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    War Diary: 75th Anti Tank Regiment

    Month and year: July 1944

    The 5th Anti Tank Regiment (Royal Artillery) July 1944 war diary covers the units actions in Normandy advancing from Odon Bridgehead to area La Bertherie.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/925

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

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    Page 1 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    ODON Bridgehead1Violent enemy inf attack reached its peak about 0200 hrs. A terrific barrage
    by our own artillery inflicted heavy casualties on enemy and was largely
    instrumental in breaking up the attack. During the attack one gun of "E"
    Tp was over run. A Bdr and 2 Gnrs were killed, 2 Gnrs evacuated with shock
    and one wounded. There were three other casualties during the night of 118
    Bty and one of RHQ.
    At 1030hrs a Sqn of Churchills came up and cleared ridge in front of position.
    At about 1800hrs enemy appeared to have withdrawn.
    Lieut CAWLEY buried at MONDRAINVILLE.
    2/3Quiet days in Bridgehead, except for intermitant shelling
    One gun of "L" Tp put out of action by almost direct hit from shell.
    Detachment escaped without injuries.
    3Lieut Crago took over command of "L"Tp and Lieut CORLESS posted to 119 Bty.
    R.H.Q. came under rather heavy shell fire and 1 Gnr was wounded.
    4Another comparatively quiet day with intermittent shelling of bridgehead.
    Page 2 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    Odon bridgehead4"B" Tp of 117 Bty deployed South of river in BARON area having taken over
    duty of protecting RA. O.Ps from Tp of 119 Bty.
    Early in the morning - at first light - Lieut J.M.THOMSON was killed by a
    sentry of KSLI whilst on patrol.
    119 Bty Echelon shelled on return from fwd area. 4 ORs wounded. S/Sgt BARNEY
    died of wounds.
    5/6Night159 Bde relieved by Bde of 43 Div - without any interference from enemy.
    COULOMBS,6Regiment in concentration area to rest and refit. RHQ 118 and 338 Btys at
    BRONAY & LE MESNIL PATRYCOULOMBS. 119 at BRONAY and 117 Bty in area of LE MESNIL-PATRY. "B" Tp
    rejoined 117 Bty in harbour. The area was shelled during the day and Lieut
    L. W.MARTEN was killed.
    7/16Regiment in areas as above resting and refitting.
    During this time 117 Bty continued to provide a Tp for protection of the
    RA OPs in the BARON- TOURMAUVILLE area. The Tp was changed daily.
    8The remainder of 117 Bty came under command 2 NY for counter attack role
    Page 3 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    8the event of enemy penetration of the RAURAY-HAUT de BOSQ feature.
    COULOMBS-BRONAY7Lieut K.C.W.ROSS joined 119 Bty and took over "I"Tp. Lieut EKEBLAD joined
    119 Bty as R.O. from RHQ.
    119 Bty moved to area NORTH of ROURAY in a counter attack role in support of
    23 Hussars.
    10Major Marsh left the Regiment.
    Capt A.Scoggins appointed Adjutant.
    Major A.G.Durnford joined RHQ pending the posting to the Regiment of a new
    2 i/c.
    Capt. Sanders took over command of 118 Bty.
    Capt Beloe posted to 118 Bty as Capt "Q".
    11Bread issued for first time since landing in Normandy.
    CULLY15119 Bty moved to CULLY under command 29 Armd Bde.
    NEUF-MER117 Bty under command HQRA moved with 2 N.Yeo to harbour area at NEUF-MER.
    "A" Tp rejoined the Bty from ODON Bridgehead at 2100 hrs.
    Page 4 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    EAST of R.ORNE16/17159 Bde Gp moved during the night across the R.ORNE to concentrate in the
    Airborne country. "F" Tp under command 3 MONS, "D" Tp - 4 KSLI and "E" Tp
    1 Her. RHQ and 338 Bty concentrated in area on RANVILLE.
    119 Bty concentrated with 29 Armd Bde Gp in area of PLUMETOT arriving there
    at about 0600 hrs on the seventeenth.
    17117 Bty left NEUF-MER at 2130hrs to cross the R.ORNE and concentrate at
    AMFREVILLE.
    The operations about to start have had a most promitious prelude, a thick
    mist commencing before dawn and lasting until about noon enabled the whole
    Division to cross the R.ORNE and concentrate without being observed by the
    enemy. By the time the mist cleared, camouflage had been completed.
    17/18Night119 Bty left PLUMETOT at 0200hrs and crossed the R.ORNE, harbouring for four
    hours at RANVILLE preparatory to going fwd with the 29 Armd Bde.
    180630Very heavy RAF bombardment followed by artillery barrage preceeding the attack.
    0745Leading tps crossed the start line. Axis of advance was COUVERVILLE and
    Page 5 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    DEMOUVILLE - CAEN with the armour of the 11th, 7th and Gds Armd Divs fanning
    out from there. 3 British Div. was to protect the left flank with the
    Canadians advancing from CAEN through the factory area and along the EAST
    bank of the R.ORNE
    119 Bty with the Armour, 117 Bty as Div Reserve under command CRA???. 118 Bty
    with tps att to Bns of 159 Bde. 338 Bty under command C.O. as 159 Bde
    reserve. For this operation Tac HQ consisted of the C.O. and 2 i/c in the
    S.P. the I.O. in a Jeep and the Recce car.
    By the afternoon 119 Bty were in action at GRENTHVILLE where "G" Tp destroyed
    2 Panthers and 1 Sherman - the latter was being used as a decoy. Prisoners
    were taken by the Bty who suffered a few casualties to personnel.
    COUVERVILLE and DEMOUVILLE which had been left to 159 Bde to deal with
    were taken by noon. 118 Bty Tps deployed in Bn areas. "F" Tp sustained 3
    casualties - wounded - from shelling. 338 Bty deployed about 1200 hrs in
    area immediately NORTH of COUVERVILLE.
    Page 6 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    181400117 Bty deployed with 2. N.Yeo SOUTH of DEMOUVILLE. Later they moved to just
    NORTH of LE MESNIL FREMENTAL where they largered for the night.
    In the late afternoon 338 Bty moved to and deployed S.E. of DEMOUVILLE and at
    about 1900 hrs again moved to area LE MESNIL FREMENTAL where tps were deployed
    to protect Div concentration.
    2200118 Tps in positions in Bde area SOUTH of DEMOUVILLE. Throughout the day
    enemy shelling and mortaring had been heavy though not accurate.
    19p.m.159 Bde attacked HUBERT-FOLIE and BRAS. Tps of 118 Bty deployed to
    consolidate in Bn areas by 2200hrs. "K" Tp sent up to lend additional support
    to the MONS at BRAS. Remainder of 338 Bty deployed round Bde HQ NORTH of
    HUBERT-FOLIE for protection against possible counter attack from area SOUTH
    of CAEN.
    119 Bty in area GRENTHVILLE heavily shelled at approx 1300 hrs. B.C's veh
    hit and three men wounded. "F" Tp had one man wounded during the day.
    20p.m.159 Bde relieved by Bde of 3. Can Div. During the morning fwd tps had been
    Page 7 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    heavily shelled. 'E" Tp suffered four casualties - one man killed, three
    wounded.
    1700Concentrations of 159 Bde veh machine gunned by enemy aircraft "en passant".
    A rare sight! No casualties.
    1100119 Bty back at COVERVILLE for refitting. 117 Bty moved back to ST HONORUE
    LA CHARDONNETTE where their guns were deployed fwd of the village.
    338 Bty returned to LE-MESNIL-FREMENTEL.
    21RHQ shelled in conc area NORTH of COVERVILLE. RSM Hudson and 1 NCO wounded.
    CUSSY AREA22-28Resting and refitting.
    23Major R.L. Crouch joined Regiment as 2 i/c.
    2911 Armd Div sent to the CAUMONT SECTOR on the left of the 2 U.S. Div.
    0430Regt left CUSSY area for the CAUMONT Sector. RHQ, 118 and 338 Btys
    concentrating in area CORMOLAIN around the village of PONT DE HERBERT.
    117 Bty in area MONT BRIAUME and 119 Bty in area BALLEROY.
    301200Advance commenced. 119 Bty has a Tp u/c of each of the Armd Regts. 338 Bty has
    Page 8 of 8
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and Information
    "J" Tp u/c 1 Herefords "K" & "L" u/с 8 R.B. (29 Armd Bde) 118 Bty in reserve
    with 159 Bde. 117 Bty u/с C.R.A.
    2359119 Bty reached area SOUTH of SEPT VENTS where they harboured for night.
    117 Bty reached LA CHAUETIERE area at 2130 hrs.
    No guns in action yet.
    31119, 118 and 338 Btys reached area ST MARTIN DES BESACES. Very little
    opposition so far.
    117 Bty moved down to protect right flank of gun area. Guns deployed area
    DAMPIERELA FOUGUERIE - LA BERTHERIE

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