War Diary: 151 Durham Infantry Brigade HQ

Month and year: June 1944

The extensive June 1944 151 Durham Infantry Brigade HQ covering their departure from Southampton and their fighting inland through Normandy.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/670

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Page 1 of 35
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NIGHTINGALE CAMP,SOUTHAMPTON1Marshalling of troops into craft loads proceeded and loading of vehicles
and stores continued.
31800Tac Bde HQ consisting of Bde IO, Bde Sigs Offr and Sigs personnel left
marshalling area and later embarked on HMS ALBRIGHTON. Embarkation of
battalions continued.
41200Bde Comd, Brig R.H. SENIOR embarked on HMS ALBRIGHTON. Operation
OVERLORD postponed 24 hours on account of weather.
51930Convoys formed up in SOUTHAMPTON water preparatory to sailing.
AT SEA5/6Voyage uneventful no interference from enemy attack. The weather which
it was hoped would improve did not in fact do so and quite a strong wind
caused a heavy swell.
60615Anchorage positions reached off the coast of NORMANDY
0720H hour for assault tps. By 0750 hrs news was received that the assaulting
tps both 69 Bde and 231 Bde were ashore. 69 Bde going well. 231 Bde having
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difficulty getting off the beach owing to enemy fire.
0920Reported that 6 GREEN HOWARDS had reached a position between MONT FLEURY and
VER - sur - MER with 7 GREEN HOWARDS in LARIVIERE. 5 EAST YORKS being passed
1015News received that 1 HAMPS had not yet captured LE HAMEL but that both 1 DORSETS
and 2 DEVONS had by-passed ASNELLES and were heading inland.
1030Tac Bde HQ transferred from HMS ALBRIGHTON to a LCM for the voyage to the
beach and touched down on KING RED at approx 1200 hrs.
1245Bde HQ established in assembly area 910854 where they were joined by the
Briggde Majors' party and staff Capts' party who had travelled on different
13206 DLI ashore with HQ at 909854.
13308 DLI ashore with HQ at 918855.
9 DLI ashore in area MEUVAINE.
1345Bde Comd visited HQ 69 Bde and discussed situation with Comd 69 Bde.
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1530Mobile columns of both 6 and 9 DLI started to advance according to plan.
16076 DLI approaching CREPON.
16309 DLI one and a half miles SOUTH of MEUVAINE.
17009 DLI reported to have reached line X rds 863824 - rd junc 885808.
18008 DLI following up behind 9 DLI reported on line X rds 863824 - rd junc
18209 DLI reported that forward tps in SOMMERVIEU.
18309 DLI reported on line X rds 823811 - rd junc 847791.
19109 DLI reported enemy opposition WEST of SOMMERVIEU,
19456 DLI reported on line rd junc 839816 - rd junc 885805.
19506 DLI Mobile Column reported on line of high ground from rd at 819808 -
20009 DLI reported on line main rd BAYEUX - ST LEGER Bde HQ moved to area 836822.
2100Bde HQ moved to area 842819. Earlier in the afternoon at approx 1500 hrs,
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Bde Comd, Brig R.H. SENIOR, DSO, TD, accompanied by Liaison Offr, Capt R.S. JACK
left Bde HQ to visit Mob Colns of 6 and 9 DLI. No information was subsequently
received this day as to their whereabouts and it was feared that they had
been made PW. Accordingly Lt-Col R.P. LIDWILL, DSO, CO 8 DLI assumed comd
of the Bde. Div HQ was informed and GOC called at Bde HQ at 2200 hrs to
discuss the situation. It was decided that no advance SOUTH of the main
rd BAYEUX - ST LEGER would be made that night but that the advance would
be continued at first light next morning. Orders were given to Bns to
this effect.
Situation at last light
9 DLI RIGHT dispositions. Bn HQ 827798 A Coy 828804 B Coy 825796 C Coy 835794
D Coy 823809. LEFT 6 DLI Bn HQ 852798 A Coy 849791 B Coy 857798 C Coy 851799
D Coy area ESQUAY -sur-SEULLES, RESERVE 8 DLI Bn HQ 837817 A Coy 831814
B Coy 835814 C Coy 840814 D Coy 842804.
The advance from the beaches only met slight opposition, the enemy appearing
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to be completely disorganised and not expecting a landing at that given point
A total of 44 PW were captured. Identifications confirmed the Intelligence
prior to D Day that 716 Coastal Div was holding defensive posns in that particular
84281970430Situation at first light.
9 DLI reported that a patrol which had gone in the diroction of BAYEUX had
been told by civilians that the town was held by a force of about 200 GERMANS.
0530The advance continued.
06309 DLI reported on line of rly BAYEUX - CONDE-sur-SEULLES.
0715Mobile Coln 6 DLI reported approaching final objective.
07556 DLI reported on final objective, X rds 875739 - CONDE-sur-SEULLESNote: pencil correction to 825739
0800Brig R.H. SENIOR being still missing it was decided to send out a recce patrol
to search for him, the patrol to consist of one pl of inf supported by one
sec of carriers supplied by 8 DLI. Their task was to search the area NORTH
of BAZANVILLE between PIERRE ARTUS and CREPON over which none of our tps had
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passed the preceding day, and where it was suspected that a body of enemy inf
was still hiding. The patrol carried out this task and later reported that
the Jeep in which the Bde Comd Was riding at the time of his disappearance
had been found together with the body of L/Cpl HORTON (MM),the wireless
operator who had been shot. They reported no sign of the Bde Comd or Liaison
Offr Capt R.S. JACK. This information was passed to Div HQ who subsequently
issued orders to our flanking formation for one of their units to sweep the
area. Later at approx 1500 hrs the Bde Comd returned to Bde HQ and from him
it was learnt that his party had been ambushed both Capt JACK and L/Cpl HORTON
being killed and himself wounded in the left arm. He had been taken prisoner
but during the sweep of the area that afternoon whilst his captors were engaged
in fighting he and a private soldier walked away from the scene and managed
to find HQ 50(N) Div in SOMMERVIEU. The Bde Comd was subsequently evacuated
to the UK leaving Lt-Col R.P. LIDWILL in comd of the Bde.
08156. DLI reported their tps in posn at the joint post they were to occupy with tps
Page 7 of 35
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69 Bde at CONDE-sur-SEULLES. 9 DLI reported on final objective, line of
high ground Pt 86 8076 to Pt 81 8074 linking up with 6 DLI.
8167641035Bde HQ established at 816764. At this location personnel of Bde HQ captured
5 offrs and 28 ORs identified as FESTUNG PIONEER ABTEILUNG attached 352 Inf Div.
1210Locations as follows. 6 DLI Bn HQ 827846 A Coy 815739 B Coy 825739
C Coy 833734 D Coy 825746 8 DLI HQ 828763 A Coy 818763 B Coy 828774
Coy 815768 with one pl detached at 810775 D Coy 823777. 9 DLI HQ 806755/
A Coy 806755 B Coy 805764 C Coy 803756 D Coy 804744. Carrier patrols of
6 and 9 DLI wore pushed fwd to recce and make contact with the enemy.
14009 DLI reported party of 50 enemy at X rds 786756 and 838709 which were
engaged by arty fire.
16006 DLI reported two enemy tks at LE PONT ROC moving WEST.
16459 DLI despatched the small force which was to occupy the joint post with
56 Bde at GUERON.
8 DLI reported that they had linked up with 6 GREEN HOWARDS (169 Bde) on the
Page 8 of 35
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main BAYEUX - CAEN rd which was clear.
17056 DLI reported that their carriers had recced as fas as CHOUAIN 8472.
17458 DLI reported a party of approx 40 enemy inf moving SE from CANCAGNY 8475.
5 EAST YORKS (69 Bde) were informed.
18159 DLI reported at 803720.
Situation at 1900 hrs
6 DLI front patrolled no enemy penetration. A force of approx 200 enemy
inf was reported approaching left flank astride the CAEN - BAYEUX rly. 8 DLI
reported no contact with the enemy. 9 DLI reported the capture of 1 x 88mm
intact at 808756 and an ambulance car at 805764.
2030The outpost of 6 DLI were attacked at CONDE-sur-SEULLES by party of approx
40 enemy inf supported by armd cars and after inflicting casualties during two
engagements our tps withdrew to the main defensive posn.
Situation at last light
Locations unchanged. Total PsW today 5 offrs and 108 ORs. The advance today
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was characterised by small parties of enemy inf being ongaged around the
villages on axis of advance. These groups appeared to be out of communications
with their main bodies and were surprised by the rapidity of our advance inland.
No serious opposition was offered as apart from MGs the enemy inf had no
supporting arms other than armd cars.
80430Situation at first light. No change in dispositions 6 DLI reported a minor
brush with the enemy in the area CONDE - sur - SEULLES, resulting in two
enemy killed and and 5 PW.
0830GOC 50(N) Div arrived at Bde HQ and discussed the general situation with
the acting Bde Comd.
09409 DLI reported own tps having linked up with own tps of 56 Bde at GUERON.
121530 Corps Comd Lieut General G.C. BUCKNALL and G.O.C. 50 (N) Div arrived
at Bde HQ and discussed the situation with acting Bde Comd.
18006 DLI reported coy dispositions unchanged and well established with rd blocks
at 835736 and 837736 contact having been made during the day with 69 Bde on the
Page 10 of 35
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the left and 9 DLI on the right. As a result of minor clashes with the enemy
during the day one armd car destroyed at 844732 and one Volkswagen destroyed
as the result of a direct hit from a PIAT mortar at 816738, casualties inflicted
on the enemy including 9 PW identifying 915 Gren Regt of 352 Inf Div and 902
P.G.R. of 130 PZ Lehr Div. 8 DLI reported locations unchanged with a joint
post established with 69 Bde on the main BAYEUX - CAEN rd. 9 DLI reported
locations unchanged with one pl of inf supported by carriers and arty
engaged on recceing ELLON 8073.
Situation at last light. No change in dispositions. Two pls of 9 DLI
sweeping area MONCEUX EN - BESSIN 794767 where enemy were reported.
Standing patrols of 9 DLI at X rds 786756, rd junc 794743 and ELLON 8073.
8 DLI patrolling from br 837767 SOUTH along R. SEULLES to br at 840730.
6 DLI patrolling along the river from 837733 to rd junc 823721 thence NW
to ELLON to contact 9 DLI standing patrol.
90430Situation at first light. Patrols throughout the night had nothing to report,
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no contact with the enemy. 8 DLI were placed under comd 8 Armd Bde and left
their present location. They were to be used in an attack EAST of the R.SEULLES
down the axis of the rd from the ST LEGER feature 8774 in the direction of TILLY-sur-SEULLES.
During the morning patrolling programme was as follows, carrier patrol of 6 DLI to DOUET
820726 thence JERUSALEM812719 thence to 823707 to 828707 and SOUTH towards
TILLY-sur-SEULLES. 9 DLI carrier patrol to JUAYE - MONDAYE 7972 to
795725 to 795721 to 798721 thence towards Pt 1127971.
0700GOC 50(N) Div arrived at Bde HQ and gave orders for the day.
1430Patrols of 9 DLI reported eneny AFVs and inf at LAULUE 7875.
1500Information received that carrier patrols of 6 DLI had reached ST BAZIRE 8271
and 9 DLI carrier patrols had reached JUAYE-MONDAYE.
15306 DLI reported that A Coy who were in posn at X rds 815739 had destroyed an
enemy tk which was advancing up the rd towards them.
During the afternoon reports came in from both 6 and 9 DLI of enemy tks on
their front, some in the vicinity of JUAYE-MONDAYE and others in the area
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of BUCEEL 8270. These were engaged by our arty.
18009 DLI reported enemy tks type unknown in the area of ELLON 8073 which were
shelled by our arty. 6 DLI reported that the carrior patrol had returned
with the information that the enemy was in posns on the high ground NORTH of
BUCEEL 8270 and that tks supported by inf were approaching their posns on the
right. A Coy 6 DLI engaged the leading tk and destroyed it, also causing
casualties to enemy inf. B Coy 6 DLI was also attacked by enemy inf who were
repulsed and subsequently dispersed by arty concentrations. The enemy
withdrew SOUTH of rd DOUET - CONDE-sur-SEULLES.
1930Another attack by enemy inf and tks against B Coy 6 DLI was mounted as a result
of which two Mk IV Specials were destroyed and further casualties on enemy
inf were caused. By 2200 hrs the situation was under control, all attacks
having been repulsed without penetration of our posns. Owing to the absence of
8 DLI and to counter the threat of further tk attacks one sqn 4 CLY was placed
in support of the Bde in the area 817743 - 823747 and additional fire support
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was provided by one bty of 73 A Tk Regt together with an extra pl of hy
mortars and MMGs from C Coy 2 CHESHIRE Regt.
9Situation at last light.
Bde defensive posns maintained despite heavy counter attacks of the enemy along
the axis of the main rd ST BIZIRE - BAYEUX. Additional tps in support as
previously noted.
Todays' fighting was characterised by a determined attempt on the part of the
enemy to regain the high ground which formed the Bdes' firm base. Stiff fighting
on 6 DLI front resulting in the destruction of three Mk IV Specials tks
some soft skinned vehicles and casualties to enemy inf. Despite particularly
severe mortaring of our posns which supported the attacks own casualties were
comparatively light.
9 DLI facing WEST were not seriously troubled today, patrols indicating the
presence of enemy in small pockets in nearby villages but no major attack
being launched.
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Enemy. PW taken today numbered 27 with many new identifications including:
30 Schnelle Brigade, 439 Ost Bn, 352 Inf Div, 726 Gren Regt, 352 Arty Regt.
to0430Situation at first light
Information was received from 6 DLI that yesterday their D Coy at joint post
at CONDE-sur-SEULLES destroyed two enemy armd cars and took 2 PW as well as
inflicting casualties. During the night patrols of 6 DLI bumped a party of
some 40 enemy inf in area 8373. Five PW were takon and casualties inflicted.
These PW were identified as the Pioneir Fortification Bn who had been enaged
on constructing coast defences and who, pulled out when the assault began
were attempting to rejoin their unit.
D Coy 9 DLI moved to area 812740 to thicken up behind fwd coys of 6 DLI.
0700GOC 50(N) Div visited Bde HQ and gave orders. The task of the bde was to
cover the passing through of 7 Armd Div and to continue the mopping up of
bodies of enemy in the various villages on the L of C of 7 Armd Div who were
directed SOUTH towards VILLIERS-BOCAGE.
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and was shelling and mortaring 8 DLI posns. Tks of 8 Armd Bde had recced fwd
into TILLY but all attempts by our inf to follow up were met by extromely
heavy fire from well concealed posns in the orchards and thickly wooded country
betwoon ST PIERRE and TILLY.
Bde Comd and IO visited HQ 8 Armd Bde at Pt 103 8570 and saw Brig CRACROFT
and discussed the posn with him.
Situation at last light
All quiet, no engagement with the enemy during the day.
120430Situation at first light.
6 and 9 DLI dispositions unchanged no contact with the enemy during night.
8 DLI still under comd 8 Armd Bde were heavily counter attacked during night
11/12 in the area ST PIERRE with the result that their fwd coys were overrum
by enemy inf supparted by tks some of which were believed to be MK VI Tiger.
The situation was restored but 8 DLI had to re-organise in the area Pt 103
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The day was spent quietly with Bns resting and reorganising.
1800Orders were received for 8 DLI to revert to under comd night 12/13 and
in for 9 DLI to pass to under comd 56 Bde with in addition all supporting
arms less one mortar pl "A" Coy 2 CHESHIRE.
Situation last light.
Dispositions unchanged, no contact with the enemy throughout the day.
130430Situation first light
8 DLI reverted to under comd and took up posns previously held by 9 DLI.
10009 DLI reverted to under comd.
Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders Issued 13 June.Appx "A"
1225Codeword VIGOROUS 1330 hrs issued to Bns. This indicated that the attack
to secure the high ground and village of HOTTOT 8266 would take place,
tps to cross start line at 1330 hrs.
1400Both 6 and 9 DLI in contact with enemy, RIGHT 9 DLI, LEFT 6 DLI on the line
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Situation at last light
It was decided to attack the enemy on this line of the 14th with 231 Bde
RIGHT and 151 Bde LEFT the attack to be supported by the whole af 30 Corps
arty together with an air bombardment on certain specified targets. It was
further decided so as to allow each Bde to have the benefit of the full weight
of arty fire that the attack would be in two phases with 151 Bde attacking
Phase I before 231 Bde started and similarly for the second phase.
14Situation at first light - unchanged.
Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders Issued.Appx B
Zero for the attack was 1020 hrs.
1000Air bombardment as arranged commenced.
1020Inf advance began under cover of arty barrage.
11309 DLI on RIGHT reached area LINGEVRES804684. 6 DLI on LEFT held up in area
818697 with the eneny still in possesion of X rds at VERRIERES 815694.
12209 DLI reported that their co Lt-Col H.R. WOODS, DSO, MC had been wounded
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He subsequently died of wounds and Major J. MOGG assumed comd of the Bn.
12456 DLI reached first objective and were disposed as follows. A Coy 816697,
B Coy 813697, C Coy 815697, D Coy 815694.
15159 DLI reported reforming and reorganising in area LINGEVRES with patrols fwd.
During the advance to this objective one coy of 9 DLI suffered rather heavy
casualties from enemy MG and mortar fire and the Bn was organise into three
rifle coys.
16309 DLI reported counter attack from the direction SE of LINGVERES 812682.
This counter attack proved to be extremely heavy, being launched by enemy inf
supported by heavy tks. For the next two and a half hours an extremely fierce
battle raged as a result of which 9 DLI aided by 4/7 DRAGOON GUARDS of 8 Armd Bde
destroyed nine enemy tks.
1900Dispositions as follows - 6 DLI A Coy 818692, B Coy 818691, C Coy 818694,
D Coy 815690. 9 DLI Tac HQ 808700, B Coy 810686, C Coy 805688, D Coy 803684.
6 DLI reported heavy mortar and spandau fire on their two fwd coys and three
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enemy tks dug in between the bridge 826683 and X rds 815683. 9 DLI reported
a great deal of discarded equipment in VERRIERES from which the enemy had
rithdrawn hurriedly.
Situation at last light.
2 GLOSTERS (56 Bde) relieved 9 DLI who concentrated in the area 815695 and were
placed under comd 6 DLL. As a result of the fighting today PW taken amounted to
1 offr and 104 ORs.
Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders Issued.Appx c
Location of 2 GLOSTERS HQ 802705, A Coy 808682, B Coy 810686, C Coy 805688,
D Coy 803684.
As a result of the engagement today on the Bde front, 6 DLI reported two tp
carriers, one half tracked vehicle and two armd cars destroyed, the nine enemy
tks previously referred to were a mixed bag of Mk VI Tigers, Mk V Panther and
Mk IV Specials identified as belonging to 130 Pz LEHR Div. Own casualties
approx 100. PW on interrogation stated that their casualties had been particularly
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severe from our arty and mortars as many as 50% in one coy.
15Situation at first light.
8 DLI having reorgenised after their battle at ST PIERRE rejoined the
Bde and took up posns in LINGEVRES from 2 GLOSTERS who reverted to comd
56 Bde. 2 ESSEX (56 Bde) were placed under comd and took up positions
in area BUCEELS and wood at 821703. 6 DLI remained in the centre in the area
VERRIERES whilst 9 DLI went into Bde reserve to reorganise in area ST BIZIRE.
For Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders issued and additional tps under comd see Appx D.
830GOC 50(N) Div visited Bde HQ. Programme for today to reorganise on the defensive
positions already won from incl LINGEVRES to R. SEULLES at 835700 and patrol
vigorously to the SOUTH.
Patrols during the day reported movement of MT from 818683 to TILLY-sur-SEULLES 8468
and enemy posns being dug in area 827687. Other patrols reported enemy in area
8269 incl tks.
14008 DLI locations HQ 806687, A Coy 804684, B Coy 807689, c Coy 803689, D Coy 806683
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During the afternoon patrols of 8 DLI made contact on their right with
1 Hampshire Regt (231 Bde) at 793691 and also contact with 6 DLI on their left.
Civilian reports believed to be reliable stated that there was a body of 200
GERMANS and 19 Tks in LONGRAYE 7866.
2 ESSEX reported a small enemy Patrol seen near PONT de la GUILLETTE.
Situation at last light.
at Locations and dispositions unchanged with 2 ESSEX under comd HQ at 830702,
A Coy 822704, B Coy 833702, C Coy 833699, D Coy 828701. General impression
gained by our fwd tps that the enemy was holding outposts thinly from the line
of the track LES LE GALLOIS 8168 to PONT de la GIILLETTE 8369 but that the main
posns would be SOUTH of that line based on TILLY-sur-SEULLES running WEST
along the high ground.
Two enemy inf surrendered to 8 DLI identified as 5 Coy 902 PG LEHR Regt.
16Situation at first light
Dispositions unchanged. Local patrolling only. 8 DLI reported one eneny killed
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one wounded and one captured at 803681. These soldiers identified as
901 Pz LEHR Regt.
08006 DLI were ordered to advance from VERRIERES to line of LINGEVRES - TILLY rd
and take up posns around the X rds at LES LE GALLOIS 8168.
During the morning this advance was made and the enemy cleared from this area
Locations as follows 6 DLI HQ 813697, B Coy 815683, C Coy 817682, D Coy 815683.
Recce patrols were sent fwd from these posns in the direction of HOTTOT and
contact made with 8 DLI on the right.
8 DLI during the morning engaged a party of eneny inf, strength one pl
approaching their posns with their axis of advance the main rd LONGRAYE 7866 -
LINGEVRES. D.F. task was called down and the enemy were dispersed
1335The Bde Comd, Brig B.B. WALTON then at HQ 2 ESSEX was wounded by shellfire
the Liaison Offr, Lieut I. SPAIN and the wireless operator of his recce jeep
were killed. Brig WALTON was evacuated to UK through 149 Fd Amb.
1415Lieut-Col R.P. LIDWILL, 8 DLI arrived at Bde HQ to assume temporary comd
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of the Bde.
1430Lieut-Col A E.GREEN, 6 DLI arrived from UK to re-assume comd 6 DLL.
During the afternoon heavy shelling was brought down on the Bde front from
enemy Btys on the high ground SOUTH and EAST of TILLY.
Situation at last light
Locations unchanged No contact with the enemy during the afternoon apart from
some sniping and rather heavier mortaring and shelling.
It was noticeable that since the advance from the posns occupied on D plus 1
the quality of enemy tps became appreciably better than those met on D Day.
Extremely good use of ground with well sited and well constructed posns was the
feature of the defensive tactics of the enemy. In addition he was using his
tanks as strong points in defence and not as a mobile counter attack force.
Many cases were observed of tanks either being dug into the ground or fighting
from inside buildings thus making it extremely difficult for them to be destroyed.
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Further the type of country in which our troops were operating lent itself to
inf defence and not to tank warfare as many of the roads were sunk below the level
of the adjoining fields with grass banks and trees or hedges on top. It was the
exception rather then the rule to get vision or field of fire in excess of 200 yds.
17Situation at first light.
Locations unchanged, Patrols reported enemy in the buildings at 813674, at the
bridge 807677 and enemy in farmhouses 814674.
0600One offr, Lieut THOMPSON and four ORs of 4 CLY (22Armd Bde) entered our lines.
They had been engaged in 7 Armd Div battle at VILLIERS-BOCAGE and after their
tank had had a direct hit, they escaped and aided by local population had
evaded capture. On questioning Lieut THOMPSON although unable to be precise as to
dispositions stated that he had formed the impression that an enemy armd div
was concentrating between VILLIERS-BOCAGE - TILLY-sur-SEULLES.
0930Lieut-Col R.P. LIDWILL accompanied by GSO III attended conference at Main HQ
50(N) Div to discuss plans for the attack on TILLY-sur-SEULLES at 1600 hrs today.
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Locations unchanged. No enemy counter attack during the night.
0715GOC 50(N) Div arrived at Bde HQ to see Bde Comd.
1000Conference of 'O' Groups when plan for further attack on TILLY discussed,
See Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders issued.Appx F
The attack was to begin at 1430 hrs with RIGHT 6 DLI LEFT 2 ESSEX 8 and 9 DLI
to hold a firm base. 8 DLI to move during the morning to area 815674.
10308 DLI began move to new posns, leading coys encountered opposition from enemy
Spandau fire, snipers and a few tks in the area of the Parc de la Mere 815674
The A Tk Pl endeavoured to engage the tks but owing to the nature of the country
it was impossible to get into posn for a shoot. The crews of the tks who were
apperently outside their vehicles were engaged by small arms fire.
1430Further advance on TILLY began.
15056 DLI reached 833684 having captured some prisoners.
15126 DLI reached posn 832682.
15308 DLI reported in posn locations as follows, Bn HQ 814675, A Coy 817670
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9 DLI occupied posns with HQ 818682, B Coy 820678, C Coy 822680, D Coy 817683
2 ESSEX HQ 838692, A Coy 837689, B Coy 841685, C Coy 838692, D Coy 842687.
Four tanks were destroyed during the afternoon and evening by 4/7 D.G.
PM taken today numbered 7.
19Situation at first light. - Locations unchanged,
During the morning 2 ESSEX advanced with two coys up to secure Tilly and
by 1400 hrs they reported the capture of TILLY having met with little
opposition, locations of coys as follows - A Cay 841681, B Coy 839684,
C Coy 842685, D Coy 844682.
14306 DLI carrier patrols located enemy in the area 842673 with an enemy OP
at 839674.
1600Fwd coy of 9 DLI reported small counter attack by enemy inf supported by a
few tks as a result of which one enemy MK V Panther tk was destroyed at 813667,
two of the crew being taken prisoner,
19008 DLI reported enemy infiltration from 807670 and at approx the same time the
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PiaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
enemy launched a countor attack between 6 and 9 DLI supported by heavy mortar
and shellfire. Both these attacks were beaten off with casualties to the enemy.
Situation at last light,
Posns held in contact with the enemy. PW taken today numbered seven identifying
7 and 8 Coys II Bn Pz LEHR Regt 130. These PW on interrogation gave valuable
information as to the order of battle of Pz LEHR Div 130 and strengths and types
of tks. They confirmed that the defensive policy of the enemy was to form a
series of strong posts on suitable ground with one coy of inf supported by four
or six tks.
Today the weather which had previously been reasonable, broke with heavy rainstorns
and high winds. Our tps who had been constantly in action since D Day with very
little rest had this additional hardship to bear. The constant strain of battle
together with daily casualties was beginning to have its effect upon the troops.
8 DLI passed to under comd 231 Bde but remained in same locations. This step
was taken as the other bns of 231 Bde were disposed in and around the same
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area, preparatory for an attack on HOTTOT and it was decided that 8 DLI should
form a firm base.
20Situation first light - unchanged.
Patrols of 6 DLI located enemy outposts on the line of HOTTOT - JUVIGNY rd.
12009 DLI relieved 2 ESSEX who reverted to comd 56 Bde. Locations of 9 DLI
HQ 837688, B Coy 841683, C Coy 840686, D Coy 839681.
Throughout the day no contact was had with the enemy but a fair amount of
mortaring and shelling fell on the fwd areas.
21A quiet day with local patrolling only.
221000Conference held at Bde HQ and Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders issued.Appx G
Throughout the day Bns concentrated on vigorous offensive patrolling to harass
the enemy.
23Situation at first light.
No enemy penetration of the Bde front. Patrols of 6 DLI to the buildings at
845675 reported no enemy seen or heard but movement of tracked vehicles on the
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main rd HOTTOT - JUVIGNY. 9 DLI patrols confirmed enemy posns at edge of
the orchard near MONTILLY845676.
No advance today but local vigorous patrolling to find out the exact enemy
dispositions on the Bde front.
24Last nights patrols reported noise of track vehicles heard area X rds 835665.
This target was engaged by our own arty. Other patrols found enemy at 846674
and other posns dug but not occupied along the NORTH edge of the MONTILLY wood
and also on the WEST of the main rd.
1000Bde Comd held a conference for CO's 6 and 9 DLI, A Coy 2 CHESHIRE Regt and
rep 74 Fd Regt. Orders were issued for harassing fire to be put down in the
area JUVIGNY to support the advance of 49 Div whose right fwd elements were
disposed on the EAST bank of the R. SEULLES. 6 and 9 DLI to send out fighting
patrols night 24/25. Confirmatory Notes of Verbal Orders issued . See -Appx H
250600Move fwd of two fighting patrols began.
06459 DLI reported spandau fire from the right flank from the direction of the X rds
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835665 whilst an OP reported an enemy tank moving WEST to EAST along the main rd.
08309 DLI reported the tp of tanks of 4/7 D.G. operating with 6 DLI destroyed
one Mk IV tank at 837666. Three or four others were observed moving away
from the X rds NW towards the positions of 231 Bde.
1030Right patrol of 6 DLI reported that they were pinned to the ground by spandau
fire and also MG fire from the tanks. Left patrol engaged the enemy at the track
junc 834668 which fired upon them heavily.
One pl B Coy 6 DLI reached 834667 and one pl. of C Coy 9 DLI reached the main
rd at PONT de JUVIGNY at 843677.
In addition to these strong fighting patrols the enemy in the MONTILLY area was
engaged all day by our arty supported by by mortars and MMG of A Coy 2 CHESHIRE Regt,
26Situation at first light,
Patrols of 6 DLI engaged the enemy at 834667 and located one tk in the farm
buildings in the area, 835667. This tank was one of those engaged yestarday
which had halted the fighting patrols with MG fire, Three tanks were
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heard moving during the night on the main rd towards HOTTOT.
During the morning three enemy tks were seen leaving the MONTILLY wood in a
S to SW direction and information was received from flanking formations that the
enemy might be withdrawing slightly. Even more vigorous patrolling ordered
with a view to keeping contact and harassing fire by arty, MMG and mortars was
ordered to be put down in the area of the rd running SOUTH from JUVIGNY.
1200Fwd coy Of 6 DLI established at 833672. Fwd coy of 9 DLI established at 844675.
1400Patrols of 9 DLI reached PONT de JUVIGNY.
1600Fwd coy 9 DLI in posn WEST of the main TILLY - JUVIGNY rd covering the junc of
those rds at 844668.
Situation at last light.
During the day active patrolling by 6 and 9 DLI established that the eneny had
withdrawn from MONTILLY wood but was still in posn with spandau posts supported by
up to four Mk IV tks in the area 836668 in front of 6 DLL.
Patrolling for night 26/27 was ordered as follows - one fighting patrol
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6 DLI to 835666 with the task of engaging the enemy there with a recce patrol
to X tracks at 838661 SOUTH of the main rd. 9. DLI to complete clearance of
MONTILLY wood with another recce patrol to corner of wood 844663.
27Nights patrolling found no enemy but an enemy tk was seen in area of X rds 834665
which was fired upon by a P.I.A.T. Results not known. The day was spent
active patrolling by both 6 and 9 DLI. One patrol of 6 DLI stalked a Mk IV tk in
area 835666 for several hours but were unable to get within range for a shot from
the P.I.A.T. mortar. One of the crew however who was seen standing on the tk
apparently observing enemy shelling of our posns was shot at from 150 yds by two
Bren guns and was seen to fall. This offensive action brought down spandau fire
upon the patrol who were forced to withdraw.
28A fighting patrol of 9 DLI to the church at JUVIGNY848665 met no enemy but another
patrol to some houses at 843667 found them occupied by enemy firing spandaus and schmeisers
0900A daylight patrol of 9 DLI in the direction of the JUVIGNY church and buildings in that
area drew fire from spandaus. This area had previously been reported clear by night.
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10308 DLI reverted to under comd, located as follows HQ 828694, A Coy 821685,
B Coy 826696, C Coy 825686, D Coy 829684. 8 DLI were given a counter attack
role in the event of enemy penetration of the front of 6 DLI or 1 Hampshire (231 Bde).
For Confirmatory Notes of Orders Issued Verbally See Appx IAppx I
Situation at last light
Patrols during the day realised the following information. Enemy supported by
one or two tks were found in the orchard 839666 with spandau posns EAST of the
track along the hedgerow between 839665 and 843667. Two burnt out tks were observod
at 841667 and 837667, type unknown. Enemy inf were engaged and one killed. Enemy
posts were also located in the houses at 849667.
29During night 28/29 a fighting patrol of 9 DLI was sent out to investigate the area
of JUVIGNY church and building 848665. On arrival at objective two enemy soldiers
were found near the buildings, one was captured the other escaped. There were also
more enemy in that general area. PW identified as 1 Coy 192 PGR of 21 Pz Div.
A patrol of 6 DLI set out to investigate the enemy post in orchard at 835665 and also
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the wood SOUTH of the road 838665. During the course of the patrol two enemy
tks were heard driving in the direction of HOTTOT and sentries seen in both the
patrolled areas.
Local patrolling throughout the day and harassing fire by arty, MMG and mortars
was carried out.
30Patrols 29/30 June set out to attack the buildings at 838667. On arrival on the
objective grenades were flung through the doorway and building spayed with fire from
Sten guns. As a result of this action two spandaus opened fire, one situated in each
corner of the outhouses of the building. The patrol threw a bottle of petrol and
more grenades and set the building on fire.
Another patrol heard movement of heavy vehicles possibly tanks in the area of the
wood 843663 but no enemy were seen.
06458 DLI established a standing patrol in front of 9 DLI at 843667. Hawkins mines
were laid across the main road.
Patrolling activity continued throughout the day as a result of which 6 DII
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6 DLI reported one enemy killed at 836666.
1945Patrol progremme for night 30 June/1 July issued.Appx J.
For the month of June since the invasion of France began casualties within
the Brigade were as follows 1.
Killed Wounded Missing
Officers 13 50 8
ORs 79 549 165
The Brigade was in action constantly since D Day without a relief in the
front line and the tps suffered considerable hardship from inclement weather.
Heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy in the course of various
engagements and a total of 7 offrs and 351 PW were taken.
D.S. Gordon Brig
Comd 151 (Durham) Inf Bde