- 17 -

Our own front readjusted to get one bn per bde into reserve.

A lively AA display at 0100 hrs.

Deserters about 9 - Did some more shooting with pamphlets Monty came to tea I believe.

l6 July

Heard the new plan. The offensives by 12 and 30 Corps purely diversionary to get a situation suitable for 8 Corps (11 & Gds Armd and 7 Armd with Armd Car Regts) for a breakthrough. The Bosche seems to have reacted to yesterday‘s attack and have got 4 and 9 SS Divs with some tanks, 2 Pz Div and res regt 276 Div involved - on from 277 Div and Eastwards to Caen North of the R Orne. The breakthrough is to be deep and may unhinge the whole line. Unfortunately we shall have no fresh inf divs to take advantage of it. American 5 Corps using 2 and 5 Divs are to thrust South swinging with left of 5 US Div on Caumont. Further West, an attack on a narrow front West of St Lo is designed to break through to the coast. It's big and ambitious but boldness is required. All air resources are to sp 8 Corps on their attack by dropping full load on Trouffeville and Cuverville, each flank of the penetration. US attack to start on 19 July, the day after 8 Corps.

Last night the Jerusalem air strip was opened and fighters pouring in. Shelled at 0230 and 0330 hrs. Some quite close to Div HQ's. Heard by our LO next morning that 21 aircraft damaged - 2 RAF killed, some injured. CCS had two nurses wounded and are moving we hear.

Saw air activity before going to bed.

17 July

Heard about the snipers of 151 Bde who crept fwd and on looking through hedge found trench with six Bosche, He was so surprised that he fell in. He was out first and they both legged it.

Esquay captured last night. Noyers ry sta also.

Heavy fighting Pt 124 and little progress at Evrecy. 53 Div attacking it today.

A lot of arty fire this morning. Monty to present ribbons this afternoon.

Much digging in, including my own bed by Osborne.

Russians 50 miles from E Prussia with 25 mile contact with R Numer.

Saw German bombing attack by light of flares - seemed heavy and cone down on fwd tps 49 Div and straddled 12 Corps HQ and 15 (S) Div. Casualties not believed heavy.

18 July

Heavy air attack for 8 Corps started 0615 hrs and H hr was brought forward to 0745 hrs. By 0730 hrs dust and smell of explosives smelt at our HQ's.

Hair out 15 fr to Pro Cpl. Excellent weather.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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