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Russian offensive going well Bosche probing today indications of attack NW from Noyers, this accounts for the bomber operation.

Brig Erskine replaces Brig Pepper (131 Bde of 7 Armd and 56 Bde respectively).

Very sorry as Pepper was first class, and bad luck on 56 Bde.

1 July

Attacks all day against Brettevillette and Granville, but costly for Bosche. 49 Div claiming 30 - 40 tanks. Only German 1 SS Div (abortive effort 0300) 9 SS (ditto 0700 hrs) and 2 ss (persistent throughout day) attacks. Our front quiet.

An ambulance 53 (W) Div drove into enemy lines at Fontenay - Juvigny (where driver asked a man the way to Buyeux) Le Lion Vert and got shot up about to enter 5 E Yorks. Three occupants made off to- wards and into 2 Essex lines, leaving the Sgt in a burned out Sherman. 2 Essex sent patrol to bring him in. Ambulance blow up on a mine when being salvaged later by 5 E Yorks, Pioneer Sgt being badly hurt.

69 Bde put on a raid tonight but was unsuccessful in getting prisoner.

Hear that flame throwers have been used on 15 (S) Div front.

2 July/3 July

Quiet day everywhere, claims that Bosche has withdrawn quite unfounded.

Americans to start big offensive 3 July. Monty said to be very pleased.

Wilkie (6 N Staff) Bullock (7 S Staffs) and Borrowdale (E Lancs) all of 59 Div came to see me and went up to the line.

Trying to get minefield situation cleared up and issued first Standing Order on subject.

151 Bde raid off on Hammer Wood for lack of information.

Went to Bayeux and saw my office lorry - all very good and will help my work.

Signs of enemy concentration area woods Hammer and Juvigny so stonked them well at midnight. Some enemy shelling continues at night, not for from Div HQ which is situated in the gen area of Div Arty and 5 AGRA.

Wondered why Army Commander had not made a plan so as to keep battle going today. Suggested a sharp thrust to Carpiquet aerodrome and Caen to make enemy react. Then pinch out remainder of enemy on 3 Cdn Div front leading to final thrust in strength to Noyers to straighten our line. This would deceive him, threaten Caen, and finally might straight- en our line. Story of GSO 1, 9 SS Pz Div, who gave div area in Sitrep and finished up with 'abandon hope all you who enter here'. BGS to see GOC and plot hatching. Three prisoners - Two from Tank Wood area.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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