Original wireless and movement orders for Operation BLUECOAT 26 July to 10 August 1944

Object Title

Original wireless and movement orders for Operation BLUECOAT 26 July to 10 August 1944

Original wireless and movement orders for Operation BLUECOAT 26 July to 10 August 1944

Date

1944

Reference

ARMY 1/6

Level

File

Scope and Content

Foolscap quarto, 66 leaves, mimeographed rectos only, together with six mimeographed movement orders, classified 'SECRET.' Housed in contemporary light card folder, 'Wireless Log 'Bluecoat'' in blue pencil to the upper panel. Two small hand-drawn map traces for operations on the River Odon, formation positions for the Gordon Highlanders and Glasgow Highlanders,

Fascinating documentation giving minute-by-minute insight into the operations of the British Second Army under Lieut.-Gen. Miles Dempsey in support of American exploitation of Operation COBRA, their break-out on the western flank of the Normandy beachhead. Despite the shortcomings of the planned 1000 bomber aerial bombardment early gains in the centre were good, the front being held by just two weak German infantry divisions., On the second day of the operation units of British 11th Armoured Division captured a bridge over the River Soulevre intact, and broke up the first German armoured units sent to counter-attack. Some remarkable glimpses through 'the fog of war' are offered by exchanges such as those between the 227th Infantry Brigade and Divisional HQ between 1900 and 2000 hrs on the 31st when 'friendly fire' was 'causing cas[ualties] to own children [troops].' Despite repeated requests for almost an hour the brigade were 'Still being shelled on all our children.'

German reinforcements in the form of SS Panzer divisions slowed progress, but Vire fell to British and American forces on 6 August and on the same day the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division captured Mont Pinþon. In the long term the operation drew valuable reinforcements away from the projected German counter-attack at Avranches, and made a major contribution towards the consolidation of the Falaise Pocket, the theatre for the decisive engagement in the Battle of Normandy.

The distribution list numbering of the movement orders shows that these papers were issued to an intelligence officer attached to the 15th Scottish Division. [Booksellers description]

Extent

1 folder

Access Conditions

Open access

Reproduction Conditions

Crown Copyright

Contents

ARMY - British Army
  ARMY 1/6 - Original wireless and movement orders for Operation BLUECOAT 26 July to 10 August 1944