Gold was the central of the five D-Day landing beaches. British forces conducted the offensive against sectors Jig, King and part of Item so that the town of Arromanches sustained as little damage as possible, ready for the installation of Mulberry harbour B. Covert sampling of all D-Day beaches was conducted during the planning stage and at Gold it revealed that the sand was particularly soft. Special matting was unrolled by modified tanks during the initial landing so that normal tanks could advance without becoming stuck, although many were still lost in the mud or taken out by mines. A 75mm gun at le Hamel, which was not damaged during the prior artillery bombardment, caused trouble for forces at Jig throughout the landing and was only destroyed after a drawn out effort to surround it. The threat of this gun meant that some units had to land at King instead.
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