War Diary: 6th Airborne Armoured Recce Regt

Month and year: June 1944

The June 1944 War Diary for the 6th Airborne Recce Regiment covering from enplaning the at Tarrent Rushton & Brise Norton and their time round the Ranville area.

National Archive Reference: WO 171/435

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Page 1 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Tarrent Rushton & Brise Norton 1/5 Regt in transit camps, A Sqn. and R.H.Q. at Tarrant Rushton & B & H.Q.
Sqns AT Brise Norton. Loading Gliders and awaiting instructions to enplane
do. 6 Regt enplaned from airfields as above on operation OVERLORD, B & H.Q. Sqns
at 1900 hrs, A Sqn & R.H.Q. at 1925 hrs. One Horsa with 2 i/c forced to cast
off and made a successful landing area Winchester. No further episodes in flight.
Hamilcars and Horsas arrived over D.Z. area Ranville 1173, 2100/2130 Hrs.
All Horsas landing without incident, One Hamilcar in landing crashed into Tank
unloading from another causing both to become Z Cas. Some Mortar fire on D.Z.
during landing, One Hamilcar hit. Regt. R.V. in harbour 123734.
123734 7 0700 Move from Harbour area, Via Le Mesnil to new Harbour area R. Junc. 137707.
0930 Recce patrol engaged 4-wheeled Armd. Car in wood 137706, Jeep set on fire by
incendiary bullets and blew up, no Cas. personnel.
137707 0930/2100 Recce patrols operating in area Touffreville, Sannerville, Banneville la
. Enemy movements seen in Touffreville and Sannerville and area
1168/1169. incl. inf, small numbers tanks and S.P. Guns. 192 Pz. Gren Regt.
INSERT: Light Tank cas on Enemy mine 135706, approx 1200 hrs. Crew missing. Light hit by S.P. Gun at 135708, 1 cas X Tank cas Z.
Page 2 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
137707 7 0930/2100 ligh cont.
identified in this area (dead D.R.) At last light location harbour changed)
to X-Rds, 140708.
140708 8 0630/2200 Recce patrols operating in area as above, and also area Bois de Bavent 1571
and N.E. to Bavent 1673.
0630/1300 Movements of M.T. guns M.T. and Half Tracks seen area Sannerville, Bannerville
and Cuverville.. Rly Bdge. at Troarn and line of Rly Troarn/Bures held by enemy..
1300/1700 S.P. Guns, small parties Tanks and Two Parties each 30 Half Tracks (2 disguised
as haystacks) deploying from Demouville and Touffreville in direction of Cuverville
No movement seen in area Bures/Bavent
2200 Enemy est. strength 2 Bns, observed attacked N.E. from Cuverville, Naval Guns put conc.
on Cuverville and Bannerville. 2 PW captured Bavent area identified as 11 &
12 Coys/857 Gr. Regt.
140708 9 0630 Recce patrols sent out to same areas. 1 carrier blown up on A/Tk mine laid
by own troops at x/Rds Sannerville.
0700/0800 Some movement incl. Half-Tracks and One Field Gun, from Sannerville to Curerville
Page 3 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
140708 9 0915 Pl. Inf moving S.E. from Curverville.
1100 Enemy patrol contacted S of Escoville.
1130 Enemy patrol contacted 153687. One Officer Casualty.
1300 Mortars seen firing N.E. 099724 and Inf. at 095710. Attacks in progress gen.
direction Cuverville and along slopes of high ground E. of Cuverville plain.
1445 Bridges in Troarn reported repaired for light traffic.
1500 S.P. Gun supporting Inf. moving N. from Troarn.
1630 Recce patrols temp. withdrawn, small parties enemy attempting to infiltrate
from S.W. through wooded area 1370.
1915 O.Ps re-established activity observed in Cuverville (3 Ton lorries and Half-
Tracks. D.R.s on Rd. Bannerville and Cuverville.
1915/2015 Enemy movements Northwards in area 1167, 0969
2015/2045 Attacks observed supported by heavy mortar fire apparently on Herouvillette.
2115 Mortar or Arty. fire observed falling in area N.W. of Sannerville.
2120 16/20 Half-Tracks seen moving S.E. towards Troarn.
2200 Patrols returned
140708 10 0700 Recce patrols sent out to same areas as above. Mortars 107695 shelling wood
1371. 4 Tanks seen moving N.E. from 1169 followed by 12 Half-Tracks.
0800/1130 Some Enemy movement seen in plain
1130/1430 Armd. Cars moving up road from Touffreville to Troarn, Attack from Bavent and
Cuverville on Le Mesnil Area unsuccessful.
1500/1530 British Aircraft strafing in area Cuverville-Bannerville
1545 Mixed AFV seen moving S across Rly. 1167
1600 Recce patrol occupied Brickworks 1469.
2000 20 Rnds 3ins Mortar fired at Enemy M.G. post in Touffreville, post evacuated or
2200 Patrols returned, 2 Enemy Inf. killed area 1571 identified as 643 (OST)Bn. - were
Page 4 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
140708 2200 wearing civilian cloths under uniforms.
140708 11 0115 Elements of 153 Inf Bde. passed through position
0600 Recce patrols sent to same areas.
0630/0930 S.P. Guns, 3 Mark 4 Tanks and Half-Tracks seen moving into Sannerville. Armd cars
seen in 1269.
1030/1130 S.P. Guns seen at 109696, 115685
1130 on Under comd. 153 Inf Bde. One Recce patrol operating from 1369, during the afternoon
this patrol penetrated Touffreville, E. of Sannerville, and to Bdg. 142083
without opposition
1800 4 S.P. Guns in 1268 seen firing on area X-Rds Sannerville.
1900/2200 Attack by 1 Gordon on Touffreville. Trouffreville and Nothern part Sannerville
occupied. To deal with threatened counter-attack on 1 Gordons from Cuverville
2 Light Tank Troops and 1 Recce Troop were sent to Escoville which was found
empty. It being too dark for tanks to fire, Troops returned at 2330.
140708 12 0500 Attacks appeared to be in progress on Cuverville. French Liason Officer attached
reported concs, of Vehicles, Tanks in Manneville and Emieville observed on
previous day.
0830 2 Recce Troops sent to Manneville 1266 and Bures 1769
1100 Enemy patrols heard on line of Rly Bures/Banneville. A/Tk Gun located at
159679 covered by obstacles 159680
1230 French sgt. attached reported blockhouses at 208683 and 200649, High Ground
1863 to 1968 unoccupied.
1400 Road Bures/Troarn in general use by Enemy transport. Bdg. at Bures reported
not repaired.
1400/1700 1 dismounted patrol from Light Tank Sqn. searched area 1168/1169 for S.P. Gun
3ins Mortar fired at objective results not observed.
2000 Patrols reported
Page 5 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
140708 13 0600 French patrol reported conc. vehicles in Manneville reported previous day
severely damaged by air attacks on 12 June.
No Recce patrols sent out.
1215 Reverted under cmd. 6 Airborne Div. and withdrawn to new location in Ranville
1500/2359 Intermittent shelling by Enemy of adjacent areas. 2 Enemy aircraft made attacks
on areas in vicinity at 2330.
Ranville 14 All Troops in harbour up to 1900 hrs.
1900 2 Recce patrols sent out to areas Le Plein 1274 and Bavent 1673
1905 Enemy L.M.G. firing on fixed lines at 145744 and 153730.
2005 Enemy movement seen in 144733, digging at 147730, M.G. firing at 148735.
2100/2130 Patrols in Bavent area held up by sniping and M.G.s previously reported.
Northern patrol unable to report area clear of enemy or otherwise.
2230 Both parties returned
Ranville 15 0800 2 Recce patrols dispatched to area Le Plein/Bavent and one patrol to area
1230 3 Vehicles with long barrel guns pointing S.E. seen at 122694.
1245 ENEMY patrol seen at 146697 and digging suspected at 140753. Two H.E. shells
fell on trenches in harbour area causing seven cas.
1430 No movement seen in Manneville area. Area 1474/1476 reported to have been
clear on night 14/15 June.
1515 Six Tanks reported 156678, Vehicles and Tanks at 106689
1630 Observation balloon in 1167 seen being hauled down.
1750 No movement seen in Manneville area or Touffreville Area.
1930 Two M.G. posts seen in area 1575.
2030 No movement seen in Cuverville plain
2100 Mortars observed in groups of four N.W. of Cuverville
2200 Patrols returned
Page 6 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Ranville 16 0430/0730 General shelling of Dvn.Area. Attacks on Breville, Pre Baron repelled.
Escoville occupied by Enemy. Infiltrations reported as far as Herouvillette
1045 More shelling on Din.area. Two Troops tanks incl. 3in How. sent to occupy
defensive positions area 112731.
1500 Recce patrol plus one Light Tank to area Le Mesnil and Woodyard Sannerville
1530 Two Mark 4 Tanks reported proceeding towards Escoville at 136755. 50 Inf in
occupation Woodyard.
Ranville 17 1200 Recce patrol and two Light Tanks sent to Sallenelles area Recce strong
point reported at 139776.
1530 Patrol reported that 15 Rnds 3in How, 10 Rnds 2 Pdr and 1 belt BESA were fired
at Cupola and sides of pillbox and hits observed on cupola and vision slits.
No fire was returned, and Gun in cupola was not seen to traverse.
Ranville 18 One Recce Tp. and One Tank Tp and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
1900 A Sqn. (Tanks) moved to Le Mesnil to take defensive positions in support 5
Para.Bde. Recce Troop supported 12 Para. Bn. in raid on Strongpoint WEST
of Le Prieure 1572, not successful owing to unsuitable nature of the country.
Ranville 19 A Sqn at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
Ranville 20 A Sqn. and Assault Troop Motor Cycles and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
Ranville 21 0815 Move to new Harbour area B Sqn HQ Sqn and R.H.Q. at 118758, under command
3 Para.Bde. for rest. A Sqn and Assault Tp. and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil
118758 22 A Sqn. and Assault Tp and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil. Remainder in rest area.
118758 23 One Light Tank at Le Mesnil hit by solid projectile apparently 75mm anti-
concrete shot rendered Z cas
1800 B Sqn and 4 MMG HQ Sqn together with RHQ Tanks moved in support 8 Para.Bn.
in counter attack role at Le Bas De Ranville 105735
A Sqn and Assault Tp. and 4 MMG remained at Le Mesnil.
118758 24 Disposition as on 23 June
118758 25 A Sqn Assault Tp. and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil.
1330 Detachment from Le Bas De Ranville returned.
Page 7 of 7
Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
118758 26 Dispositions as on 25 June.
118758 27 Dispositions as on 26 June. System od relief for 3 Tanks per 48 hours
commencing 1700 hrs 27th introduced.
118758 28 Dispositions as on 27 June. less Assault troop returned to 118758
118758 29 1700 One further Tank Troop withdrawn from Le Mesnil leaving two troops,Sqn HQ &
4 MMG.
118758 30 Dispositions as on 29th June.