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D-Day Diary - June 6th 1944

TUESDAY 6 JUNE 1944

Weather Report; wind West North West, backing North West Force 4.

Commencing at midnight, and through to 05.00 a.m. 1,056 British and 1,630 American heavy bombers bomb selected German gun batteries.

Op Titanic. Dummy parachutists, equipped with battle sound effects, dropped just after midnight on selected locations in Normandy.

0130 hours. H-Hour for the US Airborne Divisions in the area around St Mere Eglise.

0300 hours. German radar starts to pick up ship movements off the Normandy beaches. Admiral Kranke issues orders to repel an invasion.

0405 hours. US Assault troops start to board Landing Craft from transport ships for landing on Utah beach.

0430 hours. First wave assault troops for Omaha Beach leave the transports in their Landing Craft.

05.00 hours. First light; German shore batteries start to engage Allied ships.
Miniature submarines X20 and X23 surface and commence to flash green lights to seaward. Panzer Lehr Division at Chartres ordered to Normandy.

05.30 hours. Allied warships open fire along a fifty-mile front; 'the heaviest rain of shells ever to be poured on land targets from the sea'.

0535 hours. DD tanks of A & B Squadrons, 13th/18th Hussars, on order 'Floater' launch tanks approx 5,000 yards from shore.

0558 hours. Sunrise.

Due to tidal variations along the French coast H-Hour on the various beaches was as follows:-

Utah and Omaha.. 06.30
Gold and Sword 07.25.
Juno right wing 07.35)
>both later delayed by ten minutes.
Juno left wing 07.45).

0629 hours. 28 DD tanks of 743rd Tank Battalion plus 14 conventional Sherman tanks land dry on the western part of Omaha beach. Of those DD tanks from 741st destined for the eastern end of Omaha 29 launched at 5,000 yards from shore, of which 27 foundered in rough seas. Three more were landed dry.

0630 hours. First Landing Craft reach Utah and Omaha beaches.

0640 hours. Surviving DD tanks of 70th Tank Battalion come ashore on Utah.

0650 hours. Sexton SP guns of 86 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) commence firing from Landing Craft.

0655 hours. DD tanks of A Squadron 13th/18th Hussars overrun by LCTs containing AVRE tanks.

0708 hours. 2nd Ranger Battalion, U S Army, lands at the foot of cliffs below Pointe du Hoc.

0720 hrs. Landing Craft bring C and D (DD tank) Squadrons of 4th/7th Dragoon Guards close enough to drive ashore with screens raised due to rough conditions. B and C Squadrons, Sherwood Rangers launch DD tanks at 500 yards for a short swim to the beach.

0725 hours. Flail tanks of 22nd Dragoons start to come ashore.

0730 hours. Surviving DD tanks of 13th/18th Hussars come ashore on Queen sector of Sword Beach.

0739 hours. Self propelled artillery of 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade start to fire from Landing Craft on the run in to Juno.

07.58 hours. DD tanks of 6th Armoured Regiment (1st Canadian Hussars) land on Mike Sector, Juno Beach.

0800 hours. No movement possible on Omaha beach.

0810 hours. DD tanks of 10th Armoured Regiment (Fort Garry Horse) land on Nan Sector after a "wet wade". C Squadron and RHQ 13th/18th Hussars land on Sword Beach.

0900 hours. Panzer Regiment 22 leaves Caen, heading north-east for the coast. Subsequently recalled to defend Caen.

0930 hours. A Squadron, 13th/18th Hussars and 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment capture Hermanville-sur-Mer.

1030 hours. Tanks of Staffordshire Yeomanry land on Sword Beach. 86th Field Regiment RA start to land Sexton SP guns on Sword Beach.

13.00 hours. 9th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division lands and is immediately redirected east, in support of the Airborne Division.

1400 hours Panzer Regiment 22 ordered to move to the coast in support of Panzergrenadier Regiment 902.

1410 hours. East Riding Yeomanry near Ouistreham.

15.00 hours. 48 Royal Marine Commando attack a German strongpoint in Langrune-sur-Mer. 12 SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend ordered to group near Caen.

15.30 hours. Landing Craft Gun (LCG) shell German strong point in Langrune-sur-Mer.

18.30 hours. Centaur tanks of Royal Marine Armoured Support Group attempt to destroy anti-tank obstacles in Langrune-sur-Mer.

21.00 hours. Troops from Panzergrenadier Regiment 902 reach the coast near Lion-sur-Mer. Panzer Lehr Division suffers massive air attacks en route to Normandy.

21.00 hours. Op. Mallard, Halifax-Hamilcar combinations take off from RAF Tarrant Rushton carrying Tetrarch light tanks and Carriers of 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment. Orne bridgehead declared secure.

Midnight; Utah beach fully secure and troops inland on the line Carentan - St Mere Eglise. Only a narrow beachhead on Omaha. 50th Infantry Division just short of Bayeux. British 3rd Infantry division some miles inland, direction Caen with a broad base between Ouistreham and Lion-sur-Mer. Third Canadian Division also well inland, if short of their main objective, but expecting German counter attacks the next day.

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