GOLD BEACH : British Troops



 
 

 


50th Infantry Division
" Northumbrian "

Gold is the codename for the center beach of the invasion area. It is 8km long and located between the villages of La Rivière to the west and Le Hamel to the east. Landing on this beach is the task of the 50th "Northumbrian" Infantry Division.

The german defences are massed on both extremities of the beach. On the east flank are the 4./441 (Ost-Abt) and 7./736 Inf Rgt belonging to the 716. Infanterie-Division and on the west flank is the I./916, part of the 352. Infanterie-Division, maning the Wns bordering the sea. The central stretch of the beach is marshy and defended only by the 3./441 (Ost.Abt.).
Crew-served weapons in this sector are mainly 50mm guns in concrete emplacement and 75mm guns inside pillboxes.
To the rear are several artillery batteries covering the beach (Mont-Fleury, Ryes, Marefontaine, Creully, Crepon).

Map of Gold Beach sector (57Ko)
Sector Gold Beach

 

The Objectives :

The 50th Infantry Division will establish a beachhead between Arromanches and Ver-sur-Mer and then head south towards Route Nationale 13 linking Caen with Bayeux.
The first wave is made of the 231st and 69th Infantry Brigades. Once the initial assault is over and the beachhead established, the follow-up brigades (56th and 151st) will push inland to the south-west towards RN 13 supported by the tanks of the 8th Armoured Brigade.
To the west, the 47 Royal Marine Commando's mission is to capture Port-en-Bessin and link-up with U.S. forces landed on Omaha Beach.
The 50th Infantry Division will also made the junction with the Canadian troops coming from Juno Beach.

The Invasion :

The assault on Gold Beach starts at 0725 hrs on the King sector. Men of the 6th Green Howards land, supported by the DDs of the 4th/7th Dragoons and the special tanks of the Westminster Dragoons. In this sector the defence is weak and the coastal strongpoints are easily reduced before the troops push inlands to silence the german batteries.

On the Jig sector, the assault companies of the 1st Hampshire land at 0735 hrs without the supporting tanks which have been delayed.

Gold Beach : Hour H+60 minutes (55Ko) landing of the147th Field Rgt RA

The attack of Le Hamel is stopped cold, progress are very slow and the losses heavy. It will take the support of the 147th Field Rgt, Royal Artillery to reduce the strongpoint which falls at 1600 hrs.

The 69th brigade can then continue it's advance south though Creully and Crépon. At 1600 hrs a german counter-attack is launched that shakes the british lines but fails to break though.

The end of the day :

On the evening of June 6, almost all of the 50th Infantry Division's objectives have been reached and the Gold Beach bridgehead can be considered one the strongest established.
 

To the east, the junction is made with the canadian troops south of Tierceville and the 69th, 56th and 151st brigades dig in on a line between Vaux-sur-Aure and Coulombs. During the nights, patrols of the 2nd Gloucestershire reach the Bayeux suburbs.

To the west, Arromanches is reached at 2000 hrs and cleared an hour later. The link-up with the american troops can't be made.

Men of the 47th Royal Marine Commando, after a day-long progression in enemy territory, dig in on hill 72 south of the Longues-sur-Mer battery.

Gold Beach : landing of the 47 RM Commando (56Ko)
Landing of the 47 RM Commando

Their objective, Port-en-Bessin, won't fall until June 8th after some heavy fightings.

At the end of the day, 25,000 british soldiers have landed on Gold. 413 men have been killed or wounded on the beach and 89 landing crafts have been destroyed.