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The position was actually captured on the evening of D+1. Air support consisted of a bomber strike by a combined British/U.S. Force which missed the target - all bombs falling 1000 yds to the SE. A typhoon squadron on call through the FOB to BCHQ to Air Controller (a long way round!) provided immediate close support which was most effective. In addition the Commando had the support of one cruiser and a half flotilla of LCG(H). The effects of this bombardment are still clearly visible. As the American forces had not suceeded in getting from OMAHA beaches the arty support which was to have been supplied by them did not materialise.



(a) Beach Obstacles
On these sectors (assaulted by 69 Bde and 9 Beach Gp) the beach obstacle layout was similar to that on ITEM/JIG sectors. By 0830 hrs (H= 0730) two 200 yd gaps had been cleared through the obstacles - after this owing to the rising tide work had to cease until 1300 hrs. By 2030 hrs 1200 yds had been cleared and the work was completed on D=1 by the clearance of a further 800 yds.

(b) Strong Points
There were five major strong points in this area which are discussed below. They had all been subjected to heavy bombing with more success than on some other sectors. The only direct hit on a concrete gun emplacement scored on the whole British assault area was on this sector. The main trouble was caused by an 88 mm gun sited in the end of the sea well at LA RIVIERE. This was a very well sited gun and took a great deal of reducing. It did not appear on the defence overprints and had not inc-z; located on air photographs due to its excellent camouflage.

(i) LA RIVIERE 927868

The strong point at the EAST end of KING beach 927868 was defended by an 88 mm gun, a 5 cm A tk gun, two machine gun posts, a light machine gun or mortar post and an open mortar position.

As a result of the preliminary bombardment one machine gun post was completely destroyed either by a hit from a destroyer or by a bomb . The 5cm A tk gun in open pit had been knocked out probably by fire firms LCG(L). There was no significant damage to the other positions.

The 88 mm gun damaged two Flails and knocked out two AVsRE of the Beaching Squadrons, and with the aid of the MGs pinned down D Coy 5 E YORKS to the beach causing heavy casualties. 233 Fd Coy RE record that mortar bombs began to fall on the beach as they disembarked.

The 88 mm gun was silenced fairly early on by the gun of one of the Flails of No 6 Breaching team. The other opposition was dealt with by 5 E YORKS with the aid of AVsRE and DD tanks, though not without some stiff fighting which went on until 1000 hrs. Even then some snipers were left in LA RIVIERE and had to be dealt with by 2 HERTS of 9 Beach Group. In this connection it is noteworthy that the houses and the sea well in LA RIVIERE had been hit many times from seawards but the strongthened lower parts of the houses had not been affected.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Notes by School of Combined Operations, 1944

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