Sword Beach.

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

  1. JPP

    JPP Junior Member

    Thanks Mike. Excellent info
    JPP
     
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I must post the rest of my findings regarding Sword sometime. I have a huge amount of material thanks to Andy and others. The only problem is that I am a technological idiot for whom clever programmes decline to work. To me a PC is just a clever typewriter.

    I will find more about 5 Kings/5 Beach Group but I do work slowly. Like the wheels of justice I turn exceeding slow but grind exceeding small.

    Mike
     
  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Aixman likes this.
  4. JPP

    JPP Junior Member

    Thanks Mike, more excellent info.
     
  5. stepwilk

    stepwilk Junior Member

    Hi all, after reading the thread, i'am still trying to get hold of any blueprints/construction drawings of Mk4 TLC's. This would enable me to scale up/down a drawing to construct the front 1/3 for a 1/35 dioramma.Many thanks
     
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The best description is organised chaos. My company had the task of opening up a mine and enemy free path, from the beach to the road beyond. Three teams armed with Beehives "Demolition teams" and assault mine clearing teams.
    I have the full after battle Royal Engineers description of exactly what happened Who took part Etc. The timing After every assault, the Sappers always write up how the training and planning had worked. That is for future use. Sometimes written on a clapped out army typewriter, and some terrible war time writing paper...I have them here for all the Royal Engineers that took part in the Sword landings...Oddly enough you can never find Or see it in books about the exploits of those men that gave so much to ensure success.

    About the Sapper leaning on Pegasus bridge smoking a fag. Quite true, the Sappers arrived minutes before the commandos. They were quite impressed the commandos..... very smart! But you will not read about that in the press will you..Not that it matters....BY the way the arrival times of the Sappers is on record. Sappers record damn near everything except the casualties of ORs ....Strange!##As a matter of interest the REs always record with great care mine fields that are laid Scrupulously!
     
  7. Buffnut453

    Buffnut453 Member

    JPP,

    I hope I have attached more information about 5 Kings on D Day.

    View attachment 98034

    Mike


    Mike,

    Thanks for this fascinating info. I had a cousin in 5 Kings who went ashore on D-Day. This is the first clear info I've found on the topic. Really, REALLY appreciate you sharing it.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I should now be dividing my time between painting Napoleonic figures and working in the garden. It is too cold and dark for the first and the garden is under snow so:

    I have decided to fulfil a promise made to several forum members and make a start of posting my version of the Landing Tables for D Day on Sword. I cannot pretend that the work is yet complete but I have reached a plateau.

    I have four large sections which might be titled
    Out to sea. The vast operation off the beaches on D Day.
    Assault. The actual landings.
    Developing the beach.
    Operating the beach. Much of this has already been posted above.

    I propose to make H Hour on the beach the focal point. Hopefully I can then work forward in time (and backwards to cover the naval aspects) and up to two miles inland.

    The main source is the large volume of Landing Tables for Sword, supplemented by information from Operational Instructions, War Diaries, Reports etc.

    I hope that this is useful and interesting to some.

    Mike
     
    Kris123, Aixman, ShaunC and 1 other person like this.
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH LANDING TABLES.
    ASSAULT PHASE.

    H-5 MINUTES

    13/18 Hussars.


    'A' and 'B' Squadrons were timed to land with Sherman DD amphibious tanks at H-5 Minutes, 'A' Squadron on Queen White and 'B' Squadron on Queen Red. 'C' Squadron would land later and was not equipped with DD amphibious tanks.

    Each squadron landed with twenty DD tanks carried in four LCT MkIII. All DD tanks were Sherman V 75mm. No Fireflies were converted to DD. A squadron consisted of five troops of three DD tanks with a headquarters of four DD tanks with extra wireless sets and a 'spare' tank.
    (See posts 85 and 88)

    LCT Flotilla 14 carried the two squadrons. It is listed as having LCTs MkIII 456, 431, 443, 444, 455, 461,462, 465, 466 and 467. (Which makes ten!). Each LCT was to be accompanied by a LCP to assist with launching the DD tanks and then to follow them to act as rescue craft.

    'A' Squadron. Queen White.
    Serial 101 was an LCTIII (LCT 461) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 102 was an LCTIII (LCT 444) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 103 was an LCTIII (LCT 431) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 104 was an LCTIII (LCT 456) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.

    'A' Squadron was ordered to launch when about 5000 yards from shore. The launch was completed in about four minutes and the squadron set off in good order. Wireless silence was relaxed during launching but was resumed for the run in. On nearing the beach they were overtaken by the LCT flotilla carrying the Breaching Teams so that the DD tanks were not the first ashore. Two DD tanks were rammed and sunk by the overtaking LCTs.

    It was intended that the DD tanks should remain in the surf with their flotation screens lowered and then give supporting fire to the other units on the beach. Three tanks were swamped in the surf when the tide came in before they could move forward. These tanks continued firing for as long as possible and then the crew reached shore using the rubber dinghy that all DD tanks carried. A further three tanks were hit and put out of action by enemy fire.

    The squadron identified several gun emplacements, pill boxes and machine gun posts and dealt with them. However they were not in a good position to directly assist the infantry as they had landed too far to the right. The squadron crossed the beach and was held up trying to find an exit. Eventually one was found that had been flailed and the squadron moved through and on to Hermanville. By this time the squadron had only five effective tanks.

    'B' Squadron.
    Serial 105 was an LCTIII (LCT 467) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 106 was an LCTIII (LCT 443) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 107 was an LCTIII (LCT 465) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.
    Serial 108 was an LCTIII (LCT 455) carrying 5 Sherman V DD with 25 crew.

    'B' Squadron also launched its tanks about 5000 yards from shore but one (LCT 467) could not launch its DD tanks as the first tank damaged its flotation screen when trying to exit. It was decided that this craft should beach with its tanks and thus landed 45 minutes late. This decision was later criticised as it would have been better to jettison the damaged tank and thus launch four at a time when they were most needed. Another LCT launched only four DD tanks, the fifth could not be launched because of damage to the ramp. One tank was later disabled by enemy fire but thirteen landed safely and a further five landed later.

    The squadron was able to give supporting fire to the infantry, engaging enemy positions with HE and machine gun fire. It then exited the beach and moved inland to support 1 SS Brigades advance on Benouville and the 2 East Yorkshire Regiments operation in the Colleville area.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH.
    H HOUR

    QUEEN WHITE
    1 SOUTH LANCASHIRE REGIMENT

    'A' Company.
    Serial 117 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of 'A' Company.
    2 men from Kings Regiment. Beach Company Commander and batman.
    2 men from 'F' RN Beach Commando. Assistant Beach Master.

    Serial 118 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    'A' Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander.
    2 Runners
    2 stretcher bearers.
    Intelligence other rank
    Regimental policeman
    2 battalion signallers with No 18 set.
    5 pioneers. Assault demolition team with Bangalore Torpedoes.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless set and pioneer stores.

    Serial 119 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    33 men from one platoon of 'A' Company.

    Serial 120 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    'A' Company Headquarters.
    Company Serjeant Major
    Sniper
    Runner
    4 stretcher bearers
    3 battalion signallers with Nos 46 and 18 sets.
    5 men from 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team with Beehives.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless sets and RE stores.

    Serial 121 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    33 men from one platoon of 'A' Company.

    'C' Company.
    Serial 122 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of 'C' Company.

    Serial 123 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    'C' Company Headquarters.
    'C' Company Commander
    Sniper
    2 runners
    2 stretcher bearers
    Intelligence other rank
    Regimental policeman
    2 battalion signallers with No18 set
    5 pioneers. Assault Demolition team with Bangalore Torpedoes.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless set and pioneer stores.

    Serial 124 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    33 men from on platoon of 'C' Company.

    Serial 125 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    'C' Company Headquarters.
    Company Serjeant Major
    Sniper
    Runner
    4 stretcher bearers
    3 battalion signallers with No46 set.
    4 men, Unit Landing Officer and party. Includes a guide from Anti Tank Platoon 1.
    2 battalion signallers with No18 set for Unit Landing Officer.
    2 signalmen from 103 Beach Signals. Advanced Beach Signal Section with ULO.
    5 men from 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team with Beehives.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless sets and RE stores.

    Serial 126 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of 'C' Company
    2 men from 'F' RN Beach Commando.


    1 South Lancashire Regiment was to land at H Hour with under command detachments of 246 Field Company RE and one light section of 8 Field Ambulance. 'A' Company on the right was to destroy enemy localities as far inland as the first lateral road, about 200 yards inland, and to the west to point 075813 to guard the right flank. 41 Royal Marine Commando would later assist in mopping up as far as Lion sur Mer. 'C' Company on the left was to destroy the strongpoint of La Breche (Codename Cod) in conjunction with 2 East Yorkshire Regiment. The reserve companies, 'B' and 'D' were to join with 'C' Company and advance to secure Hermanville. Here the battalion was to reorganise and hold Hermanville as the right flank of the beachhead and be prepared to clear Plumetot and Cresserons.

    The two assault companies landed on time at H Hour. Some of the AVREs and Flails of the Breaching Teams were landing at the same time. No DD tanks had yet arrived to give covering fire. Each company was accompanied by men of 246 Field Company RE who were to assist by attacking beach defences with Beehive explosive charges.

    All personnel landing from LCAs followed much the same procedure. In the case of infantry the Platoon Commander passes on a warning order 'Stand by to Beach'. Men will then button shoulder straps, fasten belts and adjust chin straps. Mae Wests were to be worn until an opportunity arose to discard them on shore. On the command 'Down Doors' the platoon will land as follows:
    The Platoon Commander lands first and doubles up the beach.
    The remainder of the platoon, plus attached personnel, exit and turn alternately left and right. They will then double up the beach in open order.
    The platoon serjeant lands last having ensured that all personnel and equipment leave the craft.
    The platoon will then shelter as far as possible under the dunes while contact with company headquarters is established and plans finalised.
    Wounded will be left on the beach at this stage.

    The companies crossed the beach under fire from machine guns and mortars, and started clearing the enemy from coastal positions. Some were quickly cleared but the La Breche (Cod) stronghold remained very active. 'A' Company suffered heavy casualties, including the company commander, but regrouped in the dunes and then moved to the right along the shore towards Lion sur Mer. They cleared houses as they moved. 'C' Company landed close to La Breche (Cod) strongpoint and moved to attack it.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH.
    H HOUR

    QUEEN RED
    2 EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT.


    'A' Company
    Serial 131 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    30 men from one platoon of 'A' Company
    2 men from 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Company Commander and batman.
    2 men from 'F' RN Beach Commando. Assistant Beach Master.

    Serial 132 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    'A' Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander
    Sniper
    2 runners
    2 stretcher bearers
    Intelligence other rank
    Regimental policeman
    2 battalion signallers with No18 set.
    5 pioneers. Assault Demolition Team with Bangalore Torpedoes.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless set and pioneer stores.

    Serial 133 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass
    33 men from one platoon of 'A' Company.

    Serial 134 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    'A' Company Headquarters.
    Company Serjeant Major
    Sniper
    Runner
    4 stretcher bearers
    3 battalion signallers with Nos 46 and 18 sets.
    5 men from 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team with Beehives.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless sets and RE stores.

    Serial 135 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    33 men from one platoon of 'A' Company.


    'B' Company.
    Serial 136 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    30 men from one platoon of 'B' Company.

    Serial 137 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    'B' Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander
    Sniper
    2 runners
    2 stretcher bearers
    Intelligence other rank
    Regimental policeman
    2 battalion signallers with No18 set.
    5 pioneers. Assault Demolition Team with Bangalore Torpedoes.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless set and pioneer stores.

    Serial 138 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    33 men from one platoon of 'B' Company.

    Serial 139 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    'B' Company Headquarters.
    Company Serjeant Major
    Sniper
    Runner
    4 stretcher bearers
    3 battalion signallers with No46 set.
    4 men. Unit Landing Officer and party. Includes a guide from Anti Tank platoon.
    2 battalion signallers with No18 set for Unit Landing Officer
    2 signalmen from 103 Beach Signals. Advanced Beach Signal Section travelling with Unit Landing Officer.
    5 men from 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team with Beehives.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless sets and RE stores.

    Serial 140 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    30 men from one platoon of 'B' Company.
    2 men from 'F' RN Beach Commando.

    The two assault companies, 'A' on the right and 'B' on the left, landed together on time at H Hour. They landed at the same time as the DD tanks of 'B' Squadron 13/18 Hussars which were to support them. Breaching Teams of AVREs and Flails were already in action. The companies landed under heavy machine gun and mortar fire immediately in front of the La Breche (Cod) strongpoint. Both companies attacked the strongpoint with one company working round to the rear.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH.
    H HOUR

    246 FIELD COMPANY RE.

    The Landing Table refers to this unit as 246 Field Squadron RE.
    Each of the four assault infantry companies had one Assault Demolition Team of five men organised as:
    NCO, leader.
    2 man Beehive Team. Each man carrying a section of a 75lb Beehive charge on a Yukon pack.
    A man carrying a light (40lb) Beehive.
    A flame man carrying a portable flame thrower.

    The Beehive was to kill the occupants of concrete emplacements by firing the charges against the roof or walls. Flame was used to kill the occupants by firing it through the apertures of an emplacement. Neither were intended to destroy emplacements.

    The sappers and infantry had trained together and used the following method:
    Infantry pioneers blow two gaps in wire obstacles using Bangalore Torpedoes.
    Under covering fire from the infantry two detector teams clear and mark tracks converging on inner wire obstacles. Detector Teams landed at H+20.
    Infantry pioneers blow gaps in the inner wire using Bangalore Torpedoes.
    The leader of the Assault Demolition Team crosses the minefield on one of the cleared routes with infantry covering fire. He carries out a reconnaissance to find the most suitable position on the pillbox for placing the Beehive.
    The Beehive Team follow, place the Beehive and fire it.
    In the event of failure the Light Beehive is brought up.
    Flame may be used on the order of the leader.

    These teams were not used on Sword Beach on D day as there was little opposition that required their skills. They helped the infantry to clear houses towards Hermanville.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    You may find this interesting? None of us liked flame throwers. If you were hit you would have a gigantic envelope of flame with the Sapper in the middle of it. But they were not liked anyway... Now, If you go to a wood in Belgium, and dig down ten to 15 feet you may just discover a load of flame throwers. (lost in action!)
    Sapper 246
     
    Aixman likes this.
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH
    H HOUR

    5(INDEPENDENT) ROYAL MARINE ARMOURED SUPPORT BATTERY.


    This battery was to support 8 Brigade on landing. Later they were to support the Commandos on the flanks. Two troops were to support 4 Commando and two troops to support 41 Commando. When the beach tasks were complete the battery ws to change to a counter mortar role, two troops under the command of 7 Field Regiment RA and two troops under command of 33 Field Regiment RA.

    The primary task of the battery was to bridge the gap between the field regiments giving supporting fire on the run in and the later arrival on land of the field regiments. It was to be attached to 76 Field Regiment RA for the assault and would work with Forward Observation Officers from that regiment. They would give covering fire while still at sea and then continue on land.

    Queen White.
    Two troops land in support of 1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    Serial 532 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 533 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    1 Sherman tank with 5 crew. Control tank.
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozer with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop RE. For Clearance Teams.
    2 men from 77 Assault Squadron RE to work with D7s.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 534 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men, ammunition numbers.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 535 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    1 Sherman tank with 5 crew. Control tank.
    1 Sherman Flail tank. Either for Breaching Team Commander or the Flail that he displaces by travelling in another LCT.
    Space for extra ammunition.


    Queen Red.
    Two troops land in support of 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    Serial 544 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 545 is an LCT(A) carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    1 Sherman tank with 5 crew. Control Tank.
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozer with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop RE. For Clearance teams.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 546 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men, ammunition numbers.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 547 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm tanks with 10 crew
    5 men, ammunition numbers
    1 Sherman tank with 5 crew. Control Tank
    1 AVRE with 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron RE. Breaching Team Commander.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    100 LCT Flotilla operated eight LCT5s which had been modified to LCT(A)s. These had some armour protection and were fitted with ramps in the front of the tank deck to carry the two Centaur 95mm. Two LCT(A) broke down en route so that only six arrived at Queen Beach. They did fire during the run in, carrying out a preplanned programme. They then landed and waited for fire calls from Forward Observation Officers but none seem to have been received. Two craft (LCTs 2052 and 2181) beaching on the extreme right hand of the flotilla were hit, reportedly by fire from an 88mm. The Centaurs exited the craft in water that was too deep and they were drowned. Three more Centaurs were also drowned on landing and one craft, LST 2433, had been hit on the bow doors by a stray rocket from an LCT(R) and was delayed in landing its tanks.

    Only two troops remained to support the Commandos. Four Centaurs supported 4 Commando against the defences of Riva Bella. Three centaurs supported 41 Command.

    Battery Headquarters had landed at about 0810 under heavy fire and all the party were wounded, including the Battery Commander.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH
    H HOUR.

    CONCRETE BUSTERS.

    One LCT5 from LCT Flotilla 100 carried the following
    2 Sherman Vc Firefly with 8 crew.
    1 Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 'C' Squadron, 22 Dragoons.
    1 AVRE with 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron RE
    Space for extra ammunition.

    The LCT had raised platforms at the forward end of the tank deck to allow the Fireflies to fire over the bow ramp. It was intended that they should use their 17pdr guns against designated targets on the run into shore. These targets were concrete emplacements, pill boxes etc. Tests had shown that the 17pdr firing Armour Piercing rounds could penetrate concrete. The tanks would then land and if necessary complete the task from the shore before joining the DD squadrons of 13/18 Hussars.

    According to reports the Concrete Busters did fire on the run in. They opened fire at H-30 when they were 4000 yards from shore and continued until they landed. It is not clear when they landed, or what they did immediately on landing.

    The tanks and crews came from the first reinforcements of 13/18 Hussars which were held by 259 Tank Delivery Squadron. It s assumed that the Fireflies had only limited waterproofing. Since they were to fire on the run in the turret ring, gun mantlet and gun muzzle could not be waterproofed and there is no evidence that wading trunks were fitted.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    SWORD BEACH
    H HOUR

    5 ASSAULT REGIMENT RE.


    Breaching Teams and Obstacle Clearance Teams were timed to land at the same time as the assault infantry. They had the tasks of opening eight exits from the beaches and of clearing four zones, each 225 yards wide, through the beach obstacles.

    5 Assault Regiment had a variety of units under command including:
    Headquarters 5 Assault Regiment RE.
    77 Assault Squadron RE with AVREs
    79 Assault Squadron RE AVREs.
    629 Field Squadron RE.
    263 Field Squadron RE.
    Detachment of 860 Mechanical Equipment Section RE with eight D7 Armoured Angledozers.
    'A' and 'C' Squadrons, 22 Dragoons with Sherman Flails.
    Two RN Landing Craft Obstruction Clearance Units.

    Some of these would land later but mixed teams from the Assault Squadrons RE and 22 Dragoons landed at H Hour. Each Breaching Team consisted of two Sherman Flails from 22 Dragoons and three AVRE from 77 Assault Squadron. The equipment carried by the AVREs was selected or developed to suit the needs of this particular beach.

    The two Flails landed first and would ideally advance up the beach in echelon, clearing a double width track.
    The AVRE with Bangalore Torpedoes and Log Carpet followed. This would use its Bangalores to blow a path through the dunes and then lay its Log Carpet so that it could cross the gap and other vehicles could follow.
    The Bobbin would lay its carpet across any patches of soft sand or clay.
    The SBG Assault Bridge would land last and be available to lay its bridge up dunes or walls, and cross ditches and craters.
    D7 Armoured Angledozers landed from separate craft and assisted in making and improving exits.

    Queen White.
    77 Assault Squadron.
    No1 Troop. Green Gap.
    Serial 112 is an LCTIV carrying.
    1G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Lieutenant commands.
    1H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Serjeant commands.
    1A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet and Porpoise with 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    1B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    1C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons for Clearance Team.

    No2 Troop. Yellow Gap.
    Serial 111 is an LCTIV carrying
    2G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    2H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    2A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. Captain commands with Major commanding 77 Assault Squadron on board.
    2B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    2C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    AVRE with Bullshorn Plough and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.

    No3 Troop. Blue Gap.
    Serial 110 is an LCTIV carrying
    3G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 1 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    3H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 1 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    3A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. Captain commands.
    3B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. Lieutenant commands.
    3C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. Serjeant commands.
    Plus
    Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 3 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team.

    No4 Troop. Red Gap.
    Serial 109 is an LCTIV carrying
    4G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 1 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    4H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 1 Troop, 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Carried Commanding Officer 5 Assault Regiment and signal serjeant.
    4A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    4B. AVRE with SBG Assault bridge and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    4C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    AVRE with Bullshorn Plough and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.

    In addition 77 Assault Squadron had the following.
    One extra LCT was provided and numbered as:
    Serial 110A, a LCTIV carrying
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozer with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop.
    2 men from 77 Assault Squadron. To work with D7s. Carried on AVREs.
    2 Sherman Flail with 10 crew from 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Teams.
    2 AVRE with Bullshorn Ploughs and 12 crew from 77 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.
    2 Armoured Sledges.

    Plus the vehicles already listed as landing with Royal Marine Support Regiment.
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozers with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop.
    2 men from 77 Assault Squadron. To work with D7s.
    1 Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 'A' Squadron 22 Dragoons.

    77 Assault Squadron succeeded in making three exits from the beach. No 1 troop landed on time and in the correct place and then cleared a way through to the lateral road. No 2 Troop landed in the wrong place, to the right of No 1 Troop instead of to the left but succeeded in making a lane through to the lateral road. No 3 Troop also landed in the wrong place, and ten minutes late after grounding on a DD tank, but made a successful gap. No 4 Troop could not land because enemy gunfire disabled two tanks and blocked the LCTs exit ramp. The LCT returned to the UK with its load.


    Queen Red.
    79 Assault Squadron.
    1 Troop. Green Gap.
    Serial 113 is an LCTIV carrying:
    1G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Lieutenant commands.
    1H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    1A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet and Porpoise with 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. Captain commands.
    1B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    1C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    Major, Squadron Commander is also carried in this craft.
    Plus
    AVRE with Bullshorn plough and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.

    2 Troop. Yellow Gap.
    Serial 114 is an LCTIV carrying:
    2G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Serjeant commands.
    2H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    2A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    2B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    2C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team.

    3 Troop. Blue Gap.
    Serial 115 is an LCTIV carrying:
    3G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 3 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    3H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 3 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    3A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. Lieutenant commands.
    3B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    3C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    AVRE with Bullshorn Plough and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.

    4 Troop. Blue Gap.
    Serial 116 is an LCTIV carrying:
    4G. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 3 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons. Lieutenant commands.
    4H. Sherman Flail with 5 crew from No 3 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    4A. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Log Carpet, Porpoise and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. Captain commands.
    4B. AVRE with SBG Assault Bridge and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    4C. AVRE with two Bangalore Torpedoes, Bobbin and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron.
    Plus
    Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 4 Troop, 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team.

    In addition 79 Assault Squadron was provided with the following
    An extra LCT was provided
    Serial 114A was an LCTIV carrying:
    2 Sherman Flails with 10 crew from 'C' Troop, 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team.
    2 AVRE with Bullshorn Ploughs and 12 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozer with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop.
    3 men from 79 Assault Squadron. To work with D7s.

    Plus the following additional spaces were provided on LCT(A)s
    Serial 545 was an LCT(A) carrying
    2 D7 Armoured Angledozers with two crew from 15 Assault Park Troop. For Clearance Teams.

    Serial 547 was an LCT(A) carrying
    1 AVRE with 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. Breaching Team Commander.
    This may have changed places with an AVRE on another craft.

    A LCT(CB) carried
    1 Sherman Flail with 5 crew from 'C' Squadron 22 Dragoons.
    1 AVRE with Bullshorn Plough and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron. For Clearance Team.

    79 Assault Squadron had a more difficult time. No 1 Troop succeeded in making a lane but it became blocked and a second lane was made. No 2 Troop lost all of the Flails and AVREs to enemy gunfire. An exit was eventually made and brought into use later in the day. No 3 Troop also made a gap which was blocked when a DD tank fell off the SBG Assault Bridge. A second gap was made. No 4 troop made a successful gap and lane through to he lateral road.


    The Breaching Team commanders were responsible for ‘their’ exit until other units arrived to relieve them. Generally the team created a gap and exit and then maintained it by repairing and replacing trackway material as necessary. They also cleared mines, towed vehicles which stalled or otherwise blocked the exit and directed traffic. Gradually field companies arrived to continue the engineering work, REME Beach Recovery units arrived to clear vehicles and Provosts arrived to direct traffic.

    Much more can be said about the Breaching Teams, and hopefully will be later in the 'Developing the Beach' section.


    Some impatient forum members have requested more details NOW. So:

    Queen White
    77 Assault Squadron
    Gap Green. No 1 Troop.
    This troop landed on time. IC was hit by enemy fire when some 400 yards offshore but no serious damage or injuries were suffered. The flails 1G and 1H landed and flogged up the beach. 1A landed and followed the flails. 1C was hit again and then its Bobbin was hit as it went down the ramp into the water. It followed 1A up the beach, hit a mine and lost a bogie but carried on. The flails managed to cross the dunes unaided and continued flailing inland.

    1A ordered 1C to put up a windsock to mark the gap. 1C hit a mine, lost two bogies and the left track. Two crew jumped out to put up the windsock but one was killed on a mine. The vehicle was immobilised and the mine crater was filling with petrol so the crew abandoned the tank, destroying codex slides and codes and taking all arms with them.

    1A was now at the top of the gap, 1B (the SBG) was at the bottom and the crew of 1C formed a defensive patrol with Brens, Stens and revolvers. Flail 1G advanced inland followed by the crew of 1C on foot and covered by 1A. When no more mines were found the crew of 1C formed a defensive position and the serjeant went back to bring up 1A and 1B. The personnel on foot were joined by another crew from a disabled AVRE of 3 Troop and two infantryman. The dismounted personnel then moved up to the second lateral road and cleared and held the road junction until other units arrived. They then cleared mines from the squadron rendezvous area.

    Gap Yellow. 2 Troop.
    This troop landed in the wrong position, to the right of 1 Troop instead of to the left. When the LCTs were approaching the shore dust obscured the view and they could not identify their landing point. At about 300 yards the landmarks became visible and LCT Serial, 112 carrying 1 Troop, altered course sharply to port (left). LCT 111 could not swing to port as there was another craft in its beaching place so it actually landed 80 yards to the starboard (right) of 1 Troop. This seems to have been the point opposite where there was a gun firing towards 1 Troop and causing it trouble. The two flails, 2G and 2H ran up to the high water mark and then flailed straight towards the gun. 2A followed the flailed path and turned right before reaching the gun position. 2B followed and actually dropped its bridge onto the gun position. 2G had flailed a path to the dunes and 2A used it to push the Boase torpedoes into the dune but had trouble cutting the rope tackle. 2B carried onto the second lateral. 2C had been waiting hull down in the water and was now ordered up to place a windsock at the gap.

    2A succeeded in freeing the Boase torpedoes and reversed away. The torpedoes were actually detonated by enemy fire but made a good gap. 2A returned to the bridge and started to cross it when a support on the log carpet frame was shot away and the carpet fell onto the bridge. The crew attached a tow rope to the end of the carpet and pulled it away. Together with some pioneers the crew straightened the log carpet to make a straight run at the bridge. They then crossed the bridge, which was still over the anti tank gun.

    Flail 2H lost a track but 2G cleared the road for 300 yards to the right before it was ordered to return and make contact with 1 Troop on the left. 2C had its bobbin damaged and had to jettison it. The troop rallied at the squadron rendezvous.

    Gap Blue. 3 Troop.
    No 3 troop landed at the wrong point, and ten minutes late, having grounded on a DD tank. The two flails landed and flailed up the beach guided by 3A from behind, since the flails were blind when flailing. 3C stopped in the water having blown a track on a mine. This was later found to be a Teller mine dislodged from a beach obstacle. It was also hit by an anti tank gun and was drowned as the tide came in. 3A was also hit on the turret and on the carpet release. The carpet had to be cut loose and abandoned in a pile.

    3A and 3B, together with an armoured dozer made a gap, marked it and then improved it. The dozer later blew a track on a mine and the commanders of both flails were killed. 2B went on to make a second gap and cleared a lane through gardens between two houses.

    Gap Red. 4 Troop.
    No 4 troop could not land. The leading flail, 4G, landed but the second flail, 4H, with the Commanding Officer 5 Assault Regiment RE aboard, was moving forward to disembark when two shells hit the LCTs bows and a third hit the flail tank causing it to slew and block the exit. A shell then hit the Boase torpedoes on AVRE 4A. These were angled over the flail 4H and in exploding they killed the CO 5 ARRE and his signal serjeant. The bobbin 4C jettisoned its Boase torpedoes. 4A attempted to bypass 4H and then attempted to tow it out of the way. In the process 4A was also penetrated twice by anti tank rounds. There was no option but for the LCT to return to the UK with its load.


    None of the Bobbins were deployed, all being disabled or damaged.

    The Flails and Ploughs would be available to clear mines from the beach but there were very few mines on the beaches themselves.



    Queen Red.
    79 Squadron.
    Green Gap. 1 Troop.
    The two flails landed and flogged up the beach, one was knocked out but the other continued to the dunes. 1B dropped its bridge but it was badly placed and a second lane was started and a log carpet laid by 1A. Eventually both lanes were brought into use. The Bangalores were not used and were jettisoned.

    Yellow Gap. 2 Troop.
    The flails landed and began to clear a lane up the beach but both were knocked out. 2H was hit three times in the engine compartment and burst into flames. 2G was hit on the turret, the operator was killed and the commander and gunner wounded. The release on the bridge was hit and the bridge fell prematurely. The Bobbin was damaged and had to be jettisoned. All three AVREs were knocked out, the Troop Commander was killed and the Lieutenant was mortally wounded. The surviving crew members rallied on foot and the gap was made with hand placed charges and then improved by an armoured D7.

    Although the report claims that the gap was successfully made it does not seem to have been used until later in the day.

    Blue Gap. 3 Troop.
    Both flails were knocked out on the beach. 3G engaged a pill box which was laying down mortar fire and silenced it. It was then knocked out by an anti tank gun. 3H engaged the anti tank gun and was also knocked out at short range. Mines were cleared by dismounted crews. 2B laid its bridge and it was brought into use but it was blocked by a DD tank which fell off it. A new gap was made by the armoured D7.

    Red Gap. 4 Troop.
    The flails were engaged by an emplaced 75mm anti tank gun as soon as the LCT ramp went down. 4G was hit three times before it had cleared the water line. All the crew were killed except for one who escaped wounded and with his clothes on fire. 4H continued up the beach and cleared up to the first lateral road. 4A laid its log carpet and chespales. The Bangalores had been damaged on exiting the craft and were jettisoned.


    After the initial phase the Squadron was available to support the advance by
    - Flails clearing routes and concentration areas.
    - AVREs demolishing strongpoints and obstacles, laying bridges and laying fascines.
    - Flails using their 75mm guns in support of infantry.
    - Armoured Angledozers clearing beach exits and removing obstacles.
    - Crews from disabled AVREs carried on engineering tasks including mine clearance and demolitions.

    Rear links from Flails and AVREs were netted to the wireless net of the battalion which they supported. Since the assault infantry were using Wireless Set No 78 these were used also by the specialist armour in addition to their Wireless Set No 19. The various armour units, including DD units, could not communicate directly with each other. No Liaison Officers were used in the assault phase.

    AVREs were to mark cleared lanes using windsocks mounted on tripods. These were to divided into two colours with white nearest the tripod and the Gap/Troop colour on the end.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    INTERLUDE.


    By H+20 each beach should have landed
    A squadron of DD tanks
    Two infantry companies
    Two troops of 95mm Centaurs
    Four teams from 5 ARRE and 22 Dragoons

    Plus a small start to the beach organisation:
    Beach Company Commander
    Assistant Beach Master
    Two men from Advanced Beach Signal Section, 103 Beach Signals.

    At this time the beach is under the command of the assault brigade and the Beach Company Commander and Assistant Beach Master are a reconnaissance party. The Advanced Beach Signals Section will provide communications for the assault company/assault brigade/assault division as they come ashore. The Beach Group and Beach Sub Area units are described below.


    According to a staff handbook:
    There are three successive objectives for assault river crossings or amphibious landings:
    - A position which will eliminate effective small arms fire against the landing places.
    - A position which will eliminate ground observation of artillery fire on the landing places.
    - A position which will eliminate all artillery fire on the landing places and provide the space for the main body to manoeuvre. (This was not achieved on Sword and the beaches were shelled for as long as they were in operation.)
    In all cases the attack should aim at going forward as rapidly and as deep as possible. Only in extreme circumstances should the initial waves halt and wait for succeeding waves.

    8 Brigade was to assault and clear the beach defences so that 5 Assault Regiment RE and Divisional Engineers could construct vehicle exits and clear beach obstacles.
     
    Aixman likes this.
  18. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Excellent work Mike. I must find my research on 76 (H) Field regt. They had an interesting day too! TTFN Lawrence
     
  19. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Great information, wonderful post, really puts the Other Invasion (Sealion) plans into the world of fantasty and dreams.

    David
     
  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Thank you for your kind comments.

    I will get to the artillery one day. After a week I have only covered the first few minutes of the landings. Of course there was an interruption and the new format makes life easier.

    Keep watching.

    Mike.
     
    Kris123 likes this.

Share This Page