Brécourt Manor

Following the disappearance of the company commander in the crash of the C-47 carrying him, command of the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th PIR of the 101st Airborne fell to 1st Lieutenant Richard D. Winters.
After making contact with the other companies of his battalion at the hamlet of Grand Chemin on the morning of June 6, Winters was sent to the front with the only instruction "There's a battery behind that hedge. Take care of it."
Winters was given the mission of destroying a German artillery battery initially spotted as a battery of four 88 mm guns shelling Utah Beach and the chaussée n°2 which was to allow troops to penetrate inland. Several other units had attempted to storm the enemy position earlier in the morning, but had been repulsed.
After a reconnaissance mission at around 8:30 a.m., Winters assembled a team of thirteen men from his own company but also from other companies, soldiers who had parachuted into the wrong place and had not yet rejoined their respective units. With no more information than the approximate position of the guns (south of the Grand Chemin) and no idea of what lay beyond the battery, Winters' team stormed the manoir de Brécourt, located some 5 km south-west of Utah Beach and north of the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. They discovered Battery No. 6 of the German 90th Artillery Regiment, consisting of four 105 mm guns linked by a network of trenches and defended by a platoon of German soldiers.
The unit was probably part of the 6th Parachute Regiment and equipped with MG42 machine guns, but details are to date unknown. The 1st Battalion of the German 6th PIR had been moved from Carentan to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont during the afternoon of the previous day, but had arrived on site during the night; the 1st Company of the 919th Grenadier Regiment (709th Infantry Division) was stationed at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and responsible for the perimeter.
Elements of the 1058th Grenadier Regiment (91st Infantry Division) defended the whole neighborhood, and the artillery was also part of this division. The 795th Georgian Battalion, attached to the 709th ID, positioned to the north-west at Turqueville, was probably not present because of the difficult terrain. Whichever unit was defending the battery, the American paratroopers were opposed by approximately 60 German soldiers.The unit normally assigned to the battery had apparently fled during the night on sighting the paratroopers; Lieutenant-Colonel Friedrich August von der Heydte, discovering the desertion, moved to Carentan and ordered his 1st Battalion to take charge of the battery.(source Wikipedia)

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