Sword Beach.

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

  1. veteran's daughter

    veteran's daughter Junior Member

    I have only just found this site when looking up info on IWT. Unfortunately, my Dad died last September so is unable to see the photos on here. I know he would have loved to reminisce, prompted by the images.

    Dad, Jim Walsh, was in 966 IWT. He crossed on the Clan Lamont with Canadians and landed on D-Day at Courseulles near the Hotel de Paris. (He looked for a landmark!) He worked the Mulberry Harbour on Rhino ferries and PBR's.

    I would like to know more about IWT duties in Normandy and also in Belgium and Holland, and the route they took into Germany.
     
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum
    My father in law was an officer with 966 IWT and I have all the war diaries:)

    Lesley
     
  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Jane
    I am happy to share the war diaries with you. We can discuss this by PM if you wish

    Lesley
     
  4. veteran's daughter

    veteran's daughter Junior Member

    Thanks.

    What's PM?
     
  5. veteran's daughter

    veteran's daughter Junior Member

    I'm not sure you got my last messages.

    I'm in West Midlands.

    What's PM? If it's easy then I'm all for it!
     
  6. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I'm not sure you got my last messages.

    I'm in West Midlands.

    What's PM? If it's easy then I'm all for it!

    Private Messages and yes I received your last one:)
     
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Jane,

    As Lesley says she is best placed to help with information on 966 IWT Company but if you need help with background information just ask. I have maps, plans, photos etc.

    Mike
     
    Iain D Dewar likes this.
  8. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I just love the true story of the Little old pioneer corps soldier working on Sword. When the commandos came in later, he looked up and said "Where have you been then"?

    The real secret of the Sword D day landing lies in their placings in Southampton water, prior to the invasion. And the positions in the "Piccadilly Circus" the huge circling fleet of ships to the east of the isle of Wight. and the correct serials that they peeled off in to start the channel crossing.
     
    ga275 likes this.
  9. bob90

    bob90 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I recall parties of the N.C.C. working away, and certainly units of Pioneer Corps always rallied. Yes, large parties of elderly Frenchmen mustering their efforts. bob90
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I just love the true story of the Little old pioneer corps soldier working on Sword. When the commandos came in later, he looked up and said "Where have you been then"?


    I thought that you said that was an engineer with a fag at Pegasus Bridge ?

    :unsure:
     
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  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Trux...Can I ask who were the first troops on Sword Beach?

    I've heard a few different units but in After The Battles 2 Vols on D-Day it states they were Royal Navy Divers disarming defences before any of the troops landed?

    See post No.1 in the link below:

    The Most Dangerous Job on D-Day
     
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Drew,

    I am confident that the LCOCUs were not first ashore on Sword. Each beach organised the clearance teams differently. On Sword there were two LCOCUs, each in their own LCA with their equipment. They were timed to land at H+20 with the field company clearance sections and the second wave of infantry. They were pretty well on time and by then the DD tanks, ARRE Breaching and Clearance Teams and the first assault infantry companies were ashore.

    On Gold the field company clearance sections were carried in the LCTs carrying the ARRE Breaching teams. Since the LCOCUs needed their own LCA with equipment they were to follow the LCTs in. The DD tanks were late and the ARRE LCTs slowed down but the two LCOCUs on King overtook them and landed. Thus they were the first by some minutes and started work alone.

    One similar US team landed early by mistake when the coxswain of their LCM got the time wrong.

    Who was first on Sword? Accounts differ and times are debateable but it was one of the ARRE Breaching Teams.

    Mike
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The First were the DD tanks, accompanied by the Sappers .The tanks were supposed to be first but when it came, they landed together.
     
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Drew and Sapper,

    The times for ARRE LCTs landing were well documented at the time. Each team and each vehicle submitted reports. Times differed for Queen Red and Queen White.

    Queen Red: Three teams landed together at 0725 and one landed at 0730.
    Queen White: Teams landed at 0730, 0731 and 0740. The fourth team failed to land.

    The infantry War Diaries indicate that
    The leading companies of 2 E. Yorks landed on Queen Red at 0725. It is stated that the ARRE landed five minutes later. These times do not match.
    The leading companies of 1 S. Lancs landed on Queen White at 0720 shortly after the ARRE teams. Again the times do not match.
    Are these times when the LCAs were ordered in to land?

    On Queen Red the DD tanks arrived after the infantry and on Queen White at about the same time.

    The report of 1 Corps states that the breaching teams landed slightly ahead of the infantry on both beaches.

    A complicated and inconclusive answer to a simple question.

    And yes Sapper's sappers landed with the first wave of infantry.

    Mike
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Mike
     
  16. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    My dad was in 3 Troop 77 Assault Squadron, 5ARRE, landing on Queen White. The war diary says they landed "0735 in a rough sea with cross swell from Atlantic but good visibility. DD tanks made slow going - AVRE LCT overtook them 2000 yards from shore then waited to allow them to pass. DD touched down to flank, giving little or no fire support. Rockets from LCT(R) fell among houses and several had near misses on LCT AVRE. LCT AVRE touched down at H Hr with infantry (1 S.Lancs - due at H+5). Craft drifted due to wait for DD's and 2 Troop beached 100 yards west of 1 troop who were on correct gap. LCT 109 (with 4 Troop and CRE) was hit after leading flail had disembarked, second flail jammed in doorway having been knocked out. Craft further damaged by fire and ordered back to UK. Capt. Fairlie reported this by R/T at H+4 approx stating heavy casualties sustained including CRE Lt.Col ADB Cocks killed and Lt.Charlton wounded."

    By 0745 the diary is reporting gapping on remaining 3 gaps proceeding and 2&3 Troops were up to the dunes. My dad and his driver remembered taking casualties almost straight away as their target, a pill box had already been knocked out by a DD tank they thought, they remembered the tank firing point blank into the bunker. They were ordered to clear obstacles such as teller mines and shells on iron posts by hand dismounted - hence the casualties. I've not read the 1 South Lancs account so I don't know what they thought; the feeling from the blokes I spoke to was that it had gone pretty much according to plan, but that there was a horrible traffic jam as the tide came up further than they thought it would.
     
  17. JPP

    JPP Junior Member

    My uncle was in 5th Battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment landing at Sword Beach, White Sector on D Day where they formed 5th Beach Group. Any information on the activities of 5 Kings or 5 Beach Group would be gratefully received as would any pointers towards relevant War Diaries.
    JPP
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Here you go JPP-If you can't get to the National Archives drop me a PM:

    WO 171/1316 5 King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1944 Jan.- Dec.

    WO 171/5211 5 King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1945 Jan.-Dec.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  19. JPP

    JPP Junior Member

    Thanks for that Andy
    JPP
     
  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

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