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Just heard that a Czech Pw and austrian have deserted to 69 Inf Bde - it seems to be catching. Can expect more especially if we attack.

Yesterday 1 Corps (3 Cdn) and 43 Div (8 Corps) took on Carpiquet Aerodrome but one and lost Verson.

GOC was saying that he thought we had been wrong to take on Pt 103 with 8 Armd Bde in the early stages and that a continued drive to Hottot Via La Butte de la Gris Orme, La Senaudiere and Le Lion Vert would have been better - maintenance of 'objective' - Corps Come agreed at time - what however was the infm available. Pt 103 was we thought better tk country - and largely influenced the Division.

6 & 7 July

Spent in getting ready for the attack on Hottot. 4 Stages starting with 56 Bde.

Saw 250 Lancasters take on Caen and Bois de Cinglais at 9 pm last evening. Flak average and an inspiring effort. Heard of 1 Corps attack and that 59 Div was in it. Hope street fighting in Caen is not expected for we havenā€˜t enough men for that. It would swallow three divs. Corps Comd came and spoke to GOC in afternoon. Saw Brig Knox re edging forward tomorrow, and Brig Stanier for his attack - he is not confident that it will succeed without 25% casualties or that the troops will stay. Suggested air sp might help and a letter from the GOC.

8 July

The attack by 56 Bde went off at 0800 hrs. Straight forward attack with arty concs. Shadow tracks made were very successful and comns forward away from the road very good.

Objectives seem to have been secured except for an underground strong- point NW edge of the Bois de St Germain.

Enemy counter-attacked with one tank and coy inf and drove SWB back 400 yds. Rather puzzling this driving back, for we usually find we get there and come back. They keep posns just W of GRANVILLE, 2 Essex did well on the left under Elliot but their fwd posns were overlooked and they come back slightly. Virtually the battle was fought by Brig Ekins with only us, one Sqn Tks and Sqn Recce Regt.

Managed to get three air attacks in and these did some good particularly moral effect.

Had a busy day giving anticipated tgts to AGRA. One prisoner said 30 tks and bn inf got stonked in St Germain d'Ectot and the enemy c/a was only with 4 Tks and Coy inf.

Felt we should get one heavier next morning and arranged harassing accordingly. Got to bed at 2 a.m.

9 July

6 a.m. c/a but 20 Tks and bn infantry, probably the lot which caught it the night before. 8 Tks KO before breakfast N end Bois de St Germain.

Quiet day but enemy infantry attacks on Essex leading to hand to hand fighting in the evening.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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