Operation Epsom

Operation Epsom: Over the Battlefield
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He started his journey to France on June 17 , and during Operation Epsom, he was hit in a shell blast that killed the rest of his troop. He was left with severe injuries in a ditch alongside a dead German soldier. He became player manager for Yeovil, working his way up through stints at Leyton Orient and A. Roma until he was appointed manager of his old team QPR in He moved to Epsom one year later, where he lived for around 20 years. Surrey Jive will supply music and jive demonstration.

There will be military vehicles. Brooks says that the museum definitely wanted to put on an event to acknowledge that it existed in amongst the preceding event of WWII, when they have this part of history named after the town.

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By Alec Evans Community Reporter. British army soldiers move through a ruined wall in the Normandy village of St. Manvieu-Norrey, taken on the first day of Operation Epsom Image: Mirrorpix Get the biggest daily stories by email Subscribe We will use your email address only for the purpose of sending you newsletters.

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Other maps of interest. Their operation was to take place in four phases with its ultimate objective the high ground near Bretteville-sur-Laize , south of Caen. The Royal Air Force was to provide a preliminary bombardment by bombers and close air support thereafter.

The 15th Scottish Infantry Division would lead the assault. In Epsom's third phase, Impetigo , the 43rd Division would move forward to relieve all Scottish infantry north of the Odon. In the operation's final phase, codenamed Goitre , elements of the 43rd Division would cross the river to hold the area taken, while the 15th Division would continue to expand their bridgehead. In the former the 3rd Infantry Division , supported by a Canadian infantry brigade, would attack north of Caen; the latter would be a move by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division supported by the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade to take the village and airfield of Carpiquet.

Originally planned for 22 June, [5] Epsom was postponed until 26 June to make up deficiencies in manpower and materiel. As planned, on 23 June elements of the 51st Highland Infantry Division's nd Highland Infantry Brigade launched a preliminary attack. They took the German garrison by surprise and had control of the village before sunrise.

Operation: Epsom | Flames of War Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

During the morning the Highlanders were counterattacked by elements of the 21st Panzer Division's Kampfgruppe von Luck ; fighting lasted all morning but by midday the village was firmly in British hands. One infantry battalion supported by tanks, advanced around the village to the west and took Tessel Wood but was subjected to a series of German counterattacks.

These were blunted by British artillery fire and close air support but by the end of the day the 49th Division had failed to reach the village of Rauray, [56] leaving the terrain dominating the right flank of VIII Corps' intended advance in German hands. Poor weather hampered the start of Operation Epsom on 26 June, where rain over the battlefield had made the ground boggy [60] and over the United Kingdom during the early hours of the morning there was a heavy mist, resulting in aircraft being grounded and the planned bombing being called off. Infantry of the 7th Seaforth Highlanders , 15th Scottish Infantry Division, waiting at their start line on 26 June for the signal to advance.

At the 44th Lowland Infantry Brigade and the 46th Highland Infantry Brigade of the 15th Scottish Infantry Division, supported by the 31st Tank Brigade [65] moved off their start lines behind a rolling barrage fired from guns.

The infantry advance had mixed results; one battalion 2nd Battalion, Glasgow Highlanders [68] faced only light resistance while the other 9th Battalion, The Cameronians [68] ran into the grenadiers of the Hitler Youth Division who had allowed the barrage to pass over their positions before opening fire. The 44th Brigade, not facing the same problems as the 46th and advancing with their tank support, encountered little opposition until coming under machine gun fire at a small stream, following which German resistance was much heavier.

Between and the two leading battalions [nb 10] reached their initial objectives of Sainte Manvieu and La Gaule. After much hand to hand fighting they believed the villages to be captured just after midday although they later found that some German remnants were holding out. The Germans within Rauray which had not been captured as planned the previous day, were able to subject the British brigades to observed artillery and indirect tank fire, [72] causing considerable casualties and destruction, especially within the village of Cheux.

A German 75mm anti-tank gun with deceased crew member lie in the roadway, while a disabled Panther tank sits down the lane in Fontenay-le-Pesnel, Operation Martlet. At one squadron from the 11th Armoured Division's reconnaissance regiment north of Cheux, was ordered to advance towards the Odon [73] foreshadowing an attempt by the division's armoured brigade to rush the bridges. They entered the northern outskirts of Colleville by but soon found themselves cut off by German counterattacks. After heavy and confused fighting one company was able to break out and rejoin the battalion.

With no attacks during the night, the German command believed that the British offensive had been contained so during the early hours of 27 June, II SS Panzer Corps was ordered to resume preparations for its counter-offensive towards Bayeux. On the right of the British advance, the I SS Panzer Corps launched a counterattack with 80 tanks, [76] this was disorganised by artillery fire before foundering on the anti-tank guns of the 49th West Riding Infantry Division, [77] who then resumed their attempt to secure VIII Corps flank. The village of Rauray was taken by the 49th Division at on 27 June after further heavy fighting against the 12th SS Panzer Division's panzergrenadiers.

German forces had been diverted from opposing VIII Corps advance [78] and the fall of Rauray denied the Germans an important observation point, although they remained in control of an area of high ground to the south.

Operation Epsom

With support from Churchill tanks , the battalion intended to make a bid for the Odon crossing at Gavrus. The Highlanders immediately ran into stiff opposition from elements of 12th SS Panzer and despite heavy artillery support were unable to advance all day.

Casualties were heavy on both sides. At the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders also of the Highland Infantry Brigade, launched an attack aimed at capturing the Odon crossing at Tourmauville, northwest of the village of Baron-sur-Odon. The remainder of the 15th Scottish Infantry Division was positioned around Cheux and Sainte Manvieu and was in the process of being relieved by the 43rd Wessex Infantry Division. One battalion of the 43rd, [nb 11] on moving into the outskirts of Cheux found the Scottish infantry had already moved on and the vacated position had been reoccupied by grenadiers of 12th SS Panzer.

After battling to recapture the position, at the battalion was counterattacked by six Panthers of the 2nd Panzer Division. During the night Kampfgruppe Weidinger , a 2,strong battle group from the 2nd SS Panzer Division arrived at the front and was placed under the command of the Panzer Lehr. Pending the return of Rommel to Normandy, Hausser was also to be supreme commander in the invasion area. At elements of the 15th Scottish Infantry Division with tank support launched a new assault to capture the village of Grainville-sur-Odon.

After shelling and close quarter street fighting, the Scots secured the village by hours; German counterattacks followed but were repulsed. Kampfgruppe Frey on the salient's eastern flank, launched an attack north of the Odon supported by Panzer IVs of the 21st Panzer Division. This reached the villages of Mouen and Tourville but the British counterattacked from the direction of Cheux, resulting in confused heavy fighting throughout the day. On the western flank, Kampfgruppe Weidinger supported by Panthers tried to recapture Brettevillette, Grainville-sur-Odon and ultimately Mondrainville.

South of the Odon, at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders advanced out of the bridgehead with the aim of capturing a bridge north of the village of Gavrus. Heavy fighting took place into the afternoon before both village and bridge were in Scottish hands. Having secured its northern slope and dislodged the defenders from its crest, they were unable to advance further due to stiff resistance from forces dug in on the hill's reverse slope. With the weather improving over the United Kingdom and Normandy, Hausser's preparations for his counter stroke came under continual harassment from Allied aircraft and artillery fire, delaying the start of the attack to the afternoon.

VIII Corps began to reorganise in order to meet the attack. Without armour but with an artillery barrage, by the battalion had evicted the 1st SS Panzer Division's panzergrenadiers, following which 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry [] moved up and dug in on the Caen—Villers-Bocage road. Heavy and confused fighting, at times hand-to-hand, took place outside Grainville.

Operation Epsom: Battle for the Odon (Steel Division Campaign)

Panzergrenadiers captured a tactically important wood but were forced back by a British counterattack. The panzergrenadiers claimed they also captured Grainville but no British sources support this and by nightfall British infantry were in firm control of the village. At around [] the British captured an officer of the 9th SS Panzer Division [] who was conducting a reconnaissance. The 10th SS Panzer Division launched its attack behind schedule at Following clashes earlier in the day the British were waiting but after five hours of intense combat the Scottish infantry defending Gavrus had been pushed back into a pocket around the bridge north of the village.

Dealing with this obstacle took the remainder of the day so the division's attack on Hill was postponed. The town of Villers-Bocage , photographed during the bombing raid on 30 June being attacked by RAF heavy bombers dropping 1, tons of bombs. Willi Bittrich was greatly concerned by the failure of II SS Panzer Corps to reduce the British salient much and he ordered a resumption of the offensive during the night of 29—30 June, hoping to avoid Allied air support. The 19th and 20th Regiments of the 9th SS Panzer Division renewed their attacks against Grainville-sur-Odon and le Valtru in the dark but little progress was made in the face of opposition from the tanks of the 11th Armoured Division—now in position north of the Odon—and heavy artillery bombardments.

Unaware that the British had pulled back, panzergrenadiers and tanks of the 10th SS Panzer advanced on the hill from the south and south-west and infantry from 12th SS Panzer attacked from the east and south-east. Meeting no opposition by noon the Germans had firmly installed themselves on the hill [] but a British counterattack and artillery fire broke up a follow-up attack towards Baron-sur-Odon. It was hoped that German troops would be caught by the bombing but only French civilians were present. Unaware that the British had ended their operation and with overcast weather interfering with Allied air support, [] Bittrich believed he had an opportunity to prevent the 11th Armoured Division continuing its advance across the Orne.

Supplemented by panzergrenadiers of the 2nd SS Panzer Division and following a preliminary bombardment, tanks and infantry of 9th SS Panzer advanced behind a smoke screen and broke through the outer British defences.