Max Hastings (Overlord, pp.169-170) quotes excerpts from an interview (conducted in July '83) with 'Major Charles Richardson of 6th KSOB [who] came out of EPSOM , his first battle, overcome with horror and disgust' about the Bn's experience during Op EPSOM and which includes (on p.170) the remark that:
This was later used [and page referenced by Russell A. Hart in his hatchet-job on the British Army in Normandy (chapter 8 of Clash of Arms, p.313) in the following terms:After the battle [Richardson recalled that the KOSBs] talked about 'the spectacle of the Royal Scots Fusiliers cresting a hill to find the Germans dug in on the reverse slope, "something we had never envisaged".'
However, there is nothing in either the KOSB war diary/regimental history that reports on this "event" and although the war diary of 6 RSF describes their difficult fight for ST MAUVIEU on 26 Jun 44, it doesn't match up at all with the "reverse-slope" reference.'EPSOM clearly demonstrated the inexperience of British troops and the weakness of their training as poor coordination and a failure to comprehend German defensive tactics marred the operation. Soldiers of the Scottish Division, in particular, suffered heavily when the enemy surprised and ambushed them from a classic reverse-slope position. […]'
In addition, in Ian Daglish's book Over the Battlefield: Operation Epsom he records the following comments (on p.252) from a 2nd Argylls infantry officer which shows that the British Army was attempting to change its tactics before Normandy to deal with German reverse-slope defensive positions:
27 March 1944: Coy/Squadron [Scots Guards] training - a most valuable day. The technique of a combined infantry - tank attack has altered since our last tank training - owing to the implications of reverse slope defence and it was necessary to go over it again.
Has anyone seen other references in contemporary documents (British or American) to the changes in infantry and tank/infantry tactics made to try to counter reverse-slope defences? Or other criticisms based on what appears to have been a relatively casual remark then taken out of context and to reinforce a somewhat mendacious viewpoint?