|Title||6 Airborne Div: report on operations, 1944 June|
|Description||Extracts from report on operations, 6 Airborne Division|
- 8 -
(a) 7 Para Bn and Br Aslt Paryt
The seizure of the brs over the CANAL DE CAEN and R ORNE was carried out by a gliderborne "Coup de Main" party of six pls 2 OXF BUCKS, with dets RE. This force being sp by 7 Para Bn dropping half an hr later.
The gliders landed exactly on time at 0020 hrs, and with great accuracy. The surprise obtained in this initial ldg, coupled with the vigour and speed with which the aslt was delivered result- ed in the enemy def being swiftly overrun. Both brs were captured intact, and a close brhead est on the WEST bank.
The drop of 7 Para Bn was scattered. This delayed re-org, but by 0300 hrs 40% of the Bn reached the brs. The Bn assumed respon- sibility for the posn on arrival, and enlarged the brhead on the WEST bank to a depth of 800 yds.
Enemy counter action began to develop at 0500 hrs, and increased in intensity during the day. Many strong counter attacks sp by AFVs on the brhead were beaten off, and 7 Para Bn with the "coup de main" force hold their posns successfully for 23 hrs until finally relieved by advancing seaborne forces at 0030 hrs on 7 Jun.
(b) 12 and 13 Para Bns
These two Bns dropped at 0050 hrs, and were also scattered. It is estimated that they were not more than 60% strong when they moved from their RVs. 12 Para Bn seized the BAS DE RANVILLE area, and 13 Para Bn the RANVILLE - LE MARIQUET area.
German reaction was swift. 125 Pz Gren Regt attacked RANVILLE and were repulsed losing a number of PW and one tk destroyed. A further attack developed at 1045 hrs sp by SP guns. This penetrated the village but was beaten off. In this fighting 12 Para Bn bore the brunt of the attack. 3 Airldg A Tk Bty accounted for 3 SP guns and 1' tk. The cas in this area during the day were 50 killed and 420 wounded, in addition there were those who were missing owing to the scattered drop.
At 1300 hrs the posn was critical, and the leading Cdo of 1 SS Bde to cross the brs was diverted to LE 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 delayed their penetration into FRANCEVILLE PLAGE.
(a) 9 Para Bn
The task of destroying the enemy coastal bty at 155776 was allotted to 9 Para Bn with dets RE and Fd Amb under comd. They were also given the secondary task of seizing and holding the LE PLEIN feature until relieved by 1 SS Bde.
The Bn dropped at 0050 hrs over an enormous area. They moved off from the RV at 0250 hrs only 150 strong and having only 1 MG.
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)