National Archives catalogue number ADM 202/111.
10 Kompanie, 744 Grenadier Regiment
Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Anti-Personnel / Armour Piercing
Forward Defended Locality
Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur (French Resistance)
Forward Observation Bombardment
Forward Observation Officer
Field Security Personnel
General Officer Commanding
Landing Craft Gun
Landing Craft Infantry
Landing Craft Tank
The Lincolnshire Regiment
Light Machine Gun
Mortar Fire Control
Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Canadian Artillery
Royal Marines Armoured Support
Radio Telephony / Right (lower case)
Self-Propelled / Start Point / Support (lower
Troop Carrying Vehicle
Month and year : June 1944
Commanding Officer : Lt Col J.L. Moulton, RM
5th June 1944
1330 - The Commando left the Marshalling area in TCV's for WARSASH where after a brief wait in a field, [at 1400 hrs] it embarked from the Jetty on LCI(S) of 202 Flotilla.
1900 - That evening, after lying alongside during the afternoon, the flotilla sailed for its RV with the convoy. The Cdo was informed that the operation was on, maps were distributed and troops told their objective.
5th to 6th June 1944
Place: At Sea
The crossing was rough since there was a stiff NW breeze and a high proportion of the troops were seasick. The [?] issued had little effect as a sedative. The night passed without incident.
0500 - The next morning we reached our RV off the French coast and circled the HQ ship, HMS HILARY awaiting the time to land. H was postponed 15 minutes. About 0730 the Flotilla moved in towards the shore, men put on their equipment and camouflaged their faces and hands. At first it appeared that the landing would be unopposed and most craft dismounted the 2" mortars which were prepared to cover the landings with smoke. Then MG's opened up from the Strongpoint at ST AUBIN, which was almost opposite the Easternmost landing craft and perhaps 2000 yds from the Westernmost, and the craft were subjected to mortar and shell fire; the 'Z' Tp craft received a direct hit amidships. The Oerlikons replied and the craft put down smoke on the beach, with 2 in mortars.
Place: St Aubin, Nan Red (010853)
0843 - Beach obstacles had not been cleared and were well below the water when the Cdo landed. Two craft (Y and Z Tps) struck obstacles and were unable to beach. HQ craft struck an obstacle but was fairly close inshore. The majority of landing ramps failed, either because their inshore ends floated or because the movement of the craft on the obstacles shook them off the craft. A, B, X and HQ Tps were able to wade ashore in about 3 feet of water, but Y and Z Tps could only get ashore by swimming. Many offrs and men attempted to swim ashore from these craft and a high proportion of these were lost through drowning owing to a strong [?]. Some got ashore (Major de Stacpoole just made the beach although wounded before he left the craft, Capt Lennard, a strong swimmer was drowned: TSM Trewers was carried far to the East and landed under the guns of the strongpoint at LANGRUNE. On reaching the shore, troops made for the cover of the earth cliff and sea wall. Here they found a confused situation. The cliff and sea wall gave some protection from SA fire, but any movement away from them was under MG fire. The whole area meanwhile was under heavy mortar and shellfire. Under the sea wall was a jumble of men from other units including many wounded and dead; the beach was congested with tanks, SP guns and other vehicles, some out of action, others attempting to move from the beach in the very confused space between the waters edge and the sea wall. LCT's were arriving all the time and attempted to land their loads, adding to the general confusion. A quick recce showed that the beach exit to the right of the isolated houses was free from aimed SA fire except for occasional shots and that a gap had been cleared through the mines. As this was the quickest way to the assembly area, orders were immediately passed for troops to move up to the assembly area by this route. B Tp led followed by A, HQ, and X, but in the conditions prevailing, it was largely a question of telling subsec comds and individual men the way to move. The Assembly area was much quieter and Tp RV's were quickly established and Cdo HQ set up. The CO returned to the beach to contact Y and Z Tps. A considerable number of men of mixed Tps were found still under the cliff and these were moved off to the right. He found Y Tp attempting to get ashore from an LCT to which they had transferred from their LCI. Lieut Fouche was already ashore and he was ordered to pass men along to the right as they came ashore, but he was hit almost immediately by mortar fragments and seriously wounded; his orderly was killed. However, the landing of Y Tp was very slow and few men managed to get ashore before the LCT (as was later discovered) shoved off, taking with her about 50 men of the Cdo to England despite their energetic protests. Z Tp was more fortunate and about 40 men were eventually collected in the assembly area; these had got ashore [? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?] it was found on calling for reports that A, B and X Tps each had about 50-55 men available (Capt Reynolds A Tp returned to duty although wounded). 'S' Tp had one 3" mortar and one Bren det (MMG's were to come later in Tpt). HQ had had about 20 casualties but was working satisfactorily. The 5 men of Y Tp present were joined with Z Tp (about 40) under comd Maj Freeman (attached from SAUDF seconded RM). Maj de Stacpoole although wounded and exhausted by his swim, pressed for employment but was ordered to remain in the Ass Area and bring on the remnants of Y Tp. The CO now issued a warning order for the advance and made his way to the pre-arranged RV with Lt Col Buell (CO N. Shore Regt). The latter informed him that the Rd on the inland side of St Aubin was clear but that the Strongpoint was still holding out against B Coy, N Shore Regt (it held out until nearly dark). 'D' Coy had reached the Rly Sta where it was in contact with enemy dets. C Coy was about to start for TAILLEVILLE.
1030 - On returning to the assembly area, the CO ordered the Cdo to move off according to plan. 'B' Tp was to move straight to the beach defences immediately East of St Aubin ('Deathshead Section') while the remainder with 'A' Tp as advance guard moved on LANGRUNE. Supporting LCG's (331 Flotilla Lt Com York) were asked over the RT link to lift fire from Deathshead Section at 1200 hrs. The advance was without incident; the vicinity of LANGRUNE Church was found unoccupied.
1150 - X Tp was now detached to tackle the next sector of beach defence (Dogfish One). 'A' and 'Z' Tps faced South to prevent an enemy counter attack. 'A' Tp sent a patrol to the Bridge at 037828 which was found unoccupied with orders to guard the bridge and make contact with 41 (RM) Cdo. 41 Cdo, however, were badly held up at Lion-sur-Mer and never reached this bridge.
1300 - 'B' Tp now reported 'Deathshead' clear; they had found it unoccupied and suffered only one casualty (Lt Curtis) wounded by own naval support fire. 'B' Tp was ordered to report to Cdo HQ established at 030836.
1327 - A little later X Tp reported Dogfish One clear, and as Y Tp was absent, were ordered to continue clearing Dogfish Two. Here almost at once, they came under LMG fire from the area of the Cross Rds. The Tp Comd was unable to make progress down the Street and began to work round the right (inland flank). On reaching Rd 'A', he attempted to attack towards the sea but was unable to gain ground down this street either and Wentwall reported in person to Cdo HQ.
1430 - On receiving this report, the CO decided to probe towards the seafront on a Two Tp front, X Tp down Street 'A', and 'B' Tp Street 'B'. The Cross Rds AA - BB were the respective objectives of the Tps. 'A' Tp was held in reserve, ready to exploit any success by 'B' Tp. Z Tp was to remain in the area of the church to guard against counter attacks from the South.
1445 - 'X' Tp was moved back some 300 yds inland of the Rly and Naval Support requested. The bombardment from the LCG's lifted at 1530 hrs and both Tps started to work down the street using the cover of houses and gardens. The line of the Rly was quickly gained by both Tps, but after that, both met LMG fire down the Street, and sniping and mortar fire from the gardens. 'B' Tp continued to make ground although progress was slow owing to the substantial and frequent walls and fences that required to be breached.
1800 - However about 1800 hrs, its CO found Capt Perry (OC 'B' Tp) in the houses about 50 yds from the cross rds 'BB'. From an attic light, Capt Perry could see the Germans and said that they appeared to be in a bad way and that he would be ready to assault shortly. The CO, who had been wounded earlier in the forearm, did not climb up to the attic, but return to move 'A' Tp down to exploit 'B' Tps success.
1815 - Shortly after this, however, Capt Perry was killed by a sniper and although the Tp continued slowly to make their way forward, no proper assault was made. Eventually 2/Lt Rubinstein (now OC 'B' Tp) reported that he was held up on the edge of the cleared area some 20 yds short of the Cross Rds.
1820 - On returning to Cdo HQ which had now been established in a Farm at 033836, the CO found two CENTAUR tanks of the 2nd RMAS Regt which had been sent to assist. After some delay, one was sent down each Rd with improvised means of comns with the infantry. The presence of these AFV's helped the infantry forward a little on 'B' Tps front and soon their Centaur reached the Cross Rds, BB, and was able to fire down the lateral street. The direction of the Centaurs fire was painfully slow for the crews were quite unaccustomed to cooperate with infantry, indeed to work as tanks - their role was that of SP Arty -. However most of the houses around BB were soon knocked about, although the HE shell, which was all the tanks could fire, had no effect on the anti-tank wall and reinforced house immediately East of it. 'B' Tp was now ordered to gain the houses around the Cross Rd, BB. 2/Lt Rubinstein led the assault and was able to gain the more badly damaged houses on the NW corner, but could not get into the reinforced house or across the A Tk wall. Over the top of this came a steady flow of stick grenades which did suspiciously little harm. But 'B' Tp was unable to get beyond the first two houses in this sector and eventually withdrew to the SW corner to ask for further assistance. By this time 'B' Tps Centaur had run out of Amn and was withdrawn. Another (from a further Troop which had arrived) came up, but immediately set off a mine which broke the track. This blocked the road. Meanwhile 'X' Tp had run into mines in Street 'A' and lost a number of men from these and from LMG fire.
2100 - At this time, Brig BW Leicester (comd 4 SS Bde) called in at Cdo HQ. He said that a counter attack might be expected at dawn and ordered the Cdo to consolidate LANGRUNE against attack. Light was now failing, and the CO decided that as the Cdo was much reduced in numbers, he would hold the ground gained with the smallest possible force and concentrate the remainder around Cdo HQ to cover the approaches from the South and East.
6th to 7th June 1944
0830 - The night passed quietly and the morning brought no signs of a counter attack. So the CO sent an LO to inform Bde that the Cdo was now to weak simultaneously to hold the Southern part of LANGRUNE and to attack the Strongpoint. Meanwhile the one 3" mortar was brought into action to keep the enemy strongpoint occupied and harassed - it was later learnt that it was most effective. From Bde came the welcome reply that an enemy counter attack was no longer likely and that two M10 SP ATR guns would be sent to assist with the concrete. As Road 'A' was mined and explosives owing to losses on the beach the previous day were short, the CO decided to attack down Street B, using the M10's to knock down the concrete wall and reinforced house. To do this it was necessary to clear a way through the minefield on which the Centaur had been blown up. This was to be done by Bangalore Torpedoes of which just enough were available. 'A' Tp was to make the attack, while 'X' Tp were to contain the enemy down Street 'B' with fire.
1130 - The attack started at 1130; the Bangalore was laid and blown and the first M10 got round the Centaur. For the next 90 minutes the M10 hammered at the wall. By about 1230 all its amn had gone and the top half of the wall had been destroyed. The Sherman which led the Centaur Tp now had a go, but the wall remained a total tank obstacle. So 'A' Tp was ordered to advance across the Cross Rds and secure the two houses on either side of the wall. Meanwhile 'B' and 'Z' Tps under Maj Freeman were ordered up with picks, shovels and explosives, and Lt Lee of the 4 A Tk Regt RCA, who was in charge of the M10's and had directed their fire throughout, went forward as Tank adviser. He found that the remnants of the wall with trenches on the enemy (seaward) side still made an A Tk obstacle.
1430 - B and Z Tps were therefore set to work filling them in. 'A' Tp meanwhile were making good progress through the houses on the seaward side of the street from crossrds BB towards crossrds AA and by the time the first tank (the Sherman) crossed the obstacle had penetrated half way down. The Sherman reached the terrace between the sea and the houses and promptly put one track in a comn trench, filled to an uncomfortable angle and become immobilised. However the turret MG opened up and raked the terrace in a frightening although inaccurate manner.
1518 - Either on account of this or because 'A' Tp was making rapid progress through the houses which formed the main strongpoint and overlooked the beach defences, the German garrison shortly surrendered. We took 31 prisoners identified as belonging to 736 GR and had killed some 8 or 10. In the strongpoint we captured a 5cm A Tk gun, 3 MG 34's, a Bazooka type gun, several 5cm mortars and an A Tk rifle together with much amn. Meanwhile 46 RM Cdo who had landed early on D + 1 advanced through Southern Langrune and found the last houses of 48 Cdo's objective (DORIS Section) unoccupied as they passed on their way to tackle PETIT ENFER. This we had suspected but lacked the troops to investigate. The effective strength of the Commando was thus reduced to 223 all ranks by the evening of D + 1, the total casualties being 217 all ranks (of these 60 were to reappear in about 3[?] time having been taken back to England in the LCT).
1800 - That evening 48 RM Cdo was ordered to send a security patrol to St Aubin where there were numerous reports of snipers. Our patrol found nothing. Reports received from civilians indicated that the enemy had withdrawn from Douvres and La Deliverande.
7th to 8th June 1944
During the night, patrols were maintained along the coastal sector, but no enemy were encountered. Loose shooting from our own Tps caused occasional alarms.
8th June 1944
48 Cdo was now give the task of maintaining security in St Aubin and Langrune and systematic search was made of all houses without finding any Germans. Z Tp now installed themselves in St Aubin with X Tp who were given the task of clearing Nan Red Beach and burying our dead. B Tp took over Langrune. Liaison was established with the Mayors of Langrune and St Aubin to control the civil population, a curfew was imposed. The population was friendly and gave all help. Two suspects at Langrune were arrested and handed over to FSP for investigation. The Cdo was reorganised into 4 fighting troops each with 3 subsections. Offrs were divided as follows. 'A' Tp Lts Mackenzie and Ford, 'B' Tp 2/Lt Rubinstein, 'X' Tp Lt Goodlitt 'Z' Tp Lt Square 'S' Tp Capt Linnell, Lt Aldworth.
9th June 1944
1100 - The arrival of our first line rein-forcements (2 offrs and 30 ORs) brought the total strength of the Cdo to approx 260 all ranks. Lt Dunn went to command 'B' Tp and Lt Bonner joined 'A' Tp.
0330 - A report received during the night from 'S' Tp of Paratps seen falling in the direction of St Aubin proved to be British airborne reinforcements landing East of the R. ORNE.
1200 - 4 SS Bde was now ordered to defend the area Douvres - La Deliverande and 48 Cdo was detailed to be ready to move to La Deliverande at 1400 hrs. Rear Echelon which had moved up the previous day from the assembly area was to remain temporarily at Langrune. Meanwhile the cleanup of the beach continued under the direction of the 2 i/c Maj Sanders and by the evening 31 of our own dead with some sailors from the landing craft were buried in a cemetery in the beach area at 009851.
1300 - CO accompanied by the IO (Lt Smedley) left to recce the area La Deliverande, but before the Cdo moved into posn, new orders came through and the Cdo took over from 46 RM Cdo at Douvres La Deliverande.
2000 - Our task here was to contain on the Eastern side an enemy Radar Sta at 0080 while 41 Cdo did the same job to the West. This Radar Sta which was defended by concrete emplacements, wire and mines had been bypassed by our own troops and was completely surrounded; the garrison was believed to be about 300 strong.
2100 - Cdo HQ was est at 020807. The night was spent quietly with patrols keeping contact with the enemy posns. No movement was reported.
10th June 1944
The CO now decided to harass the Radar Sta with fire and to ascertain from patrols the enemy defences.
1300 - A patrol to the edge of the wire of the Northern part at 006811 reported no signs of life.
1200 to 1300 - From 1200 to 1300 the Southern part was shot up by our 3" mortar doing further damage to the aerials of the sets.
1600 - At 1600 the CO, 2 i/c and a Tp Comd (Lt Mackenzie) went right up to the entrance to the Northern Strongpoint and fired over the wire. Only desultory shots came back.
10th to 11th June 1944
Major Freeman was appointed patrol master and the task for the night was to discover the extent of the wire. Lt Dunn discovered a small enemy patrol at the entrance to the Northern Strongpoint. A night shoot by mortars completed the destruction of a [further?] radar installation.
11th June 1944
1000 - Harassing continued from MMG's and we established an OP in the Church at 022804 in conjunction with 4 SS Bde. Many civilians came forward with information on the construction of the concrete defences on which they themselves had laboured. Preparation was made for a further patrol to ambush the German patrol discovered by Lt Dunn.
1415 - Suddenly came a warning order from Bde to move and the CO left [at 1530] to recce our new posns East of the R. ORNE. We were to reinforce 1 SS Bde.
1630 - The Cdo left by march route for our RV at 105745. 'Z' and 'S' Tps were carried on CENTAUR tanks of the RMASP. The remainder of the Cdo was picked up by Tpt 2 miles short of the RV which was reached at 2000 hrs.
2230 - The 'O' Gp moved to a House at 129759 where Cdo HQ was established, and the Cdo took over defensive posns from 12 Para Bn (which had taken over 24 hrs previously from 4 Cdo). To our left was 47 RM Cdo, to our right 3 Cdo; we were the left hand flank of the Bridgehead across the ORNE. The previous day 4 Cdo had repelled a heavy attack in this area, and 12 Para Bn had suffered from shelling.
2130 - That evening we were shelled but suffered no casualties. The night passed without incident.
12th June 1944
1030 - An alarm of Smoke mortar bombs in our front proved to be 47 Cdo ranging mortars. Civilian reports indicated that Sallenelles was unoccupied by the enemy and that the nearest enemy post was a concrete strongpoint 800 yds further on at 139776 which was reported to be held by about 50 Germans.
1300 - On orders from Bde we now moved forward to occupy an old enemy strongpoint athwart the two roads leading [?] of SALLENELLES, 47 Cdo to our right with the road their responsibility. The move began at 1300. Meanwhile the IO (Lt Smedley) with a subsection moved in SALLENELLES to established a standing patrol at 133769. The inhabitants were friendly and helpful.
1545 - Two enemy approached the patrol, but withdrew before being engaged.
1820 - HQ was established in a house at 131763 with a Comd Post at 130766.
2245 to 0030 - That evening the Cdo area was shelled and the Sigs and [?] offices destroyed by a direct hit. An attack developed against 4 Cdo to our right rear, but we made no contact. At 'B' Echelon in AMFREVILLE a 3 tonner (supply) was destroyed by shellfire. Our total casualties were 5 wounded.
13th June 1944
0500 - A Standing patrol of 1 Subsec was sent out to X Rds at 135711 returning at dusk. Their task was to observe the strongpoint and destroy any parties of the enemy approaching them. This was established as a routine patrol. Meanwhile a further reorganization had taken place. Maj Freeman took over 'Z' Tp and Capt Linnell 'X'. Lt Mackenzie comd 'A' Tp was promoted Capt.
2200 to 0200 - That night a listening patrol was sent to X Rds 137773 without result.
2335 to 0015 and 0245 to 0320 - During the night stray bombing of the area was carried out by the Germans. Some bombs falling in the Cdo, but we suffered no casualties.
14th June 1944
1300 - The Standing patrol ambushed a German patrol of 7 men advancing along the Rd, killing one and wounding one. An identification was made of 9 Coy, 744 GR. Considerable activity was noticed from the strongpoint area, but no further contact was made.
1930 - FOB (Capt Tyrer) directed destroyer fire on the strongpoint, Merville and Franceville. A direct hit brought out a party of Germans who were laid low by a second shell.
15th June 1944
0840 - The Patrol leader of the Standing Patrol (Lt Square) led a party of 4 to a point 143767 where he came under MG fire. In disengaging a Bren was left behind. The gun was later discovered by OC Z Tp (Maj Freeman) without enemy opposition.
1000 - That morning Lt Smedley (IO) with a French offr from No 4 Cdo made a further recce of Sallenelles. The inhabitants were friendly but short of food and worried lest the Germans should return. Infm received showed the strongpoint to consist of a concrete pillbox containing MG's and a steel cupola with an A Tk Gun (27.5mm). The Moulin du Buisson on the opposite side of rd is used as living quarters.
2000 - 'T' Tp (Capt Elliott) of Centaurs of RMASR came under comd and registered on the strongpoint. HW Tp of 41 Cdo (Capt Grant) was also placed under comd.
16th June 1944
0430 - One hour's shelling of our posns caused one casualty. We had stood to at 0300 as Bde had warned us that an attack was expected, but nothing developed. That day the standing patrol was increased in strength to one Troop. 'A' Tp found documents in their lines which gave identifications of 857 GR.
17th June 1944
0430 - The Strongpoint was plastered by Centaurs for 5 minutes without observed result. The village patrol reported only routine movements that day.
0915 - 3 ME 109's flew West over posns at 300 feet. No hostile act.
1530 - Two TETRARCH tanks of the Airborne Armd Recce Regt shot up the strongpoint from Sallenelles with 2 Pr Squeeze gun and 3" How while our 3" mortars put down HE and smoke.
17th to 18th June 1944
2300 to 0215 - A fighting patrol lying up on Rd from Strongpoint to Sallenelles reported no enemy. A previous listening patrol had reported possible enemy movement here.
18th June 1944
2115 to 2200 - The CO and IO with a small escort accompanied 47 Cdo in a raid in force against enemy FDL's from 141773 to 143768 to observe Strongpoint from SE. Visibility was obscured by smoke. During this recce the party took a Polish prisoner from 10/744 GR and removed identifications from 3 dead Germans.
2330 to 2345 - In reply to this raid the area was shelled intermittently but we had no casualties. That night our listening patrols were out in area 137772 but reported nothing.
19th June 1944
1245 - An hour's intermittent shelling caused no casualties. Lt QM Ford (ex SAUDF) posted to Adv HQ, SS Gp. Mines We had now mined our own posns in and Est an A Tk mine belt from 130766 to the Coast road. 4 Cdo had mined the gulley 127765 to 131760 with A Pers mines. The HW Tp changed to comd 46 RM Cdo who now occupied posns on our right.
2300 to 0300 - Lt Col JL Moulton, Lt JJE Square recced wire of enemy at 139776 meeting no enemy.
20th June 1944
The Adjt (Capt Flunder) under whose comd snipers were placed recced posns fwd of the patrol house. The patrol reported only routine activity, and night listening patrols drew back.
21st June 1944
1015 - The MMG's joined in the Harassing programme against the Strongpoint. Again all was quiet at the Patrol house and night listening patrols at 137772 and 138774 had nothing to report.
22nd June 1944
0550 - 2 Mortar projectors (? 6 barrelled 15cm) fired from strongpoint in full view of the Standing patrol. The strongpoint was plastered with MMGs (0600 - 1300) and then by 3" mortars, and again at 2315 by MMG's. A Regt (150 Fd Regt) of Fd Arty and the Navy joined in while all the enemy could do was to put down 5cm mortar smoke in front of him. Nothing more was heard of the Rocket Projector for some time.
1720 - A Polish deserter from 10/744 GR surrendered to our patrol. He had escaped from a wiring party at 141773.
1830 - That evening Strongpoint harassing continued with a blast from LCG's controlled by FOB (Capt Tyrer) and 6 pr A Tk - firing from Sallenelles.
2230 - Light shelling. No damage. Listening patrols NIL result.
23rd June 1944
0955 - MMG's fired on strongpoint. Snipers operating for the first time killed two Germans (Plyx 109789 Mne Hughes. Plyx 108461 Mne Hayward) .
1300 - Change with 41 RM Cdo. Move to Bde reserve posns at 117754 where we have the role of counterattack should enemy gain a lodgement in Bde defences. Secondary purpose was rest, no stand-to being enforced. This was rather nullified by the proximity of the Div Arty area. Cdo moved to new posns by march route.
During the turnover a few desultory shells landed in Cdo area probably in revenge for an LCG(R) broadside on Franceville Plage. That night some 20 shells of medium calibre fell in and around Cdo HQ. Only casualties 4 civilians wounded, in the Cdo HQ house which received a direct hit. Maj Wall who had been attached to the American assault forces joined us by loan taking over 'A' Tp. Capt Mackenzie to X Tp, Capt Linnell reverting to 'S' Tp.
24th June 1944
Warning received of enemy attacks area Breville - Bois de Bavent. Preliminary precautions were taken but nothing developed. Trng Conference Intention to use period in rest area for instruction in patrols under Maj Freeman, fieldworks and enemy weapons. FOB (Capt Tyrer) detached to 47 RM Cdo. 'Z' Tp detached as guard to Bailey Bridge over Orne at 115763. Snipers bag two more [birds?] (Plyx 107685 Mne Thomas. Pox 116843 Mne [Abram?]).
25th June 1944
Snipers kill one and wound one (Pox 115935 Mne Scoot. Pox 115814 Mne Locke). Sniping against strongpoint now taken over by 41 Cdo.
26th June 1944
Place: Quarry 123759
0830 - Present area reqd by 6 AB Div. Recce and move to new location completed during forenoon. Cdo HQ est at 123759.
1400 - Maj DR de Stacpoole (who had been wounded on beach) returns with some 55 survivors (mainly Y Tp) and 3 offrs and OR's reinforcements. Cdo strength was now brought up to
27th June 1944
Place: Quarry 123759
1145 - Enemy shell bridge guarded by 'Z' Tp wounding one man slightly.
28th June 1944
Place: Quarry 123759
1130 - Warning order to move to 4 Cdo's posns at HAUGER 128759. CO's and Tp Comds recce.
29th June 1944
CO and Tp Comds recce counter attack rôle and fixed plan decided should enemy occupy high ground held by 41 and 47 Cdo's South of Sallenelles.
30th June 1944
0900 - Visit by Major General Sturges, GOC SS Gp to Commando. Move to 4 Cdo posns postponed until 3 July at earliest.
Month and year : July 1944
Commanding Officer : Lt Col J.L. Moulton, RM
1st July 1944
Place: Quarry 122759
'D' Cdo. Tp Commanders take sub-sec Commanders over ground for counter-attack on SALLENELLES feature.
2nd July 1944
Pay Sgt (Sgt Edmonson) wounded by fragment of Oerlikon shell in B Ech area. Move of Cdo to 4 Cdo area (HAUGER) cancelled but warning order received to relieve 41 Cdo in our old position on SALLENELLES feature.
4th July 1944
1300 - Relieved 41 Cdo (Left fwd Cdo B) Battle H.Q. 130765 Adm H.Q. 131765. B Ech remain at 119756. Take over 'F' counter Mortar O.P. at 135771 in patrol house where we maintained standing patrol of 1 Tp less 1 sub-sec.
2300 to 0330 - Listening patrol (Cpl Telford Z Tp) to 137773 reports no enemy activity.
5th July 1944
2300 to 0230 - Maj de Stacpoole + 10 Recce of F.D.L's. A firm base of 1 SNCO and 7 Established at Halfway House 138772. One Recce patrol to 138773 to observe MOULIN DU BUISSON 140776 while another went to line of trees 138773. Bright Moonlight hindered movement. No enemy observed but sounds of Tpt heard. Standing patrol reports camouflaged observer in Strongpoint 139776. Snipers had no success.
6th July 1944
2100 - M.G. fired from upper window of MOULIN at Capt Flunder (Adj & O.C. Snipers) and snipers who were recceing area of Halfway House. No casualties. Otherwise only routine activity at Strongpoint. Recce patrol to Halfway House nothing to report.
7th July 1944
Sentry observed in slit trench S of left hand concrete pillbox of strongpoint. Snipers had no success.
2045 to 2115 - 75mm guns (? Les Marmiers) shelled a house at 131775 used as H.Q. Officers Mess, an unpleasant business. All H.Q. Officers were at dinner when shells started to fall at the door and hit the house which had not been protected. There was nothing to do but remain in the house until shelling stopped. Three shells fell within 5 yds of door; 5 more, two of which were duds, hit the house (the shells bore date 1915, presumably old French stock). Cas 1 Mor killed.
8th July 1944
1000 to 1500 - Ambush at 139773 under command Capt Mackenzie. Snipers went out with patrol with orders to observe only. Patrol reports a dugout occupied by a very casual enemy just East of the MOULIN. One was a sentry, another observing but not apparently very successful, with binoculars. Wire seen along length of ditch running from MOULIN to F.D.L's. at 142772 and around the Moulin, also a wire road barrier at 139772.
2215 to 0415 - M.M.G's. fired harassing shoot on Les Marmiers.
8th to 9th July 1944
Orders were received to simulate liveliness on the Bde front during night 8/9 and 9 July. Other Cdo's were firing harassing shoot during night.
0430 - 48 Cdo started harassing shoot combined with continuous movement of base plates to simulate new Mortars coming into position. During day over 500 rounds were fired and 5 different positions used. This opportunity was used to train new fire controllers. Capt Linnell (O.C. S Tp Previously M.M.G. Offr) Sgt Kern attached to S. Tp from X Tp to replace casualties, Cpl Thornton promoted to replace casualty.
9th July 1944
Maj. de Stacpoole attempted recce patrol over Saltings but found the route impassable at High tide.
0430 - Nebelwerfer (15 cm) fired on patrol houses scoring several near misses and badly damaging East end of SALLENELLES; probably fired from Les Marmiers, one man slightly wounded.
1000 to 1500 - Snipers covered by sub-sec at 139772 had no success.
2200 to 2230 - Timed programme of M.M.G. and Mortar fire on Bde front attempted to simulate attack. Enemy did not respond - the effect without artillery was very thin.
10th July 1944
Standing patrol reported quiet day.
2100 - Two men seen crawling on West of road at 139774 vanished before they could be engaged. Orders were received from Bde to prepare for raid on 48 Cdo front at end of week. Y Tp under Maj de Stacpoole detailed.
11th July 1944
0001 to 0230 - Listening patrol to 137772 reported no enemy activity except a gun firing at 0015 from bearing 85 Mag. Snipers no luck during day.
1430 - 8 Mortar bombs fell in area Halfway House (? answer to own Tps fire) Reallocation of patrol areas 48 (R.M.) Cdo area from River Orne to incl road from Bridge 136767, Crosstracks 138767, and East along track.
1830 to 0100 - M.M.G. shoot in conjunction with 46 (R.M.) Cdo's guns on Merville from positions across R Orne.
12th July 1944
0100 to 0200 - Shoot on MOULIN. Bend in road 146775 - to cover movement of recce patrol. M.M.G's remained in their positions overnight and were shelled in the morning, suffering no casualties.
0001 to 0230 - Recce patrol under Maj de Stacpoole of enemy F.D.L's along line of hedge 140772 to 143768 to confirm information received from Polish deserter. Presence confirmed of cattle fence 50 yds forward of line of hedge. Bright Moonlight hindered Recce, as did regular flares (both Signal Pistol and Mortar).
0520 to 0620 - Cdo area shelled but no casualties.
1830 to 2200 - Lt Col Moulton, Maj Stacpoole, Capt Mackenzie with sub-sec recce F.D.L's in preparation for raid. While at 140771 patrol was fired on from 141772 by a sentry, and moved along hedge to craters at 140769. Here they were fired on by M.G., and when they attempted to withdraw, the enemy advanced to the craters and fired automatics along hedge killing three of the escort and wounding a fourth. The Hun then threw egg grenades without effect and fired down line of hedge at 138769. It appeared he had fixed lines down the hedgerows. The patrol returning the fire claim two enemy hit. Restriction was placed on Mortars to 40 rds per Mortar per day.
2140 - Cdo area shelled; no casualties - probably from 88 mm on Franceville Plage. Since the patrol house had been the object of a salvo from a Nebelwerfer, it was obvious the Hun knew we were there, and it was decided to move back into the middle of Sallenelles 135771. This was to be held as an outpost position by a complete troop of which one sub-sec manned a German 50 mm A Tk gun situated in a hotel at the S.W. corner of the junction at 132769.
13th July 1944
Sniper (Mne Hayward) 1 certainty on Strongpoint.
2330 to 0100 - Maj de Stacpoole covered by fire groups of X Troop with A Troop in reserve at the patrol house, led his troop in an attempt to recover the bodies of the men killed the night before. The fire groups were posted along the line of track, Cross tracks - Halfway House. One Gp went astray and drew fire and accordingly the plan was called off. Casualties were 4 wounded (Sgt Williams crawled back 700 yds with a broken leg and three bullet wounds). One man came in after lying up all night, and two came in after lying up for 24 hrs. To support the patrol, Capt Linnell went fwd as M.F.C. for the 3" Mortars and put down fire on the F.D.L's and the M.M.G's from across the Orne fired on the Strongpoint. The latter drew back immediate and accurate fire from the Moulin, and the detachments withdrew from the guns to avoid casualties.
2250 to 2315 - Mortar bombs fell in Cdo area, apparently directed at Rd junction 135771. 1 civilian killed and 1 wounded.
14th July 1944
Patrol house mortared, no casualties. A programme for training was now arranged with the object of withdrawing one troop at a time for this purpose. The main objects were training in fieldcraft and instinctive action, and more practice in movement by night and the use of weapons. In close country we had found that a Tommy Gun, if used up to ranges of 150 yds was as useful as a Bren and much easier to handle.
1905 to 1915 - 3 shells (? 10.5 cm) fell in Cdo area, killing one gunner. As the enemy showed more initiative on our front and as our arty sp was withdrawn, our patrols did not advance fwd of the line of track, Cross tracks - Halfway House, unless well supported.
15th July 1944
0030 to 0330 - Listening patrol at 137772 reported sounds of movement at 0235 hrs down line of hedge 139772. Snipers during the day scored two certain kills against Strongpoint.
1230 to 1700 - Ambush patrol at 137769 saw no signs of enemy.
1200 - An American airman baled out of a Thunderbolt and landed in the Orne at 127776. He was rescued by 2/Lt Collins and the Medical Orderly (Pte Cosnett) of A Tp who went out under M.G. fire. Three civilians had previously tried to rescue him, but in vain. Our 3" Mortar gave cover with smoke during this.
16th July 1944
0130 to 0330 - Lt Boreham (Y Tp.) with recce patrol reported sounds of movement along hedge at 137771. Although not definitely established, these, and other such noises reported, were probably caused by cattle.
1300 - Investiture by General Sir Bernard Montgomery K.C.B. of Officers and men of 6 Airborne Div and 1 and 4 SS Bdes.
D.S.O. Lt Col J.L. Moulton R.M.
M.C. Capt R.G. Mackenzie R.M.
M.C. Lt. D.M.de.R. Winser R.A.M.C.
M.M. T.S.M. R.T. Clarke
M.M. Sgt. J.C. Stringer
M.M. Pte. F.B. Tickle R.A.M.C.
2030 to 2110 - 8 to 12 shells fell mainly along line of road at 132766. Two men wounded including R.S.M. Travers.
17th July 1944
1400 to 1900 - Maj Wall led strong recce patrol to area Cross-tracks. Only report was sound of stakes being hammered in. Continuous patrols between our F.D.L's and the enemy's reported no enemy movement.
2000 to 2030 - 8 shells (10.5 cm) fell on the lower and upper roads to Sallenelles; no casualties.
18th July 1944
0600 - The Cdo went to ground at the beginning of the British drive East of the Orne, and watched the Lancasters stream overhead and heard the artillery barrage. The enemy made no attempt to retaliate on our positions and during the afternoon we resumed our normal routine. To cover Franceville Plage where it was thought that the Germans might move S.P. Guns to shell the bridges, our M.M.G's moved to positions on the flats. The M.M.G's were withdrawn on 19 Jul to their former positions.
Appointments. R.S.M. C.S.M. R.H. Hay ('B' Troop)
Posting. Major Wall to H.M.S. Turtle; Lt Bonner takes over command 'A' Troop.
19th July 1944
0500 to 1000 - Lt Dunn with recce patrol to Halfway House reported the usual sounds of stakes being hammered in and a large column of black smoke over Merville. The Cdo was ordered to have one Troop ready to follow up the enemy should he withdraw from the positions he was holding. During the day the Strongpoint was more active than usual.
1930 to 2300 - A strong recce patrol under Capt Mackenzie covered snipers at 139771; the snipers however failed to find a target. At 2100 hrs M.G. fire opened up from concrete pillbox on left of Strongpoint at the old patrol house without causing any casualties, and somewhere in rear a mortar was firing, the bombs falling in the Western end of Sallenelles. Shelling of the same area wounded one man slightly. The patrol heard considerable noise from the Strongpoint in addition to the usual stake hammering party. The F.D.L's along the hedge were quiet. Halfway House was found with all doors closed which the previous patrol to enter left open.
20th July 1944
2345 to 0200 - Recce patrol to 138771 (Lt Boreham). At 0010 mortar and L.M.G. fire on Halfway House (? enemy DF task). At 0400 a man was heard walking down road, but was not identified.
0145 to 0315 - A recce patrol to 139778 reported only flares from F.D.L's at approx hourly intervals. Strongpoint put up red flares on approach of enemy a/c. Previously green flares had been used.
1300 to 1900 - Strong recce patrol (Lt Dunn) to Halfway House reported sounds of stakes being driven in.
21st July 1944
2330 to 0215 - Sounds of transport moving behind enemy positions. Might have been sea but further South Halftracks and S.P. Guns reported moving. Listening patrol reported no sounds of enemy.
22nd July 1944
1800 to 2200 - Ambush patrol (Capt Mackenzie) at 139767 reported possible O.P. in hedge at 140768. A German was seen standing by this tree wearing a greatcoat and steel helmet. Also excavations were seen, purpose unknown, between road at 138768 and crater at 140769. Voices and loud laughter were heard from F.D.L's and the usual stake striking noise. On either side of the track at 139767 were holes in hedge which were possible German ambush positions.
23rd July 1944
0001 to 0400 - Listening patrol at 139773 reported only the usual noise and flares from area of Strongpoint. This was confirmed by small ambush patrol at 137440.
1000 to 1800 - A recce patrol, strongly supported, moved to line of hedge at 139770 reported no sign of enemy. The patrol was supported by 3" Mortars which put down 30 H.E's on F.D.L's at end of patrol. A new patrolling schedule was now introduced by which defensive patrols were maintained throughout the 24 hrs in advance of our F.D.L's. Our right was covered by a post of 46 Cdo at 135167. Our post, of 1 N.C.O. and 2, was in general area Halfway House - Pond 136770 - Patrol House. Lt Bonner O.C. 'A' Tp sick with malaria. Capt D.J. Flunder took over Troop, Lt L.R. Grant (S.O.) becoming A/Adjutant.
24th July 1944
1400 to 1700 - 3" Mortar register on and harass enemy F.D.L's from Strongpoint to track at 143769.
1500 - A Hun was seen to blow himself up on his own minefield at Franceville Plage.
25th July 1944
0420 to 0715 - Some 15 shells fell in front of F.D.L's, no casualties. The enemy was suspected of bringing 5cm Mortars fwd of his position as bombs fell regularly on track leading South from Patrol House which we believe that he thinks are our F.D.L's. This night the Hun used Red Amber flares from his F.D.L's to the East of us and Green from the Strongpoint to try to stop the Hun dropping his bombs on his own troops.
0800 to 1200 - 'A' Troop (Capt Flunder) cover mortar Officer (Capt Linnell) registering 3" Mortars on MOULIN-ditch to F.D.L's to O.P. at Halfway House.
26th July 1944
0230- Listening at 137771 reported much crashing in the undergrowth and came back to report. The enemy must also have heard it as he opened up with flares and M.G. fire from Strongpoint thus showing up effectively that he had no patrols operating.
27th July 1944
1045 - 'A' Troop again reported 5cm mortar firing on their front after 46 Cdo had been testing automatics.
28th July 1944
2200 to 0230 - Maj Freeman, Lt Square, 2/Lt Lindrea ('Z' Tp) & 18 O.R's moved to X tracks through 46 Cdo where firm base was established. Maj Freeman then examined the line of hedge 139770 to 140767 through his binoculars from 139767 but could seen no sign of movement. Ambush patrol under Lt Square proceeded to hedge at 140767 but although it was a very quiet night reported no sound of enemy. The track at this point was overgrown and showed no signs of use by enemy and all gaps in the hedge were blocked by overgrown brambles. Ambush returned at 0200 and Maj Freeman set out to recce line of hedge. From his right, however, came sounds of fire from a part of 41 Cdo and flares came up. Expecting the enemy to put down his D.F. fire, Maj Freeman withdrew; but on our sector the enemy showed no signs of life, not even putting up flares. Sniper (L/Cpl Hayward) wounded one German in Strongpoint.
2347 - "Panic" party staged to give enemy impression that our F.D.L's were on the line of track Patrol House - Bridge, it was also hoped to elicit fire from the enemy and confirm his presence. The plan was to open up with mortar illuminant and bursts of Bren fire. At 2355, 41 Cdo Mortars who were in our Sp, our own Mortars being employed on counter battery work, put down a crump on 142772 and the MOULIN. The only enemy reaction was a single rifle shot from direction of MOULIN.
29th July 1944
This night and the previous night the 2 i/c (Maj Sanders) had recced a route across the Saltings. The first 50 yds on account of rushes were difficult to negotiate, but after that, although soft, the going was reasonable. Running from approx 135775 to Strongpoint is a bank, slightly raised from the general level, which is comparatively firm. During the night listening patrols reported flares being put up at intervals from F.D.L's.
31st July 1944
0330 to 1000 - Ambush to area Halfway House - reported at 0400 a 5 cm mortar ranging on line of track Halfway House - 139772.
0400 to 2300 - Lt Col Moulton R.M., Capt Linnell to Point du Siege to recce area Franceville Plage, lying up by day.
Month and year : August 1944
Commanding Officer : Lt Col J.L. Moulton, RM
1st August 1944
0400 - 2 shells fell in Cdo area. 1 man slightly injured.
0430 to 1000 - Snipers operated forward of X Tracks 137772 with a covering party in support. Saw nothing. Various sounds of movement heard including hammering and digging.
2000 - Cdo took over defensive patrol at crashed Spitfire 135767 from 46 Cdo.
2020 - Enemy automatic opened fire from FDLs in wood and orchard.
2100 - Cdo took over "E" counter mortar OP 132765 from 46 Cdo. "F" OP discontinued.
2120 - Enemy MG fire from MOULIN 139776 thought to be cover for digging operations.
2nd August 1944
Snipers operating from 139772 reported that they could see movement in pill-box to left of strongpoint. This was connected with gunpit by communications trench. The gun was clearly visible and appeared to be a 5cm A/Tk. It was traversed and elevated during the day, the first time we had seen it move. In consequence we requested a destructive shoot. An Airborne bty followed by a Medium bty shoot resulted in the gun being tilted over with its barrel pointing downwards.
0620 - Arty shoot on FDLs in orchard as a result of activity observed on the previous day. No further sounds of digging etc from FDLs.
1900 - Work reported going on in strongpoint ceased when our own guns opened fire.
2230 to 0100 - Recce patrols sent out to Halfway House 137772 and bridge at 139770 reported a burst of red tracer fired into the air from 139772 when a member of the patrol incautiously moved into a moonlight patch. 50 yds fwd of the hedge one man was seen to move in the orchard.
2350 - We put up 4 rds 2 in mortar illuminant over enemy FDLs. Nothing to be seen. A single strand of wire was found stretched across hedge at 139770. No purpose for same could be discovered.
3rd August 1944
0100 to 0110 - Two salvoes of shells and mortars of 15 - 20 rds respectively caused no casualties. Shells were identified as 10.5cm German How.
4th August 1944
2345 to 0130 - About 35 shells fell in and around Cdo area. No casualties.
5th August 1944
0345 - A group of 15 - 20 shells fell in Cdo area. No casualties.
1645 - Snipers moving fwd to hedgerow at 139771 were fired on from that point by an MG 34 while they were crossing a gap in track at 138771. The snipers returned with their Bren gp through Halfway House. About 5 mins later enemy brought down mortar fire on the X tracks.
2100 - Order Group at 4 SS Bde HQ resulted in instructions to move a.m. 7 Aug for 41, 46, 47 RM Cdos. They were to move to area TROARN to relieve 146 Bde 49 Div. One tp 48 Cdo was to be att to 46 Cdo. 48 Cdo to move to area RANVILLE as Bde reserve on completion of turnover to 5 Para Bde.
6th August 1944
0100 to 0300 - Sounds of tpt heard in direction of but beyond MOULIN. It is possible that this was an SP gun moving into position in view of further occurrences. The noise was confirmed by a recce patrol over the saltings who reported rumblings towards FRANCEVILLE PLAGE.
0700 - MG fire opened up from strongpoint was stopped when we put down 2in mortar fire. At the same time a 5cm A/Tk gun opened up with HE and AP shells. Some rounds went along lower rd, one hit the "Officers Club" 128770 and others fell in 46 Cdo area. Snipers reported that A/Tk gun in strongpoint was now on an even keel in gun pit and uncamouflaged. No signs of damage noticed. CO recced 146 Bde area. Major Freeman OC 'Z' Tp recced area held by B Coy 1/4 Lincs. Instructions from Bde to 48 Cdo to remain in present position under command 5 Para Bde.
1030 - Civilian was blown up on A/Tk minefield South of village.
7th August 1944
0001 to 0400 - At each clock hour shell and Mortar HE and smoke were put down by enemy on our fwd FDLs causing no casualties. 5 Para Bde relieved 4 SS Bde but 48 Cdo less 'Z' Tp remained in Sallenelles and came under comd 5 Para Bde.
0700 - 'Z' Tp moved under Comd 46 Cdo to area TROARN. One man wounded. 1 SI[or S1?] wound when tp area was mortared in afternoon. The day was marked by more shelling than usual. Probably due to the amount of tpt in the area.
1930 - Enemy opened fire from strongpoint with MG 34 on a strong covering party sent out with snipers. Fire came from Halfway House 138772 as party were moving over X tracks 138771. This was answered by Bren and TSMG fire. The patrol then withdrew down line of hedge with the intention of working round the left flank but when they reached line of stream they again came under fire from track and hedge junc 138769. This was answered by 2in mortar fire and 3in mortar fire was called for on FDLs at 141772. Patrol then withdrew since snipers could not be established in position without suffering casualties. We then put down mortar fire on Halfway House. This was the first time since July 6th that we found the enemy fwd of line of hedge running South from 139772.
2300 to 0030 - A listening patrol went to area Halfway House and reported that there were still sounds of enemy occupation there as did the listening post at 135770.
8th August 1944
1800 - Y Tp patrol under Major de Stacpoole went fwd to sweep down line X Tracks 138763 - Halfway House 138772 where we had found the enemy the previous day. The assault party was covered by Bren Gp in area 137768. No enemy were met but a sniper was seen up a tree at 141776. He slipped down before he could be fired on. The patrol lay up at 138770 covering Halfway House and the CO who was controlling the operation from an advanced HQ in Outpost House 133770 brought up a party of two PIATS to area 136770. Meanwhile an ambush patrol from A Tp under Capt Flunder reported sounds of voices from triangle wood 139772. Halfway House was "Piatted" at 2100 and 2120 hrs and 3inch Mortar was brought down on the FDLs at 141772 and in MOULIN. No movement was seen. Unfortunately RT communication between ambush patrol and control broke down and it was not possible to clear Halfway House on account of own fire. Patrol returned at 2130 hrs. One member of a PIAT crew was wounded by MG fire from strongpoint area. Patrol established the triangle wood was held as an outpost by the enemy.
2000 to 2110 - 1 Mne killed and three ORs wounded in Z Tp during shelling by 88cm. [presumably should read "mm"] gun.
2230 - A defensive patrol at 135770 reported sounds of enemy movement in their area and were fired on by MG from Halfway House.
9th August 1944
2200 to 2230 - 3 shells fired fwd of our right hand FDLs. Listening patrols reported sounds of enemy movement either from Halfway House or FDLs.
10th August 1944
0930 - Halfway House seen to be on fire possibly from own arty fire.
1030 to 1130 - A recce patrol to track at 138771 reported no sounds of enemy movement either from Halfway House or FDLs. Capt Nuttall (Devons) joined Cdo. Posted to 'Z' Tp.
2300 - Single parachute flares were seen over OUISTREHAM - FRANCEVILLE PLAGE area.
11th August 1944
1000 - Advance parties from IND Belgian Bde were shown round Cdo area in preparation for handing over.
12th August 1944
2345 [11th August?] to 0215 - A patrol from Y Tp led by Capt Flunder supported by a Bren team from Y Tp set out to recce in strength the enemy FDLs. Patrol formed up at patrol house 133771 and moved to corner of orchard 136769. During this time an enemy MG had been firing on Sallenelles from the East. The patrol then moved into position. The Tp with 2in mortar team moved to stream at 137768 Bren teams were pushed out to (1) 138771, (2) 137769, (3) 138776. Two listening posts were established at 143769 and 144768. No enemy were encountered during this move. At 0125 hrs the 2in mortar fired 10 rds rapid and continued firing erratically for five minutes. At 0130 hrs all the Brens fired 5 Magazines. The enemy replied with 2 MGs firing on fixed lines and haphazard SA fire. The Listening post took compass bearings on the enemy MGs. While this was taking place aircraft were overhead and a bomb fell near one of the Bren teams. There were no casualties. This patrol confirmed the presence of enemy in his suspected FDLs and pinpointed his MG positions and fixed lines. Further recce parties from IND Belgian Bde were shown Cdo lay-out, responsibilities, fire tasks, minefields etc. By evening all was ready for the hand over. Lieut H. Smedley to 'X' Tp. Lieut D.G. Goodlet to I.O.
13th August 1944
0500 - A and X Tps moved off from Sallenelles area to take over positions from 46 Cdo in TOUFFREVILLE area. Move was made as early as possible to take advantage of morning mist to cover arrival and change over in new area. On arrival A Tp occupied line of hedge 154692 - 155689 while X Tp relieved Z Tp in orchard area 155688. Z Tp went into reserve area 146690.
0830 - Y Tp and advanced HQ moved off arriving in new area. Y Tp went into fwd locality at area 149693.
0900 - B Tp left Sallenelles area taking up reserve posn in new area at 148693.
1000 - Cdo HQ closed at location 131767. 48 RM Cdo reverted to comd 4 SS Bde.
1300 - Cdo HQ reopened at brickworks 146686; S Tp occupied posns area 142693.
1530 - Enemy mortar bombs fell in Z Tp area killing one and wounding two.
14th August 1944
0330 to 0400 - Light shelling in area right rear of X Tp. Shelling continued at intervals throughout the day.
0930 - Bde Comdr visited Cdo HQ. Fwd positions were improved and own mortars registered on their DF tasks under cover of an arty shoot. By night wiring ahead of FDLs was started.
15th August 1944
0720 - B Tp relieved Y Tp.
1100 - Enemy movement observed at 153695 was fired on by a Bren Group from A Tp which moved fwd to area 155692. The answering MG 34 fire was silenced by this Bren Group. 2 in mortar fire was then laid down on MG position. Major Freeman to HQ. Capt Nuttall assumed command Z Tp.
1330 - Movement observed in wood 156693.
1430 - Enemy OP observed in tree at 154693 and area mortared.
1520 to 1630 - Light enemy shelling in rear of Cdo HQ and mortaring of fwd centre locality.
2320 - Further shelling of Cdo area caused two casualties TSM Magowan and Sgt Britton, both of X Tp.
16th August 1944
0243 - An enemy patrol of 3 - 4 men approached through woods to within 30 yds of centre locality, retired when Section Comdr threw a 36 grenade.
0300 - Enemy patrol returned and escaped ambush owing to the extremely close country.
17th August 1944 (this date is absent from the diary but it is assumed that the following events took place on this day)
0300 - Patrols sent out from our left hand position were unable to complete tasks owing to extremely bad weather conditions. Operation "PADDLE" commenced.
0630 - Z Tp under Capt Nuttall relieved 9 Para Bn in area 155693 PICCADILLY CIRCUS. During the day we cleared this area of mines and booby traps. By night contact was maintained by IO Lt D.G. Goodlet with 3 Para Bde who were steadily advancing East beyond BURES.
1400 - Lt J.W. Bonner returned to the unit from Hospital. Posted to A Tp.
18th August 1944
0800 - Cdo placed at 1 hrs notice to move. A 1 Ech tpt was ordered to move fwd to Cdo HQ and necessary preparations made.
Place: Mon Gossard
1800 - Cdo moved by march route to assembly area in MON GOSSARD 193689. Area was previously recced by Major Freeman. Tpt arrived in assembly area at 2100 hrs.
19th August 1944
Place: Mon Gossard
Cdo remained at assembly area MON GOSSARD. During the afternoon there was slight shelling which caused no casualties.
1400 - Instructions received at Bde Comds 'O' Gp gave the Cdo a task for the following day and the afternoon was devoted to making the necessary arrangements and plans. A FOO from 532 Bty of 191 Field Regt RA attached to Cdo for operation.
2300 - Y Tp left assembly area to join 46 Cdo to whom they were to be attached for 24 hrs with the task of securing the right flank of 46 Cdos advance and cover 48 Cdos assembly.
20th August 1944
0030 - A 2 Ech tpt crossed starting point 237720 for an RV in PUTOT-EN-AUGE 2471.
0130 - S Tp crossed starting point going to same RV.
0520 - Marching troops in order A, B, Y, Z, and HQ crossed SP bridge and proceeded to a fwd assembly area in orchard 251716. Troops had speed marched from Mon Gossard because of late start. Shelling in the line of advance caused three slight casualties.
0615 - A short O Gp was held after which the Cdo moved to a further assembly area at 254706. S Tp were moved to farm at 256710.
0620 - A Tp moved fwd to secure Pt 134 (263702).
0730 - A Tp report Pt 134 clear.
0845 - Cdo move off followed by jeeps.
0930 to 1000 - Cdo, less jeeps, arrive Pt 134. The tracks were unfit for tpt. Patrol A Tp contact enemy at X Tracks 400 yds East of Pt 134. X Tp sent out a fighting patrol. Almost immediately out of WT control. Later learnt they moved to CLERMONT where they ambushed a party of enemy. Results were 1 lorry, 1 m/c, 2 Germans captured, 1 enemy officer killed, others wounded but evaded capture. Situation handed over to 41 Cdo.
1040 - Z Tp ordered to patrol fwd to wood 269712 and, if clear, move to PANNIERS 276714.
1050 - Z Tp move off. Cdo request that 41 Cdo occupy Pt 134 so that Cdo can move fwd. Recce to bring up jeeps.
1200 to 1230 - Leading elements of 41 Cdo arrive Pt 134.
1300 - Cdo move off to PANNIERS. Z Tp report on outskirts of PANNIERS and no enemy encountered.
1530 - Cdo less X Tp arrive farm 278709. B Tp placed on main rd with PIAT.
1600 - X Tp arrive. Reported 2 i/c Major Sanders arrived with jeeps at Pt 134.
1620 - A Tp ordered to move fwd to stream 284718 and then to BANQUELION 282721.
1630 - Jeeps arrive farm 278709.
1632 - A Tp move off.
1700 - Leading elements of 41 Cdo arrive. CO 41 Cdo explains situation. 41 and 47 Cdos are to attack DOZULE 2673. 48 Cdo to occupy Pt 120 288728 by that hour. CO 48 Cdo stated Cdo will attack at 1900 hrs. 41 Cdo agree to clear ST LEGER DUBOSQ at 1900 hrs and bring jeeps to Pt 120.
1730 - A Tp report BANQUELION 282721 clear.
1745 - Cdo meet A Tp Comdr at 284718. He reported Pt 120 reported clear by civilians except for a few arty personnel. He had sent a sub sec to rd at 290724.
1800 - Cdo move off with Y Tp as advance Gd. At BANQUELION met another A Tp offr who reported A Tp sub sec had met a patrol of two men and had killed 1 offr and wounded the other. Much MG firing heard. Y Tp ordered to make straight for Pt 120. They immediately came under MG and SA fire. A Tp ordered to hold rd while Y Tp moved fwd on left flank and secured high ground beyond Pt 120. Z Tp ordered to move fwd to edge of wood and cover Cdo deployment. They came under fire and put in an attack. Out of enemy section of 18 they killed 5 and captured 1. Remainder of enemy fled in thick country. A & X Tps then ordered to advance by bounds of one or two hedges with one tp on each side of rd. Decided to advance as fast as possible to prevent further escape.
2000 - A Tp reached Pt 120 without contacting enemy. X Tp on rd 200 yds beyond.
2100 - Reorganisation complete less Y Tp who were out of touch. Cdo area shelled by 4/5 HE Rockets. No casualties.
2130 - OC Y Tp arrived. Reported tp at 282730 at 2115 hrs. Cdo held position for night. Y Tp remained at 282730.
Place: Pt 120 MR 288728
2200 - Jeeps arrived. Contact with Bde re-established for first time since 1700 hrs. Learnt attack on DOZULE postponed until first light.
21st August 1944
Place: Pt 120
0620 - Patrols pushed out to bridge at 291743 and ANGERVILLE 2774. No enemy encountered.
Place: Dozule Area
1030 - Cdo HQ was established in house at 282732 while tps were redeployed astride DOZULE - PONT L'EVEQUE rd. The day was spent in re-organisation and consolidation. Lieut S.L. Fouche rejoined Cdo. Posted to Y Tp.
22nd August 1944
Place: Dozule Area
Bde instructed to proceed to area REUX 4902 and secure high ground overlooking PONT L'EVEQUE. 48 Cdo to follow 46 Cdo in line of march.
1028 - Head of Cdo followed 46 Cdo over SP bridge at 283739. All tpt followed one hour later.
1129 - Cdo dispersed in orchards and Cdo HQ established in school at ANNEBAULT 4201.
1430 - Cdo left ANNEBAULT and marching without halt reached X rds 487025 tps dispersed.
1548 - CO and Tp Comds recced troop localities.
1600 - Unit tpt arrived dispersal area.
2000 - Tps occupied defensive localities. Cdo HQ established in buildings 498019.
2000 to 2300 - Spasmodic shelling of Cdo area caused one casualty.
23rd August 1944
1100 - Bde Comds O Gp. Bde to establish bridgehead over R TOUQUES a.m. 24 Aug. 48 Cdo to support 41 Cdo and exploit their gains.
1430 - CO left HQ to recce crossing point with Bde Comdr. Rev M.A.P. Wood Chaplain RN, joined Cdo from UK.
1930 - CO O Gp. Final intentions and complete information issued.
2030 - Recce party, Major Freeman and IO Lt Goodlet set out to tape assembly area in orchard 524003 and mark out route to crossing point at 534004.
24th August 1944
Place: Pierrefitte Reux
0100 - Cancellation of operation received just as tps were assembling prior to moving off. During day tp locations were adjusted in order to provide cover from rain for as many men as possible.
25th August 1944
Place: Pierrefitte Reux
0230 - Cdo was at four hours notice to move.
0600 - Cdo assemble at 513034 where tps embark in TCVs. All tps formed up in Bde column in rear of TCVs.
0700 - Column moved off.
1000 - Bde Comdr held O Gp at X rd 602073. Bde intention was to cut the BEUZEVILLE - PONT AUDEMER and secure line to R RISLE. 46 Cdo to secure right flank, 41 Cdo to secure ST MACLOU 6911, 48 Cdo to secure ST SULPICE DE GRAIMBOUVILLE 7313.
Place: Les Jonquets
1100 - Cdo debussed at 621064 and tps took up defensive positions.
1500 - Bde Comdr and CO made recce. Original intention cancelled because 46 Cdo were held up in area 644072 by MG and mortar fire. Cdo was now to prove for enemy flank and relieve pressure on 46 Cdo.
1630 - COs O Gp. B & X Tps in role of advance Guard to clear to X tracks 649056. First bound to 634053 and second across rd to 645054.
1745 - Cdo moved to assembly area 632058.
1940 - B Tp patrol contacted 46 Cdo.
2045 - X Tp reached X tracks 649056. No enemy encountered. One enemy deserter taken from French civilians.
2050 - Cdo ordered to take over from 46 Cdo.
2130 - HQ established at 644072. Tps take over to positions from 46 Cdo.
2150 - A Ech tpt arrive and disperse in area HQ.
2200 - Order to move received. Bde less 46 Cdo to make night march on ST MACLOU with intention of cutting off enemy line of retreat from BEUZEVILLE.
26th August 1944
0200 - 48 Cdo lead the Bde over start point at 640078. Tps head the column in turn. This entailed much compass work. We travelled across country in single file with one Tp working ahead as a Van Guard.
Place: St Maclou
0655 - A Tp entered ST MACLOU. HQ established at 688109 and tps deployed to cover main X rds.
0900 - Tps re-deployed.
27th August 1944
Place: St Maclou
1030 - Full Cdo Church Parade. Orders passed for short leave trips to HONFLEUR. Training policy defined.
28th August 1944
Place: St Maclou
Cdo continued rest period.
29th August 1944
Place: St Maclou
Cdo continued rest period.
1500 - 3 men from Y Tp visiting Sallenelles strongpoint were unlucky enough to stand on a mine. 2 killed and 1 wounded.
30th August 1944
Place: St Maclou
0800 - 48 Cdo in common with 4 SS Bde come under direct comd I Corps.
1830 - Plymouth Division Band played in main square at ST MACLOU.
1930 - Warning order to move was received. Intention was for 4 SS Bde to take over defensive position in loop of Seine to act as firm base for 49 Div of FECAMP and Canadian drive on DIEPPE.
31st August 1944
Place: St Maclou
0900 - Bde recce Gp set off for DUCLAIR 0320 hrs. Bde main body set off by TCV to assembly point.
1200 - Recce group arrived at DUCLAIR Ferry having called at I Corps HQ and 51 Div HQ in order to clarify orders and receive instructions. Bde was given task of clearing valley of R AUSTREBERTE as far as PAVILLY 1029.
1300 - Bde debussed at 047187 and Cdo assembled in area BERVILLE-SUR-SEINE 0519. Cdo marched by tps to LES RIVES 0420.
1600 - Cdo crossed R SEINE in assault boats manned by 51 Div REs.
1745 - Cdo moved off.
1900 - Cdo arrived in BARENTIN 1027 where they were received enthusiastically by the civilian population.
1930 - Cdo reached PAVILLY having passed through 41 Cdo. The local population accorded us a tremendous reception. F.F.I. very helpful and brought four prisoners. HQ established in Hotel De Normandie. Tps deployed in defensive positions.
Def. Posn. HAUGER - SALLENELLES
48 (R.M.) Commando. SUMMARY OF DF TASKS.
(a) One fd. Regt is in sp. 4 SS Bde.
(b) DF Tasks.
1. The u/m DF Tasks are recorded in 1 Corps DF Task Table and can be fired by any regt:-
NOT being fired by 1 SS Bde without ref to 4 SS Bde.
D Cdo front.
N.W. of Grande Fm.
½ Way HQ - X Tks
2. The u/m DF Tasks will be fired by fd. regt. in Sp. 4 SS Bde.
200 yds W. of FDL.
FDLs beyond Grande Fm.
One bty one fwd regt will lay on southern half of DF 317 when not otherwise engaged.
A Cdo. To stop enemy approach over open ground between 133758 and 136761.
B Cdo. Duplicate A Cdo's task from different gun posns. NOT to open fire until A Cdo's guns are silenced. Secondary task. to enfilade enemy attack over Pt du SIEGE 129783.
C Cdo. To cover near side of AP minefield 125766 - 120769.
D Cdo. Cover link of Tk 134761 - 137764.
Pyrotechnics Succession of Red White Red White.
Passed by Outpost Tp or Rt hand fwd tp.
Method By telephone or R/T.
Action by S Tp. Fire on old patrol Ho garden Area 135770.
D. Opening of Fire.
Both by day and by night, SA fire from the main posns will be withheld until enemy are within certain killing range, with the following exceptions. Any movement on the mud flats NORTH of line rd junc 138772 thence WEST along SEAWALL to corner 122773 - thence R. ORNE - 120770 - CANAL 115770 will draw fire from B Cdo and 1 BUCKS (area POINT DU SIEGE). (Own troop movement NORTH of this line will be notified as a warning to B Cdo and 1 BUCKS through HQ 4 SS Bde).
[signed L.R. Grant]
Lieut. and A/Adjutant R.M.
48 (R.M.) Commando.
Account of 48 Cdo's Action near Dozule. 20 Aug 44.
France. Ref maps L 1/25,000 sheet No 40/16 NE. 1/50,000 sheet 7F/2.
1. 48 Cdo moved forward from the TROARN area on the evening of 18 Aug to MONGASSARD 211709 about 2 miles from point where the road crosses the Easternmost branch of the R DIVES. Bde O Group was held at GOUSTRANVILLE 2297 at 1400 hrs 19 Aug. 3 Para Bde had secured the stream crossings and the rly running parallel to the stream, but its leading coys had been held up short of the crest of the feature overlooking these crossings on the far side. 46 Cdo was to make a night attack to gain this high ground. 48 Cdo was to move fwd at daylight swinging right to bypass DOZULE and by infiltrating through the wooded country South of DOZULE to secure Hill 120, a prominent spur East of DOZULE which overlooked the town and the main rd running N.E. from it. There was little enemy information, but DOZULE was reported to be held by about 300 Germans. The main bridge across the River was blown but 3 Para Bde had established a jeep track through orchards South of the main rd, it crossed the river by a minor bridge. A reconnaissance of the ground held by 3 Para Bde around PUTOT-EN-AUGE was made before dark on 19 Aug.
2. At 2300 hrs 19 Aug Y Tp 48 Cdo left MONGASSARD, and moved by the rd and jeep track at farm at 255710, about 700 yds clear of the right flank of 3 Para Bde. Y Tp orders were to protect the left flank of 46 Cdo's attack and to cover the assembly of 48 Cdo. At 0030 hrs 20 Aug F Ech tpt (jeeps) left for PUTOT-EN-AUGE where it spent the rest of the night.
The marching tps of 48 Cdo less Y Tp had been allotted the period of 0500-0530 hrs to cross the jeep bridge, after this 41 Cdo was to cross. It was important to be punctual on the bridge as 41 Cdo had to cross before first light about 0600 hrs. Owing to the bad interior economy and lack of practice in movement (the Cdo had been 2 months in defensive position before this) 48 Cdo moved off late and without a hot meal. The 2 i/c who was in comd of F Gp, gave the order to speed march and by this means reached the bridge at 0455 hrs. The bridge was crossed and the Cdo moved into its assembly area in the orchards SE of PUTOT-EN-AUGE. This area was found to be under mortar fire. By good fortune only 3 or 4 men were hit and all of these were able to continue with the Cdo.
The C.O. and adjutant, who had crossed earlier and visited Bde HQ at 254718, rejoined here and, in view of the mortaring, the CO ordered a move to the orchard at 251702 to wait until the jeeps could be found. This was completed just as it got light about 0630 hrs. Y Tp had previously been contacted and reported no sign of the enemy.
3. There was now some delay while the jeeps were first of all found, then brought up to the Cdo after two attempts to move down tracks marked on the map but non-existent. The jeeps contained the 2 in mors, PIATS, reserve amn and tools. Meanwhile A Tp moved forward at 0620 hrs to secure the high ground at Pt 134 (263702) which overlooked the whole assembly area. At 0730 hrs A Tp reported that the high ground at Pt 134 was clear. At 0845 hrs the remainder of the Cdo moved off followed by the jeeps. The track soon deteriorated into a very steep stream bed and eventually became a thicket. Marching tps moved into the fields, but, for the moment, the jeeps were stopped. The Cdo reached Pt 134 about 0930 hrs, being complete less jeeps by 1000 hrs. A Tp reported that local inhabitants had told them that a party of 100 Germans had just left 134 when A Tp arrived. This was confirmed by evidence of wheel marks, abandoned equipment etc. Meanwhile a patrol from A Tp moving down the rd to CLERMONT-EN-AUGE 2770 made contact with a German armd c at the cross tracks 400 yds East of Pt 143 and exchanged shots with some Germans in the vicinity.
X Tp was immediately sent as a fight patrol to clear up the situation, and, if possible, to establish a jeep track through CLERMONT-EN-AUGE. This Tp soon went out of wireless touch and the situation on this flank remained unknown until later when X Tp rejoined the Cdo, in the afternoon. It was then learnt that this tp after approaching the village from the rear, had found the armd car gone, moved into CLERMONT and there ambushed a party of Germans; capturing a Ford truck and a motor cycle, killing 1 offr, taking 2 prisoners, and wounding several others in a party who got away in the direction in which 41 Cdo was approaching. This situation was finally handed over to 41 Cdo. A jeep containing 4 Germans drove in while the handover was taking place; 41 Cdo captured the jeep but the Germans got away all chased by X Tp.
Z Tp was now ordered to patrol fwd to the wood at 269712, and, if this was clear, to BANNIERS 276714; the tp moved off at 1100 hrs. Meanwhile, a message was despatched to Bde HQ drawing attention to the tactical importance of Pt 134 and asking that 41 Cdo should be sent to hold it while 48 Cdo went fwd. From Pt 134 the whole DIVES valley was overlooked as far back as TROARN and, had it been held or recaptured by the enemy, the crossings won by 3 Para Bde on 19 Aug would have been useless in daylight. A reconnaissance was also made with the object of getting the jeeps which carried the hy weapons (3 in mors and MMG) as well as tools and amn res for the rifle tps, fwd to Pt 134 and if possible onwards with the Cdo.
4. Between 1200 - 1230 hrs the leading elements of 41 Cdo reached Pt 134 and 48 Cdo moved off for PANNIERS about 1300 hrs. X Tp was still out of touch but Z Tp had reported that it was close to PANNIERS and had met no opposition. After leaving the straight track at 268714, it was very difficult to follow the map, and control was also a problem. However by about 1530 hrs, the Cdo less X Tp was complete in a farm thought to be at 278709 (not at PANNIERS) and a tp was established with a PIAT on the main rd. On the way the Cdo had passed through a very recently evacuated gun posn in the woods about 270712, where there was plenty of abandoned equipment including a very well kept MG 34. The difficulty in map reading was due to the fact that neither the contours nor the detail on the 1/25,000 map were very accurate and the country was very close with thick hedges and small steep features rather reminiscent of Cornwall. X Tp rejoined shortly after the Cdo reached 278709 and with it came the 2 i/c with news that the jeeps were at Pt 134. He returned with an escort to the track at 275705 and got the jeeps to the Cdo by about 1630 hrs. Meanwhile the situation had been reported to Bde and 41 Cdo, and the latter were on their way up. The local inhabitants were very friendly, and gave many reports of small parties of Germans, main at ST JUIN and ST LEGER DUBOSQ. These had to be ignored if we were to reach our objective.
5. At 1630 hrs A Tp moved fwd again down the long hedge running NE from track junc 278711, with orders to get to the stream at 284718 and from there to patrol fwd to BANQUELION 282721. Particular attention was paid to wireless comn after the experience with X Tp and arrangements were made for a relay set to follow the tp.
The leading elements of 41 Cdo reached 48 Cdo at about 1700 hrs. Their CO brought a message from the Brigadier saying that 41 and 47 Cdos were going to attack DOZULE from the South at 2000 hrs and that both the Brigadier and the Divisional Comd considered it most important that Pt 120 should be occupied by that hr. CO 48 Cdo stated that he would attack Pt 120 at 1900 hrs moving NW astride the rd from the wood near BANQUELION. It was agreed that 41 Cdo should clear up the ST LEGER DUBOSQ situation at 1900 hrs and get the jeeps fwd to Pt 120 as soon as 48 Cdo had cleared it. During most of the movement 48 Cdo had been out of touch with Bde; 41 Cdo now agreed to lend 48 Cdo a man carried 22 set in exchange for 48 Cdo's jeep carried 22 set; the former lasted as far as the stream at 285719, when it went "dis" and once again 48 Cdo was out of touch with the World.
6. At 1730 hrs 48 Cdo having had a meal and hot tea from the jeeps while waiting for 41 Cdo, moved off to BANQUELION, which was reported clear by A Tp about this time. The hedge proved to be a double hedge with a rather overgrown track. At 1745 hrs the Cdo met A Tp comd on the track and hedge junc 284718. He reported that local inhabitants said that Pt 120 was clear except for a few arty personnel and that he had pushed a subsection fwd to the rd at 290724, in consequence of this a message was sent to 41 Cdo saying that 48 Cdo anticipated no difficulty in securing Pt 120 by 2000 hrs and asking them to inform Bde. As A Tp comd finished speaking shots were heard from the direction of 290724.
The Cdo pushed on along the overgrown track with Y Tp as adv gd. At BANQUELION, it met another offr of A Tp who said that a patrol of 2 Germans had moved down the rd and A Tp subsec had killed one and wounded the other. This subsec also fired on a staff car, which passed along the rd at high speed and got away. MG fire was now heard from this direction, and, as surprised seemed to have been lost, Y Tp was ordered to go straight for Pt 120. Two fields further on from BANQUELION this tp came under MG fire. The hedges were very thick, and the fields small, consequently visibility was very restricted and it was exceedingly difficult to find out what exactly the opposition was. However, after visiting Y Tp and the subsec of A Tp on the rd, it was clear that one MG was firing straight down the rd from a posn 200 - 300 yds from A Tp subsec; another LMG and some rifles from about the same place was engaging Y Tp as it crossed the fields to the left of the rd. A Tp was therefore ordered to hold the rd while Y Tp moved fwd on the left flank, making use of the convex slope to get round behind the enemy posn and secure the high ground beyond Pt 120 which overlooked DOZULE. Almost at once Y Tp went out of wireless touch (nothing could be seen more than a field away and hedges hindered movement very greatly), but firing continued on this flank for some time longer.
7. As Y Tp seemed to be getting on allright the remainder of the Cdo was moved back two fields to cross the rd at a dip which gave cover from the LMG firing at A Tp subsec. The first tp across, Z Tp, was ordered to work fwd to the edge of the woods to cover the deployment of the Cdo. B Tp was ordered to face back towards the SE and X Tp came up abreast A Tp on the other side of the rd. Firing soon started from the direction in which Z Tp moved off. This tp had found a party of Germans with an MG 34 at the bend in the track at 289726; the tp comd proceeded to carry out a tp attack on this LMG and eventually succeeded in killing 5 and capturing 1. This apparently was a post of about 18 German and Polish troops with Horse transport. The one prisoner taken said that the Poles were anxious to surrender but were frightened to do so as they expected to be shot. The attack took the form of a normal right flanking movement covered by smoke and fire from a point section which had been pinned down by the MG 34 fire at a distance of about 50 yds. The enemy fire was extremely wild and disorganised. The enemy did not wait for the final assault but fled in thick country without being seen clearly.
8. While this was going on X and A Tps were ordered to adv, one on each side of the rd. Three horse drawn vehicles were heard at intervals galloping away, and it was decided to abandon any idea of a formal recce and O Gp but to adv at full speed and prevent any further escape. A certain amount of LMG fire was coming through the hedges, it was difficult to say whence except that it was the general direction of Z Tps action. X and A Tps were fwd from one hedge to another, control was maintained using hedges as bounds e.g. a tp would be ordered to adv two hedges. Pt 120 was reached without contact with the enemy, although a small party appeared on the rd for a moment with a white flag then disappeared and there were spasmodic bursts of fire through the hedges.
By 2000 hrs A Tp was at Pt 120 and X Tp on the rd about 200 yds beyond. Orders were given by wireless to reorganise in the area Pt 120 and the rd 400 yds to the NE. This took some time owing to the thick country, but by 2100 hrs things were fairly well in hand except that Y Tp was out of touch. About this time four or five HE rockets arrived in the area followed by a few bursts of LMG fire. It was not apparently a counter attack, but merely a Parthian shot. There were no casualties.
OC Y Tp arrived at 2130 hrs just as it was getting dark. His troop had reached 282730 (about 700 hrs [presumably should be yds] beyond Pt 120) at 2015 hrs and had sent a patrol fwd towards the rd. A little later this tp entered the farm near by which was later found to have been a German HQ.
9. It was now dark and 48 Cdo had had no news of the rest of the Bde since 1700 hrs. It was assumed that the attack on Dozule had gone in at 2000 hrs, and, in view of the importance which both Bde and Div attached to Pt 120, it was thought that the primary task for 48 Cdo was to prevent an enemy counter attack recapturing this high ground and thus threatening DOZULE. Furthermore it appeared to be too late to cut the rd leading away from DOZULE as, if the attack on DOZULE had succeeded at 2000 hrs the enemy would have left. Consequently the Cdo less Y Tp held its posn for the night; Y Tp remained at 282730 and sent a patrol to the rd at first light. Actually the attack on DOZULE had been postponed but little was lost through this decision. The local inhabitants on being questioned in the morning said that the last Germans passed the rd junc at 275736 at 2200 hrs. They were in a great hurry.
About 2200 hrs the jeeps arrived and contact was established with Bde by means of the FOOs set; and also by patrols with 41 Cdo at ST LEGER DUBOSQ. From then it was learnt that the attack on DOZULE has been postponed until first light 21 Aug.
10. The night was quiet and, at first light, patrols were pushed fwd as far as the br at 291743 and ANGERVILLE 2774 without finding any sign of the enemy. A search of the area revealed the three vehs which had been heard leaving Pt 120 abandoned down a track which petered out. There were no signs of gun posns about Pt 120. The evidence indicated that the German layout was gun posns each of four guns at 270712, 294719 and ST LEGER DUBOSQ: wagon lines at Pt 120 and HQ of the twelve gun bty at the farm at 282730. Six four wheeled arty waggons; two two-wheeled limbers; 9 gun horses and four riding horses were captured as well as a certain amount of equipment, including another MG 34 and a dump of 7.62cm [mm?] amn. Six enemy were killed at Pt 120, three wounded and three unwounded prisoners captured. There was also a small dump of rockets and firing frame. The four guns at ST LEGER DUBOSQ were captured by 41 Cdo and one of the guns at 270712 was found abandoned. These figures are rather disappointing; the enemy owed his success in withdrawing chiefly to the thick country and the thick strong hedges which slowed up movement across country terribly. He was also lucky to discover A Tps subsec with his patrol just at the critical moment.
11. The two lessons of this engagement which made the greatest impression are:-
(a) The fact that 48 Cdo had the responsibility of seizing and holding the Pt 120 featured hindered it in its secondary task of inflicting casualties on and cutting off German units. Had there been another unit with a free hand to exploit success, greater casualties could have been inflicted. It should here be pointed out that the strength of tps averaged 40 all ranks during this engagement.
(b) The difficulty of maintaining control was very great. 38 and 18 sets soon get out of range in this close country; orderlies got hopelessly lost; personal contact was slow and exhausting. There was a shortage of 18 sets and both 18 and 38 sets were showing signs of wear, otherwise this difficulty might have been less. The use of a relay set pushed fwd behind a detached tp was successful in two cases.