Sword Beach

© Nomandy Tourist Board

On June 5th, a little before 11pm, British gliders were launched towards Bénouville bridge. In the space of a few minutes, the men under Major Howard attained their objective and Bénouville bridge became Pegasus Bridge. The bridge at Ranville, a little further east, was also stormed. At the same time, the parachutists of the 6th Airborne Division overcame the gun battery at Merville.

Pegasus Bridge

The landing of troops by sea took place at Hermanville and Colleville. From there, the commandos – including the 177 green berets of the No. 4 Commando – were ordered to take Ouistreham from behind. Afterwards, they advanced towards the bridges at Ranville and Bénouville to give their support to the paratroopers.

On June 6th, at midnight, more than 150,000 Allied soldiers were in Normandy

On the afternoon of June 6th, Hitler gave the order to move several armoured divisions towards Normandy. However, by now it was too late: the die was cast.

On June 6th, at midnight, more than 150,000 Allied soldiers were in Normandy, including 23,000 paratroopers, and 20,000 vehicles of all types. 12,000 men had been killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

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