Category Archives: Geographic Data Points

F Company, 229th IR HQ Positions During Normandy Campaign

It’s been a very long time since I posted; I know; been moving around a lot and there was no really good place to work.  I’ve also been playing with what to do next after finishing the overlays I have permission to publish.  I finally decided to take the Morning Reports and using them to mark Company Headquarter positions.  It seems logical to begin by doing a map for each company and then see what kind of combinations would be interesting after that.  I decided to start with F Co; and ran into problems with the data.  In the first days, at least, the 1st Sargent, or whoever was recording the morning reports, was not using standard 6 digit map coordinates, if they even had them.  They were using a 4 digit coordinate reference and I assumed it was 2 digits east and 2 digits north. But that put the HQs way behind German lines. It took me a good while to realize that often the 4 digits were 3 digits east and 1 digit north; they were simply coping down the first 4 digits of what should have been the 6 digit reference. This allowed me to at least get very close for those dates. Things got better after 4 July, but of course there was the Island Battle on 4 July and that is one of the estimated positions.

Remember: the date of a Morning Report is midnight of the day being reported.  I get the feeling this wasn’t always necessarily true; and at least in one case the reporter openly admits that he is appending next day info as well.  So you can imagine the confusion and doubts at times. Still, usually I think we can count on the reported geographical location being where the Company HQ spent the night. Of course that only gives us a general idea of where the actual platoons are.  I assume they are some 50 to 100 meters in the direction of the enemy in most cases; but again, not always.  F Co HQ on 26 & 27 July stayed right in the same place according to the Morning Reports, but obviously the platoons were way out front and going as fast as they could.

When there are comments on situation and events included in a Morning Report, I included them on the map; I’ve also included what references there might be in Battalion and Regimental reports.  These situational reports are very nice to have; unfortunately they tend to be the exception, at least for the Morning Reports I’ve looked at.

Finally, I wanted to put up the whole F Co. Normandy campaign on one map.  I thought it would be interesting to be able to see the whole picture of movement and position.  I now suspect what we are going to have is a big map with tiny bits of info that are hard to read.  I’m going t try it and see how it works.  Maybe I’ll end up cutting the map up so we can get in closer. Remember, you should be able to click on the map and it will enlarge to full size; then you can scroll through it pretty well.

July 1944: F Co, 229 IR, Normandy Campaign HQ Positions

July 1944: F Co, 229 IR, Normandy Campaign HQ Positions

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Adding data points to combined 83 ID & 330 IR for 5 July 1944

I became intrigued with the combined 83 ID / 330 IR overlays and decided to add the data points from the After Action Reports, Unit Journals and Morning Reports. It turned out to be a bit of a rabbit hole.

The blue items come from the overlays;  the brownish points, if you can see them, are geographic locations reported in the various reports, while the dark blue / purplish items are labels explaining the geographic location data points. The Green items are German locations or German related information, again, from the various reports. You will notice, maybe, there are more points than labels; for this map I wanted to only identify what related to the end-of-day situation since that was what both overlays were all about The unidentified points refer to either earlier in the day, or have no time information, though I did include a few of these latter if there was room.  All Company related information refers to 330 IR Companies; neither the 329th IR nor the 331 IR had map coordinates on the Morning reports for 5 July.

I’ve decided I will come back to incorporating geographic data points later. 5 July 1944 is very confused; a lot was going on, and I have realized there are a lot of discrepancies among the reports–especially the Morning Reports–and I really need to incorporate all the information from the After Action Reports and Unit Journals and collate it with what information can be gleaned from the morning reports.  I see a time-based spread sheet being necessary.  What I think I’ll do is go ahead from here and prepare and put up the overlays I have and then go back and figure out how to best incorporate the information from the reports.

A last note. You notice the German line bent back at a 90º angle (left-middle)?  Since there are no map overlays for 4 July, that I’ve seen anyway, I would just take advantage of this map to point out that is the location of the “Island” where the 2 Bn, 329 IR, got very roughly handled on 4 July. Dave Curry has a report about this engagement here, if you are interested.

Map of July 2400 83 Infantry Division

5 July 2400 83 Infantry Division