|Title||5 Parachute Brigade: operations in Normandy 1944 June - Sept|
|Description||5 Parachute Bde: operations in Normandy 1944 June - Sept|
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By the time the Commando arrived however, the situation was obviously well in hand and Lt Col Johnston had been able to re-occupy his outposts on the Le Bas de RANVILLE Spur. The enemy did not put in another attack during the day although patrolling continued. No 3 Commando reverted to Lord Lovat's command at 1600 hours.
After first light 13 Parachute Battalion had continued their mopping up of RANVILLE and although a few casualties were suffered from isolated posts and snipers, no serious opposition was met.
At 2100 hours the landing of 6 Airlanding Brigade and the remainder of the Division began by glider. The vast fleet of gliders - both Horsas and Hamilcars, was a most inspiring sight to the seaborne and air- borne forces, who had been fighting hard all day. The landing was successfully made on strips prepared by 13 Battalion on the RANVILLE DZ and also a strip East of the canal which had been cleared by 1 Corps Troops Royal Engineers. 6 Airlanding Brigade moved first into assembly positions and then took up the dispositions South of RANVILLE and Le Bas de RANVILLE.
At first light the Division was re-grouped in accordance with the plan made in England. 6 Airlanding Brigade assumed responsibility for the Southern approaches to the bridgehead and were to extend it to ESCOVILLE 1271; St HONORINE and LONGUEVAL. 3 Parachute Brigade were responsible for the Eastern approaches from Le MESNIL 1372 and 1 SS Brigade from the North. Responsibility for the West bank had developed on 3 British Division. 5 Parachute Brigade, less 12 Parachute Battalion, was in reserve in the RANVILLE area. 12 Parachute Battalion had been placed under command 6 Airlanding Brigade until the arrival of the 12 DEVONS who were due to come in by sea on the evening of D plus 1.
On the morning of 7 June, 1 RUR advanced and secured LONGUEVAL. The holding of LONGUEVAL was essential to the security of the bridges. St HONORINE overlooked LONGUEVAL and the approaches to Le Bas de RANVILLE. It was thus most desirable that we should hold St HONORINE. 1 RUR were consequently ordered to attack this place on 8 June. To hold LONGUEVAL and at the same time to assist 1 RUR in their attack; 12 Parachute Battalion was moved up into that area on the afternoon of 7 June. Recce carried out during the night showed that St HONORINE was was lightly held; but whilst it seemed clear that a well supported attack would succeed, in the opinion of the Brigade Commander, it was very doubtful whether the village could be subsequently held by one battalion. Rather than risk a battalion on a project, the final issue of which was at the best doubtful, the Divisional Commander decided to cancel the attack. 12 Parachute Battalion returned to their reserve area on the afternoon of the same day. During their time at LONGUEVAL casualties to the Battalion were 4 Officers and 72 ORs from shelling and mortaring.
2 Oxf & Bucks on the left flank, after securing HEROUVILLETTE 1272 in the morning, put in an attack on ESCOVILLE 1271. Here also the Germans were in good positions and supported by armour and although the battalion was successful in getting into the village it was unable to stay there in the face of the strong counter-attacks, and they withdrew to HEROUVILLETTE. At this stage they were placed under command 5 Parachute Brigade.
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)