29th Division, Crossing the River Elle

29th Division, Crossing the River Elle

Omaha Beach to St Lo tour.
Having had the worst of the landings on D-Day at Omaha Beach, the 29th Div consolidated their landing on the 7th June with the arrival of the 175 Reg.

The 116 Reg heads west towards Grandchamp les Bains, with Ranger support linking with Pointe du Hoc & taking Grandchamp and the Maisy Battery.
The 175th Reg heads  towards Isigny sur Mer , links with V11 corps and pushes down the east bank of the River Vire to ST Lo.
The 115th Reg moves south, crosses the Aure valley. This causes panic in the German 352 Div which falls back behind the River Elle, while awaiting new reinforcements, and dig in.
By the 11th June the 116th Reg has caught up with the rest of the division as the 115th Reg prepares to cross the River Elle, The Elle is a small river one can wade through and almost jump across at points with the bridges Pont Jourdan & Pont de la Pierre but set in a deep valley.
After the artillery bombardment starting at 03.00 the 1st Batt on the right towards Pont de la Pierre and the 3rd Batt on the left toward Pont Jourdan moved off at 05.00, 
The 3rd Batt was caught  in defensive artillery fire and disorganised but still under heavy fire managed to cross the Elle and push a mile south before being almost surrounded & with high casualties were forced to withdraw back behind the Elle in the afternoon.
The 1st Battalion pushed forward towards the Elle and meet heavy automatic and mortar fire.
After 5 hours of trying to reach the River no one had managed to cross and were forced to withdraw.
General Gerhardt ordered the 116th Reg to force a crossing that evening . Starting at 19.30 the 116th Reg forced a crossing and moved forward towards St Clair sur Elle & Couvains.
The actions of the 29th Div crossing the River Elle cost more than 500 casualties and is one of the many battles fought en route to St Lo.
Follow these actions on a tour of the 29th Division in Normandy