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Osprey Campaign 105 : D-Day (3) 1944 : Sword Beach & the British Airborne Landings

On the eastern most flank of the Allied landings in Normandy was Sword Beach, the responsibility of British 3rd Division. Their objectives for D-Day were to seize Ouistreham and Lion-sur-Mer, and to drive inland taking Hermanville, Perriers Ridge, and in cooperation with the Canadians landing on Juno, capture their ultimate goal - the town of Caen. In addition, they were to link up with the British Airborne forces who were to secure the eastern flank of the beachhead. The leading waves landed at 7.30am and managed to get off the beach without heavy German resistance. By mid-morning Hermanville had been captured but severe congestion on the beach was delaying those troops supposed to be exploiting the landing inland. This allowed the defending German forces, particularly the 21st Panzer Division, valuable time to react to the landings. Stiff German resistance and counter-attacks prevented Caen being taken on the first day and much blood would be shed before it finally fell. 1st Special Service Brigade landed in the Ouistreham area and moved inland to link up with the British Airborne forces. These had been assigned the tasks of securing the area west of the River Dives, destroying a number of bridges over the river and in particular capturing the bridges over the Orne River and the Caen-Ouistreham canal. First to land were the glider-borne infantry of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry commanded by Major John Howard. They successfully seized the canal bridge at Benouville, which has been known since as Pegasus Bridge. The other landings were plagued by high winds with some paratroopers drowning in the river Dives, but five vital bridges were destroyed and in one of the most heroic actions of the landings the Merville battery was stormed and put out of action. Text by Ken Ford with illustrations by Howard Gerrard.

    Contents
  • Origins of the Battle
  • Chronology
  • Opposing Commanders
  • Opposing Armies
  • Opposing Plans
  • The Landings
  • The Airborne Assault
  • Sword Beach
  • Holding and Expanding the Beachhead
  • Aftermath
  • The Battlefield Today
  • Bibliography
  • Index


The books in this series are;
Campaign 100 : D-Day (1) 1944 : Omaha Beach
Campaign 104 : D-Day (2) 1944 : Utah Beach & the US Airborne Landings
Campaign 105 : D-Day (3) 1944 : Sword Beach & the British Airborne Landings
Campaign 112 : D-Day (4) 1944 : Gold & Juno Beaches

 

Osprey Campaign


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