D-Day Footage

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by canuck, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Evidence from the North Shore Regiment is that neither tanks nor Centaurs were present at the moment of the first infantry landing, which the officer commanding one of the assault companies puts at 8:05,but the battalion diary at 8:10. The 5th Assault Regiment records are similar. The 80th Assault Squadron indicates that on the right the infantry were first, followed by the AVREs and later by the tanks; on the left, it reports the D.D. tanks did not arrive until H plus 60. It seems evident that on both battalion fronts the D.D. tanks were behind the leading infantry, but likely that most of them landed only a few minutes later.

    North Shore Regiment found that the St. Aubin strongpoint "appeared not to have been touched" by the preparatory bombardment. "B" Company had the task of dealing with it, and this was done with the assistance of the tanks and later the AVREs, which used their petards with effect. "The co-operation of infantry and tanks was excellent and the strongpoint was gradually reduced." The battalion diary records that the area was cleared by 11:15, four hours and five minutes after landing. It appears, however, that there was still sniping going on after this time, and the O.C. "B" Company stated that the enemy in the strongpoint did not finally give in until 6:00 p.m.
    The 50-mm. anti-tank gun in the resistance nest here caused serious trouble in the early stages of the assault. "B" Company's commander recorded that it knocked out the first D.D. tanks to arrive; subsequently two other tanks and an AVRE dealt with it. The Special Observer Party reported that the concrete of the emplacement bore the mark of a 95-mm. shell, evidently fired by a Centaur. The gun had been put out of action by tank fire, but "about 70 empty shell cases" around the emplacement attested the resolution with which its crew had fought it.
    The North Shore's "A" Company, landing to the west of "B", suffered some casualties in booby-trapped houses but in general made good the beachhead objective without great difficulty. The reserve companies, "C" and "D", likewise had comparatively little trouble in the beginning. "D" carried out its task of securing the south end of St. Aubin, and "C", which was to seize the inland village of Tailleville, met no opposition until it reached the actual outskirts of that hamlet. Here the enemy, well dug in, fought long and hard; in spite of early optimistic reports, it was "nearing evening" before the company, with tank support, finally cleared the place, taking over 60 prisoners. Divisional Headquarters logged the report of its capture at 8:10 p.m.
     
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Here's another story about the near loss of that particular bit of footage:

    A Son Remembers
     
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One thing that has always been a powerful weapon in the Army ...Is a sense of humour.... My best, is the little old Pioneer Corps soldier working on the beach as the Commandos came in, He greeted them with the remark "Where have you been then"
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Great piece of footage and incredibely powerful imagery even though its quite short.
     
  5. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    I count at least 45 men disembarking from the landing craft but it's difficult to get a clear view.[/QUOTE]

    Must have been pretty cosy with 45 men in an LCA!

    Chris
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Must have been pretty cosy with 45 men in an LCA!

    Chris[/QUOTE]

    Roughly 2 platoons per boat
     
  7. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Great piece of footage and incredibely powerful imagery even though its quite short.
    Sorry I must be being a little thick but I can't see any "footage"?
    Help!
    Paul
     
  8. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  9. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Roughly 2 platoons per boat[/QUOTE]

    In the 1960s (still with some LCAs around as well as more modern craft) the allocation was one platoon to an LCA - and it was pretty full then! I concede that in 1944 they might well have squashed two platoons in if they were short of boats, but, as I said, it must have been pretty cosy!

    Chris
     
  10. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

  11. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Without checking your counting, I don't think there was much variation from around 30 men per LCA, with 5 LCAs landing a Coy plus some attached troops. According to the landing tables put together by Trux, here is what the North Shores landed in the first two waves:

    129 NSR + 9 att'd + 23 stores spaces in 5 LCAs
    129 + 9 + 23 in 5 LCAs

    131 + 46 + 21 in 6 LCAs

    Counting stores spaces as the space where you could fit a man, those are all 32 or 33 spaces per LCA maximum. All of the NSR craft carried fewer men than that. These numbers are consistent with all of the other Canadian assault Bns.

    Will have to check my references, did the NSR really only land three Coys? Could Milner be in error, they landed 2 Coys up (not 2 Pls as mentioned up thread)?
     
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Must have been pretty cosy with 45 men in an LCA!

    Chris[/QUOTE]

    45 it is and it appears that there were more yet to disembark. With the casualty rates for infantry in Normandy, I'm guessing that very few of those men made it past Carpiquet unscathed.
     
  13. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Hi,
    The reason your numbers don't add up is because it is footage from two different landing craft, the film has been spliced together at 1:04. Look at the "windows" on the doors as the doors open on the first clip on 33 seconds, they are shut. On the second clip 1:20 the windows are open, also check the boathooks on the left hand side, pause the video at 8 seconds there are two boathooks, one of which is curved, then pause on 2:04, three hooks all straight.
    It suggests to me that Bill Grant couldn't have taken both films, unless he waded back out to sea after the first clip and boarded another craft.
     
  14. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi,
    The reason your numbers don't add up is because it is footage from two different landing craft, the film has been spliced together at 1:04. Look at the "windows" on the doors as the doors open on the first clip on 33 seconds, they are shut. On the second clip 1:20 the windows are open, also check the boathooks on the left hand side, pause the video at 8 seconds there are two boathooks, one of which is curved, then pause on 2:04, three hooks all straight.
    It suggests to me that Bill Grant couldn't have taken both films, unless he waded back out to sea after the first clip and boarded another craft.

    That's Interesting. In the second scene the frame has shifted slightly to the right and up. The door windows could have slid open in the swell and as far the boat hooks go if you back up to 2:03 or 2:02 the number becomes debatable and looks more like a play of light.

    I can't find it now but I read somewhere that all the stock footage taken by CFPU was lost in a Montreal fire and all that remains are the edited newsreels created for public consumption. There are few possible scenarios you would have to consider like Grant going back out and setting his camera in the same position on another craft or planning with a another CFPU cameraman to do likewise. It doesn't seem credible to me at this point.

    Provocative nonetheless ... :)
     
  15. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    According to Brian Lavery's book "Assault Landing Craft"; the LCA was "specifically designed to carry an infantry platoon of 31 troops." The book cites several examples where the load carried was 34 men and there would be two or possibly three of the LCA's crew in the well of the craft.
    Noel
     
  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    If snailer's hypothesis is correct and we are looking at the unloading of two different crafts another possibility is the cameraman just stayed with the same LCA which then went back out to a mothership to pick up another group of soldiers and he shot that disembarkation as well.

    I get a rough count of total men viewable in both scenes at between 45 and 50, not counting the crew.

    All conjecture at this point of course ...
     
  17. DanielG

    DanielG Senior Member

    Having grown up with scads of war movies the first thing that struck me upon seeing actual combat film for the first time is how slowly the men are moving. Even the films of rehearsals show the men piling onto the beaches and tearing across them, not so in combat.
     
  18. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    The more I view this video the more I wonder and as it turns out it's been the source for an ongoing controversy.

    I'll include here an article by Robert Lansdale from The Photographic Historical Society of Canada E-Mail (June, 2004). He gathers together all the claims as to the origins of the clips with the hope the information will help future researchers. As you'll see it's a complex tale that rears its ugly head every so often and will probably be with us for years to come.

    snailer might find it of interest ... :)
     

    Attached Files:

  19. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    snailer might find it of interest ... :)

    Indeed I do, I now know it is an observation portal and not a window.:p
     
  20. nigelblue27

    nigelblue27 Member

    We went on our annual pilgrimage to Normandy in June-after walking from the Canadian House-(which we go inside every year on the 6th) eastward along the beach,you will come upon the house that features in the video clip--it now has a small extension to the front,and the house to the right of it is no longer there.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page