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next day and so to eliminate once and for all this troublesome enemy foothold on the ridge overlooking Ranville. The village was strongly held by infantry and S.P. guns. Any attack on it from the South through the 9th Battalion would be exposed to counterattack on its right flank through the blind country North of the Chateau. The capture of the Chateau was therefore an essential preliminary to the Black Watch attack on Breville.

Soon after 11 p.m. C Company advanced in silence to seize the Chateau. Working forward astride the drive the company were soon amongst the buildings and found them empty. A few spasmodic bursts of fire marked the engagement of small parties of German troops, but the company consolidated their positions without any interference. For the rest of the night enemy patrols tried to probe in towards the Chateau and the company had a noisy time. But thanks to this distraction the enemy left the main position alone and the remainder of the battalion spent a quiet night. A patrol under Lieutenant Pond penetrated for about a mile to the East and found the buildings at Beneauville unoccupied, and reported a lot of horsed transport moving both ways on the Varaville road.

This was the end of the third day at Bois de Mont and to the battalion it seemed as if they had lived there all their lives. The arrival of fresh troops gave promise of some respite from continual fighting, and all looked forward to the relief, which the capture of Breville would bring.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: 9th Bn The Parachute Regiment North West Europe 1944 - 45

Page: Page 27