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Fighter aircraft maintained standing patrols over the bridgehead and to a depth of thirty to forty miles. 83 Group Royal Air Force also provided close support in answer to requests from assault formations.

The scanty information available from United States forces at this stage showed that landings at OMAHA and UTAH beaches had been made, and that American airborne operations were proceeding according to plan.

The enemy was also beginning to react. Reports of tank and motor transport movement into the landing area were received from tactical reconnaissance and ground sources. '

A telephone conversation at 1655 hrs between Chief of Staff Western Command (RUNSTEDT'S Headquarters) and Chief of Staff Seventh German Army, provided an interesting sidelight on these first reactions:-

"Chief of Staff to C-in-C West (RUNSTEDT'S Headquarters) emphasises the desire of Supreme Command (HITLER) to have the enemy in the bridgehead annihilated by the evening of 6 Jun, since there exists a danger of additional sea and airborne landings for support. In accordance with an order by General JODL, all units will be diverted to the point of penetration in CALVADOS. The beachhead there must be cleaned up by not later than tonight. The Chief of the General Staff declares that such would be impossible. The Commander of Army Group B (ROMMEL) states that 21 Panzer Division must attack immediately regardless of whether reinforcements arrive or not. The Supreme Command has ordered that the bad weather conditions of the night 6/7 Jun be utilised for the bringing up of reserves."

Soon after midnight it was reported that unloading was considerably behind schedule owing to the rough seas, the loss of RHINO ferries and congestion at the single exit from MIKE beach.

The general situation towards the end of D-day was:-

1 Corps

On the general line CREULLY 9080 - COLOMBY 9977 - BIEVILLE 0573 - with a pocket of enemy holding out at DOUVRES 0180.

30 Corps

Had established control over area between CREULLY and high ground in area ST SULPICE 8181 - VAUX SUB SEULLES 8477 - SOMMERVIEU 8281.

The general feeling was one of satisfaction; Situation Report Number 1 issued by Main Headquarters at 2330 hrs recorded in an almost matter of fact manner:-

"Second British Army has affected all its landings as planned and has established a substantial bridgehead."

A further telephone conversation by Chief of Staff Seventh German Army provided information on the enemy situation at that time:-

"716 Infantry Division is still defending itself at strong points. Communications between division, regimental and battalion command posts, however, no longer exist, so that nothing is known as to the number of strong points still

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr

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