7th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers – July 1944
53rd Infantry Division – Battle of Normandy
After Action Reports
7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers
From 1st July 1944 to 31th July 1944
Appendices No 1 to No 24
Location – Field
1st July – At 2330 hours on 30th June the CO held ‘O’ Group having previously recced a Battalion position in the front line in the Salient. We have now stabilised West of Caen. The Battalion moved up to the line after dark. We have taken over a sector from 10 HLI in 15th Scottish Division in a wood south of Mondrainville. The map ref of the woods is 922623. D Company cannot be incorporated in the position since HLI had sufficed considerable casualties and therefore their area was very confined. Battalion strength 38 Officers and 801 other Ranks.
2nd July – 0100 – Battalion arrived and took over from 10 HLI – quiet until Stand To informing the troops. Then there was considerable mortar fire and similar activity during the morning. At 1150 hours the CO gave order for two strong fighting patrols to be sent out. No. 1 Patrol under command of Major Menzies consisting of a platoon of A Company and one platoon of D Company, a Section of Mortars, Section of Carriers and a Section of Antitank guns. This force was later reinforced by the remainder of A Company. The Task was to see whether the village of Gaurus and Bougy were free of the enemy. At about 1245 hours, this patrol started out. At 1400 hours the CO joined the force. On marching to the outskirts of Gaurus after crossing the River Odon the patrol was fired upon by a number of German MG42 and by rifle fire. A pitched battle then ensured in which the patrol sent heavily off the enemy using anti-tank guns and mortars to great effect. Two casualties resulted on our side and unfortunately when the forces withdrew had to be left behind. At 1700 hours the CO had orders from the Brigade to withdraw the patrol. No. 2 Patrol under command of Major Wenninh consisting of one Platoon of C Company with one section of mortars, and with one section of Carriers went out at about the same time as No.1 Patrol with the object of seeing if Monceaux 9061 was clear of enemy. At 1450 hours the patrol had crossed a steam which lay in between ourselves and Monceaux and had encountered several German MGs and mortars. After considerable fighting in which we received three casualties (wounded) who were all evacuated, Major Wennink was ordered to avoid unnecessary casualties and eventually to withdraw which he did at 1630 ho0urs. So ended our first two actual engagements with the Huns. At 1830 hours orders were received by the Battalion to hand over the position to 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment and to return to Bretteville-L’Orgueillieuse. Mortaring had increased on this afternoon and two other ranks were killed – Corporal Ellis of C Coy and Fusilier Williams of the Pioneer Platoon. Between these casualties and including that of the Patrols the Bn had 16 wounded during that day up to 01000 hours 3rd July. Battalion HQ was very heavily mortared at about 2200 hours and A Company whilst handing over their position at 0030 hours 3rd July suffered 6 wounded through mortar fire.
3rd July – 0300 – Battalion arrived and went straight to bed. There was no Stand To. – turning at 1200 hours, 0900 hours CO and Recce Group out to recce a rear defensive area close to Rauray 896. O Group held at 200 hours and ordered issued for the morning.
4th July – 0300 – Battalion moved and occupied positions recced yesterday. We are the reserve Battalion and had counter attack tasks on to 4th and 6th Battalion areas to the West and North West. Day spent digging in and receiving counter-attack roles. Slight enemy mortaring, suffering us casualties. Battalion HQ at 897654.
5th July – Day spent digging in sitting positions. CO recced counter attack role in the morning, some enemy mortaring and shelling during the day – no casualties. Companies and Battalion re receiving plenty of practice in submitting to shellings and mortars, but enemy’s effort do not compare with the amount our gunners and mortar men are sending over. At 2300 hours Lieutenant Vance (a Canadian Officer from D Company) and Lieutenant BJ Howes (C Company) accomplished patrols of 6th and 4th Battalions respectively they returned in early hours of the morning of 6th July having been in the area of Brettevillette, they obtained useful information regarding ground but saw no Huns only hearing sounds.
6th July – Positions improved. Further recces for counter-attack roles carried out. Battalion was to have sent a patrol to Brettevillette at nightfall but this was cancelled since our arty was due to shell the village after dark. Hun shelling and mortaring – no casualties.
7th July – Quiet day, slight mortaring and shelling. CO inspected Battalion positions at 1730 hours and found layout most satisfactory a Hun attack on the Brigade position is expected during the weekend (today being Friday) – we are ready for him. Lieutenant DJP Edwards of C Company took out a first the Battalion night patrol at 2300 hours consisting of himself and Fusilier Legg (C Coy). The object of the patrol is to inspect certain areas in Brettevillette, the recce patrol had a covering party of one Sergeant (Sergeant Prince) and two Fusiliers. Lieutenant Edwards examined trenches, watched houses and an orchard but heard no movement and saw nobody. Bright moonlight provided a hindrance to movement but assisted observation. Returned 0420 hours. Orders for counter attack (Operation St David) issued.
8th July – 0900 – CO briefed Lieutenant Griffiths (A Company) and Lieutenant Richards (B Company) for tonight’s patrol. CO and Intelligence Officer attended coordinating conferences at Brigade at 1400 hours, this together with the CO Order Group at 1900 hours has become a daily occurrence since occupying this position. Much less mortaring and shelling during the day. 2330 hours a fighting patrol of two Officers mentioned above consisting of 13 other ranks left to examine a house and orchard in Brettvillette to capture a prisoner and to secure an identification.
9th July – 0315 – Patrol returned having found Brettvillette area empty apart for a small party of enemy who safely withdraw on being attacked. Enemy shelling and mortaring practically nil during the day. Enemy tried to draw fire of 6 RWF, (left hand forward Battalion in area Rauray 8865) at about 1000 hours by smoke and scattered fire.
10th July –1330 – CO received orders from Brigade Command for Battalion to vacate present position and to take over a further (?) but most important position on higher ground just south of Le Haut du Bosq 9066. Position to be taken over at night from 1st Bn Ox and Bucks. Recce groups proceeded to new positions at 1500 hours. CO group and orders at 1930 hours. Battalion strength on 8th July, 36 Officers and 799 Other Ranks. Night Patrol of one officer and his platoon from D Company left for Brettevillette at 2300 hours with object of capturing a prisoner. The patrol was run in connection with 4 RWF thus making up the strength to about a Company.
11th July – 0200 – Battalion all in our positions and digging is proceeding rapidly. AT 0500 hours the Night Patrol returned having not succeeded in its object, our platoon had examined the village and done the tasks set in it very well.
1800 – Representatives from 4 RWF arrived to take over from the Company positions before taking over on 13th.
12th July – Preparing to hand position over to 4 RWF and also visits to 4RWF present position prior to be take over. At 2230 hours the CO informed O Groups that change over was cancelled and that the whole Brigade was to be relieved. The possibilities that this cancellation opened up in the way of the Brigade being given an offensive role was greeted with great delight by all at O Group. Battalion received 9 loaves of bread (the first since landing in France) the loaves were distributed half a slice per man, to all men who had so far taken part in patrols! The Battalion lives on ‘Compo’ rations.
13th July – Day spent resting and preparing to move. At 1720 hours the transport left followed by marching troops, eventually arrived in the concentration area near to Norrey en Bessin 9270 after having been directed to a wrong area.
14th July – CO attended the Brigade O Group and had Battalion O Groups twice during the day. The Brigade is attached to the 15th Scottish Division (under command VII Corps) this Division is to establish a firm base from which 53rd Division is to advance as spearhead of the Corps. The line is to be seized by 44 Infantry Brigade from 120 king contour (9159) junction 1500 x South of Bougy (9160) and to large featured centred on Farm De Mondeville 9358 by 227 Infantry Brigade. Should 227 Infantry Brigade not succeed in pushing forward as far as this last objective, 158 Brigade with this Battalion forward will attack the feature. In any event this Brigade will take over the feature from 227 Infantry Brigade and hold it at all costs. Air photographs and special 1/25,000 maps with enemy positions already printed on them are issued to the Battalion and very carefully studied. The CO selected positions to be occupied from the aerial photographs.
15th July – 1000 – Battalion O Group attended briefing by Brigade Command on a sand model. A Company 6 RWF under Major E Hughes placed under command for the coming operation. Recce party to Assembly Area at 0830 hours. Transport reloaded, carrier platoon being used to initially to carry stores ammunition etc fore the Rifle Companies. Battalion strength 36 Officers 794 other tanks. Alll preparations made for move before dark.
16th July – 0020 – Marching troops left for Assembly Area East of Mondrainville 9364 arriving at 0230 hours. Spent morning after arrival of F Echelon transport resting. CO and IO attend Brigade Commanders Orders at 1400 hours. Battalion ordered to attack the Farm de Mondeville situated about 1200 yards across a tributary of the River Orne on the South side of the road Evrecy to Eterville. Recce Group carried out recce during after noon. C Company, 4 RWF under Major Cutcliffe and A Company 6 RWF commanded by Major Gresty placed in support for the attacks. CO’s final orders are given out at 2000 hours. 2130hours Companies started to move up to Battalion Start Line (about 3000 yards from the objective running approximately East and West through 935614). 2245 hours, IO and OC of HQ Company (Captain J Davies) commenced taking of Start Line.
2300 – Companies arrived on Start Line (which was in the Battalion area held by a Battalion of the Gordons) it was now profoundly dark and a heavy mist developed. This mist was to form a most serious drawback to the whole operation.
2330 – Companies crossed the Start Line. A Company right, B Company centre and A Company 6 RWF on the left. In reserve, C Company right, D Company Left. The Flank Protection Companies were C Company of 4RWF on the right of C Company 7th RWF, and C Company 4 RWF protected the flank of D Company 7 RWF. The first report line (CARDIFF) – the line of the Evrecy road was reached by all Companies and was reported. Command post of CO, IO, SO (UDC Jones) and Signallers with Intelligence personnel arrived on road at about 0045 hours.
17th July – Here it remained except for a slight move towards the stream and clear of the road where it was dug in for the rest of the operation. After Cardiff owning to the thickness of the mist, it was impossible for the Companies to tell what point in their advance they had reached. D and C Companies were known to have reached the stream (SWANSEA), A and B Companies location was uncertain. It transpired afterwards that platoons of both A and D Companies actually reached the main objective (the farm – STIRLING). Since Companies could not give the Command Post their locations and could not link up between themselves it was not possible to bring up Battalion Support weapons or to coordinate the consolidation. The CO had therefore to remain where he was and hope that the mist would clear at dawn. This however was not the case and at about 0700 hours the Brigade Command gave orders for the withdrawal of the Battalion. The position then appeared to be as follows; A Company had already withdrawn back to the Start Line, elements of B, C and D Company (less 18 Platoon) and A Company 6 RWF were on this line of the stream between 933594 and 937596. D and B Companies commenced withdrawal before first light to the line of Evrecy and close to the Command Post. A Company 6 RWF and C Company on receipt of the order converged by Sergeant Eglin of B Company commenced withdrawing at about 0800 hours and C Company 4 RWF who had been holding the right flank in the area of Calway at 933598 also commenced to withdraw. Command post also moved on to road covered by a composite party of B and D Companies and A Company 4 RWF under command of Lieutenant GE (D Company). At about this point the mist lifted and the withdrawing troops were exposed in this position to heavy mortar and machine gun fire. The CO called for smoke on the No. 19 set. Shortly after this the CO was badly wounded by mortar fire. All except stragglers of marching troops had by now go into cover of cornfields and dead ground beyond. All efforts at personnel remaining at the Command post were now directed to getting Colonel Williams safely back to our own lines. A stretcher was improvised and the party under command of the IO with SO and Lieutenant Jenkins around the remaining section moved off up the road. Further heavy mortar fire drove the party to ground once attain. The IO obtained further smoke from the gunners of the No. 19 set after which the stretcher party moved off under Lieutenant Jenkins. Lieutenant DC Jones was wounded in his leg on route. The party was rejoined by the IO and men after they had obtained further smoke and then destroyed the No.19 set. The CO and Lieutenant Jones eventually reached our lines after a long crawl through the corn and after further smoke had been laid by the gunners and by 77 grenades. Battalion HQ during the night moved up to the Evrecy road but then later on returned to the Start Line. The 2i/c and Adjutant were with this HQ and had another line to Brigadfe. The IO was slightly wounded and also evacuated in addition to the CO and SO. During the remaineder of the day the Battalion reorganised in the area of Tourmanuville 9362.
18th July – During the night, Battalion area was bombed and mortared, estimated casualties for yesterday’s battle: 98 Ors missing, 100 Ors wounded or killed. Major Menzies (CO B Company), Lieutenant (?) (B Coy) and Lieutenant Jorpout (D Company) are reported missing. Lieutenant Cowan (A Company) Killed. The last two named officers were Canadian Officers loaned to the Regiment . The Battalion took over from the Gordon’s area of Cavalary Hill approximately 942623 during the afternoon.
19th July – During last night, Lieutenant Griffith and a patrol from A Company recced enemy positions. Battalion position shelled and mortared heavily throughout the day. A fighting patrol of one platoon from B Company under command of Lieutenant Richards with one section of mortars and section of carriers went out towards Esquay but withdrew on being heavily mortared. Later in the day Lieutenant Griffiths (A Company) took out a fighting patrol of one platoon of A Company to winkle out an 88mm gun, this patrol was also heavily mortared and forced to withdraw.
20th July – During last night Lieutenant Vanes and an OR from D Company recced strength and exact location of enemy in approx 940608, this information was obtained but other useful intelligence was obtained. A special patrol consisting of Lieutenant D Edwards (C Company) and two snipers (Fusiliers Guiller and Lacey) left for the Farm de Monraville inside the enemy lines during the night. Object of the patrol being to remain at the farm for 48 hours to collect information on enemy movements. Fusilier Guiller returned during morning of 21st having lost contact with the other two but having obtained most useful information. Battalion reorganised during the day on the basis of three companies remaining, two platoons of D Company being split up amongst A, B and C Companies. Officers in command as follows: Major Wannink has command assumed duties of 2i/C, Major D Curtiss left Battalion owing to ill health, Captain P Lewis in command of A Company, Captain W Black commanding B Company, Captain Thomas commands C Company. Major JEM Dugdale was awaiting the reforming of D Company.
21st July – Battalion mortared and shelled during day whilst the enemy launched attack on Battalion lest of our position.
22nd July – During last night Lieutenant Vanes took out a fighting patrol of himself and 4 men from B Company supported by covering party of one NCO and five men. The object was to capture a prisoner. The patrol was unsuccessful as there were no enemy. Captain LE Evans (formally 8 RWF) and 51 Ors from 8th and 13th Battalions joined the Battalion as reinforcements. Captain Evans is to assume command of Mortar Platoon. Battalion strength – 28 Officers, 581 other ranks (excluding reinforcements received today).
23rd July – Slight mortaring and shelling of position during the day.
2115- – 4th Bn Welch Regiment of 160 Brigade carried out a most successful raid on the crossroads at Le Bon Repos on this Battalions front, this raid was to avenge loss of one Company of 5th Welch rearlier in the week. Lieutenant DJP Edwards and his sniper – Fusilier Lacey – have not returned. They are now 24 hours overdue. Orders are given out for hand over of position to 1st Ox and Bucks tomorrow morning the IO (Lieutenant CP Byland) returned to the Battalion from hospital on the 21st.
24th July – 0500 – 1 Ox and Bucks commenced take over from 6 RWF and this Battalion completed by 0730 hours. Brigade now in reserve, refitting, washing, cleaning up etc. Battalion position is just south of Colleville – Battaion HQ at 923647. The personnel who were under Lieutenant I ME (?) in England have no rejoined the Battalion. CO out to recce new area to be taken over by the Battalion at Eterville 9864.
25th July – Morning spent in recces by Company and Commands of our area. 6 RWF are at Maltot 9862 and 4 RWF at Chau de Fontaine 9763, this Battalion is to some extent the reserve Battalion. Marching troops left for new area at 1530 hours take over completed by 1830 hours, quiet day with no mortaring. Positions: Battalion HQ at 979644, A Company area of 982644, B Company area 986638, C Company area 983538.
26th July – Short bombing attack in Bol area at 2345 hours last night. The CO, IO with Major Saunders (460 Battery) and CO of 153 RAC recced Battalion counter-attack role on Maltot in morning, Company commanders carried out recce in the afternoon.
27th July – 0230 – Lt KT Williams with a sergeant and a Fusilier returned from recce patrol on which they left 2330 hours last nigh. The object of the patrol was to gain information about enemy activity in the area 982614. This patrol was successful and encountered an enemy working party at 983617 which was thought to be laying mines. A quiet day with little shelling or mortaring. B squadron, 53rd Recce Regiment took over C Company’s position in the afternoon and C Company are now in the area 987645.
28th July – 0400 – Lt Richards with the recce patrol of Fusiliers returned. They set out last night at 2330 hours to find out details of enemy covering positions in front of minefield discovered the previous night, no position was found. Major GFTB Dickson granted rank of Lt Col. Recce for counter attack carried out by platoon commanders. Operation instructions on counter attacks issued.
29th July – Lt Howes patrol consisting of an NCO and 8 Fusiliers returned. This patrol set out at 2330 hours last night with the object of locating and destroying an MG42 at 985615, the MG was located but patrol encountered a platoon of Huns. Therefore Lt Howes decided with withdraw, having it is believed killed two Hun sentries with a grenade. Captured enemy 15 cm infantry gun and two 7.5 cm infantry guns found in battalion area fixed during the day by Major Saunders of 460 Battery (our support Battery) – were then fired at the enemy. Captain LIC Thomas and Captain WH Black promoted to the rank of Major. Battalion strength 27 Officers and 609 Other Ranks.
30th July – 0500 – Lt Jenkins recce patrol consisting of himself and two Fusiliers returned recced a second route to the MG discovered last night.
31st July – 0450 – Recce patrol of two Ors under command of Lieutenant Griffiths having searched for enemy positions North of Feuguerolles-sur-Orne 9961, a certain number of posts were located but not pinpointed.
0500 – Lt Parry’s patrol of himself and 8 ORs returned. The object of this fighting patrol was to get a prisoner or identifications from the MG post recced previously by Lt Howes and Griffiths.. No enemy were seen, bright moonlight hindered both patrols.
1445-1630 – Mortar platoon fired some 230 bombs on to located enemy platoon position, producing most satisfactory results. Since the 28th the Battalion has been supplying a Company nightly to thickening up the 6 RWF defenses in Maltot (9862). This Company has been in position at Stand To in the evening and has returned to its own area at Stand Down in the morning. C Company carried out this durty until last night when B Company took over. In the Battalion area C company has taken over B Company’s position and vice versa. The Battalion today received 2 Officers and 107 Ors as reinforcements from 5th Battalion The Kings Regiment. A completed platoon has been allocated to each Rifle Company, A, B and C Companies.
So ends the most eventful month in the history of the Battalion during the present War – at least so far.
Field, 1st August 1944
Appendix No. 1
To: OC C Coy, OC Carrier, OC Mortars, OC AMR FOO
All supporting arms have reported o No move left before 1200 hours. Patrol command will take his Company’s wireless set and operators. Reports are required as follos. Bound 1 crsossroads 913626. Codeword Marmalade. Bound 2. Steam crossing 905620. Codeword Jam. Bound 3 Monceaux. Codeword Honey. FOO will also accompany the patrol.
Appendix No. 2
To: OC C Coy, OC Carrier R, OC Mortar Pl
Enemy believed to be retiring from high ground in front. Intensions to clear ford route for armoured thrust. OC C Company will send out a fighting patrol of platoon strength ot find whether Monceaux 9061 is clear of the enemy. If this proves to be so Monceaux will be held until further orders from this HQ. OC Patrol will have one section carriers and one section mortars under Command. OC C Company will report to this HQ.
Appendix No. 3
Patrol Report on Enemy Positions at Brettevillette
Map 37/16 SE
Type of Patrol: Recce SP: 885655
Patrol Command: Lt DJP Edwards Time Out: 2350
Strength:1 Officer + 5 ORS Time In: 0400
Object: To find 1. Whether trenches at 884645 are occupied. 2. Any signs of occupation of houses at 883644. 3. Any enemy activity in orchard at 881644.
Answer to Object: No enemy seen or heard in any of the above.
Route: From SP south through fields leading to houses at 883644.
Visibility & Weather: Visibility good, very bright moonlight.
Narrative: Patrol moved out from 4 RWF at 2350 and dropped covering party at 88276491. Patrol commander and one man then moved in bright moonlight ot a point near the hedgerow junction at 882164449. Here he climed a tree and looked down into a series of slit trenches to his right rear at 883645. These consisted of 11 or 12 slits loosely arranged in 3 row over about 30 yards. They were unoccupied. The buildings showed no sign of life. There was no sound from the Orchard at 881644. At 0345 the Patrol Commander left the position having heard and seen no enemy. The covering party was still in position.
Interest: Sergeant i/c covering party reported hearing metallic clicks to his right front but this is not corroborated by the Patrol Commander.
Time: 0530 Hours
Signed DJP Edwards Lt – Patrol Commander
CP Dryland – Unit Patrol Master
Appendix No. 4
Operation ‘St David’
7th July 1944
Maps:– Present area
1. Enemy – As obtaining at the time.
2. Own tps – 4 and 6 Bns in present positions
Under comd 7 Bn
2 tps M10s (8 guns)
1 tps 17 pdrs (4 Guns)
In support 7 Bn
1 Pl MMG (4 guns)
B Sqn CLY (19 Shermans organised in 4 tps of 4 tanks
each and Sqn HQ)
3. 7 Bn will recapture the Rauray feature.
4. General Plan
A and D Coys – assault (from North to South) sp by tanks
C Coy – follow up
B Coy and Carrier Pl – reserve
The operation will be carried out in 4 phases
Phase I – Concentration
Phase II – Forming up
Phase III – Assualt
Phase IV – Reorganisation
6. Codeword Red Dragon
7. Action on Codeword
a) Codeword sent out to the following
All Rifle Coys
FOO 460 Bty RA
B Sqn Tanks
Tp 17 prs
b) A Coy concentrates in area 896664
c) D Coy concentrates pls and trickles them fwd to FUP. Coy takes up posn of all round defence until arrival of A Coy.
d) Fwd Fire Controller 3” Mort Pl reports with 38 set to A and D Coys.
e) Carrier Pl moves up to res sec to area 893655.
f) Tank LO reports with Scout car
g) 1 sec 17 prs gets on wheels
h) OC 114 A.Tk Bty RA reports Bn HQ
i) Comd Post (CO’s carrier, Tank LO, FOO 460 Bty, OC 144 A.Tk Bty RA) moves to area 896664.
j) B Sqn Tanks forms up.
8. Codeword Tudor
9. Action on Codeword
a) [HQ] Coy and Comd Post move to FUP
b) Mortar Pl prepares to smoke from 8846577 to 88336601. This will be on call from Bn HQ.
c) RA prepares to fire Tudor smoke screen (if required by tanks) from 88716576 to 89296591 to cover move to FUP. HE superimposed.
d) Tanks protect move of rifle coys to FUP.
e) Res coys fwd bns requested to give all possible assistance in covering this move.
f) Carrier Pl acts according to instructions already issued.
10. Forming Up
a) Rifle Coys form up in rear of SL already selected – A Coy right, D Coy left.
b) All terminals report ‘Tudor Ready’ when ready to carry out Phase III
c) A Coy responsible for safeguarding approach to FUP from Tessel-Bretteville direction.
d) Tanks take up posn to cover Phase III.
e) MMG 8 Pl protects move to FUP from present position. 7 Ok prevents enemy reinforcements moving from Bretteville and Quedeville from area 895655.
11. Codeword St David
a) Objectives As pointed out on ground
b) Formation 2 Pls up
2 Secs up
Right Pl A Coy moves along copses and hedgerow at 887662 and 888658
c) Bounds 1st – Road Le Haut Du Bosq-Hessel-Bretteville
2nd – Objectives
a)Rate of Advance 100 yds in 2 mins
b)Arty i) smoke screen from H to H+20 on line from 88396576 to 88826554. HE superimposed.
ii) Concentrations ‘Mustard’
Regtl HE concentration on Rauray NW from 88486545 to 88826552.
Regtl HE conc on Rauray E 88936555. This only if no own tps holding out in this area.
Bty HE conc on Trenches 89006549 to 89206551.
All above concs only at call from Bn HQ.
iii) Concentrations ‘Pepper’
88286536 to 88706496 (At Call)
88706596 to 89246497 (At Call)
89246497 to 89726500 (At Call)
89206548 to 89706555 (At Call)
iv) Concentrations ‘Salt
87836508 to 88046464 (At Call)
88006541 to 88476442 (At Call)
88436429 to 88936414 (At Call)
c)MMG a) 8 Pl area 894663
Task – Neutralise enemy posts on North edge of Rauray and destroy enemy inf accompanying tanks. When fire of this Pl is masked one sec will move to area St Nicholas TE 883672 and neutralise exits from Brettevillette.
7 Pl As for Phase II
d)6 prs Remain in action in present posns until ordered to move fwd in Phase IV
e)17 prs One sec [remain] in area 895658 firing S.
One sec in area edge of wood about 89464 and 894662
f)M10s Continue to protect left flank of attack
g)B & C Coys, Carrier Pl Give all possible support to attack of A and D Coys as already ordered.
h)C & D Coys 4 Bn Requested to give all possible support.
One tp Fireflies support from area 894662
i)Tanks One tp Fireflies support from area 894662
2 tps move with attack on left of D Coy
1 tp moves with attack on right of A Coy
13. [C?] Coy will move up to pre-selected posns in the areas 887654, 888654, 887656,
14. B Coy remains present posn to protect left flank.
15. Carrier Pl Will be prepared to move to any threatened flank on orders Bn HQ
16. M.10s a) 1 sec to area 887654
1 sec to area 887655
1 sec to area 883659
b) and c) to be prepared to move to area 2nd RA of Rauray
if situation demands.
17. 17 prs Remain present posn.
18. 6 prs Move to pre-selected posns on orders Bn HQ
a) All arm additional to Bn reserve to be dumped now in Coy areas
b) Coy carriers to be loaded according to Bn scales for consolidation
QM will liase with SC and arrange to dump compo packs, 24 hrs rations (if procurable) in the Bn area. This will be redistributed, if necessary, on orders from Bn HQ.
RE is endeavouring to procure canvas water tank. OC HQ will recce a suitable place for erection of this when it arrives.
Remains present location
18 sets to CO’s carrier, 2IC, A, B, C, D Coys, Carrier Pl, A.Tk Pl, Mortar Pl.
24. Com with Sp Arms
M10s: Carrier moving with Comd Post
17 prs:18 set
MMG: 18 set
Tanks LO moving with Comd Post
RA: FOO moving with Comd Post
25. Bn HQ
a) Main HQ remains in present location
b) Comd Post moves with attacking Coy and establishes itself in area 888657
26. Success Signal
Rt Coy – 2 greens confirmed by R/T
Left Coy – 2 reds confirmed by R/T
THIS DOCUMENT WILL ON NO ACCOUNT BE TAKEN FORWARD INTO THE ATTACK AND MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FALL INTO ENEMY HANDS.
AHW/JWP Williams, Lt Col Comd
Appendix No 5
Fighting Patrol to Brettevillette
Appendix I to Append A to 158 (RW) Inf Bde
Map: 37/16 SE
Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 885654
Patrol Command: Lt AL Richards Time Out: 2330
Strength: 2 Officers: 13 ORS Time In: 0315
Object: To capture a prisoner and secure an identification
Answer to Object: No enemy seen met.
Route: Track 885654 – Hedgerow + track 881644 – Crossroads 882643.
Visibility & Weather: Cloudy at first: Moon later
Narrative: Patrol moved to hedgerow 88286526 when recce element heard movement in hedgerow to right. Fighting party made immediate attack but intruders got away under thick hedge shadow, probably in SW direction. Immediate area searched with no result. Estimated this party possibly 2 bt no more than 3.
Patrol continued to 88036367 when sound of digging from outpost position 4 RWF clearly heard. Patrol commander decided to wait to see whether this would draw out enemy patrol to investigate. Nothing happened and patrol again moved on to 88106446. Here staccato shouts and spandau fire were heard from high ground to right rear but owing to arty and mortar fire, exact location could not be ascertained. Probable area thought to be 875645.
Recce element then made complete circuit of orchard to houses at 88146437. No enemy was seen or heard and patrol returned, passing through standing patrol of 4 RWF at 882648.
Interest: At 88296526, on return journey at 15-20 feet length of trip wire was found running from a slight trench to a gate post. This was definitely not here on the outward journey but it may have been put down by the outpost platoon of 4 RWF. This has not yet been verified.
Date: 9/7/44 Signed AL Richards Lt, Patrol Comd
Time: 0525 hrs Signed CP Dryland Lt, Unit Patrol Master
Appendix No. 7
Patrol Report on Fighting Patrol
Date: 10/11 July 1944
Unit: 4 RWF
Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 884656
Patrol Command: Major KLL Ellis Time Out: 2330
Strength:3 Officer + 40 Time In: 0500
Object: To capture/kill enemy in Orchards West of Brettevillette
Answer to Object:
Route: 884656 – 885653 – Orchards. Return direct
Visibility & Weather: Clear and fine
Narrative: About 2400 hours I passed through B Company lines and the platoon of 7 RWF under Lieutenant Jenkins moved off as ordered to secure a firm base in the village and to the right of Brettevillette. 0010 hours Lieutenant Saunders platoon and patrol HQ moved out. Company HQ behind the second section. When in the area of hedgerow 885653 Patrol HQ was shot up by a machine carbine. 2 men injured but fire was returned immediately and the rear section of Lieutenant Saunders platoon broke through the hedge. Owning to the time taken to breakthrough the hedge, which was extremely thick, no enemy could be seen. A search was made of the area but no enemy dead or injured had been left. The two casualties were send back and we re-formed and continued south down track. On arrival in hedgerow junction 884648, Company HQ were accurately mortared and made to disperse. 2 further casualties were suffered. Again we re-formed and pushed across country to contact Lieutenant Jenkins. But I was unable to contact him so I sent a small recce parry of to see if his platoon was in the village. At this stage my wireless was not working. The party came back and reported movement in Brettevillette but they were unable to say if it was enemy or friendly.
I was going forward with my CSM when I met Lieutenant Jenkins coming up the ride. It was now about 0400 and the enemy was again mortaring us in this position, 2 more men were injured.
Lieutenant Jenkins informed me that he had thoroughly searched the village and had made contact with my other two sections both whom had done their allocated tasks i.e. searching houses 8846644. He also informed me that there was not sufficient cover in the village to hide the patrol.
As it was getting light and we were obviously under enemy observation, I gave orders for a tactical withdrawal of the patrol, back to the Bn lines.
The skirmish during the early stages and the mortaring had inferred to such an extent that it would have been impossible to get the patrol hidden up with the short time available.
Special Points of Interest
2 Houses 885 644 which were reported to contain enemy were infact clear.
(6 casualties – all bought back)
Date 11 July 1944 signed KLI Ellis i/c Patrol
Time: 0645 hours K Saunders, Capt, Unit Patrol Master, IO
Appendix No 11
Codewords allotted for Op Greenline
THIS CANCELLS ANY PREVIOUS NAMES LIST
Note: Serials are given in order from North to South
Chau de Fontaine 9763
pt 112 959616
Le Bon Repos 946615
pt 113 9360
120 ring contour 9159-9260
Ferme Dalbray 915599
rd Landes 8756 – Evrecy – Etteville 9864
Ferme de Mondeville
Chau de Champ Goubert 925580
X Roads 9457
St Honorine du Fay
Dist Os C Coy (less SP)
Int Clerk (Cpl Coe)
Patrol Report on Recce Patrol
Date 26/27 July 1944
Type of Patrol: Recce SP: 986640
Patrol Command: Lt KT Williams Time Out: 2330
Strength:1 Officer, 1 Sergeant, 1 Fusilier Time In: 0230
Object: To gain information of enemy activity in area 982614
Answer to Object: Enemy working party encountered area 983617
Route: SP – Cross-tracks 988638 – track and hedge junction 987631 – hedge and road junction 984627 – track junction 986621 – West along track and then South to about 984618
Visibility & Weather: Fine and cloudy.
Visibility about 15 yards.
Patrol past through Maltot and reached track junction 986621 before hearing anything. At this point sounds were heard from area 986616. It seemed to the patrol as if a wooden stake was being driven into the ground. Patrol then proceeded SW across a corn field to area 984618. Four or five voices were distinctly heard about 200 yards infornt and a larger party of enemy was apparently told to make less noise as from then on they were much quieter. The patrol continued to hear metallic clinc’s which were thought to be handling of crates and mines. The patrol heard no signs of digging.
Special points of interest:
Atk of half track vehicle was heard moving in rear of enemy party about 981613.
A German gun – equivalent – fired a few rounds towards Maltot from direction 988606. It was subsequently engaged by our own guns but continued firing.
Date: 27 July Signed KT Williams Lt, Patrol Comd
Time 0700 hours JEM Dugdale Maj, Unit Patrol Master
Bde Note: This accords with reports of minefields and trenches along 980613 – 985616
Patrol Report on Recce Patrol
Date 27/28 July 1944
Type of Patrol: Recce SP: X-tracks 988638
Patrol Command: Lt Richards Time Out: 2330
Strength: 1 + 2 Time In: 0400
Object: To find out detailed layout of position covering minefield area 981612.
Answer to Object: No position found.
Route: SP – track to 987631 – hedge and road junction 984627 – road junction 986624 – Ch 985623 – 500 yards SW – 500 yards W – approx 1000 yards South. Zigzag course back to HQ.
Visibility & Weather: Good and fine
Patrol moved out through 6 RWF to 984623. From there it moved approximately 200 yards SW and then turned for another 500 yards West. Movement was heard in orchard on right. A spandau then fired from about 977624. Patrol then moved South to about 981614 without interference. Movement was heard well away to right and two tracked vehicles moved from left to right North of St Martin. One of these later moved back. Patrol then started to move East and a spandau fired North along road from about 986616. Patrol then turned NW and made a zigzag course back to the Church. Patrol found no sign of a minefield or any enemy positions.
Points of Special Interest:
Germans fired an increasing number of very lights when moon was obscured by clouds.
Date: 28 July signed AL Richards Lt, Patrol Comd
Time: 0645 Hours JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master
Appendix No 16
7 RWF Operation Instruction No.1
Presumed to have recaptured the greater part of Maltot
2. Own Troops
a) 4 RWF continue to hold firm base at Chateau de Fontaine 9764
b) Coming under comd 7 RWF:–
One sqn 53 Recce Regt
One sqn 153 RAC
In Support Two Pls B Coy 1st Manchesters (MG)
One 17 pdr Troop
3. 7 RWF will recapture and hold Maltot
4. Attack on a one coy front C Coy leading. B Coy pass through to final objective. A Coy mopping up.
5. The operation will be carried out in two phases:–
Phase 1. Forming for Counter Attack
Phase 2. Attack and Consolidation
6. Preliminary Measures
a) Carrier Pl, with under comd, one section A/tk guns will move with all speed and will screen the SL against possible enemy infiltration.
b) OC HQ Coy with Regtl Police will move to the Assembly Area and will organise the reception of the Bn.
c) Sl will be marked under orders of IO.
Move to Assembly Area
7. Assembly Area – Field and Orchard 005645. Move on orders of Bn HQ.
Order of march:–
a)Marching Tps – C, B,A Bn HQ
b)Vehicles – Carrier Pl
One sec A/tk Pl
A/tk Pl less one sec
Coy Consolidation Vehs, CBA,
Bn HQ Vehicles
8. In Area previously recced.
a) Tks will move direct into FUP and will then be met by Inf.
b) Inf Coys will enter and leave FUP in accordance with the timings given below.
9. a) Assault – C Coy with in sp two tps of tanks
Objective Line of Hedges from 986629 to 988627
Leave FUP H minus 16
Cross SL SL H
b) Follow Up – B Coy
Leave FUP – H minus 8
Cross SL H + 8 + move forward 400 yards in rear of C Coy
Objective Line of rd from 984626 to rd junc 986624
A Coy – Move into FUP H+10
Remain in FUP until ordered forward by Bn HQ
Probable Role i) Clear up any Enemy pockets of resistance remaining in Maltot, North and West of rd Lieu de la France 9963 Maltot.
ii) Occupy posn rd junc 985624 – Houses 986623 – area Houses 987626.
Tanks – Sqn in close sp C Coy. Thereafter sqn will give maximum possible support to B and A Coys from Right flank.
Arty – Arty Fire Programme attached to Appx A
A/tk – a) One sec protection of SL
b) One sec to occupy psn in area Lieu de la France immediately the area is cleared by C Coy.
Protection of right flank of attack.
c) One sec to C Coy area immediately on capture of 1st objective
d) Sec in area Lieu de la France remain in posn until ordered forward by Bn HQ. Then ordered to move forward to cover the Southern entrance into Maltot.
Mortars – a) FFC moving with B and C Coys. Pl Comd with Comd Post.
b) Two secs in previously prepared posn in area SL.
c) One sec moving forward behind C Coy to clear area Lieu de la France.
Carriers – Protection of SL until Lieu de la France clear then bounding forward to this area.
Tasks: a) Protection of right flank
b) Protection of Firm Base at Lieu de la France
c) Mobile Reserve
Pnrs – Two Assault Secs remain in area FUP ready to move forward on orders from Bn HQ after capture of Maltot.
MMG – Two pls protecting Right Flank of attack from Eterville area.
10. Dress – Normal FSMO less small pack, water bottle and mess tin slung on belt. Small packs will be carried on the Consolidation vehicles.
Vehs – One Loyd Carrier will be provided for each of A and B Coys for Consolidation Stores. C Coy will use D Coy Carrier already in possession.
Tools – Carried on consolidation vehicles
Rations – Haversack ration and Emergency ration will be carried on the man.
Tpt – Will be marshalled and will move off under orders of 2 i/c Tpt will be controlled in the Assembly area by Capt J Davies and called forward to Maltot over the Command Net as required.
Intercomn – a) Comd Post will move forward behind B Coy, moving from FUP along the axis of the main rd Lieu de la France.
-Maltot thence to area House 988627 on capture of objective.
b) Bn HQ will move to rear of Bn remaining in Assembly Area until called forward.
Success Signal – C Coy Two greens One white
B Coy Two whites One Red
Success will also be confirmed by Wireless or Runner
JLK/SM GFTB Dickson, Comd 7th Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Appendix No 17
Report on Fighting Patrol (Serial 4)
Date 28/29 July
Unit 7 RWF
Type of Patrol: Fighting SP: 987649
Patrol Command: Lt Howes Time Out: 2330
Strength:1 Officer, 1 Sergeant, 1 Fusilier Time In: 0545
Object: Locate and destroy Spandau post at approx 985615
Answer to Object: Spandau located but not destroyed. Casualties inflicted on enemy.
Route: Sp – track to 985626 – SE corner of orchard – south to track 980613 – East about 50 yards and then back South.
Visibility and Weather: – Dark and fine.
Narrative: Patrol left B Coy 6 RWF with listening post and stayed at post – Cottage 984623 – for about ½ hour. Noises of digging were heard area 979622. On crossing sunken road this was confirmed and patrol commander saw at least 10 men standing up. There were still noises of digging. All this was out of patrol area so they moved on South to track 980613. There was some MG fire on either flank and the attack by 6 RWF began. This lit up ground SE of patrol. As patrol reached crest potential victim started firing on fixed line North. Patrol turned East and had only gone about 50 yards when the lead group was halted by two Germans in a slit who immediately threw a grenade slightly wounding one man. The group leader at once returned a grenade and judging by the noises seemed a hit. About 30 second later one spandau opened up on each flank. As the patrol was preparing to move forward an officer or NCO appeared on the right. He walked across crest and apparently told two other men to investigate what happened. He then returned and the two men approaching the leading group turned back. Patrol command then decided to make straight for spandau on the road. A verey light went up and a spandau opened up from left rear. The patrol commander had intended to outflank the spandau on the road but as patrol started to move again it became apparent to the patrol command that he was in contact with at least a platoon position. In view of this and the fact it was 0400 the patrol commander decided to withdraw. This he did covered by his covering party. As he withdrew 15-20 men were observed moving on crest behind him. On the return journey two spandaus were located outside the patrol area, one at 979621 and the other at North corner of Orchard 982625.
Special Points of Interest: … … …
Date 29th July 1944 signed BJ Howes Lt Patrol Comd
Time 0800 hours JEM Dugdale, Maj, Unit Patrol Master
Appendix No. 19
Report on Recce Patrol
Distribution of Officers Throughout Battalion as at 31st July 1944
OC HQ Coy
LHH Mary RAMC
OC Carrier Pl
OC A/Tk Pl
OC Mortar Pl
OC Pioneer Pl