Officer's Diary 6th to 13th June 1944

Invasion of Normandy

Read by Nicholas Blatchley

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June 6th

Land and move straight off the beaches to establish a position on the site of the “Mont FLEURY” enemy gun-position, and find huge casements knocked out by our Lancaster bombers.  The Survey D.R. is wounded by a sniper.  Three D.D. (?) tanks from “B” Troop to make a 7 gun Troop and “A” Troop move up establish a Battery position north of “ VER-SUR-MER ” through small-arms and mortar fire.

12 30 HRS.  Battery are now in position north of VERS-SUR-MER.  Still held by enemy.  Various targets are engaged.

13 30 HRS.  Advance Parties are halted with EAST YORKS & GREEN HOWARDS, Ver-sur-Mer still held by enemy.

15 30 HRS.  Advance held up between Ver-Sur-Mer and CREPON. {D112}  We establish a position for the night during which ‘B’ Troop are shelled by tanks, and snipers are in the wood behind them.

‘D’ night.  We watch the flack going up from the beaches and we hear that Major Loveday (Battery Commander) has been wounded.

June 7th  

05 30 hrs.  Advance Parties held before CREPON; 0700 hrs, 200 Germans are driven out of the wood behind ‘B’ Troop by flame-throwing Shermans.  10 00 hrs, the Battery moved through VER-SUR-MERE, CRENNLLY and ST. GABRIEL.   Position in an open field with H.Q in the hedge.  It was here that we saw our first knocked out German S.P. (Self-Propelled-Gun.)

June 8th    

0100 hrs to 04 00 hrs, stand-to, parachutists reported falling in the RGTL: area.  Patrols were sent out but all that could be found were trees on the sky-line.  Several shoots at tanks forming up.  We move to a (new) Regtl. Area.   

Between 18 00 hrs and 20.00 hrs we engage many  CORPS & DIVISIONAL targets on tanks, transports and mortars etc; on the St. Ledger feature.  We are joined by our L.A.A. (light anti-aircraft) guns

June 9th  

We moved to an orchard just north of the village of MARTRAGNY.  Position has been occupied by our machine-gunners the night before and was probably an enemy gun-position before that.  Soon after we arrived, “H” tank, (Battery Command Post tank) and “T.L.B” carrier (Troop Leader “B” Troop) had to go to the D.P. to take supplies.  They were never seen again.  Much anxiety over the personnel, Lr. McCaie, L/Bdr Tagg, Guns Brooks & Dudon is ???????  At dusk saw our first 7W190r diving on lading infantry.  Heavy AA against them.  During day fire over 1,000 rds HE mainly against tanks in area of Jerusalem cross-roads.

June 10  

No news of “H” or “TLB” .  Remain in orchard firing in support of 7th Armoured Div. moving up from Bayeaux.  afternoon occupy position in orchard just off main road Bayeaux – Tilly.  Pass through  St Ledger and see our first German fighters.  O/P’s are heavily mortared, L/Bdr. Butcher and Gnr Whitelock wounded, removed to base.

June 11th  

Exciting day for OP’s established  just South of Jerusalem x roads.  In the Morning the 7th Arm. Div. attacked Tilly-sur-Seulles. attack lasts all the afternoon, but by evening they are forced to withdraw, having been held up by pillboxes, half tracks and S.P’s.  Enemy tanks in woods south of Tilly.

In the evening the enemy counter attacked.  Our O.P’s come under heavy shell fire, they are surrounded by enemy infantry and have to dash through enemy lines with arrivals lowered.

June 12th  

We dig in as we learn the enemy are putting up a stiff fight for Tilly.  First letters arrive from England dated May 31st/June 1st.  Wagon lines established in Chateau on south edge of Bayeaux.  Our first line re-inforcements {re-enforcements} arrive.  Major Corke takes command of Battery.

June 13th  

Severe fighting in and around Tilly.  day of hard firing from gun-end.  We hear that Capt Turnball of 342 has been killed while acting as F.O.O. {Forward Observation Officer}  First newspapers arrive and we continue digging in.

This page was added on 20/03/2013.

Comments about this page

  • You have a question mark after “Three DD tanks”. A DD tank was a Sherman ‘duplex drive’ tank, altered by adding a propeller and an inflatable canvas screen so the tank could “swim” ashore from the tank landing craft. Once on the beach, the screen was lowered and the power changed to the tracks as normal, and the tank went into battle. This way they could provide support for the infantry without endangering the tank landing craft.

    By Richard (06/12/2013)

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