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the TOUQUES River in support of an Armoured Recce Regt (ibid: 24 Aug 44, Designation of unit not given). Further breakdowns had reduced the battery's total armour strength to one Sherman, two-Centaurs and one Cromwell tank, the last-named borrowed from the Recce Regt.

51. For the assault on BEUZEVILLE on 25 Aug (see para. 35) 1 Cdn Centaur Bty gave effective support to 3 Para Bde, carrying out a fire plan of 60 rounds per gun. Then the unit moved forward again (26 Aug) with Dutch infantry riding on its tanks and vehicles. Outside PONT-AUDEMER (774063) its guns went into action once more, as targets were engaged for the Armd Recce Regt and for armoured cars of the Belgian Group. As 49 (W.R.) Div moved in to take over the area (see para. 36),the battery moved to a new position (718106) to the roar of TOUTAINVILLE.

52. The short but active life of 1 Centaur Bty R.C.A. was almost over. On 28 Aug the unit was reorganized as a six-gun battery, the six surplus gun crews being returned to 2 C.B.R.G. But with the removal of 6 Airborne Div from an operational role, the need for the employment of the S.P. battery ceased. On 29 Aug orders were received for the disbandment of the unit, effective 30 Aug (ibid: Appx 2). Tanks were handed over to the British (259 Delivery Squadron R.A.C.),and the remaining personnel went to 2 C.B.R.G. By 2 Sep 44 1 Centaur Bty R.C.A. had ceased to exist. Its obituary notice may be found in the following War Diary entry:

During its short life B.R.A. states that it performed a very useful purpose, and although originally immobile it was able to keep up with the advance of 6 Airborne Div and give useful fire support.
(W.D., A.Q. Branch, Adm H.Q., First Cdn Army, 30 Aug 44.)

53. The foregoing report was begun by Capt. T. M. Hunter and was revised and completed by Maj. G.W.L. Nicholson. The material contained in it has been checked by Major W. H. Hemphill, D.A.A. & Q.M.G., Cdn Liaison Sec, H.Q. 6 Airborne Div, and by Major J.A. Clancy, M.C., who was with 1 Cdn Para Bn through the entire Normandy campaign.

(C. P. Stacey) Colonel,
Historical Officer,

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in France (6 June - 6 September 1944)

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