Operation Savvy

This was an Allied exercise to evaluate the capability of standard army self-propelled field artillery, carried in landing craft, for the delivery of support fire in the course of the ‘Overlord’ amphibious assault (12 February 1944).

Major General D. C. Spry’s Canadian 3rd Division, of Lieutenant General J. T. Crocker’s British I Corps of Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey’s British 2nd Army, already had its standard three artillery regiments (the 12th, 13th and 14th Field Regiments), but to ensure that each of the two assault brigades would be supported by two field regiments, was also allocated the 19th Field Regiment. All four of these regiments were equipped with US M7 Priest self-propelled 105-mm (4.13-in) howitzers, whose delivery started late in September 1943.

The question of whether or not the fire of seaborne army artillery could make a significant contribution to the assault was much debated, but was then settled in the positive by ‘Savvy’.