National Archives catalogue number ADM 202/99.
A & SH
CM or C/Mortar
C of E
Eng / Engr
L of C
Ox and Bucks
4th July, 1130 hrs
7 Kompanie, 857 Grenadier Regiment
Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment
Assistance Director Medical Services
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Bridge / British
Church of England
Commander Royal Artillery
Commander Royal Engineers
Deputy Assistant Director Ordnance Services
Division / Divisional
Durham Light Infantry
Forward Defended Locality
Forward Observation Bombardment
Forward Observation Officer
Field Security Officer
General Officer Commanding
General Staff Officer
Highland / Heavy
Information / Informed
Light Aid Detachment
Landing Craft Assault
Landing Craft Infantry
Landing Craft Tank
Landing / Leading
Light Machine Gun
Line of Communication
Landing Ship Infantry
Main Dressing Station
Medium / Medical
Medium Machine Gun
Observation Post / Operate (lower case)
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Prisoner of War
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Regimental Aid Post
Royal Marine Armoured Support
Regimental Medical Officer
Rounds Per Gun
Royal Ulster Rifles
Senior Officer Royal Engineers?
Save Our Souls
Support / Self-Propelled (upper case)
Troop Carrying Vehicle
Month and year : June 1944
Commanding Officer : Brigadier B.W. Leicester
1st to 4th June 1944
Briefing in C.19 Camp.
5th June 1944
Embark in LSI(S) Serials 1519 and 1520.
6th June 1944
Place: St Aubin Sur Mer
0900 - Landed at high tide in face of sniping and MG fire.
Place: La Rive
1000 - Bde HQ assembles 005850.
1130 - Tac HQ moves into ST AUBIN, area 015855. Rear HQ remains LA RIVE.
7th June 1944
Place: St Aubin
1100 - 46 RM Cdo landed NAN RED. Assembled in area LA RIVE under comd 4 SS Bde. Immediate task to adv through LUC SUR MER.
Place: Lion Sur Mer
1100 - Lt Col T.M. GRAY, Commanding 41 RM Cdo wounded, Maj D. BARCLAY, 2 ic, killed. Major J.A. Taplin therefore assumed comd.
8th June 1944
Place: St Aubin
1130 - Bde Comd returns from visit to 1 Corps with infm concerning future Cdo tasks.
9th June 1944
Place: St Aubin
0925 - 46 RM Cdo to proceed to agreed line in LA DELIVERANDE.
1130 - GOC 51 (H) Div considering move 4 SS Bde complete to LA DELIVERANDE-DOUVRES area.
1145 - 4 SS Bde to conc in area LA DELIVERANDE - DOUVRES to occupy def locality.
1230 - LA DELIVERANDE retaken by 46 RM Cdo.
1735 - Bde HQ (Tac) est DOUVRES 022804.
1800 - 46 RM Cdo to come under comd 3 Cdn Inf Div and move to area ANGUERNY.
1805 - Visit by Deputy Comd SS Gp. 47 RM Cdo completed task at PORT EN BESSIN. Will move to 4 SS Bde area and come under comd 10 Jun. Bde Comd requested Deputy Comd that Bde should move to assistance 1 SS Bde soon as no cdo tasks remained in present area.
10th June 1944
0800 - Bde Comd visited 1 Corps. Confirms details concerning Radar Sta tasks.
0915 - 41 RM Cdo preparing to take over from 5 CAMERONS. 47 Cdo expected this morning.
1030 - Visit by Deputy Comd SS Gp. 46 RM Cdo Policy decided.
1600 - B Ech arrives DOUVRES.
11th June 1944
p.m. - Tac HQ arrives in 6 Airborne Div area with under comd 47 and 48 RM Cdos. Tasks to occupy def posn, assist 1 SS Bde, and maintain patrols as required. 41 RM Cdo to remain in DOUVRES area to contain Radar Sta, under comd 1 Corps. 46 RM Cdo to remain in present posn under comd 3 Cdn Inf Div.
1130 - General For this period the Bde remained occupying a static posn, maintaining patrols of various kinds. Cdos posns were changed at intervals (see Bde O.O. No.3) so that one could occupy the Bde Rest Area, and another would be available for sp and as a means of deepening the Bde posn.
12th June 1944
p.m. - Tac Bde HQ moved into house at 131763.
p.m. - Rear HQ arrives. To remain in quarry 1175. All unit B Echs were eventually to be brigaded in these quarries.
14th June 1944
p.m. - Lt Col E.C.E. PALMER arrives from U.K. to assume comd 41 RM Cdo.
17th June 1944
1100 - 46 RM Cdo moved into Bde area and under comd.
20th June 1944
p.m. - 41 RM Cdo arrives under comd 51 (H) Div to take over temporary def of bridge across R. ORNE vice 7 A & S.H. Thence moves to Bde Comd.
ST AUBIN SUR MER
6th - 8th
- 1 OR
- Lt J.A. BURGESS (L.O.) and 2 ORs
- 2 ORs
- 4 ORs
- Capt G.D. HOWIE (Bde T.O.)
30th June 1944
0915 - Lifebelt situation acute. Lifebelts need to be returned immediately to 17 ACD.
Month and year : July 1944
Commanding Officer : Brigadier B.W. Leicester
1st July 1944
0020 - Passwords (.) all units infm.
0120 - 6 Shells. ? 41 area.
0250 - 6 Shells Bde area.
1155 - 6 Cdo patrol in MILTON area leaving 1215 returns 2300hrs probably through 3 Cdo lines probably with Jeeps.
1200 - Capt PLESSIS to join as soon as possible as IO 47 Cdo.
1300 - All COs to attend conference this HQ 1700hrs 1 Jul. Warn br guard that 3 B Ech vehs 113 LAA Regt will daily cross br to sp bty in area EAST of brs. These vehs will be permitted to cross on stating unit. Time crossing will vary each day.
2nd July 1944
0700 - In reply to I.79. NIL.
1000 - M/S re OPs for counter mortar org. Minefd trace - admt No.2. Passed to GSO III for marking trace if applicable.
1030 - List of targets engaged during 1 Jul and to be engaged 2 Jul as follows:- Observed shoots on:- 1 Jul - 157789 - 1147 and 1719. Blind - 159768-1312; 155765-1355; 154777-1816; 162780-1816. 2 Jul - 140790-0755; 148792-0755; 144782-0755; Blind - 155780; 161727; 160766 - all 0835.
2045 - 4 Cdo snipers in pairs are operating area wood 139763 from 0630 hrs 3 Jul at irregular intervals. Have been warned to keep clear of standing patrol at Gde Fm du Buisson.
3rd July 1944
0020 - Patrol of 3 Cdo will op 030130 - 030400 in area LONGUEMARE FM returning through own lines.
0535 - FOX OP reported 3 flashes from Pillbox bearing 45º mag. 3 mortar bombs fell in Bde Area.
0553 - Single enemy aircraft flew over Bde HQ and being engaged by AA fire.
0715 - Rocket plane reported to have passed overhead and dropped some 3/4 miles away. Came from direction LE HAVRE.
0830 - Fwding copy of AFW.4012B in respect of brs at 114763 and 112766 for action by comd of RE Firing Party on each br. All previous copies of AFW.4012B issued by comd 4 SS Bde in respect above brs are hereby cancelled and are to be destroyed. 234 Fd Coy will notify this HQ in event relief firing parties of any of the brs. As for above except that brs should read 118787 and 119787 and 2 Port Constr and Repair Gp RE for 234 Fd Coy.
0916 - New night fighter BLACK WIDOW now op in this theatre. Lightning type. Units infm.
1207 - PW area LA LONDE 0374 identified belonging to 5 Coy 31 GAF Regt 16 GAF Div. Copies of 21 AG Standing and Special Instrs No.9 and Appx A and No.16 with appendices C D F and H fwd. Details of proposed arty SP Guns G'st two FOOs each Bde with direct comn to bty arty LO (Maj or Capt) with comn direct to HQ RA and with flick to his regt.
1545 - Army patrol or minor raids which may be affected by firing of VICTOR targets must be reported in good time to 6 Div in order that arty programme may be adjusted.
1730 - 47 Cdo - Move completed. HQ at 194016??? Asked to re-check. Correct location 124763.
2005 - Plane reported by E OP crashed area FRANCEVILLE 144792 and 1925 hrs. Plane itself not seen only burst of flame and dense smoke rising. Parachutist seen dropping area 160793 same time.
2200 - 46 Cdo registering 3in mortaring on areas track junc 143769 and wood 14771/ at 1400-1500 hrs 4 Jul (.) No FOB tasks to be engaged in above areas between above hrs.
2215 - 5 Para Bde relieves 3 Para Bde 4 Jul (.) 3 Para Bde then moves to area ESCARDE.
2140 - Some tks had white star painted on sides which have now been removed to avoid confusion this fact will be widely circulated.
4th July 1944
0930 - HQ 48 Cdo closes at 123759 and reopens at 130766 at 041130Bhrs.
1045 - Suggested that valuable Atk ditch could easily be made on line existing dyke from 126767 to 120769. Request RE rep for recce, but not considered urgent priority by 6 A/B Div.
1300 - D Cdo will provide patrol to LA GDE FE DU BUISSON until pm 7 Jul incl when C Cdo will take over. C/Mortar OPs will be provided by unit providing patrol. Object of patrol is protection of C/Mortar OP. Strength NOT to exceed one tp. 1 Corps Int summaries not to be issued to fmns unless under direct comd owing to present paper shortage.
1555 - Warn all fwd troops party of three men with password BORDEAUX may attempt to pass own or 51 (H) Div lines. These men will arrive bareheaded carrying a rosary in right hand and should be taken direct to FSO - Div being warned immediately. This warning will remain in force until 9 Jul inclusive. Units infm.
1720 - 2 pairs 3 Cdo snipers operating from 3 Cdo area LAUDER (139763) from 1800 hrs to 2300 hrs to-day. Through 3 Cdo lines. Action taken - 1 SS Bde contacted to ascertain whether likely to clash with our snipers (1700-2000) in orchard NORTH of DU BUISON FARM. DCP infmd and told to tell offr in charge standing patrol to keep alert for these snipers and not to shoot them up.
1800 - Enemy floated improvised mine down river with object presumably of damaging bridge. Also man in rubber suit picked out of river wounded. Not yet interrogated. Both taken by 51 (H) Div. 31 GAF JR already for deserters within few hours of arrival. Cherbourg now being operated as a port and will be up to 2/3 of its full capacity within a few days.
1930 - Sunrays will attend conference on counter attack this HQ 050830B.
2245 - For infm. 1 SS Bde carrying out raid on triangular wood 145754 from 0030 to 0200 hrs. Then propaganda talk through loudspeaker 0200 to 0230 hrs. Then Navy shelling 0300 to 0320 hrs. Route out and in through Southern part BOIS DU BUISSON. V targets Corps Arty task engaging area LA BRIEIVE at 2300 hrs.
2315 - First minefields laid (Gives list of new minefields all in 51 (H) Div area some on 3 Cdn Div front. Action taken not sent to units. To be included in minefields trace when amendment issued.
2351 - Minefields laid as follows 089714. 092712. 101712. 108714. 108714 - 113711 - 114710 - 116709 - 118710 - 127713 - 129717 incl a/pers. Serial 10263 129708 - Tac 137708. Serial 100230 044754 - 043751 - 044751. Serial 10400 - 087573 - 087873. Serial 10401 - 088736 - 088749. Same side perimeter of fields Serials 10255 - 10256 - 10257 - 1 - 258 - 10262 lined with continuous belt anti personnel. Following lifted Serial 10106 100 ft off EAST N. Serial 10143 from NORTH to track 964734.
5th July 1944
0830 - 46 Cdo patrol intentions 5/6 Jul. Ambush patrol of 1 and 12 at X tracks 138767 between 052200 - 0600 00 hrs. Snipers teams of 1 off/SNCO and 2 ORs operating as follows 139770 - 0900 - 1300 and 1700 - 2100; 141766 - 0900 - 1500 and 1500 - 1900. Action taken 1 SS Bde and DOG OP and LA GDE FE standing patrol infmd.
0945 - Small recce patrol will op due EAST of LA GDE FE DU BUISSON from about 1000 hrs for most of day.
1105 - 4 Cdo patrol moves 1400 hrs in recce route 135761 - 139760 - 143759 return 2300 hrs. Second patrol will op LONGUEMARE FARM night 5/6 Jul 2300 - 0300 hrs. Snipers leave unit lines will op LONGUEMARE return by 2100 hrs. Action taken passed to 46 Cdo and DOG OP.
1140 - Party of two snipers and 4 covering party 4 Cdo to area GDE FE DU BUISSON. Out 1150 through 4 Cdo lines in 1500 hrs. Action taken. Passed to DOG OP.
1240 - Authy given for 4 SS to draw following defence stores - 50 coils dannert 20 coils barbed 100 long pickets 200 short pickets. Action taken passed to SORE to arrange collection with B Ech from RE Dumps.
1250 - CO intends to reinforce standing patrol GDE FE DU BUISSON 060500 to 062300 to shoot up and/or capture enemy reported in area. Total str NOT to exceed one section, 3 LMGs.
1350 - 5 Snipers 3 Cdo op area BOIS DU BUISSON from 1500/1800 hrs.
1400 - 2 Port Constr and Repair Gp RE state that brs detailed in our 0.78 do NOT exist. Action taken:- Passed to BM. Correct procedure for dealing with PW. Units infm.
1700 - 46 Cdo to take over guard at HQ 21 A Gp. To take over by 091600 hrs. 1 Offr 1 Sgt 1 Cpl 11 ORs.
1745 - CE 1 Corps visiting units 6 AB Div starting 1030 hrs 7 Jul finishing approx 1600 hrs. No special arrangements. Details of codenames for various patrolling areas for period 0001 hrs 6 Jul to 2359 hrs 9 Jul.
1815 - Patrol from 3 Cdo will op/46 area LONGUEMARE from 1900 - 2200 5 Jul. Route through own lines; strength 1 & 9.
1820 - 1 Corps asked to release 4 SS Bde FS Det to cover SALLENELLES.
2215 - Further to m/s in Serial 13. 4 Cdo patrol of 5/6 Jul will between 2300 hrs and 0400 hrs and will also visit area 144759. Action taken. DOG OP infm.
2230 - Shelling Bde area 1045/1330 hrs.
6th July 1944
1045 - 2 OX and Bucks will be relieved of their present posn in area BREVILLE by 4 Cdo. Relief will commence 1400 hrs 7 Jul. 4 SS will take over posns of 4 Cdo morning 7 Jul and will complete handover by 1100 hrs. Appendix E to 4 SS Bde OO No 3 issued - Deliberate counter attack to regain SALLENELLES feature. 46 Cdo manning a voluntary OP at 133767. Report probable posn at 146787. Fire observed from this posn at 2130 hrs 5 Jul. Some enemy occupying cluster of tall trees at 143787. Action taken. Incl in sitrep to 6 AB Div & reported to Plotting Centre to check against their plotted bearings.
1110 - Sniping party of 46 Cdo (1 Offr and 2 ORs) fired on at about 15/20 yds SOUTH of hedge junct 142765 from enemy MG in line of hedge between 142765 and 141764. ORs withdrew to LA GDE FE DU BUISSON leaving offr wounded believed killed. Strong search party under Capt BELVILLE from the farm was sent out at about 1200 hrs approached hedge junct 142765 from NORTH and observed enemy disappearing from view at hedge junct 144766. Search party recovered dead body of own offr, were fired on from 144766, returned fire and then withdrew to farm with dead offr. There were definite signs of hedgerow 142765-141764 having been occupied by enemy. Red verey light was put up by enemy.
1200 - New DF tasks. C 18 123771, C 19 135771. 150 Fd and 53 Lt Regts will be prepared to engage both on call. Action taken. New DF task table issued.
1400 - Fighting patrol from 4 Cdo with op area hedge junct 147759 and orchard 148757 route GDE FE DU BUISSON 2330-0500 hrs. Sp fire from MMG, 3" M and arty of flanks and rear of objective. No tps this fmn will op NORTH grid line 76 from 0430-1000 7 Jul.
1430 - Passwords will cease to be used in 1 Corps area wef 1200 hrs 7 Jul except for specific patrols and local ops for which comds on spot may issue local passwords. In view of no further use of passwords in 1 Corps area, 1 SS Bde will issue passwords daily for valid use in 1 SS Bde and 4 SS Bde area only. Time of issue after 1800 hrs daily for period commencing 1200 hrs following day. NOT valid outside 1 and 4 SS Bde's bdys where particular care and alertness must be taken.
1700 - 41 Cdo will take over posn at present occupied by No 4 Cdo by 071100B. 47 Cdo will take over from 41 Cdo br guards on brs 112766 and 114763 by 071000B strength sub sec each br. Bde HQ standing patrol at LA GDE FE DU BUISSON 070430B - 072300B, thereafter 47 Cdo from 080430B. Patrol bodys adjusted patrol conference 071030B.
1900 - Password for to-night believed compromised. Take particular care. Action taken. Units infm.
2005 - 48 Cdo snipers fired on by LMG when own posn was 137771. Fire came from top window MORLIN DU BUISSON. Fire later from buildings 138772.
2115 - Patrol conference 7 Jul 0830 hrs. Sunrays will attend. New patrol bdys and tasks will be laid down.
2130 - Password 8/9 Jul. Time of change 1200B PAPER DOLL. Action taken Units infm. 6 AB Div Op directif dated 6 Jul. Change of disposns and patrol bdys (Top Secret 0.515). 1 Corps letter T74/6 Jul. Traces showing details of minefields laid or discovered up to 1800 hrs 5 Jul. Standing patrol from Bde HQ took over task in LA GDE FE DU BUISSON. Patrol comd Lt Gower. Left Bde HQ AREA 0400 hrs. To return from farm approx 072300 hrs.
7th July 1944
0100 - Fire sp for attack by 4 Cdo started.
0110 - Approx 6 enemy mortar bombs in Bog area from 144782.
0135 - Enemy mortar posn 144782 engaged by arty.
0945 - Propose to register arty on track junc 143769 and hedge 142766 between 1100 and 1300 hrs (.) confirm no snipers in area.
1000 - Unit location will change from HAUGER to BREVILLE wef 071530B (4 Cdo).
1320 - 47 Cdo consider that it is impossible to post sentries for anti-sabotage measures and for security measures so dets for security measures are being provided by Bde HQ independently.
1420 - Passwords 081200-091200/DAILY MAIL: 071200-081200 PAPER DOLL.
1445 - Two recce patrols 3 Cdo consisting of 1 offr and 3 ORs each will op area orchard 142745-145746 at 1500 hrs to 2200 hrs today 7 Jul 44.
1450 - Change with 4 Cdo completed - not yet thro' by line.
1530 - 41 RM Cdo took over HAUGER area from 4 Cdo occupying same posns - see att trace.
2000 - I.498 (.) top secret (.) ref I.307 of 22 Jul (.) cancel OXO (.) all other words stand. Action taken - Refers to codewords being used by evaders and Frenchmen passing through our lines. All units infm.
2045 - Shelling by 75mm guns on Bde HQ area. Approx 25/30 rds some of which were duds, three being recovered. Direction of firing believed from strongpt LES MARMIERS area. One OR cas 41 Cdo. House containing plotting centre main target. Ceased at 2100 hrs. Action taken:- Dud shells passed to LO RA for disposal.
2120 - Enemy mortar observed being set up at 150762. Action taken:- 1 SS Bde asked if arty fire on this posn would affect them. Answer no target engaged effectively. Instrs on conduct if captured or cut off from units. Stress laid on security of assistance given by French civilians. Pubn of breaches of security in this connection are published by Germans to act as deterrent to civilians. Action taken - all units infm and told instrs must be passed to all ranks.
2115 - O.108. Units will send in minefd records 081030B.
2300 - Enemy aircraft bombers around Bde locality. About 6 bombs dropped.
2315 - LO from 6 Beach Gp arrived with instrs from 6 Beach Gp on authy Second Army that he remains att to HQ 4 SS Bde Adv with task of keeping 6 Beach Gp infm of sit on our front. Enemy seaborne raid may be made on OUISTREHAM dock or raid across river on the lock gates. LO in RT comn with 6 Beach Gp.
8th July 1944
0050 - Request sit on our front as sounds of SA fire from area 41 Cdo. Action taken:- Attempt made to obtain infm from 41 Cdo but line comn out of order. Firing had ceased shortly after 0100 hrs. Dog OP asked for our confirmation. States report incorrect and area all quiet. 41 Cdo stated on 8 Jul firing was not from them but from the unit on their right (3 Cdo).
0510 - False report from DOG OP stated 60 Germans approaching OP at approx 0425 hrs. Action taken:- DOG OP asked for confirmation. States report incorrect, and area all quiet.
1420 - Bde HQ moves to new location at 128759 at 1700 hrs. Move was lengthy due to amount of stores which had been accumulated. New area was taken over from HQ 4 Cdo in which about half Bde HQ requirement of slit trenches had already been dug. Digging of remainder.
1215 - Looting of skull and crossbone signs for marking of enemy minefds reported as prevalent. No signs, allied or enemy, will be removed except on instr by Offr ic minefd clearance for op reasons. Published in BROs.
Enemy changing from ball to bulleted blank when their tps pass in danger area of their MG covering fire. This ensures safety their tps but keep our tps under cover. Units infm of this enemy habit.
1600 - Reports smoke screen at 139775 at 1547 hrs immediately in front of strongpt 139776. Screen lasted 5 mins.
1700 - Visit by Unit IO. Alteration to time recce patrol will go out and return. New times 2200 hrs out 2315 hrs in. New timings notified to 48 Cdo.
1730 - 48 Cdo. Harassing programme. 2215 hrs MMGs in LES MERNIERS. 0030 hrs MMGs on MOULIN DU BUISSON. 0430 hrs MMGs on LES MERNIERS. 0800-1200 hrs 9 Jul snipers operating against MOULIN and strongpt from NORTH of rd. SALLENELLES-LE MERNIERS. 1000-1700 hrs. 4 snipers and covering Bren on rt of rd and south of MOULIN. Units infm of MMG shoots during night 8/9 Jul.
1 SS Bde Password - 9/10 Jul DEEP/SHELTER. Units infm.
2100 - Notes on the employment of tks in co-operation with inf. Copies to units.
2115 - Details of relief of SS Guard at Tac HQ 21 Army Gp.
2130 - Deception plan to be put in force to make enemy believe an attack will be made on our front. Action taken O Gp 41 46 48 to discuss and draw up plan.
6 AB Div O.538/8 Jul. def stores still in short sup. Sandbags to be used only for comd posts, RAPs and strongpts. 6 AB Div letter O.538/8 Jul. In planning raids, moves fwd, Comds must include possibility of covering activities by MG, mortars, arty and lt tks. Senior reps of sp arms to be consulted when forming plans.
2305 - All Bde Comds, Bn Comds, CRA, CRE, OC Div Sigs to attend conference at 1400 hrs 9 Jul at 6 A/B HQ.
9th July 1944
0100 - Between 0100 and 0145 hrs enemy aircraft over Bde HQ, a few bombs fell near Bde Area.
0925 - FOO. Now allotted 41 and 46 Cdos. Will join forthwith.
0945 - Following allowed over br over CANAL from AB Div and att tps:- OC 53 Air Landing Regt and Bty Comd, Med Vehs and foot passengers as laid down in letter No A.479 of 30 Jun 44. Br closed to other AB vehs. Copy of Q.479 30 Jun handed to OC br.
1115 - Password for period 101200 - 111200 - PALM - SUNDAY.
1120 - In future sitrep will be sent to 6 AB Div twice daily, at 0900 hrs and 2130 hrs. Morning sitrep will incl patrol reports and evening sitreps will include future intentions.
Password for 10/11 Jul - PALM SUNDAY.
1410 - Ref 4SS/O.76 dated 3 Jul. Advising that 71 Fd Coy RE have taken over responsibility for firing party in respect of br 114763 w.e.f. 1200 hrs 9 Jul. Action taken:- amended AFW.4012Bs sent to addressees.
1645 - French civilian has caught carrier pigeon with a message att to it. 48 sending message and pigeon to Bde HQ. M/S written in French and in clear. Action taken:- M/S found to have one page missing. 48 Cdo instructed to get name and address of civilian and to try to find the missing sheet. 6 AB Div infm and m/s and pigeon sent on.
1430 - Deserter taken at 1030 hrs at 137768 belongs to 10 Coy 744 GR. States coy has had 50% cas present strength about 50. Also infm re 9 and 11 coys. Approx strength 100 and 30 respectively. He was only POLE in 10 Coy's front line. Remaining 4 further back since Germans afraid they will desert. Orders shoot or be shot. Mortars are dug in, there being five 8.1cm in his coy. MGs and LMGs as shown on trace. FDLs wired. Bn HQ in wood 153767. 3 guns calibre unknown see trace. Atk gun cover of fd 143768. Coy HQ in hedgerow running NE 144770 approx. Inter coy bdys see trace. Minefd on either side of rd 740772. Also states strongpt area held by approx one coy strength 80-100. On interrogation of deserter by Div interrogator, he states his bn is to be relieved either tonight or tomorrow.
1430 - Attack by fire 9 Jul. Object: to simulate preparation for an attack about 2215 hrs.
1930 - A per minefd 134763 - 135764 - 135766 completed 1700 hrs 9 Jul.
2115 - 41 RM Cdo standing patrol in BOIS DU BUISSON not using WT. Will use Green over Red verey lights to indicate attack after which stragglers may return through own lines.
10th July 1944
0005 - 6 AB Div report ty shortage 3 mor HE. Limitations daily expenditure. Para and SS Bde 40 RPG (.) Air Ldg Bde 20 RPG except real emergency.
METEOR a/c will be seen flying operationally bearing standard day fighter camouflage colouring and markings without black and white invasion stripes. This a/c is jet propelled power units. The wing is elliptical like a SPITFIRE and two tail very high like a WHIRLWIND. The nose tapered like a cigar is well ahead of the leading edge of the wings. a/c has a pronounced cockpit and is a fighter of limited range, usually for high interception having a quick climb.
Passwords to be issued by 6 A/B Div for all fmns and units under comd for use in all Bde fwd area. These NOT to be used in rear area e.g. Div HQ, B Ech, Div Tps, change at 1200 hrs daily. One word only. Password 10/11 Jul BECKELEY. Previous arrangements cancelled.
0745 - PW states 8 Jul that his Bn was to be relieved either 9/10 or 10/11 Jul. Orders were given for amn to be checked prior to handing over to newcomers. PW could give no indication of which Bn and of which Regt it was to be. If relief is provided likely to be II Bn 744 GR since I & II have already been identified in the line in this area.
0815 - 4 SS Bde guard at Tac HQ 21 AG to consist of 2 offrs, 2 NCOs (Sgts or Cpls) 28 ORs. Relief 1 offr 1 NCO and 14 ORs every 10 days. When guard is found from 2 units OC guard will be offr from unit find guard which is being relieved.
0945 - Tps to be warned that many apparently loose signal cables and phone wires have been booby trapped with egg grenades.
1300 - Personnel for police and security duties on brs 114763 and 112766 will be provided as follows. 4 SS Bde adv 2 FD Sgts. 4 SS Bde rear 3 ORs. Each 41 46 47 1 OR to be taken from dvrs of vehs NOT being used.
1430 - 41 Cdo night standing patrol in BOTTOM wood will be maintained 24 hrs a day commencing 2300 hrs. C Cdo standing patrol will be responsible for TCP wood and MIDDLE wood.
1535 - 47 Cdo will relieve 46 Cdo in A area by 110800B. 46 Cdo will relieve 47 Cdo standing patrol in BOIS DU BUISSON by 120600B. 46 Cdo will relieve 47 Cdo guard on brs 114763 and 112766 by 111800B.
1045 - Password 1200/11 - 1200/12 MAYFAIR.
1900 - Infm from IO NO 3 Cdo. 3 Cdo work with snipers up to X rds 144751 and 142748. 4 Cdo have standing patrol at 141743. Suspected enemy coy bdys area:- SOUTH area of wood 147755. Rd EAST from 144751.
Booby traps in trees along EASTERN side of 2 small hedges 146757 - 144754. 45 Cdo report no booby traps or mines in 145751 but meshwire fence 8 ft high along to edge of fd 146751.
1820 - Recce patrol op 141751 and 144748 for 48 hrs.
Addtl interrogation deserter. Minefds (Teller) both sides of rd 140772 - 139775 rd itself clear. No booby trap or defences in this area. Patrols beyond FDLs one NCO and 6 ORs by day; enemy sleep during day and watch at night. Last meal 0230. Org 10 Coy has 3 Pls approx 15 strong.
Copy of Op Instr No.3 - Def of OUISTREHAM - received from 6 Beach Gp.
2248 - 48 Cdo will send out recce patrol to investigate movement area strongpt 139776 between 102359 and 110300 hrs. Report of tk dug in in area 137774, is given by FOX OP, definitely incorrect - no tk present.
11th July 1944
0658 - From 6 AB Div (.) in view of recent enemy attempts to infiltrate agents into Allied lines fwd tps will again be warned of the importance of detaining civilians attempting to pass through our posns and bring them to FS Sec.
0900 - Bde Comd spoke to all ranks Bde HQ and Bde Sigs Tp and explained the posn. SS and Airborne tps had been retained in the line because no Division was available to relieve them. That it was appreciated that SS Gp should not be retained in the line but would be always there until other tps were available to relieve them.
1130 - Lt Col B.G.B. MITCHELL RM, CSO SS Gp Sigs visited Bde HQ.
1030 - Following decisions taken at patrol conference - 41 RM Cdo to prepare for a raid at end of this week and to recce enemy FDLs along rd LONGUEMARE - GONNEVILLE. 48 RM Cdo is starting night recce now of FDLs at 141771 with a view to a raid by night later this week. Sit 110700-112000 (.) enemy activity nil except sniping from 143762 and mortar fire on MERVILLE at 1830 hrs. Change over of 46 and 47 RM Cdos in fwd area completed by 1800 hrs. Locations of 46 Cdo 124763 47 Cdo 133767 (.) MMG harassing programme on LES MARMIERS and rd and track junc 146766 will take place night 11/12 Jul and further harassing each night to accustom enemy to noisy nights and to cover movement of recce patrols in his FDLs.
1200 to 1300 - Bde Comd and OC 41 RM Cdo made recce of area BOIS DU BUISSON in order to decide in which area and by which units standing patrols should be provided. Recce confirmed decision already given from the map. 47 RM Cdo to provide patrol in TCP WOOD and MIDDLE WOOD and 41 RM Cdo on BOTTOM WOOD each for 24 hrs a day. Considered that BOTTOM WOOD provides adequate covered lines of withdrawal in the event of surprise.
1200 - Patrolling direction from 6 Airborne Div. No raids to be undertaken due to shortage of arty and 3 inch mortar amn. Fighting patrols to be active in order to dominate no man's land.
1315 - Reported that British tks are being shot up by own tps because of fitting of arm cupola. Cupola now fitted to some CHURCHILLS, CROMWELLS and AVRE and will be fitted to SHERMANS.
1400 - Lt Col C.F. PHILLIPS, OC 47 RM Cdo put fwd a tentative outline proposal for a raid by two troops. To enter enemy FDLs at 144767 and using one tp for right flank protection to sweep through enemy position attacking FDLs at 141771 from the rear. Raid to be by night. This plan must remain in abeyance until raiding is resumed.
1500 - Rep 48 RM Cdo visited HQ 6 Beach Gp with their LO (Capt de Friese) in order to tie up outstanding pts with their Coy Comd concerned regarding mutual sp, arcs of fire for MMGs etc., in def of the area mouth of R ORNE.
1530 - Locations from 111800B (.) 46 Cdo 124763 (.) 47 Cdo 133767.
1900 - Bde Comd visited graves of 48 RM Cdo in ST AUBIN SUR MER (.) Also NOIC COURSEULLES.
0900 - 1 SS Bde agreed that DF task 312, limits 138753 - 137758, which affects 'D' Cdo area and their standing patrols in BOTTOM WOOD, will not be called for by 1 SS Bde without ref to this HQ.
12th July 1944
0400 - Issue of Strength State (.) Incl attached personnel (.) HQ 4 SS Bde 18 Offrs 146 ORs (.) Sigs Tp 3 Offrs 52 ORs (.) LAD 135 ORs (.) 41 RM Cdo 22 Offrs 348 ORs (.) 46 RM Cdo 19 Offrs 377 ORs (.) 47 RM Cdo 24 Offrs 333 ORs (.) 48 RM Cdo 20 Offrs 364 ORs (.) Total 107 Offrs 1633 ORs.
0830 - Sitrep 112300-120700B (.) enemy rocket projector firing from strong point 139776 at LA GDE FE DU BUISSON (.) one salvo landed in FERME 120500B hrs followed by accurate mortaring of hedgerows 141765 and 139761 (.) own posts beyond FERME had been ordered to withdraw to rear of FERME in event of accurate mortaring (.) enemy patrol of about 8 strong along hedge 142765 at 0545 hrs (.) not fired on as in half light thought to be one of own posts returning (.) one enemy then looked in gate of FERME he was shot at and wounded but got away (.) recce patrol out on enemy wire at 141771 (.) found cattle fence within 100 yds of enemy posn but could not get closer owing to flares being used by enemy (.) 47 Cdo area shelled between 0500 and 0700 hrs. 10 yds from hedgerow in area hedge junc 144766 (.) following infm available on shelling 47 Cdo area 0520-0700 hrs (.) bearing of flash 98 degrees magnetic from 133767 time from flash to sound 30 seconds from flash to burst 35 seconds (.) future intentions (.) usual standing patrols (.) ambush patrols along hedgerow 143764-142765 during daylight (.) ambush patrols in wood SE of rd junc 138772 (.) mortaring harassing fire on 147742 during night (.) times to be notified later (.) snipers operating NORTH of rd SALLENELLES - strong pt 139776 during 13 Jul.
0900 - Units infm as result of instr from 6 Airborne Div that daily expenditure 3 MOR HE limited to 40 r.p.g.
0900 - Bde Comd ordered RA LO from 150 Fd Regt to register 2 new DF tasks 143759 and 143764 which can be called for to cover withdrawal of standing patrols in BOIS DE BUISSON and LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON. Registration arranged for 130800 - 131000 incl withdrawal of patrol but delayed due to move of 150 Fd Regt to new gun area.
1030 - Following proposals made at patrol conference 41 RM Cdo to keep close observation of enemy activity on double line of hedge running SW from 146757 which are enemy outposts occupied by enemy at certain times only. Intention to occupy enemy weapon posns when enemy is absent and lay on ambush. 48 RM Cdo to continue patrolling of enemy wire in 141771 with view to cutting out or shooting up part of enemy FDLs.
1250 - Password for 131200 - 141200 issued "CARLTON".
Further vacancies available at Royal Navy Rest Camp to which a party of 25 offrs and men are sent every three days from the Bde. Few facilities are available, but men who go to camp can sleep, bath and wash their clothes.
1400 - Bde Comd discussed bdy between 41 and 46 RM Cdos with respective COs and pointed out responsibility on the ground. Bde Comd found that 46 RM Cdo had no rangefinder for MMG. Junior offrs are not making checks on replacements.
2100 - Following from deserters (.) 346 Div has been reinforced by approx 1200 men of whom 30 per cent Volksdeutsch; most Germans between 17 and 18 years (.) estimated coy strengths now approx 80.
2145 - Sitrep 0830-2030 hrs12 Jul (.) enemy activity nil (.) from individual movements between hedgerow 144767-145766 - wood 147768 suspect wood to be rest area for fwd tps during morning (.) two enemy posns located between stream and hedge junc 145766 and hedge junc 144767 (.) individual movement in area hedgerow 144767 during afternoon was indifferent to use of cover contrary former enemy habits (.) may indicate possible new unit (.) single row stakes one foot night 1 to 2 inches thick.
13th July 1944
0900 - Sitrep 2030-0800 hrs (.) enemy activity in Bde area NIL though enemy counter bty fire appeared active (.) enemy a/c over Bde area during night but NO bombs dropped (.) five shells believed 88mm on Bde area 2140 hrs from general direction FRANCEVILLE PLAGE (.) Patrols (.) own patrol swept LA GDE FE wood and wood 740760 at 2-hourly intervals during day and night (.) ambush patrol maintained in hedgerow 143765-142766 during daylight but no contact with enemy (.) sounds of digging, sawing and hammering of metal stakes at hedge junc 143768 from which place an LMG was heard firing SW down track (.) three enemy posns pinpointed (.) one WEST of hedge junc 145767 (.) two between double hedgerow 144768 (.) enemy snipers active STRONGPOINT area but NIL successes obtained (.) recce patrol in wood SE of rd junc 138772 had clash with enemy patrol approx 2130 hrs (.) report to follow (.) own cas 3 killed (.) booby traps reported in area 146757-147759 and beyond (.) one offr wounded.
0900 - 240 Fd Coy RE now responsible for firing party at br 112766.
0400 - Issue of 4 SS Bde Casualty and Strength State (See Appx 'A')
Major PEARSON RA took over duties of RA LO at HQ 4 SS Bde vice Major BRADFIELD consequent upon relief of 150 Fd Regt by 191 Fd Regt. Registration on 2 new DF tasks not possible due to this change over.
1850 - Password 141200-151200 SAVOY.
1440 - 6 Airborne Div infm of smoke in GONNEVILLE area (.) source unknown.
2115 - 46 RM Cdo reported that enemy was mortaring LA GDE FE DU BUISSON.
2310 - 47 RM Cdo reported being fired upon by NEBELWERFER - magnetic bearing 120º every ten minutes (.) shells falling in bundles of six.
1800 - Registration of new DF tasks to take place 140800 and 141000.
1835 - Mortar amn situation now eased (.) units no longer limited to 40 r.p.g.
2115 - Sitrep 0830-2030 hrs (.) enemy sniper operating from 144767 (.) enemy MG believed in same area (.) otherwise NIL (.) future intentions (.) fighting patrol area wood SE from rd junc 138772 supported by MMGs and mortars between 140001 and approx 140200 hrs (.) ambush patrols 14 Jul track running south from 138772 (.) also in area hedgerow 142766 (.) normal standing patrols (.) ambush patrol night 14/15 Jul in area NORTH and double hedgerow 145757.
14th July 1944
0800 to 1000 - Registration carried out by 191 ( ) Fd Regt RA on targets
146766 - 143768
143764 - 147761
143758 - 142762
Targets are located in front of standing patrols and fire will be called for if patrols have to withdraw in difficulties.
0900 - Sitrep 2030hrs - 0830hrs (.) slight enemy mortaring on query rocket projectors on 48 Cdo's area between 2250 and 2315hrs (.) also slight mortaring of standing patrol at wood 139754 between 1545 and 1615hrs (.) some indication of possible enemy patrolling in orchard NORTH of LA GDE FE DU BUISSON during night 13/14 Jul (.) not confirmed but movement and cocking of a rifle bolt was heard but the orchard was searched with no signs of enemy (.) a fighting patrol was sent to recover bodies of own dead in wood SE of rd junc 138772 from previous evening (.) patrol was supported by mortars and MMGs to be brought down on firing of a single GREEN verey light (.) fire from enemy FDLs was opened up when patrol reached line 140768 causing two cas wounded (.) there were no signs of enemy waiting in ambush in vicinity of dead bodies (.) as alarm was given patrol withdrew under cover of our mortars and MMG fire (.) considerable number of illuminating and green verey lights put up by enemy during night (.) at approx 0300hrs a series of green verey lights by enemy resulted in 47 Cdo's mortars being fired on their DF tasks of 3 mins HE on enemy FDLs with smoke to cover withdrawal of our ambush patrol in area hedge junc 142766.
Receipt of Personal Message from General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, KCB, DSO, C-in-C 21st Army Gp.
1000 - Patrol conference - included discussion of light signals as a means of calling for Def fire. Agreed that enemy use of them is so frequent that any use of them should be most carefully controlled. Further decision to be made.
1030 - Patrol intentions - 41 RM Cdo ambush on line of hedges 145755. Firm base at 142755. 47 Cdo laying ambushes area 140767 with listening patrol forward towards enemy FDLs. 46 RM Cdo doing usual standing patrol at LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON 48 RM Cdo. Ambush patrol on track 135769.
1400 - Password 151200 - 161200 BAGATELLE.
1400 - 6 Airborne Div asked to notify all concerned that any movement on mud flats NORTH of line rd junc 136771 - seawall to corner 122773 - bank R ORNE 120770 thence grid line 77 to canal will draw fire unless previous warning has been given to this HQ and 1 Bucks with at least three hours notice (.) this HQ will be responsible for notifying its own patrols/snipers to 1 Bucks (.) Mayor of SALLENELLES has been informed and understands.
15th July 1944
0500 - Ambush patrol at 143764 narrowly failed to ambush enemy patrol of 10 men at about 0500hrs this morning. The enemy moved along hedgerow SE towards hedge junc 143764. They appeared to move incautiously in single file, but as the rear man passed by, two of our men in a tree were seen. A grenade was dropped on the patrol but the enemy quickly turned and disappeared towards their own lines after firing a brief burst of sub machine gun fire.
0900 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy activity nil except slight shelling believed 75 mm from direction of strong pt 139776 at 141915Bhrs on 47 Cdo area and mortaring LA GDE FE 141800B hrs (.) six rounds incl number of oil bombs from suspected NBW.41 in area strongpt 139776 also on LA GDE FE at 0450 hrs (.) ambush patrol in area hedgerow 142766 had no encounter with enemy up to 2215hrs 14 Jul (.) ambush patrol same area during night not due in yet (.) enemy warning devices/booby traps in area double hedgerow 146756 were disconnected during night by our patrols who reported no encounter with enemy.
1130 - BM attended conference at 6 Airborne Div and received certain news of tp movements. This was passed to COs at O Gp at 1630 hrs. COs informed that certain units incl tks would be coming into their area and that they must accommodate them as well as possible.
Weather - low cloud has enabled the enemy to make sneak raids and the humidity has encouraged the mosquitoes, normally a nuisance, became intolerable to lying up patrols and ambushes. Some men have been very severely bitten. The first allotment of stores and cigarettes was made from the NAAFI on repayment today. Each man received one bottle of beer. Postal address change w.e.f. 14 Jul from BWEF to BLA (British Liberation Army).
1200 to 1500 - Own aircraft believed to be a Thunderbolt shot down by enemy flak into mouth of R ORNE. Pilot, who baled out and landed in NORTH of SALLENELLES, was engaged by MG and mortar fire from strongpt. 48 Cdo put down mortar smoke to screen strongpt, also HE, and sent out two parties to help the pilot to safety. Pilot successfully rescued and evacuated, slightly wounded to MDS. 6 Airborne Div infm.
The enemy has shown no attempt to come forth in area NORTH end of double hedgerow 145756 and confines his activities to slight sniping in this area. Future intentions are to regain initiative between hedgerows SOUTH from 139772 to track 140767 EAST to enemy FDLs and to maintain ambush patrols in the hedgerow 142765 and in double hedgerow 145756.
Minefields reported laid at Serial 10330 130747 serial 10331 141767 Serial 10332 132767. Trip mechanism in area 132749 rd aimed at 132749.
1400 - First light of awards for SS Bdes published. Lt Col J.L. MOULTON RM awarded DSO.
1400 - 48 Cdo area shelled for short period, probably provoked by their own mortaring of strongpt to aid the airman who had baled out. The same unit's ambush patrol on the night 13/14 July had one killed and two wounded and two missing. These later rejoined early this morning. Until recently, area 139768 has been dominated by own patrols but enemy has now shown inclination to move small patrol with MG fwd on slightest provocation. It is believed that a standing enemy patrol has been recently set by day on track 141767. Now possibly maintained at night also.
1440 - Instrs received from 6 Airborne Div that all constr units were to be given priority of movement and areas in Div locality.
1630 - Det RM Eng Cdo moved B Ech area at ECARDE to Bde HQ (Adv) area at HAUGER as their formed area was required for the laying of a double track rk rd.
1950 - In view of relief of 264 Fd Coy by 240 Fd Coy for demolition of brs at 114763 and113766, fresh AFsW.4012B issued to 46 Cdo, 240 Fd Coy, 1 Corps and 6 Airborne Div.
16th July 1944
Sitrep 2030-0830hrs. Considerable number of enemy flares put up along FDLs during night otherwise nil. Ambush patrol in hedgerow 142766 between 150800 and 152215 to trap enemy movement fwd of FDLs reported no such movement. Enemy activity preparing posns cross tracks 143768 - hedge junc 145766 between 1000 and 1930 digging only (.) movement by own patrol drew intermittent sniping fire from X-tracks 143768 (.) suspected by judging sound enemy has 2 gps 75mm inf guns each about 4 guns close up to FDLs; one gp orchard immediately NE of X-tracks 143768 and one in orchard immediately NORTH of br 146766 (.) own snipers 2 certain kills in strongpt area and one possible area 145756 (.) flying bomb reported flying direction CAEN from LE HAVRE.
1130 - 65 Med Regt RA in sp 4 SS Bde vice 191 Fd Regt RA moving to SOUTH.
1315 - Presentation of decorations by C-in-C, 21 Army Gp. Attended by Comd 4 SS Bde, COs and one OR from each unit, and recipients of decorations.
Conference - Deputy Comd SS Gp, Bde Comds, all COs and BMs and SCs. Subject - Reorg within units on being withdrawn. It will not be possible to make units up to strength from HOC resources. Bdes, units must hold classes and likely men trained, guided and given opportunity to develop.
Sitrep - 0830-2030hrs. Enemy activity nil (.) intention to maintain standing patrols SALLENELLES, LA GDE FE DU BUISSON and WOOD 140757 continuously (.) also ambush patrols on line track 137769-137766 (.) along hedgerow 142767-143765 and in area double hedgerow 145755 (.) snipers to be active 17 Jul.
4 SS Bde OO No.4 issued. This OO deals with our layout for def of HAUGER and SALLENELLES features.
All tps to be warned to keep a sharp look out for any civilians attempting to pass through our lines and to pass them to FSO for checking.
Consolidated Strength and Casualty State No.39 to 0400hrs 16 Jul (See Appx 'B').
Brigade Routine Order Serial 115/44 issued (See Appx 'C').
17th July 1944
0830 - Sitrep 2030-0830 (.) slight enemy shelling along line of rd 132766 between 162020 and 162100Bhrs (.) two cas (.) LA GDE FE DU BUISSON had near miss from enemy aircraft bomb at 2315hrs (.) own mortar harassing fire on enemy FDLs between 147756 and 149760 from 2330-0130B hrs (.) amber and Blue flares reported from strongpt area 139776 at time coinciding with dropping of bomb in LA GDE FE (.) NOT known whether two incidents had any connection (.) standing patrols reported no further infm of activity (.) ambush patrol in vicinity hedgerow 142765 not yet due to return.
1430 - Bde Comd and BM attended conference HQ 6 Airborne Div. Details of attack by 8 Corps given (Operation GOODWOOD.) Task of 6 Airborne Div is to hold present ground, prepare to put in one unit to fill gap in line left by 51 (H) Div, follow up with strong patrols if there are signs of enemy withdrawal.
1830 - Bde Comd called in all COs and warned them of impending attack and of possible enemy retaliation. Unauthorised small arms practice still taking place along EAST bank of R ORNE. Efforts have previously been made to stop this as minefd bdy fences have been damaged and cattle killed through straying in minefds.
1700 - MS from 6 Airborne Div, following moves and preparation to be made by 12 Para Bn to present 12 Devon area move to be carried out so as not to be observed from COLOMBELLES and air recce, on arrival 131741 under comd 1 SS Bde. 12 Devon prepared to take over at short notice posn held by 2 SEAFORTHS and come under comd 5 Para Bde. Orders for this move will be given by Div and is unlikely to be before 181100B. 3 Para Bde will be prepared to occupy RANVILLE - LE MARIQUET on orders from Div. Unlikely to be before 181100B. If move ordered 8 Atk guns will be available to sp. 48 RM Cdo have impression that enemy observation of rd about 132765-137768 has caused recent shelling and cas, and movement is therefore being reduced to minimum.
2020 - Sitrep 0830-2030hrs (.) enemy activity nil (.) own recce patrol covered route for tonights ambush patrol in area hedgerow 143759 to ensure no further booby traps laid by enemy (.) no further trips found or infm to report (.) future intention (.) to continue standing and ambush patrols.
2030 - Salvo of hy mortaring or 75mm shelling heard believed in 48 Cdo area, followed shortly by salvo on 47 RM Cdo area.
2100 - Adjutant 47 RM Cdo visited Bde HQ to report two killed three wounded of 47 RM Cdo by surprise salvo around house "E" O.P.
No bread will be issued until further notice. No reason given.
As a result of arrival of 65 Med Regt in sp of this Bde new place was provided for engaging enemy mortars, which are within range of our own mortars. Mortars to work in 2 gps. 47 and 47 RM Cdos and 41 and 48 Cdos to be on duty and available for calls for fire on alternate days. 41 and 47 Cdo on odd days. 46 and 48 Cdos on even days. Targets 46 and 47 Cdo on enemy FDLs 146765 - 143768 41 and 48 Cdos Orchard 147770. Line will be laid for Plotting Centre to mortar baseplates of units.
18th July 1944
0855 - Bde Sitrep 180855B (.) enemy 8.1 cm mortaring between 2000 and 2030hrs on 47 and 48 Cdo's areas (.) cas two killed three wounded (.) also slight mor on LA GDE FE DU BUISSON at 1840hrs but no cas (.) prepared enemy MG posn pinpointed in front of hedgerow at 148762 (.) suspected posn in bomb crater at approx 149763 (.) A small patrol with the object of getting to road GONNEVILLE-LONGUEMARE found their route along lane 145757-147737 blocked at track junc 145757 by a thick mass of branches which had not been in posn earlier in the day (.) enemy working party was heard digging at hedge junc 146757 and possibly wiring at 148759 (.) 146757 had previously been suspected as an MG posn (.) after lying up for a period and endeavouring to locate a possible covering party the patrol engaged the enemy with grenades causing it is believed cas (.) the party withdrew leaving no wounded or dead however (.) no covering party answered, though isolated rifle shots were heard from about 147756 (.) the patrol found signs of preparation of a posn in western hedgerow at 146757 (.) ambush patrol in hedgerow 142765 reported NO encounter with enemy during day 17 Jul and no further infm of enemy activity in their FDLs about 145766.
0900 - Maj B.W. PLAYLE RAOC (DADOS SS Gp) ceased att and rejoined HQ SS Gp.
0930 - At Brig's conference, following policy was laid down:- (1) Mortars of units were to be connected by line to the counter mortar network, and to fire CM targets on call from Plotting Centre within their own unit patrol bdys. (2) Details regarding the 2nd Army attack to the E and SE of CAEN were given to COs, and strong patrols from this fmn were to be ready to go fwd to keep contact with the enemy in case of any sign of withdrawal. 41 47 48 RM Cdos to have each one tp standing by to move at ½hrs notice to maint such contact. 46 RM Cdo to be prepared to go fwd complete less one tp at shortest notice. Probable objectives - 48 Cdo - MERVILLE, 47, 41 Cdos - GONNEVILLE, 46 Cdo - area wood 146770. (3) In the event of enemy arty interference from Franceville Plage in Bde area or against the brs being built on the Canal de CAEN, 46 and 47 Cdo's MMG to retaliate.
1000 - Infm received that 53 A/L Lt Bty was placed in sp 1 SS Bde, and CRA's rep to be at 4 SS Bde, from 2100 hrs 17 Jul.
2030 - Sitrep 0830-2030hrs (.) enemy activity nil. Own recce patrol sent out to confirm infm reported by previous night's patrol in area double hedgerow 145756 (.) confirms new rd block on lane between 146757 and lane and rd junc 147757 consisting of branches, wire and booby traps (.) also evidence of recent enemy occupation at western edge of two hedge junc 146757 but with NO signs of digging (.) believed that enemys occupation last night was in keeping with practice of having small posts in front of his FDLs from which he withdraws when there are signs of activity on our part (.) may have been ambush patrol in which case his object NOT attained (.) own ambush patrols in area hedgerow 143764 142765 during night 17/18 Jul until 0830hrs reported no encounter (.) MMGs 46 Cdo moved to posn 123771 to cover new br at OUISTREHAM (.) future intention (.) one tp each 41, 47 and 48 Cdos prepared to keep contact with enemy this sector in event of enemy's withdrawal (.) 46 Cdo less one tp on br gd duties to be prepared to form firm base for these patrols in area 150769 (.) to continue normal patrols within own bdys.
2300 to 2330 - No enemy reaction in Bde area to attack by 8 Corps until 2300hrs when approx 12-15 fighter bomber type aircraft dropped flares HE/A Pers bombs on WEST side of SALLENELLES - AMFREVILLE ridge. Bombs were aimed at supply routes and some reps of a amn and pet convoy were hit. Second Army policy for engaging aircraft. Units not to engage with small arms fire in rear of line 3000 yards from front line (.) will engage fwd of this line only in event of direct attack during daylight.
2230 - Warning sent to units that party of 3 men using password BORDEAUX may attempt to pass through our line, and a further party of 2 using password BREST. Description of leader given.
19th July 1944
0105 - E CP reports flashes -10 at bearing 110º mag and 3 at bearing 101º mag. No sound as of guns or bombs and flashes very large and probably just EAST of R DIVES.
0400 - Consolidated Cas State No.40 up to 0400hrs 19 Jul. (See Appx "D")
0835 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy aircraft dropped A per bombs in Bde area between 2300 and 2330hrs (.) 6 cas (.) 5 vehs damaged (.) patrols reported no further enemy activity other than flares and working firing party in area 144769 during night (.) own mortars fired counter mortar task on 144772 at 0210hrs (.) OP at 132765 reported 10 flashes on bearing 110° mag at 0105hrs (.) flashes were very large but NO sounds of guns or bombs followed them (.) OP estimated flashes as coming from beyond R.Dives.
1030 - Following infm and decisions from patrol conference. One sniper 47 RM Cdo taken prisoner by 3 enemy at 0500 hrs.
1700 - Lt Col Sir Lionel Fletcher RM to discuss the experience gained in the use of snipers in order that the teaching at Sniper School may be directed on the correct lines. Maj PUGH arrived for staff att with a view to relieving BM.
1830 - MAPLAY code compromised for 19 Jul. All units infm. Water rationing comes into effect forthwith. ½gal per man per day. This is due to overloading of water point in 6 Airborne Div area as result of influx of 8 Corps.
2030 - Sitrep 0830-2030hrs (.) no change enemy situation (.) still occupying present posns (.) own activity confined to keeping watch on enemy FDLs for possible enemy withdrawal (.) future intention (.) to continue recce patrols and ambush patrols (.) also to move one cdo fwd to form firm base from which and in addition to which three strong fighting patrols will operate to keep in contact with enemy in event of his withdrawal.
2100 - Enemy guns and mortars started shelling of 47 RM Cdo area. Own mortars used in retaliation, firing being called down by Plotting Centre at Bde HQ as result of reports by OPs. No good reports were sent in and fire was slow in being returned.
20th July 1944
0400 - Consolidated strength and cas state No.43 up to 0400hrs 20 Jul.
0850 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy still in occupation of his FDLs (.) activity being confined to shelling and mortaring 47 48 Cdo areas from strongpt and direction of woods immediately SOUTH of strongpt (.) occurred between 2100 and 2145hrs and was accompanied by MG fire from strongpt (.) one slight cas (.) spasmodic MG fire accompanied by flares continued during night (.) was answered by own MG fire at intervals (.) own recce patrol reported possible enemy patrol in vicinity of farm 138772 during night (.) there was evidence this house had been entered in interval between our morning and night recce patrols (.) ambush patrols in hedgerow 143765 and 145756 reported no encounter with enemy though latter patrol tried to draw the enemy out from his FDLs by purposely opening fire (.) this had no result other than reply in kind.
2050 - Sitrep 0830-2030hrs (.) enemy activity nil on our sector (.) no additional infm reported by own patrol during day (.) future intention no change from yesterday.
2100 - Message from 6 Airborne Div to implement re-sorting of Bde areas. Following moves will take place 21 Jul - 3 Para Bde responsible for front incl X rds 140707 incl rd and track junc 139720 (.) 6 Airlanding Bde extend present front to incl 143730. 9 Para Bn and 1 Cdn Para Bn take over from 12 Devon 1030hrs (.) 12 DEVON start to take over from 1 RUR and one coy 13 Para Bn 1230hrs (.) 1 RUR double up in present 12 Para Bn area (.) 7 Para Bn start relief 8 Para Bn 1500hrs (.) 8 Para Bn on relief to rest area by river. 12 Para Bn move to FME DE LIEU HARAS on completion all other reliefs approx 1700hrs (.) Comd of bns revert normal bde on arrival Bde sectors (.) 12 Para Bn revert 1 SS to 5 Para Bde 211700B (.) completion of reliefs to be reported as and when complete.
21st July 1944
Place: La Grande Ferme Du Buisson
0550 - Patrol at LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON reported through DOG OP that a patrol of enemy possible strength 15-20 is in hedgerow 139764. CO 46 RM Cdo got on telephone to 47 RM Cdo who agreed to send out a fighting patrol of one tp as soon as possible.
0555 - 12 mortar bombs on FARM.
0020 - 211 Lt Bty fired scale 5 on strongpoint.
0025 - 48 RM Cdo reported truck movement in area strongpoint. Confirmed by 47 RM Cdo and FOX OP.
0100 - DOG OP report that noise of trucks now thought to be the sighing of the sea.
0900 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy patrol estimated 20 strong were reported in orchard NORTH of LA GDE FE at 0600hrs (.) were engaged by own standing patrol from farm itself (.) an additional one tp from 47 Cdo in area 134767 was immediately despatched with the object of cutting off and dealing with this enemy patrol from its rear (.) Enemy however withdrew to own FDLs at about 0630hrs before this object could be obtained (.) no cas resulted on either side (.) listening posts reported movement of enemy working party in strongpt area during night (.) strongpt was engaged by our arty on request at 0020hrs (.) Observation patrol which returned at 2230hrs last night reported considerably less movement during the day in FDLs area NE of LA GDE FE (.) our snipers active but with bad visibility and rain claim no hits.
1900 - Message to units enforcing restriction on use of all brs except PEGASUS BR 103746, all movement to be kept a minimum and no tracks allowed.
2115 - Message from No.4 Cdo - patrol details 6 Cdo snipers in LONGUEMARE FM and ORCHARD 143749 daily 0800-2200 and 4 Cdo will op ORCHARD 143745 day and night and will have standing patrol nightly ORCHARD 143749 2230-0700hrs (.) passed to 41 RM Cdo to warn patrols.
22nd July 1944
0825 - Sitrep 2030hrs 0830hrs (.) own patrols report enemy activity nil (.) recce patrol made thorough sweep of area pond 146763 during night and no traces of enemy occupation mines wires were found.
Details of German atrocities to Airborne wounded. Prisoners were fwd by 1 SS Bde who stated that evidence of the accounts were available at 6 Airborne Div HQ. Copy of account attached as an Appx "E".
1030 - At patrol conference OC 47 Cdo stated that, before relief in centre fwd posn, he wished to do a raid on enemy FDLs. Bde Comd agreed and relief was fixed for 23 Jul, the raid being planned for first light 23 Jul (.) outline plan being - strength raiding party 2 offrs and 14 ORs (.) task to enter FDLs 147766 - 145767 moving silently as far as possible along hedge 143765-145767 collect PW and withdraw (.) leave hedge junc 143765 at 200445hrs (.) covering party seven bren gps on line of hedge 143764-142766 (.) fire sp on loss of surprise (.) 53 Lt Regt on call on 152767, 149770 and 145771 (.) four 3 inch mortars on counter mortar tasks and known posns (.) MMGs on flanks of assault area from 142761 and 141767 to isolate area (.) 4 x 2 inch mortars fire smoke area 147768 and on FDLs during withdrawal (.) RED verey lights being used as signal for withdrawal (.) no other light signals being used (.) small adv Cdo HQ at 142761 (.) FOO with adv cdo HQ (.) RALO at rear Cdo HQ.
1530 - Plan given out by OC 47 RM Cdo for raid on enemy FDLs. Outline plan. Strength raiding party 2 offrs 14 ORs (.) task enter FDLs 147766-145767 moving silently as far as possible along hedge 143765-145767, collect PW and withdraw (.) leave hedge junc 143765 at 230445 (.) covering party of Bren gps line of hedge 143764 - 142766 (.) fire sp on loss of surprise (.) 53 Lt Regt on call on 152767 149770 and 145771 (.) four 3inch mortars on counter mortar tasks and known posns (.) MMGs on flanks of assault area from 142761 and 141767 to isolate area (.) four 2 inch mortars fire smoke area 147768 and on FDLs during withdrawal (.) RED verey lights used as signal for withdrawal (.) no other light sigs being used (.) small adv Cdo HQ 142761 (.) FOO with adv Cdo HQ RALO at rear cdo HQ.
23rd July 1944
Place: La Grande Ferme Du Buisson
0300 - 3 Deserters come in through 46 RM Cdo Standing Patrol.
0445 - Zero hour for patrol by 47 RM Cdo. Start of move fwd from SL. Patrol got within 30 yds of enemy FDLs when leading man stood on a mine and enemy MMGs on fixed lines opened up. Raiding party went in and searched area. Found weapon pits empty in FDLs but went on and brought out one offr PW (.) own cas 11 wounded (.)
0700 - 48 RM Cdo patrol report - German seen 222100 at possible OP 140768. Evidence of German use of track at 139767.
1030 - Units infm that 6 Airborne Div Enemy Mines School are open and that vacancies may be applied for on 3hr courses of theory and practical.
1600 - All units infm as result of message from 6 Airborne Div that no vehs will move 240200-240400 except med vehs.
2300 - Sitrep 222030B - 232030B (.) enemy working area strongpt 139776 night 22/23 Jul (.) 3 deserters entered own lines about 230500B (.) raid carried out by 47 Cdo at 0500 23 Jul on FDLs 145765 (.) full report being fwd separately (.) one offr PW taken (.) enemy weapon emplacement located at edge wood 146783 from OP at 143758 (.) type weapon not known but may be SP gun, NBW or mortar (.) 46 Cdo relieved 47 Cdo in centre fwd posn 231800B (.) 47 Cdo took over gd duties on br same time (.) location 46 Cdo 132766 (.) will continue patrolling.
24th July 1944
0730 - SITREP (.) harassing fire by own mortars on enemy FDLs 231530B and by lt regt and own mortars 149769 during night (.) recce patrol found NO enemy on line of rd 149761.
1030 - Patrol Conference. Patrolling activity reduced. 41 RM Cdo patrolling to find out if MG post at 147756 occupied (.) 46 RM Cdo snipers at NORTH end of TOP WOOD 1900-2200 and est listening post POND 142766 from 242300-250400 with four 2inch mortars and 3 MMGs in northern half of TOP WOOD to shoot at any sound of movement reported. 47 RM Cdo est def listening posts at 135768 until 252300B and at 136770 until 0500, at 138771, 0500-0800 and 136770 251100-252300B (.) covering party 139772 for mortar OP at HALFWAY HOUSE 250800B - 251200B (.) mortars registering and harassing MOULIN DU BUISSON.
1845 - 41 RM Cdo infm that 1 SS Bde is trying arty and smoke screen to bring in deserters tonight.
2130 - Sitrep 240730-242030 one German seen to blow up in mine 139790 (.) usual patrolling during day and night patrol as above.
2230 - Bde Comd, BM and SC ordered to attend conference HQ 6 Airborne Div 1000 hrs 25 Jul.
1930 - Message from 1 Corps - Following minefds reported laid 22 Jul 44. Serial 10090 at 153677 - 154677 - Serial 10091 at 151677 - 158675 (.) second following minefields reported lifted Serial 10219 - 10220 - 10239 (Bomb crater remains wired off) 10239 - 10255 - 10257 - 10263 - 10264 - 10265. Leaflets dropped by German ac night 23/24 Jul in SALLENELLES.
25th July 1944
0420 - Mortar bombs landing within Bde area.
0433 - Own mortars opened fire on suspected enemy mortar posn.
0830 - Sitrep 242030-250800 (.) low enemy ac fighter type shot up Bde area 242245 using incendiary and explosive bullets causing one cas (.) enemy mortars active during night from area 1476 and 1477 replied to by own mortars (.) single enemy gun firing 250420B thought to be EF engaged by own arty (.) enemy at FRANCEVILLE PLAGE used GREEN flares but other FDLs RED and AMBER to indicate posns to a/c (.) recce patrol 41 Cdo reached 148760 when surprised by enemy post (.) enemy appear to be occupying posns by night WEST of rd as large number of flares sent up from this area.
1000 - Conference at HQ 6 Airborne Div. 1 Corps with under comd 49 Div, 3 Br Div, 51 (H) Div, 6 Airborne Div is to hold left flank of 1st Cdn Army. Two bdes of 51 (H) Div to take over posns 3 and 5 Para Bdes and 6 AL Bde. 6 AL Bde to take over from 1 SS Bde. 6 AL Bde and 4 SS Bde to come under comd 51 H Div. Moves completed by 291300B.
2130 - 41 Cdo infm that 4 Cdo will have standing patrol ORCHARD 143749 and 143745 dusk to dawn 25/26 Jul. 46 RM Cdo propose MMG shoot with 47 RM Cdo. 155768 - 156768 270020B-270720B.
Following locations of VICTOR and HF targets notified - V.921 - 182681, V.923 - 160683, HF.831 - 175644, HF.866 - 203760, HF.876 - 216761, HF.862 - 181723.
1315 - Lt Gen CREAR Comd 1st Cdn Army came fwd to Bde area to meet Bde Comd and look at ground.
26th July 1944
0830 - SITREP (.) 252030B - 260800B (.) little enemy activity and one patrol of 7 men moved down hedge 145766 at 251935B engaged by own mortars and disappeared (.) this confirms gap in minefd close to this hedgerow. Sniper again fired shot from 142766 (.) recce patrol at 146758 heard sound of horse and cart at 260030B and again 260200hrs followed by ration wagon. Bad visibility ruined snipers efforts.
1030 - Patrol conference. Following patrols will be carried out. By 41 RM Cdo recce patrol to find out if hedgerow 147758 is booby trapped. Snipers will be active during day EAST of MIDDLE WOOD. 46 RM Cdo will have snipers out in MIDDLE WOOD at NORTH end of TOP WOOD. Will carry out indirect MMG shoot with 47 RM Cdo MMG on area 155768 to disturb enemy L of C between 270020 - 270100 and 270120 48 RM Cdo est def patrols on own front.
1130 - Patrol conference at HQ 6 Airborne Div. 4 SS Bde and 6 Airlanding Bde asked for requirements of RE stores to be left in area when remainder of Div moves out. Extensive list of requirements given.
1545 - CRE 6 Airborne Div visited 4 SS Bde and asked that (a) list of requirements should be cut down (b) Stores should be taken as early as possible. Provisional site for stores in area 131755 subject to confirmation by 6 AL Bde.
1830 - 1st 15 tons of stores moved in. Site not considered suitable by 6 AL Bde and recce of suitable site arranged for 270900B.
2200 - Message from 6 Airborne Div cancelling move out of 6 Airborne Div. Further infm to be available after 271200B.
27th July 1944
0020 - 46 and 47 RM Cdos MMGs opened up: enemy replied with fire in direction of LA GRANDE FERME DU BUISSON.
0115 - Enemy a/c come over and dropped AP bombs in 6 Airborne Div area. One ac crashed about 145756.
0715 - 2 bombs dropped in front of 46 RM Cdo FDLs.
0815 - Sitrep 2030-0830 (.) enemy activity confined to bombing by a/c between 0130 and 0200hrs (.) unidentified enemy a/c crashed within enemy FDLs at 145763 shortly after start of bombing (.) some bombs in Bde area but no cas, also single bomb dropped 0715hrs (.) bombrep fwd separately (.) slight MG fire in reply to own MG harassing fire during night (.) standing patrol suffered 3 cas as result of enemy mortaring of LA GRANDE FERME during daylight 26 Jul (.) own recce patrol engaged by enemy possibly ambush patrol at 142761 at 0800hrs, suffered no cas.
0804 - Bombrep -A 270915B (.) B 134763 (.) C one HE about 100lbs D aircraft unidentified (.) E no damage.
2030 - Activity nil on this front (.) 1 cas wounded as result enemy shelling br 108761 at 1115hrs (.) own mortars engaged enemy mortar located 145767 by counter mortar OPs (.) number of cas believed inflicted on enemy (.) ambush patrols will op in line of track SOUTH from farm 138772 (.) also 3in mortar harassing fire on enemy FDLs 280200B - 280230B (.) recce patrol to find route across rd at 149760 with intention of drawing enemy fire (.) patrol will be covered by party which will open fire from 143756 on return of recce patrol at 280730B.
2130 - GSOI 6 Airborne Div visited HQ 4 SS Bde and spent half an hour with Bde Comd.
28th July 1944
0900 - 6 Airborne Div asked for return of sub unit strengths by units.
0900 - French civilian stating to be from PARIS and trying to get to CAEN to see his mother was detained by 47 Cdo and passed to Bde HQ for interrogation. Stated direct approach to CAEN from EAST, so had come via CABOURG and the beaches. Statement unsatisfactory so sent to FSO for investigation.
0900 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy activity nil on immediate front (.) arty btys active from beyond R DIVES though no shells on Bde area (.) our 3in mortars carried out harassing fire on enemy FDLs at 0230hrs (.) ambush patrol operating from firm base at cross tracks 138767 reported no enemy movement or encounter along track running EAST from cross track (.) ambush patrol reached 140769 no sound being heard of suspected enemy standing patrol at that point (.) recce patrol operating from firm base at 144759 with object of finding a route across rd at 148760 was fired on by enemy at rd and hedge junc 148759 (.) the enemy appeared alert and the patrol withdrew without locating further posns (.) fire from the covering party with the object of pin pointing more enemy posns failed to draw further enemy fire (.) one FRENCH civilian from PARIS was accepted into our lines at 0615hrs (.) scant infm from interrogation (.) sent to FSO for further questioning.
0930 to 1100 - GOC 6 Airborne Div visited Bde HQ and accompanied by Bde Comd and BM, inspected the SALLENELLES defs and surrounding country.
1100 - Patrols - Programme for 28/29 Jul - other than listening posts forward of SALLENELLES and BOTTOM WOOD and snipers NE of TOP WOOD and EAST of CENTRE generally to be a quiet 24hrs from the patrolling angle. 48 Cdo will however carry out a mock fire party between 2345 and midnight 28 Jul to give evidence for enemy's impression that our FDLs are along line of track SOUTH from FARM 138772.
Sitrep 0830-2030 (.) enemy activity nil (.) own snipers active but no hits claimed (.) future intentions to continue recce and standing patrols.
29th July 1944
Message from 6 Airborne Div (.) WEST to EAST traffic will use TOWER brs 116764 and 118787 from 0600 29 Jul until 0600 30 Jul NOT EUSTON.
Infm received from higher authority that the German civilian detained for further investigation had definitely been established as an enemy agent. Units informed and warned to continue strict watch for further attempts to pass agents through our lines.
0900 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) slight enemy mortaring of 41 and 46 Cdo areas about 2330hrs (.) also bombing in Bde area about midnight (.) no cas (.) one enemy plane crashed at 0200hrs in enemy lines just NORTH of LONGUEMARE crossroads (.) owing to speed and accuracy with which our own mortars are brought down on active enemy mortars opposite Bde sector, the enemy now engaged this sector with mortars located further SOUTH in gen area LONGUEMARE (.) mortars situated opposite Bde sector remaining inactive (.) it is being suggested to 1 SS Bde that a similar org to our own counter mortars be adopted (.) standing patrol at wood 143757 was engaged with grenades from discharger cup or 5.1cm mortar when patrol opened fire on enemy FDLs at 0400hrs (.) snipers claimed one certain hit in strongpt area yesterday.
Arrangements made with 1 SS Bde for 6 Cdo to take over relief guard of 1 and 15 Tac HQ 21 Army Gp w.e.f. 1600hrs 30 Jul vice 48 Cdo.
2045 - Sitrep 0830-2030hrs (.) enemy activity nil other than slight mortaring of 46 Cdo area at about 2000hrs causing two cas (.) digging activity indicates posns being prepared at 148765 (.) OP at LA GRANDE FERME observed signs of freshly dug posns on bearing 78 degrees magnetic at bottom edge of wood approx 235796 (.) Comds 1 Corps and 49 Div visited HQ during day (.) our future intentions (.) listening patrols on line 137773 - 139769 (.) ambush patrols one area hedgerows NE of LA GRANDE FERME and one area hedgerow 144758 (.) all during night 29/30 Jul.
1030 - HQ US Fighter Comd states P.51 (Mustang) of the US 20 Fighter Gp will be seen flying with addtl distinctive markings painted on both sides of the fin and rudder (VERTICAL stabiliser) as follows:- 55 Fighter Sqn equilate black triangle sides 2½ ft, 79 Fighter Sqn black square sides 2½ft.
1830 - 3 Cdo maintaining standing patrols 1800hrs 29 Jul until further notice in orchard 143745 and double hedgerow 145755 SOUTH of bde patrol bdy (.) strengths 2 and 15 routes through 4 and 3 Cdos respectively (.) small recce or snipers parties will op fwd of these patrols (.) will keep within patrol bdy (.) warned of 41 Cdos ambush patrol night 29/30 Jul.
30th July 1944
0830 - Sitrep 2030-0830B (.) enemy mortaring of 41 and 46 Cdo areas about 2330hrs (.) also bombing in Bde area about midnight (.) one enemy plane crashed 0200hrs in enemy lines just NORTH of LONGUEMARE cross rds (.) owing to speed and accuracy with which our own mortars have brought down counter mortar fire on enemy mortars active on Bde sector enemy now engaging sector with mortars located further SOUTH (.) standing patrol 143757 engaged with grenades from discharger cup or 5cm mortar when patrol opened fire on enemy FDLs at 0400 hrs (.) snipers claim one certain hit in strongpt area. Suggested to 1 SS Bde that they co-operate in our mortar org.
1100 - Brig Cooke Collis, Comd 70 Inf Bde visited Bde Comd to discuss outline ops. It was possible only to make tentative plan for the units of 4 SS Bde as GOC 49 Div had not yet made firm plan. It is worth recording that within 48 hrs four different operations on the emp of 4 SS Bde have been made by Comds 1 Corps, 6 Airborne Div, 49 Div and 70 Inf Bde.
1700 - Bde Comd, BM attended conference at HQ 6 Airborne Div. Details given of reorg of Div.
1900 - Message from 6 Airborne Div (.) WEST to EAST traffic will use LONDON brs 097743 and 103743 from 1700-2100hrs 20 Jul and 0400-1600hrs 31 Jul (.) TOWER br will be closed from 0600hrs 30 Jul until further notice.
2000 - Message from GI 6 Airborne Div that instrs given at Div conference were now cancelled and that further orders would be issued.
2130 - LO from 6 Airborne Div gave infm that the Divs of 1 Corps were to be sent [... page ends]
31st July 1944
0030 - LO from 6 Airborne Div gave fresh details of reorg of 6 Airborne Div front - ONE - 1 SS Bde less two cdos will take over 3 Para Bde sector by 311400B: 4 SS Bde will assume comd remainder 1 SS Bde temporarily (.) TWO 6 Airldg Bde will extend front to take over sectors vacated by 1 SS Bde less two cdos same time (.) THREE - 3 Para Bde will take over from 154 Bde by 311600B on relief by 1 SS Bde, subsequent moves 4 SS Bde will take over remainder 1 SS Bde posns 1 AUG; remainder 1 SS Bde will relieve 5 Para Bde who occupy RANVILLE area same time (.) details arty, Atk etc later.
0830 - Bde Comd visited Brig FLAVELL, Comd 6 Airldg Bde to discuss inter bde bdys agreed on track junc 112748 - line of track to track, rd junc 129750 - edge of orchard 131749 all excl 4 SS Bde Patrol Bdy to be decided later.
0835 - Sitrep 2030-0830hrs (.) enemy activity nil during night (.) two enemy believed snipers were observed at 301250B hrs at 143764 by standing patrol in LA GRANDE FERME and were effectively engaged with mortar fire (.) practice of having mortar fire controlled fwd of LA GDE FERME with wireless comn back to mortars is proving effective (.) enemy movement in or fwd of his FDLs is rapidly and effectively engaged (.) recce patrol in area bomb craters 148765 reported no signs of enemy occupation in crater (.) no movement heard in hedgerow bounding track from 147767 - 149765 though verey lights were put up by enemy to either side of this hedge track (.) no sign of enemy movement fire or flares along suspected FDLs between 152764 - 150762 (.) enemy posn in area 149760 (.) suspect area from 138772 to be mortar def task for mortar situated in strongpt area.
6 Airborne Div and 4 SS Bde relieved of anti sabotage responsibilities on brs at 115763, 115764 and 113765 w.e.f. 2000hrs 31 Jul (.) 1 Bucks to take over responsibility from this time (.) time of take over later amended to 1000hrs 1 Aug by mutual agreement with 1 Bucks.
0900 - Bde Comd visited Comd 1 SS Bde and 3 Cdo and got details of layout of 3 Cdo.
1800 - FOO from 51 Hy Regt visited HQ to ask permission to engage HM.109. Will engage strongpt as part of calibration after due warning has been given in a day or two days time.
1815 - CO Oxf and Bucks (Lt Col ROBERTS) from 6 Airldg Bde visited HQ to tie up new posns. Lt Col PHILLIPS will go and see him. New patrol bdy to be arranged.
Month and year : August 1944
Commanding Officer : Brigadier B.W. Leicester
1st August 1944
1100 - 47 Cdo took over 3 Cdo's area from incl track junc 129751 to track junc 131758 with HQ in Chateau D'Amfreville 128757. One tp remained in area 125759. During 2 Aug 6 A/Ldg Bde moved NORTH to incl 1 SS Bde's area less that previously held by 3 Cdo while 1 SS Bde moved to the SOUTH.
0900 - Bde Comd walked round 41 Cdo area. Unit is thick on the ground and will be able to take over part of left tp posn of 47 RM Cdo.
1200 - 47 RM Cdo took over from No 3 Cdo in AMFREVILLE - LE PLEIN area. Task to stop enemy attack astride LONGUEMARE - LE PLEIN rd.
1730 / 1900 - Bde Comd went round 47 RM Cdo area with the CO. It was agreed that 47 RM Cdo should hold with two tps fwd and two tps in depth, incl one tp holding CHATEAU D'AMFREVILLE as a fortress with one tp in Bde res area 124760.
1920 - Amendment to minefds - following minefds reported laid. Serial 10337, 75 Grens at 131759. Lifted Serial 10090 - enemy to EAST of 085700. Booby traps in orchard 137698. Serial 10091 also lifted. Enemy minefd type unknown reported in rd 158685.
1600 - 47 RM Cdo HQ moved: now est at 127754.
1615 - Weather forecast. Wind light ENE. Cloudy becoming fair to fair in afternoon. Increased tendency to thundery breaks.
1650 - Message sent to units about enemy agent reported to be within our lines.
2nd August 1944
1000 - Maj Gen STURGESS CB DSO, GOC SS Gp arrived HQ 4 SS Bde. Walked round part of 41 RM Cdo area incl visit to BOTTOM WOOD. GOC met COs at 1400 hrs and gave latest news on reinforcement situation and on possibility of exchange of unsuitable personnel with ldg craft. Maj Jerram RMMS arrived Bde HQ and left for ROTS with CO 46 Cdo.
1200 - G2 SD 1 Cdn Army came to Bde HQ to get details of present unit strengths.
1215 - Rep 6 Airborne Div A/Tk Bty gave details of new layout in Bde area. Number of guns now reduced to 8 and all 17 pdrs withdrawn.
3rd August 1944
0830 / 1030 - Bde Comd considered question of counter mortar to restore situation in 47 RM Cdo area. Appreciated that attack will come in astride LONGUEMARE - LE PLEIN rd and may develop a break in on 300 - 400 yds front. Siting of res tps in area 127753 and CHATEAU D'AMFREVILLE is essential and these posns must hold as long as possible. Orders will be issued.
4th August 1944
0331 - Mortaring Bde area - 12 rds.
1000 - Confirmed by 6 Airborne Div that fuses of shells which fell in 46 RM Cdo area night 2/3 Aug were from 105mm German Howitzer.
1035 - Weather forecast. FINE, widespread fog developing during morning but thinning later. Mainly fair or fine. Next 48 hrs thundery tendency diminishing.
0830 - SITREP 2030 - 0830 hrs. Enemy activity confined to aircraft bombing near Bde area at about 0330 hrs and mortaring/shelling of Bde HQ area at about 0330 hrs. Sounds of horse drawn tpt were heard on track EAST of and parallel to rd LONGUEMARE - GONNEVILLE at approx 2130 hrs. An enemy 8.1 cm mortar was reported by a patrol as having fired frequently during night. Its posn was pinpointed as hedge and track junc 149755. Two further posns were located by the standing patrol at LA GDE FERME DU BUISSON during daylight 3rd August. Both of which were engaged effectively by our own counter mortar fire. Posns of these enemy mortars are 141766 and 150762. This standing patrol also reported enemy working party in area 146747 during afternoon 3rd August and engaged it with mortar fire, the farm itself receiving 12 rds of enemy mortar fire in retaliation. Own shelling of enemy FDLs at 2145 hrs was seen to cause an explosion and a small fire in area 147757. This cause not being known but thought to be probably small amn stores. Patrol sent to 143760 with the object of engaging enemy FDLs to draw fire was fired at from lane junc 147757. LMG and 2" mortar fire was opened up and the enemy post was silenced but though our fire was continued at intervals until 0200 hrs no attempt at a reply was made from the enemy FDLs. This patrol when withdrawing at about 0200 hrs left a small ambush patrol at 143758 but no encounter was made with the enemy on its withdrawal at 0445 hrs. Recce patrols in area LA GDE FERME Xrds during early evening reported the following. Houses at 142751 and 143752 clear of enemy and no signs of recent occupation. Houses unsuitable as OPs. Orchard at 145750 and hedgerow surrounding it were searched and found clear of enemy. The house at 143749 was found to be a good OP giving view of all enemy FDLs and rd SW for 400 yds. House also dominates Xrds 144750. Enemy snipers observation post spotted at house 147750 when given away by glint of binoculars. Route along hedge 141755 - 143754 thence hedgerows NE to 145757 thence along SOUTHERN lane to orchard 142761 thence own lines reported clear of wire booby traps etc. Possible own snipers were noted at 143754 and 144755. Standing patrol at LONGUEMARE FARM was mortared during morning 3rd August from general direction of FDLs at 148752. At 042000B hrs an explosion occurred in front of enemy FDLs. Cause NOT known but suspected to be a mine. Enemy action was to send up flares. NO own cas reported as a results of enemy bombing shelling and mortaring.
5th August 1944
0900 - Bde Comd with COs 41 and 47 Cdos went fwd to new enemy FDLs posn at area LONGUEMARE Xrds. Patrol was observed by enemy and shelled.
1630 - Bde Comd sent for by GOC 6 Airborne Div. 6 Airborne Div is taking over from fwd bns of 146 Inf Bde 49 Div. Take over to take place 7 and 8 Aug.
1730 - Bde Comd visited Comd 146 Inf Bde to arrange take over. Three Cdos to take over from two bns. Suggested that take over should take place in daylight a.m. 7 Aug being quietest time. Tpt to move p.m. 7 Aug. Reason for putting fwd relief is that attack by 2 Cdn Corps is starting p.m. 7 Aug and may stir up enemy.
2115 - Bde O Gp. Verbal orders given for relief of 146 Inf Bde. Posns to be taken over as at present so that all men have weapon slits. 47 RM Cdo relieves two right hand coys HALLAMS, 41 RM Cdo relieves two left hand coys HALLAMS and res coy 1/4 LINCS, 46 RM Cdo relieves 3 left coys 1/4 LINCS. Bde HQ to 133693. B Ech present posn. One tp 48 RM Cdo under comd 46 RM Cdo. Two routes left 46 Cdo followed by 41 Cdo, right 47 Cdo followed by Bde HQ. Detailed timings later. All units less 48 RM Cdo to be relieved by 5 Para Bde before marching out.
6th August 1944
0305 - 41 Cdo reported a brush with enemy patrol of about 30 men in BOTTOM WOOD. One killed in 41 Cdo. No further contact made.
0830 - Bde Comd with Bde R Gp to HQ 146 Inf Bde. COs already given details of layout at O Gp previous night. COs sent out to recce unit areas. Bde Comd visited unit HQs to discuss weak points, likely enemy threats enemy habits.
1130 - Bde Comds co-ord conference at HQ 146 Inf Bde. 49 Div Recce Regt which at present provides one sqn for ground depth to 46 RM Cdo area and provides posts fwd on left flank is being pulled out. Bde Comd arranged with GOC 6 Airborne Div that one Airborne Recce Sqn should come under comd 4 SS Bde to replace 49 Recce Sqn. Timings arranged for all units less A/Tk Bty and recce sqn.
1400 - CO 4 Airborne A/Tk Bty saw Bde Comd. A/Tk layout to be approx one tp to cover approach from EAST and two tps to cover approach from SOUTH. A/Tk Comd went fwd to make recce and report on best layout.
1530 - Comd Airborne Recce Regt sent for by Bde Comd. Recce Comd had not heard of new task. Given task of filling gap between left of 46 RM Cdo and right of 3 Para Bde providing depth of left flank of 46 RM Cdo and remainder of sqn in res.
1800 - A/Tk Comd returned from recce and reported that two A/Tk tps could get in in daylight, last tp in dark. Timings for move into area arranged - one tp at each 0915 hrs, 0930 hrs, and 1200 hrs.
1900 - Recce Comd returned from recce. Arranged to take over from outgoing Recce Regt at 1030 hrs. To move into area by tps widely dispersed.
2000 - Orders for occupation of new area issued to units. Copy att at Appx 'A'.
7th August 1944
0730 - Comd 5 Para Bde assumes Comd of HAUGER - SALLENELLES area.
1100 - Units in new area. Bde HQ est new area 133693.
1200 - Take over new area completed by individual units.
1300 / 1430 - Bde tpt moved into fwd area in small parcels.
1430 / 1630 - Enemy shelling of fwd unit areas causing some cas in 41 and 46 RM Cdos.
1600 - Bde Comds co-ord conference for COs. All units reasonably content. Bde Comd asked for requirements for MMG tp of Recce Regt is suitable.
1700 - Counter Mortar Conference. 150 H Regt will est two OPs to cover Bde front. One OP already est to work to 3 Para Bde and 4 SS Bde in 46 Cdo area. Units to assist in manning RA OPs and to man own OPs where no RA OP exists. Present comns by WT and through unit exchanges.
2000 / 2359 - Spasmodic shelling of Bde fwd area.
8th August 1944
0100 - All lines comns with units dis - through by WT.
1600 - Bde Comd and Maj PUGH attended conference at HQ 6 Airborne Div. Div Comd explained latest posn of 1 Cdn Army attack. All first objectives had been taken in front of schedule. Objective FALAISE. Gen GALE went on to explain the reason for the extension of the Div front, which was to give 1 Corps a res consisting of 49 Inf Div less 70 Inf Bde, with which the gap between 6 Airborne Div and 51st (H) Div could be filled. The Div Comd went on to explain Op "PADDLE". This covers the task given to 6 Airborne Div in the event of the enemy withdrawing on the div front. It was also explained that with the arrival of the Dutch and Belgian contingents under comd 6 Airborne Div a regrouping will take place. RIGHT - 4 SS Bde (same disposn), CENTRE - 3 Para Bde (same disposn), LEFT 6 A Ldg Bde with under comd Dutch and Belgian contingents from excl rd junc 139728 to incl SALLENELLES 1376, RES 5 Para Bde less 48 Cdo. 48 Cdo reverts 4 SS Bde.
1830 - Lowflying Spitfire aircraft was engaged and hit by MG from enemy FDLs NE from Bde HQ. Aircraft crashed - landed at 132691 catching fire on ldg. Plane was smashed up, but pilot, Sgt Pilot DOWNEY, sqn unknown, extricated and evac suffering from multiple injuries.
1948 - 48 Cdo still in area SALLENELLES and under comd 5 Para Bde. Slight mortaring and shelling around 48's area but not in their area.
2145 - 46 Cdo reported sounds of half tracked vehs in PICCADILLY CIRCUS 156694. Engaged by RALO with 150 Fd Regt.
2215 - 46 Cdo again reported sounds of MT moving to and fro on track running NW from PICCADILLY CIRCUS. Again engaged by 150 Fd Regt after agreement with flanking fmn 3 Para Bde.
2255 - 41 Cdo reported through 46 Cdo that there were sounds of tracked vehs in TROARN. RA 6 A/B Div asked to fire Div arty on this target but ordered 150 Fd Regt to engage only. Throughout day, enemy mortars/shelling harassed the whole Bde area causing one killed and seven wounded. Counter mortar org not working satisfactorily as no bearings were obtainable from OP in rt flanking sector.
2330 - 41 Cdo's OP reported more MT mov on a bearing which indicated area X-rds 156674 which was engaged by arty from 150 Fd Regt.
9th August 1944
0900 - Bde Comd and BM toured 46 Cdo area. Maj BG PUGH RWF assumed appt Bde Maj vice Maj NP WOOD RM to 2 ic 41 Cdo. Lt GEEVES appointed LO.
1030 - Patrol conference. Ran still on offensive patrols. Certain adm problems were discussed and settled. Maj Gen GALE DSO OBE MC, Comd 6 A/B Div attended conference.
1200 - IO 70 Inf Bde visited Bde HQ and tied up inter Bde bdy, patrols areas, etc.
1400 - GSO III visited 3 Para Bde Liaison visit.
10th August 1944
0900 - CCO (Maj Gen LAYCOCK DSO) visited Bde HQ.
0930 - Bde Comd conducted CCO around bde fwd area.
1000 - Maj Gen RG STURGESS CB DSO, GOC SS Gp visited Bde HQ accompanied by Capt JEFFRIES RN (Capt GJ4).
1030 - Conference of COs at Bde HQ. The visitors also attended. Adm matters were discussed. GOC SS Gp gave a summary of his visit to RENNES 5 Aug 44. Summary att.
1130 - Visitors toured the fwd area.
1330 - BM and SC visited 1 SS Bde to discuss eqpt and tpt which would be required to enable bde to take on a light mobile role. Decision reached and return rendered to 6 Airborne Div.
1700 - Bde Comd granted permission to leave bde area for a few hours on 11 Aug. In his absence comd 4 SS Bde devolves on Lt Col CR HARDY, OC 46 Cdo.
11th August 1944
1000 - Normal patrol conference held Bde HQ. Future intentions contained in sitrep.
1100 - GOC SS Gp visited Bde HQ and toured 46 Cdo. Units improving def posns. 4 SS Bde Adm area moved from ECARD.
12th August 1944
1000 - Normal patrol conference held Bde HQ. Infm received that 48 Cdo revert to comd 4 SS Bde w.e.f. 13 Aug. vice AARR who revert to comd 6 Airborne Div.
1500 - BM visited HQ 3 Para Bde to tie up details of Op PADDLE.
1700 - Bde Comd and BM visited 6 Airborne Div. Bde Comd made representations to Comd 6 Airborne Div to retain Sqn AARR as bde res. Request refused on grounds of prior commitments.
1800 - Bde Comd and BM toured Bde Adm Area in new location.
1900 - Major KIMPTON ex 41 Cdo att to HQ 4 SS Bde to assume duties of CM Offr vice Capt BELVILLE MBE MC under orders to return to U.K.
13th August 1944
1000 - C of E service held at Bde HQ. Officiating Chaplain - Rev HAW 47 Cdo.
1020 - Normal patrol conference held Bde HQ.
1200 - 48 Cdo completed move to posns in Bde def layout. Sqn AARR moved out.
1600 - Senior Chaplain Combined Ops, Rev BEALE visited Bde HQ and fwd units.
1630 - Lt Col HARVEY, OC 225 Para Fd Amb visited Bde HQ to discuss med evac arrangements. Bde Comd discussed the question of the battle exhaustion of tps. Col HARVEY was of the opinion that 50% were deserving cases while the remainder was the result of an excess of zeal on the part of RMO's. He put this state down to several causes a) bad man-management b) bad adm c) the rumour that 6 Airborne Div and SS Bdes had been told they were going home. Cases of battle exhaustion 4 SS Bde have been small but it is interesting to note that some 3,000 personnel from Second Army been evac from this theatre suffering from battle exhaustion.
1800 - R.C. service held at Bde HQ. Officiating Chaplain - Father COSTELLO att HQ 4 SS Bde.
1900 - 4 SS Bde Op Instr No 2 - Op 'PADDLE' issued.
14th August 1944
0900 - Bde Comd toured 48 Cdo area.
1000 - Normal patrol conference.
1800 - BM carried out liaison visit to HQ 70 Inf Bde. No problems. Bdy confirmed as laid down in OO No 6 dated 14 Aug. Contact patrols working satisfactorily.
15th August 1944
1000 - COs conference Bde HQ. Adm matters discussed.
1020 - Patrol conference. Bde Comd laid down that in future patrols to be of a more offensive nature.
1040 - Brig J.S. DURNFORD-SLATER DSO, Deputy Comd SS Gp visited Bde HQ on liaison visit.
1100 - IO 40 Inf Bde arrived Bde HQ. 49 Inf Div had evidence of the enemy withdrawing slightly on their RIGHT and CENTRE. 70 Inf Bde had orders to send fwd recce patrols to investigate any possible withdrawal on their front. If recce patrols confirmed withdrawal fighting patrols were to be pushed fwd to regain contact with the enemy. Bde Comd agreed patrol bdy as follows between ITS and 47 Cdo - br 146669 along rd to Xrds 161675 all incl 47 Cdo. Bde Comd 4 SS Bde ordered units to stand by to carry out Op 'PADDLE'. Timing of patrols were co-ordinated to move fwd when 70 Inf Bde had orders from 49 Inf Div.
1400 - LO from 4 SS Bde to 70 Inf Bde to keep in picture and keep Comd 4 SS Bde informed of any orders or move.
1700 - No move by 70 Inf Bde. LO ordered to return.
1900 - Following signal received from 6 Airborne Div. Suspected enemy withdrawal on RIGHT of 49 Div. 49 Div withdrawing 1 Tyne Scot this evening. 70 Inf Bde and 11 D.L.I. moving out 160730B to form follow up force acting in area VIMONT - AIRAN thence NE 10 DLI under comd 147 Inf Bde to cover gap previously occupied by 70 Inf Bde. 6 Airborne Div southern bdy remains as at present. Armd Recce is NOT being moved to SOUTH flank and risk of penetration behind 4 SS Bde RIGHT rear is accepted. In view of this Bde Comd ordered units to carry out recce patrols.
16th August 1944
0800 - Extract from 4 SS Bde Sitrep 2000 - 0730 hrs
Slight mortaring and shelling. Intermittent MG fire and flares from FDLs at regular intervals gave impression enemy was jumpy. Slight enemy patrolling took place in front of 48 Cdo posn - enemy recce patrol approached a fwd post but retired when fired on. NO indication of enemy withdrawal evident, but horse drawn tpt was heard about 2230hrs. Enemy still in occupation of his FDLs at first lt though attempts to draw his fire failed. Patrol from approx hedgerow adjoining track at 156680 reported no mines or wire encountered in orchard but sounds of mov and coughing coming apparently from home side of bottom hedgerow. No enemy seen and patrol not fired on, but thought a listening post to be three or four strong inside orchard.
Extract from 4 SS Bde Sitrep 0800 - 2000hrs
2200 - Four enemy deserters POLES identified 1/346 Fus Bn. Subsequent to their arrest, enemy patrol of 4 observed in area 155687 presumably looking for the deserters. Spasmodic shelling and mortaring - on lower scale than usual. Recce patrols except those of 47 Cdo report enemy still in occupation of his FDLs NORTH from area 155675. SOUTH of this area, patrols made considerable penetration through known enemy FDLs which were found unoccupied and a firm base est. Regular attempts to draw fire brought reply only from one LMG post at 155677. Mov heard at this posn and the sound of digging immediately SOUTH. Between 1500hrs - 1745hrs enemy occupying FDLs along track 154677 - 154674. Generally thought enemy in less strength than usual. Teller and 'S' mines located in area 148760, 150669 - 152667.
17th August 1944
0700 - 41 Cdo reported that their recce patrol had been up to enemy FDLs and found them unoccupied; had returned. Battle patrol being sent out at 0700hrs. 41 Cdo warned to be prepared, on reaching X-rds 161676 to send fwd a further battle patrol (approx 40/50) in SE'ly direction to JADVILLE brs 186658. 41 to report as soon as X-rds 161676 is reached by battle patrol. 41 Cdo infm that 3 Para Bde have reached final objectives BURES and is pushing fwd fighting patrols.
0700 - Intercept from 3 Para Bde - final objectives occupied and fighting patrols being sent fwd. Units infm.
0715 - 48 Cdo patrol took over PICCADILLY CIRCUS from 3 Para Bde. Further patrol sent to wood 157688.
0650 - Bde Comd infm 6 A/B Div that once units had reported their patrols as reaching their objectives, he proposed sending further patrols through them SE to gain occupation of brs R MUANCE and COURS DE JANVILLE between 175644 and 187658. Suggested that Armd Recce Regt might be employed as a speedier means than our foot patrols - suggestion NOT enthusiastically received!!! 41 and 47 Cdo infm of this proposed intention and warned to have second battle patrol standing by to strike SE.
0715 - 47 Cdo battle patrols moving to X-tracks 157669 and ST PAIR, one via rd junc 155673 and one by track bend 158658.
0800 - 41 Cdo report atk mines at rd and track crossing 155676, but no a/pers mines located. SORE to arrange clearance. Bde Comd verbal orders to Bde HQ. Confirmatory notes att.
0900 - 46 Cdo in TROARN.
0945 - Bde Comd verbal orders to Bde HQ.
0930 - 47 Cdo in ST PAIR.
1010 - 41 Cdo REGENT.
1030 - 41 Cdo HAYMARKET.
1115 - 41 Cdo ST JAMES.
1130 - LO from A/B Recce said their task to link up 49 and 4 SS report lines FUSILIER WESTMINSTER & ST JAMES. BIO returned from 6 A/B confirmed LOs. 6 A/B Recce report that 4 SS to take up posn - ST PAIR - TROARN - ST SAMPSON. BM infm units 1200hrs - tried to contact Bde Comd and failed. Infm units of mov of recce and warned them they may have to draw in to new Bde area. Sunray contacted - 41 Cdo - GOCs (6 A/B) plan passed. Following pts. 47 Cdo to stand on FUSILIER (reached at 1215hrs). 41 Cdo to stand on WESTMINSTER and ST JAMES. 46 to stand on BRANDY. Reports to be fwd:- priority:- (1) State of brs (2) rds open for wheel vehs.
1245 - Sunray's instrs passed to units.
1300 - Sitrep passed to 48 Cdo.
1345 - 41 Cdo reported Br 186658 pass to INF only. Recceing to WHITEHALL and Br to NE. Rd TROARN - ST PAIR clear in centre for vehs. Fwd tp in WHITEHALL. Further infm re br to NE later.
1315 - 46 Cdo reported CLARET clear. Now withdrawing to BRANDY. 46 reported BRANDY clear. Rd block by fallen trees. Following demolition:-
WHISKEY breach 20'
GIN " 20'
Two BEERS intact
SHERRY Maj dem 60'
All passable to inf. RE rep carrying out recce dem. CRE there.
1445 - 41 Cdo reported enemy 800yds NE of WHITEHALL. No.5 Tp withdrawing to ST JAMES as ordered. 1 Tp est on WESTMINSTER.
18th August 1944
1900 - PW EWALD RATZ 7/857 GR taken at PONT DE JONVILLE 184650.
2000 - Sitrep 0.433 2000hrs - no change.
2035 - 'S' mines reported orchard 159683 and fd NE. Also on track running NE from bottom of orchard. Not yet cleared. Line of hedgerow from 158681 - 157684 believed to contain booby traps and 'S' mines.
2100 - I.150. Intrep. During past 36 hrs whole of 346 Div appears to have withdrawn with exception of delaying parties in following areas:- (1) LE HAIN 2167 (str unknown) (2) GOUSTRANVILLE 2271 (est str 1 Coy 60-70 men). Enemy has made very liberal use of mines and booby traps. Air cover shows digging in following areas:- 2376 - 2375 - 2472 - 2371. Notable increase in track activity on this high ground.
19th August 1944
0730 - Bde Comd's confirmatory orders for capture of DOZULE.
0815 - Time of move fwd to assembly area to be notified later.
0950 - Personnel at present at rest camp returning to units today.
1000 - Med sups to be collected by 1500hrs.
1100 - Patrol reports br 230767 and 50yds beyond under water 3 to 4 ft.
1200 - Patrol reports br 222700 also underwater to depth of over 4ft water extending 30yds either side of br. No mines encountered on tracks leading to brs from direction FERME-DU-CLOS-ARTHUR. Brs considered impassable to vehs owing to flooding. Brs appear to be intact, though under water.
1430 - Extracts from Intrep as at 1300hrs. PW captured on Div front total 98 so far. PW state DOZULE likely to be held and that there are atk guns in town. Late news at 1400hrs. Posns 5 Para Bde - 13 Para Bde area 255717 pushing fwd slowly against slightly reduced mortar and SA fire. 7 Para area 252719. 12 Para area 250715. Bde claims 100 PW - over 100 dead, with own cas, one killed one wounded, one slightly wounded. Jeep route rd track junc 232717 - br 236716 - rly at 244714. Likely identifications are Regts 711 Div incl PI Bde 711 Div. Thence church at PUTOT EN AUGE 247714.
1930 - Sitrep (.) fairly continuous shelling and mortaring in 47 Cdo area. Cas - 1 offr; 1 OR.
2030 - Confirmatory notes of 'O' Gp 1730hrs 19 Aug issued.
2210 - APIS. Digging in hedgerow 279743 to rd and hedge junc 280738. Gun posns 781740. Weapon pits 285741 - 285739. Sec posn astride track 264727. Digging 262713. Old trenches astride rd at 269729. Mortars 264735.
20th August 1944
0400 - 46 Cdo reached BLACKPOOL.
0802 - 48 Cdo reached WIGAN.
0625 - 41 Cdo arrived 247707 at 0610hrs. Tp locns - A Tp 246706; B Tp track 248707; P Tp orchard 247708; X Tp hedge 249709; Y Tp hedge 251708; S Tp 247709; 22 set dis tempy.
0910 - 48 Cdo first bound 267704 reached at 0850 'B' Only. Party of enemy with atk gun reported just to left. No jeep track direct but hope to find one through 273702. Area comd dominant view to EAST and SOUTH and consider it important held firmly. Suggest 41 be sent here earliest. Now sending fighting patrols to 273702 with object of finding jeep track.
1005 - Civ report. Enemy left this posn early morning 19th, but returned lunchtime same day. Condition very tired. Gun unknown type was at 277718. At 0845 today about 100 Germans mostly on pushbikes with 1 gun left area moving EAST along rd from 286705 - 283704. Enemy now reported in School ST JOUIN and probably ST LEGERE DUBOSQ. Area DOZUDE (?) REUVERON 2568 reported to be clear. Recent enemy posns seen by us running NORTH SOUTH from 271706 to 271703. Occupied during night. Ashes etc fresh.
1050 - Instrs to Bde Comd from GOC 6 A/B att.
1206 - Civ report 4 civs of village at ST JOUIN report enemy billetted in houses and using schoolyard as park. 4-whld armd vehs at 0900hrs. 10 enemy left village leaving 10 armd cars in school yard. Civ had been in village at ST LESURE 1130 and saw enemy loading hy vehs. Report number of white RUSSIANS with enemy and that enemy wear white square on upper sleeve and red piping on shoulder straps.
1300 - Disposn own tps at 1230hrs - 46 Cdo digging in on spur round Pt 112 263720 feature captured approx 0430hrs this morning approx 17 PW taken. 48 Cdo captured spur 244704 approx ? hrs.
1630 - 41 46 47 48 infm SAS tps may pass through lines giving passwords DODO or PANSY. Pass to Div for identification.
1620 - 41 Cdo report 2 PW - Offr Staff III/731 KOCKS. 1 OR captured by Y Tp.
1845 - 41 Cdo report 2 PW taken at 278715 at approx 1845hrs - 6/1711 AR. 4 guns 15cm nr PANNIERS.
2100 - Two PW picked up at 41 Cdo area in square 2772. Belong to GAF Div. Also French civ who claims to be patriot.
2113 - 41 Cdo report rocket bty thought to be at X-rds 277737.
2 PW picked up at 275710 at 1315hrs 9 Bty/1711 Arty Regt. 3 guns in bty. 40 men calibre 10cm. 1 PW picked up at 263717 at 1410hrs 4/744 Gren Regt.
1440 - 48 Cdo now at PANNIER. 68 Set not working. Request infm of 41 Cdo as to our posn and 41 Cdo to come here and take over immediately.
1615 - Locn of units fwd as follows - 47 215707; 41 267705; 48 276714; HQ 256710; 46 - 261721. 41 Cdo report five PW taken by protective patrol incl one offr wounded. Enemy mortaring from Pt. 134 at 1020 causing 7 cas incl 1 offr. PRIMROSE occupied 1715hrs.
1732 - 47 Cdo HQ est 262716. Intend register mortars approx 1830hrs.
1815 - 41 Cdo report documents taken by a patriot from Coy HQ at approx 279709. Unsorted except for 2 pencil documents indicating routes of withdrawal and locn and marked maps. Fwd to 6 A/B Div - plus Arty Scale m/s TOO.1950.
1930 - 47 Cdo report move to new posn successfully completed. One enemy sniper claimed shot. One enemy PW. One own cas.
2015 - Written m/s from GOC 6 A/B Div re night attack att Appx 'E'. 5 Para Bn report 2pls 7 Bn begin to clear down rd 248724 - 253725. 1125hrs left pl reached rd. 1320hrs mortars fired on this target. 1430hrs enemy cleared from bldgs on NORTH side of rd. Own cas 1 killed, 3 wounded. Enemy cas from this op estimated 6 killed 1 PW 711 Pnr Bn. 13 Bn 1810hrs patrol discovered house on track bend 255723 occupied by enemy str approx 1 pl. An attempt will be made to occupy this house tonight. Intermittent bouts of shelling throughout the day mainly in area Bde HQ and 12 Bn.
2030 - 41 Cdo report enemy guns blown up nr CHURCH in town approx 2015hrs. PW taken are mostly arty personnel used as inf. Own tps at rd junc 274723 and sub units at rd junc 274723 and sub units at rd junc 277722. Remainder at PRIMROSE with one sub unit at Pt.134. Cas - 2 slightly wounded during taking of DAISY.
2239 - 47 Cdo request 2 det tps of 41 are made aware of approach of their relief.
2330 approx - 46 Cdo report sound of tracked vehs from direction of town. Fire at approx 263732.
21st August 1944
0010 - Bde Comd out with 47 Cdo.
0230 - 48 Cdo took rd junc 288726. HQ at 287727. Ldg Tp at 280734. Patrol to orchard 280736 heard tpt and marching personnel moving EAST from DOZULE. Also loud explosion thought to be br demolitions. 2 PW taken in area at 1900hrs. One wounded at 277710.
0746 - 47 Cdo request that det tps may revert to comd.
0730 - 47 Cdo report intermittent shelling of cdo area during night - otherwise NIL.
0830 - 41 Cdo report orchards NORTH side of rd in DOZULE searched from line of stream running SE from 266739 to orchard WEST of the town about 255730. Hy shelling prevented a detailed search of bldgs in the NW of the town. Own cas on mopping up party 3 serious 1 slight. 1 PW taken. Patrol sec strength est 270733 and about 261727 remainder of cdo withdrawn to ST LEGER DUBOSQ.
1030 - 47 Cdo report PW 6 Bty/1711 AR taken in DOZULE area 0600hrs. Confirmatory notes of 3 Para Bde OO No.3 received.
1300 - Maps and docs picked up at 277733 by 48 Cdo.
1300 - Two civs walked into HQ. One without identity card. This man has infm re gun areas at BONNEBOSCH 4393 and CAMBREMER 4090.
2 POLISH PW sent to Div 7/731 GR and 6/1711 AR.
1305 - 48 Cdo HQ est 282732 at 1020hrs.
Two PW. One from HQ Coy 731 GR captured at 277734 approx 0900hrs. Other from 7/857 GR captured by AARR at 263684 approx 1330hrs.
1535 - Units told to report gun locns immediately on capture, also details of enemy eqpt and pieces found. Date, time and place must be given with all infm.
1215 - ISUM 6. From captured orders dated 16 and 17 Aug for 731 GR following infm. 711 Div holding line of hills from BEUVRON 2668. Right - 744 GR less I Bn from incl CRIQUEVILLE 2574 to sea. Left - 731 GR consisting of III/731 GR and I/744 GR. Involved in present battle are I/744 GR from whom 89 PW have been taken - present str now estimated 60 men and III/731 GR str given by captured orderly offr as 65. III/731 GR moved NORTH night 19 Aug and took up posns covering DOZULE. Retired when we attacked early morning 20 Aug. PW did not know present posns but assumed still defending DOZULE. In addition on DOZULE front PW taken from one coy from II/744 GR and two coys from III/744 GR. Not known whether these rep whole coy or are merely rfts for I/744 GR. EAST of DOZULE 1 Coy 711 Pnr Bn WE 200 men. 1 pl sent to counter attack this line 19 Aug badly mauled. In 744 GR sector III/744 left assumed covering VACAVILLE brs. Arty area ST LEGERE, DUBOSQ 2772 stated by PW also evac night 19/20. Arty area CR de L'ARBRE - DOUVILLE most active today (20 Aug). Own tps report possibly one coy sp by mortars holding rd junc 268687 and area 270673 - 275673 strongly held. STOP PRESS. PW has stated 9/744 on hill 248743 - 10/744 hill BRUCOURT - 11/744 PERIERS. Atk guns on rd below hill 248743.
2045 approx - 47 Cdo reported 150?mm gun area DOZULE 268729 not blown by enemy.
1930 - Following eqpt reported captured by 48 Cdo in area 283727. 3 Limbers 7 whld waggons 13 horses. Approx 12 dumps of rocket projector amn. Evac enemy guns sites at 270710 and 295721.
22nd August 1944
1105 - Warning Order (.) whole Bde at 15mins notice to move further EAST.
1305 - Units will move to following locns - 46 Cdo area track junc 503024. 48 Cdo bldg 499029. 47 Cdo track junc 506021. 41 Cdo track junc 508027. Areas not firm but units may send recce parties fwd to area. 'O' Gp at 1345hrs at track junc 508027. Move details follow.
1230 - 46 Cdo HQ est 430015.
1235 - 47 Cdo reported located demolished enemy SP Rocket Projector WORFKORPER 28 cm frames intact in fmyd 438009.
1525 - 4 SS Bde HQ closes present locn. Reopens 502023.
1557 - 47 Cdo in posn. HQ est 506021. Place of disposn will be sent in by orderly. Recce of feature 116-519015 being made.
1614 - 47 Cdo reported that there is an OP in the bld 506202.
1700 - Bde Comd attending GOC's 'O' Gp.
1630 - 46 Cdo HQ est 503024.
1725 - 48 Cdo dispersed around X-rds 487025. Tp recce being carried out.
1730 - 41 Cdo HQ est at track junc 513030 at 1730hrs.
1815 - Civs report large enemy guns at track junc 592067 also possible enemy HQ in Rly tunnel between 5906 and 6102.
1916 - 47 Cdo patrol reports high ground SE own posn clear of enemy. Occupied by own tp.
2000 - 48 Cdo sitrep 2000hrs. New locns as under - HQ 498019; A - 493024; B - 497023; X - 501026; Y - 497026; Z - 495018.
2300 - Civ reports. ONE - Teller mines rear Church 519038 - not wired. TWO - 500 metres to rt of rd on NORTH side of river - mined Atk - again NOT wired. THREE - in Bank several MGs (.) FOUR - 3-4 kilos from PONT L'EVEQUE towards ST JULIEN rd in fds on each side. Atk guns dug in and dugouts.
23rd August 1944
0615 - 41 Cdo report enemy activity confined to mortaring and shelling by long range guns - no cas.
0655 - 6 A/B Div with Bde Comd to attend conference at Div at 0900hrs.
0720 - 46 Cdo report shelling rd area by long range gun. 3 cas.
0800 - 48 Cdo report shelling caused one cas. Bearings taken on gun flash indicated gun at or near CAUDRAY - RABUT 5105. Several shells thought to be from own guns failing to clear crest.
2100 - Bde area mortared and shelled particularly 41 Cdo area. Cas - 1 offr and 6 ORs wounded. Further 1 offr and 6 ORs evac.
24th August 1944
0845 - Situation during night - Enemy activity on Bde front confined to mortaring and shelling - particularly 41 area. Own tps stood by to carry out river crossing op which was later cancelled by Div. Unidentified a/c dropped flares over approx area 5402 at 0400hrs. Hy explosions and fires over wide area NORTH and NE from PONT L'EVEQUE about 5/10 miles distant. Started 0645hrs.
1210 - Warning order. Enemy has withdrawn from PONT L'EVEQUE. 4 SS Bde at four hours for steam.
0200 - PW for day 23rd - 53. Med channels had 47 PW. Total now 547 since 16 Aug. Civ report that RUSSIANS holding EAST bank TOUQUES at TROUVILLE and 4906, believed these tps are 643 OST Bn who were withdrawn from TROARN area and sent to man defs at HONFLEUR. Same source states 5 guns along to 496063. Own patrols report enemy pl str in wood 479081. Thought enemy holding rly line here to SOUTH 346 Div on river line LISIEUX northwds.
2125 - Units warned unofficial forecast. NO move likely tonight. Bde still at 4hrs notice to be prepared to move early tomorrow. Possible allocation of 10 TCVs or 3 tonners.
25th August 1944
1415 - 5 Italian Alpine Div named PUSTERIA identified at 584063. 8 Coy 57 Inf Div - 4 Bty Arty Regt and med man of div identified.
1315 - 46 Cdo report enemy at X-rds 639069.
1330 - 46 Cdo report enemy encountered 640062 - 643064.
1345 - 41 Cdo report tin cans in front 41 Cdo at ONION.
1350 - 46 Cdo report Proceedings towards GRASS.
1910 - 41 Cdo HQ est houses 633074.
1930 - 48 Cdo report. Civs report white house 679021 contains about 30 enemy. Also in area 4 - 6 pieces lt arty and some MGs.
2005 - 46 Cdo report enemy have withdrawn. We are in contact with our neighbours.
2005 - 48 Report they are moving fwd. Will have more infm later.
1440 - Enemy in some strength 644072. Held up immediately south of this posn. Request assistance.
1705 - Fwd tps at BRASS.
2130 - 48 report very near to BRASS. Have requested a guide to rd.
2200 - Deserter picked up at 650057 belongs 7/744 GR. States coy withdrawing tonight to R. SEINE. Only have MGs and small arms. Withdrawal started 1800hrs.
2230 - 48 Cdo taken over 46 Cdo area - task on BRASS. Tps deployed 639608 - 644068 - 646071 - 644073 and 643074. HQ 643071.
26th August 1944
1030 - Locns of units - 48 Cdo 691108; 46 Cdo 634075; 47 Cdo 722105; 41 Cdo 690110.
1020 - Locn 46 Cdo 696096.
27th August 1944
28th August 1944
Quiet day. PLYMOUTH Band arriving tomorrow.
1000 - PW score for day - 31. Enemy in civ clothes still continue to be picked up in area. 331 Inf Div still appear now to hold SOUTH flank of pocket between FORET de MONTFORT and FORET DE LA LONDE. Many GERMANS believed harbouring in woods and FORET DE BRETONNE. PARIS now firmly under Allied control now having two divs within city. Between SEINE and RISLE thought to be between 20 and 30 thousand enemy. This infm dated 25 Aug and it is now thought that the majority of personnel have got across SEINE. Much eqpt has been destroyed however. 49 Div firmly est in PONT AUDEMER. More detailed infm later.
2130 - COs conference arranged this HQ at 290930.
29th August 1944 (date not named in diary but assumed)
0945 - 41 46 48 instructed to each accommodate tonight Wed for sleeping only 15 OR of PLYMOUTH BAND. Blankets not required. Guides to report this HQ at 2000hrs.
1755 - Warning Order - Bde will move by TCVs tomorrow, probable time of move 1000hrs. Recce parties stand by to move tonight. Details later.
4 SS BDE OO No.2
1. Enemy Posts with 6-8 LMG's, one 81cm Mortar, possibly one lt AA gun have been located by patrols on line of hedge 146766 - rd at 141771.
2. 47 (RM) Cdo will attack and destroy posts on line of hedge 146766 - rd at 141771.
3. Preliminary Moves
(a) 46 (RM) Cdo will take over area at present occupied by 47 (RM) Cdo by 182045 B.
(b) O Gp 46 (RM) Cdo will RV at HQ 47 (RM) Cdo 1000 hrs to go round 47 (RM) Cdo posns by tps. On completion O Gps of both units will return to 46 (RM) Cdo posn and turn over.
(c) 1200 hrs Tp FOO gps 46 (RM) Cdo RV at Tp HQ's 47 (RM) Cdo. On completion Tp O gps to 46 (RM) Cdo.
(d) Res Tps will take over by 1600 hrs, after which res tps of 47 (RM) Cdo will be conc in rear.
(e) Fwd Tps will take over by 2045 hrs.
(f) Final details will be settled at O Gp 180830 B.
(g) On completion of attack 47 (RM) Cdo will move into 46 (RM) Cdo area.
4. Outline of Cdo Plan
(a) Frontage Two Tps fwd on frontage of approx 300 yds with LEFT flank just SOUTH of rd from rd junc 138772 - rd 147776.
(b) SL Line of track from track Y 138767 - rd junc 138772.
FIRE PLAN (see trace P att)
5. In Sp One fd regt, One lt regt.
6. Registration Will take place 18 Jun with AOP spotting. Exact time will be notified. All Tps will be warned of presence of AOP in area.
7. Dividing Line for Sp Fire Wood corner 147772 - track to wood corner 140767.
8. Concs Line concs will be fired - within dividing line by Lt and Fd Regts on following posns:-
COW Wood corner 146767 - track junc 143768 - rd at 141772.
LION Hedge corner 147769 - rd at 143773
TIGER Wood 148771 - rd and wood junc 144773
9. DF Tasks To be fired by Lt Regt on call - one minute normal:-
DF 1 WOOD 148773
DF 2 Line of stream 147767 - 149770
10. Smoke Strongpt 139776 will be smoked off by mortars
11. Centaurs will be prepared to fire on strongpt 139776
Z minus 2 to Z plus 1
Z plus 1 to Z plus 4
Repeat on call if required
Z plus 4 to Z plus 7
13. FOO's One from each Lt and Fd Regt to report to HQ 4 SS Bde 132766 by 181800 B.
14. Air Sp F/Bombers are being asked for to engage enemy btys ONLY as opportunity targets to be in area 182115 B - 182800 B.
15. Bombline Rd from x rds 143751 - 169791.
16. WT. One to one link Cdo HQ to Bde Comd. Post in Bde B Wave with 68 set.
Issued 180200 B
BM 4 SS Bde
4 SS Bde O.O. No.3
1. 4 SS Bde will secure left flank of 6 Airborne Div.
2. Policy for Def
(a) Posns will be held where sited and will be regained by immediate counter-attack if lost.
(b) There will be no unit counter-attack to regain lost ground except by the res Cdo (See para 7).
(c) Bde Comd will order counter-attacks into sub unit areas except as provided in para 7.
(d) The sp Cdo will not be used complete to restore the situation if SALLENELLES feature is lost.
Note: Since Cdos will change over posns following letters have been used for units for easy ref:
A Cdo - Right front SALLENELLES feature.
B Cdo - Left front SALLENELLES feature.
C Cdo - Sp Cdo.
D Cdo - Res Cdo in rest area.
3. Sectors and Tasks
(a) A Cdo - RIGHT from incl rd 131763 - excl rd 132768. Task - to deny high ground SOUTH SALLENELLES to enemy.
(b) B Cdo - LEFT from incl rd 132768 to excl rd 131763. Tasks - (i) to deny high ground SW SALLENELLES to enemy. (ii) to restore situation in A Cdo by limited counter-attack.
(c) C Cdo - From excl stream 129765 - excl QUARRIES 121758. Task - To provide depth for Bde posn. To prevent infiltration through or round left flank of No.4 Cdo. To hold the HAUGER feature from excl HAUGER to incl rd junc about 123760.
FDLs will incl
(a) A Cdo House 131763 - stream 136766 - excl rd at 132768.
(b) B Cdo Incl rd 132768 - orchard 128766.
(c) C Cdo Orchard 125761 - 121760 -
D Cdo will be in Bde res and will be in rest area along track 117753.
6. (a) A Cdo with B Cdo. HOUSE 131763 and rd at 132768.
(b) B Cdo with C Cdo. Rd at 127766.
(c) C Cdo with No.4 Cdo. Track at 126759.
7. Counter Attack
(a) B Cdo Not more than one Tp to restore situation in A Cdo on call from Bde HQ.
(b) C Cdo (i) Not more than one Tp to restore left flank ONLY of B Cdo on call from Bde HQ. (ii) Not more than two Tps to restore or reoccupy posn occupied by No.4 Cdo on orders from Bde HQ or if comns are not working on direct request from No.4 Cdo.
(c) D Cdo Will be prepared to counter-attack complete on orders from Bde HQ to restore situation or to recapture SALLENELLES feature.
DF, SOS, and harassing fire tasks see Appx A.
9. Control of Fire
Will be through Bde HQ where possible in order to cover Bde resources. FOO will be provided for A Cdo when possible.
10. A Tk
Resources will be disposed to cover Tk runs at a) WESTERN exits BOIS DU BUISSON. b) Low ground NW rd SALLENELLES - PONT TOURNANT 1074.
FOB's with 46, 48 RM Cdos will be prepared to engage with harassing fire targets at:-
Strong point - 141790
Mortar posn - 143781
MERVILLE BTY - 155776
Strong point - 139775
No minefds will be laid without ref to SORE who will be responsible for plotting and recording. For minefd layout see Trace P.
13. Road Blocks
will be sited on all rds leading into the posn by units responsible for the rd.
Time to be closed
On orders from Bde HQ
On orders from Bde HQ
Maj, BM 4 SS Bde
22 Jun 44
S.O.S. and D.F. TASKS
(Issued in conjunction with 4 SS Bde OO No3)
1. S.O.S. TASKS
Line of Stream from br 136767 to 200 yds North
211 Lt Bty
2 mins intense
Concs laid on SOS tasks during night and when not otherwise engaged. All available guns.
Gap in wood 137763 - x tracks 138767
2 RMAS Regt
2 mins intense
Concs laid on SOS tasks during night and when not otherwise engaged. All available guns.
2. DF TASKS
211 Lt Bty
5 mins normal
211 Lt Bty
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
5 mins normal
Les Marmiers 144771
211 Lt Bty
2 Tps 2 RMAS Regt
5 mins normal
Hedge Line 140774
211 Lt Bty
Franceville Plage (Strongpoint) 141781
211 Lt Bty
Bois du Buisson 140763
211 Lt Bty
With consent of 1 SS Bde
211 Lt Bty
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
5 mins normal
211 Lt Bty
5 mins normal
211 Lt Bty
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
5 mins normal
X Tracks 138767
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
5 mins normal
Track junc 137764
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
Two Tps 2 RMAS Regt
With Bde Comd Post OC 2 RMAS Regt, FOO 211 Lt Bty
With 46 (RM) Cdo FOO 2 RMAS Regt
With 48 (RM) Cdo FOO 2 RMAS Regt
4. NAVAL TASKS
(a) FOB's will be prepared to engage at shortest possible notice:-
LES MARMIERS 144771
(b) FOB's are allotted 46 and 48 (RM) Cdo's each one.
(Issued in conjunction with 4 SS Bde OO No 3)
1. DF TASKS
Wood corner 139762 - wood and track junc 140767
Track line from x tracks 138767 - rd and track junc 138772
150 Fd Regt.
150 Fd Regt.
Calls for DF fire will be passed through Bde HQ.
2. SOS Task
One bty 150 Fd Regt will lay on DF 317 when not otherwise engaged.
3. Harassing and Counter Mortar Fire
Counter mortar org is now working. Arty will engage enemy mortars and bty posns as plots are made. Following targets which are partly CB and CM tasks have been registered by 150 Fd Regt as harassing tasks.
Emplacement in Dunes
X rds Franceville Plage
Front edge of wood
DEF OF BRS OVER R ORNE and CAEN CANAL
4 SS Bde Op Instr No 1
(Issued in conjunction with 4 SS Bde OO No 3)
1. 4 SS Bde is responsible for the def of the br at 115763.
2. 101 sub area is responsible for the security and provision of gds on the brs at OUISTREHAM 118787.
3. All the above brs have been prepared for demolition, and firing parties 263 Fd Coy 12 Corps RE are stationed nearby.
4. D Cdo (48 RM Cdo 23 - earliest 29 Jun) will provide a guard of not less than 1 offr and 30 ORs for def of br 115763. Guard will be responsible for def of br against ground attack, sabotage or para ldgs.
(a) OC D Cdo will reinforce the gd on br 115763 up to two tps at his discretion in case of alarm and without ref to Bde Comd. Bde Comd will be infm of action taken.
(b) In the event of line and WT comns between D Cdo and Bde HQ being broken OC D Cdo may commit whole Cdo to def of brs without ref to Bde Comd. He will infm Bde Comd by LO or DR as soon as he has made this decision.
6. Orders for blowing Br Bde Comd will issue orders for blowing br by LO or DR to Comd RE Firing party. AFW 4012 B is att.
7. Relief of D Cdo When D Cdo is relieved this commitment will be handed over to the incoming unit. AFW 4012 B will be suitably amended and Comd RE Firing Party will be infm.
8. Comns Bde Sigs Offr will arrange to lay line from HQ D Cdo to br 115763. This line will be manned at all times by guard from D Cdo.
Maj, BM 4 SS Bde
COUNTER MORTAR ORG
(a) Three counter mortar sound and flash spotting OPs have been est on each 1 SS Bde and 4 SS Bde fronts at:-
1 SS Bde
4 SS Bde
(b) DOG OP will be est 2 or 3 days per week at 140736 and at other times may be est closer to own lines. It is essential that the plotting centre be informed as to which OP is in use each day and that the OP informs the plotting centre of the exact map ref.
(c) Any move of other OPs will be reported at once to the Plotting Centre giving exact location.
(d) OPs less DOG OP will be manned 24 hrs per day. DOG OP times of manning:- 0430 hrs - 2300 hrs.
2. PLOTTING CENTRE
Will be manned by HQ 4 SS Bde and RA personnel att and will be est at HOUSE 131765.
(a) Will contain following infm ONLY:- Time, Post Letter, Bearing in degrees mag to sound or flash.
(b) Reports will be headed MORTAR REP or SHELLREP as required.
(c) Reports will be passed at once to plotting centre in order that posns may be fixed as quickly as possible and CB/CM procedure initiated without delay.
Each OP will keep a log with the following headings:-
Date/Time Mag Bearing Shell/Mortar Remarks
When a unit is relieved, OP will be handed over as a commitment to incoming unit.
(a) OPs, DOG, EASY, FOX are connected by line on a separate circuit at HQ 4 SS Bde. This circuit can be connected to main exchange if required.
(b) To call Plotting Centre on the above circuit the OP will ring in normal way - one ring. To call other OPs on the circuit following rings will be made by Plotting Centre or OPs
DOG - 2 rings
EASY - 3 rings
FOX - 4 rings
(c) Calls from OPs ABLE, BAKER, CHARLIE will be connected to Plotting Centre only by main exchange 4 SS Bde. These calls will not be connected to Comd Post.
7. SPECIAL ORDERS DOG OP
(a) C Cdo will provide a standing patrol of not more [?] to protect DOG OP from a.m. 27 JUN. Patrol will withdraw if attacked. Time out - 0430 hrs. Time in - 2300 hrs.
(b) DOG OP will be responsible for bringing in OP telephone at 2300 hrs and turning it over to OP going out the following day.
(c) DOG OP on returning will cut telephone line within A Cdo's lines in order to prevent enemy interference. A simple junction is being installed by Bde Sigs offr in right fwd tp area of A Cdo.
Maj, BM 4 SS Bde
HQ 4 SS BRIGADE
HOSTILE MORTAR AND HOSTILE BATTERY LIST
4 SS No.
? 15cm N of rd junc suspect
? 15cm do.
? 15cm do.
7.5cm suspect in area x rds
? Type suspect
? Type -
? Type suspect
? Type -
? Type suspect
? Type -
? Type suspect
? Type suspect
? Type suspect
? Type suspect. Shot at 25/26
? Type suspect. do.
? 88m suspect. do.
? Type suspect
? " strong suspect
" " "
" " "
" suspect in wood
? " suspect in wood N & S of houses
10.5 or 12.8 or 8.5 suspect
V Strong Suspect
? 8.1 Suspect
? 10.5 "
? 10.5 "
? 10.5 "
? 10.5 "
? 8.1 or 10.5 "
? 8.1 or 10.5 "
6 Airborne Div No.
HM 108 (a)
Notes:- (a) Confirmed by 6 Airborne Div. Nos 1 to 20 have been submitted to 6 Airborne Div. Nos 21 to 35 have not yet been submitted for confirmation.
Extracts From RA 6 AIRBORNE DIV HOSTILE BTY AND MORTAR LIST No 1 (incl amdts)
1. HOSTILE MORTARS
E N Ht
17110 77500 5
16630 74560 10
16780 74560 15
15330 72860 37
14880 72530 46
15600 74000 15
16390 73050 35m
16190 73000 22m
16370 73330 18m
15900 73100 30m
16200 72100 28m
15700 71400 32m
16500 73900 10m
15660 72580 30m
14390 75100 35m
15350 70600 38m
4 mortars or guns )
6 mortars ) Engaged 22 Jun
10 mortars )
mortars ) Engaged 23 Jun
mortars (possibly guns) )
2. HOSTILE BATTERIES - FIXED
24900 77900 110
14910 74940 35
15480 78280 10
15590 76170 20
15570 77540 13
13560 78930 5
19180 73120 10
16630 74590 10
16780 73120 15
2548 7838 110
2889 7805 130
15260 76200 20m
16780 66830 20m
14700 79200 5m
13380 78950 0m
1861 7367 10m
15950 76760 8m
1811 7325 30m
2017 7135 15m
Field or A/Tk Gun
4 or 5 Fd
10 Hy Mortars
4 Med (155mm how?)
1 x 105 or 150mm
PATROL REPORT on FIGHTING PATROL
By 46 RM Cdo 24 JUN 44
1. To shoot up enemy post at 141771.
2. Covering Party B Tp, MMG Sec
3. Fire Unit X Tp less one sec.
4. Assault Z Tp less one sec.
5. (a) One enemy listening post at 140709 was knocked out.
(b) Enemy forward weapon pits on line of hedge 141771 were found to be either unoccupied or not to open fire. These posts were occupied when 47 RM Cdo attacked 18 JUN and are known to be occupied by day.
(c) No gaps were found in suspected minefd forward of Hedge 141771 but three men passed through boundary fence and suspected minefd without injury.
(d) Posn to rear of hedge 141771 appears to be more strongly manned than when attacked a week ago.
(e) Enemy mortars were slow in firing DF tasks due probably to arty conc fired on suspected mortar posn 148768.
(f) There is an enemy post about 140774 with fixed lines on rd to SALLENELLES.
(g) Considerable LMG fire from strongpoint 139777 can be brought to bear on to area 140772.
No definite infm.
B Tp took up covering posn on line of track 138767 - 138771 at 2315 hrs. Shortly afterwards MMG sec took up fire posn at wood cover 138766. Assault force with Z Tp leading crossed SL about 0005 hrs and moved into orchard. Force then split Z Tp incl party to search for gap, in minefd going left just SOUTH of rd and X Tp moving towards track bend 132769. Enemy had not opened fire when Z Tp were up to minefd, although CO thought patrol must have been spotted. He then ordered fire to be opened to cover party searching for gap. Enemy replied with LMGs from posns about 20 yds in rear of hedge and from track 141788, he also put up flares. Listening post was then spotted at 140709 and put out by direct hit from 2" mortar at low angle. X Tp engaged enemy on track at 40 yds both sides firing tracer. Enemy fire was very high. Fire then opened by enemy from strongpoint with LMGs and along line of rd. All this fire was high. Gapping party could find no gap so went forward through minefd and found several empty weapon slits. Heavy fire from LMGs was coming from posns 20 yds further on and men had to crawl due to very heavy SA fire. Arty concs were called for on strongpoint on wood 148768 and fired. As soon as enemy posts EAST of hedge 141771 opened fired 2" mortar HE was put down on them. Results not observed. Being unable to find gap through which to pass, Z Tp brought fire to bear with Brens all along enemy posns. Own Bren teams using dark ignition tracer concentrated on firing low and it is thought that results were obtained. CO hearing that a small number had got through minefd and had found objective empty, ordered withdrawal. The enemy made no attempt to follow up the raid with an attack but retaliated with considerable mortar fire and some shelling from the general direction of LES MARMIERS until about 0200 hrs. One very slight cas resulted from this fire but was not evacuated.
[Signed Campbell] Maj
BM 4 SS Bde
In the Field
25 JUN 44
1. The line of enemy F.D.L.s reported previously was confirmed.
2. The enemy LMGs have been re-distributed (or strengthened?) to cover the rd SALLENELLES - MERVILLE.
3. The AP minefd wants further investigation.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE SEA PASSAGE AND LANDING
1. Embarkation Plan
The Bde Comd, GSO III and one signalman were embarked with HQ 8 Inf Bde on HMS WAVENEY in order that Bde Comd should be fully infm on the situation on the beach at the earliest moment and thus be in a posn to switch the landing of Bde HQ and 48 RM Cdo to WHITE beach if required. The remainder of Bde HQ, Bde Sigs Tp, LAD less dets landing with units and with FS personnel, Army Film Unit personnel att were embarked in two LCI(S).
Embarkation was carried out at HMS TORMENTOR WARSASH at 1600 hrs 5 June. The large number of motor cycles, WT handcarts and bicycles embarked caused concern amongst the RN personnel as experience had proved that they were slow to disembark, which necessitated the craft waiting on the beach for three or four minutes. At this stage, RN personnel had not been briefed and were not to be briefed until the convoy had passed the SPITHEAD Gate as in the event of cancellation they might have to go ashore. Mil personnel had been fully briefed on BOGUS maps in the Marshalling Area. Orders were issued immediately that no discussions would take place.
3. Action on Board
Maps were sorted out as early as possible after embarkation. These had been provided in sealed packets for each craft. All offrs were given a copy of the "real" map and marked their maps while waiting for the convoy to sail. All gear (handcarts, mc etc) was stowed and lashed on deck in positions where it was easily available and from where it could be landed in the right order. As soon as the convoy sailed, maps were distributed and final orders issued. This included a discussion on the real maps, check on equipment and beaching drill. Anti-sea-sickness tablets were issued.
4. The Passage
As soon as the craft were outside the SPITHEAD, the sea increased and the craft which have very shallow draught, moved and rolled considerably. Men began to feel sick but staying on deck in the open was not comfortable owing to the spray. Anti-seasickness tablets were of ranging efficacy but certainly saved some. More than two thirds of the men embarked were seasick before the landing. This condition was due to the lack of practice in these craft and it is recommended that all ranks should during training go to sea in craft at frequent intervals. The passage was uneventful and the waiting position was reached about 0600 6 Jun. The morning was not the best for a supported landing. A fairly heavy sea was running, and there was a low ceiling of thick cloud. At 0645 the attack on the beach defs by med bombers was due to start, but no aircraft were heard. At this time, Bde HQ were estimated to be about four miles off shore. At 0715 approx, shelling commenced but appeared to be somewhat lacking in the volume and confidence which was expected by those who had watched rehearsal exercises of the run-in bombardment by Assault Forces. Visibility was poor, and it was obvious that observation must be extremely difficult and also that many of the support craft were running behind the timed schedule. Between 0730 and 0740 a message was intercepted on craft serial 1519 that H hr was to be delayed ten minutes, but as the craft approached the shore and several flotillas of LCA could be seen making heavy weather and still a good 1000 yds out within ten minutes of H hr; it was clear that the delay would be actually greater. There seemed to be some confusion about this ten minutes delay, as the firing of the LCT(R)s which should have been concentrated into a very short period just before H hr, actually continued spasmodically for considerably longer. At 0810 approx, reports of the first touch down were received on the Div 'A' wave from 7 and 8 Cdn Inf Bdes. A few minutes later, further reports indicated that the landings on the left (NAN RED Beach) were more successful than those on WHITE and GREEN beaches. At 0810 hrs also, the 6 LCI(S) carrying 48 RM Cdo which was in company left the waiting posn to start their run in. It was estimated that the run in would take 35-40 mins. At 0830 hrs Bde HQ in two craft (Serials 1519 and 1520) started to run in. At 0835 hrs a wireless intercept was heard on the Div A wave giving infm that res craft had touched down between 0835 and 0850. Every effort was made to pass this infm by wireless to 48 RM Cdo without success. At about 0850 hrs when about 2000 yds off the beach it was possible to distinguish [?] the church tower of BERNIERES SUR MER to the west and ST AUBIN SUR MER to the [east?] and course was changed to make a landfall at the point on RED beach previously [marked?] from maps and photographs. From this time on, the beach silhouettes provided [by?] both RN and Army were of the greatest value. At 0855 hrs when about 100 yds offshore, 2 LCI(S) which had landed 48 RM Cdo were seen coming off, others could be seen on or near the beach about 300 yds to the [west?] of the point intended for Bde HQ landing. As the craft closed the beach a group of men could be seen standing in the shelter of the sea wall and it appeared that there was little enemy activity. The width of the beach was only about 15 yds instead of 150 yds as expected due to rough weather. The craft beached, ramps were shoved out but RN ratings who should have steadied them on the beach failed to do this with the result that with continual movement of the ramps by the waves, landing of motor cycles and handcarts was extremely slow and difficult. As the first men came ashore an MG opened up from the window of houses on top of the sea wall causing few casualties and thereafter there was sniping until after about 4-5 minutes, Oerlikon fire from the craft silenced the enemy. Due to bad conditions on the ramps, the time taken to offload all stores from craft was 10-12 minutes as opposed to 4-5 minutes made under best circumstances. It is worth recording here that LCI(S) are not considered suitable for landing of Bde HQ with heavy stores. The narrow ramps are suitable for the passage of inf only when not encumbered with handcarts, mc etc. Had the landing been opposed by determined MG fire from even a pair of MGs it would not have been possible to land the eqpt required for communication within the Bde. As they landed, personnel took cover in the lee of the sea wall, and a party was sent in to report the first lateral road clear and groups moved up to assemble along the line of the road, which had a bank on the enemy side. It was about 30 minutes after touching down before HQ moved off to its first posn, but the delay was due to a wait while sub units of 48 RM Cdo which were lost were passed through to their assembly areas. First position was reached at 1010 hrs and HQ set up. Bde Comd, GSO III and one signalman landed with HQ 8 Cdn Inf Bde. An account of their ldg is att as Annex I to this appx.
Annex I to Appx 'E'
[The?] Bde Comd, GSO III and one signalman from Bde Signal Troop embarked in HMS WAVENEY on the afternoon of 4 Jun. The WAVENEY sailed from SOTON WATER at about [?] hrs 5 Jun. During the final two hours of the approach to the coast, both the Bde Comd and GSO III, together with the signaller, were established on the bridge of HMS WAVENEY where information from Captain Group J2, Captain of the WAVENEY and Commander 8 Canadian Inf Brigade was readily available. At about 0800, where it was seen that the landing on the NORTH SHORE R on the left was proceeding satisfactorily Bde HQ (Main) and 48 Cdo were informed, communications on the Bde B wave (46 set) having been satisfactorily established at H hour, that it would not be necessary to switch 48 Cdo to NAN WHITE beach. At this state, should it have been necessary to do so, there would have been ample time for the RN personnel concerned to have effected the change of beach. At about 0910 hrs the Bde Comd and his party landed by LCM on NAN WHITE Beach (BERNIERES SUR MER) together with the Commander 8 Canadian Infantry Brigade and his Command Post. The actual beach had been cleared of the enemy at this time, but BERNIERES itself still contained enemy snipers and machine guns whose fire together with some artillery was directed on to the beach and the seaward side of the town. The clearance of the latter enemy caused some slight delay before the two Bde Comd Posts were established at the southern edge of BERNIERES. From the time of landing, difficulty was experienced in obtaining any information of 48 Cdo's progress, due to a misunderstanding that the rear link sets of 48 Cdo on both the Bde 'A' and 'B' waves were out of action, when in actual fact it was only the Bde B set that was non-operative. News of 48 Cdo's assembly after landing and their move through NORTH SHORE R on LEFT of BERNIERES to carry out its task was eventually obtained over 8 Canadian Infantry Brigade's net. At about 1030 hrs, the Bde Comd had obtained as full a picture of the Canadians situation as could possibly be obtained. At this juncture, a prearranged escort patrol led by Cpl LUFFMAN arrived from Main Bde HQ at the Canadian Comd Post, to escort the Brigadier and his party to HQ 4 SS Bde, then established on road BERNIERES - ST AUBIN immediately EAST of the former village. The Comd Post safely reached Brigade Headquarters at about 1130 hrs 6 Jun.
EXPERIENCE GAINED IN FRANCE
1. It was decided to land wearing packs and to hope to dump them by tps after landing as occasion might offer; later making the A.O. responsible for collection into a unit [?]. The plan worked very well and ensured that men of 41 and 48 Cdos had their packs [by?] evening of D Day instead of waiting until tpt carrying them should arrive at a later date. The contents of these packs were strictly limited and a careful inspection was carried out after embarkation, when all unauthorised articles were thrown overboard.
2. Before landing, men were given the choice of wearing battle jerkins or ordinary web equipment. Those who chose jerkins subsequently regretted the choice in the following weeks when they found they could not wear a portion of their equipment for any particular job.
3. LCI(S) are unsuitable craft from which to land unless the beach has been secured. Their gangways are narrow and steep so that bulky equipment is very difficult to land, while these narrow "defiles" provide admirable targets for enemy MGs. Both 41 and 48 Cdos suffered unnecessary casualties by having to land from these craft in the face of MG and mortar fire.
4. The RMAS Regt proved very useful in helping to clear village and covering the assault on strong points. The tank drivers were, however, insufficiently trained and tanks had tracks blown off or became stuck unnecessarily.
5. Soon after D + 2 it became apparent that the early withdrawal of 4 SS Bde to England would be impossible. Instead 46 and 47 Cdos who had been embarked in LSI for special one day raids with special equipment, joined 4 SS Bde. The morale of all men suffered temporarily when they realised that the promise of a speedy return would not be fulfilled. Such promises must never again be made.
6. During the first days a few men helped themselves to articles found in abandoned French houses, believing often that these articles were in fact German Army property (although there was no evidence to support the opinion). Subsequently the returned French owner complained and men found themselves on very serious charges of theft. It must, in future, be made a rule that no property, not even enemy property, can be taken without the consent of an officer, otherwise units will get a bad name for looting and men will be surprised to find themselves in prison.
7. When the Brigade moved into the defensive posn south of SALLENELLES, the failing amongst the officers showed at once.
(a) There was insufficient drive on the part of tp leaders to find out and get replaced immediately missing weapons and articles of men's kit and equipment.
(b) officers allowed men to continue to use the unhygienic "catscrape" latrines even when it was known that the Bde was staying in posn.
(c) there had been insufficient trg in camouflaging weapon slits especially from the rear. (Enemy aircraft take photographs from all angles).
8. Minefd discipline was poor and caused some fatal casualties. No mines must be laid without permission from Bde HQ. All mines must be marked on the ground and recorded on a unit trace. Units on being relieved must hand over their minefd trace to the incoming unit. Signal cable should not run through minefds or signallers repairing lines at night may unwittingly enter the fd and meet a violent death.
Royal Marine Commandos in Normandy.
The traditional "per Terram" role of the Royal Marines in the Invasion of Normandy was mainly discharged by five Royal Marine Commandos, who - though not actually the first to land - were nearly all ashore within the first hour. The following is a brief account of the tasks set and their achievement. These tasks fell into three groups.
(1) 4 S.S. Brigade (Brigadier B.W. Leicester, R.M.), consisting initially of 41 (R.M.) Commando (Lieut. Colonel T.M. Gray, R.M.) and 48 (R.M.) Commando (Lieut. Colonel J. L. Moulton, R.M.) landed in the area St. AUBIN - LION-SUR-MER to destroy coastal defences.
(2) 45 (R.M.) Commando (Lieut. Colonel N. C. Ries) under command of 1 S.S. Brigade (Brigadier Lord Lovatt D.S.O.) operated with 4 and 6 Army Commandos and 6 Airborne Division to dominate the area across the Orne forming the left flank of the British perimeter.
(3) 47 (R.M.) Commando (Lieut. Colonel C. F. Phillips, R.M.) was entrusted with the capture of PORT-EN-BESSIN, which lay initially in the gap between the British and American beachheads.
46 (R.M.) Commando was held in Army Reserve with alternative tasks, the destruction of one or the other of two formidable batteries east of the ORNE. This operation entailed a cliff assault against strong positions, but, owing to the success of the bombardment directed against the batteries, it was cancelled and the Commandos came under the command of 4 S.S. Brigade on D + 1. 47 Commando also came under command of the Brigade after its primary task was accomplished.
Each Commando was specially trained for the task required, 41 and 48 in street fighting, 46 in cliff climbing and 47 in covering ten miles across country carrying a load of 80-100 lbs per man. 48 had only a limited time in which to complete training as the unit was not formed until March.
4 S.S. Brigade and 48 Commando landed between H + 45 and 60 minutes with 3 Canadian Division at St. AUBIN from L.C.I.(S), having made the whole crossing in their landing craft.
Sea-sickness was common but fighting efficiency was not noticeably affected. There was quite heavy fire on the beach and several of the L.C.I. carrying the Commandos were holed on beach obstacles. This led, in the state of the sea and owing to the weight carried, to a high proportion of casualties, many of whom were rescued after being "partially" drowned. They were, however, lost as far as the initial operations were concerned.
German mortar fire and sniping caused losses, the beach defences appearing to come to life after being stunned by the bombardment and the L.C.I.(S) not being the most suitable possible craft for a quick landing under fire in a rough sea.
Brigade H.Q. was set up after the beach minefield had been crossed and the Commando cleared the streets as far as LANGRUNE, with slight opposition from snipers.
In LANGRUNE a formidable strong point was attacked at first by one troop without support. This position was deeply dug in and solidly concreted. The approaches were through narrow streets exposed to snipers, mortar and machine-gun fire. The first attack was somewhat sharply repulsed. Another attempt was made with the aid of a tank of the R.M. Armoured Support Group. This tank, however, was knocked out on a mine.
On D + 1 a further attempt was made with the support of three tanks. A hole was knocked through the concrete wall by gun-fire from the tanks and an assault party moved in to take possession of the two houses on each side of the gap. One of these was blown up by a demolition party and the rubble used to form a causeway over the anti-tank ditch inside the wall. The tanks were then introduced into the defences and, with their support, troops went in to clear the trenches and dug-outs that honeycombed the position. Shortly after this the Germans surrendered.
Meanwhile 41 Commando, landing at LION with 3 British Division was fighting its way to the West to join 48. They also met considerable fire on the beach, the 2nd in command, Major David Barclay, R.M., being killed. Soon after Lieut. Colonel Gray was wounded and command devolved on the Adjutant, Major J. Taplin, R.M. Opposition was fairly stiff and it was not until D + 1 that they were able to take LUC-SUR-MER.
On D + 1 46 Commando under Lieut. Colonel C. R. Hardy R.M. landed in a fine state of rage at being cheated out of their raid on the batteries. They were sent to attack the strong point at PETIT ENFER which was on paper even stronger than that at LANGRUNE.
As there were no other troops in the town, Lieut. Colonel Hardy was able to call for naval support and a destroyer bombarded the position. Close support was also given by gunfire from two tanks of the R.M. Armoured Support Group, and after a polite exchange of messages with the bombarding destroyer the Commando put in a strong attack in the face of which the Germans - 130 strong - decided to surrender.
With the fall of PETIT ENFER contact was made with 41 Commando and 46 turned inland to capture LA DELIVERANDE and to make contact with the strongly fortified Radar station at DOUVRES.
41 and 48 completed the clearance of the fringe of villages along the coast, where snipers were still bobbing up to harass work on the beaches. Plans were then laid to capture the Radar station but, as the garrison was comparatively quiescent and causing no particular inconvenience, the Corps Commander ruled that casualties were not to be incurred in attacking this extremely formidable position until he was prepared to make available the necessary supporting arms.
By this time 47 Commando had joined the Brigade, after the capture of PORT-EN-BESSIN. 41 Commando was left to watch and harass the Radar station while 46 Commando was detailed to join the Canadians for a special task. The remainder of the Brigade was ordered to join 1 S.S. Brigade now occupying a defensive position to the East of the ORNE.
1 S.S. Brigade had landed from L.C.I.(S) at OUISTREHAM under similar conditions as 4 S.S. Bde. In their initial plan 45 R.M. Commando was intended to cross the ORNE estuary in rubber dinghies and proceed to attack MERVILLE. As the Airborne operation for seizing the ORNE bridges had been completely successful this was abandoned and the crossing was made by the bridges. The Commando took MERVILLE and reached the outskirts of FRANCEVILLE where they were held up.
The scale of the resistance across the ORNE was considerably heavier than expected and it is thought that German Field Formations had moved into the area for exercises. In this situation it was decided to stabilise a line just short of SALLENELLES and 45 were ordered to fight their way back to this line. This was successfully accomplished. By D + 6 4 S.S. Brigade (47 and 48 Commandos) had arrived to reinforce the position. It was slenderly held but vigorous and aggressive patrolling established a moral domination over the enemy who made no serious attempt to attack though they kept up sporadic mortar fire.
Meanwhile, 46 Commando had been given by the Canadians the task of clearing the wooded valley of the River MUE, in... [Account ends]
THE FOLLOWING IS PUBLISHED FOR THE INFORMATION OF ALL RANKS
During the early period of the activities of the Airborne Division in Normandy five parachutists became detached and were captured. They were taken to a French Town in German hands and were shot in the public square.
The resistance movement reported this to the Army authorities in the bridgehead who informed General Browning of the Airborne Forces.
General Browning contacted the RAF and a punitive expedition was sent against the barracks from which the executioners had operated.
The barrack area was destroyed and the raid was followed by a shower of leaflets. The leaflets told the facts and gave the warning that if this kind of thing happened again worse punishment would follow.
In the village of HEROUVILLETTE lived two German soldiers, Carl and Willy. The former was a Corporal, the latter a batman. Neither man appeared to have definite jobs, but both were brutal and fanatically cruel. Their own soldiers feared them. The civilians were terrorised by them, and in particular the girls, who were blackmailed into sleeping with them.
When the British parachutists arrived they showed their hands. Two wounded parachutists came up to Carl and Willy with their hands up. Willy took one of the men wounded in the arm and Carl bayoneted him several times until he died.
The other man wounded in the leg was told by them to run away, and as he did he was used as a target by both men using pistols. He also died. The second display of brutality took place in a jeep. A wounded parachutist was lying in a jeep with a neck wound. Willy was shown the neck wound. He proceeded to seize the man's hair and beat in the soldier's skull with the butt end of his revolver.
The last display of frightfulness took place when a number of wounded parachutists were leaned up against a wall. Carl and Willy took pot shots at these men in the music hall manner, i.e. shooting backwards and between the legs until all the men were killed. There is a sequel. All the evidence is at Airborne HQ, and the names of Carl and Willy are known. One is believed dead, the other a prisoner. He will be tried as a war criminal.
BM 4 SS Bde
4 SS BDE OO No 5
The following notes are issued in confirmation of verbal orders already given.
1. Enemy Trace of FDLs already issued. Further details incl HBs and HMs as soon as possible. Units will get from outgoing units details of enemy habits, patrolling etc., on own fronts.
2. Own Tps
(a) Trace of layout HALLAMS and 1/4 LINCS already issued.
(b) A Sqn 49 Recce Regt is under comd 1/4 LINCS and being replaced by one Airborne Recce Sqn under comd 4 SS Bde.
3. 4 SS Bde less one Cdo will relieve 146 Inf Bde less one bn by 1300 hrs 7 Aug.
4. In order to get protection posns will be taken over as sited on basis two troops to one Inf Coy. Adjustments later.
5. Sectors (see trace already issued).
(a) Right - 47 RM Cdo take over two right coys HALLAMS.
(b) Centre - 41 RM Cdo take over posn from left hand coys HALLAMS and res coy 1/4 LINCS. Airborne Recce Sqn will be under comd 41 Cdo for this task and will also be required to carry out certain tasks for 46 Cdo.
(c) Left - 46 Cdo with under comd 1 troop 48 Cdo take over left three coys 1/4 LINCS.
6. ATk Present guns replaced with two exceptions by 6 Airborne Div ATk. Trace later.
7. MMG - Mortars Under comd units.
8. 48 RM Cdo (less one tp) Remain present posns until required.
9. Timings for Relief
1/4 LINCS HALLAMS
(b) Coys 146 Inf Bde are moving out of area as relieved.
(c) Comd Units will report completion of relief and acceptance of comd to Bde HQ.
10. Outposts and Patrols Will be maint until taken over by incoming units. One Tp to remain in each Cdo area for this purpose. Will join units under own arrangements pm 7 Aug. If MT is used debussing will be north of 71 Northing.
11. CM Org Will remain extant until 1100 hrs, 48 RM Cdo Duty Mortars. OP personnel rejoin with last tps.
12. Move to New Area
(a) Personnel by march route.
(b) 4 Jeeps to carry Hy Wpns Tps in marching order.
(c) 3 Jeeps per unit less 48 Cdo for unit adm - move as required.
(d) Other vehs restricted to 5 per unit for one trip only - will be sent fwd from unit B Ech areas under Bde arrangement.
(e) March Table at Appx 'A'.
(a) Bde TO will est TC post with one MP and two DRs at cross tracks 140683 by 0845 hrs 7 Aug and will report units through to Bde HQ in fwd area.
(b) MP will est TC post with one DR from Adv HQ at rd junc 127754 by 0630 hrs 7 Aug.
(c) TCPs will close at 1600 hrs.
14. Vehs Minimum vehs in new area at COs discretion, remainder to present B Ech area A 2 Ech may be est shortly.
15. Res Amn Not being left in situ by 146 Bde. Has been called in to B Ech and will be sent fwd on wheels evening 7 Aug with mortar amn early priority.
16. Adv Bde HQ will be est 134694 by 1100 hrs. Present HQ will close same time.
17. WT Listening watch will be maint from 0600 hrs 8 Aug until all lines are laid. Wireless silence will be maint unless required in emergency.
Maj, BM 4 SS Bde
6 Aug 44
4 SS Bde Op Instr No 2
13 Aug 44
Ref maps: 1:25,000 sheets 40/16 NE, NW, SE and SW Air Photos.
(a) See 4 SS Bde Intsums for details of posns and identifications.
(b) The appreciation of enemy intentions is that, as the Allied ops in the SOUTH progress, he will withdraw his tps to a line across the R. DIVES.
2. Own Tps
(a) In the event of this withdrawal 6 A/B Div will adv to regain contact along the gen line BURES 1770 - BAVENT 1673 - VARAVILLE 1875 - CABOURG 2049.
RIGHT - 3 Para Bde - BURES
CENTRE - 1 SS Bde - BAVENT - VARAVILLE
LEFT - 6 Airldg Bde - GONNEVILLE 1676 - CABOURG.
RES - 5 Para Bde - remain present posns.
(c) Adv 3 Para Bde:-
PHASE I capture of line from incl x tracks 152699 to incl PICADILLY CIRCUS 155693 - codeword BIRCH
PHASE II seizing of the spur centre pt 163699 - codeword LARCH
PHASE III mopping up BURES - codeword WINCH
Axis of adv parallel tracks (i) from 147695 - pt 162703 (ii) from 149693 - track junc 162698
(d) Bdy - between 4 SS Bde and 3 Para Bde
(i) initially line of hedge 144689 - rd and track junc 149693 - thence track to x tracks all incl 4 SS Bde.
(ii) on completion PHASE I hedge track junc 157609 - PICADILLY CIRCUS - rd and track junc 146695 all incl 3 Para Bde.
3. 4 SS Bde will hold present posns to form firm base for adv of 6 A/B Div.
4. Gen Posns to be held shown at Trace 'P'.
5. Sp to 3 Para Bde
(a) 4 SS Bde CM org to engage HM on our front which are likely to harass 3 Para Bde's adv. No mortar fire to be brought down NORTH of grid line 60 northing.
(b) 48 Cdo to give max fire sp to protect right flank of 3 Para Bde.
(a) Each cdo is to be prepared to send fwd a fighting patrol of NOT more than one tp to gain contact with the enemy.
(b) Routes and bounds to be decided later.
(c) FOO or mortar fire controller to accompany each patrol.
(d) Code word SCRAM.
7. Arty 150 Fd Regt in direct sp. Div Arty on call.
8. RE 3 ORs RM Engr Cdo to accompany each patrol to clear mines and booby traps.
10. Bde HQ Remains at present location.
(a) 1 x 18 set with each patrol.
(b) Wireless silence until codeword SCRAM is signalled.
Maj, BM 4 SS Bde
Interrogation Report on CSM FRITZ NIERICH
8 Coy 857 GR
The PW came into our lines at approx 0150 hrs 3 Aug area 135763.
He had been in the GERMAN ARMY for 4 years serving two years in RUSSIA and latterly in a Trg Bn in DUSSELDORF from which he was sent to 8 Coy on 28 Jul 44. In consequence of his short stay in 8 Coy his knowledge of the local military situation was scanty. Furthermore he was in the medical branch so this lack of military knowledge was not altogether surprising.
While in RUSSIA he served as 'secretary' to the ADMS (?) of a division. He stated that he had many friends in ENGLAND and AMERICA naming a Mr TINK who was his former ENGLISH master and several members of the ASTON VILLA football team against whom he had apparently played.
From his remarks it seems that he had been desirous of deserting for some time and in fact his one aim since coming in to this area had been to evolve a plan for escape. He stated that he volunteered to accompany a patrol from 6 Coy which was to enter our lines and capture a PW.
The patrol was some 18 - 25 strong in charge of a sgt and took the route as shown in att sketch - from corner of triangular wood 146755 - SW along rd to rd and hedge junc 145752 - along NORTHERN side of hedgerow to corner 144753 - thence across field towards LONGUEMARE FARM. Before reaching the farm the patrol split up and PW became separated from remainder of patrol which withdrew without achieving its object. The PW stated that the enemy were not clear who faced them.
As soon as his patrol withdrew PW stated that he passed through the farm (this is rather surprising since this farm is held by one of our own patrols) thence along the route shown on trace att to the horse shoe shaped wood where he walked into one of our own minefds and was wounded in which state he was picked up by our fwd tps.
It was the PWs impression that the enemy intention was to stay put and he knew of no signs of withdrawal, nor of any likely enemy attack. He did not expect that much resistance would be met in the event of our attacking.
When asked whether the Germans now thought that the war would be won by us he replied that that was a question they 'dared' not answer, although they would be glad to see the end of the war.
ENEMY DISPOSITIONS See att trace.
PW stated that 6 Coy was along the line of track from rd track junc 147749 to track junc 149754. 5 Coy from track junc 149754 along line of track to rd at 146755 thence along WESTERN edge of triangle wood. 8 Coy to which PW belonged being the Hy Coy was sub allotted with residue of Coy in area 152752 along with the "field kitchen". It seems reasonable to assume that Bn HQ is also in this area.
PW thought that 7 Coy were on the left of 6 Coy but could not plot their posns.
Bn Comd - Hauptmann KOHLER.
BM 4 SS Bde.