Report by Lieutenant Frank on his actions at Primosole Bridge on 13 June 1943

The stick landed on the Drop Zone in the area 915663 some 20 minutes before scheduled time. I was only able to collect five of my stick after waiting approximately 30 minutes by the container holding spare arms. We came under machine gun fire from the farm buildings at 920659 so I decided to move off with what men I had and try and neutralise them.

I reached the bridge 918662 with three men, the remaining two having been sent out to the right and not having been seen since. We got within 30 yards of our machine gun position and silenced it with Bren and Sten gun fire. We were then held up by further machine gun fire on our left, meanwhile more Germans came out of the farm buildings and an exchange of grenades and automatic fire took place at the end of which the enemy withdrew back into the farm houses.

During the engagement my No.2 on the Bren was wounded in the leg. I then saw some figures moving towards the farm up the track which formed the Battalion Command Post. I took them to be our own people escorted by two Germans. We let them cross the bridge and then shot up the guard, killing one and severely wounding the other. The four men I collected were unarmed and therefore of little value. About [?]0 Germans on the Drop Zones, attracted by the firing, came down the track. We opened up on them as they came to the North side of the canal bank, to which they made a brisk reply taking up positions on the bank. We engaged them with grenades and automatic fire for about 10 minutes.

By this time (about 2345 hours) I was running short of ammunition and had only two Bren magazines left, so I decided to withdraw eastward along the canal to the Battalion Forming Up Place at 936664. I could see no sign of anyone on the Battalion Command Post. I moved about three quarters of a mile down the canal and lay up in a bomb crater to try and determine what was happening. I saw several sticks dropped to the east of the Command Post track and tried unsuccessfully to contact them.

I then decided to move on again to the Battalion Forming Up Place. As I came to the bridge at 936668 about six vehicles with what appeared to be 20 mm Machine Cannons mounted on them approached down the main road from the north and turned along the track at 931659 towards the farm buildings, so I lay up for about half an hour to see if any more activity took place. Finding none I crossed the bridge and moved to the Forming Up Place where I contacted a platoon commander from my own Company and one from ‘B’ with about 22 men between them. By now it must have been between 0200 and 0230 hrs in the morning.

By Lieutenant Frank.

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