amphibious assault

Jun

6

1944

1000: Stanley Hollis wins only D-Day VC

Stanley Hollis VC

Wherever the lighting was heaviest CSM Hollis appeared and, in the course of a magnificent day’s work, he displayed the utmost gallantry and on two separate occasions his courage and initiative prevented the enemy from holdng up the advance at critical stages.

Jun

6

1944

0840: Commandos land on Sword Beach

Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade led by Brigadier Lord Lovat (in the water, to the right of his men) land on Queen Red beach, Sword area, c. 0840 hours, 6 June 1944. Sherman DD tanks of 13th/18th Royal Hussars and other vehicles can be seen on the beach. Lovat's piper, Bill Millin, is in the foreground about to disembark.

Jun

6

1944

0800: Green Howards land on Gold Beach

German POWs being escorted along one of the Gold area beaches, 6 June 1944.

Cairns hit in leg. Stopped a few minutes at edge of beach. Woods hit in eye. Got on to coast road where things were unpleasant owing to mortars and shells flying around and minefield on both sides. Some logs on the side of the road provided welcome protection.

Jun

6

1944

0745: Heavy seas prevent DD tanks launching

Signals were exchanged: the minesweepers had completed their task and were wishing us Godspeed on our mission. The flotilla of LCTs began maneuvering for launching our DD tanks. This meant it was Sherman DD (Duplex Drive) with screens raised.

Signals were exchanged: the minesweepers had completed their task and were wishing us Godspeed on our mission. The flotilla of LCTs began maneuvering for launching our DD tanks. This meant it was necessary for them to head into the wind, showing a broadside to the enemy supposedly alert on the coast.

Jun

6

1944

0737: Cruiser HMS Scylla off Sword beach

The cruiser HMS Scylla, pictured in 1942.

It is now 0730 and so far we have heard nothing from jerry except a report of E Boats on our port side at 0645. Perhaps it is due to our fighter umbrella which I believe are continuously up in strength of 9 squadrons and with Rocket Typhoons flying over should be a pretty formidable force to oppose jerry.

Jun

6

1944

0710: US Rangers attack on Pointe du Hoc begins

The cliffs at Pointe du Hoc photographed some days later as the Rangers demonstrate how they climbed the cliffs.

By the time we fought our way about a mile or so to the blacktopped coastal road (about one hour), I had only a dozen men left, some of whom were lightly wounded, but able to fight on. Ten of the original 22 Rangers in my boat team had been killed or were very badly wounded. We still had not found the guns nor had a ny idea of where they were.

Jun

6

1944

0645: The final run in to Omaha beach

The iconic picture of Omaha beach, Photo by Robert F. Sargent, United States Coast Guard 

It is thought that these men are part of the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division landing at 0730 when the tide had covered the lowest barriers.

As we approached the beach the ramp was lowered. Mortar and artillery shells exploded on land and in the water. Unseen snipers concealed in the cliffs were shooting down at individuals, causing screams from those being hit. The water was turning red from the blood. The noise from artillery fire, the rapid-fire rattle from nearby MG-42s, and naval gunfire was deafening. The smell of cordite was something that would forever become fixed in our minds, always associated with death and destruction.

Jun

6

1944

0631: Utah beach landings begin

Men landing on Utah beach in the early stages, the slope of the beach meant that had a long wade in.

We kept moving as fast as possible. Some enemy rifleman began firing at me, so I picked myself up and began to run forward over the top of the dunes. Facing me were five of the enemy. I shot the one with his hand raised to hurl a grenade. The rest threw down their rifles and put up their hands.

Jun

6

1944

0558: Daybreak – a cold grey day arrives

A Douglas Boston of No. 88 Squadron RAF, equipped with smoke dispensers, flies low over the English Channel to the Normandy landing areas, to lay a smoke screen in front of the Allied invasion fleet.

We’re deafened by the airplanes, which make a never-ending round, very low; obviously what I thought were German airplanes are quite simply English ones, protecting the landing. Coming from the sea, a dense artificial cloud; its ominous and begins to be alarming; the first hiss over our heads.

Jun

6

1944

0455: Force U transfers to their assault boats

The battleship USS Texas pictured in late 1944.

I stay near the front of the boat, getting sprayed continuously and I look about me and see hundreds upon hundreds of boats, from the little LCVP’s, LCM’s, LCT’s and LCI’s, to the huge battleships and cruisers, and smoke is billowing from their deck guns, for this is H-40 min. and the Naval barrage starts then, the fire directed against enemy shore installations.