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Title:THE 50TH (NORTHUMBRIAN) DIVISION GOES INTO ACTION ON THE BRICQUESSARD - VILLERS-BOCAGE SECTOR OF 30TH CORPS' FRONT [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 113-23
Summary: The 50th (Northumbrian) Division consolidates its hold on the Villers-Bocage sector 30th Corps' front before withdrawing into reserve.
Description: Two motor-cyclist despatch riders lead a Scammell artillery tractor down the dusty road from Amaye-sur-Seulles into Villers- Bocage past a wrecked 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade carrier, a relic of 7th Armoured Division's abortive advance to Villers- Bocage on June 13th. A section of riflemen from the 6th Battalion the Green Howards advance cautiously past a derelict 1st Rifle Brigade M5 half-track in their search for snipers and stragglers in the countryside around Tracy-Bocage. An infantryman armed with a captured MP 40 "Schmeisser" goes forward to open fire on a sniper hiding in the church at Le Mesnil. The village of Bricquessard is in ruins following a fierce struggle for its capture. A Valentine Scissors bridgelaying tank joins the procession of armour from the 4th Armoured Brigade on the road to Caumont (?) en route to join the 3rd British Division south of Le Beny-Bocage. The crew of one of 25th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA's Morris Bofors self-propelled guns goes onto the alert as the Luftwaffe makes a brief appearance.
Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations, War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Leatherbarrow, RichardPrior to the Second World War Leatherbarrow was a portrait photographer. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Armoured Corps, transferring to the Army Film and Photographic Unit in 1943, when he received training at Pinewood. He was one of the cameramen on Juno Beach during the D-Day Landings. (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Royal Artillery (regiment/service)
British Army, Yorkshire Regiment, Green Howards, 6th Battalion (regiment/service)
British Army, Bde 69 (regiment/service)
British Army, Div 50 (regiment/service)
British Army, Corps 30 (regiment/service)
Keywords: transport, British military - truck, special: Scammell artillery tractor (object name)
armour, United States - halftrack: M5 (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: MP 40 sub-machine gun (object name)
armour, United States - tank: M4 Sherman & [British] (object name)
armour, British - funnies: Valentine bridgelayer (object name)
armour, British - SPG: Morris Bofors (object name)
Operation Bluecoat, Mont Pinçon 1944, North West Europe, Second World War (event)
Normandy, France (geography)
Notes: Note: Refer to footage shot during 59th (Staffordshire) Division's entry into Villers-Bocage in which more relics of 7th Armoured Division's brief attempt to hold onto the town are found, notably A70 113-5 and 7. The MP40, known as the Schmeisser to the Allies, was a highly-popular and valued acquisition among British and US troops who frequently used it in spite of official disapproval.
Remarks: Best seen with A70 118-1, 2, 120-1, 2, 5, 6 and 8, 121-5, 122-2 and 7 for footage showing the 50th (Northumbrian) Division in action during Operation "Bluecoat" culminating in the capture of Mont Pincon.
Documentation/associated material: for a bibliography, refer to 'Victory in the West : Volume 1' by L F Ellis, 'An Account of the Operations of the 2nd Army in Europe 1944-1945 : Volume 1' by 2nd Army HQ, 'The Path of the 50th : The Story of the 50th (N) Division in the Second World War' by Major Clay.