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Army Form C.2118
Unit: 8th Bn. The Rifle Brigade
Month and Year: July 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. J.A. Hunter.
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
LE-MESNIL-PATRY AREA 1-8   During this time the Bn. was virtually left alone to reorganise. Armd Regts were positioned in areas from which they could counterattack any threat to the flanks of the ODON bridgehead, and Motor Coys were out with them for a few days at a time, but the Coys were not engaged and we were able to profit from the fact that we had most of the time to ourselves. On 1st July, 40 of our 1st line rfts came up, and on the 6th the residue men and vehs arrived. Lt.Col. E.D. Treneer-Michell left us and his place was taken by Lt.Col. Hunter, J.A., MBE.,MC. of the 60th., at the same time Major J. Dickenson, also of the 60th, came to command 'H' Coy. Capt. Bell took over 'G' Coy. We were still down in men but reorganised and battleworthy. Coys reverted to comd and the Bn. as a whole took up defensive posn. to protect the West flank of the ODON bridgehead, with a counter-
892727 8-14   attack role in the area LE-HAUT-DU-BOSQ. Lieut. L.H. Anderson joined the Bn. and was posted to 'F' Coy.
15   Orders for Op GOODWOOD were received.
16 0700 Bn. moves to new area East of CULLY.
17 0030 Bn. moves to conc area PLUMETOT.
18 0230 Bn. moves to lying up area 022746.
20 1000 Bde moves back to area GIBERVILLE to reorgagnise.
21 1900 40 rfts arrived, largely from 8 Corps D&F Coy.
CUSSY 22 1000 Move to new area CUSSY, where a week was well spent in reoganisation. Capt.Bell was promoted Major, Major Dickenson left us and Capt. Straker took over 'H' Coy.
CAUMONTArea 29 0700 Move to PLANQUERY Nort of CAUMONT in preparation for an attack on the left of the American breakthrough.
30 1400 Bn leave PLANQUERY moving as a whole. For this Op in BOCAGE country it was considered insufficient to have a Motor Coy with each Armd Regt., so two Bns from the Bns from the Inf.Bde were put with two of the Armd Regts. and ourselves as a Bn. with the third.On the first day we were in reserve with 3 R.T.R., and the day was spent merely following the succesful advance along the centre line SOUTH through CAUMONT and LES-SEPT-VENTS. Late in the evening we were called fwd to try and reach ST.MARTIN-des-BESACES, a commanding feature on the next ridge South of CAUMONT. Owing to the traffic congestion we never got up to CAUMONT
ST.MARTIN 31 0915 As soon as possible the next morning 'H' Coy put in an attack on ST.MARTIN, the plan was that 'G' Coy should work round the left of the road where the country was extremely close, while the tanks worked round to the right. The Coys ran into extremly heavy opposition on the line of the rly just North of the village and were almost pinned to the ground. In the end by persistent fire and movement and with the help of 1 Herefords who came along the road to ST.MARTIN from the West, where the opposition was negligibe, they finally took the place at 1430 hrs. During the battle Capt.Straler, Lieut.Stileman and Lieut.Yetman were wounded, Capt.May took over 'H' Coy. This was perhapts the hardest fighting in which the Bn. had yet been engaged, but it was repaid by the knowledge that with the capture of ST.MARTIN the last line of enemy defences had been penetrated, third time lucky, we had made a breakthrough.
31 1700 The Armd Regts were pushed through us and turned west towards Le-FORET l'EVEQUE as it happened the forest was not held and the Bn. was able to follow through it to PERRIERES, where the Bde spent the night. We were now throughts enemy's gun line into country from which he had not had time to evacuate the civilians, as a result we spent a most amusing and sociable 12 hours in PERRIERES with not only the French population but also a Bn. of Americal Infantry in whose area we now were, who came through us to take up a posn in the area. The close liaison betweed the two Armies was symbolised by the action of an American enlisted man who, as he marched through the village, silently and without stopping thrust into the hand of the Colonel a stick of chewing gum.

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Source: 11th Armoured Division.

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.