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1. Scale B moves to its concentration area on 20 May. The Signal Security Offr stayed behind as there were still many points to be cleared up.

2. Scale A moved to airfield transit camps on 28 May, and the Div Staff followed a day later.

3. The Div was disposed over 9 camps adjacent to the airfields from which they would take off.

4. The problem of comns while waiting for D day was tackled by CSO Airborne Tps who arranged army lines from 38 Gp to its air- fields and additional lines from airfields to transit camps.

5. A DRLS ran between all airfields, traffic being handed to the ACO (Airborne Control Officer) for disposal to camps. The ACO had no staff or DRs at his disposal to carry traffic from the airfields to camps (distances up to 2 miles).

6. Div HQ was at HARWELL and the volume of traffic was such that a signal office had to be opened using operational eqpt prior to ac being loaded and manned by personnel who should have been de- voting all their time to briefing.

7. Ac were loaded on 4 June thereafter the volume of traffic declined as necessity became the mother of invention in all literary matters.

8. The 24-hr postponement enabled the multitude of minor things to be cleared up which had been left to the last minute.

Conclusion on Planning

The complexity of launching an Airborne Div partly by air and partly by sea involves the closest liaison at all levels from the time that the outline plan is produced until the very last minute before the operation.

Administrative and operational instrs were received from General Staff and Signal Branches of the following fmns:-

21 Army Gp
1 Corps
Airborne Tps
3 Div Sigs
Southern Comd
6 Airborne Div.

While they were all dedicated to a common purpose they dif- fered in detail. Decisions given one day were reversed the next and so on until it became too late to contact those concerned or to make any changes. This is inevitable, but it should be borne in mind that nobody proceeding by air can take more than three small sheets of paper with them.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 6 Airborne Div: report on signals operations, 1944 June

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