GOLD BEACH.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    THE FOLLOW UP BRIGADES.

    56 BRIGADE.
    Phase ‘A’.
    56 Brigade landed and proceeded to their assembly area south west of Buhot.
    Phase ‘B’.
    The brigades first objective was to secure the line from Vaux sur Aure to the high ground around St Sulpice.
    Phase ‘C’.
    When so ordered the brigade was to advance to size Bayeux and hold a line from Point 63 to Gueron.

    Having advanced from Buhot to Ryes the brigade took two routes forward. On the right the route led to La Rosiere and then south west to Gaugny and Sully. On the right the route went directly south west to St Sulpice and Ste Croix.

    On the right the column consisted of 2 South Wales Borderers with one platoon of ‘C’ MMG Company 2 Cheshire Regiment and one section of 203 Field Ambulance under command. It was supported by 147 Field Regiment and a Forward Observation Bombardment party.

    On the left the column consisted of 2 Essex with one platoon of ‘C’ MMG Company 2 Cheshire Regiment and one section of 203 Field Ambulance under command. It was supported by 147 Field Regiment and a Forward Observation Bombardment party.

    Each column was to move with a mobile forward body consisting of one company on airborne bicycles, a carrier platoon (less one section), a mortar platoon and an anti tank platoon (less one section).

    The main body was to move along the more direct left route when ordered by the Brigade Commander. It consisted of Brigade Headquarters, an Air Support Signals Unit tentacle, 2 Gloucestershire Regiment, Heavy Mortar Platoon 2 Cheshire Regiment, one section 203 Field Ambulance, one troop 6pdr anti tank guns from 288 Battery of 102 Anti Tank Regiment RA and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry.

    The 2 South Wales Borderers column was to:
    - Capture the radar station at 808832.
    - Clear the gun position at 7983 near Vaux sur Aure.
    - Seize the crossing of the River Aure at 789825.
    - Capture the high ground in the area 775825, block the road from Sully to Bayeux and leave a detachment to hold the bridge at 789826.
    - Patrol into Bayeux.
    - Establish combined posts with 26 RCT from 1 US Division at the bridges over the River Drome at Vaucelles and Sully.

    The 2 Essex Regiment column was to:
    - Seize the high ground at 8181 and hold a line to the Sommervieu to Bayeux road.
    - Patrol in strength into Bayeux and establish forward company localities.

    The brigade reached the assembly area south west of Buhot with some casualties from mortar fire. Some delay was caused by enemy activity to the south of the village but by 1745 the assembly was complete and the Brigade Commander ordered the columns to move off. ‘A’ Squadron Nottinghamshire Yeomanry was placed under the command of 2 Essex Regiment. This squadron had been supporting 2 Devonshire Regiment in the capture of Ryes.

    The leading battalions reached the line from La Rosiere to Ryes about 1930 hours. The South Wales Borderers then met little opposition until they reached the radar station. The enemy set fire to the station and retired. The advance continued to Vaux sur Aure and by 2350 hours the forward body had secured the bridge at 799826 and held it until the main body arrived. The battalion established a defensive locality around Vaux sur Aure for the night. The battery position was found to be unoccupied. Camouflage nets had been left in place and the position had been bombed from the air and shelled by warships.

    2 South Wales Borderers were some 2,500 yards short of their objective and had not made contact with the US forces on their right flank.

    2 Essex advanced to St. Sulpice and met light opposition from enemy forces. It reached the crossroads about 2130 hours and was ordered by the Brigade Commander to stay on the St. Sulpice feature for the night and patrol towards Bayeux. ‘A’ Squadron Nottinghamshire Yeomanry leaguered in the same area.

    2 Gloucestershire Regiment moved behind 2 Essex and reached Magny about 2335 hours and took up positions for the night.

    56 Brigade could almost certainly have occupied Bayeux on D Day but it decided to halt and move into the city the next day. In the event it mattered little since the enemy had withdrawn all but a few isolated pockets of troops.

    Many writers say that the British failed to capture either of the main D day objectives, Caen and Bayeux. Strictly speaking this is true of course but Bayeux was occupied with very little trouble on D+1 while Caen was not taken for a long tome and then at a high cost to all concerned. In the meantime Bayeux became very important, taking over the roles intended for Caen as well as its own. As a rail and road communications centre just inland from Arromanches and Mulberry B Bayeux became the most important point in the Rear Maintenance Area which supplied the British forces for many months.


    151 BRIGADE.
    151 Brigade landed and assembled between Meuvaines and Ver sur Mer. The plans was to advance in two bounds:
    - To the line of high ground from 819808 to Vaux sur Seulles.
    - To the line from River Point 86 805764, La Valliere 9074, Ellon 8073, Conde sur Seulles.

    The brigade would advance along two centre lines from the assembly area.

    On the right 9 Durham Light Infantry with one platoon of ‘A’ Company MMG, 2 Cheshire Regiment and one section of 149 Field Ambulance under command. One 6pdr troop from 288 Battery 102 Anti Tank Regiment, one Forward Observation Bombardment party and Forward Observation Officers from 90 Field Regiment RA were in support.

    This group would advance from Meuvaines to Maromme 874829, Sommervieu 8281, St Martin les Entrees, Point 86 and Tilly sur Seulles. The first objective was the high ground from road at 819808 to road junction 838791. The second objective was the high ground from Point 86 to Ellon and the clearance of St Martin les Entrees. The group would then reorganise and hold the following areas: Point 86 at 8076, Crossroads 809754, Point 81 at 8074.

    On the left 6 Durham Light Infantry with one platoon of ‘A’ Company MMG, 2 Cheshire Regiment and one section of 149 Field Ambulance under command. One squadron of 4/7 Dragoon Guards, one 6pdr troop from 288 Battery 102 Anti Tank Regiment, one Forward Observation Bombardment party and Forward Observation Officers from 90 Field Regiment RA were in support.

    This group would advance from Ver sur Mer to Crepon, Villiers le Sec, road junction 855805, Esquay sur Seulles, La Haisserie 8377 and the road to Neuville 824747. The first objective was Le Recouvry to bridges at 839777. The second objective was the high ground from the crossroads at 815739, through Neuville and to the crossroads at 836737. The group would then reorganise and hold the following areas: Crossroads 815739 and the road from Conde sur Seulles to Neuville.

    Both groups were then to push patrols forward to the line from the River Aure to La Valliere, Ellon, Jerusalem and Hervieu.

    Each of the groups was preceded by mobile columns composed of one company on bicycles, carrier, mortar and anti tank platoons, Forward Observation Officers, Forward Observers Bombardment and the machine gun platoons of 2 Cheshire Regiment. In addition the squadron of 4/7 Dragoon Guards supported the 6 Durham Light Infantry mobile column.

    8 Durham Light Infantry moved behind 9 Durham Light Infantry on the right and were followed by Brigade Headquarters, Headquarters ‘A’ Company 2 Cheshire Regiment, Commanding Officer 90 Field Regiment RA, Headquarters 288 Anti Tank Battery and 12 Heavy Mortar Platoon 2 Cheshire Regiment.

    The mobile columns of 9 and 6 Durham Light Infantry began to advance at 1530 hours.

    6 Durham Light Infantry encountered some opposition and the advance was slow. At 1950 hours the mobile column was on the high ground north west of Vaux sur Seulles and by 2030 hours the battalion had reached Esquay sur Seulles.

    The forward troops of 9 Durham Light Infantry were in Sommervieu at 1820 hours and at 1910 hours reported some enemy opposition to the west of the village. At 2000 hours they reported that they were on the line of the main road from Bayeux to St Leger.

    The squadron of 4/7 Dragoon Guards had little to report. They reported that they had reached the River Seulles about 8579 some time after 1800 hours. Before last light they reported that they had advanced some 3,000 yards south of the river and met little resistance.

    One squadron of Nottinghamshire Yeomanry came in support of 151 Brigade and began to advance to Bayeux. By last light they reported good progress. Bayeux was not held in strength and the squadron reached St Vigor le Grand, 7980.

    About 1500 the Brigade Commander and the Brigade Intelligence Officer left Brigade Headquarters by jeep to visit the mobile columns. He was not heard of again and it was presumed that he and his party had been captured. However there was a long delay before his replacement took over. The Commanding Officer 8 Durham Light Infantry was to be the replacement in case of the Brigade Commander becoming a casualty and he was close to the Brigade Headquarters. He actually visited the headquarters at 2015 but did not assume command until 2230 hours.


    At 2200 hours the General Officer Commanding 50 Division visited Brigade Headquarters and ordered that no advance was to be made beyond the road from Bayeux to St Leger that night but was to be resumed at first light next day. He had been informed that the Brigade Commander was missing, presumed captured, at 1645. It was also reported that he was carrying all the divisional codes and code signs for the next fourteen days.

    A patrol from 8 Durham Light Infantry was sent to try and locate the Brigadier during the night but this was unsuccessful. It was later discovered that the Brigadier’s jeep had been ambushed and the driver and wireless operator killed. The Brigadier and Intelligence Officer were not in fact taken prisoner but were wounded and forced to stay in hiding. They rejoined the next day but the Brigadiers injuries were serious enough for him to be evacuated.

    151 Brigade reorganised for the night and occupied company defended localities as follows.
    9 Durham Light Infantry.
    Headquarters 827798. ‘A’ Company 828804. ‘B’ Company 825796. ‘C’ Company 845794. ‘D’ Company 823809.

    6 Durham Light Infantry.
    Headquarters 852798. ‘A’ Company 847791. ‘B’ Company 857798. ‘C’ Company 851799. ‘D’ Company Esquay.

    8 Durham Light Infantry.
    Headquarters 837817. ‘A’ Company 831814. ‘B’ Company 835814. ‘C’ Company 840814. ‘D’ Company 842804.

    Mike
     
    Aixman likes this.
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Brigadier Senior.
    About 1500 the Brigade Commander and Liaison Officer left Brigade Headquarters by jeep, with wireless and operator, to visit the mobile columns. The Liaison Officer was driving and there was apparently no escort, presumably because insufficient vehicles had landed. No information was received after his departure and it was presumed that he and his party had been captured. However there was a long delay before his replacement took over. The Commanding Officer 8 Durham Light Infantry was to be the replacement in case of the Brigade Commander becoming a casualty and he was close to the Brigade Headquarters. He actually visited the headquarters at 2015 but did not assume command until 2230 hours.

    There are several versions, reports etc. which vary in detail but it is known that Brigadier Senior ran into an ambush about 1530. The area was held by German infantry from Kamfgruppe Meyer of 915 Grenadier Regiment who reported about 2100 that they were in positions in the neighbourhood of Brazzenville and had captured a British Brigadier. It was later reported that the Liaison Officer and wireless operator had been killed.

    It is not entirely clear what the Brigadier was doing or where he was going when ambushed but one of his columns was to head south to Villiers le Sec. It would be following behind 69 Brigade which by this time had passed Villiers le Sec and was on the line of the River Seulle. The other column was heading south west from Meuvaines to Sommervieu. Perhaps he had carried out a reconnaissance along the road to Villiers le Sec and was then taking a short cut to view the other columns route. Neither column would yet have reached the positions he visited.

    At 0800 on 7 June Brigadier Senior was still missing and a patrol of one platoon and a section of three carriers from 8 Durham Light Infantry was sent out to search for him. They were to search to the north of Brazenville between Pierre Artis and Crepon. He was not found but the jeep and the body of the wireless operator was.
    Why Brigadier Senior was in that place is a mystery. He was not on the route his mobile columns were to take. The route from the assembly areas to Sommervieu, their first objective, went south west across the area. The road should have been fairly busy with two battalions moving along it. They would not send patrols off to the side unless they had good reason to think that enemy troops were there and were likely to interfere. The mobile columns were not to stop and clear the areas to either side of the road. This was for the reserves to take care of.

    At 1215 on 7 June ‘B’ Company, 1 Dorsetshire Regiment, with a detachment of 3” mortars, two sections of carriers and a troop of Sherman tanks from Sherwood Rangers moved out from Ryes to mop up the enemy in the area of Brazenville and La Croix. This was to the south of the area searched earlier by 8 Durham Light Infantry. This attack was successful and by 1630 hours it was reported that 40 Germans had been killed and 70 captured.


    This is an interesting problem. Of course there are always contingency plans as well as normal procedures for such a scenario. The Brigade Major was quite capable of carrying out the existing plans and orders without the presence of a Brigade Commander but at what point should he be replaced. The old military command problem. Should you assume command too early or too late you are likely to be blamed if things go wrong.


    Brigade Headquarters.
    The roles and responsibilities of the key personnel at Brigade Headquarters are given below. These apply to most brigade headquarters.

    Brigadier
    Officer Commanding the Brigade.

    Brigade Major
    General Staff officer responsible for all staff work at Brigade Headquarters, implementing the Brigadiers orders and plans, issuing operational orders and instructions, and transmitting information to divisional headquarters and to flanking units.

    GSO3
    General Staff Officer Grade 3. The Brigade Majors deputy and responsible for operations, under the orders of the Brigade Major, moves by road, distribution of maps, codes and ciphers and supervision of registers, diaries and reports.

    Staff Captain
    Responsible for the supply and personnel aspects of the brigade. He was assisted by the Company Serjeant Major, the Company Quartermaster Serjeant and the Ordnance Warrant Officer.

    Captain, intelligence and gas duties.
    Not a staff officer. Assists with intelligence work together with intelligence serjeant, intelligence corporal and intelligence private. Responsibilities included the collecting, collating and distribution of information on enemy units and dispositions, supplying maps and aerial photographs to units and supervising security measures within the brigade.

    Liaison Officers.
    Captain Liaison Officer and two Subaltern Liaison Officer. These were responsible for liaison with battalions, flank formations and division headquarters. They needed to be conversant with the Brigadiers intentions and with the disposition of units. They also delivered messages on outward journeys and reported back to intelligence and signals with regard to the position of units headquarters etc on return.

    Signals Officer.
    A Royal Signals officer from the divisional signals. He was responsible for the command, administration and technical efficiency of the Brigade Signal Section and taking a turn as duty officer at Brigade Headquarters.

    Captain Transport Officer.
    Responsible for the transport of the brigade. He was responsible particularly for commanding the B echelons of the brigade. This included the transport of the headquarters plus the B echelons of the infantry battalions and the B echelons of any attached units. This could amount to a considerable fleet. He was also responsible for the defence of the B echelon area using the personnel and weapons of the B echelons plus a portion of the defence platoon if available.

    Mike
     
  3. Gobby

    Gobby New Member

    Just read this and been fascinated by it all - thank you

    My relative (cousin) Private 14542049 Arthur Edwin REEVES landed on Jig with the 6th Border Regiment as 10th Beach Group. I'm having trouble finding out what his role / company was with them but research continues.

    Ted (as he was known) survived D Day and was transferred to the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment on 1st August - he was killed in action on 24th October in the battle for s'-Hertogenbosch aged just 19

    Thanks
    Gobby
     
  4. Gold

    Gold Member

    Hello, Mike (Trux)
    You mentionned some number for refenrence for maps. It is possible to have those maps ? It will be very kind, because by this way i can check the position with details.

    Regards,
    Guillaume (Currator of the D DAY museum in Arromanches)
     
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Guillaume,

    I will do my best. What are you interested in?
    A copy of the original 1:25,000 scale map.
    A map showing AA sites.
    A map showing locations mentioned in the text above.

    Mike
     
  6. Gold

    Gold Member

    Mike,

    I am interessed by all information deals with Gold beach area. The best for me is to have : a copy of the original 1:25,000 Scale map.
    But also a map showing all the anti aircraft position And a map of the positions mentioned in your text.
    Thank you in advance,

    Guillaume
     
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    OK.

    It will take some time since they are not on my PC.

    Mike.
     
  8. Gold

    Gold Member

    Thank you so much

    Guillaume
     
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    For Guillaume and anyone else who is interested.

    IMG_20180407_0001.jpg

    From GS 1:25,000 map.

    Still looking for the others.

    Mike
     
    Juha, Uncle Jack, Roy Martin and 3 others like this.
  10. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Thanks Mike ... we are looking into the details of the landings of 4th Durham Survey Regiment. What you've posted is a brilliant contribution. Expect we'll have questions when we've had a proper read through

    Robin
     
  11. Gold

    Gold Member

    Thanks Mike,
    it's going to help me to understand everything.
    i'm looking forward for the others, it's very nice from you.
    What you've done is an excellent work for the GOLD sector.

    Regards,
    Guillaume
     
  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Gold/Guillaume

    Do you have a copy of the Special Edition map issued in about August 1944 (scale 1:50000) that shows the Gold area and the location of Airfields etc and also 'Port Winston'? I have a scanned copy - actually the map is six scans because of the size of the map - if you are interested. I borrowed the map many years ago from a Veteran. The map covers the area from the coast south to Point 103 near Tilly-sur-Seulles.
     
    8RB likes this.
  13. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    That sound very interesting!
     
  14. Gold

    Gold Member

    It is very interesting for me it is possible to have a copy please ?
    Thank you
    Guillaume
     
  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    No problem. The eight scan files are large - approx 6MB each so can't be added to a post - so I will upload them to my Dropbox and PM/Conversation you the link on Saturday or Sunday this week.
     
  16. Gold

    Gold Member

    Thank you !
     
  17. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Thanks Mike

    The regimental history and other memoirs record the landing and actions of these first units of 4th Durham Survey Regiment landing early on D Day. Primarily the problems caused by landing somewhat east of target.
    Pleased to see details of the actual LCTs they were on.

    We are wanting to find similar information for the other units from the regiment which landed in Normandy over the following week.

    Can your direct us to the sources to look at?


    Regards

    Robin
     
  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Robin,

    My particular interest is the units which operated the beaches. They have been much neglected. In general the Landing Tables for D Day have survived and are complete. For D +1 they are patchy and after that almost non existent.

    Best source is usually the unit War Diary. Some of these have a great amount of detail, especially if the original appendices are still attached. They are very variable though. I will think on the matter.

    Mike.
     
  19. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Wonderful piece of work Mike . I am researching 18th Bn DLI which was part of 36 Beach Brick on behalf of the DLI Archive , i have the information about the formation of the unit at Geneifa in Egypt , their involvement in the Salerno landings and some information on Normandy and the following move to Boulogne and Calais but was wondering if you had come across on further info in this Bn during your research ?

    regards

    Paul
     
  20. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Thanks Mike

    We've got the 4th Survey Diaries for 1944 - however as they were split up into so many small units for the early landings the June entries are nominal. Our best sources are the memoirs of individuals.

    Robin
     

    Attached Files:

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