By Tim Saunders
Among the veterans that Montgomery introduced again with him from the Mediterranean to spearhead the D-day invasion, have been West kingdom squaddies of 231 Brigade. The Devons, Hampshires and Dorsets had already conducted attack landings in Sicily and in Italy and changed one other brigade that were provisionally allotted to guide XXX Corps ashore on Jig region of Gold Beach.Unknown to the Allies, a top quality German department have been moved ahead to the coast. This used to be a similar German department that almost halted the american citizens at OMAHA and the West Countrymen needed to struggle tremendous tough for his or her ambitions. 231 Brigade confronted the sternest try of all British troops on D-day.
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Extra resources for Gold Beach Jig: Jig Sector and West June 1944
Without 80 81 officers and with most SNCOs similarly out of action, the remains of A Company went to ground in the dunes and ditches. At this stage few Hampshires reached the outskirts of Ie Hamel. Back at WN 36, the Royal Engineers eventually produced a single lane off the beach for the infantry. Major Mott led B Company, 1 Hampshire through the gap: '... there were notices saying "Achtung Minen" everywhere, I don't think anyone had touched off a mine. The grass was burning and smoke obscured the view.
The flail was in fact the second casualty to enemy action. A captured Polish 77rnm anti-tank gun, mounted in a massive casemate on the sea front at Ie Hamel, had earlier hit the LCT carrying Number I Team. The craft slewed sideways across the beach and was unable to discharge its vehicles until later. From the first moment of the landing, this 77mm gun was to be a problem. Brigadier Stanier explained that, in addition to the artillery failure: 'The air strike NOT only missed Ie Hamel but most important the pillbox at the east end which caused all the trouble ...
Ob~; \ . waapon. --, 'gun emplaoomcmt. m. ehellw WK • cons~uctioni" activit"l ,... o..... marshland block,mooable -J/o"-"'contburs(ln mcfNs) ;==;=r TpamW8Y on roadside hmdino in. No~ :T~~1901f1. It,"'" • GERMAN DEfENCI SYSTEM AREA' \. near one blasted sand over me and my radio went dead, riddled with shrapnel. A sweet rancid smell, never forgotten, was everywhere; it was the smell of burned explosive, torn flesh and ruptured earth. High up on the beach aflail tank was knocked out, I saw B Company's Headquarters group take cover behind it just as ashelled scored a direct hit on them.