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16 Jun

This attack made poor progress and tps dug in in the evening.

I did a tour round to La Belle - La Senaudiere and saw Bdes about next day‘s operations. Again these were to be limited.

A number of tks lay in the path of the attack at La Senaudiere, mostly ours; we haven't the technique for this country yet.

We heard that the Bosche had started using pilotless aircraft and all bombers are directed on them today.

On our front there is still 901 Pz Gr bn from all accounts these are not in too good shape.

Brig Walter who had only commanded 151 Bde two days wounded.

17 Jun

Conference at which Bde Comds and Brig Cooke-Collis, 7O Bde, came to arrange attack on Tilly.

Weather still very cold. A great deal of AA at midnight last night and bombs around. Looked as if a small dump may have gone up.

I suggested use of 3“ mortar white phosphorous bombs onto enemy tanks if they came too close as an anti-tank weapon. GOC gave this out this morning as worth trying, might set them on fire and would certainly make them feel uncomfortable.

We find the country difficult and the infantry, after the casualties suffered, are not good enough - the Bosche seems to be quite superior in the sparring and small detachment fighting.

1500 hrs. Went out to see battle by 151 Inf Bde which started at 1600 hrs. 2 ESSEX to drive down rd from Buceol to Tilly-Sur- Seulles while 6 DLI to be launched at appropriate moment to go in from West flank. Met Wendy Willot at Pt 85 and we looked at the result of the Lingevres battle - many panthers, some SP guns knocked out.

Tried the Chateau in enemy country and while just approaching, were shelled at 15 yards range. Two bits hit my face but no more than a cut and bruise. Thought they were ours. Another followed not long afterwards with two duds.

May got Tilly tonight if its not too late (now 2150 hrs).

Decided that our tactics fall short and we don't take advantage of this country. Worth much thought.

Saw all Brigs today - Popper for a chat, Cracroft (who said his casualties to date were 30 officers and 200 men plus 60 tanks) Stanier and Knox. Lidwell, commanding the Durhams Bde (from 8 DLI) not happy about his operation. Bucknall also called in connection with operation Implacable.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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