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D-Day Documents

6th Airborne Division - 6th Airlanding Brigade - Brigade Headquarters - War Diaries

 

6th June 1944

Place: Bas de Ranville

2215 - Bde HQ est 107734.

7th June 1944

Place: Bas de Ranville

0135 - Have received report enemy captured 1 Sub unit of 12 Para and are wearing their uniforms (From 1 RUR).

0231 - DR despatched ["Coy 2 OXF BUCKS" written alongside, assumed connected].

0515 - Situation and Identifications as at 2400 hrs 6 Jun 44.  (From Div and repeated units).

0800 - 2 OXF BUCKS occupied HEROUVILLETTE and trying to push fwd to ESCOVILLE.

1000 - 1 RUR occupied LONGUEVAL.

1005 - 2 OXF BUCKS occupied ESCOVILLE.

1115 - Col RG Parker called at Bde HQ for infm regarding own tps for GOC :- 1 RUR in LONGUEVAL and moving on to ST HONERINE.  2 OXF BUCKS occupy HEROUVILLETTE 0800 hrs and ESCOVILLE 1005 hrs.  Col PARKER reports 1 SS Bde putting in attack NORTHWARDS.

1130 - 2 OXF BUCKS report trouble with AFV in ESCOVILLE.  2 OXF BUCKS in ESCOVILLE ob objectives.

1140 - SAA fire heard in Bde area.  Bde HQ "Stand to".

1150 - Div request Sigs to take over control of GROUP.  Passed to SO.

1155 - Amn state from 1 RUR.

1156 - 12 Para Bn report enemy mortar fire registered on 104728.  2IC among wounded.  Marked out map.

1145 - 5 Para Bde report HQ est 1173.

1220 - 5 Para Bde informed of 1 RUR and 2 OXF BUCKS activities.

1250 - Lt Col Anderson reported Bde HQ; gives locations of Div MDS at 105734.  Passed to Units and 3 and 5 Bdes.

1255 - Lt Col Stevens reported this HQ.  Accompanied by BM to Div HQ.

1310 - 6 enemy tks and armd cars reported in wood EAST of TOUFFREVILLE at 1050 hrs.  Enemy armd car reported SOUTH of ESCOVILLE same time.

1325 - Tac R 1100 hrs.  150 MET - Tks 700 FCQ NW.  To 0600 T7446 200 MET NE.  AFVs on rd FALAISE - CAEN.  To a 0630 T9546 WO257 50 MET incl Med Arty moving NORTH.  Fighters report 0650 MET 10 miles long moving NE to ARGENTAN.  Map marked.  IO and BM informed.

1330 - RUR withdrawn from ST HONERINE attacks by tks, trying to reform at old location LONGUEVILLE.

1345 - Col ANDERSON visited Bde HQ.  Shoot in area WEST of ESCOVILLE by Fd Regt.

1410 - 12 Para report 25 pr shelling LEFT fwd tps.

1411 - 6 Tiger tks, 2 SP guns and ONE Coy area LONGUEVILLE.

1425 - RUR report enemy inf infiltrating in woods SOUTH LONGUEVILLE.

1330 - Bde HQ subjected to heavy attack sustaining light casualties.  Capt. JR BROWN, Sjt ANDERSON and Lieut G MILLS wounded and one Sgmn killed.

1555 - OXF BUCKS withdrawing 1 Coy from ESCOVILLE and making a front line with main Bn, including 13 Para Bn.

1825 - RUR have formed up in area LONGUEVAL.  Reported from RUR's one Mk V knocked out, 1 SP gun and two other tks, the enemy were surprised by a 17 pr, the inf following the tks fled.  This was the battle mentioned which took place in the afternoon.

1950 - 439 Coy probably Lt AA Coy field post 259223 part of 642?

2033 - Shelling enemy positions.

2050 - 700 Lorried Inf 192 Pz Gren Regt moving to SANNERVILLE 1368 1210 hrs.  30 Enemy tks moving from TROARN 1767 to SANNERVILLE 1325 hrs.  Sent to units.

2130 - PW states 100 Pz Regt of 21 Pz Div comprises 2 Pz Bns all Mk IV tks and 315 Pz Coys with 75 mm SP guns.  4 PWs from 1255 Pz Div taken area U 1173 071930 hrs.

2135 - Element of 711 Inf Div and 363 Inf Div reported WEST at 0715 hrs possibly RANVILLE Brs.

2145 - 700 Lorried Inf 192 Pz Gren Regt moving to SANNERVILLE 1368 1210 hrs.  30 enemy Tks moving from TROARN 1767 to SANNERVILLE 1325.  Sent to units.

2250 - Heavy shelling from Naval ships on enemy posns.  Local.

2300 - Enemy planes bombing beaches.

2330 - Inter Bde bdys Ring Contour - Corner of Wood 100733 excl Church 111736 Rd Junc 107744, 2 OXF BUCKS under comd 5 Para Bde, 12 Para Bn under comd 6 Airldg Bde.

8th June 1944

Place: Bas de Ranville

2400 7 to 0100 8 - Heavy bombing of beach during night, enemy aircraft coming in singly.  Infm from 4 PW 12 SS Pz Div indicates armd recce unit moved area WEST of CAEN morning 7 Jun 44.

0200 - 2 OXF BUCKS patrol reports enemy in EAST of ESCOVILLE, number not known.  Map marked.

0510 - 1 RUR report enemy tks using exit from wood at 095715 with tk harbour from 095715 to 094713.  Gun posns checked by patrols at 105694.  Enemy withdraws from wood, reopening of barrage.

0805 - Have asked Bns for SITREP Admin.  Expedite.

0812 - Seaborne Party landed.  Awaiting arrival.

0800 - Cas state Admin returns.

1021 - Quiet again.  Air activity giving good air cover.

1045 - Enemy battle group reported area 1070, reported moving towards us.

1114 - Airborne Div Int Summary No 2.  PW from 100 Pz Gren Regt 21 Pz Div states his regt with approx 120 Mk IV. only tk unit in Div.  1000 enemy inf reported digging in at VARAVILLE 1875 at 0945 hrs.  Successful raid reported on the in harbour at SANNERVILLE 1368 reported during night.  Details later.

1230 - RALO Med Regt about to engage guns spotted by 52 see summary map 113713 observed by Air OP 76 Fd is being ranged on target enemy approach 102722.

1100 - 12 Para Bn revert under comd 5 Para Bde, move area 113746 Role Div Reserve def area posn NORTH.

1330 - 12 Devon report small battle in most forward posns 1 or 2 enemy with MGs, one enemy killed, fwd FOO killed.

1350 - Bty attacked by light medium bty in area 091709.

1545 - G.O.C. paid a visit and explained sit to Brigadier, both left to visit RUR.

1550 - 857 319 Inf Div put in an attack from the EAST but were withdrawn after having their rear line bombed, this Regt had been fetched from Le Havre.

1725 - 20mm of def pl opened fire on bomb carrying Focke Wulf.  Admin Sitrep sent to Div this morning, also cas and strength state.

1740 - RUR report they are being shelled by our own guns from direction of LZ "W".  French Gendarme has given location of general area of Tk harbour and Gun site.

1800 - One of the Bns were bombed at approx 1700 hrs, damage not beyond unit repair.  Bomb failed to explode.

1925 - Enemy seen entering ESCOVILLE.

2010 - Following units and original STAS located on Div front.  All infm taken from PW.  11 Coy 744 Gren Regt. inf div from DOZULE capture in MERVILLE.  2nd Bn 857 Regt 346 Div and 3 Bn same unit, from LE HAVRE captured area HAUGER - ST COME.  Inf reported advancing NE from area CUVERVILLE are suspected of laying mines in area 112690.  26 half track vehs entering CUVERVILLE from SE.  32 half track vehs, 5 towing guns, and one tk reported in sq 1166 moving NW, towards DEMOUVILLE across country.  Reported move of Pz Gren Regt rd COLLOMBELLS to ST HONORINE moving NORTH also rd between river and rd COLLOMBELLS - ST HONORINE 200 men with tpt.  Attack on ST HONORINE called off.

Sick Reception Centre opens MDS 082359.

2200 - Possibility half scale rations owing to destruction of dump.

2227 - Fmn HQ reported from moderately reliable source to be large ho 135629.  First results of arty OK.

2232 - Last 3 rds on right hand target - wood by river - were short.  Increase range by 400 yds.  RA infm.

2235 - Shoot on village ST HONORINE was good.  Please infm those concerned.  RA infm.

2240 - SA fire in village - apparently at 6 Airldg Bde HQ.

2255 - SHELBRAKE requests infm re last target.

2256 - Shoot good on NORTH end of target.  Suggest further shoots have lift of 600x to SOUTH.  RA infm.

2255 - From 021 RRS please get through 041 for 5 rd gunfire on target.  MOST URGENT.

2305 - Request on rear link for observations on last shoot on M 404.