6th - 12th JUNE 1944


Commanding Officer – Lieutenant Colonel C.R.Hardy


Source: PRO DEFE2/977.


6 June 1944 

1230 hrs 

They sailed from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, arriving at Juno Beach (Canadian Beach) at St Aubin-sur-Mer at 1830hrs, where they remained until the next morning. 

7June 1944 

0600 hrs 

Received a signal that 46 (RM) Commando to come under the command of I Corps, and to land at Bernieres-sur-Mer. The C/O went to HQ of the 4th S.S. Brigade at St Aubin-sur-Mer where he was ordered to capture the German strongpoint at Petit Enfer with one troop of RM Armoured Support Regiment who would be under his command. This strongpoint occupied a built up area 400 yards in length and 150 yards in depth and sited at the eastern edge of the town. 

The attack commenced at 1330 hrs from Langrune-sur-Mer in three phases. Two troops secured the road on the western edge of the town without casualties; there were shots from snipers in the area. When the naval bombardment was over, tanks of the RM Armoured Support Regiment moved forward to make contact with the enemy on the west side of the strongpoint, with the remainder of the Commandos following up closely. These two troops were to secure suitable Ops so as to plan the attack. The western defences centred on an anti-tank gun at the crossroads at the far end of the town covered by a minefield and a wire and trench system. The strongpoint consisted of pillboxes and a re-enforced house. The attack on the anti-tank gun by the two troops was supported by one tank, and timed so that the other troop could draw enemy fire and enable the tank with the other troop to destroy the gun. It was successful. 

During further attacks on the strongpoint, one troop engaged enemy from the south, enabling the other troop to cross the wire and the minefield. After a brief encounter one troop entered the strongpoint and the enemy surrendered. 

1800 hrs 

All enemy resistance ceased: 64 POWs of 716th Division were taken along with a number of weapons and equipment; no casualties. The Commandos occupied the remainder of the town. 

2000 hrs 

Two troops were ordered to occupy La Delivrande and a small town two miles inland. They left, passing through Luc-sur-Mer which had been occupied by 41 (RM) Commandos, reaching La Delivrande by 2200 hrs. 

The town had been heavily shelled by the Navy, and was occupied without opposition. An armoured counter-attack was expected during the night, communications had failed, and the patrol that as sent forward to clarify the position returned at 0400-0500 hrs. Brigade HQ gave orders to send a patrol to Douvres after first light. 

8 June 1944 

0800 hrs 

The rest of the unit went to La Delivrande; the patrol returned at midday and reported Douvres was clear of the enemy, but contact was made at the strongpoint south of the village, this being the Radar Station between Douvres and Basly. Douvres was occupied and searched, and the Commandos took up positions ready to support an attack on the Radar Station by the 7th Black Watch at 1800 hrs, with Naval support and air support. It was cancelled by I Corps. 

9 June 1944

1300 hrs 

46 (RM) Commandos were ordered to join the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, and was placed under the command of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade who were holding the area around Anguerny. During the afternoon the 48 (RM) Commandos arrived at Douvres to take over the village, so the unit moved to a new area. 

10 June 1944 

Ordered to move at first light to clear the valley of the River Mue from Barbiere to Rots. Supported by a Squadron of 10th Armoured Regiment, one troop of the RM Armoured Support Regiment, one section from RCE, one Field Regiment and one company of Machine Guns. 

11 June 1944 

0615 hrs 

Commandos left Anguerny and married up with the supporting units, and the operation was in 4 phases:- 

1.      Clear the woods from Barbiere to the outskirts of Cairon.

2.      Clear Cairon.

3.      Attack on Rosel.

4.      Attack on Le Hamel and Rots. 

In the first phase the bulk of the Commandos would go to the west bank of the river, and with two troops would clear the woods on the east bank. Tanks would move onto the higher ground on the west side. It was completed without difficulty by 1100 hrs. 8 POWs were taken in the woods. 

On reaching the outskirts of Cairon, the Commandos came under fire from 105mm Battery at Rosel. When the village was entered it was found to be occupied by the Canadians. Further progress was prevented by enemy harassing fire from the Rosel Battery. 

1320 hrs 

The Third Phase commenced, and the attack was supported by Artillery concentrations, also machine-guns firing from the high ground above Lasson. Two troops formed up north-west of the outskirts of Lasson supported by tanks, and swept through Lasson and Rosel without difficulty meeting only a small amount of enemy fire. 

1500 hrs 

Both the villages were cleared. The unit re-formed on the west bank to prepare for the final phase. Information on the enemy strength in Le Hamel and Rots was rather scanty, but the Canadians attacked earlier and were beaten off. 

Phase 4. During the assault on Le Hamel, Rots was to be contained by one Field Battery firing HE and smoke. As soon as Le Hamel was captured two troops were to pass through to Rots. The plan worked well and the days action represented a gain of 7 miles with the flanks making little gain. If they remained in Rots overnight it would be precarious, so they were ordered back to Cairon. The counter-attack expected during the night did come. 

12 June 1944 

0400 hrs 

One company of the Regimet de Chauderie arrived with carriers and anti-tank guns, and the whole force was ordered to withdraw before dawn. 


Killed – 20
Wounded – 9
Missing – 31 

When Rots and Le Hamel were re-occupied by the Canadians two days later they found 122 dead Germans. 

Honours & Awards:- 

Lt-Col Hardy – DSO
Major Lee – MC
Sgt S.Cooper – MM
L/Cpl R.McCarthy – MM
Mne T.Vardy – MM


©Paul Reed 2002-2006

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