By Ian Daglish

After seven weeks of sour combating there has been a determined have to escape of the Normandy bridgehead. In overdue July 1944 Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempseys moment military moved whole corps from the Caen area to the particularly quiet nation-state round Caumont. right here, the British XXX Corps ready to offer conflict, with VII Corps advancing in help at the correct flank among XXX Corps and the yankee first military. The offensive didn't visit plan. whereas the XXX Corps assault stalled, VIII Corps surged forward. With the skilled eleventh Armoured and fifteenth Scottish Divisions within the lead and Guards Armoured shut in the back of, a deep penetration used to be made, threatening to take the pivotal urban of Vire and unhinge basic Haussers German 7th military.

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4 Come the end of June, by which time all Normandy should have been in Allied hands, barely a fifth of that objective had been achieved. As the weeks dragged by and June turned to July, progress against a determined enemy was disturbingly slow. The city of Caen, supposed to have been taken on 6 June, finally fell to the British and Canadians on 9 July; St-Lô to the Americans on 18 July. These victories were symbolic, but anticlimactic. In each case, the victors were bequeathed sterile rubble beyond which stood the enemy in prepared positions.

Over the years, this invaluable national resource has seen changes. From a windy garret over the geography building at Keele University, the collection was first re-housed into a secure, climate-controlled vault under the university library. Next, questions over the future of the archive were resolved by the untiring work of TARA’s Operations Manager who oversaw the move of the archive to a new home, under the auspices of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

For the first time in thirty-six days, bread was issued to the troops in place of biscuit. Baths were also an addition to the daily routine, though not appreciated by all. ’11 ‘We were afforded the luxury of a change of clothing from the mobile laundry which had appeared and a visit to the mobile showers. ’12 Then, after just four days, on 23 July the period of rest was suddenly cut short. Leaving behind 46 Brigade in the Odon sector, the rest of 15th Scottish was summarily ordered west. The divisional reconnaissance regiment led the way, moving ‘secretly to the extreme right of the Second Army front, relieving the 5th United States Division south of Balleroy in the Caumont sector.

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