Gren Regt attacked RANVILLE and were repulsed leaving a number of PW behind, one tk was destroyed. A further attack at 1045 hrs sp by SP guns penetrated into the village but was beaten off. In this fighting 12 Para Bn took the brunt of the attack. The Airldg A Tk Bty accounted for 3 SP guns and 1 tk. The cas in this area during this day's fighting were 50 killed and 420 wounded, whilst the missing due to scattered dropping were over 600.

At 1300 hrs the position was critical; the first Cdo of 1 SS Bde to cross the brs was diverted to the BAS de RANVILLE. This Cdo was released in the evening. This diversion necessary though it was, curtailed the offensive action of 1 SS Bde and prevented their penetration into FRANCEVILLE PLAGE as had originally been planned.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

HQ 3 Para Bde. - 0056 - Bde HQ dropped, sticks scattered widely. Bde Comd wounded.
0900 - E MESNIL. Bde HQ opened area LE MESNIL X rds area 141728 (Sheet 75/2 1/50,000 . 1 Cdn Para Bn in same area protecting HQ. Bde Comd wounded in early morning by bomb fragment.
Capt J.A. Wilks, Sigs Offr 1, and Lt S. Gyton, Provost, missing. Strength (Bde HQ) 9 Offrs 12 ORs; (Def Pl) 1 Offr 26 ORs. 9 Para Bn under comd 1 SS Bde.
2300 - BM and SLO rejoin having come in with glider force.
0400 - Considerable number of PW taken from BREVILLE area, together with approx 40 rifles of varying types, 1 MG 34 and arm.

WD Jun 44 6 Jun

8 Para Bn - NORMANDY TOUFFREVILLE - 0020 - Pathfinder sticks arrive on DZ.
0045 - Gliders arrive on LZ, but are widely dispersed.
0050 - Bn Main Body - Time of 1st Drop on DZ.
DZ - 0020 - Two Reece parties of 8 Para Bn were dropped on DZ. Slight opposition was met at RV which was quickly overcome and one German killed. One German on a bicycle was taken prisoner.
0045 - OC Recce party saw gliders come over very widely dispersed. He was only able to locate two of them.
0050 - Saw Main Body arrive at different altitudes and all flying well above dropping speed.
0120 - CO arrived at RV and situation was as follows: There were about 30 men present and one RE jeep and trailer. It was reported by Reece party that Bn appeared to be very widely dispersed and that no container a/c had dropped on DZ. NOTE: The RV signal was a red and green Verey light put up at frequent intervals which could be seen a considerable distance away. Actually it was seen on RANVILLE DZ.
0145 - Sgt. Fesq of FSP was sent into TOUFFREVILLE to get inform- ation from the local inhabitants. He reported that TROARN was held and also ESCOVILLE and SANNERVILLE. The prisoner was also interrogated and he confirmed the statements of the local inhabit- ants. He reported that the fmn in TROARN was a mobile coy with half-tracks - strength of about 200 and that all main rds were covered by MG fire. During this period elements of the Bn were arriving slowly at the RV and there was considerable MG fire on the DZ. Everybody reported that they had been fired on on the way to RV.
0330 - Situation as follows:-

Bn Strength. 11 officers and about 130 ORs. 1 Officer and 2 ORs were wounded and 6 ORs had DZ injuries and were not in a condition to fight. The CO was wounded in the hand. 0300 - CO appreciated situation as follows:-
1. From reports from Recce party it appeared that remainder of Bn had dropped to the North of the DZ in area RANVILLE and LE MESNIL.
2. That Bn was not strong enough to capture TROARN and that we had no RE assistance to destroy the bridge.
3. That we had sufficient strength and explosives to destroy the bridge at BURES which was of single span type and could be des- troyed without much technical assistance.


(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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