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  Normandy

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By 1942, British troops were fighting in Burma and the Western Desert.  Pretty soon they would also be landed in North Africa.  There wasn't much call for alpine troops.  New weapons and new military methods had also been introduced whilst the Lincolns had been in Iceland, and they were out of date--"snowbound" as one senior officer put it.  There was a lot of catching up to do. Officers and NCOs were sent on courses to battle schools and gradually the role of mountain troops was abandoned.

In the summer of 1943 the 4th Lincolns moved to Scotland and started training in combined operations and assault methods.  It looked as though they were going to be in the first wave of troops to land on D-Day.  But Montgomery later chose his old 3rd Division for this role.  The 2nd Lincolns were in this Division and landed on "Sword" beach on D-Day and the 4th Lincolns were among the "follow-up" troops who landed on "Gold' beach four days afterwards.   

Montgomery mounted an offensive (Operation Epsom) to the west of Caen on 26th June.  To protect the left flank of the 15th Scottish Division, the 49th Division would have to capture the ridges around Rauray the previous day.  The 4th Lincolns were on the extreme right of two other battalions--the Hallamshires and the 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers.  They had to capture the Juvigny-Fontenay road just to the west of Fontenay.  Once this was done the KOYLI would move through to capture Tessel Wood and then the Hallamshires would go forward to take up positions to the south of the wood. The Lincolns were the right flank of the whole of 49 Division so it was vital that they should take their objective and then hold on at all costs.  They were issued with rum to steady their nerves.  Just before dawn there was a devastating crash as the combined guns of 8 Field Regiments, 4 Medium regiments and the guns of the Royal Navy in the Channel opened fire.