- Mark Forsdike
WW2TV - Chateau de la Londe
As the 76th anniversary of 1/Suffolk’s attack on the Chateau de la Londe, came around, Paul Woodadge of WW2TV asked me if I’d like to be interviewed for a live YouTube session on the battle.
The battle, which was the most costly for the Battalion during the entire campaign was held in high regard by those who fought their. Later they championed to have a Battle Honour created for it in its own right, but it was refused.
Known at the time as the ‘grimmest mile in France’ by the early 1950s, it had become more popularly known as the ‘bloodiest square mile in Normandy’. Either description gives an accurate description of the close, bitter action that was fought here by the Battalion.
One of the things that always sticks in my mind about the battle was the first major haul of Prisoners the Battalion suffered. Twelve men were taken at the Chateau in an action that was every bit as hand-to-hand actions seen on the Somme and in the March offensives in the war that came before it. Paul prepped the ground prior to the broadcast and then his team moved about the battlefield as I described the action live. I think it was well received with several relatives of 1/Suffolk veterans watching all over the world. Maybe we could do something like this again, for the battles at Tinchebrai in August 1944?