From 0000 to 0100 hrs : The Pathfinders jump to mark
the drop zones for the airborne troops. In the east, The 6th British
Airborne Division (General R.GALE). Mission : Protect the left flank
of the landing area and destroy the MERVILLE Battery.
In the West, the 82nd (General M.RIDGWAY) and the 101st (General
M.TAYLOR) U.S. Airborne Divisions. Mission : Protect the right flank,
cut the South of the Cotentin Peninsula, seize the beach exits from
UTAH BEACH and capture the town of SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE.
0011 hrs : The first Titanic team made of
3 men jumps from a Halifax above Cotentin and lands in a field 8km
west of Saint-Lô. Lieutenant Norman Harry POOLE becomes the first
man to jump over Normandy. A few seconds later, a second team under
captain Frederick James 'Chick' FOWLES lands in the same area. In
order to simulate a large scale assault, other planes drop 200 decoy
paratrooper dummies which, upon landing, fire up flares and play
rifles and machineguns recordings. POOLE, FOWLES and their men also
install amplifiers to play combat noises, mortar explosions and
the sound of soldiers cursing. 30 minutes later, quietness returns
to the countryside and the men disappeared in the night. Similar
operations are taking place close to Yvetot and Harfleur, near Le
Havre; around Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët, Lessay, Villedieu-les-Poëles,
near the Cerisy forest, the Ecouves forest and along the roads between
Lisieux and Evreux.
The objective of the Titanic operations
were to confuse the local german anti-paratrooper units and had them searching
in vain while the real airborne landings were taking place.
0016 hrs : The first pathfinders of the
101st Airborne jump over Normandy, led by Captain F. LILLYMAN, to
mark their division's drop zones. DZ "A" to the west of St Martin-de-Varreville
for the 502nd PIR; DZ "C" north of Hiesville for the 1st and 2nd
Battalions, 506th PIR and the 3/501st PIR; DZ "D" to the east of
Angoville-au-Plain for the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 501st PIR and
the 3/506th PIR and LZ "E" for the gliders of missions "Chicago"
and 'Keokuk" scheduled between 0400 hrs and 2100 hrs. The C-47s
carrying the division are supposed to arrive 30 minutes after the
first pathfinders land.
0016 hrs : BENOUVILLE-RANVILLE
coup-de-main force, composed of 180 british soldiers (Major J. HOWARD), aboard
6 Horsa gliders lands near the Caen canal and Orne bridges. Mission: capture both
bridges and hold them until relieved.
The gliders were released at 6000 feet
above Cabourg, just after crossing the coast line. Due to pilot J. WALLWORK's
skill, the first glider stopped only 40 meters from the Bénouville Bridge, while
the second and third landed at about a hundred meters.
Two other gliders arrived
150 meters away from the Ranville bridge but the sixth one, released too late
and facing east, landed 12km from the objective.
Both bridges were captured
in less than 15 minutes and radioman E. TAPPENDEN was able to send the "Ham &
Jam" victory message.
0020 hrs : 60 pathfinders of Major
Lennox BOYD's 22nd Independent Parachute Company jump over Normandy to mark the
three drop zones that will be used for the 6th British Airborne Division paratroopers.
DZ "N" to the north-est of Ranville, DZ "V" west of Varaville and DZ "K" west
Upon landing, the pathfinders will have 30 minutes to scout
out and mark their assigned drop zone with beacons and radars, especially the
"Eureka" transponders. The signals from these beacons are to be recieved by "Rebecca"
receivers aboard planes carrying the paratroopers.
The jump does not go as
planned due to strong winds and german Flak disorienting the Albermale crews scattering
the pathfinders all over the countryside. The Varaville team make it relatively
close to DZ "V" but all their beacons are either broken or lost in the nearby
marshes. None of the Ranville pathfinders land anywhere near DZ" N" but one of
the Touffréville team is dropped by mistake over Ranville. Thinking they are on
the correct DZ they start emitting the "K" signal instead of the "N" one, which
will cause great disorganization during the main jump. Only 4 men of the second
stick planned for Touffréville jump near their assigned objective and, having
no clue as to where they are, they decide to place their beacon in the field where
- From 0100 to 0200 hrs
: On the east flank, thousands of britsh paratroopers land in the dark and regroup
to accomplish their missions: clear and secure the glider landing zones, destroy
the Merville battery, blow the 5 bridges on the Dives river and reinforce Major
Howard's party at Bénouville. To the west, 13,000 US paratroopers descend on Normandy
but units are scattered, men are drowning in the flooded areas and 70% of the
heavy equipment is lost.
0121 hrs : The first pathfinders
of the 82d Airborne jump over Normandy to mark the three DZs assigned to the division:
DZ "O" north-west of Ste-Mère-Eglise for the 505th PIR, DZ "T" north of Amfréville
for the 507th PIR and finally DZ "N" north of Picauville for the 508th PIR. The
369 C-47s carrying the units of the division will arrive 30 minutes after.
hrs : The first bombers of the 8th US Air Force are taking off from England
to support the ground forces. 1,198 aircrafts are bound for the coast line and
163 for the city of Caen. The take-offs will take place until 0529 hrs.
- From 0200 to 0300 hrs
: The successive air drops are now over. Firefights errupt everywhere.
To the east, Ranville is captured, to the west, General GAVIN regroups
his scattered paratroopers and heads for Ste-Mere-Eglise.
hrs : A german officer of the 716. Infanterie-Division phones General Marcks
in St-Lô and reports that enemy paratroopers have landed east of the Orne river.
0215 hrs : Colonel HAMANN, officer in charge
of the 709. Intanterie-Division phones St-Lô and reports that
enemy paratroopers have landed around Ste-Mere-Eglise.
hrs : Every german battalions, batteries and regimental headquarters are placed
of full alert.
0229 hrs : USS Bayfield, flag ship of Rear
Admiral Don P. MOON and carrying the commander of the Utah Beach
assault force Major General Joseph L. COLLINS, drops anchor 11,5
miles off the coast.
hrs : USS Ancon, flagship of the Omaha assault force, drops anchor 11 miles
off the coast undetected.
- From 0300
to 0500 hrs : The 5,000 war ships and transports arrive to their lowering
positions in front of Normandy. Protected by 2,000 aircrafts, they drop anchor
15 miles off the coast. Two midget submarines, arrived two days earlier, are surfacing
to mark the british assault sector.
0330 hrs : The HQ
of the 91. Infanterie-Division near Picauville reports being under attack.
hrs : The Headquarters of the 6th British Airborne Division, aboard 55 gliders,
lands on LZ "N" north of Ranville.
0335 hrs : The 716. Infanterie-Division
reports ennemy paratroopers near Amfreville, Breville, Gonneville
0354 hrs : Mission "Chicago":
52 CG-4 (WACO) gliders towed by C-47s from the 434th Troop Carrier Group land
on LZ " E" north of Hiesville. They bring 158 men, 16x 57mm antitank guns of the
81st AA battalion, 1 baby bulldozer, 1 advanced surgical unit, 1 radio jeep and
1 trailer carrying a SCR 199 for long-distance communications with England. All
this materiel is for the 101st Airborne.
0400 hrs : Mission "Detroit":
52 gliders land on LZ "O" north west of Ste-Mere-Eglise. They bring
A and B batteries, 80th AA Battalion and headquarters for 82d Airborne,
artillery and signals.
0400 hrs : SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE
Battalion, 505th PIR under Lt.Col. Edward C. Krause capture the town.
hrs : In front of OMAHA BEACH, assault units are transfered from transport
ships to LCVPs and LCAs.
0430 hrs : 132 men from the
4th and 24th cavalry squadrons, under Lt.Col. Edward C. DUNN land of the St-Marcouf
islands 3 miles off the coast from UTAH BEACH. Three weeks before D-Day, SHAEF
believed the german might have built heavy batteries on them and did not want
to take any chance.
Armed only with knifes, 4 men waded ashore to mark the
beach for the incoming landing crafts. After the landing, the men did not find
a single german soldier or battery but got trapped in the minefields covering
the beaches. While the first men got killed or wounded by the german S-mines,
Colonel DUNN was able to send the "mission accomplish" message. At the end of
the day there would be 19 killed or wounded.
Sergeants Harvey S. Olson, Private
Thomas C. Killeran (Troop A), Sergeant John W. Zanders, Corporal Melvin F. Kenzie
(Troop B) became the first men to invade Europe by sea.
hrs : Field Marshall von RUNDSTEDT orders the 12. SS Panzer Division and
Panzer-Lehr to move immediately to Calvados. At OKW, JODL, angered by the order,
cancels it at 0630 and decides to wait for Hitler to wake up.
hrs : Gruppenkommando West orders reconnaissance patrols in the Baie de Seine
with the 5th torpedo boats flottilla, the 15th patrol boats flottilla, the 38th
minesweepers flottilla and, on each side of the cotentin pensinsula, the 5th and
9th speed boats flottilla.
Commander Heinrich HOFFMANN, commanding the 5th
torpedo boats flottilla, leaves Le Havre with three boats: T28, Jaguar and Möwe.
hrs : MERVILLE
9th Para Battalion, under Lt.Col. T. OTWAY captures the battery. Initially composed
of 700 men, only 150 and were able to regroup after a bad drop with a single heavy
machinegun. The battery was assaulted at 0400 and 45 minutes later the german
garrison surrendered, at the cost of 70 british paratroppers killed. Lt.Col. T.
OTWAY can at last fire a yellow flare as a victory sign to HMS Arethusa only 15
minutes before the Light Cruiser was due to open fire on the battery.
the full account in the section devoted to Merville)
0445 hrs : Lieutenant G .HONOUR's HMS X-23 midget submarine
surfaces a mile off the Normandy coast. 20 miles from here, it's sister ship,
Lieutenant K.R. HUDSPETH's HMS X-20 does the same. Those two ships mark the limits
of the anglo-canadian sector. Their task is to raise a mast equiped with strobe
lights and to set-up optical and radio-electrical guiding devices. They would
then lead the way for the invasion fleet. Since they got under way from Portsmouth
on June 2, the crews had spent 74 hours under see, but now they were catching
the morning breeze a mile off the coast, waiting for the first assault waves that
would pass them by in less than 2 hours.
From 0500 to 0600 hrs : 1,136 RAF aircrafts drop 6,000 tons of bombs
of the coastal defences.
0507 hrs : 716. Infanterie-Division
reports more and more gliders landing in the Orne sector.
hrs : The three torpedo boats of Commander Heinrich HOFFMAN cross the artificial
fog protecting the allied ships and emerges in front of the invasion fleet. HOFFMAN
decides to attack immediatly, closing in despite the reaction of HMS Warspite
The german flottila bore off and fired a salvo of 18 torpedos.
The allied ships, taking evasive action, were able to avoid them except the Svenner,
a norwegian destroyer, that was hit amidship and sunk instantly. The german flottila
had already turned tail and disappeared in the fog.
hrs : B and C Companies, 741st Tank Battalion are launched 6,000 meters from
the beach. Of the 32 DD tanks, 27 will sunk in the rough sea and 3 can't be launched
from their transport. Despite the risks, the 743rd Tank Battalion decides to land
their DDs directly on the beach.
0537 hrs : The Longues-sur-Mer
battery opens fire for the first time, firing ten shots at USS Emmons without
result. The battery also fires on USS Arkansas, but the battleship returns fire
with 20 rounds of 305mm and 110 rounds of 127mm. The battery then turns its guns
east as closer targets enter it's fire zone.
: Task Force 125 warships open fire on the UTAH BEACH batteries. A few minutes
later, 276 B-26 Marauders of the 9th Air Force drop 4,404 250lbs bombs on seven
targets from les Dunes-de-Varreville to Beauguillot.
hrs : B-24 Red Ass of the 446th Bomb Group drops it's first bombs above Vierville.
480 B-24 bombers carrying 1,285 tons of ordnance are supposed to obliterate the
strongpoints on the coast between Port-en-Bessin and the Pointe de la Percée but
because of the low ceiling and visibility, the mission is a complete failure.
The OMAHA BEACH's WNs are intact and 117 B-24s return England with full bays.
hrs : Day breaks. It is grey, cold and rainy. The wind stirs up 2-meter waves
on the sea. Warships open fire on the coastal batteries.
hrs : American aviators relieve the R.A.F. 1365 bombers drop 4000 tons of
bombs while the navy continues shooting.
From 0600 to 0700 hrs : Rocket launcher barges approach the beaches,
spraying them with salvoes of rockets: 20,000 in the British sector (Gold, Juno
and Sword Beaches) and 18,000 in the American sector (Utah and Omaha Beaches).
0630 hrs : UTAH
BEACH : All
bombardment stops. The strong currents have scattered the 4th American division
during the first wave of assault. By mistake, they have deviated 1800 meters to
the south--a lucky error, because German defenses are less concentrated there
and obstacles are less numerous. Brigadier General Theodore ROOSEVELT, Jr. decides
to land the following convoys in the same place.
BEACH : The
1st and the 29th American Divisions land over a 6.5 kilometer stretch of front.
Out of 29 amphibian tanks put to sea, 27 sink. The German blockhouses resist bombardment,
and the landing troops are subject to heavy fire. The survivors shelter behind
rock levies or other obstacles on the beach. Troops continue to stream onto the
beach despite enemy fire, and are blocked on the beach or massacred.
hrs : The bombing over Gold Beach and the west of Juno Beach began. 385 B-17s
of the 1st Bombardment Division strikes the coastal batteries and strong points
between Longues-sur-Mer and Courseulles-sur-Mer. In the same time, 322 B-17s of
the 3d Bombardment Division operate in the east of Juno sector as over Sword Beach,
striking the batteries and defences between Bernières and Ouistreham.
From 0700 to 0800 hrs : On the German side, there is consternation
and exasperation. In the upper ranks, some officers believe what is happening,
but others do not believe the landing has begun. General Alfred JODL refuses to
send in Panzer reinforcements before receiving HITLER's approval. Yet he refuses
to wake him for permission. HITLER went to bed at 0400 hrs and gave orders not
to be awakened before 0900 hrs.
0700 hrs : The Supreme
Commander, General Dwight EISENHOWER, receives an emergency transmission from
Sir TRAFFORD LEIGH MALLORY, the Air Marshal. The message is brief: "Parachuting
has gone well."
0700 hrs : The second assault wave
at Omaha Beach begins.
0710 hrs : POINTE
DU HOC : 225
Rangers under Colonel RUDDER attack the eastern face of the cliff at Pointe du
Hoc, hoping to take out the German battery situated at its summit. It was necessary
to take this 30-meter cliff because of the threat to troops on Omaha and Utah
Beaches from the 155mm gun battery up on top. Twenty minutes after the beginning
of the assault, the casemates are taken from the Germans, but unfortunately, in
vain: the artillery had already been moved. They were later found camouflaged
1100 meters away and subsequently destroyed. For 36 hours, 155 able Rangers resist
the violent German counterattack. Only 90 soldiers will come out of this heroic
0710 hrs : OMAHA BEACH. Sergeant Turner
G. SHEPPARD's Sherman tank, one of the two tanks that haven't sunk, manages to
come ashore on the beach near strong point WN61. The sergeant located in the turret
gives the order to fire: a direct hit, and the 88mm of WN61 is taken out of commission.
0725 hrs : GOLD
BEACH : The
50th British Division under Major General GRAHAM lands on a 5-kilometer front
of beach too far east of the chosen site. The German artillery and machine guns
slow down the offensive.
GRAHAM's mission: establish a foothold in the cliffs
at Arromanches and quickly take Bayeux.
0730 hrs : Rommel's
Chief-of-Staff phones at Herrlingen to announce the arrival of paratroopers in
Normandy. He ends the call with the remark that he will call back when there is
0730 hrs : SWORD
BEACH : The
3rd British Division under the command of General T.D. RENNIE lands on time. The
naval and aerial bombing on German defenses was effective, but heavy fighting
slows down the soldiers' progress. The 177 French soldiers under Commando Group
Kieffer land on the Orne River at Colleville, the easternmost point of the invasion.
RENNIE's mission: take the right bank of the Orne River, liaison with the 6th
Airborne and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, take Caen and the Carpiquet aerodrome
0730 hrs : The men of the 3rd Battalion
502 PIR (101st Airborne) under Lt Colonel Robert COLE occupy Exit 3 of Utah Beach
0745 hrs : JUNO
BEACH : The
3rd Canadian Infantry Division under General R.F.L. KELLER lands in two waves,
at 0745 hrs and 0755 hrs. They are running fifteen minutes behind schedule. Seven
amphibian tanks out of 29 sink. The German resistance is relentless.
mission: direct troops to Caen and take the aerodrome at Carpiquet.
From 0800 to 0900 hrs : At Utah Beach the offensive begins. Patrols
advance behind the dunes to join forces with paratroopers from both American divisions.
At Omaha Beach the Americans are still halted by German fire. The rising tide
forces reinforcement's to advance under fire. Destroyers and rocket launcher barges
approach the beach to destroy the German blockhouses. Losses are enormous.
At Gold, Juno and Sword, the British and Canadians clear the beaches and begin
their progress inland.
0845 hrs : OMAHA BEACH. G Company
of the 16th RCT reaches the summit dominating Easy Red sector.
hrs : OMAHA BEACH. At the headquarters of the 3/16th RCT, the capture of WN60
is announced, the first strong point to fall to the Americans. Attacked on both
flanks since 0830 hrs, the German 352nd Infantry Division feels the brunt of the
attack, and 31 soldiers are captured.
0915 hrs : HITLER
awakes. He listens to the latest communiqués and then calls for KEITEL
0917 hrs : Communiqué no. 1 from the
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces is broadcast:
the command of General Eisenhower, allied naval forces supported by strong air
forces, began landing allied armies, this morning, on the northern coast of France".
0930 hrs : After requisitioning a Sherman tank, the
troops of Commando Group Kieffer seize the blockhouse and casino at Ouistreham.
- From 1000 to 1200 hrs
: In the prison courtyard at Caen, Germans begin shooting 92 hostages and resistance
fighters, without interrogation or trial. The massacre lasts one hour. To this
day, the bodies of the hostages have still not been found.
hrs : OMAHA BEACH. Officers regroup units and move among obstacles and minefields,
searching for an exit out of this hell. Colonel George A. TAYLOR pronounces his
famous sentence: "Two sorts of people are going to stay on this beach, those
who are dead and those who are going to die. Let's get the hell out of here!"
Two thousand dead and wounded are strewn upon the beach, mixed in with the drowning
victims thrown up on beach by the tide. Two destroyers approach the coast to within
1100 meters, in order to bomb key points to the east of Moulins. Men of the E/16th
RCT seize WN64 situated to the east of Ruquet valley (Exit E1).
hrs : ROMMEL, unaware of the landings, calls his Chief of Staff, Lt. General
Hans SPEIDEL to get confirmation. He decides to drive immediately back to France,
and cancels his meeting with HITLER.
1030 hrs : OMAHA
BEACH. Strong point WN65 is destroyed. This German fortification point protected
Exit E1 and access to the Ruquet valley.
1030 hrs :
Third platoon Company D of the 505th PIR (82nd Airborne), under orders of Lt Turner
TURNBULL engages in combat at Neuville-au-Plain, outnumbered by the enemy 5 to
1. Thanks to their firepower and determination, the paratroopers hold off the
enemy for 8 hours.
- From 1200 to
1300 hrs : After serious engagement with German troops, Lord LOVAT,
following his bagpipe player, Bill MILLIN, leads his commando troop of Green Berets
to the bridge at Benouville, where they have come to relieve Major HOWARD and
his troops. The beaches continue to be cleared. Except for small pockets of resistance,
the Atlantic Wall no longer exists.
1200 hrs : CHURCHILL
speaks to the House of Commons: "I have to announce to the Chamber that the
first series of mass landings on the European continent have begun; and most batteries
along the coast have been taken. Everything is running according to plan."
1200 hrs : The four beach exits at Utah Beach are in
the hands of the 101st Airborne paratroopers. The 12th RCT has begun landing on
the beaches, while the 2/8th RCT has reached the outskirts of Pouppeville.
hrs : After liberating Courseulles, three Regina Rifle Companies joined forces
to march on Reviers.
- From 1300 to
1400 hrs : General O. BRADLEY receives a message from Omaha Beach:
"Troops here blocked on the ground at Easy Red." Advancing through the
cliffs overlooking Easy Green and Easy Red, reinforcements are arriving and the
injured being evacuated".
1300 hrs : OMAHA BEACH.
Surrender of strategic fortification WN72. This German strong point situated in
Dog Green sector protected the Exit D1 and gave access to the village of Vierville-sur-mer.
1300 hrs : Company B of the 1st Suffolk Regiment seizes
Morris battery at Colleville-sur-Orne. This battery contained 3 protected 105mm
guns. Sixty-seven artillerymen are captured.
: The city of CAEN receives its first bombing of the day. 73 B-24 of the 2d Bombardment
Division drop 155.75 tons of bombs over the town. The neighborhoods of Saint Jean,
Saint Julien and the area around the castle are hit. Many civilians are killed
and fire brigades find themselves extended in the face of the numerous fires.
1335 hrs : Message from the 352.Infanterie-Division
informs the 7th Army that the allied assault had been pushed back to the sea.
1430 hrs : OMAHA BEACH. Strategic fortification
WN62 falls. Situated in Easy Red sector, this strong point protected
the beach exit E3 and gave access to the village of Colleville-sur-Mer.
Only few Germans manage to escape.
From 1500 to 1600 hrs : Marshal ROMMEL's car regains headquarters
1540 hrs : General Gunther BLUMENTRITT
calls Lt. General SPEIDEL at ROMMEL's headquarters to announce that Hitler has
finally agreed to send in troops from the 12.SS Hitlerjugend-Division based to
the south of Rouen, and the Panzer Lehr based near Chartres.
hrs : Strong point Sole situated between Ouistreham and Colleville-sur-Orne
falls to B Squadron 13 Hussars and the 2nd East Yorkshire Battalion. Forty Germans
- From 1600 to 1800
hrs : The 21. Panzer Division, 16,000 men strong attacks. General
MARKS says to colonel Hermann Von OPPELN-BROKINOWSKI of the 22nd Tank Regiment:
"It's up to you to repel the invasion."
: After carrying out their initial D-Day mission of capturing the La Fiere bridge
on the Merderet river, the men from Company A of the 505th PIR prepare to meet
the first German counterattack on the La-Fiere causeway. After heavy artillery
bombing, three tanks and 200 infantrymen make an advance on the road. The courage
and determination of the men from Company A ensures that no other German would
cross this bridge from the moment the bridge was taken on the morning of June
6th to the arrival of reinforcements two days later.
hrs : CAEN is bombed again. This time the targets are the bridges on the Orne
river. Planes grouped by six drop their bombs at 3000 meters in altitude. The
bombing lasts for more than a quarter of an hour, and the neighborhood is destroyed.
1700 hrs : OMAHA BEACH. The beach exit D1, controlled
strategically by a house situated near fortification WN73, is finally secured.
All morning long, Company C of the 2nd Rangers Battalion fought alongside Company
B of the 116th RCT in the German trenches at the top of the cliff in order to
secure this strong point.
1730 hrs : Colonel BROKINOWSKI,
and the 2nd Battalion launch a counterattack toward Biéville. Squadron
C of the Staffordshire, fighting with 6-pound antitank guns and Sherman tanks,
open fire on the German armored vehicles. Concurrently, Sherman tanks of Squadron
B halt tanks of the 192nd regiment commanded by Captain Wilhelm VON GOTTBERG at
Periers-sur-le-Dan. Colonel BROKINOWSKI halts the tanks progress and withdraws
to Lebisey point.
- From 1800 to 0000
hrs : Troops of both camps are exhausted. The battle stops at sunset.
Night aviation remains on guard, however, and launches flares to prevent German
reinforcements from closing off conquered zones.
: JUNO BEACH. Surrender of the German garrison sheltered in the bunkers in Nan
Red sector at St.-Aubin-sur-mer. Only 7 fanatical German soldiers refuse to surrender,
and they perish in the smoke.
1800 hrs : Strategic point
Daimler, consisting of 4 x 155mm artillery guns situated near the entrance to
Ouistreham, falls to the men of the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire. Seventy Germans
1900 hrs : OMAHA BEACH. Lt.General HUEBNER,
in charge of 1st Infantry Division, lands at Easy Red.
hrs : OMAHA BEACH. The anti-tank entrenchment of Les-Moulins, situated near
beach exit D3, is filled with troops.
2000 hrs : The
men of 4 Commando Group arrives at the village of Hauger. They spend the evening
establishing strong defenses.
2000 hrs : Six tanks of
the 192. Regiment and mobile infantry manage to infiltrate the British lines after
the battle at Périers-sur-le-Dan point. They reach the coast near Lion-sur-mer.
2000 hrs : The men of 1st Suffolk Regiment seize the
Hillman site situated at Colleville-sur-Orne above Sword Beach. This concrete-reinforced
stronghold had been the headquarters for the 736. Grenadier Regiment.
hrs : Mission "Keokuck": Thirty-two Horsa gliders of the 434th Troop
Carrier Group, towed by C47s, land on the LZ "E" north of Hiesville.
They bring in 165 men from headquarters and medical corps, 40 jeeps, 6 motorcycles,
6 x 57mm artillery guns, and 19 tons of material destined for the 101st Airborne.
2100 hrs : Beginning of Operation "Mallard".
An armada of 249 aircraft arrives on the Norman coast at Ouistreham. The aircraft
of the 38th and 46th Groups bring in 219 Horsa gliders and 30 Hamilcar gliders,
which serve as reinforcement for the 6th British Airborne Division. Two landing
zones are set aside for these aircraft. LZ "N" is situated to the north
of Ranville in the same area as DZ "N", and LZ "W" is situated
between the villages of Benouville and St-Aubin-d'Arquenay. 256 gliders were scheduled
for the operation but only 249 of them arrived over the French coast.
planes towing the gliders cut them loose over Ouistreham and the gliders finish
their descent alone, and minutes later, huge amounts of equihrsent are parachuted
onto the landing strips. As soon as the first gliders land at LZ "W",
the Germans open fire. Regardless, the 6th Airlanding Brigade's losses are minor,
and the operation is deemed a success.
2100 hrs : Major
General FEUCHTINGER commander of the 21. Panzer Division, spots from his vantage
point at Lebisey the gliders of Operation Mallard landing at St-Aubin-d'Arquenay.
He cancels his plans to advance towards the coast, and instead sends only 3 companies
in that direction. The attack is ambushed by the Canadians. Survivors are forced
to retreat toward Caen. The only German attack of the day failed.
hrs : General MONTGOMERY embarks from Portsmouth aboard the destroyer HMS
Faulkner to enter Normandy and take command of his troops. He lands on the morning
of June 8th.
2230 hrs : CAEN is bombed for a third time.
The area near the port is heavily damaged.
: ARROMANCHES is liberated. The allies reach the outskirts of BAYEUX.
hrs : Colonel Thomas J.B. Shanley (2/508th) decides to abandon the attack
planned for the Douve Bridge at Pont-l'Abbé, and directs his men to the
regiment's gathering point, an elevation known as Hill 30. Once arrived, the group
organizes strategic defenses for the zone.
: About 170,000 men are fighting in Normandy. Allied Command is optimistic. Reinforcements
continue to arrive. Losses are much lower than forecast. The Americans have lost
about 6,600 men, the British and Canadians about 4000 men. In all, about 10,000
men are killed, injured or missing in action out of a 300,000-strong military
force. The longest day ends.
Traduction : Stéphane Moutin-luyat - Patrick Elie