First landings on Sword
Destruction on Sword at the end of the first day.British troops beginning to move inland.
More troops moving inland. Taking the fight to the Germans.
Gold beach. You can see dead and dieing in this picture.
Gold Beach landings.
Aerial view of Sword Beach on D Day
On D Day, the 6th June 1944 the British and Canadians landed on Sword and Gold beaches whilst the Americans landed on Utah and Omaha beaches.
The long line of beach lay ahead and immediately behind hung a thick pall of smoke as far as the eye could see, with the flashes of bursting shells and rockets pock-marking it along the whole front. We had the word from the Suby (the Royal Navy Sub Lieutenant commanding their LCA) to get ready and the tension was at its peak when we hit bottom, down goes the ramp, out goes the captain with me close behind. We were in the sea to the tops of our thighs. Floundering ashore, we were in the thick of it. To the right and left the other assault platoons were hitting the beach. Mortar bombs and shells erupting the sand and the ‘breep – brurp’ of Spandau machineguns cutting through the din.
There were no shouts, everyone knew his job and was doing it without saying a word. There was only the occasional cry of despair as men were hit and went down. The beach was filled with half-bent running figures – from experience, we knew that the safest place was as near to Jerry as we could get. A near one blasts sand all over me and my radio set goes dead (during a quiet period later on, I find that shrapnel has riddled my set, and that also a part of my tunic collar has gone). A sweet rancid smell is everywhere, never forgotten by those who smell it – burnt explosives, torn flesh and ruptured earth.
I. G. Holley - wireless operator, 'B' Company 1st Battalion, Royal Hampshire Regiment.