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41 Cdo - Wn 21 'Trout' Strong point at Lion-sur-Mer

Unit/ Formation: 41 Cdo RM

Location: Normandy

Period/ Conflict: World War II

Year: 1944

Date/s: 6 June 1944

The beach at Lion Sur Mer was directly defended by a strongpoint Wn21 and code named 'Trout' by the Aliies and located to the west of the village.

The strong point was situated in front of houses and perched on top of a 20' high cliff, and included several shelters and ammunition bunkers, two auxiliary observatories working for the Colleville-sur-Orne battery (Wn 16) As well as a 75 mm gun, two 50 mm KWK L/60 anti-tank guns and a 81.4 mm mortar (Gr.W 34).

Wn21 had been damaged by fire from the sea but was still usable. The machine gun post attached to the observation post and firing eastwards, had not been hit. The machine guns in this post and in the smaller open post, had fired many rounds. There was a 75mm gun [7.5cm F.K.231(f)] in an open position which may have fired.

Houses in the area had strengthened basements and appear to be capable of strong defence; there were many interconnecting and firing trenches, both in front and rear of the houses. The houses had been shot badly from both sides but the strong points were undamaged. One machine gun had been hit from seaward but was still usable as a pit provided a new gun and crew were available [the trouble here was that here was no reserves]. The trenches were all in good condition. [DEFE 2/433] Report of Special Observer Party investigating the effect of fire support.

which had landed at about 1000 hrs.

The FOB's Jeep with the Bombardier and wireless set also arrived and contact was made with the destroyers. H.Q. moved from the Church to Orchard about 074813.

1500 - Contact 9 Inf. Bde. who had landed at H + 6 hrs. and had detached two Battalions to assist in coastal sector. 41 Cdo. came under command the 9 Inf. Bde. and the Brigadier ordered the 5 Lincolns and a battalion of the R.U.R. to complete the perimeter partly formed by 41's present positions to the sea; with the Lincs directly on 41's left.

1600 - By 1600 hrs. the Lincs were in position with a dividing line inclusive to 41 road Lion-Luc Sur Mer. German aircraft dropped 1 bomb which fell on a small track about 50 yards from the H.Q. cratering it and rendering it unusable.

1800 - Between 1600 and 1800 hrs. there was intermittent mortar and shell fire from the enemy. The navy had carried out a shoot on the strongpoint and the Chateau between 1700 - 1800 hrs.

1930 - Lieut. Stevens reported to H.Q. that he and the missing section of A. Troop had returned having been cut off in area 065814. He himself on the way back knocked out a German armoured car (presumably the mobile gun referred to) with a grenade.

Except for sniping and L.M.G. fire from the houses where Germans had been left behind, all was quiet during the rest of the light.

Casualties for the day were approximately 140 killed, wounded and missing.

Officers killed - Major D.L. Barclay, Captain P.T.H. Dufton.

Missing - Lieut. J.C. Pearson and Lieut. A.G. Aldis, M.M.

Wounded - Captain H.F. Morris, Captain H.E. Stratford, M.C. and Capt. C.N.P. Powell, D.S.O.

Related Royal Marines 'Dits'

References/ Further Reading

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