U.S. Airborne in Cotentin Peninsula



No. of Copies: 200
Copy No. 131
APO 472, U.S. Army
Hq 101st AB Division
18 May 1944


For Location of Serial Numbers designated in this plan, see Engineer Operation Overlays (Inclosures 5A and 5B).
  1. This plan describes the important engineer work within the 101st Airborne Division area.
  2. Responsability for taking over critical points on definite routes of communications to prevent their destruction and facilitate the initial movement of friendly troops is specifically delegated to unit commanders in whose area they are located, as is also the destruction of specific routes to prevent passage of the enemy into the division area from the South.
  1. PLAN:
    (1) To do such engineer work as is necessary to prevent the movement of enemy troops across the River DOUVE and its tributaries from the South between ST. SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE exclusive and the mouth of the CHENAL DU PORT de CARENTAN inclusive.
    (2) To assist the advance of our troops along the CHEF DU PONT-ETIENVILLE-ST. SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE road.
    (3) To disrupt the enemy's underground wire communications system wherever practicable. Disruption will be accomplished by disconnection at terminals and not by destricution. The location of all breaks will be reported to Division Headquarters without delay. 5See Incl. 5B).
  2. TROOPS:
    Troops available to do specialized engineer work in the sectors designated are as follows:
    (1) 501st Area:
    (a) Co "C", 326th AB Engineer Bn., less 1st & 3rd platoons.
    (b) Demolition platoon, 501st.
    (2) 502d Area:
    (a) Demolition platoon, 502d.
    (3) 506th Area:
    (a) 1st and 3rd platoons, Co "C", 326th AB Engr Bn.
    (b) Demolition platoon, 506th.
  3. Corps Engineers plan to support Division Operations on call, on a priority basis by taking over engineer work within the Division Area. It is not contemplated that Corps Engineers will be attached to Divisions.
  1. 506th Area:
    (1) Destroy the crossing of the River DOUVE at 383863 priority Serials 32, 33, 34, in that order.
    (2) Destroy the two bridges (Serials 36 and 37) and the ferry (Serial 38) at LE MOULIN. Priority, Serial 37, Serial 38, in that order.
    (3) Destroy railroad bridges at 365872 (Serial 30) and 379853 (Serial 110) in the order of priority given.
    (4) Operate and control the locks at LA BARQUETTE after seizure (Serial 35), and mine the approaches to the dam from the south between the River GROULT and the River DOUVE. A high proportion of AP mines should be used.
    (5) Disrupt enemy underground wire communication system in the vicinity of 420950 (Serial B), 422914 (Serial C), and 408871 (Serial D).
    (6) Prepare to destroy the bridge and seize HAUT DICK lock at north end BASSIN A FLOT (Serials 174 and 175).
    (7) Prepare to breach outer dikes on western banks of CARENTAN Channel.
    (8) Prepare to destroy communications net at CARENTAN.
  2. 501st Area:
    (1) Assist the infantry in seizing and holding the crossings of the MERDERET River at CHEF DU PONT (Serial 56) and LA FIERE (Serial 55), by construction of blocks, laying of mines, or by other engineer work.
    (2) Destroy the crossing of the inundated area at BEUZEVILLE LA BASTILLE (Serial 29).
    (3) Destroy the crossing of the inundated area at ETIENVILLE. Priority Serials 27, 28, 26, in that order.
    (4) Prepare to assist the advance of the 501st along the CHEF DU PONT-ETIENVILLE-ST. SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE road.
    (5) Conduct engineer reconnaissance along the DOUVE near LIESVILLE (333904) and be prepared to create an obstacle to the possible crossing of the DOUVE in that vicinity by laying mines, by demolition, or by other engineer work.
  3. 502nd Area:
    (1) Assist assault detachments of the 502d in the reduction of the gun positions at ST. MARTIN-DE-VARREVILLE by breaching obstacles and by demolition of emplacements and weapons.
    (2) Disrupt the enemy's underground communication system in the vicinity of 400984 (Serial A).
    (3) Seize and maintain intact the crossing at LA BISSON (Serial No. 601)(404955).
    x. (1) Unit commanders will be responsible for prompt transmission of engineer intelligence information to the Division Engineer through command channels.
      (2) Accomplishment of designated missions will be reported to Division CP without delay.
      (3) Commercial lines of communication may be cut at the discretion of the unit commander occupying the sector.



2 Inclosures, Attached
  5A - Operation Overlay
5B - Wire Communications

  Amendment No. 1 to Annex No. 5 (27 May 1944)