Looking for reference MAP of account A-Coy 7 PARA D-Day

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by COMMANDO, Jun 19, 2022.

  1. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
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  2. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi.
    I’m sure no trace overlay still exists, but you’d be able to plot locations using the map GSGS number (I’m sure it’s mentioned which map sheet it is but can’t remember off hand)
    Is there anything in particular you’re after?

    Alex.
     
  3. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    No there was an attached map, possibly about a4 size as it was a very small area, the report doesnt mention mapreferences but areas were named/marked with A (the bridges), B is the 7th Bn RV , routes C and D, I can guess the routes but like to see it on a map, area E of the crossroads in Benouville , area F , area G....

    A map or overlay that was with the report would be nice
    .
     
  4. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Hi.
    Yes I meant the war diary would have grids to look up exactly where things happened.
    Obviously Nick marked these areas up post battle for the report, but you’d be very lucky to find any copy of it. Most war diaries that mention “see attached drawing” etc don’t have them anymore. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Mr Archdale and no such attachment was mentioned.

    Alex.
     
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  5. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Thank you Alex!

    From the account its clear that a part of A Coy took a different route into Benouville. With is different from all I have read. But it seems logic.
    Archdale wrote that 3 Platoon and Coy HQ moved along route D, the remainder along route C... I presume the main road

    This is different from the story of the CO who says the whole Coy moved behind each other into Benouville along the same road.
    Another point that is onclear is that Archer mentioned that when they encountered an motorcycle in area E (the crossroads in the centre of Benouville) that 3 Platoon made a left flanking attack... (but it seems ending up on the right flank of the Coy) so what move did 3 platoon make?
    What did realy happened? Did you discuse this with mr Archdale? Strangly no one does mention this in their book(s).
     
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

  7. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Thanks Alex but this is the account that is so different ....so who is right? Archdale wrote that they took 2 routes, while Taylor says they all stayed together. Taylor also does not mention the outflanking movement. Lt Hibbert doesnt mentioned it either...
    I presume Archdale was at the time he wrote the report in command of A Coy and must have asked others for information such as Lt Hunter what happened.
    In some parts Archers account is more detailed on jyst the parts Taylor doesnt seems to have a recollecion of.
     
  8. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Archd
    Archdale was the mortar platoon officer, he had no mortars and probably less than half the men. He was employed by the CO to get down to A Coy to see what was happening as they had no comms.
    Capt Webber took over A Coy after the OC was wounded.
    I don’t know when Nick completed that after action report, if you have Neil Barbers book that might offer some more info?
     
  9. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    No Neil Barbers book make no mention of Archdales report and find what he does write not very clear and just what is in the war diary. Not very detealed. I find also that what Neil wrote about 7 Para was not much more then we already knew. I had expected more from him.
     
  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    It's interesting that Lt. Hunter, CO 3 Platoon, doesn't mention the Lt. Bowyers/German motorcyclist incident which could be an indication his party followed a different route to south end of village.

    David Hunter's Recollections of D-Day | ParaData

    Regards ...
     
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  11. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Sergeant Eddy Gurney of 3 Platoon also doesnt mentioned the incident with the motorcycle. His first action is as they reached the gates of the chateau d Benouville...

    Lt Hunter does mentioned that they were moving down the road and then turned right... reaching the same area Gurney mentioned... so how did they get there....?

    I think that 3 Platoon (only half strong because the other plane dropped wide) and what was left of Coy HQ incl the medical detachment moved down Rue d Grand Close and by doing so knew that the area was free of German troops, leaving the team of Wagstaff at some point behind to set up an ADS as the RMO had not arrived.
    3 Platoon moving further towards the junction of Rue d Ecordieres en securing this point. Its a typical move as they secure/consolidate the crossing and also could catch up any Germans that were flushing out by 1 and 2 Platoons move... so when Hunter stated he turned right this was the turning in the Rue du Grand Clos.
    They must have arrived their before 1 Platoon had reached their position and by doing so didnt know of the incident with the motor cycle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022 at 9:12 AM
  12. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I’m fairly certain Bowyer was killed by the M/C actually hitting him. The rider was then shot and killed. That incident is mentioned in Neil’s book.

    it’s worth bearing in mind that Mr Archdale didn’t witness all the things he wrote, he obviously info gathered from what was left of A Coy after the battle had ended / paused.

    Alex.
     
  13. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    The mc incident took place on the Rue d 5 June.

    The dead of Lt Bowyer is also a point. Some say he was accidently shot by his runner when he was in the line of fire.

    When Archdale wrote the report he must have askes others to inform him what happened. I dont think that someone would just tell something to his CO that did not happened. I also believe that a report based on several statemenst is better then the account of just one men as his field of what he can see is limited.
    I think Archdales account is therefor for me as researcher of more value. Also an after action report is mostly better as then its more clear what have happened then at the moment of confusion...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022 at 10:12 AM
  14. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    A map to give an idea of the situation Benouville A-Coy.jpg
     
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  15. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    One last thing,
    The report (typed up “recently”) is signed off Captain. Nick, as far as I’m aware jumped on D Day as a Lt, he was “busted” with others on 13th August back to a Lt. So he must have been made a Temp Capt sometime between 6th June - 13th August, and the report is from that time.
    the next time he was a Captain was post war as the Battalion Adjutant.
     
  16. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Its signed by him on 12 november 1944 as Captain.
     
  17. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Didn’t spot the 12th Nov 44, but that doesn’t make much sense as he was still a Lt on Varsity the following year.
    The 7th were in barracks that date, I believe the Battalion photo was taken on or around that date.


     
  18. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    I dont have the fieldreturn list for officers of november 44 but most likely he was Lieutenant/temporarily (or acting) Captain
     
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  19. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I’ve managed to source a copy (of the original) of the trace with letters as mentioned by Mr Archdale. Ben at ParaData is adding it to the page on their website.
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    A big thank you!
     
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