D-Day: Operation Overlord and the Battle for Normandy by Dan Sharpe
By Dan Sharpe
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As ‘Ruperts’. There were a variety of different types. Some were designed to land and then self-destruct, others had a bulky set of ﬁrecrackers attached to simulate riﬂe ﬁre and still others had explosives ﬁtted to simulate shellﬁre or grenades. The ﬁrst 200 dummies simulated an airborne assault in the Yvetot, Yerville and Doudeville area north east of Le Havre. A further 50 were dropped in the Calvados region near to Maltot to the west of Caen and 200 more were deployed near Marigny west of Saint Lô.
About 100 men led by Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Pine-Cofﬁn gathered but without their radio equipment, Bren guns or mortars, all of which had been lost during the drop. 10am, PineCofﬁn, apparently known to his men as ‘Wooden Box’, decided that he couldn’t wait any longer and set off for the twin bridges. The German response to all this was slow, uncoordinated and hampered by a complex chain of command. The man in charge of the bridge guards, Major Schmidt, having been in Ranville until now, boarded an armoured halftrack and set off with a motorcycle escort.
D-DAY – OVERLORD 33 CHAPTER 6 The right tools Allied equipment and vehicles in Normandy Getting past Hitler’s vaunted Atlantic Wall and defeating some of the ﬁnest ﬁghting units in Western Europe was going to take more than just modiﬁed tanks, powerful aircraft and wellequipped infantr y – it was going to require all three working together. W hile the British infantryman’s burden had scarcely grown lighter in the generation that had passed since the First World War, he was better equipped. 303 calibre Lee-Enﬁeld No.