Sword Beach.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Trux, May 4, 2012.

  1. Hello Bruce,

    Welcome to the forum. I believe you are the brother of Ed Peaslee (login epeaslee), who already posted about the same questions a little while ago.

    See his profile here:

    as well as his 2 posts in the "D Day Landing Craft Markings" thread:

    I would recommend that you read that whole thread as it contains a lot of info on LCI(L) 13 and her fellow craft, and that you contact your brother so you may share your respective research and also get the docs I sent him.

    We too would of course welcome any additional information or photos you may have about your father or her ship.

  2. bverhaert

    bverhaert Member

    Does anybody know the AOS of 93 LAA? I have pictures of 73rd and 114th but not of 93rd LAA. For those interested I have found a picture of a Crusader triple Oerlikon on page400 of Heimdal book on 21st panzer division. And it is not this one: File:IWM-B-7738-Crusader-AA-19440719.jpg - Wikipedia
  3. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    I finally got round to looking in the 633 Coy war diary [WO171/2506]. Not much detail I'm afraid but here it is:

    4 June 1944
    A + Q Plns awaiting orders to sail.

    5 June 1944
    Q Pln underway by 0800 hrs. Seas very rough. Pass through Straits of Dover at 2200 hrs. No activity.
    A Pln sailed from SOLENT at 1830 hrs. No enemy action whilst crossing Channel. Hyosin Tablets issued to all men as sea was very rough.

    6 June 1944
    Q Pln sighted FRENCH COAST at approx. 2200 hrs. Heavy gunfire and bombing. L.S.T. anchored off-shore.
    A Pln arrived off FRENCH COAST at 1300 hrs and dropped anchor about 3½ miles from shore. Beaches under shell and mortar fire. DUKWs unloaded and swam in loose formation to shore, led by R.A.S.C. motor launch “GROUSE”. All DUKWs arrived without mishap. Pre-loads off-loaded at Sector Stores Dumps and F.D.S. Medical evacuation commenced immediately. Roads and beaches very congested. Pln H.Q. established and line run to CEP.

    7 June 1944
    Q Pln start for shore at 0730 hrs, the first DUKW landing at 0815 hrs. Pre-loads off-loaded and medical evacuation to L.S.T. commenced.
    A Pln continued evacuation of casualties under difficult conditions. Sea very choppy and beaches continually shelled, bombed and machine-gunned. Medical evacuation continued throughout the night without respite. Platoon location sniped all day and occasional air attacks made on G.T. Park. One driver injured by mine and evacuated to U.K.


  4. I have just found this old post from you. I have seen the landing tables and agree with your analysis, but the reality seems to have been much different. I have seen many references and pictures of LCI(L)-375 carrying the Rifles, but that is not even listed in the tables. Does this ring a bell?
  5. I suspect that you may be confusing the Hull Number 375 with the Serial or Landing Table Index Number, which is understandable especially for the LCI(L) of Group 16 which had Serials between 388 and 396, and Hull numbers between (roughly) 375 and 390 o_O!

    Could you tell us your references and post the pictures of LCI(L) 375 carrying the Rifles? On my side I have only two references as follows:
    1. The account by Paddy White (My Story – Aboard Landing Craft Infantry 375) here (.docx attachment just above the photos at the bottom of the page):
    Battle Honour 'NORMANDY LANDING'. | Royal Irish - Virtual Military Gallery
    who says his craft LCI(L) carried RUR troops on D Day
    2. The mention in navsource credited to "Lt Harry Willis (via Syd Berett)". The problem is that the same is said of all the craft of LCI(L) Flotilla 266 save one, i.e. six craft, when we know that only three carried 2 RUR, so this source is useless.

    As for photos, I do not know of any photo linking LCI(L) 375 with 2 RUR for certain, so I hope that you can enlighten us here too :)

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  6. Thanks. I have seen Paddy White's account (and included in my book!). The picture is attached. It is from IWM.

    I agree re navsource. I contacted them and they had no further info.

    There are also two books that refer to LCI 973, though one refers to the other! Navsource suggests that LCI-973 was in Africa at the time.

    The books are:

    The Rifles are There, by David Orr and David Truesdale. Page 33 refers to No 973.

    However, one of the reference books for that one was Monty’s Ironsides, by Patrick Delaforce. That book (page 57) refers to LCI 973.

    The text suggests it came from a John St John Cooper of 2RUR, though the bibliography does not refer to him as one of the unpublished texts, which is odd, unless it came from one of the two RUR books in the bibliography. There are two listed:
    1. The Royal Ulster Rifles, by M Corbally – I have an original copy of this from 1960 and there is no mention from what I have read so far.
    2. Royal Ulster Rifles by Charles Grave (1950) – I have not tracked this down yet.
    All very confusing!

    Attached Files:

  7. We can forget about LCI(L) 973 because she obviously had nothing to do with Operation NEPTUNE, commissioned as she was on 30 May 44. Hull number 973 does not even correspond to any landing craft or ship used for the Normandy landings (except for one LCP(R) 973 embarked on HM LST 161, probably part of Force L)! This looks like a typical case of faulty recollection and/or transcription, making it not only useless but toxic as it is repeated again and again.

    The photo you attached is IWM H38264 showing LCI(L) 375 during Exercise FABIUS IV on 6 May 44:
    For FABIUS IV she was carrying LTIN 389 (LTIN board visible on the photo), therefore troops of 1 KOSB. She might or might not have kept the same LTIN for the real thing. In this respect, Paddy White's account, written 60 years after the events, must be taken with a (large) pinch of salt. He certainly should remember his own ship's hull number correctly, but his memories of the troops he actually carried on D Day may have been influenced by other troops he might have transported during one of the many pre-D Day exercises, or by what he has read or heard on the subject during these 60 years.

    Listed below are my various posts in the D Day Landing Craft Markings thread trying to find out the exact composition of Group 16:
    D Day Landing Craft Markings post#117
    D Day Landing Craft Markings post#118
    D Day Landing Craft Markings post#122
    D Day Landing Craft Markings post#128
    D Day Landing Craft Markings post#134

    Unfortunately the final composition is still incomplete. Maybe a high resolution version of British Pathé clip 2115.10 would reveal which LTIN LCI(L) 375 and some other craft of Group 16 were carrying on D Day...

    Any information you may have come across when documentating for your book, that would mention a ship hull number, would be very much appreciated!

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  8. Sounds like this has been a labour of love for many years for you!

    I think I will just quote the landing tables and use the Paddy White quote. I presume my granddad was not in that boat, though as I have the letter he wrote home on the crossing and the one when they landed, and neither mention it (surely he would have done).

    At least from the landing tables I can see 687 2RUR were planned to board. This resolves an issue I had with a quote that losing 200 men was nearly a third of their number. This contradicted the field record from Jan 1944 in the war diary when they got an influx of 138 reinforcements, taking the battalion strength to 946.

    Presumably some stayed behind to complete training and then would have gone across in the next wave.

    Out of interest, where did you find the information for who was on which boats in Exercise Fabius? I had found reference to this being 2RUR, but it sounds like that is incorrect as well!

    This is another contradiction as the war diary says 2RUR were in Fabius II, but they must have been in IV as Force S.
  9. The 687 men are those listed in the Landing Table First Tide only. The remainder of the Assault Scale must have landed with the following tides, and the LOB balance (sometimes much) later on.
    For example, 28 men and their vehicles were planned to arrive by MTC at H+25½ hours, and 2 more men in MTC Serial 3150 at H+36½ hours (see this post by Trux: Sword Beach., and the one after it). I think the issue was less about completing training than finding space for the crossing.

    Simply from the Landing Table, which says that LTIN 389 was one of the three LCI(L) alloted to the main body of 1 KOSB. IWM H38264 shows LCI(L) 375 with LTIN 389, therefore the troops on board for FABIUS were 1 KOSB. The same principle applies for photos of other craft shot during FABIUS or on D Day.

  10. Thanks. The only landing tables I currently have is a spreadsheet from the forum. It looks like all the LTINs are the same as the craft numbers, which doesn't seem right.

    Did you get the landing tables from the National Archives? I have ordered a page check.

    I have another conundrum for you, which I will post on a new thread! :)
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Yes the Landing Tables came from Kew. I got mine some seven years ago and cannot find a reference but should be in the catalogue. However they are dated April and there were changes after that date. The infantry tables seem pretty well unchanged.

    There is in the IWM a sequence of photos of RUR taken on D Day.

  12. Do you mean this spreadsheet here : Updated Resource - Landing Table - 3 British Infantry Division Group (First Tide) ?

    Yes, what you call the "craft number", actually "Craft or ship serial" (column (c) in the Landing Table), is the same as the LTIN (column (a)), for the three Commonweath Assault Areas (quite uncharacteristically, the US kept the original, much more complex system of having different codes for the load=LTIN and for the craft which carried it).

    But the LTIN/Craft Serial is not the same as the Hull number (called "Pennant" in all the other worksheets except "Verbatim") which I added when I could find it out. I suspect that you have only looked at the first worksheet "Verbatim" then ;)

    I compiled this spreadsheet using the Table from the National Archives, totalling 201 sheets (column 'B' of the Excel worksheets).

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  13. Thnaks both. Very useful.
  14. Another one, if I may!

    The Operation Neptune briefing in the war diary says that, once assembled in Assembly Area 0780, codenamed “BEER”, they were to be ready to advance as soon as Brigade Concentration Area 0479, codenamed “SUNFLOWER” to which they would move next, was reported clear and were to report immediately they were ready to advance.

    It also says they were to advance using the VIOLET route.

    Have either of you seen anything to decode these locations and routes?

    I really appreciate your help on all of this.
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Beer, reference 0780,is just north of Hermanville.
    Sunflower, reference 0479, is Plumetot.
    Violet goes from Hermanville to the crossroads and then on a small road or track straight to Plumetot.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  16. Brilliant, thanks. Where did you source that?
  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Various sources I am afraid. Some cross referencing and piecing together of snippets.

    No doubt about Beer. There is a map of the beach facilities in an appendix to the War Diary for 101 BSA. It was the triangular area north of Hermanville and was divided into tracked vehicle, wheeled vehicle and personnel areas. Each then had its own forward route so they could be segregated. The Map Reference fits.

    Sunflower is not a reference I have come across but an Assembly Area at Plumetot is mentioned and the Map Reference is correct. There was a landing strip there and this was to have been cleared and used for AOPs on D Day. The AOPs did not arrive and I am not sure the area was cleared of the enemy on D Day.

    Again Violet is not a name I recall but the personnel route from Beer runs along a narrow road or track to the junction with the main lateral road and then continues across the road to Plumetot. This is mentioned.

    Allow for the fact that it is five or six years since I looked into this. I have all the documents in digital form but my files are not as tidy as Michels.

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  18. I hate to contradict Mike, so just to pretend that he is not overly optimistic about my filing system, I attach a couple of relevant pages.

    In the 2 RUR Operation Order No.1 dated May 1944, Appendix A is a list of Code Words dated 26 May 44:
    2 RUR - WD - 1944 05 - OO No.1 p11 - Appx A - Code Words - 26 May 44 - Sheet 1.JPG
    2 RUR - WD - 1944 05 - OO No.1 p12 - Appx A - Code Words - 26 May 44 - Sheet 2.JPG

    VIOLET is not listed there, and it looks like it was not really a Code Word, but simply the colour of the route on the trace appended to the OO. This might be inferred from the precise wording of the text in the OO:

    17. Axis of adv. : VIOLET route. Trace 1.

    Trace 1 shows the Assembly & Concentration Areas as well as the routes between them. The northern route is traced in Blue ink, whereas the southern one is in (rather faded) Violet ink, hence its designation in the text of the OO:
    2 RUR - WD - 1944 05 - OO No.1 p9 - Trace 1 No.16.JPG

    Below is the same Trace with a rough grid I drew using the two crosses intended for aligning the Trace over the Map. We can thus see that the Assembly Area is indeed inside square MR 0780, and the Bde Conc Area for 2 RUR inside MR 0479:
    2 RUR - WD - 1944 05 - OO No.1 p9 - Trace 1 No.16 - with Grid.JPG

    As for where I found the 2 RUR War Diary, I'm afraid it was before I realised that recording my sources might prove useful, so I'm going to reply a very lame "somewhere on the internet" :blush:

    Aixman, Roy Martin, Tolbooth and 2 others like this.
  19. This is great. Thanks both of you. I have the maps, but the versions I received are black and white!

    Can I check whether you agree on the locations ie Hermanville and Plumetot?

    There is a second map in the diary that shows the onward route (it won't let me upload it as it is too large). This shows the final objective of 2RUR to be LUPIN, which we know is Malon, south-west of La Bijude (on the map as SNOWDROP). That would be consistent with leaving Plumetot and travelling down what is now the D7 into Mathieu, and through Cambes, as we know was the plan.
  20. Yes, I concur, everything is as per Mike's post #197 above.


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