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Capt SHOPPEE who had been detailed as TROWBRIDGE party arrived at BURES He had landed at BRIQUEVILLE 173722 and moved straight to BURES which he found unoccupied and recce‘ed bridges. At 0545 hrs he met RE party and reported. He also met Recce patrol from Bn and a runner was dispatched to bring up pl for protection of RE party and Jeeps landed with RE stores.


Lt THOMPSON reported to Bn HQ. He stated that he had landed on the RANVILLE DZ with the mortars and MMGs. He landed at 0100 hrs and collected 3 MMG dets and 3 with 2 mortars and 3 MMGs and some 50 ORs mainly from "A" coy. At 0200 hrs he left DZ with the object of making for TROARN. In RANVILLE he met a Frenchman who said he would act as a guide and he moved via RANVILLE - LE MESNIL X rds to rd junc 140704 where he met at 0450 Maj ROSEVEARE RE and 1 Offr and 20 ORs of the Bn and a party of REs. Lt THOMPSON had 1 Offr casualty with him. Maj ROSEVEARE took command of the party and ordered them to hold a firm base on the rd junc as he had NO idea where the Bn was. He, with a party of REs was going to try to blow the bridge at TROARN. Lt THOMPSON organised the defence of the rd junc. Then moved down the rd to make a reccc when he met the force at x rds 147695 who directed him to bN HQ. The CO directed him to bring his force to the Bn area and it arrived at 0615 hrs.


PIAT det at X rds 147695 reported six half-track vehs moving on rd TROARN - LE MESNIL and approaching their posn. They opened fire and scored hits on all six vehs causing their crews to dismount and take up posn on the far side of the rd. A fire fight then ensued and after a spirited action the enemy withdrew with their casualties leaving 3 dead who were identified as 21 PZ Div and six half-tracks, four of which were inadequately destroyed as they were recovered by the enemy that night.


Patrol arrived back from TROARN. Patrol comd stated that he had moved to TROARN STA and was fired on from the high ground to the SOUTH of the STA. Patrol could NOT get on and lay up and observed half-track vehs moving NORTH on TROARN - LE MESNIL rd and TROARN - BANNEVILLE rd.

CO then appreciated that most of mobile coy had probably left TROARN and that as soon as RE party were finished with BURES bridges, TROARN bridge could be dealt with.


Capt JUKES RE reported to Bn HQ that bridges had been blown at 0915 and that he thought that TROARN bridge had also been blown. He also stated that there was an A tk gun and Jeep and a Glider and 3 casualties in the river. CO went to BURES. An attempt was made to extract the A tk gun but this was found to be impossible.


REs returned from BURES and it was decided to send RE party with Jeep and explosives and one strong pl into TROARN to blow bridge or, if already blown, to widen gap.

Remainder of Bn would move to rd junc 140704 NO word had been received of patrol that had gone to recce NORTHERN approaches to TROARN. Force to blow bridge at TROARN was to move via BURES and then down axis of rd SOUTH to TROARN.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 8th Battalion. The Parachute Regiment: War Diary, 1944 June

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