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    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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Tarrent Rushton & Brise Norton1/5Regt 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.6Regt 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.
    12373470700Move from Harbour area, Via Le Mesnil to new Harbour area R.Junc.137707.
    0930Recce patrol engaged 4-wheeled Armd. Car in wood 137706, Jeep set on fire by
    incendiary bullets and blew up, no Cas. personnel.
    1377070930/2100Recce 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.GrenRegt.
    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
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    13770770930/2100ligh cont.
    identified in this area (dead D.R.) At last light location harbour changed)
    to X-Rds, 140708.
    14070880630/2200Recce patrols operating in area as above, and also area Bois de Bavent 1571
    and N.E. to Bavent 1673.
    0630/1300Movements of M.T. guns M.T. and Half Tracks seen area Sannerville, Bannerville
    and Cuverville.. RlyBdge. at Troarn and line of RlyTroarn/Bures held by enemy..
    1300/1700S.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
    2200Enemy 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.
    14070890630Recce patrols sent out to same areas. 1 carrier blown up on A/Tk mine laid
    by own troops at x/RdsSannerville.
    0700/0800Some movement incl. Half-Tracks and One Field Gun, from Sannerville to Curerville
    Page 3 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    14070890915Pl.Inf moving S.E. from Curverville.
    1100Enemy patrol contacted S of Escoville.
    1130Enemy patrol contacted 153687. One Officer Casualty.
    1300Mortars 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.
    1445Bridges in Troarn reported repaired for light traffic.
    1500S.P. Gun supporting Inf. moving N. from Troarn.
    1630Recce patrols temp. withdrawn, small parties enemy attempting to infiltrate
    from S.W. through wooded area 1370.
    1915O.Ps re-established activity observed in Cuverville (3 Ton lorries and Half-
    Tracks. D.R.s on Rd.Bannerville and Cuverville.
    1915/2015Enemy movements Northwards in area 1167, 0969
    2015/2045Attacks observed supported by heavy mortar fire apparently on Herouvillette.
    2115Mortar or Arty. fire observed falling in area N.W. of Sannerville.
    212016/20 Half-Tracks seen moving S.E. towards Troarn.
    2200Patrols returned
    140708100700Recce 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.
    0800/1130Some Enemy movement seen in plain
    1130/1430Armd. Cars moving up road from Touffreville to Troarn, Attack from Bavent and
    Cuverville on Le Mesnil Area unsuccessful.
    1500/1530British Aircraft strafing in area Cuverville-Bannerville
    1545Mixed AFV seen moving S across Rly. 1167
    1600Recce patrol occupied Brickworks 1469.
    200020 Rnds 3ins Mortar fired at Enemy M.G. post in Touffreville, post evacuated or
    2200Patrols returned, 2 Enemy Inf. killed area 1571 identified as 643 (OST)Bn. - were
    Page 4 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1407082200wearing civilian cloths under uniforms.
    140708110115Elements of 153 InfBde. passed through position
    0600Recce patrols sent to same areas.
    0630/0930S.P. Guns, 3 Mark 4 Tanks and Half-Tracks seen moving into Sannerville. Armd cars
    seen in 1269.
    1030/1130S.P. Guns seen at 109696, 115685
    1130 onUnder comd. 153 InfBde. One Recce patrol operating from 1369, during the afternoon
    this patrol penetrated Touffreville, E. of Sannerville, and to Bdg.142083
    without opposition
    18004 S.P. Guns in 1268 seen firing on area X-RdsSannerville.
    1900/2200Attack 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.
    140708120500Attacks appeared to be in progress on Cuverville. French Liason Officer attached
    reported concs, of Vehicles, Tanks in Manneville and Emieville observed on
    previous day.
    08302 Recce Troops sent to Manneville 1266 and Bures 1769
    1100Enemy patrols heard on line of RlyBures/Banneville. A/Tk Gun located at
    159679 covered by obstacles 159680
    1230French sgt. attached reported blockhouses at 208683 and 200649, High Ground
    1863 to 1968 unoccupied.
    1400Road Bures/Troarn in general use by Enemy transport. Bdg. at Bures reported
    not repaired.
    1400/17001 dismounted patrol from Light Tank Sqn. searched area 1168/1169 for S.P. Gun
    3ins Mortar fired at objective results not observed.
    2000Patrols reported
    Page 5 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    140708130600French patrol reported conc. vehicles in Manneville reported previous day
    severely damaged by air attacks on 12 June.
    No Recce patrols sent out.
    1215Reverted under cmd. 6 Airborne Div. and withdrawn to new location in Ranville
    1500/2359Intermittent shelling by Enemy of adjacent areas. 2 Enemy aircraft made attacks
    on areas in vicinity at 2330.
    Ranville14All Troops in harbour up to 1900 hrs.
    19002 Recce patrols sent out to areas Le Plein 1274 and Bavent 1673
    1905Enemy L.M.G. firing on fixed lines at 145744 and 153730.
    2005Enemy movement seen in 144733, digging at 147730, M.G. firing at 148735.
    2100/2130Patrols in Bavent area held up by sniping and M.G.s previously reported.
    Northern patrol unable to report area clear of enemy or otherwise.
    2230Both parties returned
    Ranville1508002 Recce patrols dispatched to area Le Plein/Bavent and one patrol to area
    12303 Vehicles with long barrel guns pointing S.E. seen at 122694.
    1245ENEMY patrol seen at 146697 and digging suspected at 140753. Two H.E. shells
    fell on trenches in harbour area causing seven cas.
    1430No movement seen in Manneville area. Area 1474/1476 reported to have been
    clear on night 14/15 June.
    1515Six Tanks reported 156678, Vehicles and Tanks at 106689
    1630Observation balloon in 1167 seen being hauled down.
    1750No movement seen in Manneville area or Touffreville Area.
    1930Two M.G. posts seen in area 1575.
    2030No movement seen in Cuverville plain
    2100Mortars observed in groups of four N.W. of Cuverville
    2200Patrols returned
    Page 6 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    Ranville160430/0730General shelling of Dvn.Area. Attacks on Breville, Pre Baron repelled.
    Escoville occupied by Enemy. Infiltrations reported as far as Herouvillette
    1045More shelling on Din.area. Two Troops tanks incl. 3inHow. sent to occupy
    defensive positions area 112731.
    1500Recce patrol plus one Light Tank to area Le Mesnil and Woodyard Sannerville
    1530Two Mark 4 Tanks reported proceeding towards Escoville at 136755. 50 Inf in
    occupation Woodyard.
    Ranville171200Recce patrol and two Light Tanks sent to Sallenelles area Recce strong
    point reported at 139776.
    1530Patrol 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.
    Ranville18One RecceTp. and One Tank Tp and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
    1900A 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.
    Ranville19A Sqn at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
    Ranville20A Sqn. and Assault Troop Motor Cycles and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil in support 5 Para.Bde.
    Ranville210815Move to new Harbour area B SqnHQSqn and R.H.Q. at 118758, under command
    3 Para.Bde. for rest. A Sqn and Assault Tp. and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil
    11875822A Sqn. and Assault Tp and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil. Remainder in rest area.
    11875823One Light Tank at Le Mesnil hit by solid projectile apparently 75mm anti-
    concrete shot rendered Z cas
    1800B Sqn and 4 MMGHQSqn 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.
    11875824Disposition as on 23 June
    11875825A Sqn Assault Tp. and 4 MMG at Le Mesnil.
    1330Detachment from Le Bas De Ranville returned.
    Page 7 of 7
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    11875826Dispositions as on 25 June.
    11875827Dispositions as on 26 June. System od relief for 3 Tanks per 48 hours
    commencing 1700 hrs 27th introduced.
    11875828Dispositions as on 27 June. less Assault troop returned to 118758
    118758291700One further Tank Troop withdrawn from Le Mesnil leaving two troops,SqnHQ &
    4 MMG.
    11875830Dispositions as on 29th June.