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    War Diary: 7th Bn Royal Tank Regiment

    Month and year: June 1944

    Follows the 7th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment from Fort Gomer, Gosport water proofing the vehicles to their landing in Normandy and fighting in areas Cheux, Cully, Grainville-sur-Mer and Colleville.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/868

    The "References to Appendices" column for this document was empty so has been omitted.

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    Page 1 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Field3Major.W.R.Hughes posted to RAC Depot.
    Strength of Unit 47 Offrs and 759 ORs, 1 Offr and 26 ORs (LADREME)
    plus Chaplain.
    5Lieut.G.R.Archer posted to 257 Corps Del Sqn.
    6D Day - Invasion of Europe began.
    9.Lieut.D.W.Evans and Lieut.C.M.Bland posted to 2 ArmdRft Unit
    10Strength of Unit 43 Offrs and 722 ORs, plus 1 Offr and 25 ORs (LADREME)
    and Chaplain.
    11Unit started move to marshalling Area A.1.
    15Move to Marshalling Area completed. BnHQ and tanks in Camp A19 (FORT
    , GOSPORT) remainder in Camp A18
    16Preparations and waterproofing completed. Unit ready to move to embarkation
    17Strength of Unit 43 Offrs and 721 ORs, plus 1 Offr and 26 ORs (LADREME)
    and chaplain.
    180415 hrs Unit started move to Embarkation Area at Gosport and embarked during
    day on LCTs and LSTs. BnHQ on LCT 802. 2100 hrs sailed - sea very calm.

    Continued/Sheet Two.
    Page 2 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Field191000 hrs arrived off JUNO beach COURSEULLES SUR MER (T9885). Sea too
    rough to land.
    200200Craft driven on beach by strong winds.
    0600Disembarked and proceeded to Conc Area.
    1100BnHQ in Conc Area.
    1200BnHQ in orchard at 884785 (Sheet 7F/1) just North of Brecy.
    Rough sea prevented majority of unit landing
    21Rough sea prevented majority of unit landing
    22Remainder of unit landed abd concentrated. One LCT hit mine - six CHURCHILL
    tks lost. LtsBARRET and BROWN wounded but rejoined unit.
    Recce carried out for first operation - an attack on CHEUX.
    23Further Recces carried out.
    24Further Recces and final preparations carried out.
    Strength of Unit less Residues 42 Offrs and 675 ORs plus 1 Offr and 22 ORs
    (LADREME),and Chaplain, Residue 1 Offr & 45 ORs.
    250005Unit moved to Assembly Area at 910755 (Sheet 7F/1) just south
    of CULLY.
    2145F Ech moved to FUP (which was also S.L.) on track 896708 to
    260730Fwdtps crossed SL, C Sqn with 9 Cameronians, B Sqn left with
    Glas Highlanders and A Sqn and Seaforths in reserve. C.L. Track 899709
    - Track junc906692 - rd & track junc906679 - CHEUX. Objective 100 ring
    contour SOUTH of CHEUX.

    Continued Overleaf.
    Page 3 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Field260800C & B Sqn ran into minefiekd approx 400x south of Le Mensil Patry (9070
    Sheet 7F1). C Sqn loosing 5 tks and B Sqn 4 tks. Lieut.C.B.Thompson
    256570 wounded by a sniper and Capt.Webb wounded whilst changing tks. Adv
    continued slowly.
    1030 appxCAEN-FONTENANY rd reached.
    1100CHEUX village occupied and A Sqn & Seaforths called fwd to gain objective.
    A Sqn engaged by enemy from right flank on line of CAEN-FONTENAY rd and
    fwd slope of objective secured by 1630 hrs. Leiut.R.E.Barret 268997 killed.
    2100Bn released to fwd rally and formed laager at 899686.
    Offrs. Casualties
    Lieut Barret.R.E Killed
    Capt.Webb.A.E Wounded
    Lieut.Thompson.A.E. Wounded.
    Lieut.Pattison.C.B. Wounded.
    Lieut.Berry.S.A Wounded.
    Lieut.Ward.D.L. Wounded.
    Lieut.Bell.I.G.D (RAMC) Wounded.

    Killed. 10.
    Wounded. 16.
    0500C Sqn and HLI attacked to gain river crossing south of GRAINVILLE-SUR-ODON
    but held up on high ground to south of CHEUX by Panthers and Mk.IV tks,
    knocking out at least three enemy tks. Remainder of Bn moved to harbour at
    908692, C Sqn rejoining Unit at about 1900 hrs.

    Continued overleaf.
    Page 4 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Field27ORs. Casualties
    Killed. 1.
    Wounded. 4.
    28Counter counter-attack roles recoenoitred.
    1630Bn (less C sqn) and 8 R.Scots formed up on SLrd CAEN - FONTENAY CL 90
    grid line objective 900642. C Sqn remained in support of 4 S.L.I
    Capt.Paul,Lieut.Muscroft and Lieut.Clapham joined unit.

    ORs. Casualties. Wounded. 1.
    1900Fwdtps crossed SL.
    2100Contact with enemy made just North of GRAINVILLE 9064. Bn laagered
    night 28/29 at 897657.
    29Objective gained during the morning but could not be consolidated. Enemy
    opposition increased during the afternoon and objective changed hands
    1800Strong enemy counter-attack mounted by 1st.SS.Pz Div. The enemy gained
    some ground and we lost 12 tks.
    2100C Sqn took up defensive position at 905674.
    2200Bn withdrew to fwd rally at 902685 to reform.

    Offrs. Casualties.
    Lieut.S.T.Offen. Killed
    Lieut.P.Meadows. Wounded.

    Killed. 1.
    3 Missing, Believed Killed

    Continues Overleaf
    Page 5 of 5
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Field301400Bn moved fwd to relieve the 9.R.Tks in support of the inf at COLLEVILLE9264.
    C Sqn moved fwd to extricate inf from south of R.ODON and remainder of Bn
    harboured at 918648.
    Casualties NIL. Lieut.Clapham sick and admitted to hospital.

    G.Gaisford. Lieut Colonel,
    Commanding, 7th Bn. Royal Tank Regiment

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