|Title||The landing of 5 East Yorks, 1944 June|
|Description||NORMANDY LANDING 5th Bn THE EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT(69 Inf Bde)An account by Major A.Consitt OC D Coy.|
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The right hand Platoon Commander and the reserve Platoon Commdr were both killed coming up the beach. "D" Company reached the top of the beach and started to clear its objective. The A/Tk gun and several weapon pits were rounded and cleared up, but they met fairly strong opposition and progress was slow, in the meantime "B" and "C" Companies had landed, "B" Company had very few casualties and passed through "A" Company to its objective where the enemy showed very little fight but gave themselves up as prisoners "C" Company following "D" suffered fairly heavy casualties coming up the beach, their Company Comdr was wounded and the Company 2 i/c was killed and they were not yet able to pass through "D" Company.
Shortly after "D" Company had started to clear the houses and gardens behind the sea wall, Captain Suggarman the Company Comdr was wounded by a German grenade. I then took over command of the Company and on going forward to the leading troops I found that they were making no progress, chiefly owing to the fact that about every 50 yds there was a 10 ft garden wall and men were being shot from air raid shelters etc as they got to the top of the wall. By this time there was a troop of D.D. Tanks in the area just by Company H.Q. so I arranged with the Troop Commander that he would knock a way through the walls by putting his tanks through them, shoot up any enemy positions he saw in the next garden with his B.E.S.A.'S put a round or two from his 75 MMs into the houses and my men would follow through close behind him and mop up. By this means we forced the enemy back towards our objective and just before it was reached between 30 & 40 of the enemy came out with their hands up and waving white flags to give themselves up.
Whilst all this had been going on the C.O. who had landed about the same time as "C" Company, realised that "D" Company were meeting stiff opposition so he took a Platoon of "C" Company along the top of the beach under the sea wall where they succeeded in scaling the wall in the area 927868 and establishing themselves in the houses there just before "D" Company arrived, the Platoon Commander of "C" Company was killed doing this.
The C.O. also knew that the two right hand Companies had got on well so he ordered "B" Company to clear the objective allotted to "C" Company, which they did from the rear, without a great deal of difficulty.
The 7th Green Howards landed and passed through before "D" Company had completely cleared their area.
When the area had been cleared the C.O. ordered "A" and "B" Companies to move up to the assembly area which I believe was the village of Crepon 0983. He also ordered. me to collect what there was of "C" and "D" Companies and form them into one Coy, then move up to join the Battalion in their assembly area. "C" and "D" Companies had each suffered about 40% casualties so I organised them into three rather strong Pls commander by two Pl Commdrs and a C.S.M. of "D" Company. The remaining Pl Commdr of "D" Coy took over 2 i/c of the Company. This was carried out fairly quickly and the Company joined the Battalion at the assembly area just before it moved on to follow up and pass through the 7th Green Howards.
After passing through the green Howards the Battalion met scattered opposition chiefly from Machine Guns and rifles in the large corn fields on the outskirts of villages, the usual method of dealing with this opposition was for either one or two Companies to deploy astride the road into extended formation, the D.D. tanks lined up with them, and the whole lot advanced through the long corn like guns walking a field of roots at the game shoot, the men firing from the hip, the tanks firing B.E.S.A's and setting fire to hay stacks and barns with tracer, the enemy frequently ran, bent double through the long corn and were shot like rabbits, some stayed right until the end, and one German was literally kicked from a Spandau by the 2 i/c of "B" Company. Villages were dealt with by turning the Artillery on them if there was any opposition, and a Company going in from each side of them.
The C.O. was wounded by M.G. fire early in the afternoon, whilst he was up with the forward troops of "B" Company urging them to keep going.
(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)