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2. Would the LCHs with their limited range, be able to bring effective fire on the enemy wire obstacles inland?

With regard to the first problem, experts were put ashore about three weeks before D Day to test the beaches. The beaches were found to be muddy, Experiments were immediately started on the Norfolk coast near Brancaster, where a similar type of beach exists. A gadget, known as a bobbin, was invented, which, attached to the front of the tank, would automatically unwind a cocoanut matting. This cocoanut matting was sufficiently strong to prevent the tanks and other vehicles from sticking in the soft mud and sand. Special RE Commandos in watertight clothing were to land very early in the proceedings and destroy the obstacles by the use of explosives.

A demonstration by these commandos was held very early one Sunday before D Day, attended by a large number of senior officers, The impression gained by the more junior officers present was that, although the obstacles would be destroyed, it would be exceedingly unpleasant for any troops who happened to be landing at the same time. This view was expressed in no uncertain terms, to which the reply was on the lines of "Oh well, the task of assault troops is unpleasant anyway'. There was no answer to that one.

The second problem really raised no difficulties. It was decided that the LCHs would fire their projectiles on the chance of their being within range of the enemy wire, and after all they would make an excellent bang!

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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

Page: Page 8