In the last episode we looked at the American experience of D-Day at Omaha beach, this time it’s the turn of the British and Canadians at Sword, Juno and Gold on the 6th June 1944.
In this episode we’re going to concentrate on the British and Canadian landings on D-Day. I’m joined by John Sadler.
Now we’ve talked to John before in episode 26, when we looked at Operation Agreement, a combined operations raid in the deserts of North Africa that included the Long Range Desert Group, the SAS and the Royal Navy.
D-Day began on the night of June 5-6 1944, and would prove to be the most pivotal battle of World War II. At 07.00 hours on the 6th, Britain's First Corps and XXX Corps came ashore on Sword and Gold beaches, to withering fire from the Nazis forces. Within the initial and critical couple of hours soms some 30,000 soldiers, 300 guns and 700 armored vehicles were landed, and, though the sands were soon choked with the mother of all logjams, exacerbated by a swelling tide, the British were firmly lodged; a bridgehead had been secured, albeit rather flimsy at this juncture. This is the story of the British soldiers' experience of the beach landings on that fateful morning—the spearhead of D-Day invasion—and the deadliest.