|Title||50 (NORTHUMBRIAN) DIVISION, An extract from the divisional history|
|Description||50 Div: Diary of G.S.O.l, 1943 - 1944|
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L.C.A. - landing craft assault.
L.S.I. - landing ship infantry, which carried both troops and L.C.A. across the Channel to the point where the L.C,A. were lowered for the run-in to the shore
saw East Yorkshires moving towards his position.
The left-hand company of the 5 E Yorks, which landed close to the seawall fronting La Riviere, met much heavier opposition. Unfortunately, the pre-H hour bombardment had missed a 50 yard strip extending the length of the village, and from there the enemy were firing at them with all the weapons they could muster.
At the western end of the sea wall there was an 88 mm casemated gun position which had a field of fire straight down the beach, and was supported by M.Gs. As the leading craft touched down a murderous fire was directed upon the craft and the troops fighting their way ashore. Craft was also damaged by the beach obstacles during the run-in, and men swimming ashore from them came under fire from the enemy positions on the seawall and the houses immediately beyond.
Two AVRE (specially equipped tanks to deal with fortifications) were hit immediately after landing and, owing to the large amount of explosives they carried, immediately blew up, killing, and wounding infantry who were near them, including a company commander, a second- in-command of a company, and three platoon commanders. This was a heavy loss in leaders at the most critical stage of 69 Brigade's operation.
Under this withering fire, the company were forced to seek some protection immediately under the see. well. They were joined by a reserve company, landing 20 minutes after them. The enemy, on top for the moment, and taking heart of grace, pitched grenades over the sea wall and engaged the troops with mortar fire.
In spite of all this, one platoon, supported by an amphibious tank. forced its way over the wall and through a thick belt of wire on top of it, and began to clean up the enemy spandau positions in the houses facing the front.
Meanwhile, a platoon of one of the E Yorks' companies which had reached Mont Fleury had turned north-east, and, supported by amphibious tanks and AVREs, was working its way round the back of La Riviere and, reaching the eastern end, started to clear the houses. These frontal and flank attacks resulted in the clearing of the village by about 0900 hrs. 42 prisoners were taken, many Germans were killed, and the attack gained momentum again.
Farther to the west the Brigade Commander's party had landed at about 0830 hours, rather delayed by the choppy sea and the beach obstacles, which were not yet cleared on this stretch or the beach. In the craft carrying the Brigade Commander's party ashore from the frigate were a Jeep and carrier, and the Royal Marine crew manning the boat manoeuvred it skilfully through the beach obstacles to land the vehicles and personnel in comparatively shallow water.
The remainder of the Brigade HQ personnel, which included a half-track control vehicle, and was commanded by the Brigade Major, Major C.P.N. Parker, closed the beach in a tank landing craft an hour after H hour, but the half-track vehicle in which the staff was travelling disembarked from the craft into a bomb crater concealed by the tide and was later squashed flat by the landing craft, which beached on top of it. The Brigade Major's party had a near escape
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)