6th Airborne Division - Divisional Headquarters - War Diaries

6th June 1944 br/> 0020 - "Coup de main" party of 6 Pl 2 OXF BUCKS with dets RE landed by glider between brs over CANAL de CAEN and R ORNE. Both brs captured intact with slight opposition - close br-head est on WEST bank of canal brs. Little flak encountered over coast or ldg. One glider broke tow rope, rest landed in close proximity to brs. Brs were prepared for demolition but charges were not in posn. Later found stored in neighbouring hut.
0050 - (a) 7 Para Bn dropped - task to consolidate the brhead est by "coup de main" party. Bn was dropped somewhat wide of correct DZ. There was consequently delay in re-org and bn did not reach br until 0300 hrs. One coy had been lightly equipped to double to the brs - to reach it within one hr of drop. In fact this coy dropped furthest astray and reached the brs last. (b) 12 and 13 Para Bns dropped on DZ " ". Tasks. (c) 9 Para Bn landed on DZ " ". Tasks. (d) 8 and 1 Cdn Para Bns landed on DZ " ".  Tasks.
0335 - Div HQ and 4 A Tk Bty landed.
0755 - Infm from 5 Para Bde that brs had been captured intact.Airtps infm. No news of 3 Para Bde.
0825 - Br at 114762 reported intact.  1 Corps infm.
0915 - Unconfirmed report that bty 155776 had been destroyed. 1 Corps infm accordingly. Later confirmed that bty was destroyed by 0500 hrs.
1230 - Sitrep. Div HQ est Le BAS de RANVILLE 1073. 5 Para Bde seized brs intact with little opposition and now firmly est.  Some enemy activity incl small counter attack area SE of RANVILLE. 3 enemy 77mm SP guns destroyed. 3 Para and 1 SS Bdes not yet contacted, but latter believed to be now approaching brs. 8 Inf Bde making good progress. Enemy identifications. HQ 2 Bn and 8 Coy 125 Pz Gren Regt at COLOMBELLES 0770. 7 Coy 125 Pz Gren Regt in area RANVILLE on anti-paratp patrols night 5/6 Jun. 711 Engr Coy HEROUVILLETTE 7271. 30 tks POUSEY 1356.
> 1300 - Strong enemy attempt at infiltration 500 yds SOUTH of PONT TOURNANT sp by SP guns caused a critical situation. Brilliant action by Brig Poett and most determined fighting by 7 and 12 Para Bns repulsed the attack. One Cdo temporarily diverted to assist clear up situation.
1353 - 1 SS Bde crossed the brs - unit of 8 Inf Bde at brs - situation completely in hand. 1 SS Bde came under comd 6 Airborne Div on crossing.
1610 - 3 Para Bde report area LE MESNIL held by 1 Cdn Para Bn. Approx 130 enemy entering BREVILLE.
1700 - 3 Para Bde reported that brs at VARAVILLE ROBEHOMME and BURES had been successfully blown. This bde was dropped over an enormous area and is now about one third str. Situation on div front comfortably in hand.
2100 - Glider ldg of 1 RUR, 2 OXF BUCKS, Armd Recce Regt and 211 Lt Bty.

7th June 1944
0001 - Sitrep. Continual attacks from South all held - now known that brs at TROARN and VARAVILLE were successfully blown. Owing to strong resistance 1 SS Bde unable to adv beyond line BREVILLE - LE PLEIN except for isolated patrols.
0030 - Br at BENOUVILLE taken over by 3 Br Inf Div.
0200 - Coy of 12 DEVON which arrived by air ordered to come under comd 13 Para Bn from 0500 hrs for purpose of holding area HEROUVILLETTE after airldg bn had pushed on to ESCOVILLE.
1030 - 1 SS Bde began to adv through SALLENELLES with a view to mopping up the coastal area.
1030 - Sitrep.  BREVILLE in enemy hands - LONGUEVAL captured by 1 RUR - Armd Recce Regt patrolling fwd to TROARN and SANNAVILLE. 3 Br Inf Div reported in occupation BLAINVILLE and BEIVILLE, and to be attacking LEIBSEY.
1120 - 1 SS Bde ordered to attack and capture FRANCEVILLE PLAGE forthwith. Two cruisers allotted in sp subsequently to capture and hold LE HOMME SUR MER.
1415 - 6 Airldg Bde reported enemy in ST HONORINE LA CHARDONERETTE str 2 SP guns, 6 TIGER tks, one coy inf - also reported 1 RUR consolidation complete in LONGUEVAL. 1 SS Bde reported that at 1350 hrs they had cleared FRANCEVILLE PLAGE and taken 4 fd guns - attack was being mounted on LE HOMME SUR MER. 1 RUR attempted to occupy ST HONORINE but were driven off by armour. They thereupon fell back to consolidate in their old posns at LONGUEVAL.
1500 - Enemy developed a strong inf and armd attack on 1 RUR posn area LONGUEVAL. This attack was repulsed after stiff fighting. The enemy falling back on ST HONORINE. By 2030 hrs 6 Airldg Bde was firmly est on line LONGUEVAL - HEROUVILLETTE. In the course of this fighting 1 RUR destroyed 2 tks and one SP gun and one unidentified gun. Infm from Airtps that elements of 711 and 363 Inf Divs moving WEST. Probable objective RANVILLE and the ORNE and canal brs.
1815 - 12 Devon (seaborne) entered Div area, and were ordered to take over from 12 Para Bn. 12 Para Bn into div res area 110745 on relief. Infm from recce that 700 Pz tps and probably 50 tks moved from TROARN to BANNEVILLE.

8th June 1944
1130 - 1 SS Bde reported hy attack developing against 4 Cdo area HAUGER - SALLENELLES from EAST - confident HAUGER sector can be held. 1 Corps infm that 1 SS Bde likely to be involved in hy fighting today - would be grateful for one additional Cdo to be placed under comd if available.
1330 - Sitrep. 1 SS Bde hold FRANCEVILLE PLAGE - SALLENELLES to LE PLEIN - 3 Bde area X-rds 140728 - rd junc 140743. 5 Para and 6 Airldg Bdes from HEROUVILLETTE to RANVILLE to LONGUEVAL. 2 Bn 857 Inf Regt, 346 Div attacking HAUGER, some penetration flanks.
1900 - Attacks had all been held - disposns remain the same except that 45 Cdo now in MERVILLE.
2130 - Div Comd held conference of Bde Comds. Hy enemy attacks developed along the front of 1 SS Bde - these attacks were all successfully held and cas inflicted - infiltration attempts continue - 45 Cdo brought back into bde area.