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D-Day: Help/Expertise Needed for Writing

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by MichaelJHWells, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. MichaelJHWells

    MichaelJHWells recruit

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    Good Evening,

    I have a question because I have planned a basic story for a book/script, but want to make sure it's as accurate as possible so I want to use real regiments and accurate dates, and as such I need help!

    I have a character from Richmond in Surrey who has been conscripted at the age of 18 and is taking part in D-Day. All I need to know is a possible regiment he could have been attached to and when/where he would have landed (which wave/which beach). Ideally it would be one with heavy casualties, which eventually made it to Caen.

    I hope you can help, and believe me I would be eternally grateful. If you cannot help, thank you for taking the time to read my post nonetheless.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    If you plan to sell your story to Hollywood you will need to change him to an American ex-pat born in a midwest farming state and have a strong resemblence to Ben Affleck.

    On a more serious point Sword Beach was closest to Caen and a British effort (Juno was Canadian). The 8th Infantry Brigade landed on D-Day consisting of ,

    1st Battalion Suffolk Regt.
    2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regt.
    1st Battalion South Lancanshire Regt.

    as well as 13th/18th Hussars in DD tanks.

    Casualties were light however in the landing according to Wiki.

    Also many British units (Like the US National Guard Divisions)were locally formed so your home city might be an issue.

    Hope this gives you a starting point.
     
  3. MichaelJHWells

    MichaelJHWells recruit

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    Indeed, I remember being outraged when the film U-571 suggested that the Americans captured the Naval Enigma cipher, though the writer David Ayer said he later regretted it.

    Thank you for such a speedy response! Because the home city is something that wouldn't be able to change, the fact that he ends up in Caen can be negated as it's not vital to the characters' journey. With that in mind, is there perhaps a different regiment that he may have been involved in?

    I understand that Utah and Omaha were American (with the exception of the Marines) so perhaps Gold would be an option?
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Some of the heaviest fighting and casualties occurred to the British 3rd Division after landing at 'Sword'. They encountered strong resistance at the German strongpoint code-named 'Hillman' and also against the 21st Panzer Division on nearby Periers Ridge.

    If I may make a suggestion, you may find a copy of Carlo D'Este's book 'Decision In Normandy' useful as it gives a very good overview with plenty of detail on individual units and also handy sketchmaps.

    It's been reprinted many times and is easy to get hold of.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Gold is a possibility.

    The 50th Northumbrian Division Landed at Gold and had a rougher time of it against elements of 716th Static Infantry Div and 352nd Infantry Division. It also served in Operation Perch, a attempt to capture Caen.

    69th Infantry Bde.
    5th Bttn East Yorkshire Regt.
    6th and 7th Bttn. Green Howards

    151st Infantry Bde.
    6th, 8th,and 9th Bttns. Durham Light Infantry

    231st Infantry Bde.
    1st Bttn. Hampshire Regt.
    1st Bttn Dorsetshire Regt.
    1st/7th Queens (Royal West Surry Regt.)

    Plus a host of attached units (Artillery, Reccon etc.)

    I would do further research on the 50th to find the right unit for your story. I am sure there are organizations in the UK that can provide greater detail.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Did the Hampshires make it to Caen eventually? If so I'd go for one of their own....I still remember vividly the 50th anniversary and the Hampshires marching out of the landing craft up the beach and past the queen who took their salute....What a sight. If they made it to Caen then I'd say choose a Hampshire lad.
     
  7. sommecourt

    sommecourt Member

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    Of the troops who landed on D-Day only units from the 3rd Division took part in the fighting for Caen. The units from 50 Div were in the Bocage beyond Bayeux when Caen fell.

    Casualties to the 1st South Lancs and 2nd East Yorks were heavy. You can have an idea from the lists of dead for these units:

    unit016

    unit035
     
  8. MichaelJHWells

    MichaelJHWells recruit

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    Thank you for so many replies! So, if a young conscript from Richmond was signed up, would he get assigned to an East Surrey Regiment by default? If I remember rightly they ended up in North Africa and Italy?
     
  9. sommecourt

    sommecourt Member

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    He might do training in his local regiment but to be honest after that he could have been posted anywhere. If you looked up the details of some of those on the lists on my site you would see they are from all over the UK.
     

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