249th (Airborne) Field Company RE on D-Day and Battle of Normandy

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by PRADELLES, Jul 9, 2015.


    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Chuck,
    I don't understand how the 12th Parachute Battalion could be in charge of Le Bas de Ranville and send in the same time patrols to X cross roads 122755. It's not in the same area !
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    The 12 Para WD doesn't mention the the crossroads at 122755. Just the following:

    "... link up posn in LE BAS DE RANVILLE and high ground SOUTH. B + C Coys fwd A Coy NORTH covering rear and watching bridges ..."

    I'm not sure if 12 Para sent a battle patrol north to 122755 crossroads, if so it would have come from A Coy.

    In 5th Para Bde HQ WD there are a number of map references for the points of formation between 12 Para Bn and 13 Para Bn. The impression I get is that 12 Para was responsible for the area west of a line along D514 into south Ranville over to the River Orne

    Regards ...

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Chuck,
    Have a look here :
    Brigade Headquarters, 3rd Parachute Brigade

    "Bn areas
    12 Para Bn - LE BAS DE RANVILLE to est brhead EAST of R ORNE with battle patrol at X rds 122755."

    For remember, extract of the 5th Para Brigade War Diary :
    "Commando crossing at foot br 113762 is being protected by patrols from post at X rds 122755."

    May be "And watching bridges" refer to :
    Bridges = Pegasus + Horsa ... and TREACLE (footbridge).
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    It could very well be but I can't find any accounts of 12 Para actually sending a patrol down to the area of Treacle. In the book "Para Memories" Major Ritchie, CO of 'A' Coy, says he was headquartered in the quarry until 5 PM when they were move to positions south of Bas de Ranville. He mentions meeting up with the Commandos as they came through. According to Pte Holroyd he was sent up the road from the quarry in a party led by Sgt Warcup to deal with German snipers infiltrating the LZ and using the gliders as cover to fire on the British.

    Regards ...

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Chuck.
    Extract of 5th Para HQ war diary :
    "Assistance to 1 SS Bde in crossing CANAL and river about H + 3 to H + 4

    7 Para Bn will give max fire sp during the move of 1 SS Bde to brs 098748 and 104746 and improvised crossing 113762. Routes will be cleared and traffic controlled by Pro during this period. 12 Para Bn will strengthen battle outpost at X rds 122755 as tactical situation permits so as to neutralise with patrols enemy post at 132766 and protect crossing."

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    If you remember, General Gale abandon the Parker Force mission because the manpower of the Division is reduced.
    Colonel Reginald Parker
    May be it's the same reason for the mission of the 12th Parachute Battalion.
  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    The Parker Force mission was abandoned after the various units that composed were on the ground despite all the planning that went into it. As far as I can see 12 Para 'A' Coy did carry out their role as planned to some degree by keeping an eye on the LZ and would have dealt with German patrols coming down from the Sallenelles area if the need arose before the Commandos arrived. No idea if they were actually keeping an eye on the flood plain along the River Orne?

    You may be familiar with this pic of the No. 4 Commando down the hill in La Basse Ecarde. The IWM claims it was taken on June 7th. It was actually shot on June 6th. They were resting there out of way of shelling until moving onto Hauger.

    Commandos-La Basse Ecarde-D-Day.jpg

    Regards ...
    PRADELLES likes this.

    PRADELLES Well-Known Member

    Hi Cee,
    The footbridge...
    But...not a reinforced concrete multispan...

    Attached Files:

    Cee and DannyM like this.
  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    A great find Xavier ... :)

    It is nothing like what I expected, thought it would be a more solid structure. At least that would allow the passage of smaller boats up and down the river at low tide. It looks a bit too flimsy to cross with horse and cart? Was it built by the Germans?

    Regards ...

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