enemy mortar bombs fell near unit lines.  An amn dump SOUTH of COLOMBELLES was hit.  Our medium bombers bombed TROARN three times during the day.  Enemy shells hit a petrol dump at RANVILLE.  Our SP guns fired on enemy multiple mortars.

 

26th July 1944

Arty again active on both sides during the day.

 

27th July 1944

Enemy aircraft dropped bombs near the unit.  One of our aircraft was shot down by enemy AA.  Enemy aircraft were over at night and hit an amn dump at COLOMBELLES.

 

28th July 1944

Allied tks were moving along the rd which was shelled by the enemy.  Allied heavy bombers passed overhead.  Our arty active all day.

 

29th July 1944

Enemy arty was active, shells being dropped in our area.  Allied arty also active.

 

30th July 1944

Enemy arty and mortars in action against BREVILLE and CAEN areas.

 

31st July 1944

Our arty and aircraft were again active.  CO visited and made recce of unit's new posns at LE MESNIL.

 

 

Month and year : August 1944

 

1st August 1944

The unit left AMFREVILLE (1275) between 0600 hrs and 0900 hrs.  New posns were taken up EAST of the LE MESNIL x rds (140728) where the unit took over 500 yds of front, which was held by two troops at a time with another two in reserve.  Enemy activity could be observed at several points and enemy mortars were extremely active.  HQ was set up at BRICKWORKS 138726.  Arty engaged FDLs between 2330 and 2345 hrs.

 

2nd August 1944

Constant mortar duels during the night, arty joining in at day break.  Right hand troop (C Tp) set up a listening post 100 yds in front of their posns.

 

3rd August 1944

Fwd Tps began wiring and booby trapping.  Arty ranging on enemy FDLs during the early hours of the morning.  Mortars very active on both sides throughout the day.

 

4th August 1944

Enemy aircraft, shortly after midnight, dropped AP bombs on their own lines, though Germans fired green flares to indicate own posns.  B Tp who were in reserve were badly mortared and suffered 5 casualties.

 

5th August 1944

Heavy Allied arty barrage from 0530-0600 hrs.  Enemy SP gun began firing on Brickworks in the early afternoon.  Enemy mortars damaged some wire in front of B Troop lines and set off a few booby-traps at about 2030 hrs.

 

6th August 1944

0040 hrs.  B Troop reports enemy working party in front of their positions.  0215 hrs.  Listening post in front of A Troop lines attacked by enemy patrol, killing one man, wounding another.  A captured P.W. states that recce patrols vary in strength from 3-20 men.  0700 hrs.  B Troop report that all damaged wire has been repaired and new booby-traps have been set up where necessary.  German S.P. gun active during the afternoon, firing on crossroads 134726, causing no casualties.

 

7th August 1944

A Troop and B Troop relieved by C and E Troops.  Relief completed by 0700 hrs under cover of mist.  Our arty increasingly active throughout the day, giving the enemy little respite.

 

8th August 1944

Our arty was very active during the night without the enemy replying to it.  0815 hrs.  B Troop heavily mortared.  Allied arty continuously active during the day.

 

9th August 1944

Enemy aircraft active during early morning hours.  Dropping flares and bombs to the West of our positions.  2 British soldiers, who had been taken prisoner, came into our lines and were sent to Brigade HQ.  General Laycock and Brigadier Mills-Roberts visited Commando HQ.  2210 hrs - 2300 hrs.  Patrol of three (Cpl Shelley) going out from E Troop lines report enemy cutting grass in front of his positions.

 

10th August 1944

Our arty active during early hours of the morning.  Forward troops C and E were relieved.  Change-over completed by 1835 hrs.  Enemy mortars were active throughout the day.  Our arty replied with effect.

 

11th August 1944

Enemy mortars particularly busy.  2310 hrs.  A Troop report enemy patrol in hedgerow beyond listening post engaged by our 2" mortar and automatic fire as well as by left Troop of 3 Cdo, which forced the enemy to withdraw.

 

12th August 1944

Enemy aircraft overhead during early hrs. of the morning.  No bombs dropped in our area.  Enemy arty and mortars as active as ever, our arty keeping up good concentration of fire on enemy FDLs.

 

13th August 1944

Enemy aircraft again active during the night.  His mortars opened up early in the morning and keep up a shoot at intervals throughout the day.  Message received that enemy agents may try to cross into our lines disguised as British soldiers escaped from captivity.

 

14th August 1944

0710 hrs.  Forward troops relieved, change-over completed by time stated.  1825 hrs.  Enemy mortars firing 63 rounds, five of them hitting Cdo Command Post.

 

15th August 1944

Enemy aircraft very active during early hrs. of the morning, dropping bombs north and south of our posns.  Automatic fire heard in front of our posns, but enemy patrols were not spotted.  2150 hrs - 2340 hrs.  Brigadier Mills-Roberts and the C.O. visited the forward troops.

 

16th August 1944

Enemy A.A. and mortars again very active.  0010 hrs Signs of enemy patrol activity in front of C Troop lines.  These were broken up by bren gun fire.  0340 hrs.  C Troop report enemy having faded away.  Late at night warning orders for operation "PADDLE" were received.  2310 hrs C Troop patrol (Sgt. Stewart) reports no sign of enemy.  2" mortar fire on known enemy positions was not replied to.  2315 hrs.  E Troop patrol (Sgt. Shelley) returned, reported sounds of one D.R.

 

17th August 1944

0545 hrs.  E Troop patrol (Sgt. Shelley) reports having got within 25 yds of enemy lines without hearing a sound.  C Troop patrol (Sgt. Stewart) tried to provoke enemy with bren gun fire without effect.  0915 hrs.  Operation "PADDLE" put into effect.  45 RM Cdo took over 3 Cdo posns.  1400 hrs.  Cdo advanced to BAVENT (1673) and took over former German posns and stayed the night.

 

18th August 1944

1130 hrs.  2 i/c Maj I.D. De'Ath D.S.O., R.M. took B Troop (Capt. H. Burge, R.M.) on patrol to carry out battle recce of the BRUCOURT feature (2275 - 2274) and area.  2000 hrs.  Patrol returned having successfully observed enemy posns.  They also obtained outline of enemy dispositions and fire plan.  The Cdo remained the night in BAVENT (1673).

 

19th August 1944

1000 hrs.  2 i/c Maj I.D. De'Ath D.S.O., R.M., took out patrol to recce marshes and crossing EAST of R. Dives.  1400 hrs.  Patrol returned.  1800 hrs.  Cdo crossed Dives and proceeded to F.U.P. at Plain Gouchet (2172).

 

20th August 1944

0100 hrs.  1 SS Bde less 4 Cdo carried out night advance to outflank feature BRUCOURT-ANGRVILLE (2374).  Infiltrated through enemy F.D.L's without opposition by 0500 hrs.  0730 hrs.  Objective occupied after short fight.  The attack effecting complete surprise.  Unit began to dig in, with 6 Cdo on the right 3 Cdo on the left.  0730 hrs.  A Troop (Capt. B.G. WHITE) sent out on a fighting patrol to contact 4 Cdo on high ground south of valley at (2671).  Patrol ran into enemy strongpoints and was pinned to the ground.  Several casualties including Troop Cdr, who was killed.  1000 hrs.  Patrol extricated under smoke and arty cover.  Very heavy and concentrated enemy arty and mortar fire on entire Bde area, causing some casualties in our Cdo.  Two enemy counter attacks, one on 6 Cdo and 45 RM Cdo (E Troop Capt. I.N.N. Beadle RM) during which Troop Cdr was wounded in the arm.  One enemy counter attack against A Troop (Lieut. Thomas RM) were repulsed with casualties on the enemy and taking prisoners.  1600 hrs.  C Troop (Capt. Barnard, Gordon Highlanders) sent on Fighting Patrol to x rds 253756.  No opposition.  During hours of daylight Bde remained surrounded.  2300 hrs Transport with food and ammunition got through to us under Capt. L. Smith, M.C. (S.W.B).  Sounds during the night suggested that enemy were withdrawing.

 

21st August 1944

2 i/c Maj. I.D. De'Ath D.S.O., R.M., A Troop (Capt. L. Smith, M.C. SWB) B Troop (Capt. H. Burge R.M.) with an F.O.O. and M.F.C. proceeded with intention to clear BRUCOURT feature.  1000 hrs Feature occupied without opposition - a few prisoners rounded up.  Patrolling NORTH towards CABOURG.  Cdo stayed at former enemy HQ South of the BARAVILLE-BRANVILLE road, 246754 during the night.

 

22nd August 1944

0900 hrs.  Advance continued in MT to area 3004 SOUTH of ST. VAART-EN-AUGE.  1200 hrs.  CO Lt.Col. W.N. Gray R.M. with B Troop (Capt. H. Burge R.M.) C Troop (Capt. P. Barnard, Gordon Highlanders) and E Troop (Maj. I.N.N. Beadle R.M.) proceeded to deal with enemy torpedo dumps in the BRIS DE VILLERS.  1600 hrs.  Force returned having found dump abandoned, the Germans having left the previous night.  Night spent in same location.

 

23rd August 1944

0900 hrs.  Advance continued to DRUBEC 4600.  2000 hrs Orders issued for night crossing of the Touques, South of Pont L'Eveque to seize high ground to the East.  2300 hrs.  Operation cancelled.

 

24th August 1944

1400 hrs.  Advance through PONT L'EVEQUE to concentration area.  Advance slowed up by enemy demolition.  1800 hrs Orders received for night infiltration in conjunction with 6 Cdo to occupy high ground West of BEUZEVILLE 6208.  2230 hrs.  Nearly bumped enemy machine guns.  These were by-passed by large detour.  Local French Gendarme assisted the route-finding party (6 Cdo).

 

25th August 1944

0430 passed through 6 Cdo.  0600 reached objective, capturing two Germans on the way.  Began to dig in area LA MODERIE 6208 with 6 Cdo on our left.  Some enemy mortar and A.A. on right of our psn. throughout the morning.  1130 hrs A Troop (Capt. L. Smith M.C. S.W.B.) sent out on patrol to recce obj. bridges.  1530 hrs patrol returned, reporting all bridges blown and having mopped up several enemy snipers without casualties to themselves.  Contacted local Maquis.

 

26th August 1944

0100 hrs.  C Troop (Capt. P. Barnard Gordon Highlanders) was sent to infiltrate through enemy rearguard posns. and occupy road-junction 663111 East of BEUZEVILLE.  0800 hrs.  C Troop in posn.  No opposition.  1500 hrs.  C Troop passed by remainder of Cdo.  Unit took up posns. in area 6712 and has been resting there since.

 

 

Appendix

Operation "CHARLES JAMES"

45 R.M. CDO O.O. No.1

 

23 JUN 44

Ref Maps: 1/25000 sheets 86 & 87

 

INFM

        1.  Enemy.

                (i) FDLs run along fwd edge of WOOD from 146747 - and track junc 148754 - rd junc 146754 thence along main rd to WOODS 153764 and fwd edge of WOOD to corner of WOOD 143768.

                (ii) Known MG posts at (a) 146747 firing on fixed line along fwd edge of wood to rd at 143748.  (b) [?]

                (iii) Enemy fwd outposts are known to exist along the line of double hedge rows from 144753 - 145757.

        2.  Own Tps.  B Tp 45 R.M. Commando.  Two dets 3" Mortar 45 R.M. Commando.

 

INTENTION

        3.  B Tp will locate and destroy all enemy in the area of the hedgerows area 144753 - 145757 incl.

 

METHOD

        4.  General Plan.  Four parties comprised as follows:-

                (i) Firm Base - 1 Offr and 20 O.Rs.  Comd Capt M.G. MICHELL, 2 S.Bs.

                (ii) Illuminating party - [?], two 2" Mortar teams and protection party of 1 S.N.C.O. and 6 O.Rs plus one 38 set & signaller.

                (iii) Sp party - two dets 3" mortars and protection party one S.B.

                (iv) Raiding Party - 1 Offr & 20 O.Rs B Tp.  Comd Lt H.G. RILEY.

 

PHASE I - ATTACK

        5.  Firm Base.  Will move to previously recced posns in area 139756 where they will protect HQ and form base to which Raiding party will return.  Firm base will be in posn by 2345 hrs 23 JUN.

        6.  Illuminating Party.  Will move to previously recced posns area 143758 and be in posn by 2359 hrs, preparing to illuminate as shown in fire plan.

        7.  Sp Party.  Will move to area GDE FERME DU BUISSON 139764 and be in posn by 2345 hrs, prepared to engage targets as shown in fire plan.

        8.  Raiding Party.  Will move with firm base to 139756 - from which they will move via LONGUEMARE FM 139753 to FUP in area orchard 143752; from here they will start to search out and destroy the enemy with grenades and bayonets.

 

PHASE II - WITHDRAWAL

        9.  Raiding Party.  Will withdraw to firm base on completion of task.

        10.  Illuminating Party.  Will withdraw as ordered by WT or other means.  In the event of comns breaking down they will withdraw to firm base by 0200 hrs.

        11.  Sp Party.  Will withdraw direct to own lines on completion of tasks shown in fire plan reporting to Cdo on return.

        12.  Firm Base.  Will withdraw after Raiding Party has passed through providing covering fire as may be necessary.  All parties except Sp party will RV and report to HQ at Chateau NIXON before returning to own lines.

 

MORTARS

        13.  In area GDE FERME DU BUISSON.

 

FIRE PLAN

        14.

Serial

Code

Target

Time

Type of fire

Engaged by

Remarks

1

Charles

Hedge Juncts area 145757

H to H+5

HE

3" Mortars

2

James

area 147756

H+5 to H+12

HE & Smoke

3" Mortars

No bombs to fall WEST of rd

3

Fox

area 145757

As called for

Ill Flares Rapid

2" Mortar

To be called for by Raiding Party

 

TIMINGS

        15.

Time to be in posn

2345 hrs 23 JUN

2345 hrs      "

2359 hrs      "

Tps

Firm Base

Sp Party

Illuminating Party

                        Raid Pty to leave firm base on discretion of Comd.

        16.  H hour, at which time raiding pty will start from FUP, will be signified by the code word GALLOP which will be passed to all stations by raiding pty.  Raiding pty will make every effort to pass GALLOP at 0030 hrs.

 

ADM

        17.  Dress.  Raiding order, black faces.

        18.  Weapons.  Tp arrangements.

        19.  Amn.  No.2 of 2" Mortar teams to carry rucksacks with illuminating flares.  Others Tp arrangements.

        20.  Food.  Tp arrangements.

        21.  Med.  (a) [?] 2 Jeeps to Chateau NIXON by 2359 hrs.  (b) One S.B. with S.P. Party.  (c) Two S.Bs and one stretcher with Firm Base.  (d) Raiding Pty will bring back wounded, if any, to firm base.  (e) All jeeps will carry stretchers.

 

INTERCOMN

        22.  HQ will move and remain with Firm Base.

        23.  W.T.  Sets as allotted.  All sets to be netted at HQ 45 R.M. Cdo at 1900 hrs.  As Sigs Plan at Appx "A".

        24.  Listening watch to be kept by all stations from 2359 hrs 23 JUN 44.

        25.  WT silence will be observed until break by Raiding pty passing code word GALLOP.

        26.  Synchronisation.  At 45 R.M. Cdo HQ at 2100 hrs 23 JUN 44.

 

[Signed] (B.G. WHITE)

Capt & Adjt., 45 R.M. Commando.

In the Field.

23 JUN 44.

 

 

Appendix

Operation "VIXEN"

45 R.M. COMMANDO. O.O. No.1

 

28 JUN 44.

Ref Maps: 1/25000 sheets 86 & 87.

 

INFM

        1.  Enemy.  FDLs of a Pl posn known to be in the area fwd edge of orchard from 146750 to orchard 148755 and fwd edge of wood from 147747 - 148749.  A possible coy HQ at house 147748.  It is not thought that he has any outposts fwd of FDLs.

        2.  Own Tps.  A & E Tps 45 R.M. Cdo.  3 in Mortars 45 R.M. Cdo.  M.M.Gs 45 R.M. Cdo. with in sp 150 Fd Regt R.A., 3 in Mortars Oxf & Bucks, 3 in Mortars 12 DEVONS, 2 Destroyers R.N.

 

INTENTION

        3.  A Tp will destroy all the enemy in the area 147750.

 

METHOD

        4.  General Plan.  Five parties comprised as under:-

                (i) Firm Base - 1 Offr & 15 O.Rs E Tp, HQ and Sigs.  FOO.

                (ii) Covering Pty - two Offrs and 20 O.Rs A Tp.  Med Orderly & L/Cpl RAMC with stretcher.  Sigs.

                (iii) Raiding Pty - 1 Offr & 20 O.Rs A Tp.

                (iv) Sp Pty - two dets 3 in Mortars and protection pty.  Med orderly & 2 stretchers on jeep.

                (v) MMGs - MMG Sec F Tp 45 R.M. Cdo.

 

PHASE I - ATTACK

        5.  Firm Base.  Will move to Wood area 139754 where they will protect HQ and will form firm base to which covering pty and raiding pty may withdraw.  In posn by 0245 hrs.

        6.  Covering Pty.  Will move to start line fwd edge of orchard 141752 from where they will move fwd at H hr to rd at 144751 where the raiding pty will pass through.

        7.  Raiding Pty.  Will move to start line and at H hr will move behind covering pty to 144751 when they will pass through covering pty at a steady pace as arty barrage lifts and assault enemy posns with grenades and bayonets.

        8.  Start Line.  WEST edge of orchard 141752.

        9.  Sp Pty.  Will be prepared to engage targets as shown on fire plan from present area.  Move to alternative posns after completion of shoot.

        10.  MMG.  Will move to area 114768 and be prepared to engage targets as shown on fire plan.

        11.  RN.  FOB will arrange shoots as shown on fire plan.

        12.  RA.  FOO will move with HQ and be prepared to engage targets as shown on fire plan.  RV LE PLEIN CHURCH at 0145 hrs 29 JUN 44.

        13.  3 in Mortars.  2 Oxf & Bucks 12 DEVONS )  Will please engage targets as shown on fire plan, from area detailed by respective C.Os.

 

PHASE II - WITHDRAWAL

        14.  Raiding Pty.  Will withdraw through covering pty to CHATEAU NIXON 132755 on completion of task.  Signal for withdrawal RED/RED.

        15.  Covering Pty.  Will report when withdrawal of raiding pty complete and will then withdraw after raiding pty to CHATEAU NIXON 132755.

        16.  MMG Pty.  Will withdraw to our lines at first light, reporting to HQ on arrival.

        17.  Firm Base.  Will withdraw to CHATEAU NIXON on orders from HQ.

        18.  Check Pt.  A check will be made of all parties (less MMG & Sp) at CHATEAU NIXON before return to unit lines.

        19.  Fire Plan.

Serial

Codeword

Target

Time

Type of fire

Engaged by

Remarks

1

APE

Line from 14627525 to 14507490

H to H+4

1 min normal 3 min slow

Two Btys 150 Fd Regt R.A.

2

BRONCO

Line from 14807518 to 14687485

H+4 to H+6

2 min Normal

         "

May be repeated as DF tasks on call - Two Btys Two mins rate normal.

3

COW

Line from 15007513 to 14887480

H+6 to H+9

3 min Normal

         "

4

DOG

15207485

H+2 to H+11

2 min slow

         "

5

WATERLOO

HQ at 14857485

H to H+6

6 min slow

One Bty 150 Fd Regt R.A.

One Bty only for D.F. tasks.

6

MONKEY

Enemy Mortars at 15607400

On Call

1 min intense

         "

D.F. to be called for if necessary.

7

WILLIAM

Area 148753

H to H+6

6 min normal

3 in Mortars 45 R.M. Cdo

8

TELL

Area 146754

H+5 to H+10

1 min intense 4 min slow

3 in Mortars 45 R.M. Cdo

9

HAIL

Area 146754

H to H+5

Rapid

MMGs 45 RM Cdo

10

STORM

Area 147757

H+6 to H+20

Normal in pauses

         "

11

HURRICANE

Area 148749

On Call

5 mins harassing

         "

12

Area 157742

H

4 salvoes

One or two destroyers R.N.

Time Shoot No FOB reqd.

13

Area 158754

H+10

4 salvoes

         "

                "

14

Area 162753

H+20

4 salvoes

         "

                "

15

LOVE

Area 147747

H to H+4

5 rds per min

3 in Mortars 2 Oxf & Bucks

16

EXETER

Area 153744

H+9 to H+14

         "

3 in Mortars 12 Devons

Or on call

        20.  Timings.  All parties to be in posn by 0245 hrs 29 JUN 44.  H hr - at which time arty conc will start - 0300 hrs 29 JUN 44.

 

ADM.

        21.  Dress.  Raiding order, black faces.

        22.  Weapons & Amn.  Tp arrangements.

        23.  Med.  Tp Med Orderly plus L/Cpl RAMC with stretcher with covering party.  Tp Med Orderly and 1 jeep with stretcher with mortar dets 45 R.M. Cdo.  2 Jeeps with stretchers at CHATEAU NIXON by 2359 hrs.  All casualties to be evacuated through 45 R.M. Cdo R.A.P.  Walking wounded to CHATEAU NIXON.

 

INTERCOMN

        24.  HQ will move with and remain with firm base.

        25.  WT.  Sets as allotted per sigs plan att at Appx "A".  All sets to be netted by 2000 hrs.  WT silence until H hr.

        26.  Synchronisation.  BBC times.

 

[Signed] (B.G. WHITE)

Capt & Adjt, 45 RM Cdo.

 

Appendix

150th (SNH) Fd Regt Op Instr No 3

 

Date: 28 Jun 44.

Ref maps Sheets 1/25000 40/16 NW & NE

 

INFM

        1.  Enemy hold dug-in posns on EAST side of LONGUEMARE X rds Sq 1475 with Coy HQ (suspected) at 148748.

        2.  Own Tps  No 45 (RM) Cdo is making a raid on 29 JUN with the object of penetrating the enemy posns as far as Coy HQ.  Start line WEST edge of Orchard about 141752.  Axis of adv EAST along NORTH side of rd.

 

INTENTION

        3.  150 (SNH) Fd Regt will support by concs.

 

METHOD

        4.  Task Table attached.

        5.  Registration: NIL.

        6.  One FOO from 434 Bty will accompany Cdo HQ to Firm Base at 138756.

 

COMNS

        7.     (a) 434 Bty OP line will be extended to about 138756 under arrangements to be made by OC 434 with Comd 45 (RM) Cdo.

                (b) RT:  No.19 set (on H Net) and No.18 set at 434 Main OP.  Two 18 sets (one spare) with FOO at 138746.

                (c) Netting of 18 sets to be arranged by OC 434 Bty.

 

[Signed]

Capt RA

Adjt 150 (SNH) Fd Regt RA

 

 

Appendix

OPERATION 'BRUSH'

45 RM COMMANDO OO NO 1

 

9 JUL 44

Ref Maps: 1/25000 sheets 86 and 87.

 

INFORMN

        1.  Enemy

                (a) FDLs run along the following line and known to be wired edge of wood 146747 - 147749 - edge of buildings 147750 - hedge running NE.

                (b) Known MG posts at 146747, 147749.

                (c) Weapon pits, detached posts sometimes occupied at 143743 and 144744 and along line of hedge from 147752 - 145753.

        2.  Own Tps  E Tp 45 RM Cdo with in sp Hy Weapons Tp 45 RM Cdo, 3" Mor No 6 Cdo, 150 Fd Regt RA

 

INTENTION

        3.  E Tp 45 RM Cdo will inflict maximum damage to enemy in area 147748.

 

METHOD

        4.  General Plan  Five parties comprised as under:-

                (i) Firm Base - One Offr and 20 Other Ranks A Tp, HQ, Foo party, 2 Med Ords, and two stretchers.

                (ii) Covering Party - One Offr and twenty Other Ranks E Tp and two med ords.  Offr IC Maj Beadle.

                (iii) Raiding Party - One Offr and twenty Other Ranks E Tp and Sgt Stewart.  Offr IC Lt Newton.

 

PHASE I - ATTACK

        5.  Firm Base  Will move to area rd and track junc 138752 where they will protect HQ and will form Firm Base.

        6.  Covering Party  Will move to start line edge of orchard 143752 from where they will move fwd at H hr to rd area 144751 where they will provide covering fire for raiding party.  Covering Party will be prepared to send fwd PW and salvage party of one Offr and 10 other ranks on signal from Raiding Party.

        7.  Raiding Party  Will move behind covering party to rd area 144751 where they will pass through to assault the enemy.

        8.  Start Line  Hedge running NE - SW at 143752.

        9.  Mortars  Will engage targets as shown at Appx A at area 126753.  6 Cdo mortars RV 45 RM Cdo HQ at 2100 hrs.

        10.  MMG  Will move to area 130753 and be prepared to engage targets as shown in Fire Plan, thereafter on call.  Appx "A" att.

        11.  RA  FOO will move with HQ and be prepared to engage targets as shown on fire plan, RV LE PLEIN CHURCH at 2300 hrs.  Appx "A" att.

 

PHASE II - WITHDRAWAL

        12.  Raiding Party - will withdraw through Covering Party to CHATEAU NIXON 132755 on completion of task.

        13.  Covering Party - will report when withdrawal of Raiding Party, PW and Salvage Parties complete and will withdraw after Raiding Party to CHATEAU NIXON.

        14.  Mortars  Will withdraw to own lines when ordered, by HQ 45 R.M. Cdo.

        15.  MMGs - Will withdraw to own lines when ordered, by HQ 45 R.M. Cdo.

        16.  Firm Base - Will withdraw to CHATEAU NIXON on orders from HQ.

        17.  Check Point - A check will be made of all parties (less MMG and sp) at CHATEAU NIXON before returning to unit lines.

        18.  Fire Plan  See Appx A att.

        19.  Timings

 

Detail

Covering P

Raiding P

Firm Base

FOO party

HQ

RV      

Place

LE PLEIN Church

             "

             "

             "

             "

 

Time

2300

   "

   "

   "

   "

 

Leave RV

2315 hrs

2320 hrs

2325 hrs

      "

      "

 

Time to be in posn.

2345 hrs

2350 hrs

2355 hrs

        20.  H Hour  H Hr at 0015 hrs 10 JUL 44 at which time Arty concs start and inf cross S.L.

 

ADM

        21.  Dress.  Raiding Order black faces.

        22.  Weapons & Amn. - Under Tp arrangements.

        23.  Medical - Tp med ords and RMSB plus stretcher with Covering Party.  Two Jeeps with stretchers at CHATEAU NIXON by 2300.  Two SBs and stretchers with Firm Base Party.  All cas to be evacuated through 45 RM Cdo RAP.  Walking wounded to CHATEAU NIXON.

 

INTERCOMN

        24.  HQ - will move with and remain with Firm Base.

        25.  WT - As shown on Sig Plan at Appx B.  All sets to be netted by 2000 hrs WT silence until H hr.

        26.  Pyrotechnics - to be fired by Raiding Party.  RED = Raiding Party withdrawing.  GREEN = Raiding Party penetrating further.  GREEN/RED = PW and Salvage Party required to move fwd.

        27.  Watches - Synchronisation BBC time signal 2100 hrs.

 

[Signed]

(A.W. NEAVES)

Capt & Adj. 45 R.M. Commando.

Time of Signature 1845 hrs.

 

FIRE PLAN - Appx A to Operation Order 'BRUSH'

 

Serial

  (a)

Code

  (b)

Target

  (c)

Time (mins)

      (d)

Type of fire

      (e)

Engaged by

      (f)

Remarks

    (g)

1

ROSE

Hedgerow 147751

H to H+3

HE normal

514 Bty

2

TULIP

Edge of orchard from 148751 to 146747

H to H+6

HE

434 Bty, 435 Bty, 514 Bty

3 slow 1 normal

3

VIOLET

Edge of orchard from 146747 to 147748

H to H+9

HE slow

435 Bty

4

CROCUS

Rd 149749

H+7 to H+12

HE slow

434 Bty, 514 Bty

5

SNOWDROP

Rd & Track junc 153748

On call

HE normal

514 Bty

6

BUTTERCUP

Area houses at 148753

H+10 to H+13

HE normal

434 Bty

7

DAISY

Area 152752

On call

HE normal

434 Bty

8

BLUEBELL

Re & track junc 155746

On call

HE normal

435 Bty

9

BEER

Orchard 147747

H to H+4

Smoke

3" Mor 6 Cdo

6 rds per min

10

GIN

Houses at 148748

H+6 to H+8

Smoke

3" Mor 6 Cdo

5 rds per min

11

WHISKY

Hedgerow 146752

H to H+1

HE

3" Mor 45 Cdo

10 rds per min

12

RUM

Orchard 148752

H+3 to H+6

HE and Smoke

3" Mor 45 Cdo

He 5 rds per min Smoke 3 rds

13

APPLES

Enemy post 146747

H to H+2

Rapid

MMG 45 RM Cdo

14

PEARS

               "

H+8 to H+12

Normal

               "

15

PLUM

               "

H+16 to H+20

Normal

               "

16

ORANGE

Rd at 147749

3 mins

Normal

               "

On call

 

NOTE:  Thereafter all arty, mortars, and MMGs will remain on call to engage repeat targets, until ordered to close down by HQ 45 RM Cdo.

 

OPERATION "BRUSH"

45 R.M. Cdo Sigs Instr No.1

9 JUL 44

 

        1.  Comn will be by R/T (see Appx B).

        2.  Sets will be netted at 2100 hrs after which they will close down until H hour.

        3.  Net will open at H hours and all sets will maintain listening watch until end of the operation.

        4.  Covering party will be given immediate priority for transmission of M/S from Raiding party to Control.  Such M/s will be prefaced by code word "MAYTIME", on receipt of which all stns will keep off the air until M/S has been passed.

        5.  C.Os Rover will control Comd Gp.

 

[Signed] ([?]J. GEEVES)

Sigs Offr, 45 R.M. Cdo.