Normandy Invasion - ...AND SWORD BEACH

...AND SWORD BEACH (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Geography History Social Studies World War II

In this photograph, from the Imperial War Museum (IWM), we see an aerial view of “Sword Beach” as it appeared about ten months before D-Day. The annotations, for IWM image number MH 1997, help us to understand not just the “lay of the land,” at the beach (on which British troops landed on D-Day), but also the areas behind the beach. Crown Copyright expired.


Meanwhile, other British forces were making their way toward Sword Beach, the easternmost beach of the Normandy landings located directly north of Caen. The 3rd Division, supported by the 27th Armoured Brigade, led the assault.

W. H. Jeffries, serving in No. 6 Commando, recalled his unit's approach to the beach and their mission objective:

After sailing, below deck we made a very special study of our maps, checked our arms and ammunition and had plenty of hot soup provided by one of the crew. June the 6th, soon after dawn, we were crouching low on the deck and to our left a battleship was firing, and above a few Spitfires to cover us in. At this point the enemy gunners were trying to get our range and shells were bursting all around us. Soon we were heading for our part of the Normandy coast, and at once all hell seemed to break out.

Arriving on an LCI (Landing Craft, Infantry), Jeffries and his fellow soldiers were "dropped off" into the Atlantic:

As the enemy machine gunners opened up, very calmly the LCI crew dropped the landing ramps down, and with good luck from the crew we started on our way through the sea. Part of our task was to reach the airborne forces who in the night had taken and were holding the bridge, now named Pegasus Bridge.

After leaving the beach we made our way through open grassland, and all around the Germans had placed notice boards warning of mines. But by a careful study of the ground we found the way across a part where cattle had been grazing some days before. We moved so fast that we were on to one group of Germans drinking coffee in the edge of a field. Our instructions had to be carried out. Push on to the bridge, never mind the odds.

Push they did, and the improbable story of the Pegasus-Bridge capture remains famous to this day.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: May 06, 2019

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"...AND SWORD BEACH" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2004. Jun 05, 2020.
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