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The Plan for 'D' Day

Five divisions, two American, two British and one Canadian, organised into five separate naval forces, would assault the coast of Normandy and establish a bridgehead of sufficient depth to allow room for the concentration of men and material in preparation for 'break-out'. In addition, two airborne landings would take place the night before D Day, one American in the Cherbourg peninsula and one British east of Caen.
Appendices A and B.

50 (N) Division would land in the centre on a two brigade front, the right (western) boundary with the American 1st Division being, inclusive to 50 Division, Port-en-Bessin and the R. Drome.

231 Infantry Brigade, the right leading brigade of the division, would land between Le Hamel and Les Roquettes, 1 Hamps on the right to seize the villages of Le Hamel and Asnelles, then to swing right to capture Arromanches: 1 Dorsets would land on the left to seize Les Roquettes, then capture the batteries south of Arromanches.

We, the 2 Devons, would land behind the Hampshires, assemble in Asnelles village, advance inland to seize Ryes, and then finally capture Longues battery on the coast six miles west.

The enemy in the area of the assault were known to be of a low category variety, 30% of whom might be Russians or Poles. They were, however, strongly disposed in platoon posts well dug in with concrete pill boxes. Air photographs showed that there were at least six platoon posts and four batteries of guns of varying calibres in the area. The battery at Longues was of special importance as the gums were known to be of high calibre commanding an extensive part of the coast. The battery position from air photographs looked extremely formidable, as it consisted of deep concrete emplacements, surrounded by 400 yards of minefield, which appeared to increase in density almost daily. (See Appx C and printed Maps)

The whole success of the assault depended on getting sufficient armour and guns ashore in time to break any German counter-attack which might develop from the direction of Bayeux. This fact was of special importance to us, because the leading armoured division would start landing on our beaches three hours after us, to be followed on the next day by the assembling of the now famous pre-fabricated harbour known as "Mulberry". Consequently we were frequently told that initial success in our particular area was vital to the whole enterprise.

Between Longues and the American Omaha beach lies the important, though small, harbour of Port-en-Bessin, The planners had agreed that it was too much to expect 50 Div to be responsible for its capture. It was decided therefore that the 47 Marine Commando, under command of Lt Col Phillips, would land after the Devons; pass through them; seize the high ground 3000 yards south of the Port; and finally capture the Port itself.

(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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