- 5 -

1. Immediate counter attack by elements within Garrisons. This would be in keeping with the GERMAN doctrine, i.e: in a Pl posn, all sections have a counter attack role against another section posn, should it fall. This would be Immediate

2. The Third Regt of the 716 Inf DIV is held in res, probably dispersed by Bns at focal pts along the DIV sector. Thus, without doubt a BN is held at BAYEUX for counter attack. This BN together with approx TWO Sqns of Tanks believed to be in BAYEUX would make a formidable counter attack force capable of striking at the beaches within the hour. If tanks are from 21 PZ then motorised Inf may be expected with them.

3. The 642 Ost Bn is within 12 miles of the Beaches and could mount an attack within 3 - 4 hrs. It is unlikely to arrive before having very little MT.

4. 352 Inf DIV has according to reports ONS Regt at LE MOLEY or in that area. Thus, there is once again a force capable of striking with Arty support at our sector within 3 - 4 hours or less. This DIV could probably muster tpt enough to lift a Bde Gp at least.

5. 21 PZ DIV might possibly be on the scene in force within 5 - 6 hrs. These attacks would be supported by SP Arty and launched with Tanks and Inf. However, it is uncertain whether this DIV would attack so early in our direction, though it is doubtless responsible for counter attack in our sector. Attacks by us will be taking place on a wide front and it will be difficult for the GERMAN Comd to appreciate our main effort and therefore where to counter attack. However, the possibility does exist.

Part V



The BDE BEACH extends EAST from the SEAWALL at HAMEL to WEST of to a wreck.

i) Distance from back of beach to water's edge.
at MHWS - 25 yards.
at MLWS - 700 yards.

ii) Nature of Beach:
The Beach is generally sandy, but there are underlying layers of peat and clay which, in a number of places, are exposed. The exposed areas vary according to tide and currents, as the sand if shifted over them.
Where there is sand cover of adequate thickness MT can cross, but there may be soft patches where the sand is not sufficiently thick. Above HW mark and to the back of the beach the sand is soft and loose,

iii) Landings:
Inf can land anywhere at all stages of the tide, except at LW where in some areas there are rocks.
For vehs, landings are recommended above half tide to avoid the area of runnels on the beach near half-tide level.

The BDE Beach is backed by a narrow line of sand domes varying in height from 3'6". This in turn is backed by marshy ground to distance varying from 300 - 800 yds. A Coastal Rd runs parallel to the beach about 200 yds inland, this Rd. is built on a slight embankment.
A Main Rd. runs through LE HAMEL down to the BN sector of the Bde beach. This Rd provides the only good exit from the Beach, though Inf could proceed direct inland. at any point from the BN Beach, subject to the artificial obstacles having been cleared. There are also tracks running inland from the Beach.


(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Story of 2nd Battalion the Devonshire Regiment, 1944 Mar - June

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