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Stock# 63729
Description

Important set of maps showing Sword Beach, one of Great Britain's landing beaches during D-Day, as well as a stretch of land inland from Sword towards Caen.

The map also shows Pegasus Bridge, the site of a British glider assault and the first fighting during the Normandy Invasion.

The maps include extensive details of land coverage and conditions, roads, bridges, landmarks for wayfinding, built-up areas, etc.

The pair are G.S.G.S. 4347 Sheets No. 40/18 S.W. and No. 40/16 N.W.

Sword Beach

Taking Sword Beach was the responsibility of the British Army, with the assistance of the Royal Navy and Polish and Norwegian navies. Among the five beaches of the operation, Sword was the nearest to Caen, located approximately 9 miles from the goal of the 3rd Infantry Division. The initial landings were achieved with low casualties, but the advance from the beach was slowed by traffic congestion and resistance in heavily defended areas behind the beachhead. Further progress towards Caen was halted by the only armored counter-attack of the day, mounted by the 21st Panzer Division.

Pegasus Bridge and Operation Deadstick

Operation Deadstick was the codename for an operation by airborne forces of the British Army that took place in the early hours of 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy landings of the Second World War. The objective was to capture intact two road bridges in Normandy across the River Orne and the Caen Canal, providing the only exit eastwards for British forces from their landing on Sword Beach. Intelligence reports said both bridges were heavily defended by the Germans and wired for demolition. Once captured, the bridges had to be held against any counter-attack until the assault force was relieved by commandos and infantry advancing from the British landing zone.

The mission was vital to the success of Operation Tonga, the overall British airborne landings in Normandy. Failure to capture the bridges intact, or to prevent their demolition by the Germans, would leave the British 6th Airborne Division cut off from the rest of the Allied armies with their backs to the two waterways. If the Germans retained control over the bridges, they could be used by their armored divisions to attack the landing beaches of Normandy.

Provenance

Sgt. Leslie Ronald Bloomfield, who participated in D-Day landings on June 6th, 1944;
Thence by descent in the family;
From whom we acquired this and other maps