|Title||4/7 Dragoon Guards: extract from "The First and the Last," 1944 May, June|
|Description||Extract from "The First and the Last," telling the story of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards in the invasion of Normandy.|
- 9 -
After a busy day, each tank may require up to 100 gallons of fuel in cans and 100 shells. All have to be man-handled,
In the morning they move out on the day's work; all day they fight, or, which is just as tiring, sit watching and waiting; after nightfall when they are released by the Infantry, they rally back with the rest of the Squadron to a chosen "harbour" where they can cook a meal, replenish the tanks, and get a little sleep before the next day starts. If the enemy artillery is active they either sleep in the tank, or else, if they have time, dig a pit, drive the tank on top of it, and sleep underneath,
7th Green Howards
Next morning we pushed on again to the main Bayeux-Caen road and railway. "A" Squadron on the left had a German R.D.F. Station to attack and destroy, which they did in a way that would have gladdened the heart of the Copybook Tactician while the infantry crept up under cover of the rising ground, the Squadron sat back some 400 yards and plastered everything in the station which showed signs of life with some extremely accurate gunnery, and the infantry reached and captured the objective successfully and without heavy casualties.
On the right "C" Squadron were ordered to make a reconnaissance of the railway crossing at Audrieu and then go up to Point 103. They reached the railway without difficulty but in trying to cross it two tanks of the leading Troop were knocked out by an 88.
The next day a Brigade mobile column was formed, led by the 24th Lancers, which was intended to push down to Villers Bocage. The enemy, however, was no longer at a disadvantage, as he had been when we had the initial surprise, and the column had not gone far before it met opposition and was held up in the area of Loucellos, where the Regiment harboured for the night.
Bazooka - a German one-man anti-tank weapon. Fires a rocket-propelled bomb of great explosive power a distance of about 100 yards.
In the evening "B" Squadron, a Company of infantry, attacked Le Bas d'Audrieu But were held up on the railway crossing at the North end of the village, and lost one tank to a Bazooka. "A" Squadron with another Company were sent round the right flank in the dark and succeeded in pushing into the middle of the village. They then sat tight for an unpleasant and very jumpy night, with themselves in one end of the village and the Germans in the other, and between them No Man's Land of about 100 yards containing an enemy armoured car which they had locked out.
Next morning they completed the capture of Audrieu itself, assisted by a pincer movement. From "C" Squadron, and the Regiment pushed South again to reach the piece of high ground known as Point 103, which the Sherwood Rangers had already reached from another direction. This point dominated the surrounding country to the East and the South, anil overlooked Tilly-sur-Seulles, which was the hub of the German position; it was an extremely important feature.
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)