After the 11th R.S.F. crossed the Seine at Elbouf, they with the 49th Infantry Division swung westwards in the direction of the major port of Le Havre. For a four day period in the first week of September patrols sought out suitable crossings of the River Lezarde, but the only passable crossing was located through the village of Montevilliers as all other bridges had been destroyed by the Germans and the land in the surrounding areas of the river valley were inundated with flood water.
The area was quiet with minimal harassing enemy activity (it is reported that between 6th to 9th September only two mortar bombs fell in the area occupied by the men of the 11th R.S.F). With the plans in place and the troops of the two attacking Divisions in position, 'Operation Astonia' was soon to be executed.