Extracts 'Battle of the Falaise Gap' (British)

Discussion in 'British & Commonwealth' started by Pat Curran, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    This thread has been opened to hold the bulk of British related extracts from the book 'Battle of the Falaise Gap' by Eddy Florentin.

    We have currently open threads to deal with American, Civilian and German facets of this three week battle from the book at the following locations:
    Canadian and Polish related extracts will be dealt with under another new thread. Only text in the quote boxes comes directly from the book; all other writing here is my interpretation of the author's prose and any errors or omissions in this thread are therefore mine alone.

    -oOo-​

    The British story picks up from the bottom of page 51 in my 1965 English edition of the book. I'll quote the first two paragraphs to set the scene. The date seems to be a day or two after the 5th August.


    The scene is set. More follows...

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  2. allan125

    allan125 Active Member
    Researcher

    Apr 20, 2013
    358
    0
    Male
    Retired - although it doesn't feel like it
    Cornwall/UK
    Thanks Pat

    Brian Horrocks - one of my favourite British Generals - I have his "Corps Commander" written in 1977, with Eversley Belfield and Major-General Hubert Essame.

    Belfield was an AOP pilot with the Canadian Army, and Hubert Essame commanded 214 Brigade in 43rd (Wessex) Division as a Brigadier.

    Happy to put in things from his perspective if you like whenever you mention anything specific.

    The relevant chapters for our purposes being:

    Taking over XXX Corps
    The Falaise Pocket
    Crossing the Seine (The crossing at Vernon and The Canadian Advance to Elbeuf)

    and perhaps part of

    The Advance to Brussels and Antwerp

    regards

    Allan
     
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    I've been enjoying following this with an armoured focus in : The short history of the 8th Armoured Brigade http://www.warlinks.com/armour/8th_armoured/chapter_4.php

    As well as looking through the maps at : http://www.westpoint.edu/history/sitepages/wwii%20european%20theater.aspx

    With these I guess in particular: The Breakout (1st-13th August): http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SiteAssets/SitePages/World%20War%20II%20Europe/WWIIEurope64.gif
    The explotiation (14th-25th August) : http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SiteAssets/SitePages/World%20War%20II%20Europe/WWIIEurope65.gif

    & Pursuit to the west wall (26th August - 14th September) : http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SiteAssets/SitePages/World%20War%20II%20Europe/WWIIEurope66.gif

    Things really start to move fast after Tilly-Sur-Seulles, Rauray and Caen and the break through at St. Lo : http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SiteAssets/SitePages/World%20War%20II%20Europe/WWIIEurope63.gif

    So after June and July it's really hard to visualise the overwhelming speed spoken of in the August reports. Whereas before it was sometimes weeks to move a few miles, now things can really start to take off. It might seem "slow" in the early days after Normandy but there was a lot of hard fighting to see through. And a punishing time was had by almost all.

    There seem like plenty of big battles in August too though (particularly like Pincon and Conde nr. the start) so it will be interesting to discuss what "really" changed. Were the tactics so very different? Was it a case of just pushing through and taking some knocks? Or was it more a case of the conditions having changed (inc. the weather and improved (at least to start with) supply).

    In terms of losses at least I don't think that there were too many battles that the Germans's actually "won" during the Normandy campaign - a lot of their holding actions were very costly (Pyrrhic), a lot of their withdrawals were actually forced (why else would they "just give-up and go) and they left behind a lot of kit and seem to have been running (and often surrendering) as much as keeping to an orderly unplanned (at least by Hitler) withdrawal (often to dead-end pockets that the allies didn't actually "need to take" until the end of the war).

    This was a map I saw a while ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_of_World_War_II_in_Europe#/media/File:Allied_army_positions_on_10_May_1945.png

    I still read that the Western allies were slow into Germany and were "beaten" by the Russians there. I know the Russians came from (at one point) practically Moscow, but on the whole it was a pretty fine job - and not like WW1 when they got stuck /stopped at the west wall, and millions died there.

    Lots of interesting detail in Normandy to discuss.

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  4. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Thanks Allan,

    Glad of the help - wherever you feel like jumping in, please do.

    Trying to geo-position a recon photo of the 'Knickebein' ("crooked leg") radar antenna site over present day satellite imagery of Mont Pincon as we speak. I want to see where exactly it was located on the crest.

    Should be ready later tonight.

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    The SRY got a battle honour for Mont Pincon - so at first I expected them to have parked their tanks there (With a big British flag like the US one at Iwo Jima!). Battle honours are still one of the biggest mysteries to me, and it all started out with the 24th L's very first one for Putot-en-Bessin.

    The SRY had another one soon after for Jurques too and then the Noireau crossing as well.

    The next one after that was the Seine at Vernon I think - which is not too bad 4 in one month!
    http://www.sry.org.uk/getmedia/4a4c1c97-35b6-4850-8986-ed7949a86d01/19_Battle_Honours.png.aspx

    When you look at a map though Jurques seems to be "logically" before Pincon, so go figure that one.
    (Is there a decent unit detailed map of this all online somewhere out there???)
    I guess the Pincon battle was over a wider area that was bigger than Jurques and technically therefore Pincon started before Jurques.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bluecoat
    I note German losses on here are as yet "unknown" ? Perhaps there is a postulated number somewhere???
    Even the allied numbers there are only for VIII Corps - so it's odd that this time the wiki has been left quite "imprecise"

    I like to know if the wiki's are actually wrong though or where the debates are occurring at least. This one doesn't mention Jurques or the 8th Armoured brigade, so I'm not sure yet if this was a segway not actually a part of Bluecoat, but if so what was the SRY's "Mont Picon battle honour" actually for?

    But in the short history of the 8th Armoured: "Further advance was now barred by that formidable feature Mont Pincon, 1200 feet high, which dominated the whole sector from the River Vire to the Odon. From its slopes German observation was uninterrupted and they were able to bring down deadly artillery and mortar fire on any movement.

    On August 6th the 13th/18th Hussars supporting the 129 Infantry Brigade made repeated and determined assaults upon the Western foothills. Throughout a day of scorching heat the battle raged but the infantry became pinned at every fresh attempt. Towards evening when hope of success had apparently vanished, 2 troops of the l3th/l8th Hussars found their way across the ditch, in face of which the advance had faltered, and regardless of the German infantry in thick scrub, Bazookas, and a desperately steep escarpment, drove right on to the table like summit of the now famous mountain. Here, completely alone and surrounded by enemy, the Troops shot it out till joined by the remainder of the Squadron and finally the Regiment. At last light a thick mist settled down and the Regiment spent the night sharing the summit with the Hun. At intervals German soldiers wandered right past our tanks. By morning, however, the 4th Somersets and the Wiltshires had arrived on the top and during the next day the remaining Germans were driven out, leaving the mountain in our hands.

    Desperate fighting took place before Le Plessis Grimault, a village on the Southern slopes fell and it was here that the Brigade captured the first Royal Tiger which had ever been encountered.

    To the right the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and 12th Battalion The King's Royal Rifle Corps had been holding the line in face of considerable enemy infiltration and a distinctly unpleasant amount of multiple mortar fire in the area of St Jean de Blanc. The Brigade now passed to the command of General Graham of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, a figure who was as popular with the FOX as he was with his own division.

    The 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards were involved in very heavy fighting in the capture of St Pierre La Vieille. The weather was hot and the area will ever be remembered by its multitude of dead cows."

    I've tried to track the SRY's route and they went Cahagnes, Bois du homme, Jurques (BH), La Bigne, Loisonniers, a tough route through the Bois de Buron, Ondefontaine. After that they were planning for Operation Blackwater the drive south to Conde-sur-Noireau. But around the 14th August put in an attack on Prossay, Les Haies to Point 201. This was where Lt. Cameron (formerly of the 24th L) was I think WIA.

    And then on the 15th the brigde at Conde was blown by the Germans and on the 16th the SRY had to make a hair-raising crossing under fire there and climb almost impassable wooded terrain to Berjou.

    They reported on the 17th I think - 25 casualties over the last 5 days and 7 tanks damaged or destoyed (5 of which they thought would run again) but took hundreds of prisoners and quite a bit of praise.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Pin%C3%A7on
     
  6. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi Rob,

    I hope Eddy Florentin can answer some of your questions regarding Mont Pincon in the quotes from the book below - I am only learning this stuff as I go along :D


    I was interested to see the location of the 'radar station' referred to in the above extract, so I went digging and first located a good frame from reconnaissance sortie 400/0284 flown on the 23rd June. Frame 3148 is the best I could locate in the NCAP database. The radar site is at lower centre right and the "crooked leg" shape of the K8 'Knickebein' antenna is readily visible if you have a paid NCAP account to zoom the low resolution frame. I scanned a zoomed version and overlaid it on present day Google Earth cover to get the location as exact as possible (gorse has covered a lot of the site since 1944). Below, circled red, is my best estimate of the antenna location:
    [​IMG]
    My understanding is that this 'radar' is actually a radio direction beacon which the Germans used (in pairs) to guide their bombers onto targets in Britian. I also found this oblique RAF photo showing the characteristic 'crooked leg' shape of the antenna on Mont Pincon (date unknown):
    [​IMG]

    Continuing on...


    I found a good map of the battle to take Mont Pincon in another of my old and much loved books, 'The Struggle for Europe' by Chester Wilmot. The map comes from page 408 of my 1952 edition:
    [​IMG]

    No sign of the SRY therein Rob :dodgy:

    Anyone able to find the all important La Variniere bridge? it seems to be on the western side of the 'horseshoe' bend here but I cannot see any sign on it in 'street view' mode.

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  7. allan125

    allan125 Active Member
    Researcher

    Apr 20, 2013
    358
    0
    Male
    Retired - although it doesn't feel like it
    Cornwall/UK
    Hello Pat

    Nice work on the radar - Another find on my bookshelves - "North West Europe 1944-5 - The achievement of 21st Army Group" by John North (published 1953 by H.M.S.O.), given by my mother to my father on 4.11.53 (his 32nd birthday) as signed on the inside of the book. I still have the dust cover, in very poor condition, the book cost 10s. 6d net, and it states on the cover "One of a series of short military histories based on official documents written for the general reader"

    Getting ahead of ourselves by a few weeks, towards the end of August, I find this piece of interest - from the frontispiece "I have been told to capture a hill three miles away by noon to-morrow" a British Infantry Officer, Normandy August 20th, 1944", something impossible only a few weeks before, and this piece showing what it took to move a British Armoured Division in The Great Swan - from the chapter "To the green fields beyond" - "....The high drama of the fighting war in the first phase of the campaign in north-west Europe was to be succeeded by a war of movement - with the emphasis on petrol. It is recorded of one platoon of a petrol company of the Royal Army Service Corps working with the Guards Armoured Division that, between August 29th and September 4th, between the neighbourhood of Falaise and the outskirts of Brussels - a distance by road of nearly three hundred miles - it covered over two thousand five hundred miles in the 'mad backwards and forwards rush which the platoon, together with the rest of the company, were to do daily throughout the gallop, bringing up petrol for the division' This particular platoon may well be excused for having described the whole advance as the 'Petrol stakes'..."

    regards

    Allan
     
  8. allan125

    allan125 Active Member
    Researcher

    Apr 20, 2013
    358
    0
    Male
    Retired - although it doesn't feel like it
    Cornwall/UK
    And now from the perspective of a typical 2TAF RAF fighter Wing.

    As things started to change, and the bridgehead gradually expanded, 125 Wing moved from the coast at B.11 Longues-sur-Mer nearer to the battlefield at B.19 Lingevres in mid-August.

    12/8/44

    After a short period of sea fog early in the morning flying got under way at 0900 hrs. with 441 sqdn. taking off on an Armed Recce. The Jerries must have been counting on the fog to last a little longer as 441 found a couple of MET convoys and ended up with claims of 7-10-7 MET and 1 AMC damaged. 602 sqdn. did a couple of uneventful Naval Patrols and then 132 and 453 went off on two dive bombing attacks on barges in the Seine river. 132 had first innings and claimed 1 tug damaged, 3 barges destroyed and one damaged. The value which the Hun places on this means of transportation is revealed by the fact that the flak is much heavier now along the river banks. 441 sqdn. next took off on another Armed Recce and continued their good work of the morning by bagging a score of 9-3-13 MET. Six aircraft of 132 took off on another attack on barges – what a life a bargee must have these days – and got 3 destroyed and 4 damaged, on their way home they picked up a MET score of 2-2-2 and also attacked what they believed was an ammunition dump and saw large explosions. 602 and 441 sqdns. had two more Armed Recces and had MET scores of 1-1-1- and 2-1-3 respectively. 132 sqdn. finished off a full bombing day with another 6 aircraft attacking barges but the visibility was poor and the results of their attack were unobserved. 602 sqdn. finished the days flying with a Fighter Sweep that was uneventful as no Jerries were about. All in all it was a busy day for a short staffed Airfield and adding up the score, we feel a good show all round.

    Short staffed because part of the ground echelon had already moved on to B.19 Lingevres as the bridgehead rapidly expanded

    13/8/44

    At 0910 132 sqdn. took off from B.11 for the last time to fly to B.19 the new airfield site at Lingevres in the Tilly area. The other 3 squadrons followed at 20 minute intervals. After the last aircraft had taken off B. Echelon left by road for Lingevres after bidding a last fond farewell to Longues. The airfield at B.19 has an excellent strip of 5,000 feet. A length which should cut down dust on the strip itself but this is offset by a lay out which means very widely dispersed sections. The now familiar high grade, superfine Normandy dust is here to plague us once more in even greater doses than we experienced at Longues but to the stalwart veterans of 125 Wing such things are foolish trifles which irritate but do not swerve us from our stern purpose of sending Hitler back to the muck heap from which he was engendered. 132 sqdn. had the honour of being the first sqdn. to take off from the new airfield when less than an hour after the last plane from B.11 had left they were airborne on an Armed Recce from which they returned with a MET score of 2-1-3 and 453 sqdn. took off less than 20 minutes later and added a further 3-1-0 to the score. On the next Armed Recce, carried out by 441 sqdn. they spotted some MET which in their usual fashion they beat up in a big way. There was no doubt as to the damage done to one of the trucks, which was carrying ammunition blew up with such force that it damaged the wing of one of the aircraft. In all 5 trucks were in flames, one smoking and 3 were damaged. ……The total MET score for the day was 22 flamers, 6 smokers and 13 damaged and an additional AMC damaged.

    The above ORB report shows no loss of operational efficiency despite the move to a new landing ground - came the breakout and 125 Wing moved rapidly towards the French border with Belgium. And because of the rapid movements the diarist had to catch up when he could, hence this truncated report of the move.

    29/8/44 to 7/9/44

    In these few days 125 Wing dropped in at 3 different strips and covered a total distance of 223 miles as the crow flies. ‘A’ Party left B.19 at LINGEVRES on the 29th August and moved to B.34 near DAMVILLE and south of EVREUX. This strip proved to be completely unserviceable and when ‘A’ Party had been there 36 hours, orders were received to move on to B.40 which was located S.E. of BEAUVAIS. It was just a case of chasing the Army the whole time, and this time the Allied armies were moving very fast and in the right direction with the Hun showing a clean pair of heels. While the aircraft were left behind at B.19 with the ‘B’ Party, what little flying was done proved entirely uneventful. The front line had moved so fast that with 90 gallon tanks a patrol of short duration over ARRAS-AMIENS was all that was possible.

    On September 1st ‘A’ Party moved off to cross the SEINE to B.40, a strip located S.E. of BEAUVAIS between NIVILLERS and VILONGE a distance of 60 miles as the crow flies. ‘B’ Party was left behind at LINGEVRES and when orders came to move they had to do the trip from LINGEVRES to BEAUVAIS by road a distance of approximately 160 miles. The convoy was split into 3 parties and halts were made at 2030 at night and 0830 in the morning for hot meal which was served in very short time under difficult conditions. The journey was commenced at 1600 hrs and BEAUVAIS was reached at approximately 1100 hrs the following morning. There were one or two breakdowns on the road but the convoys as a whole were a most orderly and efficient sight.

    BEAUVAIS proved quite a pleasant spot and the strip was shared with 122 Wing. But we were not destined to rest there long and on the 4th of September “A” party were ordered to move again. The Army was evidently out to break all records. B.52 was located S.E. of DOUAI and proved a welcome spot having every appearance of a static station with decent roads and buildings which later served ideally for H.Q.’s and Messes. The lavatories were certainly fully fashioned enough to please the most statically minded personnel. From DOUAI some uneventful front line patrols were flown from BRUSSELS – ANTWERP. Things were moving so fast that we were again being outranged by advances of Allied Troops. We are still wondering why we are still here. Our nomadic life has become such a habit that we begin to fret if we stay in a place much over 24 hours.

    This route has been taken from the route card issued to (the late) LAC Eric Moyle – information kindly supplied by his grandson Paul Newton.

    • Villers Bocage
    • Aunay-Sur-Odon
    • Flers
    • Argentan
    • L`Aigle
    • Morlancourt
    • Thomer-la-Sôgne (B.34) (nowadays generally called Avrilly)
    • Évreux
    • Pacey
    • Vernon
    • Las Thilliers-en-Vexin
    • Gisors
    • Beauvais (B.40)
    • Amiens
    • Albert
    • Bapaume
    • Cambrai
    • Euist
    • Bécourt
    • Ferrin
    • Douai/Dechy (B.52)
    • Tournai
    • Ain
    • Enghien
    • Hal
    • Brucon
    • Brussels (B.60)
    • Antwerp (B.70)

    Allan
     
  9. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    Hi Allan,

    Tried to pick out the likely site for the base at Lingeves on here:
    http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/maps/europe/zoomify138906.html

    I wonder if it was a site used by existing units prior to this - or one brand new / virgin fields for them?

    Ps.... Didn't take long to find this ;-) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Landing_Ground

    With : B-19 Lingevres, France
    49°10′30″N 000°40′23″W (approximately) there.
    There's even a map of these runways in Normandy here : http://www3.sympatico.ca/angels_eight/normalg.jpg
    With presumably the runway orientation also shown.

    I recognised too at lot of the place names on the list as those that the 8th Armoured passed through (I wonder was securing these sites for runways one of their campaign objectives - or is this just a coincidence perhaps?)

    The IWM has some interesting pics i.e.

    Hawker Typhoon pilots of No. 181 Squadron RAF leave the briefing tent at B2/Bazenville, for a midday sortie over the Normandy battlefield. : http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205211106

    A Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX of No. 443 Squadron RCAF taxies to dispersal along the perimeter track at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, alongside a cornfield where French farmers are gathering in the wheat with a horse-drawn harvester and binder. : http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205211620
    (Almost looks like the spitfire pilot is offering to "cut" some of the corn for them with his prop there ;-) )

    And many more here too: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?f%5B0%5D=placeString%3ABazenville%2C%20Calvados%2C%20France&query=

    And the 24th L had their first bit of "action" at Brazenville off Gold beach on the 7th June, probably around there. So it's good now perhaps to know more about what they were "fighting" for in the fields there at Brazenille (!!!)

    It's nice to read such a fulsome account in which "Gerry" doesn't always seem to be getting his own way ;-) (i.e. met a Tiger, lost 4 tanks - the blighter got away.... :-( / or we got him in the end and found he'd been abandoned by his crew (i.e. through lack of fuel p'haps!)

    What a war!!

    All the best,

    Rm.
     
  10. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi All,

    To continue from the position west of La Variniere bridge on the 6th August...


    I done a bit of a 'recce' up to the crossroads on GE 'street view' here just to make sure I am on the right road. I found the crossroads, but there is still no sign of an 'ancient narrow stone bridge' behind me at the 'horseshoe' bend. I wonder has the road been realigned and/or raised :huh:

    BTW, does anyone know what the lower white sign is pointing to...its obviously something to do with 'Normandie 1944'

    Cracking on...


    I could be wrong but I think we are dealing with two different roads in the above account. Chester Wilmot in 'The Struggle for Europe' has the tank which turned over skidding into a quarry - and I think I have such a place on 1944 and 47 cover :idea:

    More later...

    Regards,

    Pat
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Active Member
    Researcher

    Oct 24, 2012
    331
    2
    Male
    Battlefield guide
    Normandie
    Yes, having been up there I can testify to that:)

    From this book is this photo from the IWM:

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    I've seen a lot of "old" bridges removed because they just don't suit "normal traffic needs of the 20th/21st centuries", but in Normandy you have the added complication of the War and their being prime candidates at some point to bomb, shell, or detonate (and by either side) - the trundlings of dozens of tanks can't have done a "small" bridge much good either - perhaps it has been replaced therefore if too far gone to repair or just too small for modern two lane transport across.

    I can't see many people putting up with an old single track bridge on a throughfair, though "quaint" ones do occasionally survive and usually can be "viewed" from a more modern bridge that has been "helpfully" built nearby.

    BTW: Quote "Have crossed river," was the next message timed 1645 hours. Orders were given to halt and to hold the crossroads. But the Wiltshires discovered an unguarded path which apparently led to the summit. It was an overhang with the precipice on one side and the cliff on the other. The tanks took the risk: one skidded and turned over, a second received a direct hit and caught fire. The remainder climbed up as best they could, reached the summit and sowed panic."

    Plenty of evidence there of the British grit and willingness to press on - not sure though about the "Orders given to halt and to hold the crossroads" - shouldn't they have been obeyed - or did they both "halt and hold the crossroads" as well as a small part that wasn't needed for this just "pressing on" - it's a bit risky to (potentially?) "disobey an order and plough on".... so not quite sure what to actually make of that?

    Rm.
     
  13. allan125

    allan125 Active Member
    Researcher

    Apr 20, 2013
    358
    0
    Male
    Retired - although it doesn't feel like it
    Cornwall/UK
    Hello Rob

    I haven't checked your map references yet but I have an airfield map of Lingèvres, showing the correct location - so I need a way of posting it on here, but it has Bernieres Bocage above it, slightly to the left, Chateau de Bernieres to the South West of the Bernieres Bocage on the D33, which goes to la Sanaudiere, and then on the D13 we have la Sanaudiere to the left, Le Haye under the dispersals, Lingèvres itself directly under the ALG, with Berolles above it, and, finally, Verrieres on the D187 at the other end. The D33a runs from Lingèvres past Berolles and goes right through it. I believe that 125 Wing were the first occupants and also that it was the first airfield in Normandy to be built by the RAF. Numerous photos exist of it being built via the IWM website.

    Angels Eight has the locations, Wing/Squadron - construction date etc. which for B.19 is:

    •B.19 -- Lingevres -- 1700 metres long, 40 metres wide, compacted earth completed 6 August. Runway 260. (125 Wing(132,602,453)) - which is slightly in error, because by then 144 RCAF Wing had disbanded and 125 Wing had gained 441 (Silver Fox) Squadron RCAF, with 442 Squadron going to 126 RCAF Wing and 443 Squadron going to 127 RCAF Wing, also the IWM data states: Men of an RAF airfield construction wing finish off the 5,000ft runway at B.19 Lingèvres on 6 August 1944. Iron stakes are being driven in to secure the metal SMT (square-meshed track) surface, which was stored in rolls and had to be correctly tensioned.

    regards

    Allan
     
  14. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    I think that the wiki ref just goes straight to the middle of the village - so I did wonder if that was where they were meant to land their planes. (Must have been very good pilots I guess!) :angel:

    Was Brazenville then built after Lingevres or just Brazenville (B2) was not one built "by the RAF" ?

    Also are there any pictures out there that you are aware of the runway at Cristot?
    http://www3.sympatico.ca/angels_eight/normalg.jpg

    B-18 Cristot, France
    49°11′41″N 000°34′48″W (approximately)

    Since my Granddad apparently helped "liberate" Cristot (after most of the German's had left ;-) )

    I've seen a lot now of the 24th June CRAF photo recon sweeps - is there a specific reason why these are "out there" and are there potentially others too? The next stage to those recon pics of 1946 seems to miss out quite a bit of time, when I assume that there was nevertheless still a whole lot of photo recon over Normandy going on.

    Rm.
     
  15. allan125

    allan125 Active Member
    Researcher

    Apr 20, 2013
    358
    0
    Male
    Retired - although it doesn't feel like it
    Cornwall/UK
    Hello Rob

    Well, if it wasn't for the blackout and somebody had left the upstairs Landing Light on in their house the Spitfires would land right in the village!!

    And to make that "joke" even worse - with Double British Summer Time in operation they could land quite late in the evening and still find it "daylight", so no need for a poor French civilian to leave his landing light on !!

    Seriously - I have sent the map to Pat, and a copy of the source book title, and asked if he can put on here for me, then, problem solved!!

    The full story of the construction of B.2 Bazenville are shown with an excellent moving map, and you can enlarge the ALG map as well, on Angels Eight under http://www3.sympatico.ca/angels_eight/127local.html - where Dave Clark has done a fantastic job way back in 2006.

    regards

    Allan
     
  16. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    Mont Pincon and other engagements near or thereabouts features in a number of the newsletter issues of the Creully Club (from the 4/7th RDG)

    http://www.creullyclub.freeuk.com/sept06.htm
    i.e. Sept 2006 : The Liberation of Le Plessis Grimoult and St Pierre-la-Vieille

    I've not seen if there is something similar published for the 13/18th Hussars out there though wiki at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8th_Armoured_Brigade_%28United_Kingdom%29

    Gives this: http://web.archive.org/web/20080124050552/http://www.regiments.org/regiments/uk/cav/D13-18h.htm

    Which I have yet to look through at all. (nb not much there really but some other links to follow - which I'll need to do sometime (when there's time!) I guess... )

    Rm.
     
  17. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Hi Guys,

    Here is Allan's B.19 Map:

    [​IMG]

    Sean, what is the IWM image reference number? Trying to figure out if the camouflaged positions are part of the 'Knickebein' complex or the observation post.

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Active Member
    Researcher

    Mar 4, 2015
    92
    0
    Male
    Oxford
    Hi Pat,

    And thanks. That's exactly where i would have assumed it would be, from the lie of the land. (There never seems to be enough runway at airports and always so much else! I guess it's all just fields again now (not that it wasn't really just a "field" then probably!) - I think after this we start to see quite a few actions where the tanks have the assistance of typhoons (and occasionally ducked a few shots from them too!) - were the tank busters flying out from here or from further afield (excuse the pun - if poss).

    BTW interestingly in this : http://www.creullyclub.freeuk.com/frameset.htm
    (sadly it's framed so I can't link precisely to it as such but it's "newsletter 17"...

    Archives

    Roger Levett - During the action around Mont Pincon ‘A’ Squadron was with the 2nd Devonshires and on receiving orders from the infantry commander at the rear were told to advance no matter what. As a result two tanks went up in flames as they reached the top of the hill. One of the lads that was killed was Des Bayes. He and I joined up on the same day in March 1943. He was really a grand lad, so unassuming and very supportive.

    Cecil Newton Mont Pincon, 365 metres high and 12 kms south of Villers Bocage, was the scene of bitter fighting in August 1944. A German transmitter station was located in the area, which sent out a radio beam for the Luftwaffe bombers heading for the UK to follow. A RAF unit was established, centred in Radlett, Hertfordshire, which bent the beams so that the planes were diverted and dropped their bombs in open country. To add realism decoy lights and burning timber simulated a bombed town. Electrical units used by physiotherapists were requisitioned from hospitals because of the strong signal that they transmitted, to do the job. Quite recently a physio told me that she had to stop using her unit post war as it upset the TVs in the neighbourhood, not to mention her neighbours!
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Active Member
    Researcher

    Oct 24, 2012
    331
    2
    Male
    Battlefield guide
    Normandie
    Hello Pat,

    No reference number is given. I did a quick "Mont Pincon" search on the IWM site but to no avail.

    I think the above-ground structures are for ventilation rather than observation. Other Knickebein sites such as at Sortosville-en-Beaumont had/have similar structures atop the large bunkers.

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
  20. Pat Curran

    Pat Curran Administrator
    Staff Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    2,547
    10
    Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
    Thanks Guys,

    Just working on some screenshots of quarries on the Hill as we speak.

    BTW, what is the correct/full title for the 'Wiltshires'? I am trying to see if their war diary is anywhere abouts in cyberland.

    Thanks,

    Pat
     

Share This Page