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D-Day Documents

6th Airborne Division - 5th Parachute Brigade - Brigade Headquarters - War Diaries

 

5th June 1944

Place: Brize Norton, Fairford

2300 - Comd Post and 'Coup de Main' Force take off.

2340 - Bde HQ takes off.

6th June 1944

0015 - Comd Post lands on DZ 'N' NORTH of RANVILLE.  Coup de Main Force lands in glider on LZs adjacent to BENOUVILLE and PONT TOURNANT Brs.  5 out of 6 gliders land close up to brs.  Br garrison surprised & brs captured intact.

0100 - Bde HQ lands.  Major part dropped off & to the EAST of DZ 'N'.

0215 - 30% Bde HQ at RV 112745.  HQ opens here.  Clearing of obstructions on DZ 'N' begins.

0300 - 60% Bde HQ at RV.

0330 - Lt G ROYLE, 2 i/c Bde Sig Sec, killed.  4 A/L A Tk Bty & Bde glider element lands on LZ 'N' A Tk guns move quickly into posn.  9 x 6 pdr & 2 x 17 pdr landed safely.

0230 - 7 Para Bn (approx one coy in strength) move from Bn RV., cross brs & est tight bridgehead on WEST of Canal.

0400 - LE BAS DE RANVILLE occupied by 12 Para Bn (Str approx about 2 coys) PWs from 736 Gren Regt taken.

0530 - Bde HQ moves to Fm 106741 & is later joined by Comd Post.

1100 - 7 Para Bn extend brhead posns on arrival of further tps which had been dropped off DZ.  Series of counter attacks begin against 7 Para Bn from NW & SOUTH.  Elements of 736 Gren Regt & 192 PZ Gren Regt identified & supported by light tks & a few SP guns.  All attacks successfully beaten off.

1200 - Patrols and recce elements of 125 PZ Gren Regt attack 12 Para Bn. from the SOUTH, attacks continuing during the afternoon with considerable losses to enemy.  Some PWs taken.  Tks and SP guns seen.  All attacks repulsed.

1300 - 1 SS Bde, seaborne tps, reach and cross brs BENOUVILLE & PONT TOURNANT.  3 Cdo remains area brs to reinforce 12 Para Bn if necessary.

1330 - Tks of 13/18 HUSSARS arrive at brs.

2100 - Glider borne forces land.  RUR on LZ 'N' & move to LONGUEVAL, 2 OXF & BUCKS on LZ 'W' & move to HEROUVILLETTE.  Two glider casualties.

2300 - Resupply by air.

7th June 1944

0100 - 7 Para Bn relieved on brs by WARWICKS and move into Bde reserve.

0300 - 12 Bn comes under comd 6 Airldg Bde.

1100 - Bde HQ moves to new location 113732.

1600 - 12 Para Bn attacked from SOUTH by inf and small number of tks - attack repulsed.  Intermittent shelling of RANVILLE, DZ & Bde HQ.

1900 - Movement of enemy tps, guns & small amount of armour in ST HONORINE and SOUTH of ESCOVILLE.

2200 - Brs shelled by guns firing from EAST.

2300 - ST HONORINE and wood 082311 shelled by own tps.  Enemy withdraw in some confusion SOUTHwards.

8th June 1944

0520 - Enemy reoccupied ST HONORINE & ring contour 1072.

1100 - 12 Para Bn move towards LONGUEVAL to take over posn of RUR which is to attack ST HONORINE, but later is withdrawn to original posn on discovering that ST HONORINE is too strongly held for attack to be successful.  2 OXF & BUCKS come under comd 5 Para Bde & patrols fwd to ESCOVILLE.  Intermittent shelling & mortaring of Bde area throughout the day.