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The Battle of the La Fière Causeway

The Battle of the La Fière Causeway:
6-9 June 1944
by Mike Haught

On D Minus One the men of the US 82nd ‘All American’ Airborne Division jumped into to Normandy with the mission of halting German reinforcements from reaching Utah Beach. The division’s two main drop zones were positioned around the French town of Sainte Marie Eglise in two large open areas. The Merderet River divided these two areas and thus became the first objective of the 82nd in order to consolidate their position.

During the drop, the shaken pilots of the paratrooper’s C-47 transport planes dropped the soldiers all across the Cotentin Penninsula, resulting in mass confusion. Still, the men knew what had to be done, having studied the sand tables and maps thoroughly back in England.

Listen to Wayne and Mike discuss this scenario as part of their Battle Report in the Radio Free Battlefront podcast here...

Download a PDF version of the La Fière Causeway scenario here... 

Elements of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment converged on the bridge during the night of 5/6 June and established a rough perimeter.

At 1400 hours on 6 June, the Germans attacked in force with the 1067th Grenadier Regiment supported by the 100. Panzer Ausbildungs und Ersatz Abteilung, a tank training and replacement battalion.

The grenadiers advanced with the old French training tanks. As they approached the bridge, the tanks stopped in front of the small minefield deployed by the paratroopers. As the infantry moved to clear the mines, the paratroopers opened fire, causing casualties and forcing the tanks to pull back.
A cut-away of the La Fière Causeway
Knocked-out Beutepanzers Once they regrouped, a handful of H-39 tanks advanced slowly toward the bridge. Suddenly, the first was knocked out by two carefully hidden bazooka teams. Nevertheless the Germans pressed the attack and forced the paratroopers back to the eastern side of the bridge.

The Germans halted at the river, unable to advance through the now heavily-defended western bank. A stalemate developed as the two sides struggled to gather enough strength to push the other back.

Read Mike & Wayne's Battle Report using the Battle of the La Fière Causeway scenario here...
Eventually the paratroopers managed to push Germans back thanks to timely arrival of their glider-borne regiment as well as several Sherman tanks which had arrived from Utah Beach.

Unable to repel firepower of that magnitude, the Beutepanzers withdrew and the bridge finally fell into the hands of the Americans on 9 June.
The Battle La Fière Causeway

Last Updated On Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by Chris at Battlefront