- Gold Beach
Infobox Military Conflict
Operation Overlord, Battle of Normandy
Cromwell tanklanding on Gold Beach from a Landing Ship, Tank
6 June 1944
Arromanches, Le Hamel, La Rivière, in France
flagicon|United Kingdom Douglas Graham
commander2=flagicon|Germany|Nazi Wilhelm Richter
Gold Beach was the Allied
codenamefor the centre invasion landing area during the World War IIAllied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. It lay between Omaha Beach(US forces) and Juno Beach(Canadian). The landing area was 8 km wide and covered four sectors of the Normandy beach; from West to East they were Item, Jig, King, and Love.
The primary objective of the forces landing at Gold beach was to seize the town of
Bayeux, the Caen- Bayeuxroad, and the port of Arromancheswith the secondary objectives being to make contact with the Americans landing at Omaha to the West and the Canadians landing at Juno to the East. [ Citation
last = Ambrose
first = Stephen E.
title = D-Day
place = New York
publisher = Simon & Schuster
year = 1994
edition = First
isbn = 0-684-80137-X]
The task of landing at Gold Beach was given to the
British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Divisioncommanded by Major General D.A.H. Grahamand the British 8th Armoured Brigadeof the British 2nd Armyunder Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey.
The beach was to be assaulted by multiple brigades of the 50th Infantry Division; on the West was the 231st Brigade, followed by the 56th Brigade, attached to this was a regiment of
DD tanks from the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, the infantry assault battalions that attacked in the West were; the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment, and the 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment,followed by No.47 Royal Marine Commando, 4th Commando Brigade. On the East the 69th were followed by the 151st Infantry Brigade. Again a regiment of DD tanks was attached - from the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. The infantry assault battalions that attacked in the East were; the 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, and the 6th Battalion The Green Howards.
German 716th Infantry Divisioncommanded by Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, and elements of the 1st Battalion of the German 352nd Divisioncommanded by Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, defended the Channel coast for the Germans.
The bombardment of Gold Beach started at 05:45.
H-Hour for the Gold beach landing was set for 07:30. Landing started earlier at 07:25.
DD tanks were launched close in because of the heavy seas; up to 700 yards rather than the planned 7,000 yards. A dozen or so tanks were sunk before landing.Heavy initial resistance was reported. However after the British broke through the German lines, casualties began to drop off leaving the final death toll at 400.
By midnight on the evening of
June 6 1944the British forces had landed 24,970 men on Gold Beach, and had penetrated six miles into occupied France. They fulfilled one of their secondary objectives by meeting up with the Canadians who had landed at Juno Beach but failed in their primary objective of reaching the Caen-Bayeux road and in their secondary objective of meeting the Americans from Omaha Beach. However they had established a foothold into "Fortress Europe" that would ultimately be a stepping stone to victory.
The beaches of
D-Dayare still known by their invasion codenames today.
Notes and references
* [http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/memory_gold.htm British D-Day Museum]
* [http://www.britannica.com/dday/article-9389939 "Gold Beach" from "Encyclopædia Britannica's Guide to Normandy 1944"]
* [http://www.6juin1944.com/assaut/gold/en_index.php D-Day : Etat des Lieux : Gold Beach]
* "Gold Beach Jig - Jig Sector and West - June 1944" Tim Saunders Battleground Europe Pen & Sword/Leo Cooper ISBN 0 85052 866 6
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