obscured by an enormous swarm of aircraft towing gliders. They came in perfect formation, and, as they were released, the gliders turned through 180 degrees and glided in to land way to the East- wards. Following them a few minutes later, came the heavy bombers to drop the containers of equipment. That also was a very spectacular sight, especially since the various containers were attached to parachutes of different colours.
37. "The whole of the air-landing operation appeared to go absolutely smoothly, and apparently without any vestige of opposition. It was a great sight for the troops, and acted as an enormous fillip. It equally impressed the German prisoners, but in a different way. They did not seem to think it was quite fair."

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

2 Ox and Bucks. Regt less Br aslt party of D Coy and two pls of B Coy took off from HARWELL and KEEVEL airfds at 1840 hrs and 1910 hrs.
2055 - Over French coast. All gliders except 4 landed near LZ. Some flak and some firing on LZ, and snipers at BENOUVILLE. Regt formed up rd junc 098754. Contacted Major Howard of aslt gp and moved to ass area 108744.
HQ at 109744. CO received orders to move fwd to 13 Para Bn area at RANVILLE with the intention of occupying HEROUVILLETTE as soon as possible and then moving fwd to occupy ESCOVILLE as was originally intended.
From Account of Coup de Main Force
Para Bn arrived two hrs late.
Op completed within 15
min of landing. Missing glider landed near a br on R DIVES and crew fought way back to rejoin bn at 0230 hrs on 8 Jun.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

12 Devon. 1 coy landed area 1273 and moved to HEROUVILLETTE 1 glider crashed in sea.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

1 SS Bde. 4 Cdo with Adv Bde HQ landed at LA BRECHE at H+30. They were 500 strong and their objective was the coastal bty at OUISTREHAM. 4 Cdo had suffered 40 casualties while landing including the CO. C Tp of the Cdo engaged the defences and gained the main coast rd, followed by the rest of the Cdo. Fighting French Tps led the Cdo towards OUISTREHAM, coming under hy fire. They overran the casino area and the assault on the bty commenced. After severe fighting the posn was taken. Casualties on both sides were heavy.
Meanwhile Adv Bde HQ contacted the CO 2 Bn E. Yorks. R/T contact by Bde HQ was made with 6 Airborne Div and it was learnt that the brs which the Bde intended to use were intact.
Bde HQ and 6 Cdo landed at 0840 hrs under hy gun and mortar fire. 6 Cdo took the lead when the rd was gained and the adv to the hrs commenced. Progress was slow because of the marshy ground and enemy mortar fire. The forming up pt was reached in 1 hr, by which time 3 and 45 RM Cdos had landed and they caught up with 6 Cdo. They had suffered few casualties. The brs were reached at 1230 hrs and contact nmde with 6 Airborne Div.
6 Cdo crossed the bra and sent their cycle Tp fwd to capture LE PLEIN. Bde HQ halted E of the river br. 45 RM Cdo passed over the brs towards thier objectives at MERVILLE and FRANCEVILLE PLAGE. 3 Cdo who had been held up, crossed the brs at 1530 and were diverted to protect Div HQ. Thus the original plan was abandoned and the Bde Comd decided to hold the high ground from MERVILLE for the night. Bde HQ moved to ECARDE and 6 Cdo consolidated in LE PLEIN.
4 Cdo rejoined the Bde at 2000 hrs, and dug in st HAUGER they had suffered hy casualties in fighting during the day. At the end of the day, 3 Cdo were still detached.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

3 CDO 0830 hrs Convoy hove to off beach.

0905 hrs Touch down LCsI under shell fire during last half of run-in. Two LCsI hit. Bench under fire and casualties suffered. Cdo formed up under CO and moved to FUP.


(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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