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The plan was briefly as follows:-

A coup de main party, consisting of 6 gliders, each containing one platoon of 2 Oxf & Bucks LI and a detachment RE, was to land at 0020 hrs on D day on the Landing Zones marked X and Y shown on sketch II, and rush the bridges. Three gliders on each LZ. This party was then to establish a close bridgehead until they could be relieved and the bridgehead enlarged by the remainder of the Brigade group. The RE detachments were to remove demolition charges from the bridges.

At the same time as the coup de main party landed, detachments of the Independent Parachute Company were to drop and put out lights and navigational aids on the Dropping Zone marked 'N' NE of the river bridge as shown on Sketch II. Advances Brigade HQ would also come down at this time so that if any adjustments were necessary in the plan as result of the action by coup de main force, orders could be issued without delay. Detachments were also to be included for the protection of the DZ and for securing the RV for the 7 Parachute Battalion and an RE detachment included to start marking out the strips to be cleared for the glider landings.

The main body of the parachute troops was to land at 0050 hrs on DZ marked N on the sketch. The aircraft were to come in in two streams. 7 Parachute Battalion, RE and Main Brigade HQ on the right and the remainder on the left. Units were to RV as shown on sketch II. The glider element, including advanced Divisional HQ, was to land on prepared strips at 0300 hrs.

The task set 7 Parachute Battalion was to relieve the coup de main force on the bridge and secure the BENOUVILLE bridgehead on the West bank of the canal. It was vital that this relief should take place before counter-attacks could develop in force. This was the reason for sending an advanced det to the 7th Battalion RV. In addition, the leading company was to be specially lightly equipped and prepared to move at the double.

The 7 Parachute Battalion was also prepared to secure unaided the two bridges in the event of the coup de main attack having miscarried.

12 Parachute Battalion was to secure the Eastern approaches to the river bridge to include the high ground at road junction 113744, LE BAS De RANVILLE 1073 and the spur SW of the village as shown on Sketch V.

13 Parachute Battalion was to secure RANVILLE, prepare the glider strips in conjunction with 591 Parachute Squadron RE, and provide protection for the DZ during the work on the strips and during the landing of the glider element.

Battalions were to send out battle outposts and patrols as indicated on Sketch V. Brigade HQ would open in the vicinity of 7 Parachute Battalion RV and later move to farm buildings 106741. The final layout of the Brigade as planned inclusing anti-tank and machine gun defences is shown on Sketch V.

The instruction regarding use of wireless allowed the reporting of objectives captured, but otherwise wireless silence until the seaborne forces landed (0720 hours).

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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