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The problem here which faced Major Bubbles Duke, and incidentally the CO, was how were we to get into the battery area through the extensive minefields. From air photographs the only way appeared to be from south to north along the road running through the village of Longues; but we felt that it was inconceivable that the Hun would not have this line of approach well covered by fire. The longer we studied this problem, and many hours were spent on it, the harder and more unpleasant it appeared to become.

STAGE VReorganisation to hold the bridgehead and prepare to move to the relief of the 47 Marine Commando at Port-en-Bessin.

It is of interest to note here the firepower and supporting arms which would be available directly or indirectly for our landing and subsequent operations. The Royal Navy were providing one cruiser to bombard each enemy battery, and one destroyer to bombard each enemy platoon post. In addition each battalion had call by wireless on the fire of one destroyer, This fire was controlled by an FOB (Forward Officer Bombardment),in our case Captain Dupont, RA.

The RAF were to drop during the night before D Day a large quantity of high explosive on each enemy battery and platoon post; and in addition just before H Hour Fighter/Bomber squadrons were to give a final pasting to each area.

The amphibious DD Tanks in support of the Brigade landing were the Sherwood Rangers (Notts Yeomanry). The reserve squadron which was earmarked to support our attack on Longues, was commanded by Major Christopherson.

The gunners in support of the Brigade were the 90th and 147th Field Regiments. The representatives with us were respectively Major Bill Cummins and Captain George Culley.

The Sapper Coy in support of the Brigade was commanded by Maj Wood, while the platoon in close support to us was commanded by

Major Abel's company of the 2nd Cheshires provided the MMG platoon (Captain Williams) in close support of the battalion,

The two flotillas of LCAs were manned by Royal Marines and belonged to H.M.S, Glenroy; they were commanded by Captains Poole and Prevetry respectively.

While the plan was being studied in detail, the enemy had not been idle, and on our particular beaches, below high water, appeared a series of obstacles, the majority of which had, stuck on top, an unpleasant looking mine, This factor altered the timing of the assault. Instead of landing at full tide right up the beach, the time of landing had to be advanced to half-tide to enable our landing-craft to ground below the obstacles. This at once raised two serious problems:-

1. Would tanks and carriers be able to get across what appeared to be a somewhat muddy 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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