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The attack passed the start line punctually but the tanks advanced too far ahead of the infantry and as result were forced to remain stationary on the objective for some time before the infantry arrived. During this period several tanks were set on fire by enemy anti-tank weapons. None of those taking part in the attack were aware of anti- tank guns opening fire from the BREVILLE direction, and it is possible that the casualties were caused by BAZOOKA type of weapons or anti- tank grenades throvm from the high corn.

The action of the tanks, however, was a great assistance to the infantry and little opposition was met in mopping up the woods. The final objective was rapidly secured. In addition to large numbers of enemy killed, some 80 prisoners were captured. The 7 Parachute Battalion suffered 10 casualties in all, although five tanks were destroyed.

The casualties inflicted by 13 Parachute Battalion during the morning's battle must have been very heavy indeed. 150 prisoners passed through the Brigade Cage and very large numbers of dead were left on the DZ. It was estimated that the attack was madé by one battalion and that this battalion had been completley eliminated.

In order to close the BREVILLE gap 1 Corps placed one battalion (5 BLACK WATCH) under command 6 Airborne Division. Though pushed with great gallantry all attempts to capture BREVILLE by the Battalion were unavailing.

On 12 June, 3 Parachute Brigade and the Black Watch at St COME were counter-attacked and the situation became critical. The position was temporarily restored by Brigadier HILL and the Canadian Parachute Battalion. As result of the difficult position South of BREVILLE, Major General R.N. GALE, DSO, OBE, MC., decided once and for all to liquidate the BREVILLE sore. The plan was to put in an attack that night, but this time from the North. The troops detailed to carry out this attack were 12 Parachute Battalion width ‘B' Company 12 Devons under command and 1 sqn 13/18 Hussars; five Field Regts and one medium Regt were to be in support. Lt Col Johnston was to command. The attack was to begin at 2200 hours that evening (12 June),last light being 2300 hours. Lt Col Johnston decided to attack on a one company front on the axis of the road AMFREVILLE 1374 - BREVILLE 1374. The leading company was to secure the BREVILLE cross roads as the first objective, the second company was to swing to the left after reaching the first objective and secure the wood NE of the village, the third company was to pass through the first and secure the SE outskirts of BREVILLE. The fourth company was in reserve and was to move forward to the Western outskirts of BREVILLE as soon as the objective had been secured. The start line for the attack was to be hedge marking the SE limits of AMFREVILLE. The leading infantry were to cross this hedge at 2200 hours. The artillery plan was to fire concentration on the village itself and at the some time to put belts of fire on the main exits to prevent with- drawal of the enemy or reinforcement. This artillery programme was to start 15 mins before the infantry crossed the start line. One troop of tanks (SHERMANS) was to advance up the axis of the AMFREVILLE - BREVILLE road and neutralise a strong point at 131745.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 5 Parachute Brigade: operations in Normandy 1944 June - Sept

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