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had to put in an attack against this position in which they suffered a further 40 casualties but captured 60 prisoners. After this action, the rather depleted Commando advanced rapidly to Escures, a small village to the south of Port-en-Bessin, which was occupied by last light without opposition.

In view of the delay imposed by the Commando's action at Le Hamel and La Riviera. and the fact that the wireless link with 231 Brigade had failed to work, it was decided by the commander to abandon temporarily the original plan to attack the high ground east and west of the port under cover of aircraft smoke. The plan decided upon was to leave a small party at Escures, and to infiltrate into the town at first light and capture the port. This was done, and shortly after first light the Commando, less 15 who had been left at Escures, were fighting in the streets of Port-en-Bessin. By last light the town was in their hands but the cliffs on either side were still held by the enemy. During the following night the Commando attacked these positions and by approximately 0400 hours on 8 June all resistance had been beaten down. The party left at Escures were attacked and dis- lodged during the night, but the arrival of troops from 2 Devon in the early hours of 8 June helped them to restore the situation. By 0830 hours the road Port-en-Bessin - Longues - Arromanches was open and supplies and ambulances were sent to the Commando.

Thus ended a remarkable fine action, which, had it gone entirely according to plan, would have been difficult enough hampered as 47 Royal Marine Commando was by loss of men before the operation commenced, the delay and additional fighting at La Riviera and by the difficulty of establishing communications and the consequent loss of air support, its work is even more distinguished.

The Commando sustained approximately 200 casualties all told, and captured over 300 prisoners as well as killing a considerable number of the enemy.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 50 (NORTHUMBRIAN) DIVISION, An extract from the divisional history

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