Operation Pomegranate (also known as the Second Battle of the Odon) was a series of operations fought by the British Army in World War II in mid-July 1944 against Panzergruppe West as part of the Battle of Normandy. Operation Pomegranate were intended to draw German attention away from the upcoming assault from the Orne bridgehead, codenamed Operation Goodwood. After four German infantry divisions arrived in Normandy, the objective was to prevent them from replacing German Panzer divisions deployed opposite the British Second Army for operations against the First US Army.
XXX Corps launched Operation Pomegranate on 16 July. The objective of 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division on the right is to capture Vendes and the surrounding area, in the centre the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division is to capture the villages of Noyers-Bocage, Haut des Forges and Landelle and on the left the 53 (Welsh) Division is to attack, ready for the corps to advance towards the high ground north-east of Villers Bocage. 33rd Brigade is to support the efforts of 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division.
Tactical Plan – 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division, Phase II
Phase I of the attack began at 5:30 a.m. this morning with units of 177th Brigade supported by 33rd Brigade clearing their start lines and advancing on their objectives.
On the right, despite encountering stronger than expected resistance which saw the leading units taking heavy casualties, 1/6th South Staffords supported by B Squadron 144RAC have successfully captured their objective. With the hamlet of Brettevillette in Allied hands, 1/6th South Staffs have switched to the defensive to allow the Phase 2 forces to pass through.
On the left 5th South Staffs, supported by C Squadron 144RAC, advanced to capture Les . This attack ran into several unmarked friendly minefields, but achieved it's objectives.
Phase II of the operation will begin at , with A Coy 2/6th South Staffs and A Squadron of 144RAC passing through Brettevillette to capture Pt 126 and Noyers Railway Station before pushing through to attack Noyers village. At the same time C Coy 2/6th South Staffs, supported by available tanks from B and C Squadron 144RAC, will advance from Les and attack Noyers village.
The area around Brettevillette and Noyers consists of large crop fields bounded by tall hedgerows. Orchards and sunken lanes are prevalent. The railway line provides an obvious obstruction, but should be passable for tanks.
Known Enemy Forces
Infantry from the newly arrived 277th Infantry Division are confirmed to have taken up prepared defensive positions in the Noyers area. This Division has newly arrived in Normandy, and is believed to have been transferred from coastal defence duties in Southern France. This mornings fighting has shown that they are heavily supported by dug in and concealed anti-tank guns - dug in infantry and machine gun positions offered heavier than expected resistance to Phase I forces. The enemy is believed to have deployed minefields as part of his defensive network. Enemy Self Propelled A/T guns were engaged during the fighting in Brettevillette. Further enemy units are expected to be in the area, including tanks from 9th SS Panzer Division.
Points of Note
- Preparatory bombardment will be available to support the attack. Follow on bombardments will be available at the crossing of each phase line.
- Phase I forces encountered enemy anti-tank guns and HMG's firing from concealed positions. Sniper activity was also reported as being heavy. A combined arms approach is essential.
- Prisoners interrogations have revealed that a force of infantry and 9th SS Panzer