Title2nd Bn The Cheshire Regt
Description2/22 Cheshire Regt.: extract from battalion history, 1944 June
SourceUK_National_ArchiveReferenceWO 223/11

2nd Bn The Cheshire Regt (An extract from the Bn history)

The three Machine Gun Companies of the Battalion were placed under command of Brigades for the operation, and each in their turn had a platoon from the Heavy Mortar Company under them. "B" Company, with 15 Heavy Mortar Platoon, was to remain with 69 Brigade throughout. "C" Company, with 14 Heavy Mortar Platoon, was to support 231 Brigade in the early stages and then, leaving 9 MMG Platoon and the Heavy Mortar Platoon with 231 Brigade, would come under command of 56 Brigade for the later phases of the attack. "A" Company and 12 Heavy Mortar Platoon would land with 151 Brigade, supporting them in the later phases and then, leaving 4 MMG Platoon and the Mortar Platoon with 151 Brigade, would join 8 Armoured Brigade in their mobile exploitation role directed at Villers Bocage. Battalion Tac Headquarters, with the retraining Platoon of "D" Company, was due to land on the second tide. The individual tasks of the Platoons and the methods by which they were to carry them out varied considerably. The Platoons of "A" and "C' Companies were each under command of an Infantry Battalion. Two of "B" Company's Platoons were likewise decentralized, but the third remained under Company control; one of these was to land on foot at H plus 20 minutes, the remainder later and in carriers. All Platoons were to be prepared to come into action and take on targets as opportunity offered and although plans were laid to give support on special objectives, it was realised that much would depend on circumstances prevailing at the time.

Such was the plan. In the event things went rather differently and although the operation was a success, detailed planning could not be adhered to and it was found impossible to keep to the proposed timetable.

On the whole the actual landings were effected according to plan, but on the right sector, part of 231 Brigade, including Major Abel in command of "C" Company and Lieutenant Williams with a recce party from 9 Platoon, were landed about half a mile too for East. This led to some confusion of tasks; The Dorsets who should have cleaned up Les Rocquettes, had attacked a strong point further to the East, and the reserve Battalion (The 2nd Devons) had consequently to deal with Les Rocquettes. At this time - about H plus 45 minutes - the beach was still under considerable fire from guns, mortars and spandaus. When 1O Platoon arrived at H plus 100 minutes beach exits had not been made and the position around Le Hamel itself, which should have been captured. by 1st Hampshires during the first hour, was still confused. Strong defences in the village had been left untouched by both Navy and R.A.F. Nevertheless, 10 Platoon, holding to the original intention, split up, one Section making its way on foot to the area South of Asnelles, the other moving forward with the Hampshires to the South of Le Hamel and taking up a position in the area of point 54. From here it was intended to give support onto Arromanches, but before an attack could be mounted, 10 Platoon was withdrawn to join 56 Brigade; they came under command of the 2nd Essex at St Sulpice and helped to form a strong point for the night covering the roads leading to Bayeux

11 Platoon had the misfortune to have two carriers drowned and their Platoon Commander's party landed on the wrong beach. Lieutenant Kershaw however, soon contacted Mar Abel, and as no exits were yet available the Platoon commenced to long-carry through Les Rocquettes in the wake of the Dorsets They were heavily mortared on the way but At 1215 hrs had reached Point 54 where they came into position and effectively supported "D" Company of the Dorsets onto the strong point at Puits d'Herose. Here their carriers joined them. The Platoon remained in position as it was hoped they might be able to assist the Hampshires onto Arromanches, but during the evening they too were

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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