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holding out, or of those liquidated . . . . The Chief of General Staff gives the order that the counter-attack of 7 Jun must reach the coast without fail, since the strong point defenders expect it of us."

Despite all exhortations and reaction on the part of the High Command the reserves had not moved early Parachute troops produced the usual scare and 21 Panzer Divisionā€˜s reconnaissance unit spent several hours looking for airborne troops in the area South of CAEN,

192 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, of the same division, was apparently located North of CAEN and was involved in fighting early on, but it was not till 1500 hrs that 12 SS Panzer Division began to move from East of LISIEUX.

The coastal sector of 716 Infantry Division proved to have been strengthened by nearly a regiment from 352 Division, elements of which were identified in the ARROMANCHES area.


During the morning of 6 Jun, 30 British Corps received reports that V United States Corps on its RIGHT had landed to time on OMAHA beach. It was hoped that a rapid expansion of this bridgehead would greatly ease the capture of PORT EN BESSIN which was to be the Joint Anglo-American petrol port.

The situation on this beach during D-day, however, was far from favourable. Heavy seas combined with beach obstacles, wire and minefields made the landing both costly and precarious. The leading troops were unable for some time to move off the beach and during this period it was impossible to land many of the supporting weapons owing to the congestion. The preliminary bombardment had by no means nullified the enemy strong points. Observed fire throughout the day caused heavy casualties among troops of 1 United States Infantry Division, both on the beach and coming ashore. By midnight, however, a strip approximately 10,000 yards long, with a maximum depth of 3,000 yards, had been captured.

On the RIGHT the situation was somewhat easier. 82 United States Airborne Division and 101 United States Airborne Division had both dropped successfully during the early hours of 6 Jun. The area they covered was wider than had been anticipated, but the initial objectives were quickly captured.

4 United States Infantry Division, leading the assault of VII United States Corps, had landed slightly South-East of the prescribed UTAH beach and found stiff opposition when it tried to turn towards the original objectives on its RIGHT flank. By nightfall, however, it was clear that a penetration of up to 10,000 yards had been made. It was later learned that contact with the airborne forces had also been achieved.


It had now become clear that a considerable number of minor landing craft were being damaged by tellermines, generally when the craft had discharged their cargoes and were going astern. This was to have a detrimental effect in due course on the build-up from the South coast.

A long report by the Naval Liaison Officer received at 1050 hrs on 7 Jun gave warning of an expected delay in unloading in the next 24 hours, failing a spectacular improvement in weather. The main causes

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr

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