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25 July

Spent the morning up near and in front of Hottot with Brig Gordon to View the country. Could see nearly as far as Villers Bocage. Watched some mortar shooting by 59 Div on the left.

The ground is very difficult - the 1/25,000 maps are far from accurate as regards contour heights.

In afternoon visited the beaches - first Ver Sur Mer battery amn still left there and plenty of empty cases. Two casemates had 75 mm guns in them. These more undamaged except for one which had had a naval shell inside - it must have exploded. Large craters everywhere very close. La Riviere looked much knocked about and the rockets must have done a lot of damage. Mont Fleury bty had two casemates uncompleted. The other two were not hit but signs of much bombing nearby. Along the beach to see many small craft wrecked and much shambles still. At La Hamel the large casemates facing West was untouched but the locality in the centre of the marshes was utterly destroyed.

Le Hamel was not badly damaged - it is overlooked by Arromanches III - three casemates sunk in the cliff. These were the ones which lasted so long and which destroyers went right into to fire. One LCS (L) also en- gaged them. The Meuvaine ridge was most outstanding and we did not appreciate its value. Alleged to be two 75 and some MGs in the centre of it but didn't see them. It was well plastered by naval fire but might have been very difficult especially for 231 Inf Bde. There the escarp- ment stood some 1600x book, perhaps too for from the Bosche. A Vickers might have wrecked all. The feature has great depth too.

The Mulberry was packed with ships - a terrific achievement - 8000 tons a day we hear. A cruiser and two destroyers and up to 80 ships seem to be there, many duwks also working. Cmre back through Cruelly and Crepon and wondered at the division's achievements.

Canadian attack SE of Caen a wash out and heavy fighting. Decision not to go on with it.

American First Amy attack West of St Lo going well - first air bom- bardment went off yesterday - but tps not ready and support not stopped. Repellth again this morning. 1500 Hy, 500 Mediums, 1000 Fighters, half escort, half dive bombers. They have it over us for air support.

26 JulV

American attack progressing. A breakthrough near Coutances would make a difference. This is now the most important sector, and they must reach Granville and to the South. The open country, once reached and Seventh German Army must go. Great improvement in weather.

Cdn Corps not going on After yesterday's fighting. Our own front stirred up by enemy fighting patrol this morning and much mortaring and some shelling. Still actively pursuing propaganda. policy. Three deserters 326 Div and they have relieved 2 Pz Div now moving to SE of Caen.

27 July)
28 " ) Regrouping of Second Army and move all Mech Tps to the West.
29 " )

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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