Gold Beach (JIG), Tides, Beach & H-Hour

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by IanTurnbull, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    In doing my research I have come across quite different "facts" about H-Hour, tides, wind speed and beach conditions on JIG. I wonder if the experts on this Forum can help clear some of this up because, although its detail, I want to get it right

    H-Hour

    My father's regiment records H-Hour at 07:30 in the War Diary (they were supposed to be landing in two waves, first on Jig Green East, then on West), yet almost all accounts say 07:25. What was it or did it vary depending on landing point, or by whether it concerned the airborne assault, infantry or Navy? Or did they just get it wrong?

    Tides

    Some accounts have the infantry coming in at low tide, some at low tide + 1 hour, some accounts say at quarter-tide to allow the LCAs to navigate over the sand banks in this area.
    And the reason for Gold being 60m after the US troops is often given as tide differentials around the Normandy Coast - but today's tide tables give a differential of just 30 mins between the Western end of Utah and the eastern end of Sword beach, so that wasnt the only reason.
    Using the mid-point (Port-en- Bessin) as a example, I believe low tide on 6th June was 05:52 with high tide 5 hrs later, which means Gold Beach H-Hour was at roughly Low tide + 1H 33Mins, so the 1st line infantry landings on JIG seemed to be just after the quarter-tide?


    Beach

    I believe Gold beach was about 3 miles (5 Km) from Le Hamel to La Riviere, Jig being slightly wider than King. When was the decision to suspend landings on JIG (Green) made and what impact did that have on the timetable for the last vessels due before High tide. Some personal accounts have LCTs due at H+120 arriving early for instance.

    Again accounts vary of the amount of beach the 1st line infantry had to traverse before reaching the dunes. This was the trade-off between landing nearer low tide to be better able to disable the submerged defences and minimising losses due heavily laden soldiers having to cross a wide expanse of exposed beach. Some accounts put this at about 300 yards at H-Hour, others at 100 yards. Personal accounts of an event under phenomenal stress are bound to vary widely, and it must have seemed like miles to those involved, but does anybody have an objective estimate?

    Weather

    Rommel and the German defenders believed nobody would invade in the prevailing conditions around 6th June. That morning off the Normandy Coast it is recorded as Sea State 4 (moderate waves of 1.25 to 2.5 metres) with a Westerly wind of Force 4/5 (15 to 20 knots, i.e. up to 23 mph). That is mighty uncomfortable for the infantry and tanks in their flat bottomed, low draught vessels, and it caused a pretty universal drift eastwards for the early arrivals, on Jig, but was the weather better or worse than predicted when Eisenhower made his agonising decision to proceed? And did it bring-forward the high-tide significantly and therefore delay the timetables for the landings?

    Beach wall
    Many accounts talk about encountering a beach wall unexpectedly, presumably because they had landed further east than planned. Where did this wall begin and end? Was it just on King?

    Bit of a shopping list, and I have looked around the forum to try and see whether these and other questions have been answered, but I couldn't find anything definite.
    Thanks
    Ian
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
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  2. Arty

    Arty Member

    Ian,

    As no one else has joined in, here's some quick (and colloquial) responses...

    1. The 147 Fd Regt War Diary was close, but not correct. H-Hour in the Gold (and Sword) areas was 0725 hrs 06Jun44. It's a whole subject in itself. Many documents/accounts have it differently. The War Diary of 50 Divs provost company records them landing at 0600 hours! Bollocks!
    2. At 0725 the tide was rising. But of course mother nature was not cooperating and it was rising faster than planned!
    3. LCA's obviously grounded much closer to the beach than LCT's. At 0725 the distance to the top of the beach for first wave infantryman was very roughly 200 yards. However that's a very rough average. Some LCA's hit runnels whereupon the first guys then waded into deeper water (and some were then run down by their own craft)...
    4. Again, an entire subject by itself, however the decision "Okay, let's go" by Eisenhower was made knowing the conditions would not be tickety boo.
    5. The sea wall. Not so much as a sea wall but a dirt/sand embankment, on top of which was a dirt road. Attached is an extremely lovely map which shows where the first LCT's carrying 147 Fd Regt actually arrived at H+60. The photo below the fantastic map was apparently taken from the deck of an LCI(L) about 3 hours later, looking due west at the same area - with the the tide well and truly up! (the source of the photo may have been the combined ops website). Perhap's there's even some vehicles of 147 Fd Regt in the photo....
    Extremely lovely map.jpg

    The sea wall.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    My understanding is that the Commonwealth H was delayed because of suspected shallows off JUNO, so the tide was allowed time to rise a bit further. GOLD and SWORD were then synchronised with JUNO.

    A conscious decision had been made to land on a rising tide to ensure that landing craft could retract and get out of the way of the following waves, just in case being empty wasn't enough.
     
  4. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    Idlers comment made me lookup more on Juno conditions and I found this in James Holland's "Normandy 44" on H-Hour.

    "Adding to the complication was the realisation that the rocky shoals off Juno Beach would cause major landing problems at anything lower than half-tide..... The final compromise was agreed just days before D-Day. The Americans would land at 06:30, the British at Sword Beach at 07:25 and at Gold at 07:30, and the British and Canadians at 07:45 at Juno".
    Could it be the EY War Diary was right! Hardly matters in the bigger scheme of things I know

    Ian
     
  5. Arty

    Arty Member

    JH appears to have researched his book in an Idiots Guide to D-Day.

    On 28May44 ANCXF [Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force] confirmed D-Day was to be Monday 05Jun44. This decision was made after many months of planning. For 05Jun44 there were no less than five pre-planned H-Hours:

    Force O [Omaha] 0610

    Force U [Utah] 0600

    Forces S and G [Sword and Gold] 0645

    Force J, right sector [Juno 7 Bde on Nan Green/Mike] 0655

    Force J, left sector [Juno 8 Bde on Nan White/Red] 0705

    At approximately 2215 hrs on Sunday 04Jun44 General Dwight D. Eisenhower met with his senior officers. As most of us know, the assault on 05Jun44 was postponed because of bad weather. It eventually went ahead on Tuesday 06Jun44 - also pre-planned. The H-Hours for the respective assault areas on 06Jun44 were:

    Force U [Utah] 0630

    Force O [Omaha] 0630

    Forces G and S [Gold and Sword] 0725

    Force J, right sector 0735

    Force J, left sector 0745

    Force J units were delayed by weather/navigation on the cross channel passage on the night of 05-06Jun44 and an additional 10 minutes was added to each of the H-Hours for Juno.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  6. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    Thanks Arty thats all really helpful

    1. H-Hour

    Looks like H-Hour is more complicated than I thought; as you say a "....whole subject in itself"! I thought it odd that a War Diary of a front-line Regiment would get something so fundamental as H-Hour wrong, but their official history has 07:25 as do most books and the 147th Regiment’s accomplices, the 90th Field have it as 07:25 in their War Diary. It seems the 147th HQ were as confused as some historians today.

    2. Tides

    At an H-Hour of 07:25 I still make the intended 1st wave Gold landings on or after ¼ tide

    3. Beach

    I will go with your average of roughly 200 yards taking your point about obstacles, sandbanks etc. I haven’t been able to find an informed estimate of the HT-LT span on Gold on that day. In general the span looks pretty uniform on the maps.

    4. Weather
    Do we know whether the conditions at 07:25 were pretty much as predicted in the Eisenhower “Go-NoGo” meeting, better or worse?

    5. The sea wall.

    Thanks for clarifying the type of sea wall and where it was. That is most helpful and I will nick the diagram & photo if I may

    Ian
     
  7. Arty

    Arty Member

    Ian,

    Touching on H-Hour again briefly… I ‘meandered’ into some info from the American 457th Bomb Group (flying B-17’s tasked to hit the Gold area on 06June – including WN37 at Le Hamel). Even the USAAF 457th Bomb Group apparently recorded H-Hour in the Gold Area: “Zero hour was 0725 hours”.

    To the question of the marginal weather on 06Jun44. An answer of “better”, or, “worse” would be fairly pointless. However, I think we can quantify the effect the weather had, with specific reference to the assault on Jig Green.

    From H-30 hours… More than 200 B-17’s of the USAAF’s First Bombardment Division began flying over Force G. About 50 of these aircraft would have flown almost directly over the LCA’s carrying the Hamp’s assault companies (and Bdr Turnbull). Though, these aircraft would have only been glimpsed through the cloud cover, that was 9/10th's to 10/10th's. The German defences, WN36 & WN37, should have been deluged by 100lb bombs. However, because of the cloud cover, the Americans could not be sure of hitting the coast, let alone their targets. They did what they required to do and delayed the release of their bombs – which all fell inland.

    H-5 19 Sherman DD’s of B Squadron Sherwood Rangers should have ‘swam’ in and been sitting in the shallows – ready to provide considerable cover fire for the engineers and the Hamps. However, because of the choppy seas the DD’s had not been launched. The LCT’s carrying the DD’s eventually came closer in and the DD’s waded in – even so, 3 of the DD’s reportedly ‘drowned’ wading in.

    H-Hour The intention was to land to seaward of the obstacle belt, so that engineers could commence demolishing them. However, because of the sea state & the wind the rising tide was being pushed up faster than predicted. 73 Fd Coy RE recorded: “At H Hour the water level had already risen up the vertical stakes, had crept round the sandbank and was washing the concrete tetraheda… The tide with a following wind had covered the obstacle area by H + 60”. Hence most of the obstacles were not cleared until the afternoon when the tide had receded. Meanwhile, the obstacles did not stop the initial waves of landing craft, however later waves suffered damage & losses from them.

    H-Hour Sixteen LCT(A) carrying Centaurs & Shermans of 1 RMASR were supposed to have fired on the run in in the Gold area, then beached – whereupon they would have provided fire support for the assault. Four of these craft carrying 8 Centaurs & two Shermans were due on Jig Green. However, due to the rough seas during the crossing, most of the LCT(A)’s broke down, sank or were delayed.

    H+7 The Hamps assault companies were supposed to have landed and immediately attacked WN37 & Asnelles. However, because of the cross current and the choppy seas, the LCA’s were pushed eastward and apparently arrived late (according to Major Mott OC B Coy they touched down at 0738 hrs). The result of which, the Hamps assault companies had to work westwards to close with the German positions. The Hamps ‘A’ Company, in particular, being decimated in the process.

    So, insofar as Jig Green went, the marginal weather conditions certainly caused difficulties


    Arty
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Let me add a few more elements to the story on Jig Green - based on Gunners in Normandy

    At 0645 the OP officers of the three regiments of 50th Division Artillery in the Motor Launches leading the flotilla passed the range to the waiting batteries and at 0650 the regiments in their LCTs at the rear of their flotillas joined the bombardment. At about 0715 the LCTs(R) reached their fixed range of 3850 yards from the beach and loosed their salvoes of 1000 rockets, an impressive and awe-inspiring sight and at 0720 the 95 mm Centaurs tank of 1 Royal Marine Assault Support Regiment added their fire to the bombardment.
    p149

    Captain Morris was the observer for 90th Field Regiment in a Motor Launch. The guns started adjustment and as 147th Field Regiment’s ML could not make contact, he also passed the radar plot to the Adjutant of 147 Field Regiment, which then joined in the bombardment of WN36 rather than their planned target WN37. Major C J Sidgwick, 147th Regiment’s reserve OP immediately closed on the beaches in his motor launch in order to observe and correct the fire of his Regiment more closely, putting himself considerably in advance of the leading wave of assault craft and becoming exposed to heavy enemy fire of all natures. p150


    (On Jig Green) Only two of the nine LCA(HR) fired, so few of the obstacles were destroyed and many LCTs were hit by mines or shellfire and unable to unload. p153

    With WN37 scarcely touched by the bombardment, 1st Hampshires soon ran into problems in Le Hamel. The CO and his BC, Major R B Gosling of 431st Battery 147th Field Regiment, were wounded,........
    Captain M.G. Beale, BK of 431 Battery, took Major Gosling’s place. Captain D B Taylor landed as FOO with the Reserve Company of 1 Hampshire Regiment, and established an OP from which he was able to give effective support to the Infantry in their assault on WN 37, supported by an AVRE, an act for which he was awarded the MC. (Note 1)
    Sergeant Palmer, No 1 of a Sexton of 511st Battery, 147th Field Regiment heard that the infantry were held up by an anti-tank gun and brought forward his Self Propelled gun and engaged the enemy at point blank range although he well knew that a vehicle much better armoured than his had already been destroyed by the enemy guns. His fire destroyed the pill-box and the antitank gun and caused the snipers to surrender. His initiative earned him an MM .
    Major C J Sidgwick, BC 413rd Battery, having observed the fire during the run-in shoot, landed immediately after the leading waves to reconnoitre the beach so that the Battery should waste no time in coming into action on landing. He was supported in this by his battery captain, Captain ECB Edwards for which they were both awarded the MC. p154-155


    147th Field Regiment was reduced to five troops, the sixth having been unable to join in the run-in shoot because its LCT had had engine trouble during the night. C Troop got ashore and went into action on the beach at about H+20 and D Troop followed at H+40. (Note 2) The troop was meant to go ashore about two miles inland, as the other two batteries were held up and it had been landed about a mile to the east of where it should have landed, the Troop linked up with C Troop who were in action nearby on the beach. It went into action on the coast road between the beach and a minefield. The director had to be set up in the minefield, but fortunately no-one stood on a mine while passing line to the guns. The guns started firing immediately in support of 1st Hampshires who were having difficulty in clearing Le Hamel.(Source Richardson) .p166-167

    Notes.

    1. Captain Taylor of 431 Battery is mentioned organising the fire support for the attack on Le Hamel which fits the description of the target engaged by the battery (C & D Troops) We know this is all officially true because Taylor was awarded the MC for this action.

    2. The source for the timings is Major General T A Richardson, who was at the time of his death the highest ranking D Day veteran, and a distinguished senior artilleryman. Anyone wondering about the inconsistent timings should read the short story "Whisky and the Music" in "The General Danced at Dawn" by George Macdonald Fraser.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
  9. Arty

    Arty Member

    It must have been an exhilarating sight to watch 1000’s of rockets fall into the sea. In respect of Le Hamel the COHQ Special Observer Party Beach Report tells us: “information was obtained from some of the Beach Groups who landed at approx. H+30…. They were of the opinion that all rocket fire had fallen short into the sea….” Whilst the physical examination of the area revealed “There was no trace of rockets observed in the area….”

    And 2 Bty 1 RMASR were due to arrive on Jig, after their run-in shoot, with 16 Centaurs & 2 Shermans. The War Diary of 1 RMASR records: “0730 1 Sherman and 4 Centaurs landed on the 231 Inf Bde Sector (JIG), having engaged no tgts by direct fire during the run-in….”

    Yes indeed 147 Fd Regt ended up firing at WN36 not WN37. Perhaps they needed some more time to exercise and get their comms working. Bottom line is they did not hit their target at all.

    Bravado is not actually that effective in knocking out enemy positions.

    As for the fight for Le Hamel, it’s apparent that indirect fire from 147 Fd Regt did not hasten it’s capture. Notwithstanding some unpleasant weather causing difficulties early on, this was a day of stuff ups. By the end of the day a very large force had finally managed to knock off a much smaller enemy force.

    And all those inconsistent timings, what's going on there? In fact, 147 Fd Regt managed, fairly consistently, to get their times not quite right.

    And I’m quite sure that anybody studying actual historic events would not want to bother reading: “The General Danced at Dawn". It certainly will not tell you anything about the events of 06Jun44, directly or otherwise.

    Mind you, Gunners in Normandy is quite a good read. Most of it is entirely factual info. Great! I think we should just keep the fairy tales to a minimum.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    Arty old chap

    I don't think one can simply dismiss the contribution made by 147 Field Regiment's indirect fire to the capture of Hamel. We don't know if Sgt Palmer or an AVRE did more to capture the bunker with his name and the Essex Yeomanry plaque.

    One thing I have learned since becoming a battlefield historian is that history is made up of sources and interpretations rather than facts. Regimental history and traditions are often based on shaky ground. George Macdonald Fraser's works are really well observed and provide insights into how the British Army worked, and maybe still does. His memoir "Quartered safe out here" is possibly the best book about the infantry experience in Burma. His Mclauslan books and the General Danced at D\awn are thinly disguised accounts of life in the Gordon Highlanders in post war Libya.

    Gunners in Normandy has more referenced sources than some of the other Gunner Blue Book histories. However the purpose of the work was to be an advocate of the work of the Royal Regiment rather than sit in judgement. No attempt has been made to evaluate the merits of individual medal citations. If its in the London Gazette it is a Regimental truth. I have a suspicion that at least one MC and an MM may have been awarded for engaging friendly tanks.
     
  11. Arty

    Arty Member

    Sheldrake old fruit,

    Yep, believe it or not, I gathered there was a bit of work put into “Gunners in Normandy”. However, there is clearly an issue with being perceived to besmirch any veteran isn't there? You'd never be able to show your face in the mess again. Its a bi-product of nationalism. We could quite 'cheerfully' slag off any German unit (just for example), as third-rate clowns, but writing anything that suggests some Brit or British unit wasn't top rate would immediately put us on shaky ground.

    In the meantime, thanks, you've confirmed that GMF's semi fictional books have nothing to do with the events in Normandy. Hey I could make oblique references to Sun Tzu's writings - however it wouldn't prove a lot.

    Back to some nitty gritty. It clearly was the nice piece of driving and direct shooting by Sgt Palmer's crew that put a stop to the excellent shooting by WN37's 7.5cm gun crew. The poor bastards deserve a medal, and yet we'll never know their names. Sgt Scaife's effort came roughly three hours later – this was indeed a belated coup de grace, as he systematically ‘petarded’ the area.

    The fight for Le Hamel turned into a messy action. The remnants of A & B Coy Hamps were brought to a halt at close quarters to the defenders. Bringing down fire in Le Hamel under the circumstances was clearly difficult and dangerous. Indeed, from the horse’s mouth we have: “One of the first targets was near St Come de Fresne” – that is almost 2km south west of Le Hamel. And Capt Taylor’s MC citation tells us: “the Bn Capt TAYLOR supported was heavily engaged principally in street fighting…During all this time enemy fire was intense and concealed snipers active behind our leading troops. Capt Taylor nevertheless was continually with the leading troops.” Once the deadlock at Le Hamel had finally been broken Capt Taylor (et al) were in a position to bring their firepower to bear. And not forgetting the appalling state of comms early on, as revealed in detail by Maj RB Gosling.

    Very important to grasp is that there is ample evidence that the Gun Troops did NOT touch down at H+20 & H+40, but at H+60 & H+120 (gave a take a few minutes) as planned.

    Perhaps you should have written the chapters on D-Day. You could have perhaps had some assistance from some of the 'old chaps' on this forum. It’s not judgemental in sorting out fact from fable.
     
  12. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    WRT to the Run-In shoot I think its been historians, not the Regiment, who have mistakenly suggested that 147ths guns were redirected onto WN37 after Major Sidgwick from his ML realised they were misdirected. Here is an article by Lt Col Will Townend for example repeating this.
    upload_2021-2-6_1-5-30.png
    I have not seen any explicit report in EY circles that says they were realigned to WN37. I am not even sure that would be practical under the circumstances. The firing was only 30 mins and none of the accounts of the men firing the guns mention pausing to realign the guns then starting again.

    I accept the primary source reports are vague however, and dont mention what they were actually aimed at.

    Regimental history "... (Major Sidgwick) was able to correct the fire of the Regiment on to the target after the 1st salvo". Note, no mention of which target.

    Chris Sidgwick's own account:

    upload_2021-2-6_1-7-24.png

    Again no mention of which target, just that the 1st salvo landed in the Sea "..short" , Note; not a mile too far east.
    So I think in this case its not a 147th misrepresentation.

    We do have the names of two of Sgt Palmer's crew, although not the roles. Don Sadler & BSM Herbert Broom (his CPO Half-Track was drowned and he climbed aboard Palmer’s SP and served as one of the Gunners on the SP). BSM Broom was killed in action near Tilly. In the course of my further research through Normandy following "D" Troop I hope to encounter evidence that enables me to fill out this 511 Battery crew too. I agree with Arty that the crew deserve special praise; some historians ignore Sgt Palmer's role believing it was wholly Sgt Scaife's AVRE that disabled the gun - recent example Peter Caddick-Adams, "Sand & Steel". This irritates me no end.

    Some recent analysis of aerial photos has a Sexton precisely where Sgt Palmer says he was, around 10:30 if I remember correctly, but I will dig that out and confirm the time. And he was then called forward by Captain Warburton, 147th's FOO with the SRY, now tankless having had his holed, and instructed to engage the blockhouse. The SRY were on the same road getting beaten up. There is an excellent account of this (and subsequent actions) in his IWM interview
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

  14. We do know the names of Sgt Palmer's crew. See:
    D-Day Gun Crew - Picture and notes by Andy Crookston

    As for their respective role, Bob Palmer's IWM interview gives the following, sometimes conflicting, hints (from my part transcription of his interview):

    -------------------------
    07:33
    Q: Can you remember who was in your crew?

    A: I had a chap called Lance Serjeant [Alex] GERKEN, he was my No.2, he was my deputy, a chap called Don SADLER was my number three, that’s the man who does the firing and the manoeuvering of the gun in position. A chap called Len CHAPPELL was my number four. Number five, I had a man who I didn’t know very well really, he only came to me just before we took part in the invasion, and at the moment his name escapes me. And as I said, we had our Sergeant Major Herbert BROOM on board, acted as one of the gunners as well, although he was a Sergeant Major, a rank above me. He came ashore as a Gunner and acted as a Gunner under my orders.

    So I was very fortunate, all these chaps were extremely, extremely capable, well trained

    Unfortunately, one of them, Les GIDDINGS, died shortly afterwards [on 24th April 1981, aged 71 years]
    (...)
    08:34
    Don SADLER, who was the number four
    (...)
    My driver, because he lived in Manchester, in Redford Road as it was called
    (...)
    Les GIDDINGS No.3
    (...)
    another one from Scarborough
    -------------------------

    Some of these fine fellows visited GOLD Area later on:
    CHAPTER 6: PILGRIMAGES and REUNIONS etc


    Michel
     
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  15. One problem of course with the crew photo as per the previous thread is that we have 7 men for a 6-man crew. If all 7 were indeed crewing Sgt Palmer's gun F1 on D Day, plus BSM Broom as hitch hiker and additional ammunition loaded from the unused run in shoot stock, the Sexton must have been fairly crowded and the run-turn-turn-stop-shoot maneuver ending the 7.5 cm gun an even more splendid show of gunnery craft :rolleyes:

    More photos here:
    Bristol Scout: Rebuilding Grandad's Aircraft

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I am afraid the Official Historians disagreed. According to the material in the National Archives CAB papers 44/247 (?) D Day 30 Corps and Gold Beach, (1950) Chapter 3 (50 Div) Para 81 quotes COHQ Bulletin Y44
    There is an uncertainty about the 147 Fd Regt's bombardment. What corrections did Sedgwick make? Did he correct the fire onto the regiments new, ordered target of Les Roquettes or back onto Le Hamel, which would have been contrary to the amended orders, but was the tactically sensible thing to do?

    There are several reasons why this might not have been clarified within the EY accounts.

    1. The authors may not have been aware of the background to the Combined OPs HQ decision to switch fire to Les Roquettes.

    2. The Royal Artillery takes pride in its communications capability. Without comms the guns are useless. Losing communications between the OPs and Guns at the critical moment on the big day may have been seen as an embarrassing episode on the EY history and one best glossed over.

    3. If Major Sedgwick had adjusted the fire of 147 Fd Regt back onto Le Hamel it would have been in contravention of the orders given on the run in. This may have been tactically sensible, but not a matter that needed to be paraded in public.

    Richard Holmes was probably the best historian to have served in the Essex Yeomanry. About 15 years ago he spoke at a Battlefields Trust study day about the difficulty of writing about battles. He had just come back from an extended visit to the PWRR in Iraq as their Regimental Colonel which would be written up as "Dusty Warriors." The day after a battle at a place called something like Yellow 6 he interviewed the the participants. People would only remember some bits. They would miss out whole sections because they thought you already knew it. He was a professional historian asking people about what had happened yesterday. We are trying to understand what happened 76 years ago.

    As I posted earlier we can only interpret sources. Facts are elusive and rarely as certain as readers might wish.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
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  17. Arty

    Arty Member

    Ian,

    In this case, too hell with the arguement from written documents, no matter the source. I'm pretty sure I sent you some screengrabs, of aerial photographs, back in 2019. They photos were taken after the run-in shoot. Someone who was seriously slight impaired could see in the photos that WN37 was NOT hit by plunging fire. Not 5 in rockets and not artillery. 30 minutes at rate 3 of 20 x 25pdrs would be one thousand eight hundred rounds. This fire, concentrated on a single target, would have caused some obvious damage too the roofs of the buildings within WN37. The regiment in question seems to have missed!

    I 'hate' to say it, but I agree with Sheldrake's comments above!

    Regards
    Arty
     
  18. Arty

    Arty Member

    Ian,

    Let's get controversial now...

    Firstly, when I said "The poor bastards deserve a medal, and yet we'll never know their names" I meant the German gun crew!

    Secondly, avoid "S... and S....." like it's a particularly virulent strain of Covid 19. The cliched content suggests the book was drafted about 1970. I was 'horrified' just reading some previewed portions of it. The author is supposedly a particular intelligent chap.

    Arty

    ps. Check your PM. Shortly I'll send you a nice pic of E, A & C Troops scratching their backsides on Jig Red.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  19. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    Ok Arty we are agreeing. My point, perhaps clumsily made, was I personally have found no evidence that it was the Regiment spinning the story about eventually hitting WN37 on the "Run-In Shoot"; it is various historians who have done that, and misunderstood the 1st hand accounts, and I attached an example. I absolutely agree all the evidence points to the fact that WN37 was not targeted at any point on the Run-IN. I dont think anybody from the Regiment would say otherwise, then and now; do you have contrary evidence?.
    WRT the German gun crew in the blockhouse I am sorry I misunderstood your point and as Michel has shown we do know the names of Sgt Palmers crew. More on that later
    Ian
     
  20. IanTurnbull

    IanTurnbull Well-Known Member

    Sheldrake
    Just to be clear, is this COHQ Bulletin Y44 after the event, or orders to the protagonists mid-channel? Its been clear for a long time that the 147th got their range and line from the ML with the 90th Field hence both Regiments targeting WN36 Les Roquettes. But I had always thought it was a tactical decision made by those on the spot as it were.
    Ian
     

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