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For this assault the commanding officer organised the Battalion into a number of special parties as follows:-

RV organisation party, whose duty was to organise and control the assembly of the Battalion after the drop. It consisted of‘ Major A.J.M. Parry, Lieutenant Christie, their two batmen, the Intelligence Corporal and one NCO from each company. They carried red, blue, green, yellow and maroon lights as well as white cloth markers to mark the company RVs, and a red Aldis lamp for the Battalion Report Centre. Officers of the Battalion also carried various instruments representing bird-noises to help in rallying the men on the way to the RV.

The Battery reconnaissance party were to move off as soon as possible after dropping without waiting for the Battalion to reform and to report by wireless to the commanding officer on the position of any enemy located on the route to the battery and on the condition of the battery itself. In this party were Major G.E. Smith, CSMI Miller and CSMI Harold, the two Battalion PT instructors. A duplicate party under Lieutenant D.G. Slade was detailed in case the first one failed to arrive.

The Taping party were to reconnoitre and clear gaps in the minefields up to the main perimeter fence, and to mark with white tapes the best approach to the battery as indicated by the Battery reconnaissance party. Captain the Honble C.P. Greenway and a section of B Company formed this party and were equipped with mine detectors and tape.

The Breaching company, formed by B Company, were to blow gaps in the inner wire obstacle.

The Assault company, which was C Company had the task of destroying the guns and men of the battery.

A Special Assault party in three gliders, commanded by Major R. Gordon-Brown and consisting of Captain H.E. Smyth, Lieutenant H.C. Pond, 47 men of A Company, one RE officer and 7 Sappers were to crash-land between the casemates as the battalion attacked. They were armed with Sten machine carbines, grenades and flame throwers.

Two fire groups under CSM‘s Ross and Harries were to support by fire the breaching and assault operations and to protect the flanks of the battalion. They each had three Bren light automatic groups, three snipers and three anti-tank rifle teams for sniping the casemates.

A Diversion party from the anti-tank platoon with five PIATs, two Brens and two German-speakers, all under Lieutenant Browne, was to break in with as much noise as possible at the main gate.

The remainder of the battalion under the Second in Command, Major E. Charlton, were to form a reserve and firm base for the whole operation. This included A Company less those in the assault gliders, battalion headquarters, mortar and machine gun platoons, the battalion medical section and a section of 224 Parachute Field Ambulance. In addition five other gliders were to land carrying two Royal Artillery 6 pounder anti-tank guns and their Jeeps and three RASC Jeeps and trailers. In the latter were ammunition 24 lengths of duraluminium scaling ladder and 12 duraluminium footbridges for the anti-tank ditch, and 60 lengths of Bangalore torpedo as a reserve for the breaching company.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

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