British Airborne East of river Orne



5 Para Bde 00 N. 1 Appx A
Ref Maps 1/50,000 Sheets 7/F1, 7/F2, TOP SECRET
                   1/25,000 Sheet No. 40/16 NW
To: Maj. R.J. Howard, 2 Oxf Bucks

1. Enemy
  1. Static def in area of ops.
    Garrison of the two brs at BENOUVILLE 098748 and RANVILLE 104746 consists of about 50 men, armed with four LAA guns, probably 20mm, four to six LMG, one AA MG and possibly two A Tk guns of less 50mm cal. A concrete shelter is under constr, and the br will have been prepared for demolition. See ph enlargement A21.
  2. Mobile res in area of ops.
    One bn of 736 GR is in the area LEBISEY 0471 - BIEVILLE 0674 with probably 8 to 12 tks under cmds. This bn is either wholly or partially carried in MT and will have at least one coy standing by as an anti-airtpo picket.
    Bn HQ of the RIGHT coastal bn of 736 GR is in the area 065772. At least one pl will be available in this area as a fighting patrol, ready to move out at once to seek infm.
  3. State of alertness.
    The large scale preparations necessary for the invasion of the Continent, the suitability of moon and tide will combine to produce a high state of alertness in the GERMAN def. The br grn may be standing to, and charges will have been laid in the demolition chambers.
  4. Detailed infm on enemy def and res is available on demand from Div Int Summaries, air phs and models.
2. Own Tps
  1. 5 Para Bde drops immediatly NE of RANVILLE at H minus 4 hrs 30 mins, and moves forthwith to take up a def posn round the two brs.
  2. 3 Para Bde drops at H minus 4 hrs 30 mins and is denying to the enemy the high wooded ground SOUTH of Le MESNIL 1472.
  3. 6 Airldg Bde is ldg NE of RANVILLE and WEST of BENOUVILLE at about H plus 12 hrs, and moves thence to a def posn in the area STE HONORINE LA CHARDONNERETTE 0971 - ESCOVILLE 1271.
  4. 3 Br Div is ldg WEST of OUISTREHAM 1079 at H hr with objective CAEN.
3. Ground
  See available maps, air phs and models.

4. Your task is to seize intact the brs over R ORNE and canal at BENOUVILLE 098748 and RANVILLE 104746, and to hold them until relief by 7 Para Bn. If the brs are blown, you will est personnel ferries over both water obstacles as soon as possible.
5. Composition of force
  1. Comd Maj. R.J. HOWARD 2 OXF BUCKS
  2. Tps D Coy 2 OXF BUCKS less sp Bren and 3"M dets.
    two pls B coy 2 OXF BUCKS
    det of 20 Sprs 249 Fd Coy (Airborne)
    det 1 Wing Glider P Regt.
6. Flight plan
  1. HORSA gliders available 6.
  2. LZ X triangular fd 099745. 3 gliders.
    LZ Y rectangular fd 104747. 3 gliders.
  3. Timing. First ldg H minus 5 hrs.
7. Gen Outline
  1. The capture of the brs will be a coup de main op depending largely on surprise, speed and dash for success.
  2. Provided the bulk of your force lands safely, you should have little difficulty in overcoming the known opposite on the brs.
  3. Your difficulties will arise in holding off an enemy counterattack on the brs, until you are relieved.
8. Possible enemy counter-attack
  1. You must expect a counter-attack any time after H minus 4.
  2. This attack may take the form of a Battle gp consisting of one coy inf in lorries, up to 8 tks and one or two guns mounted on lorries, or it may be a lorried inf coy alone, or inf on foot.
  3. The most likely line of approach for this force is down one of the rds leading from the WEST or SW, but a cross-country route cannot be ignored.
9. Org of def posn
It is vital that the crossing places be held, and to do this you will secure a close brhead on the WEST bank, in addition to guarding the brs. The immediate def of the brs and of the WEST bank of the canal must be held at all costs.

10. Patrolling
  1. You will harass and delay the deployment of the enemy counter-attack forces of 736 GR by offensive patrols covering all rd approaches from the WEST. Patrols will remain mobile and offensive.
  2. Up to one third of your effective force may be used in this role. The remaining two thirds will be used for static def and immediate counter-attack.
11. Emp of RE
  1. You will give to your Sprs the following tasks only, in order of priority:
    Neutralising the demolition mechanisms.
    Removing charges from demolition chambers.
    Establishing personnel ferries.
  2. In your detailled planning of the op you will consult the CRE or RE comd nominated by him in the carrying out of these tasks by the RE personnel under your comd.
12. Relief
I estimate that your relief will NOT be completed until H minus 3 hrs, ie, two hrs after your first ldg. One coy 7 Para Bn will, however, be despatched to your assistance with the utmost possible speed after the ldg of the Bn. They should reach your posn by H minus 3 hrs 30 mins, and will come under your comd until arrival of OC 7 Para Bn as in para 13(b).

13. Intercomn
  1. You will arrange for an offr or senior NCO to meet CO of 7 Para Bn near their Bn RV at H minus 4 hrs 30 mins with the following infn :
    1) are brs securely held?
    2) are brs intact?
    3) are you in contact with enemy, and if so where, and in what strength?
    4) if brs are blown, state of ferries?
    5) where is your coy HQ?
    In addition you will give a pre-arranged sigs from the brs, to show that they are in your possession, about H minus 4 hrs 15 mins.
    OC 7 Para Bn will take over comd of the brhead and of your force on his arrival at the EAST br.
14. Gliders Loads
  1. Gliders 1 - 4 one rifle pl less handcart.
    5 Sprs.
    Gliders 5 - 6 one rifle pl less handcart.
    5 men Coy HQ.
  2. Detailed Load Tables will be worked out by you in conjunc with the RE and Bde Loading Offr.

The trg of your force will be regarded as a first priority matter. Demands for special stores and trg facilities will be sent in through your Bn HQ to HQ 6 Airldg Bde. Until further notice all orders and instrs to you on trg will either originate from or pass through HQ 6 Airldg Bde.
Both Bde HQ will give you every possible help.


Comd. 5 Bde Para