|Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr
|Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr.
- 6 -
of bad clearance of landing craft from the beaches were stated to be:-
(b) Damage to craft caused by obstacles
(c) Onshore winds.
A tribute to the support given to the Army by the Navy was in the following terms: - "Modern battleship fire remains at extreme premium owing to range of guns."
During the night further successful bombing had taken place. CAEN ARGENTAN, VIRE 6331, LISIEUX and ST L0 T.46, centres of road communication, were subjected to attack. Further air attacks were arranged for 7 Jun on many targets.
Operations ashore proceeded, though on the RIGHT flank contact had not been made with United States forces. At 0930 hrs elements of 56 Brigade entered BAYEUX while forward troops of 69 Brigade were reported at ST LEGER 8675 about an hour earlier. 0n the LEFT, 1 Corps had troops ready to attack CAZELLE 0276 with naval support.
Good support was forthcoming at all times from the Royal Air Force - close support in answer to demands from forward troops; tactical reconnaissance searching for signs of enemy movement to the bridgehead; deeper attacks by medium and heavy bombers.
At 1245 hrs, 21 Army Group reported that no bridges were serviceable over the R SEINE between CAUDEBEC L. 9426 and VERNON R.4474. It was not clear whether efforts to construct a pontoon at ROUEN had been made by the enemy or whether it was only the remains of a shattered bridge, a further testimony to our accurate bombing. Enemy fighter activity was, however, increasing some thirty miles inland, and more aircraft had to be assigned to each tactical reconnaissance mission. On the roads South of BAYEUX one of these missions reported much movement.
Meanwhile, 1 Airborne Division was held in readiness to fly in behind our own lines if required. 4 Parachute Brigade was at six hours notice from 1400 hrs on D plus 2.
The weather was not improving. At 0830 hrs Commander J Force (3 Canadian Division) had requested that sailings to JUNO should be stopped to avoid further congestion on the beaches. In fact, this. embargo on sailings was never imposed.
At 1810 hrs Tactical Headquarters Second Army established a radio telephone net from the Continent to Main Headquarters at PORTSMOUTH.
The capture of BAYEUX was completed at 1645 hrs, but elsewhere opposition was beginning to stiffen. Enemy armour was reported in the early afternoon moving North from AUDRIEU 8671 towards DUOY STE MARGUERITE 8573, and also South-West of AUTHIE 9871; an armoured battle was in progress in that area.
Airborne operations were developing according to plan. All bridges over the river South of VARRAVILLE had been destroyed early on D-day, but not those North of square 1875. At 1600 hrs 6 Airborne Division was holding the area LE HOM 1073 - ESCOVILLE 1271 - BOIS DE BURES 1569 _ ST COMBE 1373 - RANVILLE 1173. 21 Panzer Division reconnaissance elements were beginning to operate towards RANVILLE, however, and at BENOUVILLE an enemy battalion of infantry with tanks was putting in an attack.
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)