Category Archives: Map Overlay

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

15 July, 1944, 16:00 1st & 3rd Bn Progress against Remily-sur-Lozon

So now we come to the final overlay in my possession.  We saw the objectives for the day for the 1st and 3rd Bn, 330 IR, July 15th.  Here we have progress as of 16:00.

I thought with this nice display of company positions this overlay deserved a zoom-in. So I cropped the full overlay and included it below the first.

15-July_1bn-3bn_Progress_a

July 15, 1944, 16:00 Progress of 1st & 3 Bn against Remily-sur-Lozon

15-July_1bn-3bn_Progress_b

July 15, 1944, 16:00 Progress of 1st & 3 Bn against Remily-sur-Lozon

15 July 1944, 330 Infantry Regiment, Objectives for 1st and 3rd Battalions

Ya, I know, big delays.  Sorry. We’ve been on the move again and with threats of having to move the big tent. Fortunately, for now, the big tent stays put, otherwise I’d be out of touch for a lot longer.

Here we have the first of two overlays for 15 July.  I had thought this one was the last, but I see that there is one more that I had thought was just a detail from this one, but I see it has new information, so we’ll be doing it as well.

This covers the day’s objectives for 1st and 3rd battalions; 2nd is detached and back around Sainteny. The 33o IR has been attached to 9 ID.  We can see this was what was being set up on 14 July. We are a good deal to the south and east, essentially swinging around to the rear of the le Port–le Isle / Tribehou causeway; good news for the 330th. As you can see, we are way off the map again; but all 330 IR information is on-map, so I think I’ll leave it be. Really, guys, the work it takes to geo-reference another sheet and, more importantly, stitch it to this one, isn’t worth our immediate needs.

Now, having circumvented one marsh, the 1st & 3rd Bns, 330 IR, had to cross another—thankfully smaller—along the le Lozon river, attacking toward Remilly-Sur-Lozon on one of those peninsulas formed by the flooded wet lands of Normandy. The circular areas labeled P, Q, O, S, & T are 330 Bn objectives with R1 being the immediate objective for 3 Bn and R1 for 1 Bn. The 60th IR, 9 ID, would be on their left with objectives being M, H, & N.

To orient yourself, Tribehou, which we’ve seen before being in the lower right-hand corner of some of the overlays, is now in the upper right-hand corner of this one. La Varde, which we’ve also mentioned before, is in the upper left-hand corner. Remilly-sur-Lozon is more or less right in the middle, inside the “O” objective.

15 July 1944, 330 IR, 1 & 3 Bns Objectives

15 July 1944, 330 Infantry Regiment, Objectives for 1st and 3rd Battalions

14 July, 330 IR Near Sainteny

This single overlay for 14 July shows the 330 IR pulled back but in a defensive set up to the north-east of Sainteny; very much in line with what we saw with the last two overlays for 13 July. As the regimental journal says for this overlay, “Defense areas to use in an emergency.”

We also get a position for the 329 IR HQ, the 330 IR HQ, as well the 1 Bn, 329 IR HQ.  Though the positioning of these HQ’s seem strange to me.  We’ll see, if I ever get around to integrating the information from the Unit Journals.

If you are having trouble orienting yourself, le Port is toward the lower right corner, Sainteny to the left about 1/3 of the way down from the top, Culot is at the top, left, mostly off the map and Hottot toward the top about 2/3 of the way from the left.

14 July 1944, 330 IR Near Sainteny

14 July 1944, 330 IR, 83 ID near Sainteny

13 July 2100, 3Bn 330 IR, Moves into Position in Rear between Sainteny, Culot, and Hottot

By evening of 13 July 3rd Bn, 330 IR has moved back behind the line, closer to 2nd Bn, close to Sainteny. We are actually given the very precise positions of I Co., K Co., and M Co.; nice.  I believe this is the last of the overlays for 13 July.

13 July 2100 330 IR 3Bn Pull Back

Evening of 13 July 3rd Bn, 330 IR Pulls back to between Sainteny, Culot, and Hottot.

13 July 2000, 2Bn 330 IR, Moves into Reserve near Sainteny

Another 13 July overlay.  This is fairly straight forward.  2 Bn, 330 IR moves back into reserve between Sainteny and Culot.  It will be left behind as the rest of 330 IR moves toward les Champs-de-Losque, to the right of 1 Bn, 60 IR, 9 ID.

 

13 July 1900 2Bn Move to Reserve near Sainteny

13 July 1900 2Bn Move to Reserve near Sainteny

13 July 1700, 1Bn 330 IR, Definition of New Positions Near les-Champs-de-Losque

This third to last overlay for 13 July suddenly jumps further south and east.  So we are off the map.  If this continues I’ll have to dig up the map sheets to the east of what I’ve got; if not, I’ll just let it go since the 83 ID related information on this overlay is still on the map. This overlay was the one that made me realize that the date given for Journal entry wasn’t necessarily the date of the situation as drawn on the overlay.  What has become obvious is a person making a journal entry is, in a way, creating a narrative.  So if an overlay from the day before furthers that narrative then it is included.  The problem is when the only date on the overlay is a journal date.  Then we’ll have to depend on the sequence and information in the reports to establish the date, or just guess. I also see now I could use the information from the journal to illustrate each day in a single post including the “n0n-overlay” information to better explain the overlays.  I might just do that once I finish all the overlays I have (just a few more now, actually).

So, here we have an overlay drawn up to show the position of  1 Bn, 9 ID near les-Champs-de-Losque.  It could very well have been drawn up in the 14 July since its purpose is to establish where the right flank is for 13 July. The right flank position is needed so 330 IR, minus 2 Bn, can move there on 14 July; being attached to 9 ID for a couple of days. What you notice is this maneuver should save them from having to make an assault across the Taute river march using the le-Port to Tribehou causeway. The progress of 9 ID has essentially outflanked the German positions there.

13 July 1900 1Bn Move to North of los Champs-de-Losque

13 July 1900 1Bn Move to North of los Champs-de-Losque

13 July 1400 330 IR 01 Bn Position & State of Taute River Bridges

Another 13 July overlay.  This one some time around 1400.  I’m not sure because there are two times on the overlay.  I suspect one is the time made and the other the time received by S-3?  We get the positions of 01 Bn. companies A, B & C.  Nice!  A note about the state of the bridges over the Taute River and one of it’s tributaries and a comment about “flushing” the area.  I suppose flush us used here as when one is hunting: “to flush out”?

 

13 July 1400 1044, State of Bridges over Taute River in 1 Bn. 330 IR area.

13 July 1400 1044, State of Bridge over Taute River in 1 Bn. 330 IR area.

13 July 1200 330 IR Fire Instructions for C Co. 802 Tank Destroyer Battalion

This next overlay is for 13 July,  I think.  It has instructions for the field of fire for C Co. 802 Tank Destroyer Battalion for 0900, 12 July, and then for 1200, 12 July OR 13 July.  Not sure why the choice.  Maybe it is clarified in the other reports.  We shall see. Obviously this is in getting ready for the crossing of the Taute River marshes.

13 July 1200 330 IR AT Fire Instructions

13 July 1200 330 IR AT Fire Instructions

13 July 1100 330 IR

The second 13 July overlay seems to show what’s happened by 1100.  We actually have positions for G Co., B Co. & C Co. It will be interesting to see where the morning reports for 13 July show for these companies.

We have G Co. at St-André-de-Bohon and le Port while B Co. and C Co. are working their way though le Moulin.  le Port gives them control of the north end of the causeway across the River Taute marshes to l’Isle and Tribehou while taking le Moulin gives them control of the other causeway to la Varde.

I Co. is, according to the previous overlay, giving fire support, while both 2 Bn and 3 Bn seem to be in reserve.

13 July 1944 - 330 IR

1100 mopping up to the Taute River marsh