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D-Day Diary - 4th Week of May 1944

22 May 1944. HM King George VI inspects 27 Armoured Brigade in Petworth Park, West Sussex.

24 May 1944. Men of 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment (First Hussars) enjoy their last night out; the camp was sealed from 0300 hours next morning.

preparations for d-day

27/28 May 1944. 28 German aircraft bomb Weymouth.; 38 more drop mines in Weymouth and Portland harbours.

28 May 1944. Admiral Ramsay signals from Eisenhower's Headquarters at Southwick House "Carry Out Operation Neptune".

28 May 1944. Situation report by German Commander-in-Chief West (von Runstedt) reads "Due to attacks of last four days Seine railway bridges between Paris and Rouen destroyed or impassable. Exception; railway bridge St. Germain…C-in-C West insists on immediate restoration in each case."

d-day tanks

30 May 1944. Tarrant Rushton airfield carries out a mass night-time exercise with Halifax/Hamilcar bomber/glider combinations.

31 May 1944. Force U, American troops destined for Utah Beach begin loading at ports in Devon; Plymouth, Dartmouth, Brixham and Torquay. Force O for Omaha at Weymouth, Portland and Poole. Force G for Gold Beach and Force J for Juno at Southampton the Solent and Spithead. Force S for Sword at Portsmouth, the Solent, Spithead, Newhaven and Shoreham.

d-day tanks

It is a time-consuming and tricky business. On every landing craft deck space is at a premium so vehicles have to be reversed aboard (in order to drive off forwards) and then park up as close together as possible. Odd corners and other small spaces are filled with Jeeps, trailers and other small vehicles.

All tanks are chained down for the voyage, to prevent them from moving about in rough weather. Although some officers have accommodation on the ship the majority of men remain with their vehicles, sleeping inside, underneath or in hammocks, made from canvas sheets, slung between the tanks.

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