Tag Archives: normandy dday blog

#DDay70 veteran Albert Figg

In February 1939, aged 18, Albert Figg joined the Royal Artillery T A in Swindon Wiltshire.

On June 20th 1944, Albert was sent to Normandy where he supported the infantry offensive during the Battle for Hill 112.

The operation was code-named Operation Jupiter and over 18 days Albert’s troops fired 60,000 shells out of 24 guns before the Allies broke through German lines.

In the video below Albert explains why the Battle for Hill 112 was so important.

In the second video Albert further describes the fierce combat and amount of ammunition fired.

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M. Podyma Interview at Mont-Ormel

The hill at Mont-Ormel, overlooks the site of the last and one of the bloodiest battles of Normandy. It was here that the Allied forces enclosed the Germans in a pincer movement, forcing tens of thousands of German soldiers to retreat through an ever-narrowing gap – the ‘Falaise gap’ or ‘Falaise pocket’ as it’s often called. The road along which the Germans had to flee became piled high with the carnage of corpses, dead horses, abandoned carriages and tanks, that the Germans called it, ‘the Corridor of Death.’

M. Podyma is a franco-polish veteran, who landed at Arromanches on Gold Beach in July 1944 and fought in the 1st Polish Armoured Division through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany until 8th May, 1945. He played a decisive role in the battle of Mont-Ormel – from August 7th until August 21st, he found himself on the front line. On August 18th, 1944 he was confronted with the 2nd SS Panzer ‘Das Reich’ Division. On August 20th at Boisjos, he saved his Sherman tank and his two radios from destruction – this action allowed the Canadian artillery to direct their fire to the German troops and to circle them.

Since the war, M. Podyma has participated in all the major commemorative events at Mont Ormel. He will be 93 in a couple of months’ time.

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Tim Gray

Tim Gray is from the World War II Foundation, which is an organization that aims to honor the bravery and contributions made by the men and women of the United States military during the Second World War.


More to follow…

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Merville Battery on D-Day (Part two)

I am Irish, but of French descent. Therefore in my view, taking part in the liberation of France was something of the utmost importance.
Lieutenant-Colonel Terence Otway

By the courage and sacrifice of the men of the 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment, the guns of the Merville Battery were neutralized during the early hours of the D-Day landings.

The British and French commandos and the 3rd British Infantry Division were not harassed by artillery fire from this position.

The surviving members of the 9th battalion left the battery, as ordered, with their 22 prisoners and walked across country to Le Hauger.

They held the centre of the village until they were relieved by the Commando Brigade on the 7th June 1944.

Soldiers who had been dropped wide and fought their way through enemy lines and reached the Battalion in small numbers and its strength  gradually increased.But they lost more men during several battles against the German 346 Infantry Division.

Their number never rose beyond 270 until they returned to England in September 1944.

Follow me on Twitter @AnnieCDarling and use the hashtag #anniesddayblog to share your thoughts, images and videos with me!