12:00 Hours, 8th June 1944
87th Corps reported to AOK 7 that contact had been lost with Bayeux at 10:00 hours this morning. The Battle for Normandy had well and truly begun. Pressure by the 3rd Canadian Division supported by two armoured brigades has also forced a rethingk of the defence of the ground before Caen. The city itself is ringed by strong defensive positions and the urban terrain will aid in defence. All panzers are ordered to withdraw and pass through the city and concentrate near Venoix.
06:00 Hours, 8th June 1944
British troops are starting to exert pressure on the outer perimeter of the Caen defences. After buying some space near Blainville, 1./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 retired as planned and several companies of Pz.Rgt.22 took over the support mission the SS panzers were carrying out. As dawn broke it was clear that the British had been moving their troops up under the cover of darkness. Elements of the 56th Infantry Brigade were fighting against units of Pz.Aufk.21 holding the villages of Cheux and St.Manvieu to the West of Capriquet Airfield. SS.Pz.Gr.Rgt.25 holds the line running east to Caen from here. 2./SS.Aufk.12 have also hit the flanks of the 56th Infantry Brigade, particularly their artillery park.
Closing up to this area of the front we have the advanced echelons of the Panzer Lehr Division. Its initial role will be to support the 352nd Infanterie Division, deployed to the left of the SS Panzer Grenadiers. However the commander has been also ordered to exploit any local possibilities.
Panzer Lehr moves up to the Front!
Despite total aerial supremacy imposed by the Allied airforces the Luftwaffe’s Recon units are providing a sterling job in getting intell for the units on the ground.
Picture of the Utah Beach Front: Before
Finally on overview of the Invasion Front
Herb’s latest moves in our WitP:AE game has made reread a PDF file I downloaded from the University of New Orleans website. A thesis on the Japanese submarine doctrine that I found very interesting and enlightening. The file is for public use and therefore I can share it with you guys here!
Japanese Submarine Doctrine
16th December 1944
There has been a definite shift in submarine strategy employed by the enemy. After strikes on a convoy returning Eastwards two days ago a further attack on a tanker convoy has been reported today to the north of Canton Island. Three medium sixed tankers were delivering fuel to the new bases in the Marshalls and had reached a staging point near the protective air umbrella from Canton before heading Westwards. The first reports came into Canton Island at about 1:35am about one tanker, the Sun Type H-Class Sun Admiral (5,300 tons), being hit by one torpedo and burning profusely and quickly as her full bunkers feed the flames eagerly. Her sinking was confirmed at 02:10 am.
An hour later a second, similar sized tanker, the Mindanao, was initially hit by shell fire then by two successive torpedo hits that blew her in two. She went down with all hands. Observers on the third tanker in the convoy, the Gertrude Kellogg report that the Mindanao was firing her fore 5inch gun which indicates that the Japanese submarine engaged her target on the surface. An audacious move considering the proximity of Canton Island and her planes.
As day broke the Kellogg was ordered post haste into Canton Island’s safe anchorage while three ASW task forces scoured the seas for the submarine. A squadron of SBD’s resting at Canton Island has also been ordered to carry out an intensive ASW search to the NNE of the Island. Further afield plans have been put into action to create a series of ASW bases for float planes on the main supply lines to and from the Marshalls and the South Pacific.