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14 Jun

Night bombing of beach-head continues and this keeps us awake at night. The div which has had 8 days fighting is tired and has little sleep. We notice how short the nights are. Corps Commander urges the need for pressing on in order to get artillery in range of 7 Armd Div, which we hear has reached Villers-Bocage. Latest reports that they have been in contact with 2 Pz Div which has arrived to try and plug the hole. I think they intend to face 1 US Div with it as US had reached forward and captured Caumont and the forest of Cerise.

Tonight the news not quite so good because 7 Armd Div had been unable to attack the enemy on the more important feature 213 which dominated the village and hill 174.

The div is coming back into the gap on our right.

15 Jun

Heard that 7 Armd Div was back and had killed a very large number of Bosche en route. Ran into some infantry unprotected with their tanks. Our position is improved by the first bde of 49 Div being ready.

Corps Commander came to visit the GOC and explained the future Amy plan. Its still on but larger resources are required. 33 Armd Bde ashore and now 49 Div nearly complete.

The outline of the operation is as follows:-

It cannot take place before 18 Jun and is dependent on 50 and 49 getting forward to the rd Juvigny - Granville. It may be less easy to pass 7 Armd Div round the same. May pass Villers Bocage if 2 Pz Div is holding that commanding feature. I think this one may be on.

To oppose it there seems only to be 21 Pz and 12 SS Pz div fairly well committed on 3 Cdn and 3 Br div front with the threat of 51 high- land Div on their flank; 2 Pz Div (exact whereabouts are unknown) and 11 Pz 2 SS and 5 Para Div from the south, 116 Pz and 1 SS from the NE (Holland). Some of 5 Para Div have already appeared at Carentan

There are indications of 2 SS and 1 SS Pz Div in the forest of L'Eveque. These would lie on the flank of projected operations and are a threat - unless he commits them as a result of further advance of V US Corps.

Tied up the further attack on Hottot but our Artillery engaged with 49 Div for attack on Cristot and so nothing serious can take place before 1700 hrs. Later ordered Phase I only, this being carried out by 69 Bde.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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