50 (N) DIV
Diary of GSO 1

6 Jun

0700 hrs- Absolute quiet until the opening bombardment started. Earlier possible to see Bomber Command dealing with the Mont Fleury and Long batteries. Towards Cherbourg, air activity, AA and bombing. The bombardment could be easily seen until the smoke screened the beaches.

LCA's found the weather bad, and DD tanks could not be launched. They came in from LST and caught up with inf later.

The attack went through quickly and according to plan particularly on 69 Inf Bde front. Le Hamel was not bombed (the bombs falling on Ryes) and this caused the 1 Hamps many casualties and much delay.

Information at Div HQ in HMS Bulolo was excellent and but for on gun of Longues battery firing at her, all went smoothly.

The Arromanche III (two 75's) continued firing for some time and attracted the attention of destroyers.

The weather and wind caused the tide to be higher than anticipated and many craft struck shells tied on posts and were holed. Many were left dried out when the tide fell,

By the evening, 231 Inf Bde were through Arromanche, holding Ryes and La Rosiere.

56 Bde were just short of Bayeux with 2 SWB about Magny. 2 Essex had patrols into Bayeux.

151 Bde, with little or no fighting were on the railway SE of Bayeux. 69 Bde had reached the R Seulle about St Gabriel.

Div HQ landed and were at Meuvaines that afternoon and night.

Considerable sniping took place during the day. 47 RM Commando who had landed in front of Le Hamel lost many LCA's from shell fire and small arms. They swam ashore and had to fight for their weapons (cap- tured). No touch with them all day, or during the night.

7 Jun

The attack continued from first light and the enemy put up strong- est resistance around Port-en-Bessin. The Longue Battery was taken with 60 prisoners and 160 dead Bosche were found. Generally the guns were intact but all around coastal batteries there was considerable confusion. The daylight bombing had been most effective.

The evening before the Corps Commander suggested to me that Bayeux should be bombed but during the General‘s absence I said No. We have now a town virtually untouched by bomb or shell.

By the evening all objectives had been taken except Port-en- Bessin. There was still no contact here with the Commando:

We heard that things had gone well elsewhere, but the 1 US Div had had a bad time landing. They were by this evening only 2000 yards inland.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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