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home Forums – The GUN Forum News Combat and War Footage An ammunition carrier of the British 11th Armoured Division explodes after it is hit by a mortar round during Operation Epsom, 26 June 1944.

  • An ammunition carrier of the British 11th Armoured Division explodes after it is hit by a mortar round during Operation Epsom, 26 June 1944.

  • jrthe3

    June 15, 2021 at 12:03 am

    An ammunition carrier of the British 11th Armoured Division explodes after it is hit by a mortar round during Operation Epsom, 26 June 1944.

  • UKpoliticsSucks

    June 15, 2021 at 12:03 am

    British advance to the west of Caen from 24 to 29 June 1944
    Objectives of operation Epsom

    The city of Caen is one of the major objectives of the British armies engaged in Normandy. Hard fights began on the evening of June 6 for the conquest of this city, which was to fall into the hands of the Allies on D-Day, in accordance with the plans originally foreseen. General Montgomery concentrated his efforts and decided to set up several operations in order to conquer Caen in the weeks following the beginning of the Normandy landing.

    The tactical course devised by the British generals consists in breaking through the German front by skirting the city of Caen from the west while taking the bridges over the river Odon. No less than three British armies are engaged in the operation: the 1st corps, the 8th corps and the 30th corps.

    It is the Germans of the 12th SS Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend who defend the sector, namely the 26th SS Panzergrenadier-Regiment (on the Fontenay-le-Pesnel line and Saint-Manvieu) supported by the 12th SS Panzer-Regiment, the 101st SS Panzer -Abteilung and III. Flak-Korps. Since the beginning of Operation Overlord, they have valued excellent defensive positions, recognized all the access routes and prepared multiple catalogs of shots for their artillery. The division counted 58 Panzer IV and 44 Panther on 25 June 1944.

    The terrain is composed of vast cereal plains favorable to armored combat because of the possibilities of long-distance observation. The herbs and cereal plants are high in this month of June and hinder the progression of the troop; They nevertheless make it possible to conceal themselves from the views of the adversary. The compartments of land are mostly flat and uncovered, dotted irregularly with hedges (less frequent than in the Cotentin) and wood. If the relief is not important, very low hills dot all the same the area like hills 112 and 113. Several villages and hamlets are in the area as well as isolated farms and bridges on the river Odon whose banks Do not allow vehicles to cross by freeing themselves from the structures of art: these allow access to the southern plains of Caen. In short, it is a maneuvering space favorable to defense, especially for artillery observers and snipers.

    Initially scheduled for 19 June 1944, Operation Epsom was postponed due to the storm which, from 18 to 20 June, delayed landings in supplies, men and equipment. Allied artificial harbors are no longer able to function in the aftermath of severe meteorological conditions: the port of Arromanches can be repaired, but the port of Saint-Laurent is completely destroyed by the swell. Nevertheless, on June 24, Montgomery estimates that his forces (nearly 60,000 soldiers) are enough to launch Epsom.

    The Scotsmen of the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers advance in the Norman mist. Photo: IWM
    Beginning of the operation Epsom

    On June 24, the Canadian sappers began the discrete opening of breaches to allow the Allies to emerge at the time of the offensive. On June 25, the Anglo-Canadian troops (representing a total of 60,000 men and 600 tanks) set up on their starting base.

    On June 26, 1944, the troops attacked the ground, preceded by an artillery rolling fire starting at 7:30 am and progressing 90 meters every three minutes. Infantry and armor follow at a distance, but allied planes can not take off, due to disastrous weather conditions: there is no third-dimensional support on this morning attack.

    The 49th British infantry division West Riding is attacking in the direction of Fontenay-le-Pesnel, but in the vicinity, the Panzer Lehr does not give up, like the village of Rauray, southwest of Tilly, Which is firmly defended by the 1st SS Armored Corps and where hard fighting commits itself for the control of this locality. The losses are significant and Anglo-Canadians are also delayed by German snipers and minefields.

    June 26, during Operation Epsom, the Scots of the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers are in action. Photo: IWM
    The adversaries of the British, the Hitler Youth fanatics, fought to the death and multiplied the counter-attacks that disorganized the British troops. The losses are high on both sides of the front. On this first day of intense fighting, the hamlets of Haut du Bosq, La Gaule, and Colleville were liberated and the Canadians moved closer to Saint-Manvieu. However, if most of the intended objectives are achieved at nightfall, Rauray and its heights still remain in the hands of the Germans: the salient that Canadians (also called the “Scots Corridor”) pierced to the west of Caen is threatened on both sides.

    The locality of Cheux, directly southwest of Saint-Manvieu-Norrey, is liberated by the 2nd Glasgow Highlander belonging to the 15th Scottish infantry division, while the first bridge over the Odon is taken by Allied forces.

  • strokeme2

    June 15, 2021 at 12:03 am

    The British were a bit salty after this particular operation.

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