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D-Day Documents

6th Airborne Division - 5th Parachute Brigade - 13th Parachute Battalion - War Diaries

 

6th June 1944

Place: Ranville

0050 - 13th Bn. (Lancashire) The Parachute Regiment, forming part of 5th Parachute Brigade dropped from DAKOTA and ALBEMARLE a/c on D.Z. 'N' - NORTH of RANVILLE, near CAEN, Dept of CALVADOS.

0230 - Bn moved off from R.V., having rallied on the Bn hunting horn call (L for Lancaster), and formed in Companies.

0300 - Village of RANVILLE now cleared of enemy.  Very few enemy were found, as from infm received from inhabitants, it appears that the main body of the enemy were away, and that the majority of those left behind departed with all speed when they saw parachutists.  Those PW taken were wounded and seemed very young.  Identification from PW, dead and documents was 7/II Pz Gren Regt 125.

0320 - Glider party arrived on L.Z. 'N', now cleared of poles by 'A' Coy.  Party consisted mainly of A/Tk guns, which moved rapidly into posn.

0510 - British aircraft observed attacking posns in area LE PLEIN - OUISTREHAM.

0600 - Patrol to HEROUVILLETTE reported village in enemy hands.

0855 - Report received from Bde HQ that news from seaborne tps is that they have broken through first line of defs.

0900 - 12 Para Bn outpost heavily mortared.

1005 - Enemy S.P. guns reported on 'A' Coy front.

1020 - 'A' Coy attacked by about 40 men and 3 S.P. guns.

1032 - 'A' Coy's last LMG wiped out.

1033 - 'A' Coy reported attack repulsed.  A/Tk guns knocked out 3 S.P. guns incl 2 destroyed.  PW identified as 125 Pz Gren Regt (21 Pz Div).

1120 - Infm received of counter-attacks against 7 Para Bn and 12 Para Bn.  All these attacks are being held.

1200 - Arty conc put down on HEROUVILLETTE RACECOURSE to assist 'A' Coy.

1210 - 'A' Coy reported one more S.P. gun knocked out.

1212 - 'C' Coy put in limited counter-attack to assist 'A' Coy.  Enemy cas reported as 1 Offr and 42 ORs killed and 6 ORs captured.

1230 - 7 Para Bn report one Pl of enemy wearing Brit airborne smocks and red berets penetrated part of our line.

1330 - 1 S.S. Bde Commando tps passed over BENOUVILLE BRS and through Bde posns towards FRANCOVILLE PLAGE.

1650 - 4 Schmeisser machine pistols and amn found in RANVILLE sent to 'A' Coy.

1710 - 'A' Coy again attacked by approx 50 of 3/I/Pz Gren Regt 125.  Attack again repulsed.

1800 - 5 Para Bde report 7 Para Bn not yet relieved on BENOUVILLE BRS and 12 Para Bn repulsed number of enemy attacks.

2100 - Main glider party 6 Airldg Bde, landed on L.Z. 'N'.

2100 to 2130 - L.Z. shelled from SOUTH.

2330 - Dakota a/c dropped supplies by parachute.

13 Para Bn casualties for 6 Jun 44

Killed - 1 OR, Wounded - 25 ORs, Missing 2 Offrs and 56 ORs.

7th June 1944

Place: Ranvill

0630 - 'B' Coy shelled spasmodically from SOUTH.

0945 - Ju 88 shot down by Spitfire just outside Bn area.

1305 - L.Z. and Bn area shelled for 10 minutes.

1430 - SE side of L.Z. being shelled.

1440 - 'A' Coy holding enemy attack on left flank.

1550 - Reported 2 Oxf Bucks driven out of ESCOVILLE and holding posns in HEROUVILLETTE.

1640 - 'A' Coy attacked, losing one A/Tk gun, but counter-attacked and regained gun and all ground lost.

1750 - 2 enemy ORs of 716 Arty Regt surrendered to 'B' Coy.

1821 - Reported enemy in ESCOVILLE now withdrawing southwards.  1 R.U.R. have captured LONGUEVAL.

1930 - 4 PW from 12 SS Pz Div captured.

2030 - CSM McParlan, 'A' Coy, reported.  This WO was dropped off the D.Z. and established a fighting base at ST SAMSON with 10 men of his stick and some Fighting French.

13 Para Bn casualties for 7 Jun 44

Killed - 1 OR, Wounded - 1 Offr 5 ORs.

8th June 1944

Place: Ranville

0500 - 4 PW 12 SS Pz Div captured.  Presence indicated move WEST of 12 SS Pz Div to brhead area.

0800 - Bn area shelled.  Thought to be 105 mm S.P. guns to the S.E.

0905 - 'A' Coy observed enemy smoke and MG fire NORTH of HEROUVILLETTE.

1119 - Shelling resumed from area ESCOVILLE - ST HONORINE LA CHARDONERETTE.

1130 - Captain F.A.N. Elliston killed by gunshot wound in the chest.

1215 - RANVILLE still being intermittently shelled.

1220 - British arty putting down C.B. fire.  Enemy shelling ceased.

1320 - Allied fighters sweeping overhead.

1705 - 857 Regt 346 Div identified by interrogation.  Bridge 105745 attacked by enemy bombers.

1710 - 2 ME 109's attacked bridge 105745, dropping 2 x 500 lb bombs.  1 ME 109 destroyed.

1855 to 1915 - Bn under enemy mortar fire.

2000 - 1 OR A/Tk pl killed by shellfire.

2135 - Area again shelled.  Lieut J.B. Sharples, Lieut H.M. Pollak and CSM Maguire, wounded.  M.D.S. hit.

13 Para Bn casualties for 8 Jun 44

Killed - 1 Offr 1 OR, Wounded - 2 Offrs 8 ORs.