WD Jun 44 6 Jun

HQ 5 Para Bde - 0100 - Bde HQ lands. Major part dropped off and to the East of DZ 'N'

0215 - 30% Bde HQ at RV 112745. HQ opens here. Clearing of obstructions on DZ 'N' begins.

0300 - 60% Bde HQ at RV.

0330 - 4 A/L A Tk Bty and Bde glider element lands on LZ 'N' A Tk guns move quickly into posn. 9 x 6 pdr and 2 x 17 pdr landed safely.

0230 - 7 Para Bn (approx one coy in strength) move from Bn RV, cross hrs and est tight bridgehead on West of Canal.

0400 - LE BAS DE RANVILLE occupied by 12 Para Bn (Str approx about 2 coys ) PWs from 736 Gren Regt taken.

0530 - Bde HQ moves to Fm 106741 and is later joined by Comd Post.

1100 - 7 Para Bn extend br head posns on arrival of further tps which had been dropped off DZ. Series of counter attacks begin against 7 Para Bn from NW and South. Elements of 736 Gren Regt and 192 PZ Gren Regt indentified and supported by light tks and a few SP guns. All attacks successfully beaten off.

1200 - Patrols and recce elements of 125 PZ Gren Regt attack 12 Para Bn from the south, attacks continuing during the afternoon with considerable losses to enemy. Some PWs taken. Tks and SP guns seen. All attacks repulsed.

1300 - 4 SS Bde, seaborne tps, reach and cross brs BENOUVILLE and PONT TOURNANT 3 Cdo remains area brs to reinforce 12 Para Bn if necessary.

1330 - Tks of 13/18 Hussars arrive at brs.

2100 - Gliderborne forces land. RUR on LZ 'N' and move to LONGUEVAL, 2 Oxf and Bucks on LZ 'W’ and move to HEROUVILLETTE. Two glider casualties.

2300 - Resupply by air.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

7 Para Bn. (Action fought at RANVILLE and BENOUVILLE brs on night 5/6 Jun and 6 Jun 44). Task: (i) Seize and hold brs over R ORNE and CANAL DE CAEN
(ii) Est br on West bank until relieved by seaborne tps.
(iii) Neutralise and occupy bty posn at 105765 (thought to be abandoned).

Method: Drop 0050 hrs. DZ "N" 118749 - 113737.

If coup de main force (see other notes) failed bn was to cross water in airborne dinghies and capture brs. Drop was not accurate and assembly slow:- Reasons: 1. Sticks scattered (kit bags caused delay at exits).
2. Aircraft came in at different angles.
3. MG fire on DZ.
4. Kit bags containing boating material were hy and slowed men down.

0130 hrs: 50% men arrived at RV. No wireless sets, mortars or mmgs. Success signal of coup de main force heard, bn moved across brs into pre-arranged posns. Crossed brs at 0140 hrs (of other reports 0300 hrs).

0210 hrs: Ordered coup de main force to withdraw and be responsible for canal br.

From then onwards fighting was confused and continuous. Conditions were made worse by lack of mortars, mmgs and wirless. B Coy in LE PORT were troubled with snipers, and were hy attacked in their posn on wooded escarpment at 096750.

A Coy were apparently surrounded. No news came from them. B Coy was attacked from the South. RAP in A Coy area was overrun.

B Coy only held Southern half of LE PORT.

C Coy was split into battle outposts with orders to withdraw only if hy attacked; none did.

Rifle Coys were at 50% strength.

A few mortar and mmg personnel were attached to the counter attack force at BN HQ (C Coy less two pls).

Plan: Hold enemy on line running North-South from LE PORT to BENOUVILLE.
B Coy to hold Southern half of LE PORT and small wood on North side of rd June at 097748.


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

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