casualties under heavy fire. Capt. Hanson, 2 i/c of C Coy was slightly wounded and his batman killed while proceeding to report to the Bde Commander who had arrived in the village from the area in which he dropped. C Coy, together with elements of Bde HQ and the REs took up defensive positions around the village and a further party encircled the pill-box in order to contain the enemy. A further party of C Coy under Lt. McGowan who had been dropped some distance from the DZ arrived in VARAVILLE in time to catch two German infantry sections who were attempting to enter the town. Lt. McGowan's platoon opened fire causing casualties and the remainder of the enemy surrendered. This platoon took up firing positions firing on the enemy pill-box. C Coy HQ which was located in the church yard pinned an enemy section attempting to advance in a bomb crater killing at least three. The chateau was evacuated by our troops and left as a dressing station. An enemy patrol re-entered the chateau and captured the wounded including Capt. Brebner, the Unit MO, and CSM Blair of B Coy. This patrol although attacked by our own troops managed to escape with their prisoners.

Heavy enemy mortar fire and sniping was brought to bear on our positions from the woods surrounding VARRAVILLE. During this time the local inhabitants were of great assistance, the women dressing wounds and the men offering assistance in any way. One Frenchnan in particular distinguished himself. Upon being given a red beret and a rifle he killed three German snipers. This man subsequently guided the Bde Commander and his party towards LE MESNIL; Although it is believed that he was a casualty of the bombing attack that caughtthis party on route to LE MESNIL.

At approximately 1030 hrs the enemy pill-box surrendered. Forty- two (42) prisoners were taken and four of our own men who had been captured were released. From 1230 hrs on artillery fire was brought to bear on VARRAVILLE from the high ground east of the R DIVES. At 1500 hrs cycle troops of the 6th Commando arrived and at 1730 hrs on 6 Jun 1944 C Coy proceeded to the Bn area at LE MESNIL. The German prisoners giving evident satisfaction to the French population en route.

Bn HQ - Initial Stages

The CO, 2 i/c Signals Officer and the Intelligence Officer and a small portion of the Bn HQ together with elements of 224 Para Fd Ambulance and other Bde Units met at the Bn RV in the early hours of the morning of 6 Jun 1944.

Current Reports from Overseas No. 49

Capture of a coastal battery - (MERVILLE). X Para Bn. - 9 Para Bn


Capture 4 x 150 mm guns (Near MERVILLE) in concrete emplace- ments.
Prevent their interference with seaborne landing.

Details of Bty:

180-200 all ranks.
Guns in concrete emplacements 12 ft high and 5 ft deep.
Concrete 2 metres thick.
Steel doors.
Covered by 4 metres earth.

Ground defs:

2 x 20 mm dual purpose MGs. (WD Jun 44 HQ 6 Airborne Div 1 x 20)
Surrounded by cattle fence enclosing a minefd 100x wide.
On inner side of minefd a wire fence 15 ft thick and 5 ft high, doubled in places.
One side an A Tk ditch 15 ft wide x 10 deep was sited.
Bty site was intersected by wire.

Outside the posn: Minefds were laid across open posns.

Organisation for Aslt

Bn was organised into ten parties, each detailed to carry out diff tasks.
Also five gliders were attd carrying special equipment such as 6 pdrs, jeeps, duraluminium foot brs and so on.


(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 6 Airborne Div.: H.Q. War Diary, 1944 June

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