|6 Airborne Div: report on operations, 1944 June
|Extracts from report on operations, 6 Airborne Division
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(f) In addition to these tps two other fmns seemed to be closely connected with the area in a counter-attack role.
(i) 352 InfDiv with HQ at either CANISTY (T45) or CAUMONT (T75) and regt centred at AMIGNY (T46),BALLEROY (T66),7 CANISTY (T45).
Little infm was available about the div but it was reckoned as reasonably mob, and it was estimated to be able to cone and be ready to operate in the area CAEN - BAYEUX by H + 8 hrs. In fact, this Div was drawn off to the WEST and never intervened on the front.
(ii) 12 SS PzDiv HITLER-JUGEND cone in the gen area BERNAY - LAIGLE - DREUX was believed to be well up to str and fully equipped having some 21,000 men and an unknown number of PANTHER tks.
Its time of arrival in the area of ops could only be roughly estimated, but it was assumed to be cone with the intention of having to operate primarily in the area NORTH of LISIEUX and secondarily EAST of the SEINE. It was expected to be ready to operate complete SE of CAEN by H + 12 hrs.
(g) Of other counter-attack fmns the most noteworthy were 21 PzDiv in the area RENNES and 3 Para Div in WESTERN BRITTANY. The former was situated so that it could operate either to the NE in the COTENTIN peninsular or to the WEST in the BREST peninsular which is not ideal tk country. It was thought therefore that 3 Pain Div would be used in the close country in WESTERN BRITANNY leaving 21 PzDiv to operate directly NORTH or towards the base of the COTENTIN peninsular. 21 PzDiv did in fact move towards CAEN during May and in the event, was on manoevres with an anti-invasion role in the area.
In conclusion it appeared that having ascertained the limits of the ldg and failed in initial counter-attack the obvious line on which the enemy would hold the invading forces would be the high ground to the East of the flooded valley of the R DIVES. The bn situated at DOZULE was well placed for such an eventuality.
(h) Although it would weaken the estuary defs of the SEINE (which were a definite part of the GERMAN system) it was likely that when once the threat had clearly declared itself WEST of the ORNE and there was no sign of an attack EAST of the DIVES or on the SEINE estuary, part of 711 InfDiv would move across to take up posn along the high ground EAST of the DIVES. At first one complete regt might move there and if the enemy appreciated no further threat to the EAST the whole div might be moved.
(i) The action of 716 InfDiv was expected to be completely influenced by the ldgs to the pt of disruption.
(a) 5 Para Bde Gp
Comd Brig J.H.N. Poett.
Tps: 5 Para Bde with under
comd 4 A Tk Bty RA (less one see)
D Coy 2 OXF BUCKS
591 Para Sqn RE (less one tp)
Det 286 Fd Pk Coy RE
225 Para Fd Amb
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