Sword Beach.

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

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH
    H+20 MINUTES.
    The reserve companies of the assault battalions are landing, together with battalion headquarters. Included in the latter are parties from other units and include, Liaison Officers from 13/18 Hussars, Forward Observation Officers from Royal Artillery Field Regiments, Forward Observation Bombardment Officers for the supporting warships, Contact Detachments from 3 Division Reconnaissance Regiment and Exit Control Teams from 3 Division Reconnaissance Regiment and the MMG regiment.

    Queen White.
    1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies land.

    Serial 147 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    33 men from one platoon of ‘B’ Company.

    Serial 148 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘B’ Company.
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 149 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    ‘B’ Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander.
    Company Serjeant Major.
    2 snipers.
    3 runners.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    Intelligence other rank.
    4 battalion signallers with Nos 18 and 46 sets.
    5 men from No 3 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team.
    3 men from No 3 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    4 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Forward Observation Officer and party.
    1 man from Headquarters 8 Brigade. Padre.
    2 men from 67 Anti Tank Battery. Reconnaissance Party.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless and RE stores.

    Serial 150 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘B’ Company.
    3 men from No 3 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.


    ‘D’ Company.
    Serial 153 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.

    Serial 154 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    ‘D’ Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander.
    2 snipers.
    3 runners.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    Intelligence other rank
    2 men from Support Company Headquarters. Company Serjeant Major and clerk.
    2 battalion signallers with No 18 set.
    4 men, Medical Officer and party.
    8 men from No 3 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team and Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Forward Observation Officer and party.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. No 4 Contact Detachment.
    2 men from 67 Anti Tank Battery. Reconnaissance Party.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless and RE stores.


    Serial 155 was an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    Reserve Battalion Headquarters.
    Second in Command.
    Adjutant.
    Commanding Officer Headquarters Company.
    Regimental Serjeant Major
    Intelligence Serjeant.
    regimental policeman.
    signals despatch rider for second in command.
    Signals Serjeant.
    5 men from battalion signals.
    3 men from ‘D’ Company. Carrying party.
    3 men from Pioneer Platoon.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    3 men from No 3 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    1 man from 13/18 Hussars. Liaison Officer.
    1 man from 103 Beach Signals. For Liaison Officer.
    Spaces for wireless and mine detectors.

    Serial 156 was an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    Battalion Headquarters.
    Commanding Officer.
    Intelligence Officer.
    Pioneer Officer.
    intelligence other rank.
    3 men from battalion signals. Nos. 46 and 18 sets.
    Orderly Room Serjeant.
    regimental policeman.
    commanding officers batman.
    3 men from Pioneer Platoon.
    3 men from ‘J’ (8 Brigade) Section, 3 Division Signals.
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Battery Commanders Party.
    3 men from ‘B’ Bombardment Troop. Forward Observer Bombardment Party.
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. No 3 Platoon Headquarters.
    Spaces for wireless and mine detectors.

    Serial 157 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 158 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.
    2 men from battalion signals.
    Company Serjeant Major.


    The second wave, ‘B’ and ’D’ Companies also landed on time, in the face of machine gun, mortar and 88mm fire. While directing operations the Commanding officer was killed and the Second in Command took over command.

    The La Breche (Cod) strongpoint was still active so ‘C’ Company was left to mask it. They proceeded to deal with a portion of the stronghold but lost their company commander and his successor, both of whom were killed.

    According to plan ‘A’ Company moved along the beach towards Lion sur Mer. ‘B’ and ‘D’ Companies, having overcome opposition on the beach, moved inland to Hermanville which they occupied by H+90 minutes. They were joined by ‘C’ Company and Battalion Headquarters. For a time contact between battalion headquarters and the companies had been lost due to casualties among the signallers. Contact was resumed at Hermanville except to ‘A’ Company with whom contact was not made until late in the day.

    At Hermanville the three companies reorganised and were joined by ‘A’ Squadron, 13/18 Hussars (DD tanks). At the end of this first phase the Battalion had suffered heavy losses including:
    Killed. 5 Officers and 13 other ranks.
    Wounded. 6 Officers and 83 other ranks.
    Missing. 10 other ranks.

    The battalion remained in defensive positions, except for ‘A’ Company which was still engaged in mopping up.


    Queen White.
    2 East Yorkshire Regiment
    Serial 168 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    33 men from one platoon of ‘C’ Company.

    Serial 169 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘C’ Company.
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 170 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    ‘C’ Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander.
    Company Serjeant Major.
    2 snipers.
    3 runners.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    Intelligence other rank.
    4 battalion signallers with Nos 18 and 46 sets.
    5 men from 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team.
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    4 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Forward Observation Officer and party.
    1 man from Headquarters 8 Brigade. Padre.
    2 men from 67 Anti Tank Battery. Reconnaissance Party.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless and RE stores.

    Serial 171 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘C’ Company.
    3 men from No 2 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.

    Serial 172 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.

    Serial 174 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    ‘D’ Company Headquarters.
    Company Commander.
    2 snipers.
    3 runners.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    Intelligence other rank
    2 men from Support Company Headquarters. Company Serjeant Major and clerk.
    2 battalion signallers with No 18 set.
    4 men, Medical Officer and party.
    8 men from No 2 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Assault Demolition Team and Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Forward Observation Officer and party.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. No 5 Contact Detachment.
    2 men from 67 Anti Tank Battery. Reconnaissance Party.
    Spaces for stretchers, wireless and RE stores.

    Serial 175 was an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    Reserve Battalion Headquarters.
    Second in Command.
    Adjutant.
    Commanding Officer Headquarters Company.
    Regimental Serjeant Major
    Intelligence Serjeant.
    regimental policeman.
    signals despatch rider for second in command.
    Signals Serjeant.
    5 men from battalion signals.
    3 men from ‘D’ Company. Carrying party.
    3 men from Pioneer Platoon.
    2 stretcher bearers.
    3 men from 2 Platoon, 246 Field Company RE. Half a Mine Clearance Team.
    1 man from 13/18 Hussars. Liaison Officer.
    1 man from 103 Beach Signals. For Liaison Officer.
    Spaces for wireless and mine detectors.

    Serial 176 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 177 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    30 men from one platoon of ‘D’ Company.
    2 men from battalion signals.
    Company Serjeant Major.

    Serial 179 was an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn.
    Battalion Headquarters.
    Commanding Officer.
    Intelligence Officer.
    Pioneer Officer.
    intelligence other rank.
    3 men from battalion signals. Nos. 46 and 18 sets.
    Orderly Room Serjeant.
    regimental policeman.
    commanding officers batman.
    3 men from Pioneer Platoon.
    3 men from ‘J’ (8 Brigade) Section, 3 Division Signals.
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Battery Commanders Party.
    3 men from ‘B’ Bombardment Troop. Forward Observer Bombardment Party.
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. No 2 Platoon Headquarters.
    Spaces for wireless and mine detectors.


    The reserve companies and battalion headquarters landed on time. There was still considerable accurate mortar and artillery fire. ‘D’ Company joined in the action against ‘Cod’. Little progress could be made until the Breaching Teams had made their gaps and armour could move inland. Around 0900 ‘B’ Squadron 13/18 Hussars arrived and infantry, armour and flails broke into the enemy position. It was not cleared until 1000 and also involved the Beach Group and Commandos. The commander of ‘D’ Company was wounded when a mortar bomb hit Company Headquarters and the Medical Officer was hit when disembarking.

    ‘C’ Company moved inland to deal with a strongpoint and observation post at ‘Sole’. The advance across marshy ground was slow and under observation and mortar fire. The position was taken by 1330 hours.

    By 1800 hours the battalion had captured the ‘Daimler’ strongpoint and then continued to St. Aubin, which was clear of the enemy, by 2100 hours. The battalion then moved into brigade reserve just north of the Periers Ridge at 2330 hours and dug in.



    246 Field Company RE.
    Queen White.
    Half of No 1 Platoon under the platoon subaltern landed with 1 South Lancashire Regiment. It was to clear the route from the beach through Hermanville, Colleville and St Aubin to Benouville.

    No 3 Platoon provided Three Mine Clearance Teams, one per company, and four Assault Demolition Teams, one per company and one for battalion headquarters.

    246 Field Company RE was not used much since there were no demolitions required and there were few mines until Hermanville was reached.

    Queen Red.
    Half platoon of No 1 Platoon landed under the platoon serjeant with 2 East Yorkshire Regiment. It was to clear the forward route to Colleville and Ouistreham to Benouville.

    No 2 Platoon provided Mine Clearance Teams, one per company, and four Assault Demolition Teams, one per company and one for battalion headquarters.
     
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  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH
    H+20 MINUTES


    Obstacle Clearance.

    629 Field Squadron.
    The sappers of 629 Field Squadron were to make a start on clearing and marking paths through the beach obstacles. They would first disarm and remove mines and then hook up the obstacles to tanks of the Clearance Teams to be towed away to dumps. If it was not possible to tow away obstacles each sapper carried eight 3lb made up charges with which to demolish the obstacles. After completion of the initial task of clearing beach obstacles the squadron was to revert to 101 Beach Sub Area.

    White Beach.
    Serial 145 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 146 is an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 159 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 162 is an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.

    Red Beach.
    Serial 167 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 178 is an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 184 is an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.
    Serial 185 is an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword carrying
    21 men from 629 Field Squadron RE. Remaining space for engineer stores.


    263 Field Company.
    263 Field Company was a late addition to the order of battle. Only four weeks before D day they were placed under the command of 3 Division and sent for training in the clearance of beach obstacles. As there was no spare shipping it was planned that they would cross the Channel on the LSIs carrying Lord Lovats Commandos. To ease the strain on accommodation they were to board late on D-1. Ten LCMs would cross the Channel, each with a Carrier loaded with explosives and mine detectors, and collect the company personnel from the LSIs. It was intended that they would land at H+30 minutes.

    The role of 263 Field Company was to form a reserve or second string for the clearance of beach obstacles which had already begun. After assisting the Assault Group RE to open beach exits this company reverted to 3 Division at approximately H + 4 Hours. It was then to prepare two glider landing strips at Landing Zone W by 1900 hours. The glider borne brigade of 6 Airborne Division was due to land in the evening of D day.

    In the event the landing was confused. The LCMs had a difficult crossing and were late arriving. It was arranged that two LCI(L) would collect the personnel from the LSIs and take them to the beach. The LCMs did eventually arrive and an attempt was made to load the personnel into them but the men were heavily laden, the sea very rough and scrambling nets hazardous. It was decided to use the LCIs with the LCMs following in convoy. The landing from LCIs was made under fire and in five foot of water. Five of the LCMs were washed away and either did not land or landed in the wrong place and could not land their carriers. Five LCMs did land their Carriers but one was disabled by a mine and one overturned in the water. Eventually four Carriers were salvaged. Such explosives and mine detectors as could be salvaged were stacked on the beach.

    When the company landed they were nearly an hour and a half late, the tide was high and they were all on Red Beach at La Breche instead of being spread across the whole of Queen. Since obstacle clearance was not possible the company worked on six beach exits instead. Thirty five casualties were suffered in the first two hours.

    Landing Craft Obstacle Clearance Units.
    These were Royal Navy units which had the following tasks:
    - Marking the limits of the zones as they were cleared to guide incoming craft.
    - Marking wrecks.
    - Using Asdic in Landing Craft Survey to locate submerged obstacles.
    - Using diving equipment to break up obstacles which were in water too deep for the sappers. Landing Craft Assault (Obstacle Clearance) were used to carry equipment and divers.



    Queen White.
    Serial 161 was an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe carrying
    11 men from 7 RN Landing Craft Obstacle Clearance Unit. Balance of space for equipment.

    Queen Red.
    Serial 180 was an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn carrying
    11 men from 8 RN Landing Craft Obstacle Clearance Unit. Balance of space for equipment.

    Divers wore neoprene suits, breathing apparatus, fins and blast proof kapok jackets.
    The intention was to clear beach obstacles from four zones, two on each beach and each 225 yards wide, extending from four feet below water level to the back of the beach. When this had been completed the troops engaged were to commence the wholesale clearance of the beaches.

    The plan was to land one team per zone, of AVREs and flails with the breaching teams at H Hour. Each team consisted of two AVREs and one flail. In reserve were the squadron leaders AVRE and one flail. At H+20 minutes two LCAs were to land at each zone, each LCA carrying approximately 20 men of 629 Field Squadron RE. With these sapper LCAs were to come in 7 and 8 LCOCUs, each carried in their own LCA, one to each beach. Ten minutes later 263 Field Company RE was due in, to act as a reserve and generally assist.

    Clearance Teams landed with the Breaching Teams and had additional armoured vehicles for beach clearance. They were to clear beach obstacles from four zones, two per beach. Each zone was to be 225 yards wide and extend from four foot below water level to the top of the beach. Each squadron provided a Clearance Team which had four AVRE and four Flails, with the squadron commander’s AVRE and a Flail in reserve. All vehicles had slings and chains with hooks and the AVREs were fitted with Bullshorn Ploughs. The armoured vehicles were to mark the left and right limits of the zone with tripods. They would then reconnoitre the zones and note any unexpected features. At H + 20 minutes two LCA, each with 20 sappers from 629 Field Company RE, should land, disarm and remove mines and explosives from obstacles and then hook them to the armoured vehicles. Obstacles would then be towed away to dumps. Should the towing method be impossible for any reason the sappers, each of which carried eight 3lb made up charges, were to demolish the obstacles with hand placed charges.

    The LCOCUs were to mark the limits of the zones as they were cleared, to guide incoming traffic and to mark wrecks. With their Asdic they were to search for submerged obstacles, and some of their personnel wearing Deep Sea equipment could be used to break up obstacles in water which was too deep for the sappers.

    The success of the clearance plan largely depended on the landing craft grounding to seaward of the obstacles, so that the work could be completed ahead of the rising tide. In the event the strong on shore wind and a few minutes delay in the touch down found the lowest obstacle already in some four feet of water. Conditions were aggravated by a heavy swell.

    The AVRE/flail teams were only able to erect a few tripod markers and most of these were soon knocked down; this was to make it difficult for the LCOCUs to distinguish the zones. As the craft carrying the sappers of 629 Field Squadron came in it was clear that the removal of the stakes would be impossible and an attempt was made to disarm the Tellermines and shells. Sappers were put over the side of the LCAs but the effort was only partially successful. The sea was running too strongly and the men quickly became exhausted in the water or were swept away. The craft were eventually grounded soon after 8 o’clock and the sappers set about such obstacles as still remained above water.

    The LCOCUs found only one zone ready to be buoyed. This they marked and then tried to demolish obstacles under water. The surf was too heavy to control the LCA from which the divers worked and the continuous flow of craft driving into the beach made the work hazardous. In consequence the senior LCOCU officer ordered his men ashore to work with the sappers. The AVRE/flail teams had lost heavily and there were only two AVREs left to work on White Beach. Attempts were made to remove the Tellermines by men perched on the outside of the tanks but the waves were breaking over the top of the turrets and the tank commanders had to keep closed down. These difficulties, combined with the attention of enemy machine gunners in the beach villas, forced the tanks to give up this procedure and the gapping teams were gradually compelled to cease work until the tide should recede. The beach by now was very narrow and was jammed with vehicles and tanks, many of which were burning fiercely. At 0830 hours the squadron leader in charge decided that further work was impossible and incoming craft must risk the mines. For the time being all tanks and personnel directed their efforts to keeping the roads off the beaches clear and generally to improving the exits and lanes.

    The LCMs intended for 263 Field Company RE were late at the transhipment area. Force ‘S’ detailed two LCI(L)s to take their place and in these the personnel of the company were taken ashore. This resulted in the field company being almost 1½ hours late and being concentrated on Red Beach instead of being spread along the whole of Queen Beach. As obstacle clearance was now obviously impossible, the company commander decided to concentrate on clearing beach exits and laying track to try and relieve the congestion.

    Beach Obstacles were fairly simple and included.
    - Tetrahedrons. These were only found opposite Riva Bella and none were removed.
    - Timber Ramp. These were the main type of obstacle found all along the beaches. They were removed by attaching tow rope to an AVRE or dozer and pulling. The structure collapsed and could then be removed. There was usually a Teller mine or HE shell with pressure ignite on top.
    - Timber posts. These leant slightly off shore and had a Teller mine on top. They were removed by direct pull with dozer.

    The mines were usually covered in pitch to water proof them. This made removing igniters difficult. Charges were removed and taken to a safe place and detonated in bulk.
     
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  3. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH.
    H+20 MINUTES.

    BEACH GROUP
    A number of LCAs landed personnel for the Beach Group organisation plus personnel from 3 Division who would work on the beach.

    Queen White
    Serial 151 was an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass
    6 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando
    6 men from 84 Field Company RE. Beach sub area. Duplicate reconnaissance party.
    7 men from ‘A’ Company 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group. Company Second in Command and party.
    2 men from 17 RN Beach Signals Section. Advanced party.
    3 men from Detachment 2 Movement Control. For traffic control of beach exits.
    5 men from 8 Field Ambulance, Light Section.
    5 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Unit Landing Officers party

    Serial 152 was an LCA from LSI(L) S71 Empire Cutlass
    6 men with a handcart from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando. Beachmaster and party.*
    6 men from 84 Field Company RE. Beach sub area. Reconnaissance party.
    7 men from ‘A’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group. Company Commander and party.
    1 man from Headquarters 5 Kings Regiment. Headquarters Beach Group Intelligence Section.
    2 men from 241 Headquarters Provost Company. For Beach Control.
    2 men from Detachment 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Reconnaissance party.
    2 men from 17 RN Beach Signals Section. Advanced party.
    4 men from Detachment 2 Movement Control. For traffic control of beach exits. Includes Traffic Major.
    *To land on the right extremity of the beach

    Serial 160 was an LCA from LSI(L) S72 Empire Battleaxe..
    14 men from 8 Field Ambulance RAMC. Light Section.
    2 men from ‘A’ Company Middlesex Regiment MMG. Includes platoon commander
    5 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance Party.
    10 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    3 men from 2 Middlesex Regiment MMG. For Traffic Control at exits.


    Queen Red
    Serial 173 was an LCA from LSI(L) S70 Glenearn
    6 men with a handcart from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando. Beachmaster and party.*
    6 men from 84 Field Company RE. Beach sub area. Reconnaissance party.
    7 men from ‘C’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group. Company Commander and party.
    1 man from Headquarters, 5 Kings Regiment. Headquarters Beach Group. Intelligence Section NCO.
    2 men from 241 Headquarters Provost Company. For Beach Control.
    2 men from Detachment 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Reconnaissance party.
    2 men from 17 RN Beach Signals Section. Advanced party.
    4 men from Detachment 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. For traffic control of beach exits.
    * Arrangements must be made by RN to place handcart in the LCA.

    Serial 181 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    5 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    4 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. For traffic control of exits. Includes Traffic Major.
    4 men from 67 Anti Tank Battery RA. Reconnaissance party.
    2 men from ‘A’ Company 2, Middlesex Regiment MMG. Including Platoon Commander.
    4 men from 1 Suffolk Regiment. Unit Landing Officer and party.
    10 men from Light Section, 8 Field Ambulance RAMC.

    Serial 182 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    5 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    4 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. For traffic control of exits. Includes Commander.
    15 men from 76Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.
    9 men from Light Section, 8 Field Ambulance RAMC.
    1 man from ‘F’ Section (76 Field regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Second in Command.

    Serial 183 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    6 men from ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    20 men from ‘C’ Company 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group. Company Second in Command and party.
    6 men from 84 Field Company RE. Duplicate reconnaissance group.
    2 men from 17 RN Beach Signals Section. Advanced party.

    Serial 186 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    27 men from 84 Field Company RE.
    4 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps.

    Serial 187 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword..
    17 men from ‘A’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Proceed to White beach on landing.
    17 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps.

    Serial 188 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    31 men from ‘C’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group.

    Serial 186 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    27 men from 84 Field Company RE.
    4 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps.

    Serial 187 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword..
    17 men from ‘A’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Proceed to White beach on landing.
    17 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps.

    Serial 188 was an LCA from LSI(L) S73 Empire Broadsword.
    31 men from ‘C’ Company, 5 Kings Regiment. Beach Group.

    5 Kings Regiment.
    Advanced groups of ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies, which will be responsible for work on the beaches and exits, land on Queen Red. ‘A’ Company will move to Queen White on landing. They should be met by the reconnaissance party which landed at H Hour. Company Commander and Company Second in Command travel in separate LCAs in case of casualties.

    ‘F’ RN Beach Commando
    Reconnaissance parties of ‘F’ Commando have landed with the assault companies at H Hour. They will have checked that the beaches are suitable for the following waves to land on and then mark the limits of the beach. Large banners will be erected to assist incoming craft.

    At H + 20 minutes the Beachmasters and signals land with the follow up companies. They will establish control posts from which they will guide in the following waves of craft.

    241 Headquarters Provost Company.
    An advanced party of 2 Beach Corporals per beach landed on foot at H+20 minutes.

    2 Movement Control.
    Movement Control was a staff function and had played a large part in formulating the Landing Tables . Personnel were responsible for knowing who should be landing, and prioritising arrivals. Each beach landed 3 men for traffic control of beach exits. A Traffic Major was in charge.

    84 Field Company RE.
    This company would land together with 53 Pioneer Company and eight bulldozers from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section to work on the beach exits for wheeled vehicles. A secondary task was mine clearance.

    Landing at H+20 were
    Four reconnaissance parties, each of 6 men, from 84 Field Company.
    Four reconnaissance parties, each of 7 men, from 53 Pioneer Company.
    Two reconnaissance parties, each of 2 men from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section.

    Beach Control Group.
    The Beach Control Group consisted of four detachments from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment and four detachments from the Middlesex Regiment, each of a Lieutenant designated ‘Beach Exit Officer’, and two men. There was also a Traffic Major, who was responsible for the flow of traffic and liaising with other army and navy teams, and an officer who commanded the Group, probably a Captain. Although they were 3 Division personnel they were attached to and trained with the Beach groups. These teams remained in operation until D+4 when they returned to the UK, except for the Traffic Major who remained.

    These detachments landed at H+20 and H+45 minutes.
    White Beach
    3 men. Detachment from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits.
    4 men. Detachment from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits. Included Traffic Major.
    3 men. Detachment from Middlesex Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits.
    3 men. Detachment from Middlesex Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits.
    Red Beach.
    4 men. Detachment from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits. Includes Commander.
    3 men. Detachment from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits.
    3 men. Detachment from Middlesex Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exits.
    3 men. Detachment from Middlesex Regiment for Traffic Control at Beach Exit


    Contact Detachments.
    Divisional reconnaissance regiments were not required in their primary role on D Day and were to supply Contact Detachments. Detachments were formed and attached to their units in time to allow training etc. Contact Detachments were attached to each battalion and brigade headquarters. Their primary function was to provide a direct link to the division commander. He would be able to obtain information on the progress of units without waiting for the reports from the units themselves. In action a battalion commander and a brigade commander have many more urgent demands on their time and attention. The Contact Detachment could also provide an means of emergency communications for unit commanders to higher headquarters and to artillery support.

    Twelve Contact Detachments were provided:
    Four to 8 Brigade. Assault Brigade.
    No 3 with Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    No 4 landing with Headquarters 1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    No 5 landing with Headquarters 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    No 6 landing with Headquarters 1 Suffolk Regiment.
    Four to 185 Brigade. Follow Up Brigade.
    No 9 with Headquarters 185 Brigade.
    No 10 landing with Headquarters 2 Kings Shropshire Light Infantry.
    No 11 landing with Headquarters 2 Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
    No 12 landing with Headquarters 1 Royal Norfolk Regiment.
    Two to 9 Brigade. Reserve Brigade.
    No 7 with Headquarters 9 Brigade
    No 8 landing with Headquarters 2 Royal Ulster Rifles.
    Two to 3 Division Headquarters.
    No1 with Division Headquarters on LSH Largs.
    No 2 with Stand By Division Headquarters on LSH Dacres

    When 185 Brigade passed through 8 Brigade two detachments from 8 Brigade would be transferred to 9 Brigade, making it up to four.

    Each detachment consisted of
    1 Jeep
    22 set
    68 set
    Batteries and chore horse
    1 officer
    1 NCO
    3 operators.

    All operated on the same net. They could also be used as an emergency wireless net if other means of communication failed. In general three men detachments landed with the unit to which they were assigned. They were on foot and carried the No 68 set. The Jeeps and No 22 sets landed from LCTs later. In the case of detachments landing from Headquarters Ships the vehicles could be ashore and waiting for them.


    8 Field Ambulance RAMC.
    One Light Section lands with each battalion. It is the Field Ambulance attached to 8 Brigade and although not a Beach group unit it will set up in the Beach Group area until replaced.
     
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  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH.
    H+30 MINUTES.

    Commandos land on the left flank.

    10 Commando.
    Queen Red
    Serial 190 was an LCI(S)
    84 men from 1 and 8 troops, 10 Commando

    Serial 191 was an LCI(S)
    84 men from 1 and 8 troops, 10 Commando

    Two French troops, 1 and 8, were attached to 4 Commando and were given the task of assaulting the Casino strongpoint at Riva Bella.


    4 Commando.
    4 Commando was given the task of destroying the coast defence battery at Ouistreham. On completion of this task it would revert to 1 Special Service Brigade.

    Serials 192 to 197 were 6 LCAs from LSI(H) S75 Maid of Orleans.
    195 men from 4 Commando
    3 men from 10 Commando. Interpreters.

    Serials 200 to 207 were 8 LCAs from LSI(S) S74 Princess Astrid.
    199 men with 2 handcarts and 2 bicycles from 4 Commando.
    4 men from 10 Commando. Interpreters.
    1 Airborne Motorcycle with 1 crew from Special Service Group Field Security Section.
    4 men from ‘C’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to 1 Special Service Brigade.
    8 men from four Forward Observation Officer parties. Attached to 1 Special Service Brigade.
    6 men with a handcart from 91 Field Company RE.
    2 men from 1 Special Service Brigade Signal Troop.
    14 men from Headquarters 1 Special Service Brigade.

    4 Commando landed on Queen Red at about H+45 minutes. The Le Breche strongpoint was still holding out and the Commando suffered some 40 casualties on the beach, including the Commanding Officer who was wounded. One troop managed to by pass the main opposition and reach the main coast road. The rest of the Commando followed and moved to the assembly area. After re organising the Commando moved towards Ouistreham with the French troops in the lead. It cleared as far as the Casino area supported by a troop of four Centaurs from 5 Independent Royal Marine Support Battery. An attack was then mounted against the main battery position. The guns had been removed so that work could be carried out on improving the emplacements but the strongly fortified position held out.
     
  5. Arty

    Arty Member

    Mike
    All in all a superb effort. However there’s a number of points that need correction or fleshing out.

    The 06Jun44 operations of 13/18th Hussars have been much debated (& confused) over the years however I believe the actual sequence of events can be established…

    A & B Squadrons were to land at H - 7½ mins. The First Tide landing table issued on 19Mar44 states they were to land at H-10. However the 3 Inf Div Op Order issued 14May44, Appendix I of ONEAST/S7B issued on 21May44 & the War Diary of the 13/18th Hussars for 06June all state H - 7½ mins.

    On the day A & B Squadrons each consisted of five troops each of three DD’s. Squadron Headquarters had four DD’s, and each squadron had one spare DD. The five troop structure was still being used in late June. C Squadron had however converted to a four troop structure before 06June.

    Insofar as LCT ’s utilised to carry the Squadrons are concerned the 14th LCT Flotilla apparently had ten craft - including LCT462. The distribution of DD’s in the LCT’s is unrelated to the Squadrons Structure. C Squadron, RHQ & all the Squadron’s ARV’s were (as of 19Mar44) to be carried in just three craft - two LCT3’s & one LCT4. By 03Jun44 this had become four LCT4’s. The 41st Flotilla, which carried C Sqn et al, originally had a total of twelve LCT’s - it had to be provided with an additional ‘spare’ LCT4 to carry it’s allocated cargo.

    There were indeed LCP(L)’s acting in the rescue role however the LCP(L)’s that accompanied the DD’s were in fact LCP(L)(Navigation) - the craft which A Squadron followed in (LTIN509) was under the command of OC COPP Team 6.

    A Squadron 13/18th Hussars had a somewhat more shambolic day than is generally understood. Immediately after launch, around 0615hrs, they lost a DD which sank when its propellers failed to engage, thus only 19 of it’s tanks swum in. Around 0715hrs, the Squadron was in four rough columns about 800 to 1000 yards off shore and running late. At that time the LCT4’s of 45th LCT Flotilla carrying 79 Sqn RE began passing through them - just as three LCT(R)’s launched approximately 3000 rockets at the beach defences. Depending on eyewitness reports anywhere between 60 & 300 of these rockets fell short - straddling the DD’s & the LCT’s. The LCT‘s initially slowed up but were almost immediately ordered by the Assault Group Commander to run in to the beach. Captain Bruce, Forward Observer of 7 Field Regiment who was controlling the run in shoot, witnessed this fracas, reporting: "...the sea around the leading craft was peppered with splashes. Several LCT's took evasive action, causing confusion in general and some casualties among the DDs in particular.” A Squadron’s Commander reported that 3 DD’s were rammed & sunk by the manoeuvring LCT’s.

    It is likely that only 16 DD’s actually completed the swim in. Due in the shallows off Queen White beach at H - 7 ½, the Squadron however began landing late, around 0723hrs, about 400 yards off the beach itself & spread out well to the west adjacent Queen Green beach . After wading in & dropping their screens the first of the DD’s was probably in action a few minutes after the Infantry & Engineers had commenced landing.

    After losing 11 more DD’s to mines & being swamped the somewhat depleted Squadron of just 5 DD’s may have actually been the first unit to get off the beach - not waiting for a lane to be flailed but finding their own exit - whilst the Infantry & Engineers were still clearing the beach defences….
     
    Arty 
     
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  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Arty,

    Thank you for your valuable contribution.

    I was today going to announce a short delay for re grouping etc. I see that 550 people have viewed this thread in the last week and I know that many of them are far more knowledgeable than I in specific areas.

    My centre of interest is the beach organisation. For me the assault formations exist to size and hold the beach head so that the Beach Group and Beach Sub Area personnel can get on with the work of developing and operating the beach.

    I know that much research and discussion has gone on recently, and my sources are mainly contemporary or near contemporary, the Landing Tables, War Diaries and various reports of the beach units mainly.

    I have already received some comments, additions and corrections (thank you) which I am studying. Please do add more. I can of course modify my own posts to make corrections and additions.

    Long way to go yet. We have only covered the first half hour and the beach organisation is just beginning to land.

    Mike

    PS.
    The organisation for DD Squadrons given by Arty is where I started three years ago. I was persuaded that it was incorrect. I must check. (I do not doubt Arty but I should try to find how the error came about).
     
  7. Arty

    Arty Member

    Mike,

    I’ve been studying this subject on and off for two decades and I'm still discovering there’s so much to learn (and unlearn). Meanwhile….

    South Lancs

    I’m all but convinced that it was the Infantry of the South Lancs (plus the Battalions Pioneers and the Assault Demolition teams of 246 Field Coy) who had the ‘honour’ of being the very first to land. Unfortunately none of the unit’s war diaries, none of the official reports & none of the personal accounts can be trusted to be 100% correct in respect of the sequence of events that day. Many historians, confused by all the conflicting data, baulk at trying to attribute specific times to events, instead making statements like “landed at more or less the same time”. However in objectively analysing all the information to hand it is in some cases possible to be accurate to within one or two minutes.

    The memoirs of Jack Eaves, a crewman of 535th LCA Flotilla, that describe the run in, touch down and landing of the South Lancs on Queen White beach in some detail, I believe holds the answer, which is just before H-Hour…..“Lt Webber and the O\C troops looked at their watches, said that we were early, but go for it…” - the time quoted being “0722hrs”. Notwithstanding the fact that the German defensive fire on Queen Red was apparently heavier than on Queen White the 535th Flotilla was apparently the only one not to lose a craft on it’s initial run to the beaches. Minutes later as the British bombardment lifted and 536th LCA Flotilla arrived on Queen Red they were met by a deluge of mortar bombs and subsequently lost numerous craft.

    And a small point - it is not likely that the by-the-book landing procedure from LCA’s occurred on the day as the Infantry Platoon Sergeants were all part of the LOB (Left Out of Battle) groups that were landed some hours later…

    East Yorks

    Yes! Thanks Mike!!!! Finally someone’s got it right - the assault companies of the East Yorks were embarked on Empire Cutlass. Inexplicably, the East Yorks war diary states the assault companies were embarked in Empire Battleaxe, whereas all other evidence is for Empire Cutlass. And yes the right hand assault company was indeed A company - tasked with taking on COD. However the left hand assault company was B not C. Aside from claims by various authors there are a number of accounts from members of C Company that describe them landing after the leading companies.

    More later...

    Arty
     
  8. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Arty,

    I hold my hands up to confusing the companies of East Yorks. I think this is careless copying and pasting. I have pasted in the similar details from South Lancs and forgot to change the company letters. One of the hazards of short cuts (not intended as a pun).

    Your version of the organisation of DD Squadrons sounds correct. I have found the source of the details I posted and they sounded convincing, even to giving the call sign numbers. However five troops of three was normal before D Day and as you say these squadrons had the same organisation later. It is unlikely they would change and then change back.

    Mike
     
  9. Arty

    Arty Member

    Mike,

    Yes indeed the debate about the structure of 13/18th Hussars rages on. As soon as I hit the "post" button I'm sure there was much wailing & nashing of teeth!!!

    More of my two bobs worth…

    5 Bty RMASG

    In this case, although I cannot prove otherwise, I’m dubious about the load distribution in the LCT(A)’s in your info. From information compiled thus far I’ve deduced that in each of the LCT’s, that carried two Centaurs and the Troop Commander’s Sherman, there was little other cargo. Whereas the additional vehicles (Flails, Armoured Angledozers etc) were carried in craft that otherwise only carried two Centaurs. Although not specifically Sword area related the LCT2428 (LTIN 1008), which capsized en route for Juno, was carrying two Centaurs & two Bulldozers (plus a jeep & "1 Truck Airborne") but no Sherman. The landing tables for the Gold area similarly show that the LCT(A)’s that carried the Troop Commander’s Shermans carried minimal other cargo, whereas the craft that carried only the Troop’s Centaurs were the craft that also carried other units AFV’s etc.

    The conversion of the LCT5 to LCT(A) with the addition of steel armour plate and firing platforms had in fact made the craft all but unseaworthy! Each of the two craft that broke down en route carried a Troop Commanders Sherman which was have to consequences later. The rough passage delayed the 100th LCT Flotilla which began arriving at the Lowering Position some 20 minutes late on 06June, however they managed to make up much of the lost time on the run in. The LCT(A)’s were indeed involved in the run in shoot however unlike the LCT’s carrying the Field Regiments, which circled off the beach until due to land, all the LCT(A)’s went straight into the beach, landing on the outer flanks. The Centaurs, Shermans etc were landed immediately from their respective LCT’s, whereupon they initially attempted to suppress enemy defences with direct fire whilst sitting in the shallows.

    The two LCT’s that were destroyed were LCT2052 & LCT2191. Both of these LCT’s landed on the left (not right) - on the extreme left of Queen Red beach (or on the immediately adjacent Roger Green beach). Both were shot up as they attempted to get off the beach. According to the apocryphal tale that describes their destruction, it was by a "mobile German 88mm". I’ve done quite a bit a work on trying to identify this gun and come to the inescapable conclusion that it’s just more 88 mythology. It was far more likely a 75mm gun that did the damage (and only just possibly a “mobile” gun). The battered and burning LCT2052 & 2191 drifted about 400 yards due east before running aground.

    On the far right, that is on Queen White beach (or more possibly on Queen Green), a classic fog of war situation developed. The Centaurs that were to support No. 41 RM Commando, lacking their Troop Commanders AFV’s, apparently waited on the beach waiting for a call for fire. The post action report by the RMASG states: “Guns were also ready to support 41 RM Cdo, but no call for fire was received.” Meanwhile No.41 RM commando who had advanced on their objective, TROUT in Lion Sur Mer, apparently believed that the Centaurs had been destroyed. No. 41 RM Commando’s war Diary states: “6th June 1944... 1020...The F.O.B's signalmen were all wounded on the beach and their sets destroyed, the F.O.B's own set was damaged hence no contact with naval support. F.O.O. Lieut. Miller R.A. and party wounded on beach but R.A. Rep. Capt. J.C. Clough was up with HQ unable however to assist since the Centaurs attached had apparently been knocked out.”

    LCT(CB)2337 which was carrying the heaviest cargo was the last to arrive at the Lowering Position. Again, it apparently made up time on the run in, however it was likely the last of the LCT’s in the group to hit the beach - on the far left, again on Queen Red (or Roger Green). From the Report of the Naval Commander Force S: “LCT(CB) 2337...was an unarmoured craft. She was seen to approach the beach under continuous fire and with a heavy list to starboard. She held on, however, touched down in the correct place on the left flank, unloaded her tanks and subsequently unbeached successfully…” The memoirs of Sub Lt Brooke, who was on board, states: “The Sherman tanks did not open fire on any target on the shore and the touch-down on the beach was within 5 minutes of the planned H-Hour.” The LCT was further damaged as it backed off, however it was to then spend a torturous night towing an even more badly damaged LCT(A) back across the channel.

    Meanwhile, of the two Sherman Vc’s carried on LCT(CB)2337, that which was commanded by Sgt Ellis is confirmed to have moved to Hermanville where it joined up with the remains of A Sqn 13/18th Hussars - however I haven‘t yet ascertained when this occurred. The activities of the other Sherman Vc, which was commanded by Lt Knowles, and was to join up with B Sqn, remain a mystery to me.

    As an aside the term “Firefly” appears to be post war jargon. Shermans armed with 17 pounders are simply referred to by the suffix “c” in wartime documents.

    More later

    Arty
     
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Arty,

    I have just in the last couple of days received some documents from Michel Sabarly. These show the final loadings for 77 and 79 Assault Squadrons but also show the loads of 5 Battery. I am still digesting these but there seems to be no logical pattern to the loads. In particular it seems unwise to separate the control Shermans from the Centaurs. More later.

    I have collected a number of diagrams showing the formations of craft on the run in. Many are difficult to read and would benefit from re drawing some time.

    'Truck, Airborne' is in fact a handcart. I have some drawings of these.

    Mike.
     
  11. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    The following seems to be the last arrangements for 5 (Independent) Royal Marine Armoured Support Battery on Queen White. The table was made by and for 77 Assault Squadron RE to show what they loaded onto these craft.


    5 (Independent) Royal Marine Armoured Support Battery.

    Queen White.
    Serial 532 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.
    Space for extra ammunition
    This craft is shown as also carrying a carrier for 5 RMASB. This does not seem to get a mention anywhere else. It is assumed that it was a wireless vehicle for Battery Headquarters which landed later.

    Serial 533 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm Tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men. Ammunition numbers.
    2 Armoured Angledozer D7 with 2 crew from 15 Assault Park Troop. For 1 and 2 Troops.
    2 men from 77 Assault Squadron RE to work with D7
    Space for extra ammunition

    Serial 534 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.
    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 Flail with 5 crew from ‘A’ Squadron 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team.
    Space for extra ammunition


    Those for Queen Red are less clear. I am still studying them.

    Mike
     
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  12. Mike,

    You're quite about the control RM Shermans. They were not grouped on board the same craft but loaded on one of the two LCT which carried a half-troop of Centaurs.
    This is one of the few minor (from an RE viewpoint at least) errors in this document, which mentions "2 Sherman RM" on board LCT(A) 545 and "2 Centaurs RM" on LCT(CB) 548, when it should clearly be the opposite (and "2 Sherman CB"). Other errors include placing the RE vehs afore the Centaurs instead of abaft them, and inverting the AVRE (Bobbin) which was on board LCT (A) 547 with the AVRE (Log Carpet) on LCT 116.
    It however correctly mentions an AVRE from 77 Sqn on board LCT(CB) 548. This was AVRE (Plough) 3E (L Sjt Ackerman), which apparently did not find room in another craft closer to its target beach Queen White!

    As regards a logical pattern, it is sometimes difficult to find logic in anything military, but in this case a very logical, if somewhat convoluted, sequence can be traced from the initial loading plans to the final actual loads. Originally one complete Breaching Team (apart from some of the Bulldozers) was planned to be loaded on each of the eight initially planned LCT IV. Then when Obstacle Clearance tanks were added, instead of grouping them in the required additional craft, a decision must have been made to spread them over (almost) all the LCT IV in the AVRE flight. This meant moving off some of the Bulldozers and AVRE (Bobbin) from the initial craft, and replacing them with Flails and AVRE for Obstacle Clearance. Thus on D Day only LCT 109, 111, 113 and 115 carried their complete Breaching Team (less the Bulldozer), while LCT 110, 112, 114 and 116 had their Bobbin carried by LCT 110A for the first two, and LCT 114A and 547 respectively for the last two.

    Michel
     
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  13. Arty

    Arty Member

    Michel And Mike

    On 06Apr I posted....I’m dubious about the load distribution in the LCT(A)’s in your info. From information compiled thus far I’ve deduced that in each of the LCT’s, that carried two Centaurs and the Troop Commander’s Sherman, there was little other cargo. Whereas the additional vehicles (Flails, Armoured Angledozers etc) were carried in craft that otherwise only carried two Centaurs....

    I didn't actually suggest that the RM Shermans were on the same LCT. But thanks to both of you for confirming what I thought to start with. :wink:

    And thanks Michel for confirming that there was considerable shuffling of cargo with RE Assault Squadrons prior to 06June - Sgt Kilvert, 1 Troop, 77 Sqn who was on board LTIN112, states in his memoirs: "Just then L/Sergeant Freer from 3 troop joined us; he swam ashore from his tank which had been on our LCT." It finally makes sense.

    And Mike I meant to add that three centaurs that are reported to have supported 41 RMCommando in the attack on Trout strongpoint at Lion sur Mer (and were subsequently destroyed) were in fact three AVRE's from 77 Sqn RE. I believe Captain McLennan was killed in this action. Again from No.41 Commandos War Diary..."1050 - Lieut. Colonel Gray ordered Y. Troop to prepare to back up the S. Lancs and if possible to assault through them. Just at this time 3 Avre tanks contacted us and informed us that Br. Inf. Bde. had put them under command to assist where required. They were immediately put in support of Y. 1100 - Accordingly, firing their Besas the tanks moved up the road Y. Troop following. Within 100 yards of the strongpoint, unidentified gun, which later proved to be a 50mm PAK, opened fire at very short range and knocked out the first tank. Within 5 minutes all 3 tanks were put out of action..."

    Meanwhile, about 550 people have apparently viewed this superb thread. Some input from a few more would be good...

    Arty
     
  14. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Michel has made a very clear and concise presentation of the actual loadings for ARRE and 5 RMASB. Thank you.

    I know that behind this simple explanation lies a great deal of pains taking study and correlation. A considerable number of sources have been studied and although accounts differ and some of the documents are obviously flawed he has answered questions which the rest of us have mused about, assuming we knew there was a question.

    Michel also touches on an interesting point. The original Landing Tables as made by Military Landing Officers are arranged logically so that the first mentioned craft travels at the head of a convoy and when line abreast is formed will be on the left of the line. On each craft vehicles, and where relevant, personnel are listed so that the first mentioned will be at the front of the craft and the last mentioned at the rear. It follows that the first mentioned will be the first to land and therefore the last to be loaded.

    Arty,

    I must put my hands up again regarding the destroyed 'Centaurs'. Old, and inaccurate, information I should have edited long ago.

    Mike
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I think I have it now.

    Using the document supplied by Michel :
    Appendix P to 79 Assault Squadron Operational Order
    'Craft Loading and craft Commanders'.

    Plus Michel's help in interpreting it:

    5 (Independent) Royal Marine Armoured Support Battery.

    Serial 544 is not mentioned, presumably because it does not carry 79 Assault Squadron vehicles. The following is assumed.
    2 Centaur 95mm Tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men. Ammunition numbers.
    1 Sherman Tank with 5 crew. Control tank.
    Space for extra ammunition

    Serial 545 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm Tanks with 10 crew.
    2 Armoured Angledozer D7 with 2 crew from Assault Park Troop. For 3 and 4 Troops.
    Space for extra ammunition

    Serial 546 is not mentioned, presumably because it does not carry 79 Assault Squadron vehicles. The following is assumed.
    2 Centaur 95mm Tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men. Ammunition numbers.
    1 Sherman Tank with 5 crew. Control tank.
    Space for extra ammunition

    Serial 547 is an LCT(A) HE carrying
    2 Centaur 95mm Tanks with 10 crew.
    5 men. Ammunition numbers.
    1 AVRE with Bobbin and 6 crew from 79 Assault Squadron RE. On an earlier list this is given as an AVRE, 79 Assault Squadron Commander, or an AVRE displaced by him.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Serial 548 is an LCT(CB) carrying
    2 Sherman Vc Firefly with 8 crew
    1 Sherman Flail with 5 crew from ‘C’ Squadron, 22 Dragoons. For Clearance Team
    1 AVRE with Bullshorn Plough and 6 crew from 77 Assault Squadron RE. For Clearance Team.
    Space for extra ammunition.

    Mike.
     
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  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH.
    H+45 MINUTES.

    ‘C’ Squadron 13/18 Hussars and Priority Vehicles for 8 Brigade and the Beach Group land.

    By this time the breaching and clearance teams should have removed sufficient obstacles to allow LCTs to beach in comparative safety and opened up sufficient beach exits for tracked vehicles to leave the beach. This was not entirely the case but some exits were available.

    Twelve LCTIV arrive.

    Note.
    Except where noted, mainly for the infantry battalions, the Landing Tables below were those made in March. Although they were in general similar to those actually used there were some changes. An additional LCT was provided in order to fit in all of the armour of ‘C’ Squadron 13/18 Hussars. This meant that there was some change in the Landing Tables for this squadron and a knock on effect for other units. However where it has been possible to compare the vehicles actually landed, certainly in the case of the infantry battalions, these are unchanged. I have for this section posted notes on the individual units detailing the personnel and vehicles that they landed and the task they were to carry out rather than a transcript of the Landing Tables themselves.



    UNITS.
    3 Division Units (8 Brigade and attached).

    Queen White.
    Seven LCT IV arrive.

    ‘C’ Squadron 13/18 Hussars.
    ‘C’ Squadron and Regimental Headquarters of 13/18 Hussars land. All of ‘C’ Squadron land from four LCTs from four LCTs on Queen White. Some Headquarters vehicles land on Queen Red.
    ‘C’ Squadron.
    15 Sherman III with 75 crew
    15 Porpoise stowed under, and towed by, above tanks.
    5 Sherman Vc Firefly with 20 crew.
    1 Sherman III ARV with 4 crew.
    1 Carrier Universal with 4 crew.

    Regimental Headquarters.
    3 Sherman III with 14 crew from RHQ.
    1 man from ‘X’ Troop 27 Armoured Brigade Signals. Carried in a Sherman III.

    Plus
    1 Sherman III ARV with 4 crew for ‘A’ Squadron.
    1 Sherman III ARV with 4 crew for ‘B’ Squadron.
    4 Stuart Light tanks with 16 crew.

    1 Carrier Universal with 4 crew from 13/18 Hussars.
    1 M14 Halftrack with 3 crew from 13/18 Hussars

    The following were originally scheduled to land on the extreme right of Queen Red and thus be adjacent to Queen White. They were probably found places on the craft for Queen White.
    4 Stuart Light Tanks with 16 crew.
    1 Carrier Universal with 4 crew.
    2 M14 Halftrack with 11 crew.


    1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    This from the Battalion Landing Table dated 24 May.
    Serial 211 is an LCT4 carrying
    2 Carrier Universal towing 2 6pdr AT guns with 10 crew from AT Platoon.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘A’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Signal Platoon. Despatch Rider.

    Serial 213 is an LCT4 carrying
    1 Carrier Universal towing 6pdr AT gun with 5 crew from AT Platoon.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Commanding Officer.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘B’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle from Signal Platoon. For Despatch Rider in Serial 155. Carried on Carrier above.

    Serial 215 is an LCT4 carrying
    1 Carrier Universal towing 6pdr AT gun with 7 crew from AT Platoon. Includes Fitter MV and Fitter, Gun.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Second in Command.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘C’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Battalion Headquarters. Regimental Police Serjeant.
    1 M14 Halftrack with 2 crew from ‘J’ Section (8 Brigade), Divisional Signals.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from ‘B’ Bombardment Troop. Forward Officer Bombardment.

    Serial 216 is an LCT4 carrying
    2 Carrier Universal towing 2 6pdr AT guns with 10 crew from AT Platoon. Includes Fitter MV and Fitter, Gun.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Despatch Rider.
    1 Carrier Mortar with 4 crew from Mortar Platoon Command.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from Battalion Headquarters.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘D’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Battalion Headquarters. Intelligence Serjeant.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Pioneer Platoon. Pioneer Serjeant.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. For Contact Detachment.

    2 Middlesex Regiment.
    This was the Medium Machine Gun regiment of 3 Division. ‘A’ Company supported 8 Brigade with one platoon supporting 1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    4 Carrier Universal carrying 4 MMG with 28 crew from ‘A’ Company

    246 Field Company RE.
    From ‘RE Battlefield Tour’. Correct for D Day.
    Much of 246 Field Company was already ashore under the command of the infantry battalions.
    3 Platoon. White Beach.
    1 M14 Halftrack carrying Platoon Commander, sapper, 2 X driver operator, driver.
    1 Carrier Universal carrying lance serjeant, sapper, despatch rider, driver. Carries Lightweight motorcycle and reconnaissance stores.
    1 Carrier Universal carrying platoon serjeant, sapper, despatch rider, driver. Carries Lightweight motorcycle and reconnaissance stores.
    1 D7 Armoured Angledozer.
    7 men.

    45 Anti Tank Battery RA.
    From 20 Anti Tank Regiment, 3 Division.
    One SP troop lands in support of 1 South Lancashire Regiment.
    4 M10 (3”) SP AT guns with 20 crew from SP Troop.
    1 Carrier Universal with 5 crew from SP Troop.

    Since it is a sound principle that anti tank guns should be available as soon as possible to defend against counter attack, and towed guns would not be landed for some time, some re arrangement was necessary. 67 Battery would land in support of the Assault Brigade (8 Brigade) with its own self propelled troop plus that from 45 Battery. When the brigade reached its objective it would go into defensive positions and the self propelled troop of 45 Battery would join 185 Brigade.


    33 Field Regiment RA.
    Two teams landed to reconnoitre the beach, exits and assembly area.
    14 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.
    15 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.
    In all cases reconnaissance parties would land well in advance of the troop and batteries. They would make contact with the brigades they were to support and ensure that the guns could move straight to their positions on arrival (actually they could not but that is another story, and illustrates the point of having reconnaissance parties).

    3 Division Provost Company.
    Advanced parties had landed on foot at H+20 minutes. Now the sections attached to each brigade arrive and prepare to direct units inland.
    5 Motorcycles with 5 crew from 3 Division Provost Company. Motorcycles were carried on tanks of 13/18 Hussars and M10 of 45 AT Battery.
    2 Jeep with 2 crew. Attached to 8 Brigade
    1 Motorcycle and 1 crew. Attached to 185 Brigade.





    Beach Group Units.

    5 Kings Regiment.
    One complete platoon lands to work on Queen White.
    1 Car 5cwt 4 X 4 Amphibian with 2 crew from ‘A’ Company. Beach Group
    33 men with 3 handcarts from ‘A’ Company. Beach Group

    73 LAA Regiment RA.
    In order to get some LAA protection ashore as early as possible 73 LAA Regiment landed four teams each of one Crusader 40mm SP towing a 40mm on a normal carriage. It was not intended that they should travel far but take position on the edge of the dunes.
    1 Crusader SP 40mm LAA gun with 7 crew from 218 Battery.
    1 40mm LAA gun with 9 men from 218 Battery. Towed by Crusader
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 218 Battery.

    1 Crusader SP 40mm LAA gun with 7 crew from 218 Battery.
    1 40mm LAA gun with 9 men from 218 Battery. Towed by Crusader
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 218 Battery.

    1 Crusader SP 40mm LAA gun with 7 crew from 218 Battery.
    1 40mm LAA gun with 9 men from 218 Battery. Towed by Crusader
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 218 Battery.

    1 Crusader SP 40mm LAA gun with 7 crew from 218 Battery.
    1 40mm LAA gun with 9 men from 218 Battery. Towed by Crusader
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 218 Battery.


    84 Field Company RE
    By this time the Breaching Teams should have made exits from the beaches. Now teams of engineers and pioneers landed to improve the exits. Four Exit Teams landed on Queen White, all identical.
    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps

    A further team of four men landed to establish a Report Centre RE at the Beach Group command post. All engineer units were to send an officer or senior NCO to report here on landing. They would report their arrival and receive orders if different from those they already had. This would mainly be if extra resources were needed for the beach exits.
    4 men for RE report centre.
    A single winch lorry landed to assist as required.
    1 3ton Winch (Karrier) with 2 crew.


    ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    ‘F’ Beach Commando was to provide Beachmaster personnel in the early stages of the landing.
    2 Car 5cwt 4 X 4 Amphibian.
    10 men.

    ‘R’ RN Beach Commando.
    ‘R’ Beach Commando was to land later in the day. The following are reconnaissance parties.
    3 men. Reconnaissance party.
    3 men. Reconnaissance party.

    17 RN Beach Signal Section.
    8 men and a handcart from 17 RN Beach Signal Section.
    5 men and a handcart WT from 17 RN Beach Signal Section.

    13 Beach Signal Section.
    4 men from 13 Beach Signal Section. Maintenance party with 2 panniers.

    20 Beach Recovery Section REME.
    2 Sherman BARV with 8 crew.

    241 Headquarters Provost Company.
    11 men with 2 handcarts from 241 Headquarters Provost Company.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 241 Headquarters Provost Company.
    11 men and 2 handcarts from 241 Headquarters Provost Company.

    101 Beach Sub Area Signals.
    101 Beach Group established a command post in the dunes in the centre of the beach, at the junction of Queen White and Queen Red. The signals section provided communications to Division HQ which was still afloat at this time.
    4 men with 2 handcarts WT from Headquarters 101 Beach Sub Area Signals. With Command Post No22 Wireless set for Divisional ‘A’ wave.








    Queen Red.
    Five LCTIV arrive.

    3 Division Units.
    13/18 Hussars.
    A small group from regimental headquarters for whom space could not be found on the craft headed for Queen White. They were to land at the extreme right and thus be adjacent to Queen White. It may be that these vehicles were found space on the extra craft allocated later.
    4 Stuart Light Tanks with 16 crew.
    1 Carrier Universal with 4 crew.
    2 M14 Halftrack with 11 crew.

    2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    The numbers of vehicles and personnel for 2 East Yorkshire Regiment as shown on the March Landing table are identical to those shown above for 1 South Lancashire Regiment. It is assumed that the details are identical but there may be minor variations.
    Serial 218 is an LCT4 carrying
    1 Carrier Universal towing 6pdr AT gun with 7 crew from AT Platoon. Includes Fitter MV and Fitter, Gun.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Platoon Second in Command.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘C’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Battalion Headquarters. Regimental Police Serjeant.
    1 M14 Halftrack with 2 crew from ‘J’ Section (8 Brigade), Divisional Signals.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from ‘B’ Bombardment Troop. Forward Officer Bombardment.

    Serial 219 is an LCT4 carrying
    2 Carrier Universal towing 2 6pdr AT guns with 10 crew from AT Platoon. Includes Fitter MV and Fitter, Gun.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Despatch Rider.
    1 Carrier Mortar with 4 crew from Mortar Platoon Command.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from Battalion Headquarters.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘D’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Battalion Headquarters. Intelligence Serjeant.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Pioneer Platoon. Pioneer Serjeant.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. For Contact Detachment.


    Serial 220 is an LCT4 carrying
    2 Carrier Universal towing 2 6pdr AT guns with 10 crew from AT Platoon.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘A’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from Signal Platoon. Despatch Rider.

    Serial 221 is an LCT4 carrying
    1 Carrier Universal towing 6pdr AT gun with 5 crew from AT Platoon.
    1 Motorcycle with 1 crew from AT Platoon Command. Platoon Commander.
    2 Carrier Mortar with 10 crew from Mortar Platoon.
    1 Carrier Universal with 2 crew from ‘B’ Company. Company Command. Carries Company Clerk.
    1 Motorcycle from Signal Platoon

    1 M14 Halftrack with 2 crew from ‘J’Section (8 Brigade), Divisional Signals. Attached to 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.

    2 Middlesex Regiment MMG.
    One platoon in support of 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    4 Carrier Universal with 28 crew from ‘A’ Company.

    67 AT Battery RA.
    One troop landed in support of 2 East Yorkshire Regiment.
    4 M10 (3”) SP AT with 20 crew.
    2 Carrier Universal with 8 crew.

    76 Field Regiment RA.
    1 Sherman V with two crew from 76 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 76 Field Regiment. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle with 2 crew from ‘F’ Section (76 Field Regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on above tank.

    33 Field Regiment RA.
    6 men from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Reconnaissance party.

    1 Sherman V with 2 crew from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Commanding Officer.
    2 Motorcycles from 33 Field Regiment SP RA. Carried on above tank.
    1 Motorcycle from ‘G’ Section (33 Field regiment RA), Divisional Signals. Carried on tank above.
    5 men from ‘G’ Section (33 Field Regiment), Divisional Signals.

    Note: Sherman V OP tanks will be on shore for the use of their Commanding Officers when they land from Headquarters Ships.

    246 Field Company RE.
    3 Platoon.
    1 M14 Halftrack platoon commander, sapper, 2 X driver operator, driver.
    1 Carrier Universal lance serjeant, sapper, despatch rider, driver. Carries Lightweight motorcycle and reconnaissance stores.
    1 Carrier Universal platoon serjeant, sapper, despatch rider, driver. Carries Lightweight motorcycle and reconnaissance stores.
    1 D7 Armoured Angledozer.
    4 men.

    8 Brigade Headquarters.
    The following were landed so as to be ready to join 8 Brigade Headquarters and the Brigadier commanding when they landed from HQ ship LSH(S) Goathland, A Hunt Class destroyer..
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Air Support Signals Unit tentacle. For Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 M3A1 White 15cwt 4 X 4 with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment No 3.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment No 3.

    3 Division Provost Company.
    4 Motorcycles with 4 crew. Attached to 8 Brigade. Carried on tanks of other units.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 241 Company Headquarters.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew. Attached to 185 Brigade.
    4 Motorcycle with 4 crew. Attached to 185 Brigade. Carried in M14 and on M10s of other units.

    3 Reconnaissance Regiment.
    Most Traffic Control personnel are already ashore but one more team lands now.
    3 men. Traffic control at exits.

    1 Special Service Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew from Headquarters.
    1 Jeep with 1 crew from 1 Special Service Brigade Signal Troop.



    Beach Group Units.

    5 Kings Regiment.
    1 Amphibious Jeep with 1 crew from ‘C’ Company. Beach Control.
    4 men with a handcart and a bicycle from ‘C’ Company. Beach Control.

    1 M14 Halftrack with 1 crew from 84 Field Company RE. Rover for Commander 5 Beach Group (Commanding Officer, 5 Kings Regiment).
    2 men from 101 Beach Sub Area Signals. Carried in M14 above. Divisional A and B sets.

    84 Field Company RE
    By this time the Breaching Teams should have made exits from the beaches. Now teams of engineers and pioneers landed to improve the exits. Four Exit Teams landed on Queen White, all identical.
    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps
    1 3ton winch (Karrier) with 2 crew from 84 Field Company RE

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps
    1 3ton winch (Karrier) with 2 crew from 84 Field Company RE

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps
    1 3ton winch (Karrier) with 2 crew from 84 Field Company RE

    1 Angledozer Class III, Armoured D6 and with 3 crew from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE.
    1 Jahn 8 ton Trailer from 50 Mechanical Equipment Section RE. Carried trackway material. This was not to exceed 22’ 6” by 8’.
    6 men with a handcart from 84 Field Company RE.
    7 men from 53 Company Pioneer Corps
    1 3ton winch (Karrier) with 2 crew from 84 Field Company RE


    73 LAA Regiment RA
    In order to get some LAA protection ashore as early as possible 73 LAA Regiment landed four teams each of one Crusader 40mm SP towing a 40mm on a normal carriage. It was not intended that they should travel far but take position on the edge of the dunes.
    2 men from 218 Battery. Reconnaissance Party. Battery Command. To proceed to White Beach.
    3 Crusader 40mm SP LAA with 15 crew from 218 Battery.
    3 40mm LAA gun with 29 crew from 218 Battery.
    1 Jeep with 4 crew from 218 Battery.

    1 Jeep with 4 crew from 322 Battery. Reconnaissance Party.

    20 Beach Recovery Section.
    1 Sherman BARV with 4 crew.
    1 Scammell BD Tractor with 3 crew.
    1 Tractor Crawler Class I D8 with 3 crew.
    1 Sherman III ARV with 4 crew.

    ‘F’ RN Beach Commando.
    5 men.

    13 Beach Signals Section.
    6 men with 2 handcarts.
    6 men and 2 handcarts.
     
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  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    'C' Squadron, 13 18 Hussars.

    Near Shore Photos.
    1. Preparing in the concentration area.
    2. While listening to the band.
    3. A serjeant.
    4, 5 and 6. At Gosport.
    7. Loading. 3 June.

    Note: Pictures 1,2 and 3 seem to have changed places with pictures 4,5 and 6.
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    'C' Squadron, 13/18 Hussars.

    The Far Side.
    1. Hermanville War Memorial.
    2 and 3. Transit area, Hermanville.
    4. Moving inland.
    5 and 6. Chaplain in action.
    7. D+4.

    8 War Memorial Hermanville.jpg 9 Transit Area.jpg 10 Transit Area 2.jpg 11 Moving inland.jpg 12 Chaplain.jpg 13 Chaplain 2.jpg 14 D+4.jpg
     
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  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH
    H+60 MINUTES.

    1 Suffolk Regiment.
    1 Suffolk Regiment was the reserve battalion of 8 Brigade and personnel landed in a single wave from LCAs and LCI(L)s. Vehicles would land later.

    The Unit Landing Officer and his team landed at H+20 minutes and carried out a reconnaissance and was then ready to meet and organise the battalion on landing.

    Queen White.
    Serial 228 was an LCI(L) fitted as Stand By Headquarters Ship.
    Major, Second in Command
    Adjutant
    2 Batmen
    3 men from Intelligence Section
    Regimental Serjeant Major
    regimental policeman
    Medical Officer and orderly
    4 stretcher bearer
    Padre, from Headquarters 8 Brigade
    Company Serjeant Major, Headquarters Company
    6 signallers
    Commander Support Company
    Company Serjeant Major from Support Company
    clerk from Support Company
    2 orderlies from Support Company
    6 pioneers. Mine Clearing Team
    2 men from ‘J’ Section Division Signals
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact Detachment.

    Serial 229 is an LCI(L)
    19 men from ‘A’ Company. Left Out of Battle.
    19 men from ‘B’ Company. Left Out of Battle.
    19 men from ‘C’ Company. Left out of Battle.
    19 men from ‘D’ Company. Left out of Battle.
    6 men from Mortar Platoon. Reconnaissance Party.
    2 men from Carrier Platoon. Reconnaissance Party.
    6 men from Anti Tank Platoon. Reconnaissance Party.
    2 Sanitary Dutymen.

    Serial 231 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    8 men from Headquarters ‘B’ Company.
    1 man with No 46 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 Stretcher Bearer.
    2 men from 10 Platoon.
    1 man from 11 Platoon
    1 man from 12 Platoon
    1 man from Intelligence Section
    5 pioneers. Demolition Team.

    Serial 232 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    28 men from 10 Platoon, ‘B’ Company.
    2 men with No18 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 233 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    29 men from No11 Platoon, ‘B’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.

    Serial 234 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    29 men from No12 Platoon, ‘B’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.


    Serial 235 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    8 men from Headquarters ‘D’ Company.
    1 man with No 46 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 Stretcher Bearer.
    2 men from 17 Platoon
    10 men from 8 Field Ambulance. ½ Light Section

    Serial 236 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    28 men from 17 Platoon, ‘D’ Company.
    2 men with No18 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 237 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    30 men from No16 Platoon, ‘D’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.

    Serial 238 is an LCA from LSI(L) 72 Empire Battleaxe.
    30 men from No18 Platoon, ‘B’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.

    Serial 239 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    8 men from Headquarters ‘A’ Company.
    1 man with No 46 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 Stretcher Bearer.
    2 men from 7 Platoon.
    1 man from 8 Platoon
    1 man from 9 Platoon
    1 man from Intelligence Section
    5 pioneers. Demolition Team.
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment RA. Forward Observation Officer’s team


    Serial 240 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    28 men from 7 Platoon, ‘A’ Company.
    2 men with No18 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 241 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    29 men from No 8 Platoon, ‘A’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.


    Serial 242 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    Commanding Officer
    Intelligence Officer
    Signals Officer
    2 batmen
    1 man from Intelligence Section
    6 men from Signal Platoon
    Anti Tank Platoon Commander
    Mortar Platoon Commander
    1 man from ‘J’ Section Divisional Signals
    4 men from 76 Field Regiment RA. Battery Commander
    2 men ‘A’ Company, 2 Middlesex Regiment. MMG Platoon Commander.
    2 men from 246 Field Company RE. Platoon Commander.

    Serial 243 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    29 men from No 9 Platoon, ‘A’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.

    Serial 244 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    Pioneer Platoon Commander and batman
    3 men from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Forward Observation Bombardment party
    22 men from Headquarters 8 Brigade and attached personnel.

    Serial 245 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    8 men from Headquarters ‘C’ Company.
    1 man with No 46 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 Stretcher Bearer.
    2 men from 13 Platoon
    1 man from Intelligence Section
    4 men from 33 Field Regiment RA. Forward Observation Officer’s team
    8 men from 8 Field Ambulance. ½ Light Section

    Serial 246 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    28 men from 13 Platoon, ‘C’ Company.
    2 men with No18 Wireless set from Signal Platoon
    2 stretcher bearers.

    Serial 247 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    29 men from No 14 Platoon, ‘C’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.

    Serial 248 is an LCA from LSI(L) 73 Empire Broadsword.
    29 men from No 15 Platoon, ‘C’ Company
    3 men from 246 Field Company RE. ½ Mine Clearing Team.


    The whole battalion of 1 Suffolk Regiment landed from a single flight of 25 LCAs at 0825 hours. Also landing on this flight were the stand by brigade headquarters and the ‘left out of battle’ personnel. The battalion quickly formed up and to an assembly position in the woods north east of Hermanville, arriving at 0930 hours. A right flank guard was sent to cover the advance to Colleville. One company was sent to clear the village. This was quickly done as it had already been partially cleared by Commandos. At around 1200 hours the battalion launched an attack on the ‘Morris’ strongpoint, supported by ‘C’ Squadron of 13/18 Hussars. This position had been heavily bombed from the air and was soon captured.

    The battalion then moved to attack ‘Hillman’ strongpoint. This was a large area some 600 yards by 400 yards. Involved in this action were:
    ‘A’ Company, 1 Suffolk Regiment.
    One platoon from ‘B’ Company, 1 Suffolk Regiment
    Three mine clearing teams from 246 Field Company RE
    ‘C’ Squadron 13/18 Hussars
    Two Field Batteries RA.
    The mine clearance teams made a track through the minefields and then ‘A’ Company passed through. They met heavy fire and suffered heavy casualties. The attack stalled. Another attack was planned using the entire battalion and with the additional support of a squadron of the Staffordshire Yeomanry. The mine clearing teams made a wider gap for the tanks and then tanks and infantry moved in. By about 2000 hours most of the area was cleared and about 2100 hours the battalion reorganised around Colleville and dug in.

    The delay in clearing ‘Hillman’ caused delays in the advance of 185 Brigade which suffered severe casualties when trying to pass on its was forward.

    3 Reconnaissance Regiment.
    3 men. Contact Detachment No 6. Landing with HQ 1 Suffolk Regiment.

    246 Field Company.
    Nos 2 and 3 Platoons each provided one Mine Clearance Team at battalion headquarters.
     
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  20. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    SWORD BEACH

    8 Brigade Headquarters.
    Headquarters were complicated in the first hours of the landings. Each Brigade had a headquarters on a destroyer plus a Stand By Headquarters on a Motor Launch. Stand By Headquarters were to stand by in case the main headquarters was hit, sunk or delayed, and as an advanced headquarters. If there were no emergencies the stand by headquarters would land and set up a headquarters ashore. The main headquarters could then follow. In all cases the commander could land when he saw fit, with or without his headquarters. He would remain in radio contact.

    Each brigade headquarters ship had the following wireless links.
    - Divisional ‘A’ wave. For communications with Divisional Headquarters.
    - Commander Royal Artillery Wave.
    - To supporting RA Field Regiment.
    - Brigade ‘A’ Wave. Using No 22 sets.
    - Brigade ‘B’ Wave using 46 sets.

    The Stand By Headquarters landed from the Stand By Headquarters ship with 1 Suffolk Regiment at H+60 minutes. This headquarters was under the command of the Brigade Major and also contained the Second in Command of ‘J’ Section, Division Signals (8 Brigade Signal Section), a liaison officer, intelligence serjeant and three intelligence personnel, plus clerks, batmen and personnel from brigade signals and the defence platoon. As no vehicles were landed at this time all wireless sets were carried by hand. The planned site for the Brigade Headquarters was still in enemy hands so the Brigade Major established a headquarters in a ditch half way between the beach and Hermanville. Using the wireless sets carried by personnel of ‘J’ Section, Divisional Signals, contact with the Brigadier was maintained at all times. A shell hit the headquarters shortly after its arrival and wounded two officers and killed most of the intelligence personnel.

    Landing by LCA from LSI(L) Broadsword.
    Stand by Brigade Headquarters.
    7 men from Brigade Headquarters. Second in Command and party.
    6 men from Headquarters Defence Platoon.
    7 men from ‘J’ Section, 3 Division Signals.

    Should the Brigadier become a casualty the Commanding Officer, 1 Suffolk Regiment would assume command.

    Once the alternative headquarters was established ashore the Brigadier and Main Headquarters came ashore. They landed just after H+120 and the two headquarters quickly joined up.

    Landing from the Hunt Class destroyer Goathland acting as Brigade Headquarters Ship at the discretion of the Brigade Commander. This ship was modified to accommodate staff and signals and the Brigade Headquarters operated from it until landing.
    Serial 222 was LSH(S) Goathland carrying
    6 men. Includes the Brigadier and party.
    6 men from ‘J’ Section, 3 Division Signals.
    2 men from 76 Field Regiment SP RA.
    2 men from ‘F’ Section (76 Field Regiment RA), Divisional Signals.
    3 men from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact Detachment for 8 Brigade.
    Note: Personnel will be landed under RN arrangements in Despatch Boats No 518 and 519 (Fairmile B Motor Launches). The final approach and landing was by LCP.

    Vehicles should be already ashore. The following were landed by LCT at H+45 minutes.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from Air Support Signals Unit tentacle. For Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 M3A1 White 15cwt 4 X 4 with 2 crew from ‘A’ Bombardment Troop. Attached to Headquarters 8 Brigade.
    1 Jeep with 2 crew from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment No 3.
    3 men from 3 Reconnaissance Regiment. Contact detachment No 3.

    Rear Brigade Headquarters and the headquarters vehicles landed from LCTs at H+120 minutes, half on Queen White and half on Queen Red.

    At around 1530 hours brigade headquarters moved into a wood east of Hermanville and remained there until D+2.
     
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