Records relating to the planned build up after D-Day (6 June 1944) entitled, 'Bigot Neptune : 30 Corps Administrative Order No. 1, 26 April 1944'

Object Title

Records relating to the planned build up after D-Day (6 June 1944) entitled, 'Bigot Neptune : 30 Corps Administrative Order No. 1, 26 April 1944'

Records relating to the planned build up after D-Day (6 June 1944) entitled, 'Bigot Neptune : 30 Corps Administrative Order No. 1, 26 April 1944'

Date

1944

Reference

ARMY 1/8

Level

File

Scope and Content

Top Secret orders and directives for the logistical and support aspects of the D Day landings of 6 June 1944. No. 52 of 58 copies printed, whose recipients ranged from the Commander down to various branches of the staff, this one to 30 Corps Asst. Director of Labour. Whilst OVERLORD was the code name for the military landings, NEPTUNE was that of the naval support operation. BIGOT was a security rating higher than Top Secret & access to BIGOT plans was very carefully restricted as secrecy was absolutely vital to the success of the invasion.

30 Corps, consisting of the 7th & 50th Divisions, was to land on Gold Beach at Arromanches on D Day. The intention of these orders was: 'To maintain 30 Corps during the initial stages of operation OVERLORD,' by establishment of 'Beach Sub-Areas', 'Beach Groups' & 'Beach Maintenance Areas.' These would be set up on the invasion beaches as soon as possible on D Day & would act as concentration/dispersal points for supply of all war materials, from capital tanks to replacement personal kit, evacuation of casualties (all to England in the inititial stages, except those cases who could not be moved) & so on. Each 'Beach Group' would have a Transport Park, Control Point, Petrol Depot, RE Stores, Water Point, Medical Area & so forth; 'Beach Maintenance Areas' would include Ammunition Depot, Ordnance Stores, RE Stores, Assembly Areas, PoW Cage & Reinforcement Area.

The efficient working of these facilities would rely on those in command having a complete understanding of their role. It would also require an accurate forecast of the amount of men & materiel which each locality would have to accommodate. To that end, these Orders contain full details of many functions from waterproofing vehicles to delivery, resupply & repair of main battle tanks, REME repair & recovery, RE plant & maintenance, medical evacuation, burial of British & American dead, distribution of Petrol, Oil & Lubricants (POL), evacuation of enemy PoW, use of foreign currency, &c. It was also necessary to have a system of controlling Road Movement & Traffic Congestion in what was sure to be a confused & crowded beachhead.

Extract: 'D Day. (a) All troops landing on 1st tide will land tactically & will move from the beach area on orders received before embarkation direct to either (i) their tactical objective (ii) unit RVs (iii) their task in the BMA Area. (b) Transit Areas will be established as early as possible by 104 Beach Sub Area behind each beach & adjacent to each of the two main beach exits. tps landing on each beach will then feed into one of the following: (i) Personnel Transit Area (ii) Wheeled Vehicle Transit Area (iii) Tracked Vehicle Transit Area.' After the 'fourth tide' (on D+1) these beach transit areas would close & personnel & vehicles be directed straight to assembly areas. It is noted that Assault units would land with rations for consumption up to & including D+3. Divisions & Independent Brigades were to provide an Administrative Sitrep by 2230 hrs daily: this would form the basis for replacement of equipment, resupply of ammunition, &c.

In order to supply the correct quantity of replacement stores & personnel to where it was most needed it was necessary to predict the 'wastage' or using-up of resources on D Day, D+1 & so on, from battle casualties to ammunition supply, replacement kit for that lost &c. Detailed tables of these predictions form numerous Appendices to the orders, along with other data such as the proposed build up of RASC transport from D Day to D+11.

The predictions for the operation make interesting reading. For example, the estimates of casualties requiring evacuation (i.e., wounded, but not killed or missing) in 30 Corps were as follows: D Day, 1795; D+1, 560; D+2, 920; D+3, 372, D+4, 450 & so on up to D+8. A platoon of DUKWs was allocated to 30 Corps for medical evacuation. Eleven DUKWs were to land on the '2nd tide' & 22 more on the '3rd tide.' Their role was to evacuate casualties to LSTs lying off the beaches.[end] In anticipation of shipwrecked personnel losing all their kit 1000 complete spare sets, from shaving brushes to helmets, boots & battledress, were prepacked & labelled S, M or L, depending on the size of the clothing within.

The organisation of REME workshops & their role in the beachhead is explained. They included specialist personnel for flail tanks, AVREs, Mine Detectors &c. Tank Delivery Squadrons under Corps command would hold a total of 204 armoured vehicles, made up as follows: 138 capital tanks, 18 light tanks, ten AA tanks, 12 OP tanks, 16 SPs & nine armoured cars. It was estimated that 35 replacement capital tanks would be required on D+2, 37 on D+4 & 42 on D+5. In addition to Corps holdings, the Army Delivery Squadron contained 50 more capital tanks, also RAMs, PRIESTS &c. Sufficient crews would be available from first reinforcements, but 'de-horsed crews' would also be sent to the Forward Delivery Squadron for re-employment.

A detailed statement of ammunition requirements is given, e.g. on D Day, 12672 rounds of 25-lbr. HE, 1584 each of smoke & SUP were required, 238 tons weight in all. The figures for D+1 were 29574 rounds of HE & 3696 each of smoke & SUP, weighing 557 tons. The estimates for .303 rifle ammunition of various kinds was over half-a-million rounds for each of the first two days. The arrangements for the shipping of these & all other ammunition (for mortars, 75mms, &c. &c.) is laid down, also that for food supplies, fuel &c.

Various charts show allocation of Pioneer Corps Labour in 30 Corps; diagramatic layout of assembly areas &c.

Altogether a remarkable insight into the amount of logistical planning required for 30 Corps' landing & the initial phases of operations when supply would all come through the beachhead (including the Mulberry harbour, which was in the 30 Corps area). Intricate plans based on careful calculations to enable the 'tooth' end to keep up to speed are supported by numerous appendices. Edges of some leaves are somewhat frayed but generally VG with occasional pencil notes & comments by the recipient, Colonel C.F. Ashdown. Five large fldg. maps & diagrams that were issued with the orders are absent but have been supplied in facsimile from another set.

Extent

2 volumes

Physical Characteristics / Technical Requirements

[4], 44, [62] p. Foolscap. Duplicate typescript, retained by treasury tag in original card foled with title, 30 Corps sign, etc, to front rap

Access Conditions

Open access

Reproduction Conditions

Crown Copyright

Contents

ARMY - British Army
  ARMY 1/8 - Records relating to the planned build up after D-Day (6 June 1944) entitled, 'Bigot Neptune : 30 Corps Administrative Order No. 1, 26 April 1944'