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assault Companies in line ahead at each side and just behind the M.L. that was to navigate us to the beaches. Two reserve Companies formed up in line ahead some little distance behind the assault Companies.

The run in to the beaches went according to plan as far as I could tell, the L.C.T's put down the D.D. tanks and the A.V.R.E's, the R.A.F. dropped their bombs and fined their rockets, the landing craft rocket fired their rockets, the cruisers, destroyers, and field artillery coming in on landing craft, all pounded the beach defences and targets they had been given pretty thoroughly.

There was a certain amount of enemy shelling but none of our craft were hit, the sea was pretty rough and many of the men were sea sick, we found that they were not so sea sick when we allowed them to stand up and see what was going on rather than sit down on the seat of the L.C.A. until we were getting in fairly close to the beaches.

The Plan

"A" Company were to land on the right in the area 926868 and their objective was the Light house 925864. "D" Company were to land on the left in the area 926868 where there was a large enemy Anti-tank gun in a concrete position, it was hoped that the Navy would have already disposed of this gun when the infantry landed, if not one of the A.V.R.E's would blow it to pieces with a petard. "D" Company would mop this position up and then clear the area to the left as far as the road junction 928868 and the cross roads 927866.

"B" Company would land in the same area as "A" Company, pass through "A" Company to their objective which was a village about a mile inland Ver-Sur-Mer. "C" Company were to land in the same area as "D" Company, pass through "D" Company to their objective which so far as I can remember was on the right, the road junction 929864 and on the left the road junction 932867.

The 7th Bn Green Howards would then land, pass through our Bn to their objective. I cannot remember what it was. Our Bn would then follow them on, pass through the 7th Green Howards to the final "D" Day objective which was the village of St Ledgeron the main road Caen—Bayeux.

How the operation went

The assault Companies "A" and “D” were put down at the correct place at the correct time with about 200 or 300 yds to go to the top of the beach. "A" Company had little opposition, and reached their objective with very few casualties the enemy came out with their hands up, having had about 200 tons of bombs dropped on them by the R.A.F. and I think most of the rockets that were intended for "D" Companies objective.

"D" Company were not so fortunate, the A/Tk gun in the concrete position at 926868 sited to fire in enfilade along the beach to the West was still in action, the enemy also had many M.G. positions in action firing from behind the sea well and the houses behind the sea wall. I was 2 i/c of "D" Company and our plan was to attack with 2 Platoons forward, the right hand Platoon to deal with a pill box at 925868, move up the road at 925867 then swing left along the road and through the back gardens to its objective at the X roads at 927866. The left hand Platoon were to clear the A/Tk gun position at 926868, then swing left and clear the houses and the sea wall to its objective at the road junc at 928868, the other Platoon was to be used as a reserve and was to take up a position with Coy H.Qrs. near the A/Tk position at 928868.

Immediately on landing "D" Company came under fairly heavy small arms fire and suffered quite a number of casualties, and had to fight their way up the beaches, in addition to this the A/Tk gun was still in action and had knocked out two or three D.D. tanks, the A.V.R.E. that was going to deal with this gun was also hit by the same gun, the A.V.R.E. blew up and disentagrated in the midst of "D" Company, causing a lot more casualties from flying metal.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: The landing of 5 East Yorks, 1944 June

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