“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”
The date is June 6th 1944, Operation Overlord, the Allied landings on the coastline of Normandy are underway, the greatest amphibious operation the world had ever seen. The landings on Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches would proceed following the actions earlier in the night. British, American and Canadian Paratroopers would land on the drop zone and landing zones on the east and west flanks. One crucial aspect of the plan would be a Coup de Main operation to secure the two bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne. Lead by Major John Howard and his men from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, they would need the crucial element of surprise to take both ‘Pegasus‘ and ‘Horsa‘ Bridges. This virtual tour allows you to follow in the opening phase of the beginning of the liberation of Europe, we look at the realities of war these men faced and the boldness that would be required of each and every man.