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Robehomme in 1944 – Calvados – Battle of Normandy

Robehomme (Calvados)

The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles

Liberation: August 17, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau canadien de 1944 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, 3rd Para Brigade, 6th Airborne Division

Drapeau anglais 3rd Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers, 6th Airborne Division

Drapeau France Libre N°4 Commando, 1st Special Service Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division

Drapeau nazi 346. Infanterie-Division

Drapeau nazi Grenadier-Regiment 736, 716. Infanterie-Division

History:

The commune of Robehomme in Calvados is located to the west of the marshes of the Dives. The Germans who occupy the area belong to the 4th company of the Ost Battalion 642 integrated in the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier-Regiment 736 of the 716. Infantry Division.

The Allies wanted to secure the left flank of their bridgehead by destroying several bridges over the Dives and Divette rivers and then retreating to the compulsory crossing points by firmly holding them against any German counter-attacks. The 3rd Para Brigade of the 6th Airborne Division was in charge of this mission in the early hours of June 6, 1944 and Company B of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was ordered to destroy a bridge over the Divette at Robehomme with the help of sappers.

Canadian paratroopers are dropped from 00h57 above the Allied coding zone “V” and west of Varaville. The fifth section commanded by Lieutenant Normand Toseland, parachuted about three kilometers from their jump zone, is then guided in the night by a Frenchman to their goal. Arrived at deck level, the paratroopers meet Major C. Fuller, commander of company B but no explosives are available, the sappers have not yet arrived with their equipment. They decide to wait for them but at three o’clock in the morning, they change plan to accomplish the mission. The spirit of initiative then takes over and the Sergeant Poole of the 3rd Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers retrieves the grenades N ° 82 Gammon Bomb of the soldiers in order to create a detonation sufficient to destroy the bridge. The explosion damages the lens but does not destroy it. The sappers under Lieutenant Jack Inman, delayed by dropping errors and difficulties in crossing the marshes of the Dives, finally manage to reach the bridge shortly before six in the morning and destroy it. The paratroopers then retire to Le Mesnil.

In the weeks that followed, the front did not evolve and it was not until the launch of Operation Paddle in August 1944 that the situation changed. This offensive directed towards the Seine starts on the night of 16 to 17 August and the No. 4 Commando (1st Special Service Brigade) seizes Robehomme without major fights as of August 17th.

Robehomme maps:

Image : carte de la commune de Robehomme

 

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