|6 Airborne Div: report on operations, 1944 June
|Extracts from report on operations, 6 Airborne Division
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During the attacks of the 8 and 9 Jun, arty sp was most readily given by the Div Arty of 3 Br Inf Div. When over it was called for it came down in the required place accurately and rapidly. The volume was for in excess of any fire that could be produced from 6 Airborne Div's resources and was annihilating in its effect. Although on occasions the enemy penetrated slightly into our posns the weight had been taken out of his attack by arty fire and local counter attacks restored the situation.
(d) On 10 Jun at 0800 hrs 1 SS Bde front was subjected to hy mortar fire , while cones of mortar and shell fire came down in the RANVILLE and LE HOM area accompanied by bombing. At 0815 hrs inf probing attacks developed along the 1 SS Bde front and infiltrated through the BREVILLE gap between 1 SS Bde and 3 Para Bde
At 1030 hrs the main attack developed from BREVILLE, NORTH WESTWARDS against the LE PLEIN feature, and SOUTH WESTWARDS towards LE MARIQUET.
The attack against LE PLEIN failed, the enemy being driven back into BREVILLE false great loss. The attack SW was across the LZ used by our gliders and these afforded cover to the adv inf. The RANVILLE - LE MARIQUET area was held by 13 Par Bn, who held their fire until the enemy emerged into the open at close range. When they did fire, great losses were inflicted on the enemy who immediately halted and took cover.
To deal with this situation Comd 6 Airborne Div requested, and was given, the services of 1 Sqn 1 3/18 H (Sherman Tks) which crossed the hrs at 1400 hrs.
At 1600 hrs a counter attack was launched by two Coys 7 Para Bn accompanied by the Sqn 13/18 H from the LE HOM 109738 area. The enemy were completely taken by surprise and offered no org resistance. 200 enemy dead were left on the ground, and over 100 taken prisoner.
(f) It was 1 Corps intention to extend the brhead SOUTH and to this end the SOUTHERN sector was to be taken over by 51 (H) Div. No serious attack SOUTH was however safe with the BREVILLE gap still in the enemy's hands. 6 Airborne Div had not the resources to fill this gap and 1 Bn (5 BW) was therefore placed under comd for this purpose. The first step was for 153 Inf Bde to take over the SOUTH half of the BOIS DE BAVANT sector later 154 Bde the 6 Airldg Bde sector.
During night 10/11 Jun 153 Bde of 51 (H) Div crossed the R ORNE and entered the Div area; 1 BW under comd 3 Para Bde, to attack and capture BREVILLE on morning 11 Jun, 1 GORDONS to occupy a posn immediately SOUTH of 8 Para Bn area, and 5/7 GORDONS to pass through 1 GORDONS and capture TOUFFREVILLE 1368.
The attack by 1 BW on BREVILLE encountered hy opposition and failed. 1 BW suffered considerable cas and withdrew into 9 Para Bn area to reorg.
By 1915 hrs 5/7 GORDONS had occupied TOUFFREVILLE unopposed. At the same hr 4 SS Bde entered the Div area and came under comd 6 Airborne Div.
(g) On 12 Jun enemy attacks from BREVILLE began at 0500 hrs sp by tks. A counter attack restored the situation at 0615 hrs. Further enemy attacks came in at 0630 hrs and 1500 hrs, DF tasks being fired by 3 Br Div and 51 (H) Div, to repel these, At 1700 hrs another very determined attack came in which pressed tps back from their fwd posns
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