6th Airborne : Assault on Normandy
The Overlord plan called for the use of airborne troops to secure the flanks of the D Day landing and to form a buffer to keep the German counter-attacks away, thus allowing 3rd Division to advance from Sword Beach to seize Caen.
6th Airborne Division was newly raised from infantry battalions converted to parachutists and glider infantry and it trained hard and prepared for its special missions. It was later to be joined by Lord Lovat’s Commando Brigade who were to come under command on landing.
Expert authors and battlefield guides explain the action on the ground where it happened. These locations include the epic attacks on Pegasus Bridge by the gliderborne infantry of John Howard’s company of Ox & Bucks Light Infantry and Colonel Terrence Otway’s 9 Para were to take the Merville Battery, whose guns were thought to dominate Sword Beach.
Meanwhile, the reminder of the 3 and 5 Parachute Brigades were to secure key objectives. In the event they were widely scattered and facing counter-attack by 21st Panzer Division. Despite this small bands of paratroopers cleared Merville Battery, blew bridges and secured vital ground, the significance of which is explained with maps, photographs and diagrams in the usual BHTV style.