Sword Beach Initial landing to Midday 6 June 1944


Map Code: Ax00515

All landings on Sword Beach were channelled down Queen sector as narrow reefs made an approach from any of the other sectors treacherous. Most of the armoured vehicles successfully made it ashore after beach mines had been cleared, however space was tight as damaged vehicles obstructed movement towards the German defences. The Merville Gun Battery, designed to cover the beach, had been destroyed by paratroopers by 05:00 and the heavy batteries at Le Havre were engaged in exchanges with the Royal Navy. The troops assigned to protect the beach were mainly conscripts and as such were overrun by 09:30, allowing the British to push to nearby Ouistreham and Hermanville where German resistance was stronger. Quick movement inland at Sword was vital to stemming German counterattack from the east, so troops quickly moved to reinforce the 6th Airborne division, which had taken control of the bridges over the Caen Canal.

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